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I've spent the last couple of days trying to educate myself on NAS's. My own requirements are a media server for my PS3 and CPUs, RAID 5, and lowest possible power usage, especially at idle. A minor issue is that it will be in plain view, so good looking is a consideration.

As far as standalones go, the QNAP and Synology seem to be the most frequently recommended. I'm perfectly willing to build a computer for this purpose, and I do have an old Sempron socket 754 basically unused, but would need a new mobo, raid card, case, power supply, and even then I doubt I would be able to reduce power consumption to the level of a standalone.

Anyway, am I right that getting a standalone NAS will be a better option given my requirements?
 
What do you want for performance and why RAID 5?

It will be hard for a computer to beat NAS appliances for power consumption, noise and spouse approval (good looks).
 
Stand-alone NAS definitely lower power than PC

Stand-alone NAS boxes tend to use processers such as ARM 9s and PPCs, which are intended for low-power embedded systems. Stand-alone NAS boxes also have 32MB to 256MB RAM, rather than 512MB to 4GB, as with PCs. Stand-alone NAS boxes will in general use a lot less power than using a PC for the same purpose.

If you are really interested in low-power, than 1 or 2 drives would be better than 3 or more, which would be required for RAID5.
 
Well I've already passed the 1.5tb mark for the data I'm looking to maintain and will likely hit 3tb in a year or so. RAID 5, because it would be a royal pain to to figure out what was lost, and then replacing it.

Anyway I'm going to go the standalone route, just was hopeful that I could be cheap and get everything I want.
 
You might try FreeNAS on a thin client (HP T5700) using external USB attached storage. That's cheap to implement, but performance can be poor.
 
Well I've already passed the 1.5tb mark for the data I'm looking to maintain and will likely hit 3tb in a year or so. RAID 5, because it would be a royal pain to to figure out what was lost, and then replacing it.

3TB of storage is going to cost you no matter which way you go. But with RAID5, consider that you'll have a single point of failure, i.e. the NAS motherboard and power supply. RAID protects you against drive failure, but if the PS or mobo goes at the wrong time, then the array could be corrupted and you'd be in trouble. Not to mention loss possibilities of theft and fire.

It would probably be more cost effective to consider multiple RAID 1 NASes that can back up to each other. This might be a bit of a hassle to remember which NAS holds which files, but with some simple planning, you'll be ok.
 
3TB of storage is going to cost you no matter which way you go. But with RAID5, consider that you'll have a single point of failure, i.e. the NAS motherboard and power supply. RAID protects you against drive failure, but if the PS or mobo goes at the wrong time, then the array could be corrupted and you'd be in trouble. Not to mention loss possibilities of theft and fire.

It would probably be more cost effective to consider multiple RAID 1 NASes that can back up to each other. This might be a bit of a hassle to remember which NAS holds which files, but with some simple planning, you'll be ok.

Compare between:
- 1 of Synology CS407 with 4 x 1TB
V/S
- 2 of Synology DS207 with 2 x 1TB

Both of the above configurations how much storage can one get out of it in a RAID configuration?
 

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