Smallest motherboard with 5x SATA for a 5* 2.5" NAS build

hmw

Active Member
Apr 29, 2019
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What is the smallest motherboard with 5x SATA headers and a PCIe slot? I'm looking for a processor/motherboard combo for a compact NAS build - I now have 5 x 2.5", 8TB SSDs for a compact NAS with either Windows Server/DrivePool or Linux/Btrfs

I looked at the Helios64 project (Kobol - Helios64 Open Source NAS) - it is VERY enticing for $295, specifically since it has a 2.5GbE lan, keeping in mind that a single SATA SSD can do 500 MB/s. But the case is 3.5" HDDs and I want something more compact. Of course, one option would be to wait till the boards are available stand alone and then use a IcyDock 4x2.5" cage. Or 3D print a 5x2.5" cage. The other option is to use a NUC motherboard with 2 NVMe slots and use something like this: Amazon.com: M Key Extension M.2 NGFF Key M to PCIe 3.0 4X Extension Cable m.2 Key m to pci-e 4X (90°Right Angle PCI-E Slot): Industrial & Scientific

I know Synology has DS419slim and DS620slim - honestly, I would rather keep away from QNAP, Synology and other off-the-shelf NASes :)
 

Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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Watching this thread to see if anything has changed, I looked a while ago before the Helios64 was around, it’s anyway a nano ITX solution but seems like nobody else has recently been doing any nano ITX boards of intel type.

Anyway I can to the conclusion there was almost nothing that works. NUC is easy for 2 drives and cases available as well but 4/5 disks not possible.

Plenty of Mini-ITX boards that would be great but even then there is very little in the way of small suitable cases.

One option I although thought about would be a NUC with a small external disk system like this.

I would have used x10sdv with d-1541 as a base (6 sata and PCIe) but can’t find any good case for that.

https://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?area=en&pid=668 To me is a broken product, and I am happy to use external power.

Supermicro E301 can have 6 x 2.5” disks but hard to keep quiet I think with a d-1541 passive board.
 

tozmo

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Feb 1, 2017
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I use this:


Using NVMe takes away one of the sata ports. I originally had a pcie -> NVMe converter, but replaced it with a Mellanox card.
 

Evan

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2016
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I use this:


Using NVMe takes away one of the sata ports. I originally had a pcie -> NVMe converter, but replaced it with a Mellanox card.
But that’s just Mini-ITX, no shortage at all of mini-ITX boards, there is a shortage of suitable small high quality cases to use the boards in.
 
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hmw

Active Member
Apr 29, 2019
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I use this:


Using NVMe takes away one of the sata ports. I originally had a pcie -> NVMe converter, but replaced it with a Mellanox card.

As @Evan points out - that is just Mini-ITX and there's no shortage of those. For example the AsRock Rack C3558D4I has 5 SATA ports AND it's got a BMC port AND 4 x 1GbE LAN ports for ~ $350. Or then there's any number of EPYC embedded motherboards, e.g. AsRock Rack EPYC3101D4I - which is 4 core, 2 x 10GbE LAN and 6 SATA ports - of which some need a OCuLink cable to access, still a not so unreasonable $550.

But I am looking for something really compact, think of a NUC with something like this attached to the M.2 slot: Syba 5 port Non-RAID SATA III 6Gbp/s to M.2 B+M Key Adapter PCI-e 3.0 x2 Bandwith - Newegg.com - 5 SATA ports. Now that on a NUC with the OS running off the built in SATA - and the M.2 powering 5 SATA ports, that is going to be a lot smaller than Mini-ITX ...