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Small Form Factor Thin ITX or NUC m/b with port multiplier?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Fingers66, 21 May 2019.

  1. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    I am investigating a project where I will need to install a small m/b into a "non-standard" enclosure and I will need 5 SATA ports (or 4 SATA and 1 M.2).

    Doing my homework around various choices of boards, looking at the space available I will either need a thin ITX m/b or potentially I can use something like an Intel NUC m/b if I can get 4 SATA ports working with it.

    In loads of searching I have not come across anyone who has successfully got a port multiplier working with either an NUC or a consumer thin ITX m/b.

    Has anyone here ever tried this with an NUC or thin ITX m/b with any success?

    My preference for this project would be an NUC m/b with a port multipler (like this?) which would make the project much simpler in terms of installation.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Goatee

    Goatee Multimodder

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    Are you after 4 ports total on the board or are you trying to achieve 20 ports?
     
  3. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    You might not get it from an NUC but some the asrock/supermicro itx boards have >=4 sata ports on them, they tend to be the ones with soldered on cpus though so a lot dpends on what the whole shebang is for...

    EDIT:

    If speed isn't important, could you not jury rig something up involving USB->SATA adaptors and the on-board USB headers?
     
  4. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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  5. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Thanks for the responses.

    To clarify, I want to build a NAS in a non-standard enclosure and am limited for space, even a thin ITX m/b is going to be tight height-wise. I don't need too much grunt, a Celeron or Pentium is more than enough - it will need to run Plex though.

    I need 4 SATA ports (for the NAS HDD's) and a boot drive, either M.2 or I could get away with USB. I don't need RAID on the SATA controller, all that will be software controlled.

    I'll have a look at the Asrock and Supermicro boards now.
     
  6. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Multimodder

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    Agreed look at asrock/supermicro itx boards. I have a ASRock C2550D4I with 8 SATA ports, and love it and would recommend it except that it is aging and more importantly, the processor is a ticking time bomb (due to Intel's Atom 2000 SoC flaw). Running FreeNAS and host's my PLEX server.
     
  7. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Just to give you an idea of the height restriction I am working with, if I mount a new m/b where the existing m/b is (more or less thin ITX size) I have roughly 28mm height clearance above the motherboard - that's the CPU h/s & cooler clearance.

    If I use an NUC sized m/b, I have another location that allows around 55mm height clearance.
     
  8. nimbu

    nimbu Modder

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    Do you need a lot of cpu horse power? And is thin itx a non negotiable?

    If not I may have a and e350 itx board kicking around. Has 4 sata ports.
     
  9. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    If it's enough to run OpenMediaVault and maybe the Plex addon, then thats enough. Whats the height of the e350 h/s & cooler?
     
  10. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Would this fit?
     
  11. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    That integrated h/s looks higher than 28mm from the motherboard surface, hard to tell though in those pictures (or on Asrock's site).
     
  12. nimbu

    nimbu Modder

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  13. nimbu

    nimbu Modder

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  14. Goatee

    Goatee Multimodder

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    Gigabyte have thin itx boards with 4 sata and m2.

    I think you after a Q series.

    Asus Q170T should do it.
     
    Last edited: 21 May 2019
  15. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    i looks like the sink is taller than the rear i/o panel... but you're a resourceful gentleman, i'm sure you could shave it down if you had to

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Cheers, if I want to use an ITX board, I am limited to 28mm of clearance above the m/b suface.

    For that reason I also can't add a PCI-E SATa controller, its a non-standard enclosure (hint: its this thing I have had for 13 years).
     
  17. Goatee

    Goatee Multimodder

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    That looks like a full size IO.
     
  18. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    I need to sleep now but I'll get some internal photos done tomorrow showing the restriction.
     
    Goatee likes this.
  19. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    The Jetway JNF9W-2930 has a pretty garbage CPU, but it is a thin-ITX board with 4 SATA ports. The Jetway JNF795T2-Q170 or ASRockRack MT-C224 might also work, but are socketed so would need you to supply your own think heatsink solution (with such a tiny Z-height available, that probably requires heatpipes to a heatsink elsewhere)
     
  20. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Funnily enough I thing the Jetway JNF9W-2930 may actually be the best bet. I was looking at this last night and found that I can get one for £60 new and boot from a USB header. Other options such as the other boards you mentioned are just stupid money. The Celeron N2930 should be more than enough for a NAS, it doesn't need to transcode.
     

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