Best Motherboards For NAS Home Server

So you want to build a home server, and want it to be fast and reliable enough that your family won’t go without their videos, mp3s, or whatever files they need on a regular basis. For those who don’t know, a NAS home server is a computer that is designed to handle all your files and backups. It can be accessed from anywhere in the world over the internet.

A home server can provide a wealth of functionality for the home user or small business. By using a Motherboard designed for NAS (Network-Attached Storage), you can create a powerful and reliable storage solution that can meet the needs of your family or business. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best motherboards for a NAS home server and provide some guidance on what to look for when making your selection.

Quick Shopping Tips: What makes a good NAS Home Server?

Form Factor: Motherboards are available in many different form factors, so it is important to select one that is compatible with the case you intend to use. The most popular form factor for NAS cases is the 4U size, which will accommodate motherboards up to 12” x 13”. 

Components: At least 3 Hard drives for storage. If possible, get hard drives that are the same size. If not, make sure they are at least the same size or larger than your smallest one.

SATA slots: Look for a motherboard with at least 4 SATA slots. Plenty of RAM to handle all that you will be using it for. 8 GB is the minimum I would recommend. But if you plan on using it for a DVR, gaming, or other high use then get more. 

Ethernet ports: For load balancing and redundancy, it’s good to have 2 network cards in the NAS server that are connected to different switches. If your internet bandwidth is decent you can get by with 1, but it’s better to have two.

USB 3.0 slots: It’s better if it has more than 1, but even 2 is enough if that’s all you can get. The reason for this is the USB port speeds are usually capped at 500 MBps.

Power supply: Power supplies are the most commonly overlooked item when building a computer. A power supply with only 300 watts is not going to be good enough even for an average NAS home server. So get one that has at least 450-600 watts of power so you can easily run 3 hard drives and other components.

Best Motherboards For NAS Home Server at a glance:

  1. ASUS Prime B450M
  2. GIGABYTE C246-WU4
  3. ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I
  4. GIGABYTE B365M
  5. ASRock H370
  6. Asus Prime B450M-A-II
  7. ASRock X570 Pro 4

The Best Motherboards For NAS Home Server You Can Buy Today


ASUS Prime B450M (image credit: Amazon)
ASUS Prime B450M (image credit: Amazon)

ASUS Prime B450M

Best Micro-ATX Motherboard for NAS

SPECIFICATIONS

REASONS TO BUY

Excellent overclocking feature

Noise-free thermal solution

Easy to install and reliable

REASONS TO AVOID

Compatibility problems

Quality of construction on average

The Asus Prime B450M is the Best Micro-ATX Motherboard for NAS designed to build a budget PC, but also has some of the features that allow it to be used as a NAS motherboard.

Compatibility: There are some key features to take note of when you are considering using this board in a NAS case scenario. The first that comes into mind is that it supports RAID. RAID 0 is supported but consider the fact that it is only USB 2.0 ports on this motherboard if you want to really use RAID in the future with modern hard drives. The B450 chipset was made to be an affordable version of the X470 chipset to allow owners of AM4 Ryzen CPUs to upgrade from their previous generation boards without having to fork out a lot of money.

Suitable for: The purpose surrounding the release of this chipset is so those board manufacturers could lower prices on motherboards while still offering a sense of compatibility for users upgrading from their previous generation boards. This motherboard is an affordable variation of the B450 line-up. Other things to consider are the 10 USB 3.1 and 6 USB 2.0 ports, 1x M.2 heatsink slots, 6 SATA 6Gb/s ports, and 1x PCIe x16 slot for upgradeability in the future if you want to add more drives (since this board only comes with 4 SATA 6Gb/s).

Overall: Overall it seems like a good motherboard for its price, but also important to note that it won’t replace a true NAS motherboard with 10Gbe, built-in M.2 NVMe slots, and potentially the option to add more than 4 SATA drives in the future.

GIGABYTE C246-WU4 (image credit: Amazon)
GIGABYTE C246-WU4 (image credit: Amazon)

GIGABYTE C246-WU4

Best Server Motherboard for NAS

SPECIFICATIONS

REASONS TO BUY

Supports up to 10 hard drives

Suitable for high-end DIY NAS

Supports ECC and non-ECC RAM

REASONS TO AVOID

A bit pricey

It needs a large platform

The GIGABYTE C246-WU4 is the Best Server Motherboard for NAS for individuals looking to use their PC as a NAS. 

Compatibility: It’s stable, provides users with much more than the standard features included in most motherboards, and it has external ports compatible with tons of other devices. This motherboard is compatible with NAS, but it does require that you use DDR4 RAM sticks that can run at up to 2400 MHz. This provides the best performance without overclocking the board itself. The GIGABYTE C246-WU4 is compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP (32 bit or 64 bit). These operating systems only need to be installed on the motherboard and do not have to be installed on a separate hard drive. The supported drives for this motherboard are SATA III, SATA II, and IDE.

