Silent NAS Build

Hi All,

I wanted to share my latest build (Silent NAS) as well as my thoughts and choices with this build. I will try to add some pics of the build. Hopefully, this post helps others in some small form. I basically wanted to return the favor to this forum and to many other forums that has been a wealth of information for me personally.

The NAS is up and running for a couple weeks now. Why the NAS? Well like many of you my family has a bunch of external drives with all our media etc. The NAS will be mainly used to store our family albums, music, movies and a central storage area for an upcoming HTPC build. A word of caution, please keep any sensitive information stored elsewhere and disconnected from the Network even if your network is encrypted and firewalled. An example of this would be your Tax forms.

This Silent NAS build is a contradiction in terms when I say it is a Power House machine yet energy efficient. You want to limit power consumption for a home NAS system, since your NAS will be running 24/7. For my build, as is, a 200W PSU/Pico is needed with a recommended 250W if I include a GPU according to the PSU calculator. Also, you would need an OS for your NAS. Here is a sample of the more popular free NAS OS’s: FreeNAS, CryptoNAS, OMV, and NAS4Free. I am including a link below that will have a lot more details better than I could ever give.

I will be using Nas4Free (formerly FreeNas 7) just because it has a nice GUI and I had no issues setting it up. Five minutes for installation and another 15 for a basic configuration, 30 minutes if you take the time to read the step by step wiki page. I had issues with the FreeNas 8(the newer version) although others had great success, as well as with OMV. NAS4Free is based on FreeBSD 9.x whereas FreeNAS 8 is based on nanoBSD.

My NAS build will be a bit different to most NAS builds due to some personal key points. For one, I am not recycling any old components. Its not just a NAS, but it can also be flipped into a backup personal working machine. Yet, still minimizes power using WD Green Drives, low voltage low latency RAM and a power efficient Mobo. I also added a Power efficient PSU with lots of future proof support for growth and/or additional GPU’s if needed. A NAS only system can be built for a third of the cost of my current build using various other configurations… even less if you recycle components.

My key points
*Absolute must — needs to be Silent.
*Absolute must Six 6GB/s SATA and USB3.0 support. (This option narrowed my selection list)
*Should not be as big as my Full Tower build (my earlier post in this forum).
*Room for expandability.
*Able to convert/support as a backup work/gaming machine for the latest and upcoming media.
*Looks Good.

Additional links:
Itemized List for Silent NAS and Silent HTPC builds

The CoolerMaster Xtraflo slim fan is available at the following links: (only a few bucks here) (available here but it is 3x the normal cost)

Here is a all-in-one website I think is an excellent source for anyone wanting/searching for a HTPC beginners build guide.…-htpc-in-2010/

===========================NAS==================== ========
Case:…LIAN LI PC-V354B Micro ATX
Mobo:…ASUS M5A88-M AM3+ AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
RAM:…G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Low Voltage Desktop
CPU:…AMD FX-8150 FX 8-Core Black Edition Processor Socket AM3+ - FD8150FRGUBOX
Cooler:…CORSAIR CWCH60 Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU
PSU:…KINGWIN Lazer Platinum Series LZP-550 550W ATX SLI Ready
HD:…Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s (x4) Raid5
SSD:…Intel 520 Series Solid-State Drive 120 GB SATA 6 Gb/s 2.5-Inch
Fan:…(120mm x120mm x 15mm) CoolerMaster Blade Master XtraFlo 120 Slim Case Fan
BD-RW:…Home Surplus

====================Full Tower Build - Water Cooled================
CPU:…Intel core i7 3960x
Mobo:…Rampage IV Extreme x79
GPU:…EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified Hydro Copper (x3)
PSU:…Enermax MaxRevo EVO EMR1350EWT
HD:…WD VelociRaptor 600 GB SATA III 10,000 RPM (x2) in Raid1
SSD:…OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 SATA III 6.0 Gb-s
Sound:…Asus Xonar Xense Premium Gaming Audio Set
RAM:…G.Skill Ripjaws @ 2133Mhz 32GB RAM
Fan Controller:…Lamptron FC-5 V2 Black Fan Speed Controller


Please excuse my amateur-ish images of the NAS build. Finally, I had some time to load pics of the installation of the NAS build using a LIAN LI PC-V354B Micro ATX Case. Also included are some close-up shots of the minor modifications made to the Slim Fan itself to get everthing to work well with the H60 unit.This setup is probably the only modification I can think of that requires the least amount of modification work if you wish to include an H60 cooling unit without sacrificing any other functionality feature of the case… Yet still maintain optimum cooling. In addition, there is a lot of real estate room left for air circulation. One main factor why this build works so well is that the PSU, HD and the Mobo “cycle down” accordingly using the implemented green technology. As a result, you can be assured that heat generation and power usage are pretty low (A key feature for any 24/7 system).

I will try to limit the number of images loaded for the NAS build, so if you need a glimpse of something specific let me know and I will see what I can do.

The LIAN LI PC-V354B case has the Mobo being attached to the side panel. This made it very easy to mount the Mobo. Also, reattaching the side panel to the case with the Mobo was much easier if you lay the case with the opposing side facing/on the floor. This made it much easier to insert the Mobo into the backplate as well as to rescrew the side panel to the case.

