The Chenbro ES34069 Case Review, Part 2: The Perfect Mainboard? - I/O Hub

The Chenbro ES34069 Case Review, Part 2: The Perfect Mainboard?

The Chenbro ES34069 Case Review, Part 2: The Perfect Mainboard?

The Chenbro ES34069 Case Review, Part 2: The Perfect Mainboard?

Update 9/2/2011: Unfortunately, despite its continuing popularity, the Chenbro ES34069 has been discontinued by the manufacturer. We are currently in the process of bringing in a replacement product, and expect to see it next month.

Update 5/27/2011:  It’s been quite a while since this article was originally posted, but it’s still one of our most popular.  Because of the ongoing interest, we’ve decided to bring the ES34069 back in stock, with the 180W power option as standard.

Additionally, we’ll be adding several updated systems based on this case over the next few weeks.  We should have an Atom D525/ICH9R system up next week, with a Core i5/i7/P4500 and AMD Fusion options to follow soon.  All will have 5-6 SATA (and mSATA PCIe Mini Card SSD support on the Fusion board) ports with onboard RAID to take full advantage of this case’s storage options.

When we first brought in the Chenbro ES34069 NAS case, we were a little unsure as to how popular it would be with our customers. After all, it is extremely large for a Mini-ITX chassis, and rather power hungry (for a small form factor platform) and is a little more highly priced than some of our core cases.  However, we were pleasantly surprised.  The Chenbro ES34069 has been selling regularly and steadily for several months due to its unique feature set and excellent design.

The Case

ES34069 Case

Kristina initially reviewed the Chenbro ES34069 back in March of this year, outlining its (considerable) feature set and impressive build quality.  She also designed a basic NAS system using the IEI KINO-690S1 mainboard.  However, since the KINO-690S1 was our only AMD board with a socketed processor, and because demand for it was unfortunately rather low, we no longer carry the board or the processor. Thus, it became necessary to find an alternative mainboard, and hopefully one that could truly take advantage of the massive storage capabilities and extended functionality of the Chenbro chassis.

Unfortunately, with the KINO-690S1 gone, our board choices were limited. The VIA EPIA SN series had the requisite 4 SATA ports; but its USB headers were in an awkward location, preventing use of the Chenbro’s 4-in-1 Card Reader.  Also, the SN has a PCI-express x16 slot instead of the standard PCI, thus preventing the use of the Chenbro PCI riser card.

And, while the SN18000 is VIA’s fastest mainboard in terms of processing power, many customers have preferred the horsepower provided by an Intel dual-core solution for intensive applications like HD playback and content streaming. Overall, the SN is a fine low-power solution for this application, but it simply cannot take advantage of the full list of features this chassis has to offer. None of our other currently available boards have the requisite 4 SATA ports needed to really take advantage of the four hot-swappable SATA drive bays.

The Board


Enter the Gigabyte GA-6KIEH-RH. I had seen pictures of a prototype of this board at Computex earlier this year, and was intrigued by the board’s wide range of connectivity, its quality components, and Gigabyte’s solid brand name. Now that the 6KIEH has entered full production, we are working with Gigabyte’s embedded division to carry them on our Web site.  It is based on the Intel GME965 chipset, which supports Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile Socket P processors from the Santa Rosa refresh and uses the Intel GMA X3100 integrated graphics solution. Thus, it should have plenty of horsepower for HD video playback and content streaming/backup.

The GA-6KIEH-RH mainboard is one of the most full-featured Mini-ITX mainboards I have ever seen. It has a heretofore unheard of five SATA ports, four of which can be linked in a variety of RAID configurations, including RAID 0,1,5, and 10 with the onboard Silicon Image 3114 RAID controller.  This RAID controller, typically included in outboard hardware RAID card solutions, is an excellent feature for an NAS system.

The board also has the requisite PCI slot, in addition to a Mini PCI and a PCIe Mini card slot with a unique tool-less locking bracket. Both USB headers are well within reach of the short card reader cable, and there is an IDE channel available for a slimline optical drive as well as any additional storage you might need. On the bottom edge of the board below the IDE port lies an extremely low-profile CF card slot, thoughtfully designed so that the card is accessible even after the board is installed.  Thankfully, this bottom-mounted component is quite slim and does not seem to cause as many compatibility headaches as most bottom-mounted CF and Mini PCI slots typically cause with our cases.

Backpanel I/O

On the back panel, we have a full suite of video connections: VGA, DVI-D, YPbPr (up to 1080i), and HDMI (up to 1080p) as well as an S/PDIF coaxial audio connector. This means that a Chenbro solution using this board could make an excellent HTPC or multimedia server.  The dual Gigabit LAN ports support this, allowing high-definition media streaming, and the four USB ports (plus four more through headers) provide plenty of peripheral connectivity. Gigabyte even thoughtfully provides a punch-out hole on the backplate for a wireless antenna or a TV Tuner card.

The Build

Armed with this strong base, in an effort to build a full-featured NAS/media server system I gathered the following components:

Case: Chenbro ES34069
Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-6KIEH-RH
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 2.4 GHz processor
Memory: 2x 2 GB Emphase Industrial DDR2 667 DIMMs for a total of 4 GB (3.25 GB recognizable)
CPU Cooler: Coolermaster EPN-41CSS-01 Core 2 Duo Mobile CPU Cooler
Optical Disc Drive: Panasonic CW-8124-B Slot-Load Slimline CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive
System Drive: Seagate 80GB 2.5” SATA HDD (7200 RPM)
Storage Drives: 4x Seagate 3.5” 80GB SATA HDD (feel free to invest in larger sizes as needed)
Accessories: Chenbro 4-in-1 Card Reader; Qcom 802.11g Mini PCIe Wireless Card, Antenna + Pigtail Cable

Building a system in the ES34069 is a complex task. The case has been described by some of our build team as “over-engineered” for a reason. Certainly, it is durable and well-constructed, and every component is secured to the case by a plethora of screws, clips, and connectors. Components are often locked into place behind other components, and connectors can be hidden underneath or behind brackets.  This means that any components installed out of order will result in you assembling and disassembling parts of the case multiple times during the system build… as I discovered during my initial compatibility test!

Thus, planning and thinking everything through is even more important with a Chenbro build than with many of the other systems we sell here at Logic Supply. If you really want to spare yourself the trouble (and it can be a lot of trouble) we do offer a “Build and Test” service where we will assemble your system ourselves, as well as run a full CPU burn and memory test.  Check our FAQ for more information about the “Build and Test.”

Front Panel

After removing the case side panel and sliding the motherboard tray out a few inches, the most important and delicate step is removing the front panel. After removing the four hot-swap hard drive trays, it is necessary to pop loose the five plastic clips that hold the front panel in place. With some units of this case, this is relatively simple; with others, I have found that it can be necessary to loosen the clips from the back.

Unfortunately, loosening them from the back requires a lot of work; you have to remove the mainboard tray entirely (which includes threading all of the cables through the cable management holes,) remove the DC board, then pop out the lower pair of SATA backplane boards in order to reach the clips from behind.  If you are not careful when removing the front panel, you will break the clips that attach it to the case, preventing it from locking in place properly ever again.

Fully Assembled ES34069

Regardless, once the front panel is off, installing the 4-in-1 card reader requires removing both brackets that hold the optical drive in place.  Once that is completed, it is a simple matter to attach the card reader to the appropriate slot with a pair of screws, then plug in the data cable that connects it to a USB port on the mainboard.

Next, I recommend installing the 2.5” system drive while the optical drive brackets are still detached and out of the way. It mounts by popping it into place so that the screw holes on the drive line up with a pair of extrusions on the inside of the front panel.  The drive is then secured with a pair of small screws.
Once this system drive is in place, the optical drive bracket can then be screwed back into place. Then, the optical drive itself can be snapped into place in its removable tray (it locks in with no screws!) and slid into position. The IDE adapter board screws to the back of the drive with a pair of included screws, and then it’s a simple matter to run an IDE cable from the adapter board to the mainboard. I used a round cable to ease cable management woes.

Mounting the mainboard to the mainboard tray is thankfully quite simple, and connecting all of the various cables to the onboard headers is made easy thanks to Gigabyte’s thoughtful labeling and color scheme.  Unfortunately, the ES34069 has a lot of extra LEDs to monitor LAN activity and HDD usage for each individual drive, but there are no headers for most of these LEDs so I just connected the primary HDD and Power LED connectors to the appropriately labeled pin headers on the board and routed the other connectors out of the way.

With the system drive, mainboard, and 4-in-1 card reader in place, I could re-attach the mainboard tray. (Don’t forget to replace any brackets or SATA backplane boards you removed in order to get to the faceplate clips!)  From there, it’s a simple matter of connecting the various onboard cables to the board connectors.  Make sure that the case’s four red SATA cables (labeled 1 through 4) are plugged into the four purple SATA connectors on the mainboard, as those are the four ports connected to the Gigabyte board’s internal RAID controller. The SATA 2.5” system drive connects to the yellow SATA port on the board, and the included SATA power to Molex plug provides power to the system drive.  The 4-in-1 card reader cable plugs into one of the yellow USB pin headers, and the front panel USB cable attaches to the other.

