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7 Best Motherboards for NAS in 2021 [Recommended by Experts]

Are you looking to build yourself or a friend a Network Attached Storage System (NAS)? Well if you are, you would need to find out the Best Motherboards for NAS that you can use right now. And so in order to do that and save your time in the process, keep reading.

As we have gone out, for you, and already found the best NAS Motherboards in the market as of 2021, all of which have been rated by experts. So sit back, have a cup of tea and enjoy.

What are NAS Systems?

Let us start off with what Network Attached Storage systems are and why one might need them. If you already know the answer to both these questions, you can skip to the next part of this article.

NAS Systems are basically storage devices that are connected to the network. This is mainly for anyone who has a lot of data that is valuable and is looking to store/save it somewhere. These devices are all connected to each other and are present in one place at the same time.

Best Motherboards for NAS
Picture by Tech Target

Advantages of Network Attached Systems?

One of the main factors of building a NAS System is that all the data keep close to you. This means that as it is not on the cloud, it is much safer from external threats such as hackers. Proximity also means that the storage is always accessible to you so you do not have to worry about backing your data up.

Other than that, with NAS systems you also get the advantage of having these turn out cheaper in the long run. Getting cloud-based subscriptions is getting really expensive day by day.

These systems also do not require staff or personnel to keep them maintained. This helps in the fact that you do not have to hire extra people and they are not hard to maintain either.

Read More: Best Motherboards for Gaming in 2021 – Ultimate Options for All Your Gaming Needs

Finally, Network Attached Systems provide the opportunity for growth.

Upgrading these systems is not hard at all, as you only have to add another Hard Drive. (Given that you have the ports available)

Who is NAS For?

NAS can be for anyone that deals with a lot of Data and wants some cheap place to store it. Mainly small offices use it to keep their costs low. But at the same time, people have also built these systems at home for personal use. As again, neither is building these setups hard nor is it really expensive.

If you do not have the time to go through the entire list, here is a quick summary:

Best Overall Motherboard for NAS Package
Gigabyte C246-WU4
Our Recommendation for the Best Motherboard for NAS
ASRock Rack C236 WSI
Best Budget Motherboard for NAS
MSI Performance B450I

7 Best Motherboards for NAS in 2021 [Recommended by Experts]

1. ASRock Rack C236 WSI
2. ASRock X570M Pro 4
3. Gigabyte X570 I AORUS Pro 
4. Gigabyte C246-WU4
5. Gigabyte B550I AORUS Pro AX 
6. ASUS ROG Strix B460-I
7. MSI Performance B450I

1. ASRock Rack C236 WSI

The ASRock Rack C236 WSI is one Motherboard that can be optimized for all your NAS systems. You may ask why?

Well for starters, the C236 WSI comes with 8 different SATA ports. This means that you can have up to 8 different Storage devices at the same time. And well, for a NAS system, the greater the number of storage devices that you can connect to your device, the more functionality you can get out of it.

ASRock Rack also offers this product in the Mini ATX form factor which has the dimensions of 6.7 x 6.7 inches. This form factor would be ideal for you if you’re looking to make a compact build for your NAS Systems. It would help you save space while providing you with all the options that you can want.

For processor support, you can use either the Intel I3’s or the Intel Xeon E3-1200 v5 Processor series. This is accompanied by the fact that you also get up to 32 GBs of RAM compatibility while running them at a maximum speed of 2333 MHz. And as a cherry on top, you can connect either ECC or Non-ECC RAM Types.

Drawbacks

Though the Rack C236 still does have its drawbacks, so do not get your hopes high too much.

This product does not come with any M.2 ports which is a real drawback considering the price of this product. As many others in this price range do give the option for M.2s.

Another problem is that because ASRock is not the most well-known brand out right now, you might run into problems in terms of customer support. And in the scenario where the product comes with a defect or is not working properly, the whole process might become tedious.

Specs
Brand: ASRock
Form Factor: Mini ITX
Socket: LGA 1151 socket
Chipset: C236
Memory Support: DDR4
Memory Speed: 2133MHz
Total Memory Compatibility: 32 GB
Built for: Intel Xeon E3-1200 v5 Series Processors
Number of SATA Slots: 8
Number of M.2 Ports:
Pros
8 SATA Ports
Mini ATX
Compact
Supports both ECC & Non-ECC RAM types
Cons
NO M.2 Slots
The company is not very popular or famous
ASRock Rack Motherboard C236 WSI

2. ASRock X570M Pro 4

If you are looking for another Motherboard that can handle up to 8 Different Storage devices or more, then ASRock X570M Pro 4 is another great option to go for.

