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ASRock DeskMini X300 Simple Windows SMB/NVR Build


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I've been running an Intel NUC 8 Mainstream Kit with an i5-8259U for a simple WIndows SMB file share server for a few years now with the intention of also using it as an NVR. I still haven't set up the NVR, but it will be done this year.

 

Recently, I took on the project of upgrading the i3-6100 desktop I built for my parents in 2016, but rather than decide what to build for them this time, I decided to just give them my NUC 8 instead so they can reclaim desk space and drastically cut down fan noise. That meant I was now free to upgrade my mini home server to something a bit more substantial.

 

Dn8vTVph.jpg

 

I was originally looking at used Dell OptiPlex Micro PCs, but at the prices they were selling for relative to their performance, I went for something better built and more customizable. I watched a teardown video of a relatively recent OptiPlex Micro chassis and thought their CPU cooling solution was pathetic.

 

This is a new condition ASRock DeskMini X300 prebuilt from Skytech sold as the Mini PCX1. It costs $480 from Skytech right now, but I got it heavily discounted from a third-party—cheaper than building it to the same specs with used parts in a barebones DeskMini X300 chassis.

 

MykyBM0h.jpg

 

I've already started making some changes with a heatsink upgrade to the Thermalright AXP90-X36. I'm still waiting for a Noctua NF-A9x14 fan to arrive so I can swap it in place of the Thermalright fan before I put everything back together and fire it up. Reviews I've seen for this heatsink indicate that the fan swap won't measurably change thermal performance, but Noctua's fans generally have lower noise levels and better acoustic profiles than Thermalright's.

 

The AXP90 heatsink was annoying to install. If this had been my first experience with Thermalright, I might not be a repeat customer. The Peerless Assassin on my desktop was so simple to install, while the AXP90 is easily the worst install I've done with vague instructions and a dual socket LGA1200/AM4 backplate with wings for LGA1200 that hit the button cell backup battery on the back of the PCB, rendering the backplate unusable unless I took a Dremel to it. I attached the stock AM4 backplate instead, but I spent some time experimenting with different fitments because Thermalright's instructions for this cooler were so bad that I had better chances for success by going off-script.

 

Nonetheless, I got it installed and it puts ASRock's 70mm stock cooler to shame.

 

CMxvBFYh.jpg

 

For network storage, I'm going with the unconventional choice of an SSD. This PC is in the same room as my office and I don't want to hear it making constant writes as an NVR. For the longest time, I planned on getting a 4 TB WD Purple hard drive connected via USB 3.0, but then I'd have to buy an external enclosure, and if I'm buying an external enclosure for a hard drive, I'm getting one with a fan, and then I'd probably be looking to replace the stock fan with a Noctua.

 

Rather than deal with all of that, I looked into the viability of bringing it all inside the chassis. The DeskMini has space for another NVMe M.2 2280, but I wasn't going to spend that kind of money on a large storage SSD. However, it also has space for two 2.5" drives, so I went with a used 3.84 TB Samsung PM863a enterprise SATA SSD for $150. SMART diagnostic data on it shows just 7 out of a rated 5466 TBW.

 

GNcuHeRh.jpg

 

That's it for now. The Noctua fan is scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday.

Edited by Snakecharmed
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SSD/NVME 2: 2 TB WD_BLACK SN770 PCIe 4.0 NVMe
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CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock X300M-STM
RAM: 16 GB (2x8 GB) ADATA DDR4-3200 CL22
SSD/NVME: 500 GB Gigabyte Gen3 2500E PCIe 3.0 NVMe
SSD/NVME 2: 3.84 TB Samsung PM863a Enterprise SATA 6 Gbps
CASE: ASRock DeskMini X300W
CPU COOLER: Thermalright AXP90-X36
CPU COOLER 2: [Fan] Noctua NF-A9x14 92mm PWM 2.52 W
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  • Snakecharmed changed the title to ASRock DeskMini X300 Simple Windows SMB/NVR Build

My X300 has been 10/10 (so long as you don't need S3). Just wish it had >1 GbE. 

 

X600 DeskMini (and Meet) were announced and supposed to be coming out soon (weeks) and they at least fix at least the 1 GbE problem though 🙃

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10 hours ago, Snakecharmed said:

I've been running an Intel NUC 8 Mainstream Kit with an i5-8259U for a simple WIndows SMB file share server for a few years now with the intention of also using it as an NVR. I still haven't set up the NVR, but it will be done this year.

