Advice building out replacement TrueNAS server

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New Member
Mar 19, 2024
Atlanta, GA

I have an aging server at home running FreeNAS/TrueNAS since 2015 that I have grown out of. My current server only serves as storage for my media, hosts my Plex Media Server, and also is a backup for my Windows PC. It's an old Lenovo TS440 w/ 8x 5TB WD Reds and I'm just tapped out on space (have ~27TB of usable space after redundancyy). Not to mention, I've been very fortunate (knock on wood) that the drives have lasted this long.

My main goal in the new server is more space - I don't intend to add any new functionality, except that I'd love the server to be able to handle 4K w/ Plex. I currently have 18x 8TB WD Red Drives sitting in boxes, but that's all I've acquired so far. A number of times, I've looked at pre-build (Dell T630/T640) and also looked at various chassis out there that can house many 3.5" drives, but I pretty quickly get overwhelmed.

I guess my first question on this new build is, should it consolidate both functions (storage / media server) into one machine? Plex is what will need the strong CPU or possibly discrete GPU functionality for transcoding, whereas the storage side of things is where I need space for drives and whatever TrueNAS would need to service that many drives. It seems many chassis out there are built for 16x drives, or 24x, so I'm expecting to probably continue acquiring drives. I'm open to setting 2x servers up if that makes more sense than trying to get the function out of one machine.

Based on the consensus to that first question, any recommendations at brands/servers/chassis to look at in this quest? I've looked at the Dell T640/T630, and some SuperMicro chassis as well. Initially, the Dell option seemed attractive because I don't have a rack at home, but I am open to purchasing a small rack since that opens up the possibilities.

I realize this is both a simple question, and also a little all over the place. Just hoping to get some opinions / direction.

Appreciate it. Thanks.

Tech Junky

Active Member
Oct 26, 2023
discrete GPU functionality for transcoding
I use a cheap A380 for $100 to convert to mkv using QSV which retains the high end bitrate and plays without transcoding. It's much more efficient than going high end on the CPU using handbrake. It cut the processing time to 1/8th of the time it took the CPU which also reduces the load and electricity costs.

As to the storage it comes down to just picking a case that hold that many drives. The FD meshify 2 holds 13 in an internal rack. Then just pick your other guts and you're done.