This hardware component comes with 8 SATA ports while having 2 different M.2 Ports. These are in the 16x and 4x configurations. In other words, expansion and upgradability is an option that you can go for later on if you want.

Other than that, these ports in total will provide you the ultimate opportunity for your NAS systems as you will be able to attach a lot of storage devices.

Read More: Motherboard Standoffs – Do you Really Need Them? Learn from Experts

Another factor for why it is great for NAS systems is because it supports the latest AMD Ryzen 2000 & 3000 series of processors. AMD Ryzen typically has cheaper overall processors so with this Motherboard, you can have a DIY NAS build while staying on budget.

ASRock also offers some really cool features such as the 10 Power Phase Design. This helps with VRMs to give the motherboard a stable voltage supply throughout. Moreover, it will help with the durability and longevity of this product by ASRock.

Drawbacks

One of the drawbacks of this device is that it comes in the Micro ATX Form factor rather than the Mini ITX. This means that the dimensions for this device are not 6.7 x 6.7, rather 9.6 x 9.6 inches. If you are going for a compact build, choosing this Motherboard is going to be a hard task.

Also with this device, even though you can use both the ECC and Non-ECC RAM Types, you would have to go for the Non-ECC Type as the ECC Type of RAM ends up being really expensive. So in order to stay within a budget, you would have to choose the Non-ECC RAM type.

Specs
Brand: ASRock
Form Factor: Micro ATX
Socket: Socket AM4
Chipset: X570M
Memory Support: DDR4
Memory Speed:
Total Memory Compatibility: 128 GB
Built for: AMD Ryzen 2000 and 3000 Series processors
Number of SATA Slots: 8
Number of M.2 Ports: 2
Pros
8 SATA Ports
2 M.2 Ports
Durable
10 Power Phase Design
Cons
Micro ATX Form Factor and not the Mini ITX
Best Motherboards for NAS

3. Gigabyte X570 I AORUS Pro 

The Gigabyte X570 I AORUS Pro wasn’t typically built for being used as a Network Attached Storage System but nonetheless, it can still be used for it. Although you would need to keep a few things in mind.

The Gigabyte X570 I AORUS Pro is compatible with all the MAD Ryzen 3000 & 2000 series of Processors. This is because this was mainly built for all the gamers and high-end performances. This means that if you do get this product, you will have power for days.

With the X570 I, you get 6 SATA interfaces and 2 M.2 Slots. This translates into quite a bit of storage devices being connected to this Motherboard. You also get the ability to connect up to 64GBs of DDR4 RAM at the same time.

In order to combat the 8 Power Phase 70A power stage and heat, Gigabyte offers you an Extended VRM heatsink & s 5W/MK thermal pad. Both of these will help with heat dissipation. Additionally, as this Motherboard will only be used for a NAS system, you won’t be generating a lot of heat so this might not be too big of a problem.

Drawbacks

Other than the heat, you might find that connecting the storage devices has not been made easy for this hardware, as you do not find any 90 Degree SATA pins on the hardware. This is mainly because of how this Motherboard is normally intended for gamers, who are not going to be connecting a lot of Storage devices in the first place.

Still, this is one of the Best Motherboards overall as for NAS systems. This is because the Gigabyte X570 gives you upgrade options, which makes it a long-term investment, and well you can use the Motherboard and overclock it if the need ever arises.

Specs
Brand: Gigabyte
Form Factor: Mini ITX
Socket: Socket AM4
Chipset: X570
Memory Support: DDR4
Memory Speed: 2666 MHz
Total Memory Compatibility: 64GB
Built for: AMD Ryzen 2000 and 3000 Series processors
Number of SATA Slots: 6
Number of M.2 Ports: 2
Pros
Extended VRM Heatsinks
6 SATA
2 M.2
X570 as the chipset
Long Term Investment
Cons
Dull Design
Might Heat up
Gigabyte X570 I AORUS Pro Best Motherboard for NAS

4. Gigabyte C246-WU4

Do you only care about getting the Motherboard with the most Number of Storage slots and nothing else? Well if that is the case for you, we would recommend you to go for the Gigabyte C246-WU4.

This monster of a device (in terms of the number of storage slots it offers) gives you 10 SATA bus interfaces and then 2 M.2 Slots at the same time. This means that you can have up to 12 different storage devices running on this product at the same time.

Not only that, with the AMDs Crossfire Technology built-in, you will be able to connect different GPUs to this motherboard at the same time. And as for the processors, it is compatible with all the Intel 1151 Xeon E processors and 9th/8th Gen including Intel Core/ Pentium/ Celeron processors. So you get a variety of different options to choose from.

The same goes for the RAM as you can have 128 GBs worth of either ECC or Non-ECC DDR4 RAM with this hardware. All these options really do make it one of the best Motherboard to get for your DIY NAS setup.

