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OLD i5 Mini to Server with TB raid, DIY, or prefab?

I have some older i5 Mac Minis and they feature 16GB RAM can handle two internal SSD’s feature TB2, and I’m wondering if I wouldn’t be better off converting them to a roll my own setup vs. either off the shelf or DIY as you’ve outlined on your YouTube. I want to get away from using OpenCore Legacy Patcher and I know *nix runs insanely well on these well appointed systems I’m just not sure how a franken-nas would compare in price and performance to something more traditional in either DIY or prefab.

The volume of information you present is awesome and much appreciated but I find that after watching several of your videos (and numerous videos about the same topic from other people) I’m left with more uncertainty than not.

I’d love to have the option of adding 10G if I can ever afford it but I’m also not sure if getting “future proof,” is the more prudent approach than just getting cheaper for now and addressing the issue later when I’ve run out of expansion options.

Given your requirements and the hardware you already have, converting your older i5 Mac Minis into a DIY NAS setup could be a cost-effective and performance-efficient option. With 16GB of RAM and support for two internal SSDs via Thunderbolt 2, these systems are well-equipped to handle storage tasks and *nix-based systems. By leveraging *nix, you can maximize the performance of your hardware while avoiding the complexities of OpenCore Legacy Patcher.

Comparing the cost and performance of a DIY NAS setup to off-the-shelf or prefab options can be challenging, but building your own NAS allows for customization and scalability. You can tailor the components to your exact needs and budget, ensuring you get the features you want without paying for unnecessary extras.

Considering your desire for future expandability, opting for a DIY NAS gives you the flexibility to add features like 10G networking when it becomes feasible. Additionally, DIY solutions often offer more room for upgrades and modifications over time, allowing you to adapt your NAS to changing needs without starting from scratch.

If you're uncertain about the DIY route, you could explore prefab NAS options that offer similar features and performance levels. However, keep in mind that these solutions may come at a premium compared to building your own.

Ultimately, whether you choose DIY, prefab, or off-the-shelf, it's essential to prioritize your current needs while considering future expansion possibilities. If you decide to proceed with a DIY NAS, our NAS Finder tool [] can assist in selecting compatible components for your build.

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