Top View of ES34069

I installed a Qcom Wireless LAN 802.11b/g PCIe Mini network card and wireless antenna and pigtail at this point.  Conveniently, Gigabyte has included an appropriately-sized antenna punch-out on the backplate for a standard SMA antenna connector… this will support everything from TV tuner inputs to wireless LAN.  After all the onboard cabling is connected, it’s merely a matter of routing cables around the sides of the board and out of the way of the CPU cooling fans and venting holes, then snapping the front and side panels back into place.

The System

Chenbro 34069 Chassis

Voila! We now have an NAS (Network Attached Storage) or media server built. The HDMI and YPbPr outputs enable the system to interface with nearly any HDTV at up to 1080p resolution. The coaxial S/PDIF will send 6-channel audio to many home theater receivers. And, with 4 3.5” drives, you will have plenty of storage for media files… you can even use the optical drive to digitize your audio and video media collection so you don’t have to change DVDs or CDs.

If you are more interested in the business applications of a small NAS like this Chenbro/Gigabyte system, its small size, relatively low power use, and configurable RAID controller create a secure, power-efficient data server that can be placed in a corner and forgotten. You can even install a light OS such as Windows XP Embedded or Ubuntu Linux on a CompactFlash card, install it in the slot on the bottom of the mainboard, and leave the system to run as a backup appliance.

System Testing

Unfortunately, there is no current driver support for Windows Vista for the onboard Silicon Image 3114 RAID controller, so if you’re hoping to get a Vista Home Premium HTPC (Home Theater PC) set up, you’re out of luck till December, which is when Gigabyte has told me that they hope to have the appropriate drivers ready.  This means that installing the RAID drivers can be bit of a headache if you don’t have a floppy drive handy as Windows XP requires that any third party RAID controllers be installed via a floppy drive prior to installing the operating system.

Since the ES34069 has no connector (or place) for a floppy drive and I have no USB floppy drive on my test bench, I was unable to get a RAID array running in time for this post. Thus, I have not been able to measure the real hard disk performance that such a setup can offer. However, I could test the basic functionality of the system, as well as it’s performance using JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) instead of RAID.

I am not a big fan of system benchmarking, as it is a drawn-out and slightly bothersome process that can often offer inconclusive (or biased) results that just aren’t useful when evaluating a system for a specific purpose.  So, I have put together a small set of more “real-world” tests to get a basic idea of how well this system might perform in the sort of situations and conditions it might be subjected to.

Finally, I was not really able to effectively put together a networking test for the system, as evaluating such a setup would depend on a myriad number of factors not necessarily based on the capabilities of this specific unit. The dual Gigabit LAN connectors featored on this mainboard should offer plenty of network capacity; indeed, it is extremely likely that other components of the system would cause a performance bottleneck before the LAN when faced with taxing file transfers.

Test 1: CPU Burn in a Sealed Box

Because storage or media systems such as this one are usually tossed into a corner, a cabinet, a closet, or a sealed entertainment center, it is worth determining whether or not the system can handle heavy-duty operations for an extended period of time in a small, closed environment with little airflow.

For this test, I used our own in-house testing software, which has a CPU burn functionality that stresses a CPU far beyond what is considered a normal operating load.  This software is normally used to test all of our outgoing completed systems, and is designed to catch systems that could have thermal problems.

To simulate the sealed environment of a cabinet, I placed the system in a small, sealed enclosure, and left it overnight in a standard CPU burn. When I came back this morning to check on it, the onboard temperature reporting software reported an operating temperature of 62 degrees C on the CPU and a system temperature of 45 degrees C, which is within our operating temperature requirements for the system components.  Since the CPU burn stresses the heat-producing parts of the system far more than almost any real-world application would, I would certainly say that the system has passed.

Test 2: Video Playback (HD and DVD)

Since one conceivable home use for this system is as a media server/HTPC, it is worth determining how strong video playback performance can be overall. During full-screen playback of a 720p .wmv video file, CPU usage maxed out at around 12% overall, and showed less than 50 MB of system memory in use throughout the file’s playback. Thus, although I wouldn’t use the onboard Intel GMA X3100 graphics to play high-end games, it appears to be more than sufficient for video playback.

Playing a standard DVD on the system was a similar story. Using VideoLan’s open source VLC player, CPU usage peaked at 15% and memory usage peaked at 60MB briefly. There were no skips or stutters. Unfortunately, I do not have a Blu-Ray drive handy to test true hi-definition streaming media; however, something tells me that this configuration should be able to handle even that taxing load.


After my (admittedly small) battery of real-world tests, I can conclude that this system really can make an excellent small form factor NAS, HTPC, or media server. The GME965 platform on the Gigabyte 6KIEH mainboard is more than capable of handling HD video and DVD playback, and the system kept within a reasonable operating temperature during its overnight CPU burn in an enclosed box.

Unfortunately, due to space constraints (this post is getting quite long already!), I was unable to detail the procedure for installing RAID on the system by “slipstreaming” the necessary drivers onto a Windows installation CD. This allows the installation of RAID drivers without using a floppy drive. I will cover this operation in a later post, when I can get into more of the details of setting up a RAID array in this system.

Comments (131)

  1. […] Logic Supply just did a great one on their blog using a Chenbro case and a Gigabyte Mini-ITX motherboard. It’s very well done and reflects the advanced understanding of the components and how they work together that make these articles so interesting. Being an online retailer they have access to all sorts of great gear as well as a more experience working with the parts than almost anyone else. It’s very interesting, and it’s got to be the best way I can think of to inform consumers about your products. […]

  2. Bob Boerner
    November 7, 2008

    Nice part two!

    Is Logic Supply going to offer any of the Intel branded socketed Mini-ITX boards with this case?


    I would love to order a unit with this board and an OpenSolaris install using ZFS. This negates the need for a RAID controller.

    Throw in a SSD as the system drive and you could have a very robust little unit.

    Just my 2 cents 🙂

  3. corey
    November 7, 2008

    I got this case a while back, but haven’t really done much with it, I thought it would be good to try setting it up as an OpenSolaris file server using ZFS, but I heard that the OS likes to have a 64 bit processor and memory space to run well. I was hoping that at some point a Via Nano board would come out with the right qualifications, but I haven’t seen any yet. Do you guys have any dates on when any Via Nano boards might be coming out? I guess this core duo board would work somewhat, but I’d rather have something I could add more memory too (like 8GB).

  4. dal
    November 8, 2008

    Thanks Josh,

    Nice, informative post. Good tip on the front panel, it very annoying to damage one’s brand new system because of a little carelessness. Am looking forward to the next in the series. Would be very interested if you can try Ubuntu on it.

  5. josh
    November 10, 2008


    At this point, we do not have any plans to carry the Intel Fly Creek/Eklo mainboards because they use desktop processors and thus draw far more power and generate far more heat than most of our enclosures (the Chenbro excluded, of course) can really handle.


    The Core 2 Duo CPUs do support 64-bit operating systems; however, we do not sell any 64-bit operating systems so I have not tested them with this configuration.

    The first VIA Nano board is likely to come out sometime in the next month to month-and-a-half. However, I wouldn’t hold your breath for a Mini-ITX mainboard from VIA that will support 8GB of RAM. Even Intel’s top-of-the-line Mini-ITX solutions (both embedded and desktop) only support up to 4GB of memory.


    Ubuntu does work with this configuration, both on a 4GB CF card mounted in the slot on the underside of the board and in a standard hard drive.

    Thank you for all of the comments!

  6. mike
    November 10, 2008

    How’s the noise level and the power consumption with this configuration? Is this something I can set up in the living room besides the TV, running 24/7 (doing light server tasks, bittorrent, etc.) without me hearing a thing and drawing a reasonable amount of power?

    If not, is there a fanless cpu / mini-itx board capable of HD playback? Preferrably with a decent amount of SATA ports?

  7. josh
    November 11, 2008

    Hi Mike,

    The system is pretty quiet overall. Certainly the Coolermaster CPU fan is impossible to hear outside the case, and the two case fans are quiet enough that it’s very difficult to hear from more than a few feet away. I wouldn’t call it ‘silent’ though… it’s a little quieter than your average desktop but not dramatically so.

    Power consumption is a little high compared to many of our bread-and-butter embedded systems, but the Chenbro case comes stock with a 120W power adapter, so it definitely draws less power than a standard desktop.

    One of the main selling points of the Gigabyte solution is that it has so many SATA ports in such a small configuration. The only other board we currently stock with four SATA ports is the VIA SN series, which I briefly touched on in the article. Keep an eye out for some MSI solutions with 4 SATA sometime in the coming months, though…

  8. Faw
    November 12, 2008

    That’s the exact configuration I was looking for (without the SATA disks and only 2GB), but the rest is perfect. I see on the website that there’s no ‘System Solution’ for this configuration, when will it be available?

  9. josh
    November 13, 2008


    We are unsure at this time if we are going to set up a ‘System Solution’ for this mainboard. However, you can get in touch with one of our technical sales associates and they can work with you to set up a custom system, including build and test if you so desire. I know for a fact we have already sold at least one Chenbro+Gigabyte custom soution.

  10. Bob Boerner
    November 13, 2008

    Hi Josh,

    How about the upcoming MSI board that you have listed on your site?

    The MSI IM-945GC with its Atom processor (which is 64-bit) and four SATA ports looks ideal for this case and OpenSolaris 🙂

  11. josh
    November 14, 2008

    The MSI IM-945GC looks like it could certainly work in a lower-cost configuration. However, all “Core 2” Intel processors are 64-bit capable, and for a data server application I would strongly recommend using something with that sort of horsepower.

