The Topton N305 NAS Motherboard – Hardware Deep Dive Review

The Topton N305 NAS Motherboard+CPU Combo – Should You Buy It?

If you have come to this article on the Topton N305 NAS Motherboard, then chances are you are a very specific kind of NAS user! When you want to build your own NAS from scratch, there is always the balance between POWER and POWER EFFICIENCY! The former, means you can get so much more done, as quickly as possible – the latter is a pursuit to ensure that this 24×7 DiY NAS server is not going to cost you a small fortune in electricity costs! Until recently, the 2020/2021 released Topton N5105/N6005 NAS+Mobo combo was considered the best balance in the market to provide a fair balance of performance, capability and power efficiency. However, because Intel has moved forward with its refresh of their processors into the newer generation (largely killing off the Intel Celeron and Pentium naming) AND brands such as Topton have now vastly improved their development techniques, many MANY eyes have now moved over to the newer Topton Intel N305 and N100 NAS Motherboard. Most ‘Build Your Own’ (BYO) NAS buyers are considering this highly praised little M-ITX combo for their new Plex Build, their new modest Container/VM server with Proxmox, or scaling up from a private cloud to a 5-6 drive UnRAID or TrueNAS server! But, is the N305 NAS motherboard actually any good? What are the main differences to consider between the N305 and N100 model? And is it reliable enough for your data? In this article we dig into the hardware and share what we find!

Note – You can watch the Topton N305 full hardware review and dive HERE on YouTube

Additionally, find our lists of the recommended NAS CPU+Mobo Combos HERE on NASCompares in a dedicated article

Where to Buy

(Amazon / Aliexpress)

ALIEXPRESS $279 HERE (Upgrades Available)

Amazon $348 HERE (Board Only)

Component Specification
Processor Intel Alder Lake-N i3-N305
Memory 1x SO-DIMM DDR5 4800MHz, up to 16/32GB
Storage 2x M.2 NVMe 3×1 Slot, 2x SATA3
PCIe Slot PCIe 3×1 (cut)
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics
Display Outputs 2x HDMI, 1x DP, 1x Type-C (all 4096 x 2160@60Hz)
Network Card 4x Intel i226-V 2.5G
4G LTE/SIM Yes
Wireless? MICROPCIe Slot (Shared with PCIe 3×1 Slot)
USB Ports 5x USB2.0, 1x USB3 via FPanel and Pins
Cooling Passive cooling with fanless heatsink
BIOS AMI EFI BIOS with various supports
TDP 9-15W
Power Input DC 12V (External PSU option)
Case Material Aluminium Alloy
Expansion PWM fan power connector, TPM Pin
Dimensions 158.0mm x 126.5mm x 60.2mm
Color Black or Gray (random)
Installation Desktop, Wall-mounted
Operating Environment 0°C to 70°C, 5%-85% Humidity

 


Topton N305 DiY NAS CPU+MoBo Combo – Hardware Design

The Topton N305 Board is offered on Aliexpress with various pricing options based on the included components. The basic package, which includes just the CPU and motherboard, is priced at $319. For an additional $10, customers can obtain the package with a SAS fan-out cable for enhanced storage capabilities, totalling $329. The most comprehensive option includes everything mentioned plus an external PSU, available for $359. This tiered pricing structure provides flexibility for buyers based on their specific needs and desired configurations.

The latest version of the Topton N305 ITX motherboard now includes a metal, high quality fan-assisted heatsink. This new feature aims to enhance cooling efficiency for the system. It’s a significant update for those looking for improved thermal management in their ITX setups.

The N305 CPU, a central component of Topton’s latest NAS and DiY switch motherboard, showcases Intel’s innovative engineering through its Alder Lake-N architecture, catering specifically to efficiency and performance. With its Intel 7 lithography, the processor strikes a balance between power consumption and computational prowess, offering a TDP of 9-15W. This optimization allows for reduced energy usage while maintaining high performance, making it an ideal choice for NAS systems where efficiency is paramount.

Embedded within the motherboard, the N305 CPU supports advanced memory capabilities, including DDR5, ensuring broad compatibility and future-proofing for evolving storage technologies. The processor’s ability to handle up to 16GB of memory alongside its versatile support for various memory speeds up to 4800 MHz underlines its capacity to manage intensive data transactions and storage operations. This flexibility is crucial for NAS applications, which demand rapid access to and processing of voluminous data sets.

Furthermore, the integration of Intel UHD Graphics within the CPU provides substantial support for multimedia tasks, extending the motherboard’s utility beyond mere storage. This feature, coupled with the processor’s support for multiple displays and high-definition outputs, enables the N305 NAS Motherboard to serve as a central hub for not only storage but also media streaming and light graphical tasks. The inclusion of advanced technologies like Intel Quick Sync Video highlights the CPU’s adeptness at encoding and decoding video streams efficiently, thereby enhancing the functionality of NAS systems built with the N305 motherboard for a variety of applications.

