If you are looking for a system for FreeNAS (current is FreeNAS 9.3.0 released) should take a closer look at the HP Proliant N54L Microserver.
At 2.2 GHz, the system is still fast enough to supply data to several clients and to encrypt them using ZFS. Four hard disk bays offer enough space to build a large NAS, the hard disk size is the only limiting factor. The problem that Wake-On-LAN under FreeNAS doesn't work with the onboard network card, the N54L also has one, so you should order an Intel network card with it. Four gigabytes of RAM are also a bit tight, here it should be 8 or even 16 gigabytes - ZFS can't get too much RAM.
Unfortunately, the N54L is no longer readily available - it has been replaced by newer Microserver Gen8which provides significantly more performance on an Intel basis. What remains is the small case and support for four hard drives. Together with the current FreeNAS version, this makes it a good alternative to well-known ready-to-use NAS systems.
Shopping list for HP Proliant N54L & FreeNAS (all Amazon, price from 09.03.2014):
- HP Proliant N54L Microserver (approx. 190.- Euro)
- Western Digital WD20EFRX RD1000S, especially for NAS use, 2 TB (approx. 90,- Euro), 3 TB (approx. 130,- Euro), 4 TB (approx. 180,- Euro)
- 8 GB DDR3 RAM 1,333 MHz Transcend (70,- Euro)
- Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter PCI-Express (approx. 25,- Euro)
- USB stick: Transcend JetFlash 300, 4 GB (approx. 6,- Euro)
- HP Micro Server Remote Control Card (approx. 85,- Euro)