The Latest N100&I3-N305 NAS BOARD

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thepsyborg

New Member
Oct 19, 2023
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With all the love that "traditional" NAS boards have been getting at the hobbyist/homelab level, I'm really hoping Ceph clustering will get some love soon.

Wishlist along the lines of
  • Recent Intel processors preferred for generally-lower idle power usage (and Quicksync, I guess, if somebody really wants to run Plex on a hyperconverged cluster)
  • single 10GbE (copper or SFP+)
    • for ceph internal traffic (possible with only PCIe 4.0x1 as seen here)
    • Maybe even a single 25GbE SFP+ instead; the R86S manages to get ~80% utilization out of two of them without too much tuning, so one should be possible. Pricier, though.
  • single 2.5GbE (intel, not realtek) for LAN connection.
  • single 1GbE or even 100MbE for corosync heartbeat or dedicated management network
  • M.2 NVME
    • ideally with flexible x4/x2x2/x1x1x1x1 bifurcation via breakout board, like we've seen on some of the CWWK minipcs
  • 2+ SATA 3 or a second M.2 NVME slot
  • Would be nice, not needed tho:
    • M.2 E key (wi-fi, Google Coral, adapter to another slower SSD, etc)
    • COM port, or maybe console redirection to one of the USBs
    • ...GPIO could be fun to mess around with. I can't imagine needing it though.
  • Don't need:
    • onboard wifi
    • onboard bluetooth
    • a ton of miscellaneous I/O in general, actually. Three USB 2.0 (kb, mouse, thumbdrive) and a single HDMI or DisplayPort should be enough.
Closest things I've found are the Odroid H3+ (no 10GbE NIC unless you sacrifice the M.2 slot for an adapter), R86S (pricey, extra 2.5GbE NICs and no SATAs, makes you choose between dual SFP+ and dual NVME, no one-of-each option), and maybe ZimaBoard (the PCIe expansion slot opens up a lot of options, but limited on-board networking, obsolescent processor, and not nearly enough RAM)

The R86S dual NVME option with an M.2-to-SATA adapter in one and an M.2-to-10GbE in the other is probably as close to the ideal solution as currently exists, but I can't find an AliExpress listing for just the NVME version of the current (N100/N305) series, so you'd be paying for a whole heap of 10GbE SFP+ NICs you'd never use, and dealing with designing and 3d-printing your own cases to boot.
 
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ipc.net

New Member
Dec 10, 2023
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Shenzhen,Guangdong,China
ipc.net
With all the love that "traditional" NAS boards have been getting at the hobbyist/homelab level, I'm really hoping Ceph clustering will get some love soon.

Wishlist along the lines of
  • Recent Intel processors preferred for generally-lower idle power usage (and Quicksync, I guess, if somebody really wants to run Plex on a hyperconverged cluster)
  • single 10GbE (copper or SFP+)
    • for ceph internal traffic (possible with only PCIe 4.0x1 as seen here)
    • Maybe even a single 25GbE SFP+ instead; the R86S manages to get ~80% utilization out of two of them without too much tuning, so one should be possible. Pricier, though.
  • single 2.5GbE (intel, not realtek) for LAN connection.
  • single 1GbE or even 100MbE for corosync heartbeat or dedicated management network
  • M.2 NVME
    • ideally with flexible x4/x2x2/x1x1x1x1 bifurcation via breakout board, like we've seen on some of the CWWK minipcs
  • 2+ SATA 3 or a second M.2 NVME slot
  • Would be nice, not needed tho:
    • M.2 E key (wi-fi, Google Coral, adapter to another slower SSD, etc)
    • COM port, or maybe console redirection to one of the USBs
    • ...GPIO could be fun to mess around with. I can't imagine needing it though.
  • Don't need:
    • onboard wifi
    • onboard bluetooth
    • a ton of miscellaneous I/O in general, actually. Three USB 2.0 (kb, mouse, thumbdrive) and a single HDMI or DisplayPort should be enough.
Closest things I've found are the Odroid H3+ (no 10GbE NIC unless you sacrifice the M.2 slot for an adapter), R86S (pricey, extra 2.5GbE NICs and no SATAs, makes you choose between dual SFP+ and dual NVME, no one-of-each option), and maybe ZimaBoard (the PCIe expansion slot opens up a lot of options, but limited on-board networking, obsolescent processor, and not nearly enough RAM)

The R86S dual NVME option with an M.2-to-SATA adapter in one and an M.2-to-10GbE in the other is probably as close to the ideal solution as currently exists, but I can't find an AliExpress listing for just the NVME version of the current (N100/N305) series, so you'd be paying for a whole heap of 10GbE SFP+ NICs you'd never use, and dealing with designing and 3d-printing your own cases to boot.
We are accelerating the research and development of products similar to those you mentioned
 
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Jorge Perez

Active Member
Dec 8, 2019
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Is it possible to add a secondary intel chipset in later products, or are those specific to certain CPUs.
 