 

Recently, I took on the project of upgrading the i3-6100 desktop I built for my parents in 2016, but rather than decide what to build for them this time, I decided to just give them my NUC 8 instead to reclaim desk space and drastically cut down fan noise. That means I was now free to upgrade my mini home server to something a bit more substantial.

 

Dn8vTVph.jpg

 

I was originally looking at used Dell OptiPlex Micro PCs, but at the prices they were selling for relative to their performance, I went for something better built and more customizable. I watched a teardown video of a relatively recent OptiPlex Micro chassis and thought their CPU cooling solution was pathetic.

 

This is a new condition ASRock DeskMini X300 prebuilt from Skytech sold as the Mini PCX1. It costs $480 from Skytech right now, but I got it heavily discounted from a third-party—cheaper than building it to the same specs with used parts in a barebones DeskMini X300 chassis.

 

MykyBM0h.jpg

 

I've already started making some changes with a heatsink upgrade to the Thermalright AXP90-X36. I'm still waiting for a Noctua NF-A9x14 fan to arrive so I can swap it in place of the Thermalright fan before I put everything back together and fire it up. Reviews I've seen for this heatsink indicate that the fan swap won't measurably change thermal performance, but Noctua's fans generally have lower noise levels and better acoustic profiles than Thermalright's.

 

The AXP90 heatsink was annoying to install. If this had been my first experience with Thermalright, I likely wouldn't be a repeat customer. The Peerless Assassin on my desktop was so simple to install, while the AXP90 is easily the worst install I've done with vague instructions and a dual socket LGA1200/AM4 backplate with wings for LGA1200 that hit the button cell backup battery on the back of the PCB, rendering the backplate unusable unless I took a Dremel to it. I attached the stock AM4 backplate instead, but I spent some time experimenting with different fits because Thermalright's instructions for this cooler were practically worthless.

 

Nonetheless, I got it installed and it puts ASRock's 70mm stock cooler to shame.

 

CMxvBFYh.jpg

 

For network storage, I'm going with the unconventional choice of an SSD. This PC is in the same room as my office and I don't want to hear it making constant writes as an NVR. For the longest time, I planned on getting a 4 TB WD Purple hard drive connected via USB 3.0, but then I'd have to buy an external enclosure, and if I'm buying an external enclosure for a hard drive, I'm getting one with a fan, and then I'd probably be looking to replace the stock fan with a Noctua.

 

Rather than deal with all of that, I looked into the viability of bringing it all inside the chassis. The DeskMini has space for another NVMe M.2 2280, but I wasn't going to spend that kind of money on a large storage SSD. However, it also has space for two 2.5" drives, so I went with a used 3.84 TB Samsung PM863a enterprise SATA SSD for $150. SMART diagnostic data on it shows just 7 out of a rated 5466 TBW.

 

GNcuHeRh.jpg

 

That's it for now. The Noctua fan is scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday.

Nice build log, I love small systems fle multi purpose use. I completely get going SSD only for noise reduction. My setup has mechanical drives only due to the price per GB factor...that and its in my office and some HDD noise in there is fine. If it was in the living room or bedroom....it would be a problem. 

 

Still waiting for SSD storage price per GB to improve. Replacing my current storage pool with Solid State would be prohibitively expensive.

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RAM: Corsair Dominator Titanium 64GB (6000MT/s)
GPU: EVGA 3090 FTW Ultra Gaming
SSD/NVME: Corsair MP700 Pro Gen 5 2TB
PSU: EVGA Supernova T2 1600Watt
CASE: be quiet Dark Base Pro 900 Rev 2
FANS: Noctua NF-A14 industrialPPC x 6
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RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) Kingston 2666Mhz
SSD/NVME: 256GB Samsung NVMe
NETWORK: HP 561T 10Gbe (Intel X540 T2)
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CPU: 2 x Xeon|E5-2696-V4 (44C/88T)
RAM: 128GB|16 x 8GB - DDR4 2400MHz (2Rx8)
MOTHERBOARD: HP Z840|Intel C612 Chipset
GPU: Nvidia Quadro P2200
HDD: 4x 16TB Toshiba MG08ACA16TE Enterprise
SSD/NVME: Intel 512GB 670p NVMe (Main OS)
SSD/NVME 2: Samsung 1TB 980 NVMe (VM's)
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2.5 GbE would have been nice for sure, and given the role this PC will play in my network, it's a bit of a shame because the rest of this rig is overpowered for how I intend to use it. I don't anticipate the 1 GbE being a major bottleneck for now though, but maybe that's just me rationalizing it today because I currently don't move files over Ethernet often.

