A laptop users SLAVE Box. Need Advise: Thin/ Mini ITX Mobo + Tiny Case + PSU?


What's an ITX?
Original poster
Feb 21, 2016
A laptop users SLAVE Box. Need Advise: Thin/ Mini ITX Mobo + Tiny Case + PSU?

- ATV/ Mac Mini/ NUC like Case/ or little larger as well - like a thick/ big book
- But not the Mini-ITX towers/ desktops I see.

Typical use this for:
- XBMC/ Kodi streaming from Synology NAS
- Maybe offload my downloading/ torrents etc to this box
- Usually will contain a single Drive: Old 2.5" HDD/ SSD to start & some RAM

BUT - Main reason for buying - Once in a while hack/ heavy use:

The max I will load it with hardware is when we
PLUG in 2 or 3 new or old 3.5" / NAS Drives - {Wont fit inside obviously - Can lie around}

Typically for overnight burn in tests; dban, badblocks, chkdsk, SMART/ Surface Tests, Seagate/ WD Tests
Sometimes HDD/ Partition Cloning / Ghosting etc.

On a laptop, this is stuff that's slow, hot & time consuming - not easy or done well.
Hence, delegate to a Slave Box.

I hope the PSU can handle 2/3 drives for short term burning:
Open to advise/ recommendations on inside/ outside power supply; 100 - 240 V - May take it for long term global travel.

- No gaming performance required/ not majorly anyways
- Will be using QHD or UHD/ 4K Display - Monitor or TV as I thrive on High Res workspace
.. Hence preferably
- DP 1.new HDMI 1.4/2.0 @60Hz would be key
- Dual Link DVI D / I as a second nice/ must have
- VGA/ D-Sub - not key but hey no harm if its there else can use an Adapter

Slave Box:
- I'm primarily a laptop user for 10+ years
- I'd just like a small, compact SLAVE Box to delegate things to, without having to stop work on my laptop

- At times I need for format, image, clone HDDs & hack around, do multi boot experiments etc.
- For that I don't need a big PC

- Just something that has bunch of HDD/ SSD ports to plug into:
- SATA / eSATA?? / USB 3.0/3.1??

Nice To Have:
- m.2 ports - Mainly future proofing; Will add if price diff not huge for Mobo?
Just started reading about them & given SSD prices are falling be nice to have for faster Storage & Bus performance

- Mac OSX friendly - Ignore this part if its taboo on this forum.

- Dual GigE NICs - Just in case i want to run a Network Appliance like pFsense/ Sophos on it
Last edited:


FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
I'll just put my answer from [H] here:

It seems like a fanless thin mITX case would be good for you, the closest fit to your requirements in terms of boards is the ASUS H81T, it has DVI-I (so you can use a VGA adapter) and HDMI 1.4, but mSATA instead of M.2 It even has an eSATA port on the back.

Even if you choose a regular mITX board, a good case could be the HDPLEX H1.S, it's fanless and has space for two 2.5" drives, it also allows you to use an internal PSU, and with a thin mITX board you can even use a PCIe extension bracket for additional eSATA or USB ports.