Searching for the best motherboard for Network Attached Storage System? Well, you are absolutely at the right place. We all know that a motherboard is a central component of a computer where all the necessary data is processed and then displayed on our monitors.
For building a NAS system there are some things that you need to take into account and a good motherboard is one of them. In this article, we are going to take a look at the best motherboards for NAS to help you optimize your system.
So if you were looking for one then we are here to help. We have chosen the top motherboards from the market after analyzing hundreds of products.
So, let’s get started now.
Best Motherboards For NAS Review
1. ASUS Prime B450M-A/CSM
The first motherboard on our list is the ASUS Prime B450M which is an affordable option for you. This motherboard was specifically built for AMD processors. As AMD processors come at a less price when compared to Intel CPUs that is why if you need a budget option for a NAS then ASUS Prime B450M is recommended.
It offers users four memory slots for DDR4 RAM providing a high speed of more than 2400 MHz. The best thing about ASUS Prime B450M is that it comes at an affordable price while providing the best value features and performance.
The ASUS Prime B450M is equipped with an AM4 socket that will support your AMD Ryzen processor. Other than that it also comes with Wi-Fi compatibility that you will surely need while building your NAS system.
For connectivity, this motherboard is equipped with USB 3.1 gen2, Type C ports, and dual M.2 slots as well. It has a good cooling mechanism that features advanced technologies that are only found in ASUS motherboards. For instance, it is equipped with an Xpert 4 that keeps a check on the fan speeds of your computer and provides thermal solutions as well.
The ASUS Prime B450M motherboard comes pre-equipped with enhanced BIOS that helps to protect your device from aftershocks of electrical current fluctuations that may be caused by some circumstances. Other than that, the 5X Protection III feature protects this motherboard and makes it more reliable and durable as well.
The only thing that we thought of as a drawback was the chipset of this motherboard. ASUS Prime B450M is equipped with an older chipset that is B450 when it should be B550 chipset which is the newer one. However, this motherboard comes under a budget price that explains its flaws.
- Chipset: AMD B450
- Socket: AM4
- Form Factor: Micro ATX
- SATA slots: 6x SATA III
- USB Ports: 1 x USB 3.1, 2 x USB 2.0
- It comes at an affordable price.
- The cooling mechanisms offered by ASUS Prime B450M are amazing.
- It is a durable motherboard with a better protection system.
- The BIOS of ASUS Prime B450M is enhanced.
- The CPU Chipset is of the older generation.
2. ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I Gaming Z490
At number two, we will discuss ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I which is specifically made for gaming purposes but can also be used for NAS.
The ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I is among the newly released motherboards from ASUS that come with a lot of features. When compared to its competition, ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I is so far the best motherboard that provides all the things you need to get a high-end performance.
The appearance of this motherboard is equipped with gaming aesthetics. Like the other motherboards available in the market, this one is also covered with heatsinks, and shrouds, etc. Overall, this motherboard is covered in black but the heatsinks come in a dark gray color variant.
Another thing that we liked regarding this motherboard is the addition of a 10 Phase Digital Power Controller. Other than that, it is equipped with a fast Intel CNVi 802.11ac Wi-Fi module with an average speed of 160 MHz. With a fast networking speed, you will be able to enjoy top-notch performance levels from ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I.
The cooling system of this motherboard is enhanced as compared to other products in the market. The ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I’s cooling mechanism involves an expanded heatsink, a heat pipe, and a wide fin stack to enlarge the surface area of cooling to get rid of heat. The fans of this motherboard are specifically designed in a way to provide extreme airflows for NAS systems.
As for the ports and connectivity, ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I offers HDMI 2.0 port, a DisplayPort 1.4 accompanied by dual M.2. For USB ports, it offers USB 3.2 Gen Type C ports.
The audio quality offered by ASUS ROG Strix Z490-I is more than premium, involving SupremeFX S1220A Codec that delivers high audio signals.
- Chipset: Z490
- Socket: LGA 1200
- Form Factor: Mini-ITX
- SATA slots: 4x SATA3 6 GB/s slots
- USB Ports: 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 2x USB 2.0
- It has a premium design with gaming aesthetics
- The connectivity options are vast
- This motherboard comes with advanced cooling mechanisms to avoid heating issues
- The audio quality is beyond expectations.
- No technical cons reported yet.
3. GIGABYTE B365M DS3H
The next motherboard on our list is the GIGABYTE B365M DS3H, which is an affordable micro ATX option highly recommended for NAS.
The GIGABYTE B365M DS3H is a trustworthy and reliable motherboard that comes at a budget price. If you are looking forward to a cheap build for NAS then the GIGABYTE B365M DS3H might be a good option to consider for a motherboard.
GIGABYTE B365M DS3H offers users a total of 6 SATA ports. The amount of SATA ports is quite higher in GIGABYTE B365M DS3H. Because when compared to other motherboards in the same price tag, you will only get 2 or 4 SATA ports. That is why GIGABYTE B365M DS3H offers the best value performance in a budget range.
