yanewby
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Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:07 pm

I intend to buy a new Raspberry Pi 4 to attach it to a 2 Tb WD MyPassport drive so that the drive can be used as network attached storage. It will be used headless and accessed by NFS or Samba by other computers on the network.

My question is which version of the Pi 4 should I buy? 1Gb, 2Gb ir 4Gb? What effect would having more RAM have?

epoch1970
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:24 pm

I would first direct monies to the network itself, with good quality giga cabling and manageable switches. And modern storage devices, of course.

Considering that containers are here and they make manageable a much higher density of workloads per machine, I would get all the RAM I can afford for the Pi4. I say 2 GB minimum.
"S'il n'y a pas de solution, c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème." Les Shadoks, J. Rouxel

bls
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:21 am

More memory is always better, but even a 1GB Pi4 will be quite capable of running NFS and/or Samba. And, in a year or 3 when you discover that your Pi needs more memory, there will probably be a Pi5 or Pi6 with 8GB or 16GB. ;)

ejolson
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:47 am

bls wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:21 am
More memory is always better, but even a 1GB Pi4 will be quite capable of running NFS and/or Samba. And, in a year or 3 when you discover that your Pi needs more memory, there will probably be a Pi5 or Pi6 with 8GB or 16GB. ;)
If you are planning to run a modern copy-on-write filesystem with built-in RAID and live snapshots or use thinly provisioned logical volumes on top of hardware RAID, then 4GB is much better. If you aren't doing this, it's not much of a NAS.

Since the additional cost of the 4GB model is likely small compared to the cost of the disk drives, there is little reason to go with the 1GB or 2GB models, in my opinion, except availability and impatience. Having said this, it is definitely true (as stated above) that the 1GB model could easily serve a 5TB USB3 hard disk formatted with the ext4 filesystem over the network using Samba and NFS. In that case, you might want to set up an additional backup server for your data to survive a disk crash.

yanewby
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:53 am

Yes, this really is as stated. Nothing fancy, just a way of putting that MyPassport drive on the network. Users could then mount that drive on their tablet, PC or laptop when needed. I have another backup system in plave for important data.

I was thinking the 1Gb because I couldn't see the benefit of the extra RAM in this case but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

Andyroo
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:59 am

yanewby wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:53 am
Yes, this really is as stated. Nothing fancy, just a way of putting that MyPassport drive on the network. Users could then mount that drive on their tablet, PC or laptop when needed. I have another backup system in plave for important data.

I was thinking the 1Gb because I couldn't see the benefit of the extra RAM in this case but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.
If thats the case then you could do it with a Pi Zero W or a Pi Zero (w) with an Ethernet HAT

The only advantage of buying a bigger Pi is if you want to do something else with it at the same time :)

Of course - you could walk into the trap most of us have - By the Pi 4 1Gb to play with and buy the Zero anyway as the file server :lol:

Not wanting to dissuade you but does your router have a USB port to share drives from?
Need Pi spray - these things are breeding in my house...

LTolledo
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:05 pm

am planning on using a RPi4B1G as my new NAS

now doing some test on a R64-1G as well (until the RPi4B-1G becomes available....)
checking htop, on my current setup as samba server and deluge client, its not even using 25% of all the available RAM (200MB of 985MB).
drives connected are 1 x 4TB 2.5" HDD and 1 x 1TB 2.5" HDD, both powered from USB port of R64-1G
running headless, powered by 5.1v 3.0A PSU (not a charger!!)
Last edited by LTolledo on Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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yanewby
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:07 pm

Andyroo wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:59 am
yanewby wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:53 am
Yes, this really is as stated. Nothing fancy, just a way of putting that MyPassport drive on the network. Users could then mount that drive on their tablet, PC or laptop when needed. I have another backup system in plave for important data.

I was thinking the 1Gb because I couldn't see the benefit of the extra RAM in this case but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.
If thats the case then you could do it with a Pi Zero W or a Pi Zero (w) with an Ethernet HAT

The only advantage of buying a bigger Pi is if you want to do something else with it at the same time :)

Of course - you could walk into the trap most of us have - By the Pi 4 1Gb to play with and buy the Zero anyway as the file server :lol:

Not wanting to dissuade you but does your router have a USB port to share drives from?
My router does have two USB ports to share from but sadly they are being used already. I tried adding a hub to the router but it wasn't really satisfactory (for a number of reasons).

I thought about using a Zero because it uses less power but I thought the new Pi's with their USB3 ports might be quicker. I don't need anything too speedy but I tried my this on my old Pi3B and it was a bit too slow for the other users. I was hoping a Pi4 would be enough quicker for them.

yanewby
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:11 pm

LTolledo wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:05 pm
am planning on using a RPi4B1G as my new NAS

now doing some test on a Rock64-1G as well (until the RPi4B-1G becomes available....)
checking htop, on my current setup as samba server and deluge client, its not even using 25% of all the available RAM (200MB of 985MB).
That is interesting to know, I considered a Rock64 but they were harder to find here in the UK than a Pi4.