Drawbacks

For this device, we found two drawbacks and depending on your needs. They could either be really big red flags or might not even be a problem at all.

First of all, this device comes in the ATX standard Form Factor. So the case that you get for this Motherboard has to be a large one. Hence, if you are thinking of building a Compact set up for your NAS system, this isn’t the product for you.

Other than that this Motherboard, due to all the options that it offers, ends up being on the expensive side of the market. The price tag is not unjustified as it does bring a lot of functionality but at the same time, if you are thinking of getting a budget build for your NAS System, then this Motherboard might not be the one to get for you.

Specs
Brand: Gigabyte
Form Factor: ATX
Socket: LGA 1151
Chipset: Intel C246
Memory Support: DDR4
Memory Speed:
Total Memory Compatibility: 128GB
Built for: Intel 1151 Xeon E processors and 9th/8th Gen. Intel Core/ Pentium/ Celeron processors
Number of SATA Slots: 10
Number of M.2 Ports: 2
Pros
10 SATA Ports
2 M.2 Ports
A lot of Storage Options
Reliable
AMD Crossfire
Cons
Expensive
Standard ATX Form Factor
Gigabyte C246-WU4

5. Gigabyte B550I AOURUS Pro AX

Are you looking for a durable Motherboard for your Network Storage System that will be with you for a long time? Well if so, then the Gigabyte B550I AOURUS Pro AX is the hardware for you.

This Pro AX comes with 4 SATA Slots and 2 M.2 Slots. This means that in total, you will be able to connect up to 6 different storage devices at the same time.

For the processors, with this Gigabyte B550I, you get the option for the 3rd Generation of Ryzen Processors only and so you would need to be careful to check if your product is compatible with the processor that you get or not.

For the heat department, Gigabyte has really done a lot. You get Thermal guards for all your M.2 Slots, Thermal Baseplate, and Extended Heatsinks. As a result, you can be assured that Gigabyte will have you covered for the temperatures even if you want to overclock your motherboard.

Gigabyte also gives you WiFi 6 built-in on this device. Though which isn’t really a bonus for you if the only thing you will do is use the Gigabyte B550I AOURUS Pro AX for NAS. But what does help is that they also give you a Direct 8 Phases Digital Power with 90A Smart Power Stage. This will ensure that your system keeps getting the power it requires and so your data is always accessible.

Drawbacks

The drawbacks that we could find include the fact that you can only use this device with the AMD Ryzen 3000 Series of processors out of the box. While you do get support for the 5000 Series of processors with a BIOS update, your options get narrowed down quite a bit when compared to some of the other Motherboards out there.

Other than that, some users have also complained about the fact that if you do try to change the BIOS yourself, Gigabyte B550I AOURUS Pro AX has the tendency to stop working. Even though you might have done all your research. So this Motherboard really is intended for all the people out there who just want to pick their product out of the box, plug it in, and never really change stuff on it.

Specs
Brand: Gigabyte
Form Factor: Mini ITX
Socket: Socket AM4
Chipset: B440I
Memory Support: DDR4
Memory Speed:
Total Memory Compatibility:
Built for: AMD Ryzen 3000 & 5000 series of Processors
Number of SATA Slots: 4
Number of M.2 Ports: 2
Pros
6 total Storage Slots
Efficient Thermal Design
Powerful
ECC & Non-ECC Types of RAMs Compatible
Direct 8 Phases Digital Power with 90A Smart Power Stag
Cons
Only compatible with AMD Ryzen 3000 & 5000 series
Best Motherboard for NAS

6. ASUS ROG Strix B460-I

Are you really committed to building a serious NAS system? That’s going to cost if you go all out with the ASUS ROG Strix B460-I. It’s an easy choice if you are looking for a Motherboard that is powerful and reliable for your NAS System.

The ASUS ROG offers you all the options that you could want. It comes with 4 SATA Drives and then 2 M.2 slots as well. And while you can connect up to 6 different Storage devices, you will also be able to get all the looks by using the Cyberpunk aspired, ASUS lighting.

You then also get optimized thermals with extended heatsinks. And to ensure that the power delivery stays at the right levels when you are pushing your Motherboard to its maximum, ASUS has also added 6+2+1 Dr. MOS power stages with a ProCool power connector. These have been paired with alloy chokes durable capacitors too.

Drawbacks

The drawback for this Motherboard is the fact that it is compatible with only the 10th Generation Intel Processors. This means that you will have to end up spending quite a bit. This can be a problem and if you are looking to go for only a budget build, go for the more budget-friendly options that we have mentioned in this article.

