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fonix232

N54L - Motherboard upgrade?

New N54 config?  

  1. 1. Motherboard

    • AAEON EMB-QM87A
      0
    • IBASE MI980
      0
    • MSI Z87I
      0
    • Asus Z87I-Deluxe
      0
  2. 2. 2.5" SATA cage

    • iStarUSA BPU-124-SS
      0
    • ICY DOCK ToughArmor MB994SP-4S
      0
    • ICY DOCK ToughArmor MB996SP-6SB
      0
    • Thermaltake Max-1562
      0
  3. 3. CPU

    • Built-in
      0
    • Intel i7-4770S
      0
    • Intel i5-4670S
      0
    • Intel i5-4670R
      0
    • Intel i5-4570T
      0
    • Intel i3-4330T
      0


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fonix232

I've been planning on upgrading my HP N54L a bit, as I'm starting to outgrow the AMD Turion CPU. I've been looking at some mITX boards, but I am curious about the opinion of other owners who might have done some hardware modding.

 

My plan is to get a Haswell i7 based board, with 16GB of RAM. As I have quite a few hard drives (4 in the bay, and soon 4 extra SSD in the ODD bay, or maybe even 6, still trying to decide), I'd need a motherboard with at least 6 SATA ports (and 4 of them should be SATA3), preferably dual network stack, and if possible, at least one mPCIe socket for mSATA (two would be better, one extra for a WiFi module).

 

I've added a poll with the current options I'm considering. Please, drop an answer about the best config you can find, let it be in the poll (and then explain why you think so, e.g. no much need of hardware modding, etc.) or your own config that you'd do. I really want to keep the case and power supply, as it is a great little device and very well built. 

 

Also I'm looking for a motherboard that has the same miniSAS connector AND some SATA3 on board. Should fit the specs from on top!

 

Hardware:

 

Motherboard

AAEON EMB-QM87A

IBASE MI980

MSI Z87I

Asus Z87I-Deluxe

 

Hard Drive cage

iStarUSA BPU-124-SS

ICY DOCK ToughArmor MB994SP-4S

ICY DOCK ToughArmor MB996SP-6SB

Thermaltake Max-1562 

 

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godol

N54L like all G7 microservers have dedicated motherboard. How are you going to fit mini itx board to Microserver case?

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fonix232

N54L like all G7 microservers have dedicated motherboard. How are you going to fit mini itx board to Microserver case?

 

Pretty simple. The N54L's motherboard, while is indeed dedicated, approximately corresponds to mITX standard (bit longer so that it reaches from the back to the front panel). Even the holes on the motherboard tray are mITX distanced, meaning an mITX board can easily fit there.

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godol

OK but I guess you need to make a lot of tweaking with dremel to cut holes for other ports like USB, HDMI and network connectors. Will you be able to make use of sliding rails with mITX mobo? It could be interesting project...

Edited by godol

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jmwills

If your time is worth anything, it would be cheaper to build.

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fonix232

OK but I guess you need to make a lot of tweaking with dremel to cut holes for other ports like USB, HDMI and network connectors. Will you be able to make use of sliding rails with mITX mobo? It could be interesting project...

 

Yes indeed, that's why I'm asking if someone did it already. Gen8 would be easier, as it has a separate backplate,but, well, this one does not.

 

If your time is worth anything, it would be cheaper to build.

 

Might be, but I'm yet to see a cheap case that is small, has a PSU built in, and has space for 4 3.5" and 6 2.5" drives. Besides I'm replacing most of the stuff inside (PSU, mobo, even the power button will need to be modded alongside the health LED), so... 

Also I like fiddling with it!

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jmwills

Someone posted a case like what you are looking for a few weeks ago as this same subject came up.

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ikon

OK but I guess you need to make a lot of tweaking with dremel to cut holes for other ports like USB, HDMI and network connectors. Will you be able to make use of sliding rails with mITX mobo? It could be interesting project...

 

I'm not sure this is true. If the new mobo comes with an adapter plate (as almost all boxed mobos do) then he might only have to cut out a simple rectangular opening so can install the adapter plate into it.

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fonix232

I'm not sure this is true. If the new mobo comes with an adapter plate (as almost all boxed mobos do) then he might only have to cut out a simple rectangular opening so can install the adapter plate into it.

 

Exactly. Cutting a backplate-sized and shaped hole isn't that hard, though I don't exactly have the tools for it right now.

 

I'm more concerned about the drive cage and fitting the mSAS connector on the board (splitter maybe?).

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schoondoggy

That type of cutting creates a lot of metal dust. 

 

I was thinking about this from a different angle, what is someone made a motherboard that was physically identical to the Microserver, but had new features? No cutting required.

Socketed CPU

32GB memory

Four SATA III ports on a SFF-8087 port on the board

USB3 

x16 PCIe slot

x4 PCIe slot

 

Use KickStarter to fund. How much would people pay for a new board?

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