Would you buy an Atom board today?

  • I was going to use an ASRock N3700-ITX for building an OMV server, but I keep running across the old Zotac D510 online and I'm really tempted to use one of those instead. The Zotac is a lot slower and will not be capable of transcoding video, but I will have very light load on the server and can use something like a Fire Stick to handle playback without transcoding.

    BOTH are fanless and have a low power draw, although the ASRock draws less than the Zotac.

    The ASRock is faster and draws about 15 watts less power at idle. It also supports full 1080p in case I want to use it for something other than OMV in the future.

    The Zotac has SIX SATA ports (two more than the ASRock), includes Wifi (which would allow me to move the machine away from the router and double it as a print server!), is $40 less, and it will boot headlessly without any workarounds (see the forum about this issue, the ASRock doesn't like to boot without a monitor so you have to fiddle with it to get OMV running).

    Thoughts here? Would you use a 2010 Atom board in 2016 if it met all of your requirements?

    Also, what are the odds that the old 1.6GHZ Dual Core Atom ends up being too slow for future OS upgrades (Say OMV 5.0) before I'm ready to retire my NAS?

  • I could see using the Zotac system if you built a box and then put it in the closet never to use it for more or touch it. But it seems too limited (and very slow) if you want any kind of future-proofing to be able to upgrade with later. I would look at the ASRock system myself. The ASRock can use 8GB of RAM vs. 4GB in the Zotac. Also The ASRock can support USB 3 ports which are useful for external storage. You would probably have to look in to getting something like a PCI-e 1x SATA card for more ports if you wanted to use more than the 4 hard drives it can support with the built-in SATA ports on-board.

    As you noted, the N3700 has issues with running without a monitor.
    AsRock N3700-ITX doesn't boot w/o DVI

Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!