The next thing is that GIGABYTE B365M DS3H is equipped with an LGA 1151 socket that is capable of supporting almost all of the processors, such as Intel Pentium, 8th and 9th generation, as well as core i9. So for a NAS system, you can also get an affordable intel processor to use with this motherboard.
For storage options, it comes with four DDR4 DIMM slots and it can support more than 64 GB of memory which means you can get enough storage on your computer. For your graphics card, this motherboard is equipped with dual PCie x16 slots, and six SATA ports for SSD and HDD as well.
The GIGABYTE B365M DS3H is equipped with all the necessary equipment that you will require to build a beast setup for NAS. However, besides having all these advantages, there are some drawbacks as well.
The major one is that this motherboard does not provide ECC RAM support.
- Chipset: Intel B365 Chipset
- Socket: LGA 1151
- Form Factor: Micro ATX
- SATA slots: 6x SATA3 6 GB/s slots
- USB Ports: 4x USB 3.1 / 3.2 Gen 1, 2x USB 2.0 Type A
- It offers a good storage capacity to store most of your important documents.
- The GIGABYTE B365M DS3H provides support for 8th and 9th generation Intel core processors.
- The audio quality offered by this motherboard is beyond expectations.
- With the M2 slots, you can install SSDs and extra hard drives as well.
- It is not compatible with Windows 7 operating system.
4. GIGABYTE C246-WU4
At number four, we have GIGABYTE C246-WU4 which is the largest ATX form factor motherboard, with a slightly higher price tag. The company is famous for producing high-end motherboards and graphics cards. GIGABYTE C246-WU4 is one of the latest motherboard models released by GIGABYTE.
Let’s talk about GIGABYTE C246-WU4 now. This motherboard offers a lot of storage slots to provide you with enough storage space. So if you were in search of something with a higher number of storage slots then GIGABYTE C246-WU4 is recommended for you.
It offers a total of 10 SATA slots (supporting more than 128 GB of DDR4 memory), as well as two M2 slots. The presence of these two ensures that you can run more than 12 different storage devices on this motherboard at the right time.
Moving up next, the GIGABYTE C246-WU4 offers GB LAN, LGA1151 in the ATX form factor that makes this motherboard ideal to use for Nas. GIGABYTE C246-WU4 can easily run 8th generation, 9th generation intel core, Pentium, and Celeron processors. This motherboard is durable and highly-reliable to run any of your intel processors with overclocking as well.
If you are looking forward to building multi GPU setups then GIGABYTE C246-WU4 is highly recommended for you. This motherboard features 4 PCie x16 slots that provide enormous support for multi GPU setups.
When it comes to ports and connectivity, the GIGABYTE C246-WU4 features a total of 6 USB ports including USB 3.1, Type-A, and Type-C ports, 1 HDMI port, 2 Display Ports, as well as a VGA port.
Besides these benefits, there are some drawbacks of this device as well. First of all, the size of this motherboard is a little large, so if you were going to make a portable system for NAS then pass on this product and move on to the next one. Secondly, this motherboard comes at a higher price tag.
- Chipset: Intel C246 Chipset
- Socket: LGA 1151
- Form Factor: ATX
- SATA slots: 10x SATA slots
- USB Ports: Includes USB 3.1, Type-A, and Type-C ports.
- It offers vast storage options
- The GIGABYTE C246-WU4 is a reliable motherboard for NAS systems.
- The connectivity options are vast.
- It is a durable product.
- This motherboard is a little expensive
- The size of GIGABYTE C246-WU4 is large, hence it is not recommended for portable NAS systems.
- The form factor of this motherboard is based on standard ATX.
5. MSI (B450I GAMING Plus AC)
The next motherboard on our list is the MSI Performance B450I Gaming, which is a good and reliable option for NAS systems. The main reason why we added this motherboard to our list is that it is a budget-friendly option.
So if you were looking for an affordable motherboard then this one is highly recommended for you.
The MSI Performance B450I Gaming is built on the AMD B450 chipset hence it supports all the AMD Ryzen CPUs that are equipped with an AM4 socket.
Initially, the MSI Performance B450I Gaming was built for 1st generation and 2nd generation of AMD Ryzen Processors. It is based on Mini-ITX form factor and it is powered by two 5050 RGB LED strip headers that give an amazing visual look to this motherboard.
When it comes to storage options, the MSI Performance B450I Gaming offers 4 SATA ports and a single M.2 port. You might be expecting at least 6 SATA ports from this motherboard, well as it comes under a budget price tag, 4 SATA ports are more than enough. The MSI Performance B450I Gaming provides a total of 32 GB capacity for RAM that provides an average speed of more than 3466 MHz.
Although the storage or RAM options may not be that satisfying for you, however since the MSI Performance B450I Gaming is available at a budget price so you have to compromise with some of its features. On the contrary, the performance offered by this motherboard is beyond amazing.
