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 Post subject: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:34 am 
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My ideal sandy bridge board would have 8 SATA ports and low power idle. The most SATA ports I've seen, checking the Intel, Gigabyte, Asus, AsRock, MSI & Zotac sites is 6 on the Asus P8H67-I (non-deluxe) and the Zotac H67ITX-C-E.

As a relative noob, I don't know the reputations of Asus and Zotac. Anyone want to generalize? It's not really my style to buy before the reviews roll out, but I'm getting pretty anxious to build this box -- a home file server with headroom for VMs.

I like the low power idle numbers of the (4 SATA) Intel H67CF board. If the B3 version becomes available before the 6 SATA boards, I might jump on it and add a PCI-e SATA card.

Have I missed any announced boards? 6 or more SATA and likely to have good idle power numbers?

Thanks,
LB


Last edited by LazyBoy on Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:11 am 
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LazyBoy wrote:
I don't know the reputations of Asus and Zotac. Anyone want to generalize?

I don't know that specific ASUS board, but I would advice to tendentially avoid Zotac: their boards are usually not well suited for silencers, as they turn out to have poor fan control and higher power consumption.
Moreover Zotac boards are often incompatible with SpeedFan for Windows and fancontrol on Linux.

More probably that not you can't beat Intel power consumption levels, they are renowned for their superior efficiency over ASUS and Gigabyte mobos: but they also usually have very basic BIOS, with no undervolting capabilities and poor fan control.
No rose has no thorns.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:22 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Moreover Zotac boards are often incompatible with SpeedFan for Windows....

....but they also usually have very basic BIOS, with no undervolting capabilities and poor fan control.


I would say it's more of a question of SpeedFan being incompatible with a number of motherboards including this particular Zotac than the other way round.

What exactly do you define as poor fan control? The Zotac has both a CPU and chassis fan PWM socket, and a BIOS based fan control which allows either Automatic control or manual control based on setting temperature points and duty cycle. While a similar BIOS fan control can be found in other mainstream motherboard makes such as Asus, it is for example completely absent from any Gigabyte motherboard than I am aware of.

Particularly for a server, as is the case here, it makes more sense to use 'fit and forget' PWM fans which can be left to the automatic motherboard control, or manually controlled as required but will in either case take care of keeping the system cool regardless of system load or ambient temperatures.


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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:39 am 
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lodestar wrote:
:cry: I would say it's more of a question of SpeedFan being incompatible with a number of motherboards including this particular Zotac than the other way round.

Maybe: but it just read/control the super I/O chip, and I mean it's the chip firmware which makes a board Speedfan-friendly or not.
As often noted by SPCR reviewers, Zotac firmwares lack this ability and IMO it's a fault of this manufacturer, providing that several others (ASUS, Biostar, DFI, MSI, et c) are fully able to cope with Speedfan (without having apparent relationship with Almico Software).

lodestar wrote:
What exactly do you define as poor fan control?

Apart a good CPU fan control, mainly the lack of a separate effective control set for one or more chassis fan, and the ability to drive either voltage and PWM controlled fan through the same header (as MSI does, for example).

lodestar wrote:
Particularly for a server, as is the case here, it makes more sense to use 'fit and forget' PWM fans which can be left to the automatic motherboard control

AFAIK you don't need a PWM fan for a "fire and forget" type control: you can do the same with a classical voltage controlled one, as MSI or ASUS are used to do since several years ago. PWM is not a synonim of "automation", to me.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:21 am 
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FWIW, I'll be running Linux with software raid.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:35 am 
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LazyBoy wrote:
FWIW, I'll be running Linux with software raid.

AFAIK you should check the lm-sensors site, in order to see whether or not your board is compatible.
IIRC then you should have to check whether or not the script fancontrol (pwmconfig) is know to work with that Zotac.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:59 am 
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Huh, I've been looking for a board with more than average sata headers too. The most I found was on this P67 board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157231

They may have an h67 with the extra controller, but I'm not sure. Be sure to let us know if you find anything! :)


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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:23 am 
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FWIW, I have had great experiences with ASUS customer support, and they have cross shipped DRMs (sent replacement prior to receiving defective product). I actually pay a couple dollars extra sometimes to stick with them, for this reason. Their dead pixel policy on monitors is not amazing, though.

quest_for_silence wrote:
lodestar wrote:
:cry: I would say it's more of a question of SpeedFan being incompatible with a number of motherboards including this particular Zotac than the other way round.

