The best motherboard for NAS = the most features (PCI cards, SATA ports, etc.) and components must be “future proof.” A NAS (Network-Attached Storage) device is a dedicated computer connected to a network. Your files can be stored and accessed by other computers connected to the same network. In a traditional sense, these are hard drives with an operating system installed to be accessed much as a normal computer would. The “ideal” motherboard for your NAS will have several features over an average motherboard. A NAS Mobo should be capable of running a full-blown server 24/7/365 without problems or downtime. All this performance comes at a price, though, as it’s better to run/build your own NAS than buying them already pre-made.
Network Attacked Systems (NAS) are specialized computer systems used to store data and run services such as file sharing, messaging, media streaming, etc. They’re frequently built using off-the-shelf hardware to keep management simple. While at the same time supplying plenty of computing power. Most people use these servers with RAID-enabled storage units. It is typically installed using a hardware RAID controller or the motherboard’s chipset. Although this seems like an ideal solution at first glance, it exposes you to several issues that can potentially compromise your data.
The problem with most motherboards is that they have very limited BIOS options. This Especially occurs when it comes to RAID configurations. So, you have limited flexibility for configuring your system. For example, if you select the wrong Raid settings at boot time, you might lose your data. What’s worse is that some BIOS revisions are known to corrupt drives during initialization.
The limited bios isn’t a huge issue with regular systems. But NAS users have to be very careful since they rely on RAID controllers and software applications to protect their data. The system crash will result in corrupted drives or even physical damage. Remember, these servers are very similar to workstations. So the more you overclock them, the bigger the chances are that something will go wrong.
Testing Raid Config is the only way to verify that your motherboard is suitable for NAS. You can test your system with different hard drives and compare their performance. After this, it’s highly advised that you check your motherboard’s official website for firmware updates. This should be regarded as the first step in possible troubleshooting issues. But if nothing is mentioned, then chances are that your motherboard cannot handle NAS.
The top 6 best motherboard options for NAS are listed below and brief descriptions. Based on the given rundown, you can decide the best one for your specific need.
- GIGABYTE C246-WU4 Workstation Motherboard
- ASUS Prime B450M-A Micro-ATX motherboard
- ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming Z490 (Wi-Fi 6) Motherboard
- GIGABYTE B365M DS3H Ultra-Durable Motherboard
- ASRock H370M-ITX/AC Mini-ITX Motherboard
- ASRock Intel H410M-ITX/ac Mini-ITX Motherboard
- Supports Intel 9th/8th Gen and 1151 Xeon E CPU
- Supports DDR4 both ECC and non-ECC Un-buffered Memory
- 4 PCIe x16 slots for multi cards
- Support for AMD Quad-GPU Crossfire
- Dual Intel Server GbE LAN
- Intel vPro Technology
- 10x SATA3 Ports
This is a GIGABYTE C246-WU4 great motherboard for the money. The board has a nice black color, kind of like a Stormtrooper’s armor in the Star Wars universe. If you’re looking for a high-end workstation motherboard without breaking your wallet, this is one to look at. Gigabyte has been around since the 1980s, so they know their stuff about motherboards. The price for this board is great, considering the features you get with it, such as a built-in Intel Gb LAN controller and USB 3.1 ports on the back panel. In short, If you’re looking for a well-made motherboard that won’t break your wallet, then grab a C246-WU4 from Amazon today!
The GIGABYTE C246-WU4 motherboard features a built-in Intel Gb LAN controller and USB 3.1 ports on the back panel. The board has a high-end look that will impress your friends once you set it up. If you’re not into flashy lights, then this board may be a little too much for you. I like having a bright red light strip to show off my PC’s capabilities to everyone who enters the room.
The C246-WU4 motherboard supports the latest 8th generation Intel i7 / i5 processors and up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM at 2400MHz. In addition, the board has a plethora of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports for a wide range of peripherals, including VR headsets and controllers. You’ll have no problems hooking this computer up to anything from your old printer to an expensive 4K monitor or VR headset. The C246-WU4 also has integrated graphics to save you money buying a discrete GPU card.
