A NAS (Network Attached Storage) is like a personal cloud storage solution for your home or office. Typically, a NAS has multiple large capacities hard drives configured together in a NAS case and is attached to your network.
It functions as an external hard drive, except it’s way better than that. NAS rigs are great mass storage replacements for external hard drives, and buying a good NAS case is a great way to save money too.
Building your own NAS is a bit more time-consuming than buying a prebuilt NAS, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
You’ll save money, learn how your NAS works, and hell, you may even have some fun. Your NAS setup does not have to be expensive. It just depends upon what you want to accomplish on it. For basic NAS, any budget motherboard with an entry-level processor would do just fine.
Our Top Picks For Best Motherboard
I have chosen the following best NAS motherboards in the market as of 2021, based on their overall value and important specs like SATA port count.
|GIGABYTE B365M DS3H Motherboard||Buy On Amazon|
|ASRock H370M-ITX/ac Motherboard||Buy On Amazon|
|Prime B450M-A/CSM AM4 Micro-ATX Motherboard||Buy On Amazon|
|GIGABYTE C246-WU4 (Intel/C246 Express Chipset)||Buy On Amazon|
1. GIGABYTE B365M DS3H Motherboard
The GIGABYTE B365M DS3H motherboard provides a cornerstone for your next gaming powerhouse based on the 9th and 8th Gen Intel Core Processors. It has an onboard M.2 slot for installing ultra-fast NVMe PCIe SSD or Intel Optane Memory.
Realtek 8118 LAN optimizes network traffic for lag-free gameplay. You can flexibly add your choice of fans or pumps via the hybrid fan headers, which automatically detect PWM/Voltage mode. And with the RGB header, you can also add digital RGB light strips and use RGB Fusion 2.0 software to customize RGB lighting.
The H370/B365/B360 Platform supports Intel’s latest Optane technology. Optane fuels storage performance by acting as a cache drive giving users a significant boost compared to traditional mechanical drives.
- Portable And Durable: This motherboard costs significantly less and is made up of high-quality materials that make it portable and durable for use.
- 6 SATA Ports: The best thing about this motherboard is that it offers a total of 6 SATA ports.
- Ultra-Fast M.2 Slots: This durable motherboard has ultra-fast M.2 slots.
- Processor: This motherboard also supports 8thgeneration and 9th generation Intel Core processors.
- DDR4 RAM: This build-quality motherboard for NAS has amazing performances. It is equipped with dual-channel non-ECC unbuffered DDR4 RAM.
- Smart Fan 5: It also includes smart fan 5. With Smart Fan, 5 users can ensure that their gaming PC can maintain its performance while staying cool.
- Anti Sulfur Layer: This motherboard features resistors with an anti-sulfur layer that help prevent sulfur compounds in the air from causing electrical malfunctions.
2. ASRock H370M-ITX/ac Motherboard
Mini-ITX motherboards can be particularly expensive due to the niche market segment, space-constrained form factor, and increased R&D costs. Thankfully, motherboard chipsets like H370 lower the platform costs for mini-ITX solutions. ASRock’s H370M-ITX/ac is a perfect example of this, bringing mini-ITX into a mainstream budget
Built with Intel’s H370 chipset onboard, the ASRock H370M-ITX/ac is a well-featured mITX product equipped with dual Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers and an Intel Wi-Fi/BT controller. With a very low price of just over $100 US, the ASRock H370M-ITX/ac is an affordable option for those looking to build a basic PC that runs stocks and a single graphics card, with tremendous networking capabilities that make it a great option for the internet cafes and media streamers.
- Packaging: The H370M-ITX/ac has simple packaging that reflects the market positioning of the product. The highlighted features are Intel Optane support, dual Intel Gigabit LAN and Intel WiFi, M.2 PCIe support, three display outputs, and the “SuperAlloy” power solution.
- Design: There is an element of simplicity about the design of the H370M-ITX/ac with no fancy RGB lighting, just one M.2 slot and audio implementation. Yet the fundamentals are still in place with a decent quality VRM, dual Intel Gigabit LAN, support for USB 3.1 (10Gbps), onboard WiFi, and competent all-around connectivity.
- Accessories: The accessory bundle is simple too – a couple of SATA cables, the WiFi antenna, an I/O shield, M.2 screw, case sticker, user manual, and driver/utility DVD.
- 4 – pin fan connectors: The ASRock H370M-ITX/ac features a trio of 4-pin fan connectors, as is pretty standard for boards of this size.
- Two Operating Modes: The UEFI has two operating modes and full fan control in the form of a GUI and a manual input menu. Overall the UEFI for pretty quick and solid, not like most first releases.
- Storage Performance: Its storage performance is top-notch, and while its wired network performance is excellent, its wireless AC is only a 1×1 controller (433Mbps) instead of a 2×2 (867Mbps).
- Power Delivery System: The power delivery system uses high-quality components across the board and ASRock has tamed the Turbo behavior of Intel’s Core i7 Coffee Lake CPUs to keep VRM thermals in the ultra-reliable zone.
