Review: FreeNAS with iSCSI for Steam Games Library

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The FreeNAS Mini-e used for the demo

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22 thoughts on “Review: FreeNAS with iSCSI for Steam Games Library”

  1. Sync disabled is fine for steam libaries, if you have a crash/power-loss during transfer of a steam game (update, download whatever), steam is perfectly capably of repairing said game.

    Steam is actually a great usecase to explain usecases that not require SYNC writes at all.

  2. Another alternative to speed up the most used content could be using a tool like primocache to designate a section of the existing SSD for caching blocks of the iscsi volume so that the most called for data can be read super quick from the nvme ssd.

  3. imho hard drives haven't given a pleasent user experience when it's come to game load times in some time now. I usually do hot/cold storage whereby I keep the games i'm actively playing on a dedicated 1tb sata ssd (which is good for about 500mb/s), and the games that i don't play too often either backed up on my freenas box, or more likely on my cold storage / backup hard drive (a 7200rpm 4tb wd red drive that gets backed up regularly to my freenas box). I've actually thought about the roadmap for my primary workstation / gaming machine and I may end up removing all the hard drives in it altogether (I've got 4 of those 4tb drives for doing things like media editing, games, photography, etc.), moving the balance of that material to my freenas box (8x10tb drives in raidz2 on an old i7-2600k machine that has jails for plex, transmission, and a few other things) and when i switch boards, picking up something capable of at least 3x m.2 slots and fitting 3x 2tb nvme drives in raid0 (that will be appropriately backed up to my freenas setup so if something goes wrong i won't have lost but maybe a day's worth of work), and in theory I should bet something like 3.something gb/s if the stars align and the pcie lane gods smile upon me. (thinking whatever the highest-end non-threadripper ryzen part is next year).

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