3rd Gen AMD Ryzen build for FreeNAS

Check our build based on the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X processor and support for error correction code (ECC) memory. We spent $683.96 + tax and shipping for the key components. We also have guidelines and suggestions for the additional components you'll need to complete your build.

Key components:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • Motherboard: ASRock X570 Pro4
  • Memory: Kingston KSM26ED8/16ME

The following sections explain the rationale for the key components.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X processor

The 3700X processor has the right balance for us:

  • Price
  • Processing power
  • Power consumption

Its eight cores and base clock speed of 3.6GHz are enough for most small offices workloads, such as hosting a Nextcloud instance or a Git server. Rating at 65W thermal design power (TDP), it’s a better proposal in regards to power consumption compared to its 3800X and 3900X siblings, which both rate at 105W TDP.

Note: TDP is not an indicator of power consumption; it’s an indicator of heat output. However, lower TDP values amount to lower power consumption in most cases.

The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X sells for $329.99 on Newegg at the time of writing this article. A decent cooler is included for this price, so you don’t need to buy another one.

ASRock X570 Pro4 motherboard

The ASRock X570 motherboards are not usually recommended for gaming purposes due to its voltage regulator module (VRM) being less than optimal for higher voltage CPUs or overclocking.

However, we are not using the motherboard in a gaming build. We are using a CPU with lower TDP and we are not planning on overclocking. So we decided to take a closer look. We found the following benefits for our scenarios:

  • Support for ECC memory
  • LAN Compatibility
  • Plenty of SATA connections
  • Price

The X570 Pro4 offers support for ECC memory, which you should at least consider for your FreeNAS server. It also includes an Intel Gigabit LAN interface, which is preferred over other interfaces because FreeNAS has better driver support for it. This motherboard includes eight SATA connections, which gives plenty of space for hard drives without the need of expansion cards.

It sells for $169.99 on Newegg at the time of this writing.

You can also check the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4, which sells for $154.99 regularly on Newegg, but it’s on sale for $134.99 at the time of this writing. The only reason why we didn’t get this motherboard is because we couldn’t get it on time for our needs.

Kingston KSM26ED8/16ME memory

At the time of writing this article, the 16GB Kingston KSM26ED8/16ME is the largest DDR4 memory module supported by the ASRock X570 motherboards that also features ECC support.

The KSM26ED8/16ME sells for $91.99 on Newegg for each memory module at the time of this writing. You should get at least two to take advantage of the dual memory channels and have a decent amount of RAM for your workloads.

Additional components

You’ll need the following additional components to complete your build. We offer some guidelines and recommendations, but you should take your own considerations and make your own calculations for your needs.

  • Video card: You will need a video card to configure the server. However, you don’t need a powerful GPU to get the job done. There are many cards under $15 on Newegg that work for this purpose.
  • Computer case: We prefer cases that have enough room for multiple hard drives. The Silverstone GD08 includes a removable hard drive bracket that makes working with hard drives easier. It also includes options to install multiple fans to keep the air flowing through the system.
  • Power supply unit (PSU): A PSU of 650W that is at least gold-certified should be enough for builds similar to the one in this article. However, you should make your own calculations and make sure you have an appropriate PSU. A semimodular PSU gives enough flexibility to connect different cable lengths to reach all the hard drives in your build.
  • Hard drives: Some vendors offer drives that are best suited for NAS systems. The WD Red series of drives have the right combination of size, features, and price for our systems.

    Warning: There’s some controversy regarding the SMR technology used in some of the hard drives mentioned in this article. For more information, see the On WD Red NAS Drives post and some opinions on the Reddit community.

  • USB stick: It’s recommended to install FreeNAS on a 16 GiB USB drive. Use a USB 2.0 drive instead of 3.0 for better compatibility. You can find some good options on Newegg for under $15 a piece.

No CPU temperatures on FreeNAS 11.2

Our FreeNAS 11.2 U6 installation doesn’t report temperatures from the AMD processor. It looks like support is planned for FreeNAS 11.3. For more details, check the relevant issue on the FreeNAS reporting system.

Leave a comment