In this day and age of high-resolution smartphone photography and near-constant video recording, the storage capacity on your PCs and mobile devices is quickly depleted. While you can undoubtedly use an external hard drive to offload and backup files from your PC (and, by extension, your phone), if you disconnect the hard drive and leave it in your office, you and no one else will be able to access those files from another location.
To overcome this, consider some of the best NAS processors (network-attached storage) mentioned below.
As the name implies, a NAS processor is a high-capacity storage device that connects to your home or workplace network so that you and other users you designate may access your files from mobile devices and PCs without plugging in the drive. Please continue reading for a summary of the best NAS processors we’ve tested, followed by a full buying guide to help you select the best one for your needs.
Your requirements and budget determine the best NAS processor or NAS CPU for a home media server. Because NAS processors come in various configurations, from pre-built units to custom DIY NAS configurations, you have considerable leeway in selecting the proper processor.
Before we reveal the best NAS processor, here are some points to think about:
Intel vs. AMD: NAS devices can use either Intel or AMD processors. Intel CPUs are frequently chosen because of their power efficiency, although AMD processors can provide competitive performance at a lower cost.
Number of Cores: More cores are better at handling simultaneous jobs and multitasking. A media server should have a quad-core or higher processor.
Clock Speed: Faster clock speeds are advantageous for transcoding media files. Look for CPUs with low base clock speeds.
Power Efficiency: If you intend to keep your NAS running 24 hours a day, select a processor with high power efficiency to save money on electricity.
Transcoding: If you intend to transcode media on the fly (for example, converting video formats for streaming), a more powerful CPU with Quick Sync (Intel) or VCE (AMD) hardware acceleration capabilities may be advantageous.
Budget: NAS processors are available in a variety of price points. When selecting a CPU, keep your budget in mind. For a home media server, you don’t always need the most expensive choice.
Compatibility: Make sure the CPU you select is compatible with the NAS hardware you intend to use. Some NAS devices have fixed processors, but others support CPU upgrades.
Future-Proofing: If you intend to increase your media server’s capabilities or utilize it for other reasons in the future, a more powerful CPU should be considered.
Based on various use cases, below are some the best NAS processor recommendations:
AMD and its Ryzen 5 processor series have been among the most popular options in recent years, particularly for economical and entry-level processor options like this one.
The AMD Ryzen 5 5600G home server CPU is ranked first because it is one of the most affordable yet powerful solutions. This home server CPU has 6 cores and 12 threads, even at its entry-level price. More notably, this processor has a base clock speed of 3.9 GHz and a peak clock speed of up to 4.4 GHz. And, because AMD incorporates a 16M cache with this home serve CPU, you should anticipate it to perform fairly well. This chip also has the AMD Radeon Vega 7 GPU, which provides decent performance.
In terms of compatibility, this processor connects to you motherboard via the AMD AM4 CPU socket. You also get up to 128 GB of RAM with up to 3200 MHz DDR4 speeds for reasonable performance at the pricing. Despite being an entry-level home server CPU, the AMD Ryzen 5 allows CPU and memory overclocking. And the greatest part is that you get all of this at a relatively low TDP of just 65 watts, making this processor quite practical.
Higher-end CPU choices from AMD can also be found under its Ryzen 7 family, which are clearly on the pricey side but still offer fantastic value for money for those who want something more powerful.
AMD’s Ryzen 7 5700G home server CPU is ranked second because it is the finest value-for-money option if you need something powerful. In contrast to most other home server CPUs in its calls, this AMD one has 8 cores and 16 threads, making it ideal for a home server. Even with the provided core count, this processor has a relatively good base speed of 3.8 GHz and a peak clock of up to 4.6 GHz.
Despite the grater price, this AMD Ryzen 7 only has 16M cache, which is a bit low. Another point of community between this and the Ryzen 5 CPU is the AMD Radeon Vega 7 iGPU.
Because this is an AMD CPU from the previous generation must be installed be installed in your motherboard using the AMD AM4 CPU socket. Because this is a high-end AMD Ryzen processor should support up to 128 GB of RAM at up to 3200 MHz DDR4 speeds. Because you’d want to get the most out of such a high-end AMD processor, it also enables CPU and memory overclocking for even better performance. If you’re concerned about the TDP of this high-end CPU, you’ll be relieved to know that it’s only rated for 65 watts, which is really incredible.
