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AliExpress "NAS server board"?


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Hi, I'm looking to upgrade my little 2-bay entry level QNAP, which is ace and uses hardly any electricity (but was expensive to buy) to something with a bit more capacity and flexibility. I've put together a test rig from old PC bits and a trial Unraid license, and I like what I see, so I'm going to level up a bit and would like some advice please.

I assumed I'd need a motherboard with a ton of SATA ports, and found this on AliExpress. Has anyone got any opinions on this or has anyone got one of these???

I'm looking for something with enough CPU for a home server (maybe 10-12 disks and a few apps like SABnzbd and Plex) but also would like something economical on the electricity usage. It doesn't need to be mega fast or powerful.

The motherboard I linked to above has an integrated N5095. Is this suitable for my use case? Has anyone else got a rig running an N5095?

Should i steer clear of this CPU and motherboard combo and get something else with a few SATA expansion cards, perhaps? any suggestions would be appreciated.

thanks,

Paul.

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I own one of these Motherboards with a N5105.

I'm running 16 GB of RAM, 1 Parity drive + 1 HDD (in the future another HDD) and a 1 TB Mirror ZFS Cache.

A few docker containers and a HomeAssistant VM. 

The server uses around 20% of the CPU.

Keep in mind that you can't access higher C-States than C3.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I purchased the above n5105 Topton board and did the swap over yesterday. All seems to be going ok, though I haven't figured out the front panel pins yet - any pointers on that @Roalkege?

I was stumped for a few hours by the UEFI not seeing/booting from the unraid USB stick. I finally stumbled upon this comment on Reddit from TruckBC that instantly solved it - change the folder "EFI-" to "EFI" on the unraid USB. What a little bugger. I hope the next person doesn't waste as much time on it as I did.


Idle power consumption is roughly 40watts, with 4x 3.5" HDDs and 2x 2.5" SSDs.

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  • 1 month later...

Edit - little bit more accurate data:

 

My one is a green PCB - Kingnovy v1.2 - N5105 with

 

6x SATA and 4xIntel I226-V

 

Its a white label BKHD - as inprinted on the Mainboard itself - be carefull there are two variants sold under both Kingnovy and Topton!

 

BKDH: https://www.bkipc.com/en/product/BK-NAS-N510X-MB.html

CW (chenwen): http://chenwen.com/ (no direct link available anymore)

 

The black ones are usually Chenwen - check the product picutres before you order! Only Chenwen provides Bios Updates ... and Over/Undervolting e.g. I almost bricked mine - but the BKDH had the original bios file there, took the bin and put it ontop of the Chenwen N5105 NAS BIOS files so I was able to successfully flash back to the old version. 

 

The additional SATA controller(s) on board are all ASM1166 - since N5105 by default only can do 2x SATA by default

 

It came with BIOS 20.04.2022 preinstalled in my case.

 

Ordered from Amazon.de here:

 

https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B0BYVMNMR9/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

 

Had to redo the thermal paste and its now idling at 36° (before 50ish)

 

Power consumption with 3x Intel 226-V disabled via Bios and Pico PSU is 14.5W in Standby ... nothing special or what I expected but its ok for 6 SATA Ports and 3HDDs + 1 NVMe attached I guess ...

 

---

Update - 08.11.23 - 00:30:

 

I successfully modded the original BIOS to enable both the Advanced -> OverClocking Performance Menu and Chipset PCH-IO Configuration (where you can enable ASPM for example)

 

I used this tool here: UEFI Editor (boringboredom.github.io) to disable the OpCodes for hiding the respective Menu-Entries after extracting it with UEFITool and replacing the Setup.sct again ...

 

In case somebody is interested I will pack up a zip file that can be placed on an FAT32 USB stick that has that modded bios (ONLY FOR BKDH Variant)

 

First test shows that enabling ASPM -> auto on all PCIe Ports seemingly did something ...

 

down to 12.6W right now (before ~14.5W min) but I can also enable ASPM L1 Substates now and havent undervolted yet ...

 

Let me do a quick powertop ...

 

YAY! Powerstates are now finally working!

 

image.thumb.png.fb63c131efea685e31993ebea972f78f.png

Edited by jit-010101
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  • 3 weeks later...

@scy01d @Marshsr

 

Here you go ... no guide or no disclaimer for now how to reach C8 (I've started from scratch 6 times now and always reach it again).

 

I did add a quick readme.txt to the root directory of the USB-Stick.

 

You should unpack this to a clean FAT32 formated USB-Stick and simply reboot and it should flash everything ...

 

Be sure to READ THE README first!

 

Edit: ffs, tons of misspellings in the readme ... not going to fix that :D

Edit #2: If you're scared of the contents and/or have your own EFI-Boot-Files ready all you need is basically the /EFI/R208_Mod.bin file

 

jit-010101_20231122_bkhd_nas_5105_bios_mod.zip

 

Edit #3: Here's my current build and consumption with this: 

Edited by jit-010101
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I tried flashing @jit-010101's bios but I still can't get to C8. All core states are in C6/C7 but overall pkg state is stuck at C3.

I verified that ASPM is enabled on all devices via "lspci -vvv". I also tried adding "pcie_aspm=force" and "pcie_aspm.policy=powersave" in /etc/default/grub but to no avail. Currently using a pico psu, and I'm locked at 12.5-13w in idle with nothing attached to the board except an nvme drive.

 

Running "powertop --auto-tune" to force optimize everything (although it's not a good idea for this board) doesn't help either.

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23 hours ago, scy01d said:

I tried flashing @jit-010101's bios but I still can't get to C8. All core states are in C6/C7 but overall pkg state is stuck at C3.