The Topton N305 NAS Motherboard incorporates a single SO-DIMM slot for memory, strategically located on the motherboard’s rear, optimizing space and accessibility. This design choice underscores the board’s compact and efficient layout, catering to users seeking a balance between performance and form factor in their NAS solutions. However, it’s important to note that this system does not support ECC (Error-Correcting Code) memory. The absence of ECC support is typical for systems prioritizing cost-effectiveness and simplicity over the error correction capabilities critical in enterprise-level servers. Despite this, the motherboard’s memory compatibility, supporting up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM at speeds of 4800MHz (and compatibility with 5200/5600MHz), ensures robust performance for various NAS applications.

At the top section of the Mini-ITX NAS motherboard, there are two distinct SATA connection ports available for direct drive connections. Additionally, it features an SFF-8643 output. This output enables the connection of four more SATA drives. The connectivity expansion is facilitated through a compatible cable.

The motherboard utilizes a JMB585 controller for enhanced SATA drive management, bridging the gap between PCIe hosts and SATA/AHCI storage devices. This integration allows the board to support five SATA ports through the JMB585, enhancing its storage capabilities.

The controller also enables Port Multiplier support, significantly expanding potential storage configurations. This setup is particularly beneficial for users looking to maximize their storage options, offering a versatile solution for a variety of storage needs.

Example:

It supports command-based switching (CBS) and FIS (Frame Information Structure)-based switching (FBS). JMB585 also support TRIM to the SSD and can transmit and receive data by both of AHCI mode and legacy IDE mode to and from the host respectively.

Although this review is of the DC output version of the Topton N305 NAS board, there is also two 4-POWER (12V) connectors at the rear corner of the motherboard to supply additional power for bulk storage needs as required in some enclosures and backplanes.

This review focuses on the DC output variant of the Topton N305 NAS motherboard. Additionally, it features two 4-POWER (12V) connectors located at the rear corner. These connectors are designed to supply extra power for extensive storage needs. This capability is especially useful in certain enclosures and backplanes where additional power is necessary for bulk storage management.

The Topton N305 DC motherboard is supplied with an external power supply unit (PSU), specifically a 180W model produced by Chicony, a name that may not be familiar to all. No, me neither…

The fan-assisted CPU cooling system on the Topton N305 NAS motherboard receives commendation for its efficiency, producing minimal noise while maintaining a surprisingly low profile. This design choice enhances the overall user experience by ensuring effective thermal management without adding bulk or disruptive sound to the setup.

The N305 NAS motherboard facilitates M.2 NVMe storage through two 2280 slots. These slots are strategically located on the rear or base of the motherboard for easy access and efficient space utilization. This configuration allows for high-speed storage solutions to be incorporated seamlessly into the system, enhancing its performance capabilities.

The M.2 connectors on the N305 NAS motherboard are specified as PCIe Gen 3×1, providing a maximum bandwidth of 1000MB/s for each slot. While it may be seen as a drawback that 3×4 NVMe drives will operate in these 3×1 slots, limiting their maximum speed, this configuration remains noteworthy. Considering the motherboard’s compact scale and the overall allocation of 9 PCIe lanes, the inclusion of these connectors and their performance capability is still an impressive feat, balancing system expansion with available resources.

Our examination through SSH terminal within UnRAID has verified the configuration of the slots. It’s confirmed that they operate at the downgraded bandwidth of 3×1. This adjustment aligns with the system’s specifications and ensures compatibility within its infrastructure.

During our disk speed tests on the motherboard, a standard PCIe 3×4 NVMe drive was tested using a 1GB file. The results showed a sequential read/write speed of approximately 750-780MB/s. This performance is indicative of the operational bandwidth limits imposed by the 3×1 slot configuration on the motherboard.

In our tests transferring data between two M.2 NVMe drives with a 1GB file, the speeds achieved ranged from 320-330MB/s. This suggests that the two NVMe slots share a single lane or path on the motherboard. The shared pathway is likely the reason for these specific transfer speeds, indicating a bottleneck at the shared connection point.

Located at the front-bottom of the motherboard is a PCIe slot, specifically designed for further system enhancements and expansions. This slot opens up opportunities for additional upgrades, allowing users to customize their setups according to their specific needs. It represents a key feature for those looking to extend the motherboard’s capabilities beyond its initial configuration.

The PCIe slot on the motherboard operates with Gen 3×1 specifications, offering a maximum bandwidth of 1,000MB/s. Despite this limitation, it has been physically designed to accommodate longer cards, such as x4, x8, or x16. This thoughtful design ensures compatibility with a wider range of expansion cards, providing users with greater flexibility in upgrading their systems. It is something of a compromise between bandwidth capability and physical compatibility, enhancing the motherboard’s adaptability for various use cases. The limitations in PCIe speed and lane allocation on the motherboard stem from the CPU’s architecture, which provides 8-9 lanes. This constraint not only affects the N305 model but also has implications for the N100 version of the motherboard and CPU NAS combo.

