Mini-ITX AMD AM1 Motherboards

I started researching available Mini-ITX AMD AM1 motherboards for my upcoming SFF NAS build. Admittedly, this work was all done in the hopes that the AMD AM1 “Kabini” platform would make for an ideal low-power, 24/7 home NAS. A visit to the FreeNAS forums and some investigation into the hardware recommended for use with FreeNAS has changed my mind, but I leave this table of Mini-ITX AMD AM1 motherboards here for anyone looking for it.

They all use DDR3 and all have two slots for RAM, as is expected with motherboards of this form factor.

Manufacturer ASRock ASRock ASUS MSI
Model AM1B-ITX AM1H-ITX AM1I-A MSI AM1I
Max RAM 32GB 32GB 32GB 32GB
HDMI? 1 1 1 1
DisplayPort? 0 1 0 0
DVI? 1 1 1 1
D-Sub / VGA? 1 1 1 1
Serial / COM? 0 0 1 0
Parallel / LPT? 1 0 0 0
SATA 6Gb/s 4 4 2 2
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC662 Realtek ALC892 Realtek ALC877-VD Realtek ALC887
Audio Channels 5.1 7.1 7.1 7.1
Onboard LAN Realtek RTL8111GR Gigabit Ethernet Realtek RTL8111GR Gigabit Ethernet Realtek RTL8111GR Gigabit Ethernet Realtek RTL8111GR Gigabit Ethernet
PS/2? 1 1 2 2
USB 3.0 2 2 2 2
USB 2.0 4 2 4 2
S/PDIF Out 0 1x Optical 0 0
Expansion 1x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot @ 4x mode 1x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot @ 4x mode 1x PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot 1x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot @ 4x mode
Mini Card Slots 0 1x Mini PCIe 0 1x Mini PCIe
Notes Motherboard has header for additional USB 3.0 ports, additional USB 2.0 ports Supports either ATX or DC-In power supplies, motherboard has header for additional USB 3.0 ports, additional USB 2.0 ports Motherboard has headers for additional USB 2.0 ports

I was thinking it would be very nice to have the ASRock AM1H-ITX equipped with an AMD 5350. This, I reasoned, could get me a livable number of SATA ports, with some room for a PCIe SATA controller. Budget for the build, including case, would have come in at around $500.

While such a machine would serve well in a HTPC environment, it would not be ideal for FreeNAS. ZFS calls for a minimum of 8GB RAM, and prefers ECC RAM to non ECC. It is reported that the AMD AM1 platform should support ECC memory, though none of the Mini-ITX boards mentioned above have explicitly stated that they support this technology. Couple that with the fact that AMD AM1 “Kabini” APUs only allow for single channel memory, and I’m not immediately sold on this platform. However, that hasn’t stopped at least one person from building it..

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/am1-athlon-5350-freenas-file-server.201676/

He even uses the Silverstone DS380 Mini-ITX NAS case that I had been following, reporting that its stock fans are noisy. Maybe not for me!