Freenas Build or Buy

I need to Freenas machine for a client. Now I am on the fence about building or buying a Dell Poweredge Tower.

I can get a the tower for around $400 with 8GB of Ram, Xeon x3430, redundant power supplies and 4 hdd bays with a warranty. If I build myself may not have the Xeon part but I priced out and it would be relatively close any suggestions on this?


You might want to get a price from iX Systems for a FreeNAS Mini (4 bays) or Mini XL (8 bays). Little more $$ but solid.

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Yeah I know they are about 1K, I feel you can build a decent Freenas as the client is only a 5 person office and has under ~200GB of data.

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I was thinking of future data growth and from experience. Accountants, lawyers, builders etc create copious amounts of data. In your case go with the Dell and WD Red drives or what they are now calling HGST.

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I agree bigger scale client the iX System would be a good solution.


I just replaced my freenas for about $500…ordered a supermicro X8SIL-F (with IPMI) with 16GB of ECC memory for about $130 on ebay. Ordered a brand new xeon 3470 from amazon $99, 2 4TB seagate ironwolf drives for $110 and still using my 3 1TB drives i had from the old build.

I did move away from USB drive to a 120GB ssd for boot and its wayyyyyyyyyy quicker to boot (10-15 min to about 1 min) i had this drive laying around so not included in my cost.

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I ended up finding some T310s and T410s from a off lease supplier. Picked up to SanDisk (best for usb boot tried others), dual power supply.

let me know the boot times with the USB. I have always used usb mirror and found booting was like 10-15 min. It would hang on middleware plugins and all that. SSD is under a min booting time.

On client site now but 2-3 minutes after Bios checks. I will look up models of usb drives tomorrow for you.

so strange literally have always used USB but lately Ive switched a lot of my systems over to ssd because of it. If you can find out what USB and or maybe there’s some magic setting in freenas or autotune that is being applied. I have tried so many usb sticks its crazy, SanDisk micro 16GB, Corsair Voyager 32GB, generic usb, microcenter usb, crappy branded ones from my old job all with the same result 10 min boot times.

Some times it would even just not install, if i remember it would error saying Da0 unable to install or something like that or stuck for hours on “random unblocking device”

like I said though 0 issues with SSD boot is fantastic, just feels like a waste thank god their cheap.

Can you have different Storage size for Raiding on FreeNAS?

Ideal would be each pool will consist of drives of the same capacity and same manufacturer, model.

On FreeNAS, not unless you intend to waste space. As g-aitc stated, arrays (pools) should be the same drives. That’s not to say you can’t have several pools in the same box.

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