The lane count directly influences the number and types of devices that can be supported concurrently, impacting overall system expandability and performance. This highlights the importance of the CPU’s lane capacity in determining the motherboard’s capability for expansions and upgrades.

Located on the back of the motherboard is a MINIPCIe slot, primarily intended for adding a wireless network card. This slot, while versatile, is not suitable for a wide range of other expansions. Its inclusion provides an option for wireless connectivity, enhancing the board’s functionality without significantly diversifying its expansion capabilities. The MINIPCIe slot located at the rear of the motherboard is shared with the main PCIe 3×1 slot, meaning they cannot be used simultaneously. This configuration limits the ability to expand the system’s connectivity and upgrade capabilities at the same time. Users must choose between utilizing the MINIPCIe slot for wireless networking or the PCIe slot for other expansions, highlighting a trade-off in the motherboard’s design for flexibility versus functionality.

In an interesting move, likely catering to prosumer uses like pfsense and OpenWRT builds, the motherboard includes a 4G LTE/SIM card slot. This addition is somewhat unexpected but expands the board’s utility by enabling direct cellular network access. It suggests a broader vision for the motherboard’s applications, potentially appealing to users requiring remote or backup internet connectivity. Integrating the 4G LTE/SIM card slot for cellular network access into NAS systems like UnRAID may present challenges, as such operating systems might not support this type of cellular network interface. This limitation underscores the importance of verifying compatibility with the intended NAS OS to ensure full functionality of the onboard features. The presence of cellular connectivity options expands the potential use cases for the motherboard, although users must navigate the constraints of OS support.

The motherboard is equipped with four 2.5GbE network ports, each powered by an Intel i226-V controller. This setup significantly enhances the board’s networking capabilities, providing robust, high-speed connections suitable for demanding network environments. The inclusion of multiple 2.5GbE ports allows for flexible network configurations and supports advanced networking features, making it an ideal choice for users looking for high-performance networking options in their NAS setups. The integrated network card on the motherboard enables it to achieve a default network bandwidth of over 1GB per second. This high capacity can be distributed across multiple client devices or utilized fully by a single device through advanced networking techniques such as SMB3, load balancing, LAG, or trunking with a compatible smart switch.

This feature significantly enhances the motherboard’s network performance, catering to both distributed and concentrated network demands. Integrating a 10GbE NIC upgrade into the motherboard’s PCIe 3×1 slot could potentially elevate the network bandwidth to 2GB or 2000MB/s. This enhancement would leverage the available PCIe slot to significantly boost the networking capabilities of the system. Such an upgrade indicates a strong potential for achieving superior network performance, making the system well-suited for high-demand networking tasks. The performance ceiling for the two NVMe drives on the motherboard, even when configured in RAID 0/1, is around 1000MB/s. Meanwhile, connecting 5-6 SATA drives, depending on whether they are HDDs or SATA SSDs, can result in varying performance. With HDDs, expect around 600-800MB/s, and with SATA SSDs, performance can reach up to 1000-1100MB/s. This variation is due to the JMB585 SATA controller operating on a Gen 3 lane, influencing the overall throughput of connected storage devices.

The motherboard is designed with an abundance of USB ports, catering to various connectivity needs. Among these, two ports are uniquely positioned internally, providing a convenient option for connecting an OS boot drive directly on the motherboard. This feature enhances the flexibility and functionality of the system, allowing for streamlined setup and efficient use of space.

The motherboard features six USB 2.0 ports in total, with four positioned on the rear and two internally on the board, designed for versatile connectivity options, including the possibility of an OS boot drive connection. Additionally, it supports USB 3.2 connectivity through front panel and internal pins, expanding its compatibility with faster USB devices.

The motherboard is equipped with HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, supporting 4K resolution at 60FPS. This capability ensures high-quality video output for tasks requiring detailed visuals. Such features make the board suitable for applications beyond traditional computing tasks, including media playback and content creation that demands high-resolution displays.

We conducted a video analysis of the Topton N305 NAS Motherboard+CPU combo, exploring its BIOS features and conducting various tests using UnRAID. This in-depth examination aimed to understand the motherboard’s capabilities, performance, and how it handles in different scenarios, particularly focusing on its compatibility and performance with UnRAID as a potential NAS solution. This process provided valuable insights into its suitability for various computing tasks and its overall performance metrics.

The Topton N305 NAS Motherboard+CPU Combo – Should You Buy It?

