ChromeBox or Pi build?

  • Hello all,
    I'm in the middle of deciding what direction I want to go for my new NAS.
    A major consideration is that I'm thinking of using SnapRAID on this build.

    Option 1: HP Chromebox w/ Intel Celeron 2955U 1.40 GHz, 4GB RAM, USB3, 1Gb NIC, custom firmware to install OMV.
    Option 2: Banana Pi Pro w/1GB RAM, SATA Port Multiplier, 1Gb NIC.

    The common gear: ICY DOCK Black Vortex MB174U3S-4SB 4 Bay USB 3.0 & eSATA External and 3x 3TB WD Red drives.

    I hear SnapRAID works better with SATA drives, but the Banana Pi Pro only has 1GB of RAM which is an issue for the amount of storage I'm going with.

    Any guidance on this?


  • I'd advise against Banana pi/pro. I actually have the port multiplier card, too. I even went so far as to 3D print the BanaNAS case for it all. The end result was very disappointing.

    If you just do a basic NAS with banana pi and skip that port multiplier card, you still max out at like 30-35MBs transfers. IIRC, it was due to a hardware bug with the allwinner chip that caused sata performance to stink. Also, the gbit port really doesn't let you transfer at gbit speeds. If you look around the internet, you can see people posting very dismal test output from iperf.

    My banana pi is sitting in a drawer unused. My banana pro is being used in a project where network and sata performance is not demanding. In the end, I went with a odroid xu4 and I'm happy with that setup.

  • I'm using a 4-bay usb3 enclosure. I implemented my own redundancy with cron and rsync rather than using any sort of raid. The enclosure lets you address each drive individually, including SMART status and serial number and such. So If you wanted to go with a software based raid, I don't see why it wouldn't work. The manufacturer also sells an enclosure that does its own raid if you wanted to go that route.

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