And ended up just running a full blown Linux server. You may want to use FreeNAS but I found it too limiting so I went with Linux.

As to the Xeon CPU, for a NAS that sounds complete overkill. I run mine on a simple low Watt Intel NUC.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XPVRR5M has a simple dual core Celeron and more than enough for NAS or Linux server work.

With the Xeon, I can't imagine the uptick in your electric bill but here it's enough that I take care in what runs 24x7.