Specs
Brand: ASUS
Form Factor: Mini ITX
Socket: LGA 1200
Chipset: Intel B460
Memory Support: DDR4
Memory Speed: 2666 MHz
Total Memory Compatibility: 64GB
Built for:  10th Gen Intel Core processors
Number of SATA Slots: 4
Number of M.2 Ports: 2
Pros
6+2+1 Dr. MOS power stages with ProCool Power Connector
Optimized Thermal
Extended Heatsinks
Allow Chokes & Durable Capacitors
Cons
Expensive when paired with 10th Generation Intel Processors
ASUS ROG Strix B460-I

7. MSI Performance B450I

Are you looking for the most budget-friendly option out of all? Well for that, we recommend you the MSI Performance B450I. This motherboard not only comes in a much budget-friendly price tag but also ends up being the cheaper package overall as it was made for the 1st Generation and 2nd Generation of AMD Ryzen Processors.

Other than that, there is not much compromise. You get 4 SATA ports and a 1 M.2 Port as well. For the RAM, you get a total capacity of 32GBs which can run at speeds of up to 3466MHz.

And as we said there is not a lot of compromises, you get loads of power too. As with this you can even go and venture into the world of VR if you want.

Drawbacks

There are two drawbacks to this Motherboard. One is that it isn’t compatible with the newer generation of Processors. This means that you might have a problem in terms of upgrading it in the future.

And then, this Motherboard has only 5 ports. It is the lowest number of Storage Ports on this device. And for a NAS system, they might not be enough.

Specs
Brand: MSI
Form Factor: Mini ITX
Socket: Socket AM4
Chipset: B450I
Memory Support: DDR4
Memory Speed: 3466MHz
Total Memory Compatibility: 32GB
Built for: 1st & 2nd Generation of AMD Ryzen Processors
Number of SATA Slots: 4
Number of M.2 Ports: 1
Pros
Not a lot of Compromise
Budget Price
Compatible with a lot of different RAM Speeds
Cons
The ports might not be enough
MSI Performance B450I

In-Depth Buying Guide

We told you we would make your life easier and so we have also put together an In-Depth buying guide if you are looking to build your own Network-Attached Storage Systems.

The first thing that you need to look out for is the:

Number of Storage Ports

As you can guess, this is the most important part of your Motherboard if you want one for a NAS system. This is because the whole premise of a Network Attached System is that you can use it to store a lot of data.

That will only be possible if you have a couple of Storage ports in which you can connect your Storage Devices. These Devices on Motherboards are either labeled as SATA Ports or M.2 Ports.

And well, the Best Motherboards for NAS will be the ones that have the most number of these ports.

The difference between these two ports is that while SATA, being a Bus interface, is strictly only for storage devices, M.2 Ports can be utilized for anything that is low-powered and can be connected to your PC using a USB Connection.

Other than that, M.2 Ports are generally faster too. But as you will find out, normally SATA ports are more in number. You can find Motherboards with a lot of M.2 ports but they end up being really costly.

Form Factor

The next thing you would need to look for in a Motherboard for a Network Attached System is the form factor. This is because mostly NAS Systems are built while trying to save space. Mostly the cases you will use will not be too big either.

One of the reasons is that you do not really need a big case or setup. It isn’t like you will be needing to add graphics cards or Liquid Cooling systems.

So the Form Factor that most people go for is the Mini ITX. This form factor tends to be a little expensive as the manufacturers need to add a lot more things in a tinier place but these offer the best Size to Number of Ports Ratio.

Socket

Another important thing to look out for would be the type of Socket that your hardware can support. This is important as if your Motherboard does not support the type of socket that your Processor has, you would need to end up replacing one of the two.

So in order to save yourself from the hassle, before you buy the product or the processor, make sure it is compatible with the one you already have or have ordered.

Processors

One of the reasons why Network Attached Systems are so Cheap is the fact that they do not really require a lot of computational power. This means that you do not really have to focus your time or spend money in terms of which processor to buy or how powerful it needs to be.

NAS Systems’ job is to only store and retrieve data. And so you will be able to do with even Intel Core i3’s, Intel Celerons, or AMD Ryzen 2 Processors.

RAM

As for the RAM for your system, again you do not really have to spend a lot of money. These NSA Systems aren’t power or processor-hungry and so they won’t really be needing a lot of RAM.

Still, we would recommend you go for somewhere around 8GBs of RAM. 4GBs is the bare minimum but that isn’t really a long-term solution. And it might start bottlenecking and cause problems that will slow you and your work down.

So in order to future-proof yourself for a while, 8GBs of RAM would be enough.

Nowadays, products come with compatibility for up to 16GBs of RAM minimum. So even if you do not go for a device that we have mentioned, you wouldn’t need to worry if your Motherboard would be able to handle the extra RAM or not.

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