TBH I've never even had a computer with more RAM than 4Gb. 4Gb has always seemed plenty for me, I've used Linux since the early 2000's (I've heard Windows needs more RAM) and not played games on a computer since the 90's.

cpc464
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:36 am

Hi OP,

If you can afford it, go for 4 GB (just for future proofing), but 2 GB will be fine, and so will 1 GB, assuming you just want to stream a few media files or do some backups.

I used my 4 GB Pi 4 as a NAS and the 4 GB did provide a *tiny* improvement in speed, due to the larger buffer cache. Linux has more memory to buffer file pages, which improves throughput. But the difference between 2 GB and 4 GB is tiny - likely just 2% or 3% in copying a very large file, and buying the 4 GB just for that isn't worth it, unless you are absolutely desperate for every last bit of speed.

My test results are here. Although the test machine had 4 GB, the 1 and 2 GB models are likely to provide almost identical performance:

http://unixetc.co.uk/2019/07/07/raspber ... rld-tests/

Cheers,
Jim.
Unix engineer since 1989

LTolledo
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:42 pm

My Gigabit Ethernet capable RPi2BNAS can handle streaming large movie files to 2 RPi3B and RPi3B+ desktops (running kodi) and a win10pc running Media Player classic, while an rsync command is running on the background, no skips or "buffering" encountered.

my test Rock64-1G NAS can handle that better with an added condition of deluge client running on the background (downloading and seeding), with a memory usage just topping about 275 to 300MBs, so about 700MBs remain idle or unused.

if you're not going to add other memory intensive services to your NAS setup then, as far as my actual setups are concerned, an RPi4B-1G will suffice.

why gigabit ethernet capable RPi2B?
a USB to GbE LAN adapter connected to the RPi2B, giving it 50% boost in LAN transfer speed compared to the native Fast Ethernet of RPi2B

oh well... its the OP's choice and we will respect it....
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Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

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pi-anazazi
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:09 am

...or simply go directly with an Odroid XU4. Gbit ethernet inside and 2x USB3...
Kind regards

anazazi

jahboater
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:20 pm

pi-anazazi wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:09 am
...or simply go directly with an Odroid XU4. Gbit ethernet inside and 2x USB3...
Exactly what the Pi4 has.
And the Pi4 has faster Cortex-A72 CPU's, up to 4GB memory, brilliant support, and doesn't require a noisy fan.

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rpdom
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:52 pm

pi-anazazi wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:09 am
...or simply go directly with an Odroid XU4. Gbit ethernet inside and 2x USB3...
Just looked at the specs for that machine. Noted that the price has been dropped recently.

2GB LPDDR3 RAM as opposed to up to 4GB LPDDR4
2 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 instead of 2 USB3.0 2 USB2.0 and one USB2.0 OTG
Single HDMI 1.4 instead of dual micro HDMI 2.0
Requires 5V @ 4A power!!!
Linux kernel 4.14

LTolledo
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:59 pm

jahboater wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:20 pm
pi-anazazi wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:09 am
...or simply go directly with an Odroid XU4. Gbit ethernet inside and 2x USB3...
Exactly what the Pi4 has.
And the Pi4 has faster Cortex-A72 CPU's, up to 4GB memory, brilliant support, and doesn't require a noisy fan.
....and much cheaper too....dont forget that one!

why do you ask? from where I am, when I acquired the Odroid XU4 more than 14 months ago it was more than twice the price of the RPi4B-4G now
so in my perspective, the cost performance of RPi4B-1G is way better compared to the XU4

ok I just checked the price if I am going to get one today... on amazon, the XU4 cost around $170 + shipping... no way am getting another one!
I'd rather get 3 x RPi4B-4G for that amount!
"Don't come to me with 'issues' for I don't know how to deal with those
Come to me with 'problems' and I'll help you find solutions"

Some people be like:
"Help me! Am drowning! But dont you dare touch me nor come near me!"

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pi-anazazi
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:35 pm

I can buy an XU4 at 70 something €, and no wifi/bluetooth (don't want that on my networks). Specs and price are much better than raspi 2 and USB-GBit ethernet adapter. Kernel 4.14 (debian stretch) should be OK for NAS, or?

If you want something newer go for an N2 (80€ here...). Just a hint. Everbodies free to buy whatever he likes.
Kind regards

anazazi

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rpdom
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:59 pm

pi-anazazi wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:35 pm
I can buy an XU4 at 70 something €, and no wifi/bluetooth (don't want that on my networks). Specs and price are much better than raspi 2 and USB-GBit ethernet adapter. Kernel 4.14 (debian stretch) should be OK for NAS, or?

If you want something newer go for an N2 (80€ here...). Just a hint. Everbodies free to buy whatever he likes.
Or go for a Pi 4B with GBit ethernet and up to date properly supported OS for a lower price?
You can always disable the WiFi and bluetooth if you don't want to use them.

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pi-anazazi
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Re: Advice requested; Pi 4 NAS - 1, 2 or 4Gb of RAM?

Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:26 pm

I don't believe in the concept "software-disabled-hardware". Hardware that is there cannot be controlled. BIOS/TMP-whatever software will have access anyway. But everybody is free to buy hardware of his/her choice... ;-)
Kind regards

anazazi

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