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Old 01-02-2017, 04:34 AM   #1
louigi600
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Marvell ESPRESSOBin: almost an answer to my plea


I've been looking for a low power SBC with multiple GB Ethernet ports, multiple SATA ports and possibly mini-pcie.
Well they almost got it right just lacking the multiple SATA port requirement (although the SOC supports 2 of them only one is wired up).

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...rd/description
http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/09/...p-crowdfunding

Will a SATA port multiplier work on that thing ?

The bad thing is that in making a thing almost identical to what I would like to do they have nullified my hopes to crowdfunding my own project to such a thing.
Why the hell go trough all the trouble and then only wire up one of the SATA ports !
It looks like my GoFlexNet based NAS will keep on living till I find an alternative.
 
Old 01-04-2017, 06:50 AM   #2
louigi600
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Ooops: I may be wrong about the SOC having 2 SATA ports. The SOC's produvt breif does suggest that there is only one SATA3 port. I'm looking for the full tech specs to confirm that.
 
Old 01-09-2017, 05:32 AM   #3
SCerovec
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But only dual core?

At what cost per unit?
 
Old 01-09-2017, 05:45 AM   #4
louigi600
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If I remember correctly it starts off at $ 39 and goes up to 79 for a full featured one.
Don't get me wrong ... I just spotted it and though that it's interesting, I'm in no way involved in the thing and if I was involved I'd have put on it 4 USB3 ports to work around the lack of multiple SATA ports.

Surely it's not the best bargain if you're just looking computing power ... but if you value things like multiple GB Ethernet nics and mini pci-e port it might still be an interesting price. What are the prices for the alternatives with such features ?
 
Old 01-09-2017, 11:03 AM   #5
SCerovec
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Orange Pi family has single GBit LAN at really deal breaking prices?
But it's true GBit LAN

And has single SATA port with true SATA II speeds

There are Lemaker's Banana Pis at not so competitive prices, but are 100% in kernel...

AFAIK not one yet that cuts it for You?
 
Old 01-09-2017, 11:20 AM   #6
louigi600
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I'm looking for at least
  • 2 SATA ports or 2 USB3 ports (for RAID storage) but 4 would be ideal
  • 3 USB2 (for various other applications)
  • 2 Gb ethernet nics

I'd be happy if I get that mini-pc-e would be a nice bonus
 
Old 01-09-2017, 12:35 PM   #7
SCerovec
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on Arm or any arch?
 
Old 01-10-2017, 01:57 AM   #8
louigi600
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Any arch as long as:
  1. I can run vanilla linux kernel on it
  2. it does not use much power to run
  3. it's powerful enough to run household NAS (and at least sustain high quality video playback via it's network share) , AP, router/firewall, printserver
  4. it's not expensive (it must cost a fair bit less then a ready-made NAS)

I'm not sure if Intel can cut it (especially 2 and 4 at the same time). I've an ATOM mini-itx but it's drawing about 25W just to run OS and spin a single 2.5" hdu.
I did the same test on my GoFlexNet and the power meter was not sensitive enough to detect how much it was drawing (probably less then 2W).
My atom based netmook does much better then 25W (coming in at about 6W including the display) but that's going to be more expensive then a Qnap TS-431 and it would still lack a second ethernet and a second sata port.
I've found some mini-itx products that would satisfy 1,3 and 4 but they are expensive and I've no idea how power thirsty they are.

Any suggestions are welcome

Last edited by louigi600; 01-10-2017 at 01:58 AM.
 
Old 01-10-2017, 02:42 AM   #9
SCerovec
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Lightbulb

2nd hand laptop mobos?
Seek for an "celeron" (less power hungry) with SATA3/M2 and twin mini-PCI (for WiFi+2nd LAN)
It will be "self understood" as GLan (IMO) and mod it into an 2mm Al case?
I would recommend Acer or ASUS to begin looking for?

Refurbished also make sense, since thermal stress will certainly be reduced compared to intended life?

The UPS, inherent to all laptops, comes as an plus.

Cutting 2mm Al sheet with a dedicated metal insert on a jig saw provides quite pro-like results even average DIY handy-mans

Following that, epoxy glue makes wonders for MoBo supports
 
Old 01-10-2017, 07:14 AM   #10
louigi600
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Where I live something like this mini pcie expansion card is going to burden some 30 Euro.

