Assumptions

What is important if you want to store your data at your home? We discuss here performance, power usage, noise and usability.

Performance

The performance of the system is mainly influenced by processor speed and memory size and the data throughput through the network. Moving movies around requires really some speed if you do not want to wait for ever for a task to complete. Gigabit network is standard nowadays but make sure it is arranged for on the motherboard. A Gigabit network in theory can have a throughput of about 125MByte/sec.

The server should be connected directly to a port at the router. Maybe it is not always easy to find a good place for the server. In my home it is located in a bedroom. An UTP connection to the router could be arranged there. Some data loss is unavoidable but speed of the server described here is always above 100Mbyte/second reading and writing to the server in house.

Energy Consumption

Consumption of energy is important because the server is on all the time. The aim is to keep energy consumption as low as possible. The cost of electricity in the Netherlands is approximately € 0.22 per KWh. As a rule of thumb, every watt consumed by the device costs almost two euros on an annual basis.

An SSD is used as a system drive. The energy consumption of such a hard disk is 0.2 watts at rest and 1 watt when data is transferred. The hard disks in the system consume about a watt at rest. In use, the power consumed rises to four to nine watts. The hard disks are stopped when they are not used (spindown).

The NAS described here, with four hard disks, consumes 21-25 watts at rest. When the load is maximum, the energy consumption increases to 60 watts. This consumption limits the costs for energy to just over 4 euros per month.

Noise

You do not want to hear a NAS. This was taken into account when selecting the components. Sound is created by the cooling fans and the hard disks. By using an SSD, the mechanical hard disks only have to run if data from the disks is required. When the system is used heavily, for example if large files are copied or a large system update is carried out, you may hear the fans speed up.

After half an hour of not being used, the hard disks are stopped by the system. If the energy consumption is low, not much has to be cooled. The processor has its own heat sink on the motherboard. A large 23cm fan is used in the front of the case and a 14cm fan in the back of the cabinet. The system described here, at rest, can only be heard if you keep your ear against it.

Last Updated oktober 1, 2018

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