Moreover, this motherboard supports M.2 SSDs and features a single SATA Express port. If you want to use this mobo with your current process, SATA cables are included with the motherboard, so you won’t have to worry about making an extra trip to the store for them. An RGB LED controller on the board allows you to control what color of lighting is seen from within your computer’s case. As far as overclocking goes, this board supports up to 3866 MHz of RAM clock speed, so if you enjoy getting the most out of your system, there certainly will not be any issues on that front either!
Ports This motherboard has a wide range of ports for connecting your computer with other devices around the house or office. There is a PS/2 port for those who have older peripherals that they still want to use, as well as two USB 2.0 ports on the back panel and one more on the front. The board also supports a whopping ten USB 3.0 ports; four of these are found on the back, and another six are found on the front panel of this PC case, ready to be used with VR headsets or anything else you desire!
- AM4 Socket up to 3rd Gen Ryzen Processor
- 1Gb Faster LAN For Better Connectivity
- All-round protection with LANGuard
- Stainless-steel back I/O
- Overvoltage protection
- ASUS Control Center Express
- Micro ATX Form Factor
- Support DDR4 Ram
- LED-illuminated design
The ASUS B450M-A has all the bells and whistles you could want in a motherboard. Dual M.2 SSD slots, USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C connection, and overclocking support are just a few of the qualities of this motherboard. The free ASUS UEFI BIOS allows you to manage every aspect of your motherboard, while safe boot allows other programs to enter your system. It also includes several ASUS special features such as Fan Xpert 4, which can monitor CPU fan speeds and offer thermal solutions for case fans!
The major feature of the ASUS B450M-A is the incorporation of AMD Ryzen. The built-in Radeon Vega graphics allow users to run games and processes without an additional GPU and perform admirably while doing it! It also supports two HDDs, while many motherboards can only support one. Maintain your PC’s connection with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Dual Band 2.4/5 GHz networks – keeping you updated day and night!
It also gives you the flexibility of overclocking. So if you’re tired of being stuck in the dark ages, upgrade to this motherboard and enjoy Hyper-threading technology! The ASUS B450M-A is a wonderful option for anyone looking to upgrade their system or build one from scratch while using modern technologies.
The ASUS B450M-A offers several features that are sure to please end-users. With the inclusion of Ryzen processors, gamers are sure to get their money’s worth!
The motherboard allows for overclocking, which is always a must in my book! Speaking of books, it contains dual M.2 slots. So you can install your favorite game with no problems at all!
The ASUS B450M-A has a variety of ports that are sure to please. The motherboard supports USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, Dual M.2 slots, etc… The motherboard also has several USB 2.0 ports so that you can plug your keyboard or mouse in with no issues! In addition, the ASUS B450M-A supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and Dual-band 2.4/5 GHz networks so that you can update your system at any time!
- LGA1151 Socket
- Wi-Fi 6 802.11ac
- Supports 8th Gen Intel Core CPU
- Aura Sync RGB lighting
- Fire up Aura utility
- 5-Way Optimization
- 2-generation T-Topology, and OC design
- 2nd-generation ASUS OptiMem II
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming is a small form factor board that supports 8th Gen Intel Core processors with 14nm++ process technology and TUF Components for stable performance, long lifespan, and thermal endurance under extreme conditions so gamers can accomplish feats without worrying about the stability of their motherboard while gaming online.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming Motherboard also supports DDR4 2666MHz memory modules and dual PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots with Intel Optane Memory compatibility for system responsiveness that rivals SSDs, USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectors for up to 10 Gbps data transfer speeds with compatible devices, 802.11AC Wi-Fi, RGB lighting effects from two 5050 RGB headers, and a dedicated water-pump header on board!
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming is powered by an Intel I219-V Gigabit Ethernet controller, which reaches up to 1.7x times faster than traditional gigabit solutions. In addition, even during heavy gaming sessions, the bandwidth is increased via pure PCI Express 3.0 connectivity with uninterrupted throughput.
Besides, It provides a great online gaming experience for export gamers who demand maximum network speed without compromising on the stability of connection! Other brands cannot provide that kind of network connection! No more lag, no more packet loss, and no more war of attrition!
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming motherboard is one of the costliest motherboards in the PC market. But with all the high-end features it provides, you will find no better motherboard than this.