Suitable for: This motherboard is something with great features for a decent price and the C246-WU4 has proved itself as an excellent choice for people looking for a high-quality product without spending $200 on a motherboard. Even if you do want to overclock, this board still has your back. It can handle up to 4.3GHz right out of the box and be easily adjusted with the BIOS interface without any issues.

Overall: One of the most notable features of this motherboard is its integrated Wi-Fi. It uses Bluetooth 4.2 to connect with your router, which allows you to control the PC using apps like QSee or another app that works with Android or iOS devices. The GIGABYTE C246-WU4 also comes with an external USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, and a PS/2 port for compatibility with older peripherals designed to run on PS/2 keyboards and mice. The GIGABYTE C246-WU4 provides more than enough space for SATA III connections so you can add as many hard drives as you want.

ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I (image credit: Amazon)
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I (image credit: Amazon)

ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I

Best Gaming Motherboard for NAS

SPECIFICATIONS

REASONS TO BUY

Quality components

Excellent overclocking capabilities

Audio jacks with LED illumination

REASONS TO AVOID

Poor cooling performance on M.2 heatsinks

CPU sockets very close to RAM slots

For gamers who demand all the features under one roof, ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I is the Best gaming motherboard for NAS.

Compatibility: This board is powered by the Intel Z390 chipset, which supports 6th generation Intel Core processors (formerly codename Skylake). This board provides four DDR4 memory slots that are DIMM type at 2133MHz with speeds up to 2666MHz. The board supports PCIe Gen 3.0 and this has an M2 slot with PCIe Gen3 x4 support for ultra-fast data access speeds. The motherboard also provides 4 SATA III ports for more storage drives, as well as two front-panel USB 2.0 ports for connecting your flash drives or other external devices.

Suitable for: The ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I is a great option for a board that can be used in a NAS if you are a gamer and would like to have all of your components under one roof. This motherboard has many features including USB 3.1, DDR4 support, Audio Boost 4 Pro, an M2 slot with PCIe Gen3 x4 support, and M.2 Shield for fast heat dissipation.

Overall: With its many connection options and features, this board is a great choice for your PC build. An aesthetic that will impress any gamer, Four DDR4 memory slots for up to 2666 MHz of speed (OC), an M2 slot with PCIe Gen3 x4 support offers ultra-fast data access speeds, Audio Boost 4 Pro delivers sounds as immersive as you can imagine.

Gigabyte B365M DS3H (image credit: Amazon)
Gigabyte B365M DS3H (image credit: Amazon)

GIGABYTE B365M

Best DS3H Motherboard for NAS

SPECIFICATIONS

REASONS TO BUY

Expandability and versatility

Support for overclocking is excellent

Back panel connectivity options

REASONS TO AVOID

There should have been a better storage option

Intel’s new B365 chipset promises a lot, promising “to expand the PC DIY base for gaming and streaming” as the Best DS3H Motherboard for NAS.

Compatibility: The B365M DS3H is a Micro-ATX board and comes at an attractive price point, packing some interesting features such as dual M.2 slots (2x 2280) and USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port (no Thunderbolt).  The B365M DS3H is basically a slightly stripped down version of GIGABYTE’s B360N WIFI, removing one internal USB 3.0 port, one of the M.2 slots, and integrated 802.11ac WiFi but you’ll still be getting a powerful machine if you manage to build your dream machine using this motherboard.

Suitable for: The latest B365 chipset with onboard WiFi by GIGABYTE is called the B365M DS3H which targets mainly home users who want to build their own affordable computer for their home or office.

Overall: The B365 chipset is part of Intel’s Coffee Lake Refresh generation, released alongside the already well-established Z390 chipset. This makes it a 6th generation 14nm mainstream offering with the only difference being that it uses the B365 chipset for less demanding builds while still maintaining compatibility with most Coffee Lake CPUs, not just Core 9000 series variants.

ASRock H370 (image credit: Amazon)
ASRock H370 (image credit: Amazon)

ASRock H370

Best Mini-ITX Motherboard for NAS

SPECIFICATIONS

REASONS TO BUY

It is not too expensive

USB 3.1 port, multiple display outputs 

M.2 NVMe, WiFi, and dual Gigabit

The use of high-quality power components

REASONS TO AVOID

By default, CPU power is limited

H370 chipset has certain drawbacks

ASRock H370 is the Best Mini-ITX Motherboard for NAS on this list.

Compatibility: ASRock’s H370 is a more “compact” version of the company’s B360 motherboard, as it doesn’t have WiFi or Bluetooth capabilities. This means that this motherboard has just enough ports to support Intel’s 8th generation processors without compromising on features from previous generations.

Suitable for: The H370 range offers a host of new features and improvements over the existing B360 and H310 series and will form the backbone for home-based PCs from gamers to office users. The flagship model is known as the Fatal1ty gaming professional and offers gamers all of the features that they crave.