RolloZ170

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2016
5,285
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Is it possible to add a secondary intel chipset in later products, or are those specific to certain CPUs.
some can, some not. imho they can, but iME does not want in most cases.

X79 LGA2011 china boards use x79(rare), c602(J) (usual for Xeons)
but also H67, B75
X99 LGA2011-3 china boards use x99(rare), c612 (usual for Xeons)
but H81, B85
 

heromode

Active Member
May 25, 2020
380
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some can, some not. imho they can, but iME does not want in most cases.

X79 LGA2011 china boards use x79(rare), c602(J) (usual for Xeons)
but also H67, B75
X99 LGA2011-3 china boards use x99(rare), c612 (usual for Xeons)
but H81, B85
Completely off-topic, but i have to ask @RolloZ170 , how come you have such incredible knowledge about cpu's, chipsets and motherboards? I often find myself shaking my head at the immense knowledge you provide.. Could you share any info on your background? Sorry if this is a inappropriate question.. Either way, it's a pleasure to learn from you.
 

RolloZ170

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2016
5,285
1,601
113
Completely off-topic, but i have to ask @RolloZ170 , how come you have such incredible knowledge about cpu's, chipsets and motherboards? I often find myself shaking my head at the immense knowledge you provide.. Could you share any info on your background? Sorry if this is a inappropriate question.. Either way, it's a pleasure to learn from you.
hobby and time will tell. with 14 years i purchased the apple pcb(6502) from usa, bought the chips in chunks, wooden case, display was a tube TV.
 

casperghst42

Member
Sep 14, 2015
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I would not call them NAS boards, they are more desktop MBs with 4 network interfaces. I'd like to see the Audio, DP and HDMI go, and then get IPMI, then it would be intersting. I know that the N series does not support ECC, but no matter what people say I do like to have ECC in my nas/server.

Maybe in the furture.
 

T!ger

New Member
Dec 14, 2023
3
0
1
If this does not meet your needs, please wait for our more powerful product next year
any specs to spoiler?
will there also be a version with a single 2.5 network interface but more pice lanes and reduced price?
 

janek202

New Member
Feb 4, 2023
21
17
3
I would not call them NAS boards, they are more desktop MBs with 4 network interfaces. I'd like to see the Audio, DP and HDMI go, and then get IPMI, then it would be intersting. I know that the N series does not support ECC, but no matter what people say I do like to have ECC in my nas/server.

Maybe in the furture.

Something like that, in a standard form factor and with more SATA ports would be perfect for me:

Ryzen Embedded has built-in support for 2x 10G Ethernet, and even ECC:

More SATA could be added with Asmedia ASM1166, which supports ASPM, so shouldn't add a lot of power consumption.
Transcoding on AMD could be more challenging, though.
 
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artorias

New Member
May 8, 2022
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Similar to the Jasper Lake Motherboard, these Alder Lake N boards also use the JMB585 for additional SATA connectivity. The Topton NAS MB thread shows that you can enable Staggered Spin Up in the UEFI for each individual disk.

Does this board also integrate the settings (Staggered Spin Up among other) of the JMB585 into the UEFI HII?

Regarding ASPM:
The usefulness of ASPM for a NAS in combination with drive spin down is debateable for some but can be useful for people that want absolute minimal power consumption.

The JMB585 datasheet says:
Supports PCIe link layer power saving mode
That sounds like ASPM to me. There has been much discussion about JMB585 ASPM support but no one ever confirmed it through a proper datasheet or flash/controller register map whether it is supported or not. Has anyone tested to which C-States you can go down with with this board?

The JMB585 SSU UEFI HII integration could be a hint that someone finally paid attention to use the proper flash image / option rom for this controller. This might also mean that proper ASPM support can be found on this board. Something that no known extension card with this controller has shown before.

If that's the case, could anyone here with a MB like this dump the flash chip that's attached to the JMB585 with one of those CH341A programmers? (most likely the one between controller heatsink and battery, U34 I think it says) Make sure to select the correct voltage. Would be interesting to find out if flashing this image to one of these extensions cards enables ASPM and SSU on them as well.