Maybe: but it just read/control the super I/O chip, and I mean it's the chip firmware which makes a board Speedfan-friendly or not.
As often noted by SPCR reviewers, Zotac firmwares lack this ability and IMO it's a fault of this manufacturer, providing that several others (ASUS, Biostar, DFI, MSI, et c) are fully able to cope with Speedfan (without having apparent relationship with Almico Software).
I couldn't agree more with quest. There are enough geeks in the universe that these programs would support any board as long as it doesn't have stupidly closed/non-uniform firmware. Shame on Zotac, not speedfan.
Edit: I am more speaking from the lm-sensors perspective, as I don't know much about speedfan's dev process.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:39 am 
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andymcca wrote:
I am more speaking from the lm-sensors perspective, as I don't know much about speedfan's dev process.


I think that's the point. SpeedFan does not support every sensor chip on every board. So for example I had one Gigabyte motherboard which ran SpeedFan perfectly. On another Gigabyte motherboard any attempt to run the then current version of SpeedFan caused an immediate system crash. So Gigabyte's fault? No, the latest version of SpeedFan does run without crashing because it now supports the sensor chip on that particular board but has no functionality. Maybe a future SpeedFan release will fix this, maybe not. So unless you were going to expect manufacturers to restrict the range of sensors to those already supported by SpeedFan, and further that that particular sensor was fully supported by SpeedFan (not all are) then there could never be a 'SpeedFan ready' motherboard.

So, to me, BIOS fan controls make more sense and they are independent of the operating system. One problem I suspect is that some users have no idea that the BIOS fan controls are there. I accept that not everyone likes PWM fan control, whether automatic or manual. But I don't think it is fair or reasonable to claim that a Zotac board with BIOS automatic and manual PWM fan controls only has "....poor fan control...".


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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:22 pm 
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lodestar wrote:
But I don't think it is fair or reasonable to claim that a Zotac board with BIOS automatic and manual PWM fan controls only has "....poor fan control...".

Generally speaking it depends on how good that fan control you want to be: I already gave you some of my priorities.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:55 pm 
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lodestar wrote:
So for example I had one Gigabyte motherboard which ran SpeedFan perfectly. On another Gigabyte motherboard any attempt to run the then current version of SpeedFan caused an immediate system crash. So Gigabyte's fault?
Yes and no. Partially Gigabyte, partially the chip mfr's fault. I am pretty sure those writing speedfan would jump at supporting additional boards in large-scale production (in fact, they do, whenever I see a new Realtek chip come out, for example).
Edit: Oh, and the crash is some combination of MS' and Gigabyte's faults. Speedfan should not be able to crash the OS by scanning a bus.

The problem is not that Speedfan et al have not put in the work, its that either the closed nature of the chip or Gigabytes inconsistent (read: shoddy) BIOS makes it impossible to support. Blaming Speedfan is like blaming a student for not reading a textbook which has never been published.

Now, if it were some brand new chip, you might have a point. But usually its people actively trying not to be supported unless they are paid a ransom.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:07 pm 
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If you look at the reviews on Newegg... there seem to be a lot of unhappy motherboard users. Even the best boards have a fair number of unhappy users.

It appears that the top 4 brands by reputation (in no particular orders) are Asus, Gigabyte, Zotac and Intel. Asus seems to be falling. Gigabyte and MSI seem to be rising.

No one seems to like Intel much, but they always seem to come in as the most power efficient. Apparently people have issues with Gigabyte regarding fan control. Myself, I like to just set fans at the speed I want them to run and not waste time futzing with different control settings. Most people here seem to like the futzing.

Zotac seems to often use the most power. And at least until recently (I haven't checked their H67) don't overclock on their ITX boards. Gigabyte does. Asus probably does too.

Gigabyte seems to have the easiest automated overclocking. Asus seems to have the most sophisticated automated overclocking.

Gigabyte makes a lot of noise about having double thick copper on its high end boards... for better cooling. Sounds nice.

It is important to get those famous Japanese solid state capacitors (they are often the first parts to wear out)... but beats me how you quality assure the capacitors their marketing departments are so quick to tout.

That is what I have been able to learn on this subject. The two safest choices are probably Asus and gigabyte. But.. if low power utilization running a Sandy Bridge is your paramount concern. I would choose Intel hands down.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:14 pm 
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I'm not usually a watt freak, but I did talk myself up from an atom build to the i5. And it will be idle much of the time and doing stuff an atom could do most of the rest. So I am compensating by making low power usage a concern.

And I have zero interest in overclocking. I'm not a futzer either.

So the intel board is my leading contender. But until it's out (that is, until it's available again), I'll be reading the reviews of the boards that come out before it.