I verified that ASPM is enabled on all devices via "lspci -vvv". I also tried adding "pcie_aspm=force" and "pcie_aspm.policy=powersave" in /etc/default/grub but to no avail. Currently using a pico psu, and I'm locked at 12.5-13w in idle with nothing attached to the board except an nvme drive.

 

Running "powertop --auto-tune" to force optimize everything (although it's not a good idea for this board) doesn't help either.

 

 

You'll have to turn off Turbo too (as mentioned in the powertop readme), and probably also have to limit PL1/PL2 power states - keeping PL1 within 32 seconds. The exact values you'll have to try yourself (i think mine are set to 5000 and 8000). If it doesn't reach C8 then it might be related to your nvme-drive ... have you tried removing that yet?

 

Edited by jit-010101
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, so im corrently using my old amd pc from 2008 with athlon 260u cpu (when i used my pc for desktop same motherboard hosted phenom cpu) and im corrently idle with 6 docker image running and 3 drives spun down in range of about 73w, im thinking that this is way much. So im thinking about replacment in order to lower power consumption, so will this board be able to go to this c8 state, and lower idle power consumption to the max,

https://a.aliexpress.com/_m0SiHqM

Later in when i fill all six sata ports ill use pcie slot to expand storage with my 8 port lsi hba card

 

Edited by Doktor-X
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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

have any of you had any problems with the Intel 226-V Network adapters? Mine won't make more data transfer than ~240megabits per second although unraid dashboard shows them to be in 1000 Mbps, full duplex, mtu 1500. 

Please let me know, if you had the same problem and found a solution.

Regards,

deebeo

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everybody,

 

first of all thanks to @jit-010101 for the modded bios, but now I´m totally at loss, what to enable/disable there. At the moment my system stays at C3, so I might have forgotten something. Do I have to do the things @scy01d did, or is this not necessary. Can somebody maybe upload a picture of the mandatory settings in the BIOS? Or tell me the exact names (there are more than one "turbo" options, for example).

 

My system only consists of the Motherboard, 32Gb Crucial RAM (one slot) and a Samsung Evo 970 Plus (should work in deeper C-States). Last thing, I´m running Proxmox which runs on Debian, so my Powertop-Version is still 2.14 - do I have to upgrade to 2.15 (complicated) or doesn't this make a difference?

 

I appreciate every hint I can get, so thanks in advance

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/26/2023 at 9:21 PM, jit-010101 said:

@scy01d @Marshsr

 

Here you go ... no guide or no disclaimer for now how to reach C8 (I've started from scratch 6 times now and always reach it again).

 

I did add a quick readme.txt to the root directory of the USB-Stick.

 

You should unpack this to a clean FAT32 formated USB-Stick and simply reboot and it should flash everything ...

 

Be sure to READ THE README first!

 

Edit: ffs, tons of misspellings in the readme ... not going to fix that :D

Edit #2: If you're scared of the contents and/or have your own EFI-Boot-Files ready all you need is basically the /EFI/R208_Mod.bin file

 

Hi @jit-010101,

Could you provide some guidelines on how to modify stock bios for a different board from the same manufacturer? 
I have a one of the boards, and with a different CPU (J6413), and would like to mod the BIOS, but don't have much experience with this.

Thank you!

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  • 1 month later...

Good morning, I have a board with the label MW-NVR-N5105 1.0, with an JMB585 chip as the SATA controller. My configuration is:

  • 2x 8GB ram ddr4 2666
  • 1x 250Gb Samsung NVME
  • Pico-Psu Power supply (max 300W)
  • 2 80mm fan
  • I use 2 of the 4 ethernet port

With the JMB585 chip I was not able to go under C3 (17,3W with my configuration), so I ordered an M.2 ASM1166 card, wich seem to work a little better, and now my system go to C6 (14,5W).

I think there's room for improvement, but I need help.

My board have the stock bios, wich have the ASPM and Power/Overclock pages. What I done so far:

  • Bios page PCI Express Configuration:
  1. DMI Link ASPM Control -> set to L0sL1
  2. PCI Express Root Port 1...8 -> ASPM set to L0sL1 (should be auto?) and L1 substates to L1.1 & L1.2
  • Bios page Advanced - Power and performance - CPU performance
  1. Set max C states to C8
  2. Disabled turbo (later I tried re-enabling but nothing changes).

With this settings, after boot and HDD spindown my consumption is 14.7 - 16W.
I can reach C6 (from powertop), but I have a bunch of new BAD things in the last page and I don't know what enable or leave disabled, and auto-tune crash the webUI.
I attach some screenshots. Any suggestions, like how to perform a firmware upgrade of the card, or how to disable the PCI express connected to the JMB5xx chip?
Thanks a lot, best regards.

Screenshot 2024-06-07 115529.png

Screenshot 2024-06-07 115452.png

Screenshot 2024-06-07 115556.png

Screenshot 2024-05-17 082207.png

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I have a kingnovy green board with the pcie slot as well

 

I flashed the modded bios and looked for aspm, under chipset > hidden menu > pci express settings, this causes the machine to lock up

 

I also tried to use a m.2 to 6x sata adapter with the asm1166 chip, but it doesn't get detected when installed in the m.2 slot but it works in the pcie 2x slot using a pcie 4x to m.2 adapter

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I tried reflashing the modded bios again and it is still locking up when I try to access the aspm menu, I noticed my board is v1.2a not plain 1.2 so maybe this is the issue, I don't know if someone could maybe post a recording of how they get to the aspm settings so I can see if I'm missing something?

 

I also tested the m.2 to sata adapter with a 1x pcie adapter and it still worked, when it's in the m.2 slot it lights up before post but never again after, I was considering masking off the power disable pin to see if the bios is shutting it off for some reason, does this seem like a bad idea?

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