Besides these advantages of MSI Performance B450I Gaming, the major drawback is that this motherboard does not support a newer generation of processors. That means it will only work with the older generations and you will face problems while upgrading your system. The number of storage ports on this motherboard is around 5 which is not satisfactory enough for a NAS system.
- Chipset: AMD B45 chipset
- Socket: AM4
- Form Factor: Mini-ITX
- SATA slots: 4x SATA slots
- M.2 Ports: 1x M.2 Port
- MSI Performance B450I Gaming is available at an affordable price.
- The build quality of this motherboard is simply amazing.
- Users have loved the performance benchmarks of this motherboard.
- The design and aesthetics are quite good.
- The amount of storage ports is low.
- It only has a single M.2 port.
Factors To Consider Before Buying A Best Motherboard for NAS
We all know that it is quite hard to buy tech products when you have a lot of options to choose from. The main question is how you can choose the best product among the hundreds of others?
Well, again it’s not easy. However, we are here to help you out with the complete process. To be honest, the motherboard is the central component of a computer and while selecting the best motherboard for NAS you have to be more careful.
There are a lot of things you need to look out for before finalizing your decision regarding the best motherboard for NAS. In this section, we will go through the detailed buying guide explaining the important factors to check before buying a motherboard for NAS. So, let’s see what we have.
Amount of Storage Ports
The first thing to check is the number of storage ports offered by your motherboard. If you want to buy a motherboard for a NAS system then you will definitely require a large number of storage ports.
So in order to get a larger storage space, you will need more storage ports on your motherboard. The storage ports are labeled as SATA Ports or M.2 Ports. The main difference among these two is that SATA is strictly reserved for storage devices; however , M.2 Ports can be used to connect your PC to another device through a USB connection.
On comparing these ports, we found out that M.2 Ports are generally faster than SATA ports but they are found in less amount. On the contrary, SATA ports are found in abundant numbers. While buying a motherboard you have to make sure that it has at least 4 SATA ports and 1 M.2 ports. These variants can be easily found in a budget motherboard but if you want more M.2 ports you will have to increase your budget.
The next thing to consider while buying a motherboard for a NAS system is the form factor. While building a NAS system people prefer to go with something that is compatible and that requires less space. In such cases, you will require a small-sized motherboard.
Basically, motherboards come in different form factors, such as:
- Standard ATX
When it comes to Network Attached Storage Systems we highly recommend you to use Mini-ITX. Although this form factor can cost you some extra bucks it provides a small size where you can easily adjust almost all of the necessary components.
The next thing to check is the number of ports offered by your motherboard. If you want a motherboard for NAS then make sure that it has enough ports. There are different types of ports offered by a motherboard, such as USB Ports, Ethernet Ports, HDMI Ports, and PCie x16 ports, DVI-D slots, etc.
Among these for a NAS system make sure that your motherboard offers SATA ports, Ethernet Ports, and USB ports. SATA ports are extremely important because they act as connectors for storage devices so that you can access them from different computers.
For a NAS system, you have to make sure that the networking system is good enough. A motherboard is the central component of a computer and its main task is to provide hardware and network connections to all of its ports and components for data transfer purposes.
Hence, to get better performance you have to make sure that your motherboard has a good networking system.
The next thing you need to check while buying a motherboard for your NAS system is its cooling mechanism. Ensure that your motherboard provides enhanced cooling systems for better airflow. If in case you buy a product with a poor cooling system and insufficient airflow then you can face issues like overheating that force your system to stop working.
A motherboard should offer high-quality fans and different cooling mechanics to avoid issues like overheating.
Next up we have the sockets of a motherboard. While purchasing the best motherboard for NAS systems you need to cross-check what type of Socket your hardware supports. This is extremely important, otherwise, you can end up buying a motherboard that doesn’t support the socket type of your CPU. Hence you will have to make a refund or replacement and we know that it’s a long and tiring process.
So to get rid of replacement issues, it is better to check the socket type of your hardware beforehand. In this way, you can purchase a compatible motherboard as per your system requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better, FreeNAS or UnRAID?
Well, both of these options are outstanding for creating your personal file server. But we recommend using FreeNAS because it is a better option for those who need a true volume file system. On the contrary, UnRAID is better for those who want maximum storage capacity for non-critical data.
How do I choose a NAS motherboard?
There are a lot of things you need to check before choosing a NAS motherboard, some of them include ports, storage slots, form factor, socket, etc. You can check out our detailed buying guide in this regard, which is mentioned earlier in this post.
What is a good NAS speed?
A good data transfer speed on NAS depends on a lot of factors. However, you can get 18 MB/s for a cheap NAS system. If you have a NAS system without RAID compatibility then you can get more than 110 MB/s speed for a QNAP Turbo NAS.
Is it worth getting an expensive motherboard for NAS?
Getting an expensive motherboard for NAS means you will get more components with enhanced quality. For a NAS motherboard, if you need more storage options and other components then you can get an expensive motherboard. If you want a budget motherboard then you can check out some recommendations we have listed in this post.