As of 2024, the Topton N305 NAS motherboard stands out for its balance between power efficiency and functionality, especially at its price range. Its CPU, with a flexible TDP ranging from 9 to 15 watts, impressively manages to offer an 8-core, 8-thread configuration capable of reaching up to 3.8 GHz per core. This makes it an excellent choice for tasks like 4K transcoding on a Plex Media Server, with the potential to handle 8K content thanks to its integrated graphics hitting 1.25 GHz. Despite the limitation of having only 9 PCIe Gen 3 lanes, the design efficiently allocates these resources, supporting up to six SATA drives, two M.2 slots, and a PCIe expansion slot, all on a compact MITX board. While the N100 version presents a more cost-effective and slightly less powerful alternative, the modest increase in power consumption of the N305 variant justifies its higher performance capability, making it a superior choice for those needing a more potent setup. The N305’s design, which mirrors the physical and lane layout of the N100 while significantly enhancing performance, demonstrates an impressive achievement in maximizing the utility and efficiency of a small form factor motherboard.

Where to Buy

(Amazon / Aliexpress)

ALIEXPRESS $279 HERE (Upgrades Available)

Amazon $348 HERE (Board Only)

Component Specification
Processor Intel Alder Lake-N i3-N305
Memory 1x SO-DIMM DDR5 4800MHz, up to 16/32GB
Storage 2x M.2 NVMe 3×1 Slot, 2x SATA3
PCIe Slot PCIe 3×1 (cut)
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics
Display Outputs 2x HDMI, 1x DP, 1x Type-C (all 4096 x 2160@60Hz)
Network Card 4x Intel i226-V 2.5G
4G LTE/SIM Yes
Wireless? MICROPCIe Slot (Shared with PCIe 3×1 Slot)
USB Ports 5x USB2.0, 1x USB3 via FPanel and Pins
Cooling Passive cooling with fanless heatsink
BIOS AMI EFI BIOS with various supports
TDP 9-15W
Power Input DC 12V (External PSU option)
Case Material Aluminium Alloy
Expansion PWM fan power connector, TPM Pin
Dimensions 158.0mm x 126.5mm x 60.2mm
Color Black or Gray (random)
Installation Desktop, Wall-mounted
Operating Environment 0°C to 70°C, 5%-85% Humidity

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      138 thoughts on “The Topton N305 NAS Motherboard – Hardware Deep Dive Review

      1. Chicony.. never heard of them… WHAMZ you got a “dislike” from me 😛
        Remember them well my Bondwell PC XT at 4.75Hmz had a keyboard from them in the 80’s… oh right you where not born yet sorry…. Pfftt…

        (hmz kinda pressed the “like” by mistake sorry)
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      2. And here I sit trying to decide whether to build a NAS using a mini ITX mobo or get my Cisco UCS C240 M4 with 12 10TB SAS drives running. The Cisco is kind of big and noisy though and a bit of a power hog. It has two 1200W power supplies. Lol
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      3. should i buy an ATX power supply for this board or only use that external power brick that i can get with the board?
        I would like to build in a power supply, but i have no clue on where to start. what is resonable to to buy?
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      4. I’m new to this stuff, what kind of case would you guys use for say 4, 6 or even 10 drives? I like that inserted mobo with 2016 cpu, my drives aren’t that new but i’d love to rock 2.5gbit
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      5. Honestly I’m fed up with “nas” motherboards coming in with 8 or less sata connectors (even with mini SAS), while giving people 4 ethernet ports … WHY ? this supposed to be a NAS not a SWITCH. Even if you wanted to use it as a router, just two ports would be enough … but NO, we need to take 4 slow ports and pretend that this is not a bottleneck … idiotic.
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      6. People are getting excited for the wrong cpu. The one to get excited is actually Intel Pentium 8505: 20 lanes of pcie, dual channel memory. 4e+1p (so 6 threads total) cores. 1/3 cheaper msrp than n305. AV1 decode. Same TDP as n305: 15w. It’s absolutely no contest which is better for a nas and not only for a nas.
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      7. People are getting excited for the wrong cpu. The one to get excited is actually Intel Pentium 8505: 20 lanes of pcie, dual channel memory. 4e+1p (so 6 threads total) cores. 1/3 cheaper msrp than n305. AV1 decode. Same TDP as n305: 15w. It’s absolutely no contest which is better for a nas and not only for a nas.
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      8. There’s also a variant of this board setup which uses an ATX power design and can mount a LGA115x compatible cooler, though you lose the 4g modem port and you get 6 SATA ports instead of 2+SAS. These ports are also in front of the PCIe x1 slot along with some headers, which will prevent you from plugging a x16 card in there. That PCIe slot is also shared with the second M.2 slot and you can only use one or the other, though this is true for all of those N100 and N305 mobos.
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      9. Do you know where can I buy a a 4x 3.5″ tray with integrated sata backplane to build my own case around?
        Something not to expensive but functional.
        Buying one of these retal nases to break it apart is expensive and kinda stupid 😀
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      10. Topton recently released a similar motherboard using an i7 1165G7 (or similar i5 and i3), do you think you can also review one of these?

        One of the advantage compared to this N305 motherboard, is that the 1165G7 has more PCIe lanes, thus 4 lanes to each nvme and 4 lanes to the PCIe connector as well. And the Xe graphics are way better too for transcoding for instance…
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      11. What is the idle power consumption of the board itself with the nvmes alone? I can’t imagine it being lower than 19-25 watts due to the many controllers that are used to split the pcie lanes and NICs…
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      12. But how do you power the HDDs? If you still need a PSU it defeats the purpose of having DC input. Also you’d need some way of jump starting the PSU as you don’t have the ATX 24 pin header. I see that it has 2 4 pin ATX outputs but it doesn’t come with the cable and the pin out is non standard.
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      13. Another interesting summary.

        Have you verified the sata throughout on the N305 board, or Indeed the N100 version? Someone recently did some heavy testing on the BKHD green N100 version and oddly the sata controller was tied in at pcie2x1 speeds. Which is a bit mad since the cpu is pci3x9. Any thoughts?
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      14. I love the Atom/Alderlake N family of processors. Imagine we get a similar board with a real i3 and you had 20 PCIe lanes to work with and could use 64-512GB. The downside is that the real i3 has 4 of the E cores cut in favor of having 2 P cores so power usage goes up without much performance increase so it would need beefier VRM and cooling, without much perfromance increase, and in some cases might be slower, but i’d trade that for say 8M.2 at 2x link speed and SFP+28
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      15. I really don’t like (or fully understand) the two 4-pin aux power connectors, in addition to the main DC-in barrel jack. Are the aux connectors (one or both) required for PCIe add-in cards? They aren’t used for a SATA/SAS backplane with spinning rust drives – that has to get power directly from the PSU. So to build a NAS with this board, you’ll need a (likely flex) ATX power supply AND the external power brick. That seems kind of silly.
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      16. I bought the TerraMaster F4-424 Pro after watching your videos. I know you said it’s sad it didn’t have 10 gig, but I guess that NAS is for people like me … I don’t have even have 2,5 Gig to my router so I am doing dual link 1 gig till that day I upgrade my router… It’s my first NAS with Plex and some programs running in Docker on it. Can recommend the NAS and this N305!!
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      17. 0:11: ???? High-performance Topton N305 NAS motherboard with customizable upgrades for power and efficiency.
        3:40: ???? Topton N305 motherboard stands out for its unique features and versatility in terms of power and efficiency.
        7:29: ???? Insufficient resources for high-speed storage on Topton N305 NAS Motherboard.
        11:53: ⚙️ In-depth BIOS configuration options offer extensive system tweaking capabilities.
        14:37: ???? Exploring hardware specifications and limitations of Topton N305 NAS motherboard.
        17:39: ???? Performance test results of Topton N305 NAS motherboard with added SSDs for entry-level users.
        21:01: ???? Comparison of performance, power consumption, and noise levels of different motherboards.

        Timestamps by Tammy AI
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      18. Why do they all continue to put in 4 ethernet connections? It’s already starved for bandwidth, and it increases build cost. I’ve yet to see one using those connections where it makes sense, even as a router there are other options that are smaller and better.
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      19. Hm, you mention „low power consumption“ several times, but didn‘t test it? The problem with this board is, it doesn’t really get to low C–states due to that rubbish SATA controller. Mine idles at ~17W, without any SATA drive connected.
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      20. Don’t know about the current Chicony but ten years back they were making a lot of notebook computers sold under a number of names including their own. Brands used to give them some specs and logos and they would produce custom versions of their designs using the specified design and with the brands logos and names. They were not the best, but far from the worst notebook manufacturers.
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      21. Another contender is the minisforum ms01. It offers much more right up to i9 gen 13 intel (pci slot sets up the possibly to config the storage you want).

        One thing that is in common is the barrel jack power supply. It would be great to find a converter to go from the barrel input to a standard pc/NAS power supplies to power all the disk drives
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      22. just info Aoostar R7 nvme 512GB gen3x4
        root@pve:~# dd if=/dev/nvme0n1 of=/dev/nvme1n1 bs=1M count=1024
        1024+0 records in
        1024+0 records out
        1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 0.377167 s, 2.8 GB/s
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      23. They really need to just put 10 gig on the board, rather than 4x 2.5 gbe connections. The 1x PCIe is only gonna give you about 7 GBe throughput if you slot a 10 gbe card in.
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      24. I think this is why your guest from Ugreen yesterday was talking about a 12th gen i5 in their upcoming NAS. A bog standard i5-12600 supports 20 lanes of PCIe3 and PCIe4, and thunderbolt. But being Intel, still no ECC! They want you to buy a $2000 xeon to get that…
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      25. few months ago I built my NAS based on Topton 6005. The performance shows me that CPU is never going above 40% while averge is around 5%. That board accepted 64GB RAM that is a key point when you use ZFS. So question is: how is this i3 better than 6005 in such usage? Probably it is not. Of course if I was buying today I would have bought this one. But still: can we be always on the top?
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      26. hey Robbie, the PCIe debacle with all of these (previously known as) Celeron chips is an Intel marketing thing. There’s no reason they could not have put 20 PCIe lanes on these chips except they really want to sell you a 12900. You really have to question whether you’d be better off with the Erying 11900 laptop cpu board for anyone who cares about i/o performance.
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      27. It’s unclear to me how to power SATA devices when using this board. There are two connectors marked “12V output” next to the CPU heatsink, but SATA devices need 12V, 5V and 3.3V. You say powering SATA devices needs “additional cabling”, but does they also need an additional power supply? A lot of great information here otherwise, thank you!
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      28. Great review! I’m really loving these NAS boards. However, I wonder if it’s possible to mount our own cooler of choice? At the very least it would be nice with a nicer fan.
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      29. I’m looking forward to the video! What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an AC power supply or a DC power supply? Some of these N305 or N100 motherboards are available for both variants.
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      30. Could you put information in your video like what the idle wattage of the system? Like lets say you only populate nvme slot and 16 GB of ram. Would be a good base to see how power efficient the system would be.
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      31. Get a pcie x1 to 4 x1 switch board which using by miners then you can put 4 more nvme there

        It is limited at x1 bandwidth but still enough for 2.5G network and has low access time compared to spinning disk
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      32. If you’re willing to look at MicroATX boards, and I would due to the availability of the relatively inexpensive Fractal Node 804 case (mATX, 10 3.5″ bays), you open up a world of possibilities. For instance the ASRock B550M Steel Legend, with 2.5GBe, 6xSATA, and 2xfull length M.2 slots (and 1x short M.2 slot for a Wi-Fi card). If all you want is mirrored flash storage, get 2 M.2 drives, and one 2.5″ SATA to boot from, and get a small/cheap case like the Fractal Core 1000 (#notspon).
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      33. Sorry, I went through but I didn’t see one with 6+ SATA, 10GigE in a single port, and a pair of NVME sockets. Is that an unrealistic spec to be looking for? I don’t mind which form factor the motherboard has.
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      34. I have a Rosewill RSV-L4500U NAS chassis.

        It’s a proper case with room to grow with 15 drive bays. I don’t understand why you pretend here that there’s nothing out there that will take a bunch of drives and still support ATX boards. It’s not like the chassis is incredibly expensive either.
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      35. Not spending $300+ without 10GbE. What’s next? A 20 port 2.5GbE board? Do these manufacturers not understand that there is MORE than just 2.5?
        Nonetheless, thanks for the video!
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      36. Totally not related but I’d be curious on how that N305 board would fare as a TV box?

        I’m still looking for the perfect replacement for my nvidia shield, but it’s just too damn good compared to the alternatives, yet it’s so old and lacking development
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      37. Could someone please let me know if there’s some manual available for the i3-N305 board? In particular, I’d like to know the specifications of the CPU fan (type (fixed or variable RPM), size, voltage). Thank you.
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      38. I went with a G ryzen and a b550m VC from msi-only new part- board has 2xnvme pcie3x4-this cuz the G ryzen-, 8 EIGHT sata ports by the way sata and nvme can all work at same time, a couple pcie slots for any future whatevers. Now for my use case, 1G lan is more than enough, Id say but still have them pcie slots justin! 6x hdds now and an os ssd, no cache drive, dont think ill need it, at least not now, and i read that most ssds will have not a good time being cache, since their lifetime is on the amount written. Wanted to get one of them X99 setups though, but this was quicker and less power, all on an old PC case with hdd mounting spaces with a couple extra fans thrown in there
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      39. What about this new board from CWWK? (can’t seem to add the link)
        It is AMD based with no intel transcoding support but it has alot more power (dedicated GPU)compared to the N305, more storage connectivity upto 9 sata ports, ECC memory support with the 7940HS CPU and even an pcie slot for future 10gb upgrade. Will this board be the endgame for DIY builders or am I missing something?
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      40. If you haven’t a problem with second hand things. I have picked up an i5 8500t with an Asus z390 ATX mobo with Asus hyper M.2 card, 64GB ddr 4 2666, ATX Gold powersupply all in an old case with lots of 3.5 and 2.5 inch bays. Still have a lot of PCIE and Sata ports free for the future. Power draw <40W. All for around €200, storage not included
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      41. While I see the appeal of MOBO+CPU options, I think the lack of serviceability makes them simply not worth it. I recently bought a 4650G because of the ECC support and okay CPU performance (and because it was dirt cheap, $110). Just slot it into any AM4 Gigabyte/ASUS board and UDIMM ECC is fully supported for a total of $200 MOBO+CPU. Still thinking about if I should do an ITX build with Jonsbo N1 or an ATX building with a Define R7.
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      42. Another great video! Thanks!
        Is it possible to build an efficient PC on one of these motherboards in which the raid array will be managed like a NAS and will have most of its functions? I don’t have typical network needs because I work alone on video editing, but I care about data security. I was thinking about a PC with two NVMe drives and a 4-6 HDD array.
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      43. The n305 board sharing the pcie late between the m.2 and the 3.0×1 slot was the reason the went with the n100 green board. Those lanes are not shared. Of course, after I ordered it, About a month ago Topton released a new version of the n305 board that does not share this lane.
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      44. i highly recommend a used Server with a Xeon 26xx, 26xxv2, or 26xxv3. Can pick them up with CPU + Ram for 80 to 150 bucks, and some come with 10G Lan and more SAS/SATA then one needs.
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      45. The N-series of Intel chips, especially not of the 8-core variant, are pretty weak, so if you plan to use them with dockerised apps, not so good… Intel’s i* H-series and now Ultras are the way to go for efficiency and because they have iGPUs with well supported hardware accelerated transcoding for the media serving use-cases – some apps/platforms may require extra cost for supporting Nvidia or AMD encoders – they make good basis for such builds. Newer gen may also be seated in TB3/TB4 enabled board, so device extension is quite possible…
        However, one could venture experiments with Epyc Siena. Why? Most boards for Siena come with 2 or 4 NICs, 2 of which often are RJ45 ports, with the other 2 for SFP28, so up to 52Gbps trunked output… enough to feed a quadruple of 10Gbps clients. Of course, those optical ports need connecting to a good switch. MikroTik has one with 16 SFP28 ports, if I recall correctly. SFP28 ports and transceivers can work at 10Gbps speed, basically being supported in SFP+ cages… Then, those Siena boards can be paired with Siena chips… starting from an 8 core 16 thread units you can scale now or in the future, depending on workloads, up to 64 core 128 thread design of Zen 4c chips, granted running at the efficiency oriented part of the bell curve. Add to that DDR5 RDIMMs support and 6 to 8 slots of those, and you can start small, then bump your platform as needed or as promos happen… Same for the storage and extensions… MCIO or slimSAS ports on boards are great for cable routing, after all most boards support splitting of signals into 4x or 8x SATA or SAS devices. Still, with a couple of MCIOs, you can easily use one or two split to cover spinning rust devices and still have some for bifurcation for NVMe U.2 drives to get better speed out of the NAS. Why is that a great thing? If you ever wanted to do a SATA SSD NAS, you’d be looking into 4TB+ models. Currently, at those capacities, SATA devices cost roughly the same as many cheaper enterprise PCIe3 or PCIe4, often around $20 of difference… for max throughput and iops nearly 5 times higher than the average SATA units… Once those U.2/U.3 drives drop in prices for high capacities, they may become defacto first choice even for homelab and NAS uses. Then, having a board that can easily already support those devices would be great and far easier to sell the idea to your spouses, so the wife-approval factor may be a benefit here as well.
        So building NAS on your own you need to differentiate between those with minimal usage scenarios needing something as efficient as possible and those willing to have a platform they can expand in the future per the needs or promos…
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      46. While Synology seems to be taking forever to upgrade to gen 12 processors, I am more and more looking with interest the Supermicro SuperWorkstation 531A-IL for a solid unRAiD build. What do you think?
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      47. I just finished up my nas upgrade with an Minisforum BD770i. The AMD Ryzen 7 7745HX (8c/16t) is a beast. In Unraid system idle it uses only 23w since it’s a mobile chip. I used an m.2 nvme to 6x sata adapter and it works like a charm. Since Plex natively supports amd igpu’s this mobo is a champ at transcoding. I highly recommend this motherboard.
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      48. Greetings and thank you for the video! I enjoy your channel.

        Looking forward to your video on NAS with ECC memory. I bought a *used* Lenovo P520 that included 128gb ecc memory and a 2135 XEON for $300 US. The internals are fantastic. The power – ouch – it has a 900 Watt power supply. I bought 6 *used* 10TB HDD and 2 1TB NVMe drives. I’ve installed TrueNAS Scale just to play around with it (I’m an old pro on building PCs but a newbie on building NAS and VMs). Wish me luck…and any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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      49. Hey, I have been really struggling to find a NAS to upgrade to. I want to run mostly 4k HDR HEVC content. I play it mostly on my LG G1. And I don’t understand HEVC thing, some of that content doesn’t run when I play it on the TV off my Plex Server ( currently using a Synology 216+). I have watched quite a few videos but I still can’t make an educated purchase.
        Can point me to a product? I really want good performance in a small box. A small pc sounds like a good choice but I kind of prefer a NAS, somethign that runs at home 24/7.
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      50. N100-N305 MB+CPU are crap. If you Seriously need more and faster PCIE lanes, or if you need more than 16 GB ADRESSABLE, not just recognized RAM. (By the way only single chanel) this combo is not the best.
        I Strongly recommand the combo MB + CPU from CWWK => AMD-7840HS/8845HS/7940HS – 9 SATA/8-BAY/9-BAY NAS – USB4 – 4 NETWORK 2.5G – PCIE X16 ITX MOTHERBOARD:
        I dont put links, i don’t why, but my comments won’t show up. Soo i try without link.
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      51. why is everyone so obsessed about ITX mobos?
        they lack PCIe and SATA connectivity, RAM expansion, space for bigger (silent) cpu cooler,
        if I weren’t using my X99-S desktop workstation as main PC, I’d simply make it a NAS build, since also the case (Fractal Define R5) supports 8 HDD bays already…
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      52. Just yesterday I finished building & setting up my first NAS. Went with Gigabyte B550i Aorus Pro paired with Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G, 2x 32 gb ECC, 4x Exos 18X and SN850X, built in Node 304. I think it’s quite well balanced home NAS for 2.5 Gbit network.
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      53. Anyone up for a challenge?

        Mini-ITX, Intel, >=11th Gen Intel CPU with 2x Media Engines, IPMI, IOMMU, 5x SATA, 1x NVMe, 1x PCIe x16, 1x >= GigLAN, 1x Monitor-Port, >=2x USB, (ECC support)

        Any experience with these NVMe to SATA adapters?
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      54. Since ECC is one of the most important things in a NAS if you value data integrity (which most NAS builders do), maybe you could bring out more prominently which ones support ECC and which ones don’t?
        And for a list of “best NAS CPU+mobos for NAS” there’s very little ECC support among the suggested alternatives.
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      55. I think as soon as you review an item the aliexpress stores use this as an opportunity to start increasing prices. Sometimes they just up their shipping costs to give the illusion of a cheaper product. ???? Or am I just being cynical.
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      56. I would say that a SuperMicro X14QEH+ mainboard with 4 Intel Xeon Scalable 5th gen Platinum 8593Q processors. This way you have 17 MCIO PCIe 5.0 x8 connectors and room for 24 NVMe PCIe 5.0 SSD’s at full speed. +2 NVMe PCI 3.0 x4 ports for slower speeds. That Mobo will certainly fully saturate 400GBps networks. It’s a cheap ass solution for if you want to replace a NetApp MetroCluster. Especially when compared to the best NAS/SAN solution in the world, the FAS9500.

        I don’t get why you would call consumer goods, the best motherboard CPU/Combo’s while there are so much better Enterprise solutions.
        with your solutions it is even hard to saturate a normal 10/40 GBps connection. As soon as more then 40 users connect to your storage solutions, you will run into bottlenecks.
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      57. The problem is these boards are not built to last. I have an alderlake n305 mini itx diy router like these and it just stopped working. It never reached temps above 80 degrees Fahrenheit and ram and name test fine outside of motherboard. Dealing with topton customer service has been an ordeal the past two months trying to RMA.
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      58. I have an idea for building a Gen 4 TrueNAS.
        Biostar b550m MX/E, already indicates it supports bifurcation and its good price where im at. Bifurcation cause i plan to use a 4x nvme adapter.
        My old Ryzen 3600. Relatively power efficient, at first i had the idea for an Epyc build, but that idles close to 100W.
        ECC unbuffered memory can also be used here.
        Also have a RX6400 when i need to use a gpu, as this will be a TrueNAS machine i probably wont need a gpu much.
        I will probably buy two 40gbe mellinox connect x3 and some DAS cables.
        Would need to think of something for an efficient small psu, i like sfx ones, but most of them have bad efficency at low wattage.
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      59. Is there any sense in getting the 13900H? Will all that power be utilized? Why not just go and buy the 12800H, even though there is a performance drop of 25,000 passmark vs. 29,400 passmark. The number of PCI-E lanes is the same – 28. Also, DDR4 is cheaper than DDR5.
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      60. I stay away from n series (n100,n305) chips. They don’t support hyperthreading (all “E” cores), don’t have good single core performance, and only provide 9 lanes of pcie gen 3. Makes it very difficult to build a NAS with SATA, NVME, and 10 gig networking without something getting starved for pcie lanes
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      61. I bought the Aoostar R7 on the back of your review so would be interested to see what you do with it. So far mine is running Unraid and I am seeing some interesting behaviour. Works, mostly 🙂
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