I make self heat dissipating Aluminum cases for my ARM devices but taking a laptop motherboard out of it's original case can be troublesome ... it depends on the model ...it's going to take a ton of research to find a model that has all the required features and a PCB that can be easily reused in a custom case.
Failing to take the motherboard out of the laptop is going to make my multipurpose thing really ugly and large ... my wife will relegate it to the basement (where it will serve really crappily as AP).

I'm tempted to buy a Qnap and hack it into what I want to do with it
 
Old 01-10-2017, 02:02 PM   #11
SCerovec
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no easy day, eh?
 
Old 01-12-2017, 12:11 AM   #12
louigi600
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I'm waiting for the entropy of the universe to randomly present me with something suitable (possibly helped by unsolicited adverts).
 
Old 01-12-2017, 05:00 AM   #13
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louigi600 --

Not exactly what you're looking for: Zotac ZBOX RI323, but we build and ship these as P&P Linux Servers where I work.

Only one Ethernet Port but it does also have 802.11ac/b/g/n Wireless and room inside for dual 2.5 inch SATA III.

If you need more power, there is the RI531 which has an I3 processor and adds MSATA along with the dual SATA III.

Anyhow, we've been shipping various ZBOX Models since 2010 or so, including 6 of the R-Series Boxes and I can vouch for them.

-- kjh
 
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Old 01-13-2017, 03:48 AM   #14
louigi600
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In Italy the Zotac ZBOX RI323 goes for almost 234 Euro (which is almost the price of the 4 Bay Qnap) and you still need to put some ram on the thing.
Well I suppose I should be comparing to the intel based Qnap TS-451 which is 500 Euro not the ARM based one that is 250 Euro.

Over here salaries are among the worse in Europe so the price thing is a big deal for me

On the power side the 2961Y celeron has a designed scenario power of 6W (I'll amuse that means running OS an not much more) which is acceptable but not as low as ARM devices. It would still be interesting to see how much power the thing actually drains from the mains ... if Zotac ships me a unit to review I could do that sort of thing .

I'm not looking for more power but particularly concerned on the electricity bill.

The interesting thing is that the Zotac ZBOX RI323 claims onboard hardware RAID (or at least the description lets you think that).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjhambrick
Only one Ethernet Port but ...
Are you sure on that ? because quoting from the description of the RI323
Quote:
With the usual array of connectivity options including dual gigabit LAN
it sounds like it has 2 Ethernet GB ports and that is backed up in the tech specs too.
 
Old 01-13-2017, 01:27 PM   #15
kjhambrick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louigi600 View Post
In Italy the Zotac ZBOX RI323 goes for almost 234 Euro (which is almost the price of the 4 Bay Qnap) and you still need to put some ram on the thing.
Well I suppose I should be comparing to the intel based Qnap TS-451 which is 500 Euro not the ARM based one that is 250 Euro.

Over here salaries are among the worse in Europe so the price thing is a big deal for me

On the power side the 2961Y celeron has a designed scenario power of 6W (I'll amuse that means running OS an not much more) which is acceptable but not as low as ARM devices. It would still be interesting to see how much power the thing actually drains from the mains ... if Zotac ships me a unit to review I could do that sort of thing .

I'm not looking for more power but particularly concerned on the electricity bill.

The interesting thing is that the Zotac ZBOX RI323 claims onboard hardware RAID (or at least the description lets you think that).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjhambrick
Only one Ethernet Port but ...
Are you sure on that ? because quoting from the description of the RI323

it sounds like it has 2 Ethernet GB ports and that is backed up in the tech specs too.
Louigi600 --

OMG, you're right !

The RI323 does come with Dual Ethernet and Wifi.

I looked at the back of a spare BI323 here in my Lab thinking it was a spare RI323.

The RI323 and RI531 both do support 'Fake RAID' but we always set up JBOD Mode and go for Linux RAID.

And you're right about the price too ( you made me look )

I paid $180 US last summer for these Boxes and now they're nearly $200 ( ~20% annualized prices increase ) !

Anyhow, we've been on the lookout for something better and more accessible.

If / when we find something I can let you know.

-- kjh
 
  


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