If LIAN-LI had asked me what I would personally change in the case to further expand its design… it would be the placement of the top and rear fan vents. If the front of the case faces you, I would have liked to see the top fan vent shifted about 3/4-1inch to the left. Also, have the back panel vent shift to the right about 1/2 an inch and/or down 1/4 of an inch. Any of these modifications should not change/impact any other CPU cooler mods while still leaving enough room for any type of enclosed water cooling unit. I was off by about 3/8 of an inch from fitting the H60 to the back vent perfectly. Moving the fan controller to a different location can also help. That said, I really love the case and its minimalistic look and sound design (rock-solid).

I like the fact that you have such easy access to any part of the case as well as being flexible to remove all or add components as needed. The Optical drive can also be replaced with a mod for a slim fit ROM with room left over for an SSD if you needed additional space.

Since I am using a 120mm x 120mm x 15mm fan I could not use the traditional fan mounting screws. Here is what I needed and easily obtained at any local hardware store. Four 6-32 x 3/8 Flat head machine screws to attach the radiator to the case from the outsite of the case. The flat-head screws will fit perfectly in the countersunk mounting holes. You have the option to use a round head. Please note not to get anything longer than 3/8 in length as this can rupture the radiator. I was able to find all my supplies at a local Lowes location. Precautionary step: I temporarily used longer screws shown in the 3MountFantoTopVent image to keep the mounting holes aligned as I mount the radiator using the shorter 3/8 screws. Once the initial 3/8 screws catches remove the longer 6-32 screws and replace with 3/8’s.

Here you can see the H60 unit mounted with the Xtraflo slim fan. Before attaching the H60 unit to the case, I had mounted the Fan to the radiator using 6-32 x 1inch screws which was about 2 threads too long so I used a lockwasher at each screw to reduce the difference. Attention should be paid to the two red boxes I made in the image. The Mobo sits about 5mm under the fan and at the same time the fan extends over the Mobo about 5mm. To the left red square outline there is exaclty enough room left to insert the male 4pin connector from the PSU. To the right I had to notch the slim fan about 5mm on one side of the fan so it slides over the PWM Fan Connector when connected to the Mobo. The next image below will show a close up of the modification to the fan. Also, if you look carefully to the rightside of the fan it is up against the closed latch of the RAM lane. It is not rubbing or placing pressure against the board or RAM slot but you will need to fit your RAM in first if you intend to use all the lanes.

Here is a close up shot of the notch I made to the fan. I used a marker to draw a rough estimate of the connector location during a dry-fit. I have a Dremel tool, but I could not find it at the time. Instead I improvised by using a tiny drill bit and drilled tiny holes creating a perforated rectangle. This made it easy to snap off instead of trying to use a mini-saw or the like. Less effort too. Optional - I also used a file to smooth the edges.

Well for the most part this is absolutely everything in the case. Using the Semi-Modular PSU helped save on the PSU clutter. I notced in my research that most people who have a LIAN LI PC-V354B Micro ATX Case tend to have the HD Sata ports on the same side as the Mobo. This is ok if you have one or two drives and it makes for a cleaner look. But for a NAS I would suggest to have the HD ports installed similar to my configuration. The reason being its easier to access and replace drives where as the alternative would require you sliding the whole Mobo panel off and risking a loose power connections.

System is up and running.

Additional links:
Itemized List for Silent NAS and Silent HTPC builds. You can build either of these systems for much less with different configurations… even less if you recycle components. It all depends on what you want out of your system.

The CoolerMaster Xtraflo slim fan is available at the following links: (only a few bucks here) (available here but it is 3x the normal cost)

Here is a all-in-one website I think is an excellent source for anyone wanting/searching for a HTPC beginners build guide.…-htpc-in-2010/

I will post my HTPC build details once I have a free sec.

Additional/Updated useful links to my post:

All-in-one HTPC online guide for beginners:

Online PSU calculator:

Hmmm, only see it now, I wonder why nobody replied before? :wink:

What a great post, excellent work and very useful information! Now I just wonder how much power does it consume and how silent it is? I guess you don’t have a dB meter? :wink:

[QUOTE=DoMiN8ToR;2662787]I guess you don’t have a dB meter? ;)[/QUOTE] Or a smartphone app.

[QUOTE=DoMiN8ToR;2662787]Hmmm, only see it now, I wonder why nobody replied before? :wink:

What a great post, excellent work and very useful information! Now I just wonder how much power does it consume and how silent it is? I guess you don’t have a dB meter? ;)[/QUOTE]

Thanks DoMiN8ToR!

Actually the thread was posted in the wrong section for sometime. I pasted it under the Intel section… not sure how I did that? I asked one of the moderators to move the thread to this forum and by that time the thread was a few days old.

I do not have a DB meter, but I am actually sitting a couple feet away from the NAS and you cannot hear anything. You only hear a very faint hum from the intake fans when my ear is about 4 inches from it. You can also cycle down the fan further to reduce speed/sound using the built in fan-controller which is one of the reasons I chose the case.

Unfortunately, I do not have a handheld Watt Meter as well, but Judging by the components used it should not be much power consumption even with the current PSU. Using the online PSU calculator it recommended a range of 200-250W for the components used, but this is not a measurement for actual runtime. However, I would be surprised if its anywhere close to 200W.

I will check if any of my buddies have a DB and/or Watt Meter. If I get my hands on one I will post an update.

[QUOTE=Mr. Belvedere;2662815]Or a smartphone app.[/QUOTE]

That would be interesting actually.