3. Prime B450M-A/CSM AM4 Micro-ATX Motherboard
The Prime B450M-A/CSM AM4 Micro-ATX Motherboard from Asus is built on the AMD B450 chipset supporting first-, second-, and third-generation socket AM4 AMD Ryzen processors. It has four memory slots, which can accommodate up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM at speeds of up to 3200 MHz when overclocked. For storage, there are six SATA III ports and one M.2 slot that supports both SATA and PCIe 3.0 x4 interface for speeds of up to 32 Gb/s when used with an appropriate M.2 drive.
While it’s equipped with VGA, DVI-D, and HDMI ports for integrated graphics, this motherboard also has one PCIe 3.0 x 16 slot for a dedicated GPU as well as two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots for other PCIe-based hardware. Other noteworthy integrated features include Realtek ALC 887-VD2 8-channel HD audio, Realtek 8111H Gigabit LAN, and Asus Aura RGB lighting.
ASUS Prime B450 Series motherboards provide the solid foundation needed for your first build, plus flexibility to grow with your ambitions. It will give you the benefit from industry-leading technologies — including automated system tuning, comprehensive cooling controls, and immersive onboard audio. When you build with an ASUS Prime B450 Series motherboard, you build smart, easy, and affordably.
- 6 SATA Ports: This is a micro-ATXmotherboard with 6 SATA ports. Therefore, naturally, it would not have a small form factor as you would expect with the mini ITX motherboards.
- Processors: This motherboard has an AM4socket with support for AMD Ryzen and Athlon processors.
- Wi-fi: It also has a WiFithat may come in handy when building NAS that can be accessed wirelessly.
- Chipset: It features a generation older chipset i.e the B450 compared to the newer B550 chipset.
- Cheaper: For a NAS build that is reliant on SATA ports that can be overlooked. The B450 makes more sense as it is cheaper.
- Lightening: Aside from the built-in LED-illuminated audio section of this motherboard, it also has an Asus Aura Sync RGB header that you can use for other RGB-compatible products to light up your build.
- Audio Quality: The Prime B450M is built with Realtek ALC 887-VD2 8-channel HD audio, LED illumination, audio shielding, dedicated PCB layers, and premium audio capacitors to deliver an immersive listening experience for all types of applications whether you’re using speakers or headphones.
4. GIGABYTE C246-WU4 (Intel/C246 Express Chipset) Motherboard
GIGABYTE today introduced the C246-WU4, a workstation-grade socket LGA1151 motherboard based on Intel C246 chipset, with support for the recently announced Xeon E-2100 series, in addition to 8th and 9th generation Core processors.
With Xeon processors installed, it supports up to 128 GB ECC memory. 9th Generation Core processors let you use up to 128 GB of non-ECC memory. 8th generation ones cap out at 64 GB non-ECC. The board also supports many of the VPro enterprise features that the Q370 Express chipset offers.
GIGABYTE’s passive components are meticulously selected to guarantee a super stable operating environment and allow the processors and the memory to deliver their maximum performance. With some of the longest service lifetimes in the industry, our server motherboards build on 30 years’ company-wide experience in motherboard design to attain the highest reliability levels.
- Dual M.2 for SSD: C246-WU4 with dual M.2 connectors provides better upgradability for SSD devices. Delivering up to 32Gb/s transfer speed, the dual M.2 connectors provide an ideal storage solution with RAID modes.
- Broad DDR4 Compatibility: GIGABYTE partners very closely with memory vendors from around the world to ensure that modules offered by popular memory brands are compatible with GIGABYTE Motherboards. GIGABYTE has verified over 1000+ different modules to ensure performance in a GIGABYTE-built system.
- 4 PCIe x 16 slots for multi-cards: Multi-graphics configurations offer better graphics performance for applications that demand the highest frame rates without compromising on resolution.
- Fast Onboard Storage with 32Gb/s M.2: GIGABYTE M.2 solution offers considerably faster storage performance and support for both PCIe and SATA interface for M.2 SSD devices.
- Ultra Durable Memory Armor: GIGABYTE exclusive one-piece stainless steel shielding design prevents PCB distortion/twisting and plate bending, in addition to preventing any possible ESD interference.
- Easy to Install “G Connector” Design: The tiny cables of the front panel connectors can be hard to manipulate as space is restricted and indicators being tiny. With the G Connector, you can connect all the FP cables at once, simplifying the process of building your next PC and saving you some frustrations.
To Sum Up
Choosing the right or budget-friendly or gaming motherboard for NAS is very difficult to find at a reasonable price in the market.
In this guide, I’ve rounded up some of the best motherboards for NAS at an affordable price, all made with high-quality materials. These motherboards are very durable and highly recommended in the market for their build quality.
Therefore, if you’re looking for the best NAS motherboards at an affordable price, then this guide will help you to decide the best one according to your needs.