October 10th, 2010

Dreaming of a perfect Mini-ITX-motherboard

Posted by Dunedan in Computer, Hardware

Since a while I’m searching for a Mini-ITX-motherboard for a small homeserver. This homeserver should contain six devices (1x SSD, 4x HDD, 1x optical) and should have enough power to provide decent performance with the four HDDs configured as software-RAID with encryption. An Atom-processor doesn’t fulfil this requirement, because it is simply too slow. My choice would be one of the 45W-Quadcore-Athlons from AMD (like the AMD Athlon II X4 615e), because these CPUs are powerful, but efficient. But these processors are only available for socket AM3.
If we sum up the requirements I’ll need a Mini-ITX-motherboard with socket AM3 and 6 SATA ports. But no manufacturer seems to have a motherboard with such a configuration. There exists a motherboard from Gigabyte with 6 SATA-ports, but this motherboard only provides a AM2+-socket and doesn’t support AM3 CPUs (there is also no BIOS-update planned to add this functionality). The few motherboards which exists with AM3 socket provide at best 4 SATA-ports and one IDE-port. I wonder why manufacturer nowadays still add an IDE-port instead of two additional SATA-ports.

My preferred (not yet existing) Mini-ITX-motherboard would look like:


AMD 880G + SB850
(Radeon HD 4250 IGP)

internal connectors:
1x socket AM3 supporting CPUs up to 65W TDP
2x DDR3-1600/1333/1066 SO-DIMM up to 16GB
1x PCIe x16 (x16 Bandwidth)
1x mini-PCIe
6x USB 2.0
1x internal Displayport
1x CPU Fan
2x system fan
1x 24-pin ATX power connector
2x serial connectors
1x front panel connector

1x Displayport
6x audio jacks
1x S/PDIF Out
6x USB 2.0
2x RJ45 Gigabit-Ethernet
3x SMA connectors for WLAN/Bluetooth/... antennas

I don’t see any reason why such a motherboard shouldn’t be possible from technical point of view.
Does somebody know why the motherboard-manufacturers don’t sell motherboards with this features or is there already I motherboard which does fulfil my requirements (AM3-socket + 6 SATA-ports)?