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Looking for Mini-Itx mobo for DIY NAS

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haisaikat

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Hi Everyone
I looking for the feasibility to build a DIY NAS module that can readily host USB Drives over my home network (refer my earlier thread titled Synology USB Station 2 http://www.hifivision.com/media-str...ology-usb-station-2-a.html?highlight=synology ). On this I want suggestions on what motherboard should be used with the following constraint
1. Has to be mini-ITX for lesser power consumption and small space
2. Has to have at least 2 SATA 3 (6gbps) ports and is fine even if that is not more than 2.
3. Has to have at least 1 USB 3.0 port (2 ports would be nice to have)
4. Must be a combo pack (Processor + mobo combo) since otherwise the cost goes high up.
5. Video out may be VGA only and not necessarily HDMI / DVI compatible, whatever helps keep the cost low
6. Must have on board Gigabit LAN Port

On this I found out the following motherboard MSI E350IA-E45 Mini-ITX Motherboard, Compare and Buy latest AMD Motherboards Online in India: bitFang.com having all these features and costing around INR 8K . But I want your suggestions if something similar can be achieved at a lower price or is highly recommended at a close range with this.

Thanks in Advance
 

baijuxavior

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The Gigabyte E350N USB3 motherboard has all the above specs that you are looking for. Also, there is one digilite e350 mobo for 4.6K in deltaperipherals. But I doubt whether it has usb 3.0. FYI - I have put my htpc with gigabyte e350 mobo+ 4gb ddr3 ram+cabinet for sale. Should be useful for NAS purpose.
 

haisaikat

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@aashish, your motherboard does not have Gigabit, does not have USB 3 and does not have SATA 3 (6gbps)

@baiju, I have your thread in mind but sam said Gigabyte mobos are incompatible with unraid hence the problem. Otherwise your mobo has more than what I need and is a very good one. Also the digilite one you said seems no info on whether it has USB 3 or SATA 3.
 

manniraj

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@aashish, your motherboard does not have Gigabit, does not have USB 3 and does not have SATA 3 (6gbps)

@baiju, I have your thread in mind but sam said Gigabyte mobos are incompatible with unraid hence the problem. Otherwise your mobo has more than what I need and is a very good one. Also the digilite one you said seems no info on whether it has USB 3 or SATA 3.

Look at this site for specifications. I think there is no usb 3.0 port on this board.
 

Oakley

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Best Value for money Mini-Itx board is from digilite brand. this is a amd zacate 350APU the board is oem from FOXCON.

pretty good value board for 4.5k, can be used for variety of application's

i have a dedicated NAS, HIFI-PC and VIDEO SERVER, based on this board.

Tks:Oak
 

haisaikat

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Best Value for money Mini-Itx board is from digilite brand. this is a amd zacate 350APU the board is oem from FOXCON.

pretty good value board for 4.5k, can be used for variety of application's

i have a dedicated NAS, HIFI-PC and VIDEO SERVER, based on this board.

Tks:Oak

Oak, which mobo are you referring, does it have USB3 and SATA3 with Gigabit LAN?
 

vaibhavyagnik

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Hi Everyone
I looking for the feasibility to build a DIY NAS module that can readily host USB Drives over my home network (refer my earlier thread titled Synology USB Station 2 http://www.hifivision.com/media-str...ology-usb-station-2-a.html?highlight=synology ). On this I want suggestions on what motherboard should be used with the following constraint
1. Has to be mini-ITX for lesser power consumption and small space
2. Has to have at least 2 SATA 3 (6gbps) ports and is fine even if that is not more than 2.
3. Has to have at least 1 USB 3.0 port (2 ports would be nice to have)
4. Must be a combo pack (Processor + mobo combo) since otherwise the cost goes high up.
5. Video out may be VGA only and not necessarily HDMI / DVI compatible, whatever helps keep the cost low
6. Must have on board Gigabit LAN Port

On this I found out the following motherboard MSI E350IA-E45 Mini-ITX Motherboard, Compare and Buy latest AMD Motherboards Online in India: bitFang.com having all these features and costing around INR 8K . But I want your suggestions if something similar can be achieved at a lower price or is highly recommended at a close range with this.

Thanks in Advance

1. Fine
2. 2 SATA ports is fine, but you dont need SATA 3. Let me explain. SATA 3 has theoretical maximum of 6 Gbps. If you have gigabit lan, its theoretical maximum is 1 Gbps. You will be able to transfer data to and from NAS as fast as your slowest link, which in this case is your gigabit LAN. Also none of the mechanical hard disks are able to saturate SATA II, Let alone SATA III. only SSDs can do it currently.
3. You can get a PCIe card for USB 3.0 but then again, a pendrive might be able to achieve 5Gbps but a mechanical hard disk with 3.0 support wont be able to saturate it. Then comes the point of data transfer being as fast as your slowest link, which is 1 Gbps LAN. So IMO, usb 3.0 is not that useful.
4. fine.
5. fine.
6. fine.

Also i would advise you to also have a look at G620 + H61 combo as they can be bought at around 6-7k. Performance will be superior compared to E350, you will be able to find 4 SATA ports, multiple PCIe slots and power consumption will also be very low as the processor will run at its lowest clock most of the time. If you still want lower power consumption, under clock the processor. Though the boards will be micro-ATX, you will get more performance and expandability at lower cost compared to AMD. Not comparing to digilite though, but then again, it has only 2 SATA ports.
 

reignofchaos

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^^No mini itx intel boards available in India. I searched long and hard but couldn't find any. Finally ended up buying one in the US.
 