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming is designed to fully harness the power of dual-channel DDR4 memory, which maximizes performance, stability, and affordability. It holds up to 64 GB dual-channel DDR4 3466 (OC.) MHz memory via two DIMM modules. So, it means you have more than enough for heavy gamers at maximum settings! This motherboard also supports Intel Optane to deliver the best performance ever!
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming Motherboard provides one USB 3.1 Gen 2 front-panel connector for ultrafast 10Gb/s data transfer as well as two USB 3.1 Gen 2 (teal blue) Type-A ports and one USB 3.1 Gen 1 (black) front panel connector, four USB 3.1 Gen 1 (blue) Type-A ports on the rear I/O for supporting up to 14 USB devices with ten additional USB 2.0 ports available through the internal 19-pin USB 3.1 Gen 1 connectors!
- Supports 8th Gen Intel or CoreTM & Pentium CPU
- LGA 1151 socket
- Supports up to 2666 MHz DDR4 Memory
- Audio Noise Guard with Premium Audio Capacitors
- HDMI 1.4 port for FHD images quality
- Realtek Gigabit LAN
- cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
- Support Intel Small Business Basics
- GIGABYTE APP Center
GIGABYTE B365M DS3H seems to be a perfect entry-level motherboard if you are looking for a build with Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs. If your priority is to have a board with the best price, then this one might attract your attention. The B365M DS3H seems to be a perfect entry-level motherboard if you want to build with Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs. Its price might attract your attention and its size, making it the perfect product for NAS builds. One such feature supports only one PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot (a second one runs at x4) and for DDR4 memory up to 2666 MHz (usually 2400 MHz).
GIGABYTE has equipped this motherboard with a single PCI-Express x16 slot for graphics cards and four PCIe X1 slots for other add-in cards. In terms of graphics power, the B365M DS3H can support NVIDIA Quad SLI and AMD 3-Way CrossFireX, helping you build an overclocking-friendly rig.
The audio side is handled by “Audio Noise Guard,” which offers high-quality sound thanks to 120 dB SNR DAC and Smart Headphone Amp. In addition, this board features GIGABYTE’s gapless metal shielded audio jack, so you can plug in your headphones without worrying about experiencing signal delays or cutouts.
For storage options, there are six SATA III ports on the board. And the six SATA connectors allow you to install HDDs, SSDs, or even Intel Optane Memory and 3D Xpoint memory if needed. To keep everything running in top condition, it supports NVM Express (NVMe).
The Gigabyte B365M DS3H features 2x DIMMs, which support DDR4-2666 MHz memory modules and 64 GB of RAM. Integrated graphics on the Gigabyte B365M DS3H use shared memory and stop at 1920×1200@60Hz, although we recommend using dedicated graphics instead. With regards to storage, there are six SATA III connectors and one M.2 slot available for extremely fast SSDs such as the Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD (with x4 PCI-Express 3.0 interface).
The rear I/O panel houses four SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, two USB 2 ports, and one or two Intel Gigabit Ethernet connectors depending upon whether a regular or included Realtek 8118 LAN port controller is selected via a jumper. There’s also a single HDMI video output to display your PC content onto your big screen TV and a DVI-D port for older monitors that don’t have any other connection type available. Last but not least, there’s also an optical SPDIF connector for high-quality sound output.
- Supports Intel 8th Gen Core CPU (Socket 1151)
- Intel H370 Express Chipset
- Dual-Channel DDR4 Memory Technology
- 2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 Slots and dual at x8 / x4
- 3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 Slots
- M.2 Socket (Key E) and supports type 2230 Wi-Fi/BT module
- 6 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors
- 7 x OFC Audio Connectors
- 2 x Antenna Ports
ASRock H370M motherboard is for Intel’s Coffee Lake 8th Gen processors. It has two DDR4 slots, one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, and it supports 32 GB of RAM. It has an M.2 slot and six SATA ports that are also compatible with 2.5″ drives, USB Type-C, Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi for storage. The Mini-ITX form factor means it is small and can fit into some cases where traditional boards wouldn’t be able to. It’s a motherboard for people who demand solid performance and features in a small package or anyone looking for something more compact than an ATX board.
H370M-ITX/AC is the first Mini-ITX motherboard to support two DIMMs of DDR4 2666 memory. This means that it can run dual channel memory if you use two 16 GB DIMMs or four 8 GB DIMMs for 32 GB total.
