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choppaface

Need NAS recommendation: fanless, 4-drive, SATA

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Dear Forum,

I need a NAS recommendation. Currently have a 6-year-old Mac Pro and I'm thinking of moving to a Macbook plus NAS to keep all my old data (mostly photos and music). Do people here have a favorite NAS or at least favorite vendor? I'm looking for something that has:

* Preferably fanless

* Needs to last at least 6-8 years

* Prefer SATA since I won't have high load

* Prefer 4 bays to 1-2

* RAID 1 support (hardware or software)

* Extra USB/firewire ports a major plus, eSATA port a small plus

Is there a good product out there, or is it better to build something like this (e.g. with a mini ITX case/board)? I'm not shy about building things, tho I would probably prefer an easier solution.

In the past, I built a Mac Mini with a custom enclosure to serve essentially the same purpose. It was a fun project but the end product was noisy and collected way too much dust, hence I'm looking for a fanless unit.

https://plus.google.com/photos/110491666794947537540/albums/5702948920572596657

For the curious:

* Upgraded the mini processor to a faster Core 2 Duo

* Dremeled a hole in the back of the mini and ran an eSATA from the mini to a WD Raptor. Yes that's a Raptor in the window ^_^

* The case has space for 2 other SATA drives served off a Firewire 800 board

* PSU is a special mini ITX PSU I think; it's like 80 watts.

Alternatively to a NAS, if anybody knows of a NAS card that's the size of the FireWire card in that picture, that might work too 8)

Edited by choppaface

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Sounds like you should just buy a Synology or perhaps a Netgear in five/six bay config.

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Just took a look and wow, I can't believe they don't have smaller models that are fanless. >$500 seems a lot for a NAS...

If I really wanted fanless and say 2 bays, am I going to have to go SAS/2.5inch ? I'm trying to avoid not just the cleaning issue but the chance that the fan will lose a bearing after 4-5 years. I guess I could also always replace the stock fan with something with fluid bearings...

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Honestly I'd rather have the fan than not. The last things we've seen without fans are the WD 2-bay My Book solutions, but that's DAS, not NAS. Given the higher workloads seen with NAS, I think losing your drives is worse than losing a fan...The WD My Cloud solution that's a single drive is also fabless, but again, that's not exactly what you want.

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I'd opt to only purchase a unit with a fan personally. I just replaced two drives in a friend's passively cooled 2-bay unit. The device had been place horizontally instead of vertically, and it couldn't cool itself as a result. The top-most HDD ended up cooking itself and failed. Thankfully in its RAID1 config the bottom drive still worked and we pulled the data off of it.

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FastMHZ: iz nice i like!

A bunch of my friends are recommending Synology now, so I may just go with that. Thanks for all the tips about fans!! It used to be that quiet fans were impossible to find, but now perhaps things have changed.

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