Thanks everyone,
LB


Last edited by LazyBoy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:06 pm 
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LazyBoy wrote:
So the intel board is my leading contender. But until it's out, I'll be reading the reviews of the boards that come out before it.
I thought the Intel ITX was out. I believe there is/are reviews of it on SPCR and/or anand and/or xbits.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:27 am 
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I assume it's a victim of the recall, as I can't find it for sale anywhere. Google shopping shows 8 or 9 online retailers, but when you drill down nearly all are "out of stock". One site in the UK claims to have 80, when no other sites have any...

I prefer to wait for newegg or amazon or someplace I've dealt with before.


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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:56 pm 
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I actually registered to post the same question, because it looks like every 1155 mini itx mobo with more than 4 sata ports is out of stock or discontinued. Does anyone know of one? I'm trying to build something similar to the home server build article but with sandy bridge parts.


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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:22 pm 
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Well, the DQ67EP seems to be available. It has 4 SATA and two rear panel eSATA. You'd have to route those back inside.

My understanding of the Q67 chipset is that it's the H67 plus Active Management Technology features.


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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:24 am 
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Seemed a bit too much to open a new post for this:

The Asus P8H67-I rev 3 (non-deluxe) mentioned here seems very interesting for a HTPC/fileserver (6xSATA, digital audio out), does anyone have any idea/data on the power usage? especially compared to the Intel DH67CF (B3)?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 12:01 pm 
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grijzegeest wrote:
Seemed a bit too much to open a new post for this:

The Asus P8H67-I rev 3 (non-deluxe) mentioned here seems very interesting for a HTPC/fileserver (6xSATA, digital audio out), does anyone have any idea/data on the power usage? especially compared to the Intel DH67CF (B3)?

Thanks!


Except one problem, is it actually coming out worldwide? Maybe you guys are getting it, but I haven't seen any sign in the US. I am also curious if the power usage is any better, it certainly can't be as bad as zotac.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:20 am 
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Hi everyone,

I have also just joined the forums and this was my exact question!

I have all my hardware on order for my first server build, just cannot decide between the Zotac H67-ITX or Asus P8H67-I (non-deluxe).

Both are avaliable to me at roughly the same price.

Anyone own these boards?


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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 11:43 am 
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merlin wrote:

Except one problem, is it actually coming out worldwide? Maybe you guys are getting it, but I haven't seen any sign in the US. I am also curious if the power usage is any better, it certainly can't be as bad as zotac.


Has finally showed up here in the Netherlands last week, after waiting for a few months, so maybe just delayed.


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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:00 pm 
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LazyBoy wrote:
My ideal sandy bridge board would have 8 SATA ports and low power idle. The most SATA ports I've seen, checking the Intel, Gigabyte, Asus, AsRock, MSI & Zotac sites is 6 on the Asus P8H67-I (non-deluxe) and the Zotac H67ITX-C-E.

As a relative noob, I don't know the reputations of Asus and Zotac. Anyone want to generalize? It's not really my style to buy before the reviews roll out, but I'm getting pretty anxious to build this box -- a home file server with headroom for VMs.


The Intel Board is available:
http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHF ... 30&bih=973

It has 4 SATA ports plus 2 eSata ports. You can add 4 more ports with this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815280008

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 2:08 pm 
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Ok now there's one major question. What the heck case are you gonna use that's small enough for mini-itx to make sense plus use 8 sata ports??? It seems pretty illogical to go mini-itx with 8 devices. At that point microatx makes far more sense.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 3:18 pm 
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merlin wrote:
Ok now there's one major question. What the heck case are you gonna use that's small enough for mini-itx to make sense plus use 8 sata ports??? It seems pretty illogical to go mini-itx with 8 devices. At that point microatx makes far more sense.
I think there is only one such case, the LIAN LI PC-Q08A. It can take an ODD and six 3.5 hard drives and probably a few additional 2.5 hard drives (one on top of the ODD)... though it would probably be stuffed with cable to the gills at that point.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 4:33 pm 
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ces wrote:

It has 4 SATA ports plus 2 eSata ports. You can add 4 more ports with this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815280008


Actually, that's not quite true, if you read some of the feedback on that card, you'll see that it supports 2 internal or 2 esata, but not both at the same time, it only allows for 2 active ports. Finding a full 4 internal ports is tricky, there's a couple PCI cards you can get (like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816132017&cm_re=4_port_sata_card-_-16-132-017-_-Product), or maybe this highpoint raid card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816115053&cm_re=4_port_sata_card-_-16-115-053-_-Product). But anyway, there are a lot of choices for add on cards, if you have a free slot on your mini-itx board.