    The Atom is an excellent, efficient CPU; however, it is NOT a powerhouse. The Atom/945GC combination can play 720p video by taxing the CPU heavily, but it stutters and skips with anything more difficult and complex.

    For a small server, it might well work; but for anything requiring any reasonable amount of performance (such as network data storage for a mid- to large-sized network or HD video playback and streaming) I would definitely continue to recommend the Core 2 Duo solution.

  12. Frank Chu
    November 15, 2008

    I’m really interested in getting this case and try to overclock a bit. I’m just wondering, how much room do you have after you put in the 45mm cpu fan? Do you think there would be room for a slightly bigger heatsink/fan at 65mm?

  13. James
    November 17, 2008

    I’m interested in buying this case and using a PCI-E TV Tuner or a PCI-E RAID controller. I have both of these already but I haven’t heard anything about using a PCI-E riser in these cases. Ideally I’d like to get a system with 5 SATA ports and migrate my current RAID5 to that and also install the PCI-E tuner card on a riser. Would this be possible with the Gigabyte or SN boards?

  14. josh
    November 18, 2008


    It looks like there’s plenty of clearance for a larger fan than the Coolermaster unit… there’s over an inch of space directly above it.


    Unfortunately, your ideal configuration in this case does not seem to be possible. The Gigabyte board has 5 SATA but no full-sized PCI Express slot, while the VIA SN has the requisite PCI Express slot but only 4 SATA ports.

    Additionally, there is no PCI-Express riser designed specifically for the Chenbro case. This is a problem because the Chenbro uses a special PCI riser that holds the card a specified height away from the board so that the PCI card will lock into an included internal bracket.

    The final problem is that a PCI card must be low-profile and have no rear I/O in order to fit in the case, as there is no opening in the back of the enclosure for the rear of the PCI card. The PCI expansion area in the Chenbro case seems to be designed to work with a very specific type of PCI RAID controller.

    So, unfortunately, it appears there would have to be some compromise with your configuration if you were to go with this solution.

    I hope this helps.

  15. Frank
    November 22, 2008

    Thanks for the answer!

  16. James
    November 25, 2008

    Thanks for the response.

    I’ve found that there exists a Mini PCI-E to 1x PCI-E adapter for about 90 dollars that is flexible. So given that I have a mounting bracket, my existing PCI-E RAID card would work in this manner. That’s quite a bit of money for an adapter, however.
    If the I/O of my TV card is too much of a burden it would be possible to modify the case and reroute the I/O somewhere else assuming I would be able to mount the card somewhere using that MiniPCIe to PCI-E 1x adapter.
    My biggest concern with moving to a motherboard based RAID is the possibility that they would be incompatible with my existing RAID and I’d have data loss.

  17. Nano
    November 29, 2008

    The box is all setup and powered on.
    Mob. Intel DG45FC + E2140 + 4GB.
    1 – 360GB SATA HD for OS (notebook drive)
    4 – 500GB SATA HD for 2x RAID1
    LG – CD/DVD slim R/W
    1 – SATA+IDE Controller for 360 and CD
    .. you know what, the power supply can’t handle the setup, only boots up with one drive out, dosent matter whitch one.
    OS is KUBUNTU Linux server.
    So, the ES34069 is perfect box for home server, only if I could find bigger power supply for it.

  18. Rick
    November 30, 2008

    Hi Josh,
    Can you tell me about the PSU connectors.
    Is there a 24 pin and a separate 4 pin? *XF 2.0 standard?

    As the motherboard I have (Albatron KI690-AM2 bought before the Gigabyte was released) requires this.

    The manufacture has stated not to use a 20 pin to 24 pin converter as it would be dangerous! So, I need a PSU with a 24 pin and 4 pin 🙁

  19. Rick
    December 1, 2008

    Actually I have just found out that it’s a 20 pin to 24 pin converter. Which is a bit naughty really as there is a reason these boards require a 24 pin connector. They need that power!

    The Intel DG45FC is the best ITX board on the market for a NAS but it requires 24 pin and 4 pin connectors.

    Remember if an ITX board has RAID 5, then there is no need for an expensive RAID controller. Many ITX boards do not have RAID5 and up to 4GB RAM and Dual Core support and finally 4+ SATA ports. Which is the spec you may need for a NAS (okay 4GB is a luxury but hey memory is cheap at the moment).

    Therefore I can only recommend the Gigabyte board for Dual Core, RAID 5, 5 SATA ports and most importantly a 20 pin power connector.

    RAID 5 has only been tested by Gigabyte on Winblows lameware. It may work on Redhat or Ubuntu but Gigabyte haven’t bothered to test it.

    It is noticeable that most cases with their custom PSU’s only support 20 pin connectors. Josh you should include this information on your product pages as it often goes overlooked and is very important!

  20. Rick
    December 1, 2008

    Maybe we have to think again.
    The Gigabyte SATA controller does not support SATAII. Its only SATAI.

    What a shame 🙁

  21. josh
    December 1, 2008

    Hi Nano,

    Unfortunately, the Intel DG45FC mainboard draws quite a bit more power than the Gigabyte and VIA solutions because the DG45FC uses a desktop chipset and a desktop processor, which means that overall you probably have twice the power consumption with the DG45FC versus the Gigabyte 6KIEH.

    Chenbro does offer a 180W power brick option; however, we do not currently carry it as it is unnecessary for the vast majority of the systems we sell and it is a bit costly. The DC board for the case is apparently rated up to 180W, but the included power brick is only 120W.


    The Chenbro power supply comes with a 20-pin ATX connector and two four-pin P4 connectors. I believe this will allow your Albatron board to work… in fact, that Albatron might be the board that this case was initially designed for!

    Also, we are aware that the Gigabyte SATA controller only supports SATA I. One might expect a small performance hit as a result, but for the vast majority of real-world applications it would not provide a noticeable difference.

    The issue with the RAID controller on the 6KIEH in Linux is that the Silicon Image 3114 controller is what is called a “Software RAID” configuration. This page does a much better job of explaining this concept than I ever will:

  22. Rick
    December 1, 2008

    I think I would like SATA 2 to stream HD video playback to my lounge slave device. I may need SATA 2 for such an operation.

    One point is one of the 4 pin connector a square molex rather than the old style molex? Will I need a convertor?

    Other users have had power issues building this NAS:

    However I have found this board:

    Low wattage (max 70W for mobo and chip).
    4 SATA II
    RAID 5
    1 ATA 100 / Compact Flash
    3 GB Lan Ports (1 home Lan and 1 modem/Net).
    8 USB (4/4)
    3 GB Ram limit (lots of boards only go to 2GB)
    Intel chipset (hence lots of downloadable Linux drivers)

    Sure it does not have many snazzy features of other boards. But this one is imho the best ITX board suited for this NAS case. Mainly due to SATA 2 / RAID 5 and of course the power issues!

  23. josh
    December 2, 2008


    In my (albeit somewhat limited) experience, I have rarely seen a drive exceed real-world transfer speeds exceeding that of SATA I’s 150-200 MB/second “real-life” transfer rate.

    Two of the 4-pin connectors coming off of the ES34069’s power supply use the “square molex” you mention, which we call a “P4” connector (as shown here: so you should be all set in that regard.

    Again, it is no surprise that the DG45FC is too much for the Chenbro’s stock 120W power supply, with an estimated 100W+ tied up in the board and processor alone. However, if you can source a 180W (19V 9.48A) power brick with the appropriate 4-pin DIN power connector, the ES34069’s stock DC board can support up to 180W.

    Finally, that Kontron board does look quite nice, and Kontron makes excellent products. However, they are very much designed for a highly industrial market, and have a price tag to match. That is not to say that it is not a good board for the application, but I do not have any experience with it, and it uses the older Merom/Yonah Core 2 Duo technology (which is much harder to find CPUs for these days!)

  24. Michael
    December 3, 2008

    May the cpu heatsink bundled with the ES34069 be used on this motherboard (or the 986lcd-m-mitx kontron motherboard) ?

  25. josh
    December 4, 2008


    I have no experience with the Kontron mainboard, but the CPU heatsink bundled with the ES34069 is designed for an Albatron AMD mainboard that we do not carry.

    The included heat sink will not fit in the mounting holes of the Gigabyte mainboard, which uses a hole layout that has become the standard for socketed Intel MoDT (Mobile on DeskTop) mainboards. The Coolermaster and Cooljag CPU coolers we offer on our site are designed to fit this mounting hole pattern.

  26. Michael
    December 6, 2008

    Hi Josh,

    I had a feeling the cooler that came with the case was a paperweight in disguise. Now if I could just get that nasty white thermal grease off my paperwork. 🙂


  27. December 17, 2008

    Just in case it might be of interest, this Sun employee published all the details of putting together a very low power (50-55W idle) NAS using the ES34069 case and Intel D945GCLF2 (Atom 330 dual-core) board.

    Here’s his final BOM:

    And his description of setup:

    He ends up w/ something that performs about the same as a Thecus N5200 Pro that uses less power (my N5200 idles at about 80W, although that’s w/ 5x7200RPM drives) for a few hundred bucks less and w/ some more flexibility (Thecus’ Busybox Linux distro makes installing stuff a PITA).

