Setup validation (mini pc + m2 sata expander)

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Hey everybody!

I'm running out of space on my trusty single bay NAS (which tops up at 2TB) and I like the idea of unRAID, so I would like to build a box.

I'm looking for something cheap and low power as possible. I would like to validate the idea that I came up with:

  • A mini pc with a M.2 slot (connected to PCI-E)
  • This to get as much drives as possible
  • Tear up the mini pc case and print a custom one with HDD bays


The only problem I'm facing right now how to effectively power the drives, any suggestions?


And basically that is it. The reason behind the mini pc is, that I can get some for ~100USD second hand with an integrated low power CPU, included RAM, most of the time an extra SATA port, a PSU to power it, little TDP, tiny form factor and passively cooled. The only thing that comes close to it is this in terms of price and simplicity is this Motherboard by Asus (where I would have to invest extra in to RAM and PSU).

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Difficult to answer if we don't know the model of your second hand mini-pc. For example, does the motherboard have a sata-type power plug on it or not?


There are also itx motherboards that power from 19v laptop-style psu's. Like this asrock J4005DC-ITX. Yes, you will need ram but these are cheap. Same for the 19v brick psu. Look for 'DC' in the model name. But yes, you will need ram, power brick and case.

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