Zimaboard as Storj node

I found this cool little single board computer. It comes with 2 sata ports and I was thinking this would be a good alternative to a raspberry pi.


Significant price and power difference between this and a Pi.

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Sadly for me at least. Raspberry Pi’s are still ~150 USD wherever I go looking.

This is around the same price for the mid tier zimaboard which seems to match the performance of a raspberry pi 4 4GB.

Is there a way to get raspberry pis for MSRP? It’s always out of stock when I look for one.

That will apparently be the case until third quarter of 2023 when they will have adequate stocks. You can always grab a low power SBC alternative like an Odroids or Rock 64. But I mean, if you want a higher power draw SBC and can use the extra processing, no harm in the one you are looking at. I have a few Latte Pandas that are similar x86 SBCs

I would advise, to buy a Fujitsu Futros S740 or equivalent thin client. It is around the same price or even cheaper, it also has more performance (J4105) compared to the raspi 4. The Raspberry Pi makes only sense if you are using the GPIO-Pins, or you really need the small form factor.


I bought one to test but not for storj but it also depends I might move from my rpi4s but I already have rpi4s so Ill probably just use it for a server and such. Since it has sata and pcie it could make for a good storj hoster though since you could run a raid card on this.

This PCIe is not what one would expect in 2023:
But it should handle storj drives, right? :thinking:

“Fun” thing: The “I” part of PCIe on the page is not an uppercase “i”, but a lowercase “L” :stuck_out_tongue:

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pcie 2.0 4x is still faster then sata though, and you will be running rust hds on it so its not like you would be maxing out it. That cpus not the most powerful anyways so not sure what you would run if it was say 4x pcie 4.0…

It limits the type of card you can put in. Some of them were x8 and can currently be purchased rather cheap. But then yeah, I didn’t realize the processor is “that old”. And I didn’t know that even now the newest N series have “only” PCIe 3.0 (but with 9 lanes).

It seems that Intel drops support for CPU after ~7 years and then we have a release of a new SBC. Most probably due to a sell-out of what’s left on OEMs shelves. Or Intel itself, cause they promised to have it available for so long and have some leftovers at the end.

This board seems competitive to RPi or ITX setups. For USB-connected drives it should behave similarly to RPi. When you want to use the PCIe as an expansion though, you need to have an extra power source for your drives. And then you are probably CPU-bound to up to 4 anyway. At this point ITX (or ATX if you don’t care about the size) might be a better choice.

True I also canceled my order cause I thought it was a recent cpu it really makes it less desirable…Also saw more reviews of it and its less hackable then say a rpi4…Only thing good about the zimbaboard was the pcie and well its to limited to really do much with it.

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I’m running >20TB worth of nodes on a cpu with benchmark scores around half of what N3350 does, and it’s fine. So for a node this would be enough. But you’d probably want at least the 4GB model, maybe even the 8GB one. 2GB was a serious bottleneck in my case.

This slot looks like of an open design, so you can connect an x8 or x16 card. It will just be slower, as some lanes will just not be connected. PCIe 2.0 x4 is still 2 GB/s, which should be enough for 10-12 drives, maybe even more given that Storj doesn’t require much bandwidth to the drives. Or, with cheaper HBA cards with PCIe 1.0, that would 1 GB/s… still plenty for five drives.

I’d personally prefer having an actual case around the PCIe card and drives. Your choice though.