    If you *don’t* work for Sun :), you’d probably do well w/ OpenFiler or Ubuntu on there, although NexentaOS/NexentaStor is looking pretty interesting…

  28. Lalufu
    December 22, 2008

    Thanks for the two very insightful articles about the Chenbro case. I am currently in the process of building such a machine myself (slated to run Opensolaris on four 1TB drives), and the information here was very helpful (it convinced me that using the Intel Q45 board would probably not work). I am going to use the MSI IM-GM45 board instead, since I don’t like the Silicon Image chipsets.

  29. December 31, 2008

    Thank you Leonard, Exactly what I was looking for

  30. Gary
    January 2, 2009

    I’ve been researching this case for a few days now, if a 180watt power brick can be used as you say at the rated power 19v 9.48a, then the following FSP180-ABAN1 180W 19V 9.48A C14 is what you are looking for.

    These can be sourced from Gateway, Acer etc 19v 4 prong laptops. Liteon, FSP Technology Inc makes power bricks in this class.

    Are you sure that this case can take 180w, as the application I’m planning on will most likely need 180watts.

  31. josh
    January 4, 2009

    Hi Gary,

    I have received confirmation from Chenbro that the DC board built into the case can handle a 180W 19V DC brick that uses a 4-pin DIN connector.

  32. Glen
    January 22, 2009

    Will this case support a JetWay JNC81-LF AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Mini ITX AMD Motherboard, using a AMD Athlon LE-1660 2.8Ghz Energy Efficient 45W Processor, with 4Gb of Ram?

  33. Kristina Bond
    January 29, 2009

    Hi Glen,
    We don’t currently carry that Jetway mainboard, so I don’t know if I can help you there with case compatibility. We have found though, that the Chenbro case supports most of our mainboards, even the ones with components on the bottom.

    The DC board in this case scales to 180W, but the AC adapter is only 120W. Depending on your configuration and the hard drives you are using, including any other peripherals, you might be cutting it close. But, I haven’t done the math…

    I’m sorry I don’t have too much else to offer, but I hope you can find some of this helpful.


  34. Jose
    February 1, 2009

    Two questions:

    1. Where do you get the XP drivers for the QCOM wireless card? The QCOM web site doesn’t have any download links and Logic Supply doesn’t provide a disc with drivers.

    2. Can you install Windows Home Server on the Gigabyte board? Where would you get drivers for that?

  35. Kristina Bond
    February 3, 2009

    Hi Jose,
    You can find drivers for the Qcom wireless card on Ralink’s Web site. They seem to update their drivers on a regular basis, and the site is pretty well organized. Here is the link:

    I’m not too sure about Windows Home Server. This page is from Gigabyte’s Web site and lists out all the compatible OS’s:

    I hope that helps!


  36. Bart Grefte
    February 13, 2009

    Interresting case 🙂

    But I am curious about something:

    Are there mainboards out there that actually support all those LED’s on the front of the case?

    And what about that “fault”-LED. What’s it supposed to indicate? Faults, okay, but faults that occur during booting (to name an example)?

  37. […] my current server consumes at least 102W and often hits 120W while actively doing work. But, I have a plan to replace the hardware with low power parts, ones primarily aimed at the mobile and embedded […]

  38. BooToo
    March 16, 2009

    Greetings Josh (and the others),

    Very interesting discussion indeed…
    I currently have a Synology NAS (4×1 To) + a mediacenter PC and I have to say, the Gygabite mb + this case looks like I could get all in one single box as I do not use the extra functionnalities in the NAS.

    I only have 2 remaining questions before I order the board/proc/heatsinks/mem on your website

    1) Can you confirm the 120w PSU is enough to handle the GA-6KIEH-RH with a T8300 + 1 hdd 2.5 (7200) + 4 hdd 3.5 (7200)? – If no, do you sell an alternative power brick?

    2) Do I have to purchase any extra accessory/cable to plus all the power cables with the above configuration?

    Many thanks

  39. Tony
    March 18, 2009

    Hi BooToo,

    1) The build that was tested for this article used the standard 120W PSU without any problems in Josh’s limited real-world tests. The CPU and five HDDs that were used total 103W under load (50.9W for the CPU and Northbridge, 2.1W for the 2.5″ HDD, and 12.5*4=50W for the 3.5″ HDDs), so you should have enough overhead for the remaining peripherals.

    That being said, your specific configuration may require more power. If the HDD’s you intend to use have a higher wattage, or if you plan on running a wireless card rather than ethernet, you will probably be pushing the limits of this PSU. The newer 1TB Seagate drives actually consume less power, providing a little more room for other variables.

    If you need a larger power brick, a 180W version is available for special order. Please contact our Sales team for details if you think you will need this option: (802) 861-2300.

    2) The case and mainboard come with all of the necessary hardware needed to build this configuration.

    The case does not come with the power splitter required to use the 2.5″ drive from the factory, but we have our system set up to include this as a “mandatory option” so it will automatically be bundled with the case when purchased from Logic Supply.

    I believe Josh used a different IDE cable for the ODD to make cable management easier, but the stock one should work.

    You can always order one of our systems as a “Build and Test” to ensure that you won’t have to deal with any potential cable/accessory headaches. Although we don’t currently offer this setup as one of our normal configurations with a “Build and Test” option, our Sales team would be happy to set up a custom system for you – just give them a call!


  40. Tony
    March 20, 2009

    @Bart Grefte

    I believe this case was originally designed for an Albatron board which may support for all of the front-panel lights.

  41. […] im Homeservermarkt. Jedenfalls wurde es bereits mehrfach getestet und für Gut befunden (1, 2 und 3, und 4 dienten mir als Informationsquelle). Das schönste ist eigentlich dass eine Netzteil schon […]

  42. BooToo
    March 27, 2009

    Many thanks for all your answers.
    Really appreciate the time.
    Order sent.

  43. Bill Strehl
    April 8, 2009


    I am trying to build a “portable” HDMI recorder based around the Black Magic Design Intensity Pro card. ( to capture from my Canon HV20 Hi-Def camcorder. This card seems to have problems with the X58 chipset.

    Because of the amount of data being moved I need to have at least a raid 0 configuration with at least 2 7200 rpm SATA II drives. In addition I would have one more drive for the OS (Either XP or Vista). I was figuring on using 500 to 750 MB Seagate drives.

    The Chenbro ES34069 is close to the ideal case but I need to have a mother board with one PCI express slot that I can connect to externally and that has enough graphics power to play Blu-ray quality video.

    The Intel DG45FC motherboard seems to fit the bill as it seems to playback Blu-ray well and it has the needed RAID capability along with enough SATA connectors. I was planning on 4GB of RAM.

    I see the discussion above talks about the high power consumption and was wondering if anyone has tried a 12v to 12v DC power supply in the case. I found the following 200 watt power supply ( and thought that might work and allow me to power everything with either a car battery or 12 VDC power supply.

    Any thoughts or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Bill Strehl

  44. BooToo
    April 28, 2009

    Hello Tony,
    I have a serious issue finalizing this ultimate HTPC.
    The 4 drives connected to the RAID chipset do not hibernate in Vista.

    I can see the Motherboard and the 2.5 HDD are stopping but the 4 3.5 HDD keep spinning like everything is up and running…

    I have search in the Bios for all possible options who will trigger this behavior unsuccessfully so far (I am on S3 setting which are supposed to be the correct ones).

    I am left with 3 root causes:
    – The Bios: there is another version available but the windows utility doesn’t seems to work and I do not have a dos disk nearby…)
    – The built in power unit (I would assume it was correctly design and should not trigger such a problem)
    – The RAID drivers (I have the latest version installed from the Gigabyte website so nothing more I can do on this side…)

    H E L P…

  45. Tony
    April 28, 2009

    @Bill Strehl
    Due to the many questions on this blog, we have acquired a limited quantity of the 180W AC brick for the Chenbro case.

    I would also recommend checking out the new Jetway NF93 mainboard – the GM45 chipset should handle BD playback just fine. And if the extra cost of using 2.5″ drives isn’t off-putting, we will have another case that you might find very, very attractive in the near future. It won’t accommodate a PCI card in stock form, but if you’re creative and don’t mind modding the case yourself, it could be exactly what you’re looking for.


    Unfortunately, I think this level of troubleshooting might be a bit outside the realm of this blog. Please contact our Customer Support at 802-861-2300 for further assistance.

  46. Bill Strehl
    May 1, 2009


    Thanks for the reply. I just returned from the NAB show where I had a chance to talk to the tech rep for the Intensity card who told me their software won’t work with the GM45 chipset but will work with the Nvidia 9400 chipset. Looks like I will have to wait a little longer to see if someone creates a mini-itx board with a pci express slot.

    Thanks for the heads up on the new upcoming case.

  47. Tony
    May 1, 2009

    Hi Bill,

    Bummer about the Intensity!

    On the upside, we should be receiving samples of two different mini-ITX ION boards next week. Keep checking back here for updates!

  48. May 4, 2009

    Zotac makes a PCIe mini-ITX board based around the GeForce 9300M chipset. It only has two SATA ports, however:

  49. Bill Strehl
    May 8, 2009


    I considered the Zotac but the two SATA port limitation has made me decide to wait and see what is announced at the COMPUTEX show at the beginning of June.


    I am intrigued with the Atom series itx boards but the software I want to run needs at least a core duo running at 2.66GHz.

