The Goal:

My main goal with this project was to establish a better way of storing my 20+ TB's of Photos and Videos that I have sitting on multiple HDD and multiple Samsung T7 2TB Drives. Along with that, I wanted to be able to walk around my house and edit and access all my footage and files from within my home network with the add-on benefit of being able to edit on the move and not being stuck down to my desktop. The final cherry on top was adding on the ability to access all my files and create my own self-hosted Google Drive equivalent for all my past, present and future projects. Which that itself was another headache and fun learning experience.

Prebuilt vs Synology, QNAP:

The big thing I dislike about most of the off the shelf solutions are the fact that you are paying so much for a dual-core or Intel Pentium CPU or atom CPU on some! Most of the Synology build don't offer anything higher than 1gbps Ethernet connection, which is absurd when you're paying 750 dollars for a shell body. 10G or at least 2.5G Ethernet connection should be minimum nowadays with how affordable these solutions are. The software on them is also very limiting, but is very simple to use. Putting in a little more leg work allowed me to create multiple vm machines, to create my home server. Run a minecraft server and if I am interested in the future I could start to set up a Plex server for all my media and Linux ISO.

‍Step-By-Step Guide:

In crafting this build, I began with the sleek and space-efficient N2 case, prioritizing both form and function. This led me to select the i5-11600k processor, balancing performance with its Quick Sync capabilities. To complement this, I equipped the system with 64 GB of RAM, not only for efficient transcoding tasks but also to accommodate the docker containers I intend to run.

When it came to storage, I opted for the 18TB HDD, which offered exceptional value in terms of cost per gigabyte at the time of purchase. While this provides substantial storage capacity, I acknowledge the potential need for expansion in the future, which may necessitate either augmenting the HDD capacity or building an additional NAS.

Navigating within the confines of an SFX power supply requirement, I carefully selected a compatible unit, acknowledging the limitations it imposed on the available options. Despite this constraint, the build maintains its compact footprint while delivering robust performance and storage capabilities.

The motherboard selection was a deliberate choice driven by a specific need: dual-slotted M.2 capability. Recognizing the scarcity of such offerings in the market, I opted for a motherboard that accommodates this requirement. Given that many Micro-ATX boards typically provide only four SATA slots, I sought out two additional m.2 slot to accommodate an M.2 to SATA adapter, effectively expanding storage options by two ports. This ensures flexibility and scalability in storage configuration.

Fan configuration this is a hot CPU and a tiny little build, I had to find the best CPU cooler combination for this tiny build and that's where the Noctua nh-l9x65. It's really your only best choice when pair with the CPU.

Build Notes:

- Note 1: When you see me connect the 3 SATA cables in the back, I actually connected 2 more off-camera, just because I had forgotten to bring those cables from my home office the day of the build.

- Note 2: I also went back off-camera and did a little bit more cable management to the power cables.

- Note 3: During the building of the hard drives, I only used two of the three mount points for the HDD, but off-camera, I went back and re-seated them.