Mini-ITX still the best small form factor board?

Hello all,
I have fairly simple data needs right now, primarly 15-20 TB of shared storage for windows shared drives & music storage /streaming. The Raspberry Pi 3 B+ I set up with OMV is definitely not cutting it. After some research & consideration about future utility, I’m looking into a new build, preferably with a small form factor but adequate performance for a couple of 720p/1080p (NO 4k) streaming if I decide to jump into Plex.
Since I don’t have a ton of free time to monkey with setting & setups, I’m planning on running UnRaid, but would prefer the smallest form factor & noise (because of where this will need to physically sit) that still gives acceptable performance.

Based on the form factor issue & some similiar requirements like the pfSense router, it looks like a mini-ITX w/ Xeon, & 16MB SODIMM is going to drive the rest of the design. (probbaly looking at the Fractal Node 304 case)

What I’m noticing is that the mini-ITX boards are getting a bit pricey.

Is Mini-ITX still the best small-form-factor solution? Is there another similar sized one out there that anyone is aware of?

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I’m curious about this too.
@JDM_WAAAT linked some motherboards. Looks like that first one goes with an 7th gen intel

Generally speaking, noise has little to do with form factor. It has more to do with the fans (speed, model, location, etc.) in the chassis than anything.

Mini-ITX is extremely limiting and expensive relative to the features.

I’d go for a plain ATX NK4 if I were you. It’s the easiest to build, cheapest, and allows for the most options for future expansion.

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Noise is secondary to form factor, I’m trying to fit something in a smaller case.

I assume by ATX NK4 you mean one of the micro ATX form factors from the NK 4.0 list?

Following along, after long thoughts I feel I do need a separate small factor NAS for my similar use. I am running an omv install on RPi 4 which is holding fine but the way I have set it up feels super unreliable. The 304 should be enough for my needs for expansion.

I was even looking into the HP 290 as NAS device with external mini DAS to keep it small but might keep that as a plex only quicksync box as suggested by many others. Starting with 3 drives on unraid should be enough for me.

Cost is not a factor right now but size is.

Mini-ITX is still limiting even when not considering the cost factor. I used to go down that road quite a bit but ultimately I got extremely tired of cutting corners for the minimal reduction in space. Micro-ATX is as small as I’ll go now.

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Firstly, welcome to the community.

Second, unless you absolutely have little to no space, I highly recommend against going mitx as JDM suggests. As someone who thought he would be fine with a tower build (fractal design R5 I had leftover from my previous desktop build), you will most likely regret it down the road. I ran out of space so fast as far as hdd space went.

I’m not sure what your use case will be with it, but I’d at the very least recommend a tower, like an enthoo with ample drive space. I myself moved everything over to a rosewill l4500 and I’m almost out of space in it already as well. As finances allow, I will be making a DAS in a second l4500 most likely.

TL;DR: do yourself a solid, plan for future expansion and save yourself the heartache later on lol.

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