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.
|D-Sub / VGA?||1||1||1||1|
|Serial / COM?||0||0||1||0|
|Parallel / LPT?||1||0||0||0|
|Onboard Audio||Realtek ALC662||Realtek ALC892||Realtek ALC877-VD||Realtek ALC887|
|Onboard LAN||Realtek RTL8111GR Gigabit Ethernet||Realtek RTL8111GR Gigabit Ethernet||Realtek RTL8111GR Gigabit Ethernet||Realtek RTL8111GR Gigabit Ethernet|
|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..
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!