While not many people will need 32 GB on a Mini-ITX board. The option is available, making it more future-proof than boards with only one slot. It also offers support for Optane Memory, Intel’s solution for giving hard drives an SSD-like speed boost. The Max32G technology uses part of your M.2 storage as a cache to store commonly used data and programs, allowing them to load faster.
The H370 board has everything you need without any extra fluff. Intel Optane support is built-in. So users can take advantage of storage performance benefits via this new technology. It will be easier to do with just a few clicks within the UEFI’s OC Tweaker menu. Plus, it supports Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4. So you got a total of 4 DIMMs Intel Optane Memory Ready 12 Power Phase Design Gigabit LAN. At the same time, the cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software ensures super-fast connectivity.
The connectivity on this board is pretty solid. It has two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports, and one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port, all native to the chipset. On the back of the board, you have four more USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports as well as four USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports through an ASMedia controller. You also get a single HDMI 1.4b output, Intel Gigabit LAN, five analog audio jacks (which can be used for 7.1 channel audio), and three digital S/PDIF out connectors via another controller. With up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory support, it can run more modules than other Mini-ITX options.
- Modern Socket 1151
- Intel H310 Express chipset
- up to 32 GB of DDR4 at 2666MHz
- 5 SATA3 ports and 1 M.2 slot
- Integrated HD Graphics 610
- Intel I219V chip LAN controller
- 7.1-channel audio output
- Realtek ALC887 codec
The ASRock H410M motherboard uses the Intel H310 Express chipset, supports LGA1151 CPU, dual-channel DDR4 memory up to 2666MHz. This motherboard has a PCIe x16 slot for graphics cards and supports VGA mode with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 610 chipset. ASRock H410M Motherboard is designed to comply with Windows 10 system installed fully. In addition, the ASRock H410M motherboard is equipped with PCIe x16 slots that support VGA mode, which can fully meet your needs for graphics acceleration if using a GPU card. This board will allow you to enjoy smooth and high-definition video entertainment without interruption.
ASRock Intel H410M motherboard provides several features that help you connect and access in many ways: You can enjoy the features of ASRock Super Alloy on this board. It brings together the best quality components, excellent digital power design, and innovative thermal solutions. And comprehensive testing procedures to guarantee the quality and stability of this motherboard.
Additionally, it provides two SATA3 connectors for faster data processing speed. The advanced technology infrastructure meets all your needs while looking forward to more features in future upgrades.
This motherboard uses Intel’s H310 chipset, with four DDR4 slots supporting 64GB. The DIMM slot supports 2400MHz DDR4 memory. In addition, it has a PCIe x16 slot for graphics cards and supports VGA mode through its integrated Gigabit LAN controller by an Intel I219V chip.
ASRock H410M motherboard supports Intel OptaneMemory to provide hard drives with large capacity fast access speed that allows users to experience enhanced responsiveness and overall performance. The motherboard also comes with a 7-year warranty, which makes it the most durable product in the market at this price range.
ASRock H410M is equipped with two SATA3 connectors for faster data processing speed, four DDR4 slots holding up to 64 GB of RAM, and 7.1-channel audio output. Furthermore, there are six USB 3.0 ports (including two Type-A ports and four via headers) as well as one USB 2.0 port on the rear I/O panel. Video outputs include DVI, HDMI, VGA, and DisplayPort 1.2 interfaces. At the same time, onboard graphics are provided by the integrated Intel HD Graphics 610 chipset. As a result, you get display resolutions of up to 4096 x 2160 pixels at 60Hz or 1920 x 1200p.
It’s common in the IT industry that people struggle with what motherboard and processor to use in their NAS box. The main reason is that there are quite a lot of motherboards and processors available on the market. You can use both in building your network-attached storage (NAS) server. In selecting the best motherboard for NAS, make sure of the below-mentioned elements.
Almost all popular NAS servers offer high-speed 4-lane or 8-lane SATA ports. It’s highly recommended that you purchase a motherboard that at least has two SATA III ports to run your drives in RAID-0 for higher disk throughput. If you want to use an SSD cache drive. However, your motherboard must have four SATA III ports. So you can connect it and pass through all four disks individually.
