Recommendations for a "Mobile" Motherboard?

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Recommendations for a "Mobile" Motherboard?

Postby LakaWaka » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:28 am

I am looking for a "Mobile" motherboard, or what is essentially a smaller motherboard with a built in CPU, that has a fanless design. I found a few here http://estore.bcmcom.com/index.php?cPath=25


But I have never heard of this company, but I would assume someone here might be able to vouch for them if they are legit.


I am not sure how powerful this will run compared to a laptop, or a regular desktop computer. Currently I am looking to use a sandy bridge i5 with an itx motherboard, but the case I have is too small for what I am thinking of doing, and I feel it's getting into the "risky" zone. For now I want to try to build this based with a mobile, fanless design, but will have fans inside the case as well for additional cooling .

The prices are decently high from the company listed above, so I was curious if people had other recommendations on what to get, and possibly where. I could buy used on ebay to start with, but I am curious what people think about used motherboards.

I am also curious, if I do get one of these, what kind of 12V DC power adapter is recommended since these fanless ones run off of external power, as with laptops.

Not sure if there is a recommended brand or whatnot.

Thanks
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Re: Recommendations for a "Mobile" Motherboard?

Postby Mr T » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:56 am

Its up to what you want to do with it? If it is just web surfing/social media a cheap tablet will do.. If it is running a file/media server, then something a bit more powerful is required?

What are your planss for this and I can advise further?
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Re: Recommendations for a "Mobile" Motherboard?

Postby LakaWaka » Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:41 pm

Mr T wrote:Its up to what you want to do with it? If it is just web surfing/social media a cheap tablet will do.. If it is running a file/media server, then something a bit more powerful is required?

What are your planss for this and I can advise further?


I was thinking a file/media server possibly to store music/movies as well as backup fies regularly.
I already have a processor that will work well, but figured if I can lower the power requirements/space that it would work well with a mobile model, but that idea seems to not be working so well, so I think I will scratch this idea, and use what I have on hand now. Thanks for the help.
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Re: Recommendations for a "Mobile" Motherboard?

Postby Mr T » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:17 am

FYI, this is what I use:

Low powered atom or AMD (geode will do) and openmediavault. Run it as a headless server to store files and media.. However, I am streaming media to other sources from a wired network and found 2Gbs of RAM lacking, sweet spot seems 4Gb and above.. look on ebay for cheap ITX boards, some sellers even include RAM with the older boards - avoid any VIA CPU's as there are some issues with linux, unless you are pretty savy can cause a certain amount of grief. As for PSU's, look at a case that will take an ATX PSU you can swap out and stick 250w and above in - this accounst for using larger hard drives and driving a PCI-e card (I use esata as it is more stable than USB 3.0 to external drive boxes). It all depends how far you want to go..
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Re: Recommendations for a "Mobile" Motherboard?

Postby LakaWaka » Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:07 am

Mr T wrote:FYI, this is what I use:

Low powered atom or AMD (geode will do) and openmediavault. Run it as a headless server to store files and media.. However, I am streaming media to other sources from a wired network and found 2Gbs of RAM lacking, sweet spot seems 4Gb and above.. look on ebay for cheap ITX boards, some sellers even include RAM with the older boards - avoid any VIA CPU's as there are some issues with linux, unless you are pretty savy can cause a certain amount of grief. As for PSU's, look at a case that will take an ATX PSU you can swap out and stick 250w and above in - this accounst for using larger hard drives and driving a PCI-e card (I use esata as it is more stable than USB 3.0 to external drive boxes). It all depends how far you want to go..


Thanks for the tips, much appreciated.


So if I go with my current machine, you recommend "openmediavault?" I'm new to HTPC/media servers, etc, so I'm curious why you recommend this one, over others? I've seen a lot of people buy NAS setups, or use "FreeNAS" but I've heard a lot of security issues with NAS solutions, and not 100% sure on FreeNAS. What's the difference between OMV(Open Media Vault) and FreeNAS? Is there anything security related that I should worry about with OMV? It seems that if you leave your device open outside your network it's possible to get exploited, but if you keep the device to your network then you should be okay?


I'm not sure how many hard drives I should look into for backup though. It seems that more HDs, the better the RAID's ability is. I heard recently a few people talking about something called "RAID z2" or something like that? One mentioned needing 6 drives for it to work? I usually have my machine on 24/7 and *knock on wood* never had a HD crash on me. So to me having a RAID is really just an extra measure (just in case), but honestly... how often does a HD actually fail? What do you recommend?

When you mention esata you are referring to external hard drives, instead of usb externals?

Thanks for the advice and your time, much appreciated.
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Re: Recommendations for a "Mobile" Motherboard?

Postby Mr T » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:54 am

I use openmediavault as it is dead easy to set up and it supports plexmedia server through addons. Read up on it, it is well supported (excellent forums) and has a small foot print (you can run it of a USB stick, good SD card etc). FreeNAS I found quite fiddly to get going and haven't gone back to it as OMV is better and easier for me. Security wise, I have had no issues. If you have a good router with built in Firewall, you will be ok. I have left mine on 24/7, had the odd glitch with software updates hosing a lan connection, but usually a look on forums and I can resolve it.
I forget RAID, far too complicated for my use. I have Synology Diskstation NAS which has fallen way behind on software and the hardware isn't great either, but it still works. I have two mini ITX systems running OMV 24/7 as media servers and file stores. I have OMV running of a small SSD (8Gb is good, you can get some cheap ones on ebay that do the job) in each one and the hard drives are external. You can get boxes that hold 1,2,4, 8 hard drives in RAID/non RAID modes that are eSATA and USB3.0. I use eSATA as it is as quick as USB3.0 and is far more reliable (doesn't go to sleep etc).
After power cuts I have had 2 drives fail on me, probably due to the sudden switch off. Both were 2Tb Seagates from 2012. Lucky I have duplicates and it was easy to restore the drive. If you use Western Digital Green drives, be aware of the issue that affects them - Read this - I sorted mine out, but go expensive, it is worth it and get Western Digital Reds. I back up periodically to a USB 3.0 external drive as I have one spare, but as I run 3 NAS setups, I can back up from any of them.
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Re: Recommendations for a "Mobile" Motherboard?

Postby LakaWaka » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:54 pm

I'll take a look at it, thanks for the information. It looks interesting, but need to really understand my uses before diving in I guess.

Interesting about FreeNAS, and it's good to see many different solutions to the NAS issue.

You don't use RAID, so you have multiple HDs still, or just 1?

I was looking at Synology, but they have soo many features I wouldn't need, and I've heard it's not very security tight.

I'm curious why you're running 3 separate servers if you don't mind me asking?

Seems there's a lot of different choices. For me, I already bought a 250GB 850 EVO, so I want to use that, but I could get WD Reds as you suggest as well.

About power cuts.. That's scary, especially since the power went out on me the other day and my comp acted a little funny at first by not displaying anything, but it's working fine now.

Do you have a UPS? There was one from "CyberPower" that had a nice Black Friday discount, but I didn't snag it. 'I hear CP is a very good company. I hear that UPS provide good power as well, so it's omething that a lot of people like.

One family memeber was really against me spenmding a lot on one, but it seems like it would e a really good investment, especially since I have had a few power flickers recently, and that shuts off the computer. The last time the computer shut off, and then powered back on itself, which scared me a bit, but as I mentioned above, everything was fine in the end.


So I'll check out OMV and see how it goes. I am looking for a new case now, since it seems that the case from my other topic "Motherboard Grounding" isn't going to really work out for now... Plus I'm interested in water cooling, but not sure I want to spend a ton of money to WC a non-OC'd computer. I really love building computers though.

Thanks for the tips.
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Re: Recommendations for a "Mobile" Motherboard?

Postby Karlsweldt » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:21 am

A computer PSU has barely 1/2 second of 'reserve' if mains power is lost. Almost all UPS systems can switch over to backup in less than that time, ensuring a secure power source.
Almost all electronic systems depend on a pure sine wave type of AC power. The 'modified sine wave' type do work almost as well as pure sine wave types, but the 'square wave' UPS types can upset timing errors and cause flux errors in power supplies.

If the outage is short enough, then the computer may restart by itself.. but the control for "after power loss" in the BIOS has to be set for needs. For servers, typically a 'resume' or 'restart' is preferred. For all other needs, 'stay off' is the best choice.
Windows and other OS versions need to purge memory and write data to the hard drive before shutting down, or corruption of files can be serious. And some data can be lost permanently.
A lot of electronic 'gadgets' or appliances can get goofy if there is a very brief power outage. Best then is to pull the power plug, wait 15 seconds, and power up for reset.

There are several RAID classes.. each with benefits and faults. Reliability and self-healing of the setup is important. You need more than one drive to configure a RAID setup, preferably identical drives.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID
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Re: Recommendations for a "Mobile" Motherboard?

Postby Mr T » Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:12 am

I use multiple drives, in external enclosures (4 Disc USB3 and esata enclosures -IcyBOX is good). I would not use a big hard drive for the actual NAS operating system as you are usually unable to utilise the free space on the drive. Good reliable (WD REDS as example) large hard drives are a must for storage as they are the dogs body in the NAS for all the data storage. Start with a single large drive if your budget is tight, if you fill it quickly, add another.
I have 3 NAS's. Two run openmediavault and are based around cheap mini itx boards - both are cobbled together from old parts apart from the hard drives, which I added when needed and had to be new (for me) for reliability. They are not identical in parts, but are in data, it is like redundancy, if one fails the other is still running.
The other NAS is an old Synology diskstation. Excellent operating system, but poor hardware - 128mb of RAM and a 800Mhz CPU. Slow, slow, slow. Gigabit network, slow, slow, slow.... I had to replace the drive in it and it took an eon to recover it from an external back up. Reading through Synology forums, all had issues with the gigabit network being slow... However it was useful as the LG Smart TV picked it up and I could stream films in MP4 format and music to the TV with no issue (after I set up OMV on the other NAS, I can do this through PLEX or the MDLNA service, so the Synology is becoming redundant) and also to Apple products (yes Synology have a pretty good app so I can browse the NAS)..
The issues with the power cuts is a crap trip switch in the main breaker box (had it replaced and the box checked out and once in a while it still goes), in the UK at the moment power is pretty stable (may change if our Govt. doesn't wake up) so cannot really justify a UPS, but I am strongly considering one, it would have to big enough to support 3 NAS and two external drive boxes!
Water cooled in the past - custom units and prebuilt - my view pointless unless seriously overclocking and you want stability in a server running 24/7, no complications!
In my view a custom home built NAS must have a low powered CPU such as an Intel ATOM or AMD equivalent to save money on power, at least 3Gbs of RAM, PLEX drained RAM on one of my boxes with 2Gbs of RAM, upped it and problem solved (wouldn't even entertain PLEX on the synology, it just killed it), the smallest hard drive you can get for the operating system so that it will run (as I said previousley an 8Gb SSD is really good for this) and a decent operating system you can get on with and suits you.

NAS4Free

FreeNAS

Openmediavault

EasyNAS

Also, forget NTFS as a file system on a NAS, it is seriously restricted due to security. Openmediavault can see and use it, but don't. Use EXT (in OMV) or Btrfs..
I have been programming on computers since the ZX81.
I am an apprentice trained Electronics Engineer with qualifications to back it up.
I have been repairing computers since 1996.
Yet to some people I still know nothing...
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