Finally solved my freenas speed issues. Even though the on board Ethernet card in the motherboard I ordered has a supported network chip-set, it turns out that it was the bottle neck for my system. Apparently these are often labeled as 100/1000Gb ports but many of them have trouble  actually reaching those speeds.

I was concerned with my read and write speeds when I first started but after adding the PCI-e 1Gb intel NIC i’m now seeing read and write speeds hitting right around 100MB/s which is much much better. The lesson here is that an Intel NIC is worth the extra $15 to $20 in cost. I was able to edit from the NAS before and with these improved speeds, I don’t think it would be a problem to work on large or complex projects directly from the NAS.

The Freenas build has definitely been more work then an off the shelf solution, but if you’re willing to put in the effort it seems to be a very good deal. Even with the extra $60 spent on two Intel PCI-e 1Gb cards the price of the build without hard drives was still around $300 less then some off the shelf option. Hopefully this documentation of my build will speed things up for those of you trying to build your own. It’s taken a few months to get things sorted out but now that it’s finally done, the performance is great.

Here is the final parts list:

Total cost came in at right around $330. Compare that to the $649 price tag of the Synology 4 bay nas I was looking at and the trouble shooting almost seems to be worth it. You could easily reduce the price of the build by using 8 or 4GB of ram, and if you have an old case and power supply laying around things could get even cheaper. But whatever you use for this build make sure you guy with an Intel NIC.

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