Oakley

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Hi Oak, this does not have SATA 3.0 (6gbps) or USB 3.0 ports. Nevertheless what price it sellls for in India?

let's talk present scenario, for taking advantage of SATA 3 and USB 3, the entire chain must be the same.

the board sells for 4.5k
 

haisaikat

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1. Fine
2. 2 SATA ports is fine, but you dont need SATA 3. Let me explain. SATA 3 has theoretical maximum of 6 Gbps. If you have gigabit lan, its theoretical maximum is 1 Gbps. You will be able to transfer data to and from NAS as fast as your slowest link, which in this case is your gigabit LAN. Also none of the mechanical hard disks are able to saturate SATA II, Let alone SATA III. only SSDs can do it currently.
3. You can get a PCIe card for USB 3.0 but then again, a pendrive might be able to achieve 5Gbps but a mechanical hard disk with 3.0 support wont be able to saturate it. Then comes the point of data transfer being as fast as your slowest link, which is 1 Gbps LAN. So IMO, usb 3.0 is not that useful.
4. fine.
5. fine.
6. fine.

Also i would advise you to also have a look at G620 + H61 combo as they can be bought at around 6-7k. Performance will be superior compared to E350, you will be able to find 4 SATA ports, multiple PCIe slots and power consumption will also be very low as the processor will run at its lowest clock most of the time. If you still want lower power consumption, under clock the processor. Though the boards will be micro-ATX, you will get more performance and expandability at lower cost compared to AMD. Not comparing to digilite though, but then again, it has only 2 SATA ports.

Hi Vaibhab and Oakley,
The main reason why I want SATA 3 is that I do not have present plans to have inside NAD hosted SATA drives. Rather for now it is going to be a USB hosting and sharing device over network. However I plan to use a SATA 3 4 bay rack as a separate device (sells on newegg and imports in total cost of INR 3.5K) and connect via SATA ports. So one drive can stream over network and will use the same SATA channel and the other drive can be engaged in copying data from USB 3.0 (which will again use the same SATA channel). So why keep things restricted to SATA 2. Btw I do have a SSD already.

I will also look at the combo you suggested.
 

vaibhavyagnik

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Hi Vaibhab and Oakley,
The main reason why I want SATA 3 is that I do not have present plans to have inside NAD hosted SATA drives. Rather for now it is going to be a USB hosting and sharing device over network. However I plan to use a SATA 3 4 bay rack as a separate device (sells on newegg and imports in total cost of INR 3.5K) and connect via SATA ports. So one drive can stream over network and will use the same SATA channel and the other drive can be engaged in copying data from USB 3.0 (which will again use the same SATA channel). So why keep things restricted to SATA 2. Btw I do have a SSD already.

I will also look at the combo you suggested.
Wouldn't eSATA be beneficial in that case? how will you house that rack inside a mini itx cabinet. If you decide to put it beside the cabinet, then wont you have to keep the cabinet open?
Also why go through all this trouble when you can buy a bigger motherboard with more SATA ports and house all the hard disks in the cabinet itself?
 

haisaikat

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Wouldn't eSATA be beneficial in that case? how will you house that rack inside a mini itx cabinet. If you decide to put it beside the cabinet, then wont you have to keep the cabinet open?
Also why go through all this trouble when you can buy a bigger motherboard with more SATA ports and house all the hard disks in the cabinet itself?

I am talking of these racks Newegg.com - SANS DIGITAL HDDRACK5 5-Bay IDE / SATA Hard Drive Organizing Rack





they can be placed on top or even beside cabinets and can be connected via a SATA port to mobo, it will not be difficult to put out a sata cable via cabinet pci holes. eSata, yes I agree would have been more convenient but if that comes at the same cost would be nice to have, otherwise I have no plans to spend more for eSata.

And all these are not hasstles, rather convenience. I already have a DNS323 and I am learning from the pitfalls of closed cabinet NAS. We go DIY because we want flexibility (to install say a new feature of our choice like webdav drives, sharing connected USB drives automatically over network, etc) and upgradability (adding SATA drives as NAS drives in future).
 

vaibhavyagnik

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Is this kind of multiplexing? i mean 5 hard disks communicating on a single SATA cable? you really dont have to pay extra for eSATA, most middle end boards do have them by default. if the board doesn't have one, there are always expansion slots. Every motherboard now has atleast 4 USB ports now so that is not an issue. Bottom line go for the hardware with which you feel comfortable, keeping in mind device drivers of the os you are going to use for the NAS, especially SATA controller and LAN NIC.
 

haisaikat

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vaibhab, thanks for debating all the time. Your one word (multiplexing) in the last post made me look back at the reviews Techware Labs - Reviews - SANS DIGITAL HDDRACK5 and apparently the drive management seems to be server / pc depoendant and not built into this system. Hence I will rule this option out. Good that you made me recheck.
 

vaibhavyagnik

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good that i could be of help. Rule of thumb, go for as simple arrangement as possible, they will always work and if something goes wrong, trouble shooting becomes easy.
 

haisaikat

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