ZS-A4DC "Mini-Sledgehammer" Portable Workstation Build

Analogue Blacksheep

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Dec 2, 2018
207
97
I'm currently mulling doing something very different with the build, so hear me out. I've been doing a bit reading on the x570 boards and I am bit worried about the temperatures that the chipset produces. Plus as I am currently using an Intel Skull Canyon Nuc as my daily, I'm starting to get fed up of the fan noise. So while I could go with x470, I'm sure if I want to lose the chance to have 64gb RAM. B550 is on the way, but I'm also not sure if I can wait until 2020 for it arrive.

So here is the idea:
CPU​
Intel Xeon E-2136​
£302.96​
NewEgg​
Motherboard​
AsRock Rack C246 WSI​
£224.39​
NewEgg​
Memory​
Innodisk M4C0-AGS1TCSJ 16GB DDR4 2400 PC4-19200 VLP UDIMM​
£144.00​
Ebay​
Boot Drive​
MyDigitalSSD 480GB SBXe​
£117.70​
MyDigitalDiscount​
Project Drive​
MyDigitalSSD 1920GB BPX Pro​
£338.42​
MyDigitalDiscount​
OCuLink to U.2​
Supermicro CBL-SAST-1011​
£13.44​
Senetic​
U.2 to M.2​
Icy Dock EZConvert MB705M2P-B​
£34.44​
Amazon USA​
Wifi + Bluetooth​
Edimax AC-600 EW-7611UCB​
£25.33​
Ebay​
Sata to Molex​
Valueline VLCP73900B​
£4.79​
Amazon UK​
£1,205.47​

Why I am looking at going with an Xeon all of a sudden? Seeing @fabio 's build in the Pure thread got me thinking about it. The CPU might be 80W rather than 65W, but the motherboard will use less power meaning less heat. Plus the OCuLink adapter would allow for me to move the larger NVME drive away from the motherboard and into the MB705M2P-B enclosure that would act as a big heatsink. Yes the cable routing would still be a potental nightmare and I lose the scratch disk, but again it should be less hot. Furthermore according to Asrock Rack's website, there will be an update for the C246 WSI that allows for it to run 32gb ECC RAM modules.

Also I've not included the GPU as that has no effect on this decision.
 

Analogue Blacksheep

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Dec 2, 2018
207
97
After thinking things through, I have put in an order for the forthcoming Asus ROG STRIX X570-I on Alza.co.uk which should allow for some rather bonkers things.

On the subject of bonkers, I'm looking at the possibility of using a U.2 drive in the build. As mentioned in the previous post I was concerned about the thermals of sticking a M.2 on the rear of the case, so I have also put in an order for an M.2 Golden Finger to OCulink Adapter from Micro Sata Cables. Once I have the board, an OCulink to U.2 cable and the PSU I should be able to see if it fits. There is space between the board and riser cable so there is a chance this could work.

Cable management will be hilarious.

As for the boot drive I was looking at using a high capacity SATADOM, but I have concerns about how it would fit and there seems to be a lack of 4 pin female to sata power cables on the market which would of helped. I am currently looking at MSata as an alternative.

Finally, this would be a massive help if someone knows where I can find a UHS-ii SD card reader PCB or I O panel that connects via USB. I'm looking at the possiblity of 3D printing a spacer between the front panel and the case that has a slot for an SD card reader. (The CiT MTX-007B has something like this)
 
Last edited:

Analogue Blacksheep

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Dec 2, 2018
207
97
Things have happened. I ended up canceling the order for the motherboard due to my current circumstances and the fact that it may have a backplate making it potentially difficult to install. That said info is starting to come out about it now, so I may reorder it. I did flirt with the idea of using the Asrock Rack board with a U.2 again, but with yet another Intel exploit appearing and the amount of potential hurdles that may be required I've given up on it.

So what now? I'm still thinking about X570, but it will be more likely the Asrock or Asus board.

In other news, I'm looking at increasing the amount of drives the case can hold by creating a new front plate that will be 3D printed. It is being designed around the PCB on the Silverstone SDP11 which will give me 4x Sata M.2's to play around with. Best part is it only needs one Sata power cable to power the whole PCB.

Here is the current design

And some images of the SDP11

I'm suprised nobody has played around with the SDP11/SDP12 yet. If used in an interesting way you can reduce the amount of space used for extra drives.
 

Analogue Blacksheep

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Dec 2, 2018
207
97
Cheers @BaK. There is another version, the SDP12 which has a U.2 connector on it.

---

Question: Does anyone know how to cool an NVME M.2 on the back of a motherboard in a sandwich case like this? I'm thinking about putting an ultra thin copper heatsink like this 1.5-2.5mm one here, but I'm worried if this could burn the riser cable?

Any advice?
 
Last edited:

Analogue Blacksheep

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Dec 2, 2018
207
97
@VegetableStu - I'm still suprised that no one has tried this. Even if I don't follow through with the idea, I would still say there is great potential for this PCB to be used in other projects.

---

Another question to the void: Does anyone have the Supermicro CBL-SAST-0956 OCulink to U.2 cable. If so could you please measure the thickness of the OCulink header for me? I'm trying to see if it can fit behind the motherboard.

---

Update 14:57 UK Time: After thinking about it and finding this in the Velka thread, I may go with this adapter to move the bottom M.2 away from the motherboard. Seems simple enough.

I also found this M.2 to U.2 adapter which may interest some.
 
Last edited: