how to select a NAS server Motherboard


Beta member
I'm looking for suggestion for a NAS server motherboard.

I'm put off by the fact that most manufactures fail to produce a plain jane server board that allows the customer to pick and choose what RAID card they wish to use for the applications without loading it down with their idea of what the customer needs.

For me the ideal board would have a single SATA port for running the OS on, as many NICs as they can fit on the board, no sound, very rudiment video and the rest of the board dedicated to bring out the best performance in CPU and memory.

I plan to use a chenbro case with 16 hot swap SATA, and Adaptec 31205. Also as most RAID cards use PCI-Express 2.0 x8 the ideal Motherobard would have at lest two slots; more would better if the application requires outboard storage.

I use ASUS by habit, but at times I question their judgment on how they package their motherboard line.

Look forward to hearing suggestion on how to narrow down a board for my application.



Site Team
Staff member
the thing is...

when you start talking about using 16 drives all raid'd together, you are really looking at either decent servers spec'd mainboard, (which are usually custom mounted and sitting in a case with the manufacturers customer spec'd mounting holes etc... or you're talking about external enclosures.

so you can see why a company like intel who make server board are making boards with controllers to support a decent amount of internal disks, (with RAID controllers with backup batteries etc), a couple of network ports, (if not more), might be reluctant to produce the same board for a home PC...

the fact is that they are making decent money from companies like IBM, and HP for making their server mainboards, and they aren't really into the market of under cutting their partners by releasing the same boards in different form factors so that others can build the same boxes!

in anycase, if you're just building a machine with a load of disks, just find any main board that has basic onboard graphics, and plenty of PCI-Express slots, then you can add your RAID controller cards. (when I say plenty, you need 1 for your RAID controller, and 1 perhaps 2 for NICs)... so a basic cheap main board is going to be ideal!

there might be one on board netork inteface, possibly two if you're lucky, and if you want more then you can buy a card that has either single, dual, or quad network ports on it.

(you could even get a couple and then team the specific ports to add reundant load balancing) -assuming your switches would support that.

Then you can just stick in a reasonably basic CPU, and RAM and have the exact setup that you're after.

but you can see that creating such a big file server is a little 'out of the ordinary'...
(so you're not really expecting off the shelf well stocked parts to be the first and most ideal solution).