  50. MacGuy
    May 13, 2009

    Ok Question, Would these components support a hackintosh system? looking at the components I can see no reason why it wouldn’t, I’m trying to build a mobile imaging server for a number of geographically isolated buildings.

  51. Tony
    May 13, 2009

    Bill and Jeremy: We’re currently testing a mini-ITX mainboard with the NVIDIA ION system that has (4) SATA and a full PCIe x16 slot. Branding hasn’t been established yet so I can’t release any details yet, but keep an eye on our blog for more information in the next week or so.

    Also, Bill, If you need a C2D at 2.66GHz, I’d recommend calling our sales team on June 1st to see what they can do for you.

  52. Jonathan
    May 14, 2009

    I was considering building a system using the Chenbro ES34069 case, the Jetway NC-81lf, and an AMD 45W chip to use as both NAS storage/backup and as a media server with an HDTV card in it. In this case, the tuner card is a pcHDTV hd5500 card (

    So the question is, since the PCI riser doesn’t expose the back of the PCI card outside the case, is there enough space where the card does sit to route a coax cable from the card to a coax jack or f/f adapter mounted in/sitting in the coax punch-out? Same for potentially routing the audio/video I/O cable?

  53. Richard Bowden
    June 5, 2009

    So i have had this case for about a year now, and love it. Running windows home server perfectly. Just recently it’s started to make a high pitched sound, even with hard disks pulled out. I think this is the PSU, the brick does not make the sound. Have anyone on here see \ got this issue?


  54. […] Hersteller Manual (PDF) LogicSupply Review Part 1 LogicSuply Review Part 2 Another Review Leserreview Barebone […]

  55. Jeffrey
    July 9, 2009

    I have a question which you guys probably know the answer for i just bought the 120 watt version from a local store and i was wondering if i could change the adapter to that 180watt you guys were selling on the same case….

    i really hope so else im screwed!

  56. Kristina Bond
    July 10, 2009

    Hi Jeffrey,
    The Chenbro ES34069 comes with a 180 watt DC board and by default, a 120 watt AC adapter. We sell the 180 watt AC adapter on our site here: You shouldn’t need to change out your DC board unless the place you purchased it from gets a different version of the case.
    I hope this works for you!

  57. […] selection of the Chenbro case, it was a luxury. It’s rather pricey for an ITX case, but the LogicSupply review convinced me it was worth it. Another option would be to use the Enlight PR-42A1 which can be had […]

  58. Philippe
    August 20, 2009

    Hi, I would like to purchase this great case, with Zotac geforce 9300-itx wifi motherboard. I have not seen any issues nor any existing config with both, can you tell me if it is ok or not? Thanks for your help! I would also order PCI-E 16x riser card and 180W power supply, do you think it’s possible to find PCI-E SATA card?

  59. Sarith
    September 4, 2009

    does anyone have any info on the connectivity of the IR sensor from this case? how does it relay to the mobo, via USB headers or what?

  60. Tony Fiset
    tony f.
    September 14, 2009

    Philippe: The 9300-ITX is a great HTPC motherboard, but since we don’t do anything with desktop-based systems, I can’t tell you if it will work or not. If I had to guess, I’d say that it will probably fit just fine but you’ll have cooling issues. Check the guys over at – they have a dedicated 9300-ITX thread and someone there might be able to give you a better idea of whether or not this is an advisable build.

    Sarith: The ES340069 does not come with an IR sensor. The item you’re referring to is actually just an IR LENS – you will need to add your own sensor. Depending on your use, it might be preferable to use an external IR receiver (Antec makes one that works well, and I’m sure there are others) rather than leaving the door open on the Chenbro case to use an internal sensor.

  61. nalooti
    October 1, 2009

    I’m planning to buy the Chenbro case and had some discussion on the about the config I could put in it. Also, after reading this board, it seems everybody agree that the Intel DG45FC consumes too much power the 120W brick can handle. I had many discussion in avsforum and it seems the E7300 Core2Duo CPU (rated at 65W) consumes around 25W only. Also, no one here considering the DG45FC MB talked about the CPU he put in it! I know the MB can consume more (I can’t find any number though). Given that every configuration is for a given purpose, I’ll tell you my goal and configuration hoping to know what do you think of.
    My goal is to have a Backup system without any RAID (don’t need always-online, just backup) with SMB/NFS sharing and UPnP streaming capabilities being able to serve files and services (web, photos, surveillence videos) over WAN as well as LAN. High performance isn’t my goal as long as HD streaming is supported.
    In addition I want this system to be a basic HTPC i.e. HDMI sound/video, read smoothly HD contents (Blu-ray, 1080p) and record digital-only contents (no compression) via a USB TV tuner. Here is my conf:
    – Core2Duo E7600, 3.06GHz, 1066MHz, 3MB, 65W or
    – Core2Duo E7300, 2.66GHz, 1066MHz, 3MB, 65W
    – Scythe Big Shuriken CPU fan
    – Intel DG45FC motherboard
    – SSD: Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G2
    – Corsair Twin2X 2 x 2 Go DDRII PC8500
    – 2x WD Caviar Green S-ATA/II 1000 Go – 32 Mo 5400 rpm (to start)
    1/ Do you think the Scythe Big Shuriken CPU fan is possible in the Chenbro case ?
    2/ No one talked about SSD and 5400rpm “green” HDD! what do you think of given that file server performance is not my goal – just low power and silence for backup and HTPC uses.
    3/ I didn’t do the math but do you think 120W isn’t enough? How about 180W power brick?

    Please note that I won’t use any PCI/PCIe card, no WiFi (maybe via USB but probably Ethernet to the router and then WiFi)
    Many thanks for your answers

  62. Tony
    October 13, 2009


    We don’t test or sell any of the products you mentioned, so I really can’t tell you whether or not this will work. In my opinion, you would be much better off using a mobile or embedded CPU; I think you’ll find features comparable to the Fly Creek board on the Jetway NF93 or the Gigabyte board used in this article.

    As for your HDD selection, I think this is a great choice – I would also choose to run an SSD for the OS and two low-power HDDs.

    Regarding the power brick, if you go with a 65w CPU, I would think you would want the 180w brick. Of course, you can always try it with the 120 and buy the 180 later if needed.

  63. Ihage
    December 15, 2009

    I’m Dutch and my Englisch is not so good. So don’t be mad 🙂

    Hi, I have a question.
    In this review (part 2) the Gigabyte GA-6KIEH-RH is choses as mainboard.

    This choise is over 1 year old. So my question is: Is there a newer mainboard witch is better than the GA-6KIEH-RH ??

  64. Tony Fiset
    tony f.
    January 8, 2010

    Ihage: Despite being somewhat dated, the 6KIEH is still one of the only Mini-ITX mainboards with five SATA ports, meaning that it can take advantage of all four 3.5″ drives in a RAID configuration plus a 2.5″ drive (or CF+ODD) for the OS.

    Other options would be the Jetway NF76 with RAID daughter card, or a GM45-based board with an internal half-height PCI card. The IPX7A would be another option for a low-power board with a PCIe x16 slot.

    FYI: Your English is fine, but feel free to post in Dutch and we will make our CEO respond 🙂

  65. Ihage
    January 8, 2010

    @Tony F.

    The mean reason of my message placed december 2009 is the lack of sata300 ports. The 6KIEH has sata150. (BY THE WAY: THE PRODUCT PAGE OF THE 6KIEH STIL GIVES WRONG INFORMATON.)

    Today I saw that Zotac introduce a mini-itx H55 motherboard. The ZOTAC H55-ITX WiFi. This board maybe is better than the 6KIEH. Because it has 6 sata300, E-Sata, Wifi, ddr3 and a pci-e x16-slot (Chenbro can deliver a pci-e x16-slot riser card).

    This motherboard can be the base of a Lan(game) computer and also a htpc/home server (Only the power consumption is a little bit high I think??)

    Maybe you can publish a review on your blog ?? I have some suggestions that need a answer.
    – Power consumption (with and without an additional video card and with several different CPU’s)
    – The performance with codec’s and video formats 1080 (blue ray playback)

  66. Tony Fiset
    tony f.
    January 8, 2010

    @Ihage: Thank you for the correction on the speed of the SATA ports – the product page was created based on Gigabyte’s spec sheet, which, at the time was somewhat vague about this spec. Ports 1-4 are controlled by the Silicon Image 3114 chip, which, as you pointed out, only supports 1.5Gbps – we will have the product page corrected by the end of the day. Port 5, however, is controlled by the ICH8M, and does support 3.0Gbps transfer speeds, which is where our incomplete spec information came from.

    We won’t be carrying or reviewing the Zotac board because it uses a desktop processor, and, frankly, I would not recommend it in this case. Currently, the lowest TDP CPUs in the Clarkdale family are rated at 73W – more than twice the mobile Core 2 Duo CPUs that we’ve tested. On the plus side, the H55 chipset is only 5.2W but that’s still about 30W more than a mobile setup.

    You can get a pretty good idea of the total power draw simply by adding up the max wattage of the CPU, chipset, hard drives, and optical drive. Newer HDDs and slim ODDs don’t draw much power, so you could probably just barely get away with the 180W version of the Chenbro case.

    I don’t think any of the new Clarkdale CPUs will have trouble with HD content, including Blu-ray discs. I’m sure Anandtech, Tom’s Hardware, and the other usual suspects will have benchmarks for you pretty soon.

  67. Ihage
    January 11, 2010

    Dear Tony F.