Most NAS users need at least two PCIe slots (one for the network adapter and another for the 10GbE NIC or USB 3.0 / eSATA controller card). So it’s important to check out whether the CPU and chipset offer sufficient PCIe lanes on board before you purchase a motherboard with only one x16 slot available. Having said that, if you’re looking into building a 16-bay rackmount NAS, be sure that you have enough space in your chassis, and the right mounting hardware is included.
Offering four RAM slots on board is more than enough since you don’t need anything over 32 GB when running embedded NAS OS such as OpenMediaVault (OMV), unRAID, or FreeNAS, which do not require a GUI to manage your files. If you’re planning to run Windows Storage Server 2012 Essentials inside the NAS box for surveillance purposes instead of using an Ubuntu Linux or CentOS distribution. Ensure that the motherboard also has at least 4 DIMM slots available for future upgrades.
Although it’s generally recommended to choose Intel Xeon processors, if your motherboard of choice is fitted with a single socket and offers PCIe slots, by adding the right CPU and heatsink/fan unit, you’re able to turn it into an efficient NAS server. So even though some may feel that using Atom processors on board rather than Xeon-based systems can cut down power consumption and cost less for operating bills, there are lots of applications such as iSCSI storage or surveillance video recording environment where more horsepower is required except home file sharing usage.
There’s a trade-off between performance and price for NAS motherboards. So if your budget is tight, you have to remove other components such as the power supply unit (PSU), chassis, RAM modules, CPU heatsink/fan units, etc. During the selection process, to keep the initial cost down. You can find some mini ITX boards at very attractive prices that come with enough SATA ports for RAID arrays, PCIe slots for 10GbE NIC, or USB 3.0 controller card, plus support for high-speed DDR3 ECC memory modules.
Having dual gigabit Ethernet ports onboard is necessary, especially when configuring JBOD mode for the NAS box. If possible, purchase a motherboard that supports the LAN bypass feature and IPMI 2.0 management.
All major motherboard manufacturers offer mini ITX motherboards with support for Intel Xeon E3-1200 v5 or v4 processors and up to 32 GB of DDR4 RAM modules nowadays. You should be expecting more models from other players soon without breaking the bank. So stay tuned if you’re looking into building your own high-performance rackmount NAS server!
The ASRock HH410M-ITX/ac or the ASRock H370M would be good. The Asrock boards are cheap and have very good performance. However, you can get a board with more features such as plenty of SATA ports or more USB slots that may come in very useful down the line for a little more money.
RAM speed isn’t incredibly important as file transfer speeds are more affected by the type of hard drive you use and the connection they’re using to talk to each other, but it does help. For example, faster DDR4 memory can be beneficial when dealing with virtual machines or large databases.
The best motherboard for a NAS would be one that is compatible with the memory, processors, and overall capabilities that you are looking to achieve, e.g., 4-5 HDDs or 8+ HDDs
It would be ideal to have either all 4 TB disks or 2×2 TB disks, as the larger drives will not provide any real benefit.
Raid is needed if you want redundancy in your data. Data will be stored on a mirror hard drive while the 2nd hard drive serves as a backup.
The AMD Ryzen 7 1700X would be an excellent choice. It’s not too expensive and still has eight cores at its disposal that can easily handle many tasks simultaneously.
An Intel Core i5 will also do the job well, but there is little point in going for anything less than an i3 or above an i7 as this will leave you limited to only four cores being available as hyper-threading doesn’t count as the actual core.
What are the qualities I need for NAS?
You would want something with SATA ports and an Ethernet port for a NAS. More SATA ports provide more options when adding hard drives, whereas Ethernet allows network access to files on your computer/NAS.
How can I check if my motherboard’s chipset supports RAID?
If you need to know whether or not your motherboard’s chipset supports RAID, simply head over to the company’s website and download the latest drivers.
In summary, after considering all factors such as compatibility with hard drive type and number, SATA ports available, and processors, the best motherboard for NAS would provide an optimal balance of these factors, which can vary depending on your situation. Furthermore, the main thing to take away from this is that a motherboard is crucial as it provides an interface for all components.
- ASRock H370M-ITX Motherboard (The Most Affordable Options)
- ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming Z490 Motherboard (The Performance King)
- GIGABYTE C246-WU4 Workstation Motherboard ( Best Ryzen Processors)