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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 4:43 pm 
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cordis wrote:
ces wrote:
It has 4 SATA ports plus 2 eSata ports. You can add 4 more ports with this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815280008
Actually, that's not quite true, if you read some of the feedback on that card, you'll see that it supports 2 internal or 2 esata, but not both at the same time, it only allows for 2 active ports. Finding a full 4 internal ports is tricky, there's a couple PCI cards you can get (like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816132017&cm_re=4_port_sata_card-_-16-132-017-_-Product), or maybe this highpoint raid card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816115053&cm_re=4_port_sata_card-_-16-115-053-_-Product). But anyway, there are a lot of choices for add on cards, if you have a free slot on your mini-itx board.
I stand corrected.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 5:12 pm 
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ces wrote:
merlin wrote:
Ok now there's one major question. What the heck case are you gonna use that's small enough for mini-itx to make sense plus use 8 sata ports??? It seems pretty illogical to go mini-itx with 8 devices. At that point microatx makes far more sense.
I think there is only one such case, the LIAN LI PC-Q08A. It can take an ODD and six 3.5 hard drives and probably a few additional 2.5 hard drives (one on top of the ODD)... though it would probably be stuffed with cable to the gills at that point.


Still sounds terrible, especially if you want to have something reliably cool for all the drives. I set my limit at 6 sata for mini-itx as I'd think most people would. In fact i just ordered the PC-Q08 a couple days ago for my 4 drive + ssd raid box :) Now my next problem getting a board. I think my #1 choice right now is the non-deluxe asus that has 6 sata ports if it releases here.

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 5:16 pm 
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merlin wrote:
Still sounds terrible, especially if you want to have something reliably cool for all the drives. I set my limit at 6 sata for mini-itx as I'd think most people would. In fact i just ordered the PC-Q08 a couple days ago for my 4 drive + ssd raid box :) Now my next problem getting a board. I think my #1 choice right now is the non-deluxe asus that has 6 sata ports if it releases here.
Well 8 is a bit much... but one of the ODD, one for an SSD boot drive and 6 for hard drives in the PC-Q08 racks. It will work.... and there should be enough cooling for all. Don't you think?

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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 7:47 pm
Posts: 43
Location: Norway
Yes, it should work: An m-ITX with 6 SATA ports and a 2P SATA controller like HighPoint Rocket 620 (low profile and works with Linux) gives enough ports, and there's room in the PC-Q08 for the drives.

But it is cramped, and not a lot of space for cable management. I have a PC-Q08 with five storage drives and a boot SSD, and putting it together is approaching a 3D Chinese puzzle in the limit :)
Here's mine:
Image

Adding a controller card and cables for another two drives is doable, but inconvenient enough that I have decided that I will upgrade to an m-ATX case (like Lian Li PC-A04 or the upcoming Fractal Design Arc Mini) when I need more drives, rather than trying to squeeze it into the PC-Q08.

Cooling: With the CPU cooler at 1300 rpm, stock case fans at half speed with Zalman Fanmate and 100% load 24/7, CPU temps hover around 70 C and HDD temps around 40-45 C - borderline, but still OK.
Cooling should be OK even with another two drives if you turn up the fans or reduce the load. You might consider replacing the stock fans (especially the 120mm top fan) if you want it quiet as well.


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 Post subject: Re: H67, mini-ITX, 6+ SATA ??
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:54 am 
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Posts: 3395
Location: US
faustus wrote:
Cooling: With the CPU cooler at 1300 rpm, stock case fans at half speed with Zalman Fanmate and 100% load 24/7, CPU temps hover around 70 C and HDD temps around 40-45 C - borderline
Those are good HDD temps. Goggle did a study and found that HDDs that are run too cool don't last as long as those that are run a bit warmer. Strange but True.

If you want a bit more room for a more effective CPU cooler consider this as a replacement PSU:
FSP Group FSP300-60GHS-R 300W Micro ATX / SFX 80 PLUS Certified Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817104075

It is an SFX power supply that has a mounting bracket that mounts it as an ATX PSU. It should give you enough room for a Scythe Big Shuriken with Nexus fan plus a bit a breathing space for your cables. That may permit you to forgo the need for a larger case.

EDIT: If you switch to the FSP PSU you will probably need a few cable extensions (try PeformancePCS.com) but I think you will find that the cable extensions are more flexible and less intrusive than standard PSU cables.

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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein


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