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Mini ECC NAS: smallest possible build?

I’m looking to build a small, preferably zero moving parts (ie passively cooled) NAS with 2x8TB Samsung 870 QVOs and ECC memory.

I was hoping the Deskmini would work, but it lacks traces for ECC memory which is a requirement for me.

Is an Asrock A520I the next best option? Any particular case recommendations (ideally just a big heat sink, no fans or big grills or mesh, as I’ll be going completely fanless.

Any other ideas? Happy to spend a good amount of money for the smallest possible ecc form factor; silence is a bonus.

If it’s still on the market the Streacom DB4 is the case you’re looking for. It has everthing you need + works as a passive heatsink for your CPU.
You just need to find a board that supports ECC and you’re set.

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If you managed to find one to buy then i would additionally consider those 2 passive options:

  • SuperServer E302-9A (or E302-9D for 4x10G connectivity)
  • Akasa A-ITX17-M1B + compatible A1SAi-2550F / A1SAi-2750F / A1SRi-2558F / A1SRi-2758F board
    (Other Akasa Euler/Gallileo/Tesla cases are more available but don’t explicitly list server board support)

Edit: check out those search results:

PC-Gehäuse mit 2.5" intern max.: ab 2x, Besonderheiten: passiv (lüfterlos) Preisvergleich geizhals.eu EU

Edit2:
About the fanless akasa cases: their “Maxwell Pro” is obtainable and has a very flexible mounting options (including up to 65W AM4).
But be wary - sever boards can have dimm slots going perpendicular to the IO panel which may interfere with heatpipes in this case. (or low profile dimm could work?)

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I’m assuming you want to do DIY and have 10G networking, as this lets you take full advantage of the speed of the SSDs, but there are some pretty decent options from Synology if you just need a NAS. Mostly, just what is your reasoning for going for the 2x high capacity SATA SSDs?

For motherboards, you’d want to go with either a Mini-ITX or Mini-STX server board. First that comes to mind is if you just need a NAS, then the SuperMicro X10SDV, X11SDV, or X12SDV TLN4F sku boards as they are Mini-ITX, have Intel 10G NICs, full size ECC RDIMM support, and Out of Band Management. If you need better CPU horsepower, then the AsRock Rack X570D4I-2T would be my pick, as this also has intel 10G NICs and Out of Band Management, along with 2x Occulink connectors for either 1x U.2 NVMe SSD or 4x SATA drives from each connector at their full bandwidth. Only caveat is that the power input is 12V only (it comes with a 20-pin adapter, so its all good), the mounting holes are LGA1155, and you’ll want just a bit of airflow going over the intel heatsink to keep it from blowing up your logs with temp alerts

Velka 3, K39, or J-Hack Pure X are some decent options for a SFF case. I’ve built in the K39 and Pure X and both are pretty great options. I like these as they use Flex ATX PSUs, so don’t need to deal with having a bulky power brick. Highly recommend if you go this route though to do a fanswap of the Flex PSUs fan with a Noctua A4x10

Here’s some shots of a K39 build. 2nd picture you can easily place the 2.5" SSDs below the GPU along the bottom left of the case:



And here’s some of the J-Hack Pure X. For this one, I’d probably use double-sided tape to stick the SSDs to the side walls on the power-button side of the case. For reference, the fans on the sidewalls were not necessary, I moreso wanted to test if I could and didn’t stop to think if I should XD:

Actually now that I checked Streacom fanless offerings I would say they are probably superior to Akasa’s due to PCI expansion slots:

  • Streacom FC9 Alpha (3 half-slots)
  • Streacom FC10 (2 full-slots)
  • Streacom DB4 that @MetalizeYourBrain mentioned (2 full-slots)
  • Streacom FC5 (1 full-slot)
  • Streacom FC8 (1 half-slot)

With them you could go buy a cheaper board without 10g networking and add a card if/when necessary.

I would still say that SuperServer E302-9D would be the most “bombastic” fanless solution

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Due to work, I have to move my NAS around every few months. (Keeping it somewhere and then connecting over the internet isn’t really a suitable option for me). I know HDDs are a lot more sensitive to physical movement and any bumps and scratches; while I hope SSDs are better. So this explains both my portability/SFF and flash memory requirements.

The SATA SSDs I plan to use don’t go above 1gbit, so standard 1gbit ethernet is OK.

I’m currently thinking of getting the Streacom F1C Evo, which is more or less the smallest ITX case I can find, and supports 3x2.5" drives. To make it silent, I plan to be getting a Noctua L9a but not attaching the fan, so just a little heatsink. I’ll be using a Ryzen 3100, with lowered TDP settings.

After all, this will just be an little Ubuntu server install with the stock ZFS and some network shares, so CPU usage should be minimal.

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Not sure just how much do you plan to lower the TDP setting or how low it even goes but this noctua is not designed to be passive. Passive coolers have widely spaced fins for a reason.
This is doubly true for F1C Evo which has a solid top.

if no-fans is a not an absolute must-have-zero-noise-kind-of-issue but you are just concerned about a fan failing then I would say that it isn’t really a problem - they can take a beating, work for years and are easily replaceable (especially from noctua)

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It’s not worried about fans failing, but rather wanting no dust from the airflow so I don’t need to clean the interiors of the case.

Would you have any other passive recommendations with the F1C EVO?

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Not really, With zero airflow and blocked convection I wouldn’t trust it with anything above 15W.

The closest setup with assumption minimal volume, passively cooled Ryzen 3100 +2x 2.5 SATA + ECC that I could comfortably point to would be Streacom FC8 Alpha (6 liters) with a A520/B550 Itx board. (server boards are nice but have DIMM placement that would interfere with case heatpipes)

Those 2 are smaller but there is no stated AM4 support and ECC will be problematic due to limited board selection:

You would have to go through the official board list to search for ECC support and then if none have it go through boards with the same socket type/placement…

F1C Evo is 3 liters

You should probably wait for someone else to make other recommendations or you can ask on dedicated SFF community forum

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Without the requirement of ECC you could just get an ODROID-H2+ or a Raspberry Pi and build your NAS from that. That’d be smaller, easier, and cheaper than trying to cram desktop hardware into a tiny form factor.

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I think it’s not really realistic but I will mention it anyway:
Akasa Euler T should be compatible with Asrock Industrial thin-ITX boards. IMB-1222-WV has ECC explicitly supported and seems to have the same socket placement as other supported boards for this case.

Pair it up with a compatible 35W cpu: Xeon W-1290T / i3-10100T / i3-10300T
and I think it would check all the boxes at 3.6 liters.

But finding that board to buy could be hard

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@coingaroo Did you decide on anything? I would be nice to hear what you finally settled on.

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