If you want something powerful that can be utilized for gaming and other applications, such as building a home server, Intel and its i7 series can be a wonderful alternative.
This Intel Core i7 12700K home server CPU is ranked third in this post because it is one of the most powerful options available if you can afford it. Because this newer Intel CPU has a distinct core and thread configuration, with 8 performance cores, 4 efficiency cores, and 20 threads.
Even with the given amount of threads, you receive incredible base clock rates of 2.7 GHz and 3.6 GHz, respectively, and peak clock speeds of up to 3.8 GHz and 5.0 GHz for the efficiency and performance cores. While it is not the highest, the inbuilt 25M cache is adequate. This processor’s Intel UHD 770 iGPU also provides decent performance.
Unlike AMD’s processor options, this Intel processor employs the Intel LGA1700 CPU socket. Furthermore, if you have a suitable motherboard, you may use up to 128 GB RAM at up to 4800 MHz DDR5 rates, which is a huge benefit. If this level of speed is insufficient for you, you’ll be relieved to hear that, as a K series processor, this home server CPU enables CPU and memory overclocking. However, unlike AMD’s processors, this Intel is not the most efficient due to its 125-watt TDP.
Intel’s Core i9 processor series is its top-of-the-line product, excellent for people with no budget constraints and who want the highest potential performance for their home server. The Intel Core i9 12900K home server COU is included in our list because it is the best-performing choice, making it ideal for heavy, demanding operations. Like Intel’s previous Core i& offering, this one has a unique core and thread configuration with 8 performance cores, 8 efficiency cores, and 24 threads.
As a top-tier CPU, it provides incredible base clock rates of 2.4 GHz and 3.2 GHz, as well as boost clock speeds of up to 3.9 GHz and 5.2 GHz for its efficiency and performance cores, respectively.
Another fantastic feature of this Intel Core i9 CPU is the 30M cache. While not the most powerful, its Intel UHD 770 iGOU is adequate for basic media encoding. This processor, like the previously stated Intel Core i7 CPU, is installed using the Intel LGA1700 COU socket.
Another advantage of using a newer Intel processor is that it supports up to 128GB of RAM at up to 4800 MHz DDR5 speeds. As you would expect from a top-tier Intel processor, this K series CPU allows you to overclock both the CPU and the memory if necessary,. Unfortunately, while this CPU has such a good performance ratings, it has a quite high TDP of 125 watts, which is something to bear in mind.
Apart from its high-end and rather costly products in the K series of processors, Intel also provides a K variation of their mainstream i5 processors, which can be a good middle-ground for most.
This listicle includes Intel’s Core i5 12600K home server CPU because it can be wonderful alternative if you want good single-threaded performance without paying a premium. With its 6 performance cores, 4 efficiency cores and 16 threads, this processor can multitask.
The nicest part about this CPU, though, has to be its clock speeds, which feature base clock rates of 2.8 GHz and 3.7 GHz, respectively, as well as boost clock speeds of up to 3.6 GHz and 4.9 GHz for its efficiency and performance cores. And, while it may not be the largest, the provided 20M cache is certainly adequate for the price. This Intel CPU, like its higher-end counterparts, employs the Intel UHD 770 iGPU for adequate media encoding capability.
Looking at the physical design of this home server CPU, it also employs the most recent Intel LGA1700 CPU socket. Furthermore, because it is a high-end K series processor, it can support up to 128 GB of RAM at up to 4800 MHz DDR5 rates. Another advantage of using a K series processor like this one is that you can overclock both the CPU and memory speeds if necessary. However, as with previous K series from Intel, this one has a relatively high TDP of 125 watts, which may be a worry for some users.
In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for the ideal NAS processor for a home media server. Your specific requirements and limits determine it. To make an informed decision that suits your home media server setup, research and compare several CPU possibilities, considering your performance requirements, compatibility, and budget. Finally, the best option is determined by your individual use case and financial limits.