    Thanks for your fast reaction.
    I didn’t know that the 6KIEH has 1 sata300 port.
    This 1 sata300 port can be used for the system harddisk.

    One of the reasons I would buy the 6KIEH is the Silicon Image 3114 chip. Normaly this chip is embedded on raid-cards and can offer great functionality. For only storage the sata150 ports a more then enough.

    You can forget the hole ZOTAC H55-ITX WiFi story. I don’t wanna use the zotac if it cann’t fit in the chenbro case for power reasons.

    The marked for mini-itx is booming big.

  68. Paul
    January 18, 2010

    What about the recently announced Zotac NM10-DTX? It’s supposed to be a DTX form factor and the Chenbro ES34069 I think can support DTX. Does anyone know if this board will work in this case?

    The board has the following attractive specs:
    -Intel Atom D510 processor (dual-core, 1.66 GHz)
    -2 RAM slots for up to 4 GB
    -1x Gig Lan
    -1x 802.11n
    -1x VGA
    -HDMI (720p)
    -2x 3Gb SATA
    -4x 3Gb SATA (RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5)
    -1x 3Gb eSATA
    -Sound: Analog-5.1 HD Audio; Digital-Optical & Coaxial S / PDIF outputs
    -10x USB (6 on back panel, 4 via pin header)
    -Cooler: Zero-noise cooling passive

  69. ihage
    January 20, 2010

    @ Paul

    The Chenbro case doesn’t support DTX.

    Beacause the Zotac NM10-DTX has 720p I can’t use it for a HTPC.

  70. Paul
    January 20, 2010


    I made a mistake in my post the board is a mini-DTX and according to Chenbro’s website it supports mini-DTX.

    Anyone have any experience with mini-DTX with this case or any comments about it?

  71. Paul
    January 31, 2010


  72. Tony Fiset
    tony f.
    February 1, 2010

    Sorry, Paul, I can’t help you with the Mini-DTX, though if I had to guess I would say it would probably fit.

    On a related not, I think we have an excellent replacement for the 6KIEH, the Jetway NC64. The spec sheet says it has 4x SATA + 1x eSATA, but the picture on the spec sheet (and the engineering sample I just received) has 5 SATA ports, plus the eSATA port. This board uses an NVIDIA chip (MCP79MH w/ GeForce 9100M GPU) similar to the one on ION boards, but is paired with a Penryn Core 2 Duo instead of an Atom. I/O is very media oriented. I think this might be the perfect media server/player setup.

  73. paulb
    February 4, 2010

    @tony f.

    That Jetway NC64 sure looks interesting. Any idea when it will be available?

  74. Arjen
    February 4, 2010

    Called the Jetway office in CA to ask about the 5th SATA connector on the NC64, they said it is eSATA. Hmmmm… never seen an on-board eSATA connector like that. I’m guessing it simply a SATA connector that shares the channel with the rear panel eSATA port.

    Any idea when you guys will start selling the NC64? Does this boards support Win7 x64?

  75. Tony Fiset
    tony f.
    February 4, 2010

    We’ll be selling it as soon as it’s available from Jetway 🙂

    Hopefully that will be by early March.

    As for the eSATA, I think Arjen has assessed the situation correctly – it simply shares the eSATA channel. Whether or not you can use both at the same time (port multiplication) is currently unknown, but I’ll be sure to test it.

  76. Arjen
    February 4, 2010

    You guys have an impressive selection of mini-ITX boards!

    I have the Chenbro 34069 case, but perhaps you can help me pick a suitable board for my needs? This PC will be used as a home file server, and it will also run a lightweight Windows based PBX from 3CX. It will not need to do any heavy lifting for e.g. media apps or games.

    I’ll need a board with 4x 3GB SATA ports for the drives in the Chenbro case. I was also hoping to use a spare 2.5″ SATA laptop drive for the OS, but since boards with 5 SATA ports are hard to find, I suppose I can opt for an IDE drive for the OS.

    I am contemplating using Windows Home Server as the OS, but I’m leaning more towards Windows 7 64 bit. 4GB of RAM will do nicely.

    And my final requirement: I’ll need this PC to run very quiet, so it will need to stay relatively cool at lower fan speeds (with a room temp of 75F-80F). That will probably need a low power CPU, I don’t care if that is Intel/AMD/VIA or mobile/desktop. Price is not a primary concern.

    The Gigabyte board is nice…but the 1.5GB SATA ports bug me. And I don’t really want to wait for the Jetway board (don’t have the patience for patience).

    Based on those requirements and your experience, would you recommend a certain board/CPU combo?

  77. Tony Fiset
    tony f.
    February 5, 2010


    I’d recommend the NF76-1G6 with the ADP4S RAID daughtercard. You’ll only get support for 2GB RAM, but it will handle a 64bit OS.

    Otherwise, your best bet will be a Core 2 Duo mobile board with an add-on RAID card.

  78. Arjen
    February 5, 2010

    I’m going to read up on the VIA Nano a bit. Thanks for the reply!

  79. Arjen
    February 6, 2010

    Looks like a good option. Can’t find much info on that Jetway add-on RAID card. I’m wondering if it would allow me to set up 2 separate arrays of 2 mirrored disks, instead of having to combine all 4? Also, would the fanless version of that board with the 1GHz CPU suffice you think? The less power/heat/noise the better.

  80. Arjen
    February 7, 2010

    Never mind. Found some more info on that card and it lokos like it would let me create 2 separate RAID-1 arrays. But it says clearly on your product info page for the SATA daughter board that it is not compatible with the NF76-N1GL-LF. Bummer.

    If I have to go for a board with a fan, I’m debating waiting for the new NC64 Jetway board with a 25W Penryn. My concern is power consumption and heat, since it will be running 24×7. Any guess as to how much more power the NC64/Penryn combo would consume over the NF76-N1G6-LF?

  81. Pär Eriksson
    February 8, 2010

    I think I have found the perfect MB for a NAS in this case, a Supermicro X7SPA-H/HF

    Nothing fancy like sound, it’s their “Value Server Platform”.

    Intel® Atom™ D510 processor

    6 x SATA – Intel ICH9R SATA 3.0Gbps Controller
    RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support (Windows Only)

    HF model has IPMI 2.0

    They sell it in a Mini 1U Chassis with:
    Power LED
    Hard drive activity LED
    2x Network activity LEDs
    System Overheat LED

    So it might even be possible to make use of all the LEDs on the Chenbro ES34069!

    It would be awesome if Logic Supply could look in to this board!

  82. Pär Eriksson
    February 8, 2010

    Oki I have consulted the manual for the Supermicro X7SPA-H/HF and it does indeed support all the LEDs on the ES34069, and it has lots of stuff that makes it the the perfect combo for a powerful NAS.

    But it has a 24-Pin ATX Power Connector (+ 4-Pin) and the ES34069 only has a 20-Pin if I am correct? It probably works anyway (?), but does anyone know if its possible to upgrade the PSU in the future?

  83. Arjen
    February 9, 2010

    Whoa…how did you find that little gem. Great find! Decent price too around $175, $200 for the version with Matrox video. I think I am going to give this a try!

  84. Pär Eriksson
    February 9, 2010

    Arjen: Pleas report back if you do!

  85. Arjen
    February 12, 2010

    I purchased the H version since I don’t need the additional BMC hardware for system monitoring/management, and I’m guessing that the Matrox VGA chip would make it more difficult to find good drivers.

    The board installed without a hitch, fits perfectly. The Chenbro ES34069 has the extra 4-pin plug to support both 20-pin and 24-pin power headers, so no issues there. The Supermicro board has all the headers for the front LEDs in the case, these work nicely. The only thing it does not have is a header for the “MUTE” switch on the front. Not sure what the use of that is anyway.

    This Supermicro board “feels” like a high quality, industrial board. Given that it is fanless, and after changing the voltage on the rear two 70mm fans from 12V to 7V, this case/board combo is pretty much noiseless.

    I like it…I think this board is a great match for the Chenbro ES34069.

  86. Pär Eriksson
    February 12, 2010

    Would you mind taking a photo of the motherboard I/O Back Plate? A picture with it installed in the case would be perfect!

    I would like to try to fit in a DWA-556 wireless network adapter over the ethernet ports… it probobly wont work, but it would be nice if it did!

  87. Ihage
    February 13, 2010

    The Supermicro X7SPA-H/HF is a nice board.
    And when this board has had a mobile CPU and HDMI it was the Perfect mainboard

  88. Arjen
    February 16, 2010


    Note that this Supermicro board does NOT have on-board audio. For your wireless adapter, you could also consider using a short wireless USB stick and plug it in the on-board USB socket. There is about 45mm clearance between the PCB and the case, about 38mm between the top of the USB socket and the case.

  89. Pär Eriksson
    February 18, 2010


    Thank you for the excellent pictures and info! Don’t know how my NIC plans will pan out, but this case + mobo looks like they where made for each other!

  90. Arjen
    February 18, 2010

    I agree, at least for many purposes. For an HTPC the Gigabyte or the upcoming Jetway or Zotac boards will obviously be the better choice. But I am using it for a home file/backup server running Windows 7 64-bit. It also hosts my home office PBX (3CX). Performs flawlessly for that purpose. I’m very satisfied with this Chenbro case + Supermicro board combination. Quiet, low power, plenty fast for my purposes. Looks great too!

