Alternate A1SRI-2758F build

  • When I was looking to build my PFSense setup, I saw the huge build thread here:

    But I wanted to do something different for the case and for the power supply.  It overall came out well, but there are some caveats and notes.  I don't know for sure if I'd go with this case again, but I have the feeling all of the really small mini-ITX cases have their non-ideal points.

    First, the parts list!

    I like the look of this case a lot better than I like the more common MiniBox M350.  It also comes with a pretty quiet cooling fan that seems adequate.  I also think the Seasonic power supply is way less overkill and a higher quality part than the commonly linked 160W power supply.  Quality impressions are purely based on me having long term good experience with Seasonic and no experience with the other.

    Serve the Home did some power consumption tests of this 2758 board, and it landed under 40W fully loaded.  So with a bit extra for the fan and a healthy overhead, I decided 60W was enough.


    With my Kill-A-Watt, I've never seen more than 20W draw from my system, but it is serious overkill for my needs and is mostly idle.  Temps run about 44-46C with about a 22C ambient temp.  The fan runs at its lowest speed and I can't hear it at all.

    It was a pretty smooth and easy build for the most part.  It might be possible to wrestle the board into the case without taking the back panel off, but I decided not to risk banging or scraping something when the back panel came off so easily.

    The case comes with the adapter from the barrel connector on the back to the 4 pin 12V plug on the motherboard.  The barrel connector on the back fits the Seasonic power supply perfectly.  A nice snug connection there.

    The case also comes with an adapter that plugs into the molex connector on the motherboard that branches off to power something on the FPM and a single plug for the SSD that incorporates SSD and power.  See pictures below.

    On the negative side, the front panel USB ports are USB 2.0 and the USB headers on the motherboard are USB 3.0 and incompatible with the connector.  I felt the case was a bit crowded anyway, so I just pulled the USB 2.0 cables completely off and left them out to save room.

    The hard drive sits on a tray over one side of the case, and I had to notch the IO Shield for the back panel in the middle to let the support that runs over the middle of the case sit flush.

    And, as you can see in the pics, the fan orientation is not ideal.  The RAM blocks a good bit of the air flow from the fan to the processor heat sink.  Temps are good, but I'd prefer to have the fan directing airflow directly across the processor.

    I think these negatives are all fairly minor, however, and I think the overall system looks better than the MiniBox case.  Your mileage may vary, which is why I attached pictures of the innards and exterior so you can make up your own mind.

    Hopefully this is useful to someone else.  I appreciate the answers to all my noob questions when I was trying to figure out what to buy initially!

  • Good build but I am not liking the Supermicro Case. Not a lot of vents for good air circulation. The CPU will survive high temperatures but not ideal. The M350 has decent vents but way too small.

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