 

As much as I'd like to have waited for the DeskMini X600, a build based around that would have ended up a fair bit more expensive than the approximately $300 I paid for this DeskMini X300/Ryzen 5 5600G/16 GB DDR4-3200/500 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe rig. I still wanted to keep this thing relatively cheap, and it cost the same as what I paid for the NUC 8 back in 2021.

 

If I were needing more storage than around 4 TB for the NVR, I might have gone with a DeskMeet and used 3.5" hard drives instead. I'm currently estimating about a half-dozen cameras that will be capturing at 2K resolution/15 FPS at most, which would give me around 10-14 days of footage per camera.

 

I vastly prefer the silence over the storage capacity and as long as you're staying under 4 TB, SSD pricing isn't bad. I may not sleep in the office, and I may have music on most of the time which would mask the noises, but I would find the sound of constant rhythmic hard drive writes to be exhausting.

Edited by Snakecharmed

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GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming
SSD/NVME: 1 TB WD_BLACK SN850X PCIe 4.0 NVMe
SSD/NVME 2: 2 TB WD_BLACK SN770 PCIe 4.0 NVMe
MONITOR: 38" LG UltraGear 38GN950-B 3840x1600 144 Hz
MONITOR 2: 55" Samsung Neo QLED QN85A 4K 120 Hz 4:4:4
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CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock X300M-STM
RAM: 16 GB (2x8 GB) ADATA DDR4-3200 CL22
SSD/NVME: 500 GB Gigabyte Gen3 2500E PCIe 3.0 NVMe
SSD/NVME 2: 3.84 TB Samsung PM863a Enterprise SATA 6 Gbps
CASE: ASRock DeskMini X300W
CPU COOLER: Thermalright AXP90-X36
CPU COOLER 2: [Fan] Noctua NF-A9x14 92mm PWM 2.52 W
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1NScG9vh.jpg

I put the Noctua NF-A9x14 fan on the Thermalright AXP90.

 

Whxc95fh.jpg

 

4T9tVKCh.jpg

The DeskMini X300 placed next to the NUC 8, then next to my Mystichrome build.

 

QV81Y1Lh.jpg

The seller included this brand new Punkston TK87 RGB mechanical keyboard. I wouldn't complain about a free throw-in anyway, but it's actually a good mechanical RGB keyboard for its retail price point of under $30.

 

W3HhQ65h.jpg

Here's the ASRock X300M-STX UEFI home screen with the rig specs.

 

There's enough to tweak given the limitations of a small motherboard with thermal and power budget constraints, although there's not a lot that I wanted to mess with here given the purpose of this rig. I did lower the CPU power limit to 35W though.

 

The NVMe SSD comes with an image of Windows 11 Home, soon to be Windows 11 Dumpster since I can't get past the setup without signing in to a Microsoft account that I had no intention of making in the first place because I was going to put 10 IoT LTSC on this all the way.

Edited by Snakecharmed
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SSD/NVME: 1 TB WD_BLACK SN850X PCIe 4.0 NVMe
SSD/NVME 2: 2 TB WD_BLACK SN770 PCIe 4.0 NVMe
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CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
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RAM: 16 GB (2x8 GB) ADATA DDR4-3200 CL22
SSD/NVME: 500 GB Gigabyte Gen3 2500E PCIe 3.0 NVMe
SSD/NVME 2: 3.84 TB Samsung PM863a Enterprise SATA 6 Gbps
CASE: ASRock DeskMini X300W
CPU COOLER: Thermalright AXP90-X36
CPU COOLER 2: [Fan] Noctua NF-A9x14 92mm PWM 2.52 W
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On 12/02/2024 at 05:39, Snakecharmed said:

2.5 GbE would have been nice for sure, and given the role this PC will play in my network, it's a bit of a shame because the rest of this rig is overpowered for how I intend to use it. I don't anticipate the 1 GbE being a major bottleneck for now though, but maybe that's just me rationalizing it today because I currently don't move files over Ethernet often.

 

As much as I'd like to have waited for the DeskMini X600, a build based around that would have ended up a fair bit more expensive than the approximately $300 I paid for this DeskMini X300/Ryzen 5 5600G/16 GB DDR4-3200/500 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe rig. I still wanted to keep this thing relatively cheap, and it cost the same as what I paid for the NUC 8 back in 2021.

