I built a 1.3TB freeNAS box a while back. I used 4 x 250GB drives in one array, and 3 x 120GB drives in the 2nd array, with an old 80GB for the freeNAS OS.
The case and IDE controller card was purchased for the project, but the PSU, mobo etc, and all the drives were stuff I had laying around.
It’s an old Gigabyte board with an AMD Athlon XP 2600+ running at 1919 MHz, plus 1.5GB of RAM (which is stupid over-powered for a freeNAS box, but hey, it was left over stuff). On the upside, the system is *never* sweating for CPU power. It’s got a built in 10/100 NIC. There’s a video card in there, but only because the thing won’t boot w/out a video card in the slot.
The OS is freeNAS 0.684b, which I’m pretty happy with. This thread isn’t about setting it up, but that’s not really hard to do. If this board would have booted off USB (which I just could NOT get it to do) the freeNAS OS would have been running of a 64MB USB flash drive I had lying about. Since the thing wouldn’t boot of USB, I threw in an 80GB drive and ran the OS off that.
Roughly 34MB of the drive is in use, lol….
Anyway. I stuffed 1.3TB of drives in there, and then created 2 separate RAID 5 arrays. The reason for that is that freeNAS can use different size drives in one array, but it’ll pick the smallest to set the stripe size with, and you end up with 7 x 120GB drives instead of 3 120′s and 4 250′s (because it pretends the 250′s are 120′s, which is a huge waste).