My first Xeon machine (unraid server) - Help picking a CPU/mobo combo?


Sep 19, 2002
I'm relatively seasoned in shopping and building standard desktop-based machines (aka: i7) but I'm in the market to build my very first proper server and was hoping for a little help. I currently run a single machine that is both my daily workstation as well as my media+document storage/plex server/etc utilizing Windows Storage Spaces. I've multiple times now run into problems with storage spaces having "critical write failures" and becoming inaccessible so I figured it was time to move to a proper unraid server with ECC memory to help ensure this doesn't happen again.

That being said - I have no experience with Xeon/server-grade hardware so I'm looking for advice. I've looked at builds such as the NAS Killer 4.0 which are useful but I'm also not really interested in second-hand parts off Ebay if I can avoid it (even if that means spending a bit more).

At the end of the day I'm looking for a machine that can:
  • Serve as a NAS and backup solution for other machines in my house
  • Power a Plex server with multiple users (5-ish)
  • Be powerful enough to host various additional services and/or VMs over time as needed
In terms of budget - I'm hoping to spend maybe $400-500 or less on the CPU/mobo to leave room for everything else I'll need (Chasis, SAS cards, etc).

Anyone have an direction to share in terms of CPU/mobo combos I should be exploring? Also happy to answer any additional questions needed t help understand my use-cases.

For added context this is my current workstation which handles my needs just fine today (you know, except for the file corruption thing):
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