  91. Cody
    February 23, 2010

    for the X7SPA: do you happen to have tested it @Raid5? i haven’t found any review yet of the ich9 performance *with* detailed CPU load (which should be high for write mode)

  92. Scott Johnson
    February 23, 2010

    @Arjen, for the X7SPA-H is there room to fit a slim CD-ROM drive? It looks like those SATA connectors would be in the way.

  93. Arjen
    February 24, 2010

    No…sorry..I’m not quite comfortable with the notion that RAID5 drives do not necessarily transfer to a different chipset. I went for full redundancy and portability with two 2TB drives in RAID1 mode. And that seems to perform nicely. Haven’t benchmarked it, but file transfers feel plenty zippy to me.

  94. Scott Johnson
    February 26, 2010

    @Arjen, how about fitting a slim CD-ROM in there?

  95. Arjen
    February 28, 2010

    @Scott: Yes that should work. I didn’t put one in there because I used an external USB CD-ROM drive. But the case has a space reserved for a drive. It’ll be a tight fit above the SATA connectors on the board though, you may have to go with right-angle connectors.

  96. Ihage
    March 12, 2010

    2 questions

    Does someone know what the power efficiency is ??
    Is it comparable with pico power supply’s.
    Because pico’s are the most efficiency power supply’s

    Does Logic Supply also deliver in the netherlands ?? And what are the extra costs ??

  97. Lieven
    March 15, 2010


    I’m reading the manual of the X7SPA-H board, and it states the 4-pin power connector is dedicated to supplying CPU power. But if I look at your pictures, it doesn’t seem to match with the one in the manual. How did you connect the power headers?

    20-pin supply -> 24-pin header
    4-pin supply -> 4-pin header
    (this is what I thought it should be)


    20-pin supply -> 24-pin header
    4-pin supply -> 24-pin header
    (this is what it looks like from you picture)

  98. Thorsten
    March 30, 2010


    has someone ever tried to use the CF slot on the Gigabyte GA-6KIEH-RH as boot device.

    Does one of you know where to get the board quickly. Takes 4-6 weeks to get it in Germany.

  99. Scott Johnson
    March 30, 2010

    Getting to the the front panel clips from the back does not require removing the DC board or SATA backplane. Just take a long flat-head screwdriver and reach in through the drive bays. You still have to remove the mobo tray, however.

  100. Scott Johnson
    April 1, 2010


    The power supply in this case has a 20-pin connector, plus two different 4-pin connectors. One of those 4-pin connectors combines with the 20-pin connector to plug into the 24 pin header on the motherboard. The other 4-pin connector is unused on the X7SPA-H, despite what the motherboard manual says. There are solder pads on the board where that header would go, but the header is unpopulated.

    In Arjen’s first photo, you can see the unused 4-pin connector in the top left corner. The unpopulated motherboard socket is hidden underneath the wires from the 20-pin connector.

    Because this motherboard has no fan, and the case has no fan in the motherboard compartment, I went ahead and installed the slowest, quietest fan I could find (SilenX IXP-34-08). So far I really like this case + mobo combo.

  101. Scott Johnson
    April 4, 2010

    Chenbro now has on their website the ES34169, which moves the AC power supply into the case and gets rid of the soap-on-a-rope brick. Limited to the 120W model.

  102. BigRob
    April 11, 2010

    I bought the ES34169 and it is a nice case overall. It is true the front hinges are slightly under built. My box did not come with slimline optical mounting brackets and I do not see them in the Chenbro accessories list. The drives run pretty cool with all the slits and fans. Nice little case if you don’t want a rack mount.

  103. MarcusXP
    April 21, 2010

    How about the Zotac mini-DTX motherboard with Intel Atom D510 onboard?
    It has 6 SATA connectors as well and lots of features:

    Anyone tested this motherboard on this case?
    The specs are not really clear if the case does support mini-DTX boards or not.
    I’ve found in one place mentioned only mini-ITX and in another place, mentioned both, mini-ITX and mini-DTX too..

  104. MarcusXP
    April 21, 2010

    BTW, the only place where I found that board, is on
    Seems that doesn’t have it yet..

  105. MarcusXP
    April 21, 2010

    The difference between mini-ITX and mini-DTX is about 33mm. So the mini-ITX is a bit wider.
    I checked the case and it seem to have a bit more room for the extra 33mm, even though it may be a bit tight.. there are the cables on the right side, so I may need to do a bit of cable management.
    Anyone had the chance to try it, or am I gonna be the 1st one? 🙂

  106. MarcusXP
    April 21, 2010

    The more I look at this motherboard, the more I like it. The SATA connectors are placed conveniently on the right side, and the ATX 20pin connector is placed pretty good, too.
    It has eSATA, HDMI and 6x USB ports on the back, Wifi and even a PCI-E x16 slot – but this one cannot be used in this case, so not useful at this time.
    This makes it useful for any application – NAS server or media center.
    It looks like the PERFECT motherboard for this case!

  107. Andrey
    May 6, 2010

    I also bought the ES34169 and like it. Read previous comment that it doesn’t come with slimline optical mounting brackets and can confirm this. I called Chenbro and explain to the gay that information on the website is misleading. Couple of hours later found that he actually changed the information and it’s now has correct pictures and states that ODD kit is optional, part #83H804534-004 – “Adapter, Slim ODD SATA Adapter w/ cable and bracket”.

  108. Scott Johnson
    July 26, 2010

    Does anybody have a suggestion for how to mount a second 2.5″ HDD in this case? I’m not using the memory card reader or optical drive bay, so there’s plenty of room in the upper compartment. Right now I’ve just got it resting on top of the first 2.5″ drive, not screwed in at all.

    I found the Chenbro SK51102 that can convert the slim optical bay into a hot-swap 2.5″ bay, but I don’t think I have room to use the optical bay due to space conflicts with the motherboard SATA ports. (Supermicro X7SPA-H mobo)

  109. Garfield Graham
    December 8, 2010

    What did you decide to do? I have the Supermicro X7SPA-H mobo & the ES34069 on order. I’m thinking of going with an external slim usb burner so I can swap between my note book or , but I guess I have tho get brackets for it. I’m not sure what type of brackets I would need.

  110. Scott Johnson
    December 9, 2010

    My second 2.5″ HDD is just flopping around in there.

    I wish I had got the X7SPA-HF for its remote management functionality (IPMI).

    My ES34068 came with the slim ODD bracket but I think the ES34069 does not. Chenbro makes the bracket you will need.

  111. Scott Johnson
    January 4, 2011

    Correction to my Dec 9 post: I have an ES34069, not ES34068. It came with the ODD bracket. I believe the newer ES34169 does not.

  112. Satvinder
    June 9, 2011

    Will the Jetway NC96FL-525 motherboard fit in this case. I am looking at putting in 4x3TB HDs (WD 3TB Caviar Green 3.5″ SATA-II Hard Drive 64MB Cache) and running a linux based Nas. Any issues I should be aware of regarding power consumption and heat?

  113. JP Ishaq
    June 9, 2011

    Hi Satvinder,

    Thank you for your interest. We would suggest using the NF99FL-525 as an alternative, in order to interface properly with the case’s ATX power supply. Because the NC96 has onboard power, there isn’t an easy way to power the drives through the board, or send a power signal from the board to the case PSU. The NF99 also offers an additional 2 SATA ports for use as an OS drive, so you don’t have to use one of the hot-swap bays to house your OS.

    As far as heat management goes, we would suggest installing an 60 mm front fan in either the front or top slot to supplement the case’s built-in cooling.

  114. Scott Johnson
    June 13, 2011

    With green drives you should have no problem with HDD heat. I rewired the two case fans to run at 7V (quieter) and I run 4x Hitachi 7200rpm drives, which are by no means cool or low-power. I forget the drive temps now but I monitored them closely when I first built this box (~1 year ago) and I didn’t think it was ever excessive.

    You will want a 60mm fan for the mobo compartment. The case was designed expecting the mobo to have a CPU fan. I run a fanless Atom D510 board and I use the slowest, quietest 60mm SilenX fan (8 dB).

  115. mike
    July 22, 2011

    I ordered this case earlier this week, knowing full well that Chenbro did not make a PCIe riser for it. I figured I could rig something up with the multitude of cabled risers out there. Low and behold, I look today and there’s a PCIe x16 riser for this case (80H09453403A0)! Either I am blind, or this development has been within the past three days.

    Any chance that logicsupply will get this part in stock soon?

  116. Kristina Bond
    July 26, 2011

    Hi Mike,
    We didn’t realize there was a PCIe riser option out there either! We just brought this case back in-house a few weeks ago and haven’t considered new accessories for it. We’ll look into it and see what availability is, but not sure if and when we’ll be carrying it. Scott has a lot of experience with this case and building a system around it; if he recommends a specific riser for it, I would trust his advice.

    If we do carry the riser, we’ll definitely post an update here to let everyone know.

  117. mike
    July 22, 2011

    Oddly enough, the pictures that I can find of that PCIe riser (80H09453403A0) look almost identical to a PCIe riser that logicsupply already sells (, with very minor differences (socket has locking mechanism, chenbro branding).

  118. Scott Johnson
    July 25, 2011

    I used a PCIe riser from Orbit Micro (

    I only needed x1 so I got the PEXP1-RX1 which worked in my ES34069. (B-side, height of 1.05″.) Note the ES34169 has a hole cut in the back for a card, which my case does not have. I’m not certain if this riser would fit in that application, but it sure looks to me like it would.