Overall: Since it is a HART 2.0 motherboard, this product gives you the option to have RAID 0, 1, and 10 set up for your disks without having to spend extra money on controllers or chipsets. In addition to these features, you also get M.2 SATA SSDs working at their maximum speed potential as well as RAM.

Asus Prime B450M-A-II (image credit: Amazon)
Asus Prime B450M-A-II (image credit: Amazon)

Asus Prime B450M-A-II

Best Budget Motherboard for NAS

SPECIFICATIONS

REASONS TO BUY

Enhanced BIOS

Affordable price

Better protection system

Amazing cooling mechanisms

REASONS TO AVOID

Has some limitations

It has an older CPU Chipset

The Asus Prime B450M-A-II is the Best Budget Motherboard for NAS for its affordability and wide range of features. 

Compatibility: This board has 1 USB3.0 internal header compatible with 5 or more disks in RAID mode. If you plan to buy it for NAS usage, this has some exceptional features. This motherboard has one M.2 slot, able to configure both SATA ports into AHCI mode just fine, this motherboard supports SATA RAID 0/1/10 modes natively. It has 4 RAM slots, allowing up to 64 GB of system memory. With four SATA III ports, it is suitable for storage drives.

Suitable for: The board supports USB 3.0 and includes a Type-A connector. It lacks an M.2 slot for NVMe storage, but you can use the 4 SATA ports to connect SSDs or HDDs via USB 3.0 adapters. The board has one PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot and supports DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, Vulkan 1.1, and OpenCL 2.0. It has 4 RAM slots supporting up to 64 GB of system memory at speeds of up to 3200 MHz through overclocking.

Overall: It uses AMD’s X470 chipset, which has one PCI-E 3.0 x4 and three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, along with six SATA III ports; four of them support RAID levels 0, 1, 10, and 5 for striping data across drives, while the other two are intended for storage drives.

ASRock X570 Pro 4 (image credit: Amazon)
ASRock X570 Pro 4 (image credit: Amazon)

ASRock X570 Pro 4

Best Overall Motherboard for NAS

SPECIFICATIONS

REASONS TO BUY

2 M.2, 8 SATA drives

Durable

Designed to handle 10 power phases

REASONS TO AVOID

Micro ATX is the form factor used instead of Mini ITX

ASRock has been around for a while and its products have always been popular in the DIY market. Their latest X570 Pro 4 is the Best Overall Motherboard for NAS.

Compatibility: It is an ATX form factor, AM4 socket motherboard with B450 chipset. With Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs it has one of the best overall expandability options. Fast Front & Rear USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C for better storage for every task.  Turbo B-CLOCK, Built-in Advanced Performance Tuning IC which is Ultra Durable. Features “Save Power With a Simple Click” and Extended Heatsink Design for saving and sound operations. The ATX motherboard has a size of 12 x 9.6 inches as compared to micro-ATX and 6 7 mini-ITX, which means you will require an expansion chassis that can accommodate this larger form factor; however it also offers more functionality in exchange for its robust NAS build capability with 2 USB 3 gen2 ports (type A+C), 10 usb3042 if adding external hard drives are desired too!

Suitable for: Featuring Ultra-Fast PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with PCIe NVMe & SATA mode support and AQUANTIA 5Gb/s BASE-T Ethernet. A USB 3 type A+C port on one side and a USB 3 type B port on the other ensure that there is always enough space on the interior of your PC regardless of installation externally (e.g., graphics card).

Overall: The ATX motherboard has an excellent value, as it provides more functionality than other smaller form factors. For example, this board allows you to build a robust NAS with the additional expansion capabilities that are available for large motherboards like these days! 

Conclusion

A large part of NAS’s popularity stems from its capabilities. Your first thought might be that it’s merely a storage device connected to your home or office network. It is noteworthy, however, that NAS can provide access to all the devices that are connected to it, as well as to all the services and applications installed. A compatible motherboard allows for maximizing the capability and providing you with a greater advantage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose a NAS motherboard?

ASRock’s X570 Pro-4 is a good choice. Having multiple PCIe slots, four RAM DIMM slots, four M.2 slots, and four SATA ports is possible with this case’s compact size, as we can use a microATX board. Alternatively, you can invest a little more and get a better-equipped motherboard or two PCIe expansion cards with additional SATA ports.

Which processor is best for NAS?

Intel offers better options for processors compatible with NAS. The Atom or Pentium CPU is the most appropriate processor for the storage of files and media, while the Core i3 CPU is ideal for streaming, Plex use, and multi-user

How much RAM does a NAS need?

A NAS needs RAM that has both speed and capacity. All you need to do is make sure the motherboard supports the RAM. Ideally, a motherboard with four slots and the ability to upgrade the memory to 32GB at a later date would be ideal.

Waqas Siraj
He is a student of IT; he loves blogging and traveling.