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This review is from: SUPERMICRO MBD-A1SRi-2758F-O Mini ITX Server Motherboard DDR3 1600/1333
Pros: Low power
Other Thoughts: This chip is powerful. I'm running unRaid 6.0-beta12 + 12 dockers, including mysql and plex servers. System is fast and responsive. Loading media through XBMC takes only couple seconds (spin up). No problem watching movies on TV, PC and tablet at the same time over LAN. No buffering issues at all. The same applies to Plex. Server is capable to encode video file at 2x speed. That means that 60 minutes video will be encoded in 30 minutes. I tested it with WTV files recorded by Ceton tuners and other HD mkv files. Plex Sync converted them to mp4 format. To give an idea, atom D510 takes 10 minutes to convert 60 minutes of wma audio file to mp3. I did a test to see how it performs when other tasks are run? During unpacking and running PAR files (nzb) plex encoding was jumping between 1x and 2x. But when system is not performing any other activities, encoding remains constant 2x. Streaming outside of LAN over local Starbucks wi-fi was not an issue. My upload speed is 5 Mbps. It took about 3-5 seconds for a video to start to play. Fast forward is responsive and movie plays within 1-2 seconds. I noticed that adjusting Plex streaming quality (inside app) to a movie resolution gives the best results. I tested playback for both 720p and 1080p mkv’s DTS audio tracks and I did not encountered any playback issues.
CPU utilization during video encoding and unpacking + repairing downloaded files jumps between 50%-70%
This review is from: SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O Mini ITX Server Motherboard DDR2 667
Pros: 6 Sata connections, USB plug directly on board. Overall quality product.
Cons: Manual that came with a board could be confusing for someone who is used to working with other well known brands. Front panel connectors are located in somewhat strange place. Read the manual.
Other Thoughts: This a perfect mobo for somebody looking to build quality home server. I am running unRaid from USB stick, but you should not have any problems using FreeNas, or even WHS. I recommend installing single RAM in upper bank, when I installed RAM in lower bank, motherboard did not want to boot. Rather strange
If you are still looking for a small factor case, your options are rather limited, to Lian Li PC-Q08 and Fractal Design Array R2. Both can house 6x3.5' hard drives and SSD. PC-Q08 will require however PSU (single rail, 12V) for your server. Array R2 comes with SFX PSU already, but it would have to be shipped from Canada (google it). Newegg please include Fractal Design products in your inventory.