 

If I were needing more storage than around 4 TB for the NVR, I might have gone with a DeskMeet and used 3.5" hard drives instead. I'm currently estimating about a half-dozen cameras that will be capturing at 2K resolution/15 FPS at most, which would give me around 10-14 days of footage per camera.

 

I vastly prefer the silence over the storage capacity and as long as you're staying under 4 TB, SSD pricing isn't bad. I may not sleep in the office, and I may have music on most of the time which would mask the noises, but I would find the sound of constant rhythmic hard drive writes to be exhausting.

 

I meant to say, if you wanted to, you can expand your network throughput using the additional M.2 slot with an M.2 to 10gbe, you might be able to pick on up that does 2.5gb 

 

For instance.....

 

https://nl.aliexpress.com/item/1005006523024320.html?pdp_npi=4%40dis!GBP!103.09!77.31!!!126.34!94.75!%402102e91217078483640707162d13e5!12000037521116455!affd!!!&isdl=y&aff_fsk=_oBXVPn9&src=Connexity2023GBchannel&aff_platform=aff_feeds&aff_short_key=_oBXVPn9&dp=17079136469010256639012961105008005&cn=326576&cv=90dc9d53ad3a459934a2d8241df6ed58&gatewayAdapt=glo2nld 

 

Not saying you should get that one specifically, just more so letting you know that if increasing network throughput is something you wanted to look into, you can use your spare M.2 slot to achieve it 🙂

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RAM: 128GB|16 x 8GB - DDR4 2400MHz (2Rx8)
MOTHERBOARD: HP Z840|Intel C612 Chipset
GPU: Nvidia Quadro P2200
HDD: 4x 16TB Toshiba MG08ACA16TE Enterprise
SSD/NVME: Intel 512GB 670p NVMe (Main OS)
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SSD/NVME 3: 2x Seagate FireCuda 1TB SSD's (Apps)
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4 hours ago, ENTERPRISE said:

I meant to say, if you wanted to, you can expand your network throughput using the additional M.2 slot with an M.2 to 10gbe, you might be able to pick on up that does 2.5gb 

 

For instance.....

 

https://nl.aliexpress.com/item/1005006523024320.html?pdp_npi=4%40dis!GBP!103.09!77.31!!!126.34!94.75!%402102e91217078483640707162d13e5!12000037521116455!affd!!!&isdl=y&aff_fsk=_oBXVPn9&src=Connexity2023GBchannel&aff_platform=aff_feeds&aff_short_key=_oBXVPn9&dp=17079136469010256639012961105008005&cn=326576&cv=90dc9d53ad3a459934a2d8241df6ed58&gatewayAdapt=glo2nld 

 

Not saying you should get that one specifically, just more so letting you know that if increasing network throughput is something you wanted to look into, you can use your spare M.2 slot to achieve it 🙂

 

That looks good. I was considering a USB 3.0 solution since it's only 2.5 GbE that I'd want to support in the near future, but using the extra M.2 would be better. Here's a possibility, potential Intel I225-V issues (which I was unaware of until just now) aside.

 

WWW.AMAZON.COM

Buy Ableconn M2NW108BM 2.5 GbE Base-T M.2 B-M Key Ethernet Module (Right Angle RJ-45) - Intel I225 Ethernet Controller - M.2...

 

Edited by Snakecharmed
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CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7900X
MOTHERBOARD: Asus ROG Strix B650E-F Gaming WiFi
RAM: 64 GB (2x32 GB) G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo RGB DDR5-6000 CL30
GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming
SSD/NVME: 1 TB WD_BLACK SN850X PCIe 4.0 NVMe
SSD/NVME 2: 2 TB WD_BLACK SN770 PCIe 4.0 NVMe
MONITOR: 38" LG UltraGear 38GN950-B 3840x1600 144 Hz
MONITOR 2: 55" Samsung Neo QLED QN85A 4K 120 Hz 4:4:4
Full Rig Info

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CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock X300M-STM
RAM: 16 GB (2x8 GB) ADATA DDR4-3200 CL22
SSD/NVME: 500 GB Gigabyte Gen3 2500E PCIe 3.0 NVMe
SSD/NVME 2: 3.84 TB Samsung PM863a Enterprise SATA 6 Gbps
CASE: ASRock DeskMini X300W
CPU COOLER: Thermalright AXP90-X36
CPU COOLER 2: [Fan] Noctua NF-A9x14 92mm PWM 2.52 W
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