I am going to build an small 4 disks NAS server with FreeNAS/ZFS. I've read that due to ZFS performance 8GB is the recommended amount of RAM for the solution, but I wonder about the CPU. Currently I am considering Celeron G1610T, 2.3GHz as low cost alternative and Xeon E3-1220LV2, 2,3GHz on the other end.

Is choosing the Celeron CPU going to hurt performance somehow? I am not planning to run VMs nor other applications, just a backup solution.


No CPU requirements listed by FreeNAS because it does nothing but change some of the speed and how much that does is very dependent on setup. If you use hardware RAID and/or mirrored RAID then the CPU does practically nothing. That's why many of these kinds of boxes are built out of single core, 32bit Atom procs. So in most cases your Celeron would do just fine.

  • 1
    You dont use hardware RAID with ZFS. – JamesRyan Dec 10 '14 at 15:50
  • What about the CPU usage for deduplication? – TomTom Dec 16 '14 at 15:22
  • @TomTom use compression to have a much larger win. You can get considerable savings provided some stereotypical scenarios, and the cost is negligible. Compression doesn't tax the CPU, doesn't require a lookup table, and actually provides disk read and write performance, because you don't need to physically traverse as much platter disk as you would with non-compressed data. Dedupe has its place, no doubt, but it's a niche demographic, where compression fits a much larger demographic. – Yan Skursky Dec 17 '14 at 14:23

I built my server with a Celeron based CPU and 8GB of ram and am pleased with performance.

The only thing I would point out is that most of the forums and experts will push you hard to use a system that supports ECC memory.

If you are building something for business use, ECC should probably be a requirement. This will affect your choice of CPU.

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