Squid pt. 1 [Squid Guts]

Premise

Squid was conceived as a catch-all NAS, firewall, HTPC, couch gaming, and general everything computer build. My reasoning being that seeing as I have a rather capable workstation/primary gaming PC sitting on my desk, why not make another hybrid that will do all the secondary and tertiary things I want to do with a computer? My requirements were fairly straightforward: IO connections, network connections, low power for extended use, and room for expansion. So with that in mind, Squid started to come into being.

Parts

• Intel i5 2450M
Jetway N9FG-QM77
Jetway ADE4INLANG 4 Port Intel Gigabit LAN Daughterboard
Crucial Ballistix Sport (2x4GB)
Intel Wireless-AC 7260
Crucial MX200 mSATA SSD
Fractal Design Node 605

CPU

To be honest I chose this simply because I already had it. I stripped out a laptop that was held together, quite literally, with hot glue and hope. Dual core, four thread at 2.50 GHz and a boost to 3.10 GHz on 35 watts isn’t too shabby in my opinion. Synthetic benchmarks place it near some Phenom II X4s and a little behind some first gen i5s. Respectable.

Motherboard/Daughterboard

This is the fun one. I know some people poke fun at Jetway for being anything but enthusiast, but damn does this motherboard have quite the feature list. Inside it has 6 SATA ports, PCIe 3.0 x16, mini PCIe, mini PCIe/mSATA, USB 3.0 header, 2x USB 2.0 header, 3 serial headers, and some fan connectors. Outside it has 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, HDMI, RS232, VGA, audio, Displayport, and 2x Gigabit LAN. Did I mention it has quite a bit of I/O?

The daughterboard adds even more excitement. The one I’m using has four, that’s right, four, Intel gigabit NICs on it. To quote Wendell, that’s crazy. There are also daughterboards available with Realtek NICs, serial outs, and even one with a GT 610M on it. And the daughterboards don’t even cover up the PCIe slot!


The bits

Case

I’ll leave it up to professional reviewers to make their way through all the marketing mumbo-jumbo, but I will say if you are looking for and HTPC, this may be a case to strongly consider. I have my gripes about certain aspects, but it can fit a lot of stuff in it. It can fit up to a full size ATX motherboard, four hard 3.5” hard drives, 3x 120mm fans, some triple fan GPUs, and a decently beefy power supply. Thermals may will be an issue with something like an FX 9590 with Crossfired 6990s or something stupid like that, but a reasonable TDP build will be fine.


echo-y

Build

To be honest, I feel like once one has done two or three builds pretty much any standard build becomes fairly straightforward. I’m not exaggerating here, but the hardest part about putting this together was getting the IO shield into place. I have had issues with IO shields and this case before, namely having to physically beat one out with a hammer, but this one took me like 5 minutes of swearing and scrapped knuckles to get in. The cutout in the case is every slightly too small or something.


This friggin' PITA

Anyways, yeah. Pop things in and work is done. Except for one small problem. There’s no place to install the antennas! So a little love with a power drill and a step bit and it was right as rain.


zip zip

like a glove

Also, I'm slightly ashamed to be using this power supply, but it's all I got at the mo'.


:(

Phase 1 Complete!

Pt. 2 [Squid Neurons] coming soon!™

8 Likes

Still better fire rating than galaxy nope 7.

But that tiny computer in that case? Just put it in a shoe box.

1 Like

I'm (hopefully) going to be adding hard drives and more in the future, so it's empty on purpose for now.

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looks good m8, quite interesting, will keep an eye on this.

1 Like

Really interesting. I would've never thought of a motherboard that can hold a mobile CPU. I'm keeping an eye on your project! Looks promising indeed.

FSP power supplies are fine.
I run a 1200watt in main rig and a 500watt in nas. So I dont think there is a fire risk that is greater than other companies.

If it'll be a couch gaming pc, will you put a GPU in? Curious, if you're planning on a graphics card, which do you think you'll go with?

I have a basic idea for Squid:

  1. Basic setup
  2. Software (OS(s), programs, and benchmarking)
  3. Expansion (hard drive(s), graphics, maybe some special sauce)
    3b. Tweaking where necessary
  4. Learning

Part 4 will probably be the fun one because it'll most likely involve VMs, emulations, and generally a bunch of stuff I haven't touched in a few years.

I thought the point of those Jetway motherboards was to put them in very small cases.

Might as well use something like a Dell T20 at the price point you are at. And instead of a wireless card, use Ubuquiti Unifi access point(s). Maybe go 10GbE and get a used 10GbE switch.