  119. mike
    July 27, 2011

    Hi Scott, Kristina –

    I have the ES34069. A few additional things to note:

    First of all, the case comes with some sort of mounting bracket that is to be used for immobilizing a PCI card. The holes on it line up perfectly with the holes on a tiny low profile PCI card I have laying around, but they’re about 1cm off on the holes on this larger low profile PCIe card I have. I’ve looked at an old (2000, PCI 2.2) PCI low profile specification ( and the difference is that my PCI card is the shortest allowed by the spec (51mm; 42.47mm hole spacing) while my PCIe card is the tallest allowed by the spec (64mm; 53.9mm hole spacing). If the Chenbro PCIe riser does not come with an alternate mounting bracket, a suboptimal solution will be required to immobilize a larger low profile card.

    Secondly, I require at least an x8 riser. x16 would be ideal, but certainly not required. The height you mention of 1.05″ helps me quite a bit. Looking at the board in the mounting tray, an inch looks about right. Does that height include the height of the contact pins? Looking back at the PCIX-1A I linked to earlier, it has a listed height of 27.3mm. 1.05″ is ~26.7mm. That’s a difference of 0.6mm — close enough for me! I’ll still have to rig something up to immobilize the card, though. Unless you can get the Chenbro version in within the next week or two, I’m going to go ahead and order the PCIX-1A from you and I’ll let you know how it works out.

    Lastly, thank you for this excellent article! There’s a wealth of information to be found here.

  120. mike
    July 28, 2011

    I’m impatient, so I went ahead and ordered the PCIX-1A from you. You’re welcome to ship it faster. Really, I won’t mind!

    I’ll follow up after I’ve had a chance to try it out.

  121. Kristina Bond
    July 28, 2011

    Hi Mike,
    Well, it looks like you’re going to have a weekend project on your hands 😉 Check your order status/tracking and let us know how it works out.

    I’ll have to get back to you on the rest of your questions a little later.

    And I’m thrilled you found our article helpful!

  122. mike
    August 4, 2011

    Thanks! That PCIe riser works like a charm! Correct height and the card functions just fine so far. I’m having to RMA three of the four drives I purchased, so I haven’t been able to create my RAID array yet. I haven’t tried fashioning anything to immobilize the card – it’s supported fairly well by the multilane SATA cable I have snaking underneath the card and through the rubber grommet. Unless I’m *really* bored or I have problems with the card becoming unseated, I’m not likely to spend any further time or effort on trying to immobilize it.

    Thanks Kristina!

  123. James Szivos
    September 20, 2011

    I have two of these Chenbro cases, both 120W. The one I purchased on Newegg came with the slim cd drive caddy. Both builds are mini file servers with RAID 5 (4.1TB and 8.2TB) for usage – IIS, FTP, SMB, torrents, etc. I have the PCI (classic) riser installed on my 4.1TB server with a PCI SATA RAID controller.

    Original Mini Server
    Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-D510UD
    CPU: Integrated ATOM D510
    RAM: 2 x 2GB DDR2 800
    RAID5: Rosewill RC-209-EX PCI 2.3 – Hardware – 4 x Seagate Barracuda ST315005N4A1AS-RK 1.5TB 5900 RPM 32MB Cache SATA
    Boot: Some POS 80GB SATA2 2.5″ hard drive

    New Mini Server
    Mobo: JetWay JNF81-T56N-LF
    CPU: Integrated AMD Hudson
    RAM: 2 x 4GB DDR3 1066 SO-DIMM
    RAID5: Integrated – Software – 4 x HITACHI Deskstar 0S03230 3TB 5400 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s
    Boot: Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH080G1 2.5″ 80GB SATA II

    Overall I am thoroughly impressed by the Chenbro case and my servers. I highly recommend using Chenbro. Despite the small workspace, the case is very easy to assemble. It has all the features you could want – hot swap, hard drive status, raid status, network status, flipping display cover, easy access to mobo.

  124. g3
    October 5, 2011

    Does anyone know where I can get the Y cable 26h114340 005?

  125. Kristina Bond
    October 11, 2011

    Unfortunately, the ES34069 is EOL along with all the components and accessories. You might be able to find this cable on eBay? I wish we had a spare hanging around here! We haven’t had that product in-house for awhile. Good luck on your search!


  126. VJ
    October 10, 2011

    I am trying to build a NAS plus HTPC in one box.
    Has anyone tested Chenbro ES34069 with
    Z68ITX-B-E motherboard with 4 Western Digital’s WD30EZRX(3.5 SATA 6 Gb/s,64 MB cache,3 TB).
    They are supposed to be green drives, but I cannot find definite power specs on the drives.

    I am mainly worried about how does the 120 W power supply will hold up with this power hungry config.

    If anyone knows, please let me know.


  127. VJ
    October 11, 2011

    Is ES34169 still in production? Do I get option of 180 W or more?

    Is there any option to go higher with ES34169? I will using probably one or two USB 3 or eSATA drives attached to this NAS drive which will drive power also.

    Alternatively is ES34169 available without powersupply? I can perhaps build my own externa, power supply upto 300 W.

    Appreciate if you’d let me know.


  128. Kristina Bond
    Kristina Bond
    October 12, 2011

    Hi VJ,
    To the best of our knowledge, the ES34169 is still in production. We decided not to carry this because it is a different case and only comes with the 120 W power supply; there is no option to upgrade.

    I haven’t see other suppliers offer this case without a power supply, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t remove it and swap it out for something different.

    We are going to be carrying a case from Chyangfun, which is a nice alternative to the ES34069. We’ll keep you posted on the case here. It has a 200 W Flex ATX power supply and 4 hot-swappable HDD bays (including an internal 2.5″ bay). It’s smaller too. It might be what you’re looking for.
    – Kristina

  129. VJ
    October 13, 2011


    I certainly appreciate you taking time to respond. Main reason I got into this whole thing is to build my custom expandable NAS (plus possibly HTPC). I got tired of and running out of off-shelf NASes or they are really pricy (like from DROBO).

    Did you mean to suggest CFI-A7879 from Chyangfun? I see 2 issues with it:
    1) It does not have a 5.25″ drive (slim or regular) external bay too allow local movement of content off DVDs (BluRay or regular)

    2) CFI-A7879 (8″x10″x12.12″=969.9 cu.inch) bigger in size than ChenBro ES34169 (10.24″x5.51″x 10.24″=577.765 cu.inch)

    Please let me know which model would you carry, when and appx price range.

    I also considered a Lien Li PC-Q08 case as an alternative (if I have to give up tidy size of ChenBro ES34169). But also it too big (9.08″x10.88″x13.9″=1363.31 cu.inch) and it’s not bare bones. It comes with some type of NAS backbone loaded with it, hence making it too pricy. One plus thing is that it does offer grand 6×3.5 bays with 5.25″ ext drive.

    Silverstone SST-TJ08 and few from Sugo series offers few options, but none of them are as slim as ChenBro ES34169.

    I am not sure if you would like to answer if end up buying ChenBro ES34169 (guess from somewhere else, since you don’t carry it) , then how easy it is to change the built in 120 W power supply?

    I plan to use a board like Z68ITX-A-E (socket 1155) board with Western Digital 3 TB/6 gb GREEN drives.
    I expect one or two devices connected on USB 3 ports on the motherboard at times.

    As always, appreciate your response.


  130. Kristina Bond
    Kristina Bond
    October 17, 2011

    Hi VJ,
    Yeah, the case I was mentioning is the CFI-A7879. And you’re right, it doesn’t have an optical drive bay (could you get by with an external one?). We should be getting it up on the site pretty soon and we have them in stock, so if you check back later today, you can see the sell price.

    I don’t know how easy it would be to swap out the PSU on the ES31469. I assume that if the PSU does get swapped, it might remove any warranty the case comes with. So, just keep that in mind.

    I wish I could offer my input on your configuration, but my knowledge of mainboards using desktop CPUs and the power requirements that come with them is somewhat limited. Depending on the processor and its TDP along with the power consumption of the components you plan on using, I would start by simply adding up the watts (I think you’re likely looking at a desktop CPU maximum TDP of 65 W?). Yes, this seems overly simplistic and obvious, but it’s a good starting point to decide whether or not you’ll need a heftier PSU. If you can’t find the information on the Western Digital’s, try finding a comparable product, like a Seagate drive and use that number as a ballpark. Seagate is excellent at providing detailed specs on their drives.

    I hope this helps!

  131. Mark Gulbrandsen
    October 15, 2013

    I’ve had one of these cases for a few years now set up as a micro server running the OS in RAID 1 on a pair od SSD’s and storage on a pair of 500gb SATA drives. The board I;m using is the Intel DQ45EK. All was fine until I noticed one day that basically all had stopped functioning. After a quick check it appears the power regulator or the power supply itself may have died. The CPU and Chipset gets very hot really fast when running off it’s own supply. When I run the MB off an external ATX supply all seems fine. I guess my beef here is that the 160 watt power supply is woefully inadaquate. If you bring this case back it has to have a 250 watt supply at least. I wonder how many other people have had failures with their factory power supply. Now that Chenbro has discontinued this case what do I do for parts… sort of strapping an outboard supply or tossing the thing in the garbage there aren’t a lot of choices to repair it.

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