Shuttle KPC as NAS or HTPC

I recently did some research into some hardware for building a small NAS (network attached storage) box and came upon the Shuttle KPC (K45) as a possible candidate. With room for two 3.5” drives and possibly another 2.5” one with a bit of tweaking, it would be a bit low on hard drive space, especially if RAID were used for redundancy. On the other hand, it’s small and cheap as chips for the barebones version, at around $100.

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While I debated its utility as a NAS case, I realized it might make for a cheap, storage-based (missing 5.25” bay so no Blu-rays here) HTPC as well. Although the standard motherboard is somewhat lackluster, a mini-ITX board should fit perfectly. With some AMD 780G and NVIDIA mini-ITX boards available and outfitted with tons of multimedia features, you could easily build a low power, small HTPC box.

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I’ve compared the Shuttle board with a Jetway mini-ITX board, and as you can see, the mounting holes line up perfectly. In fact, you’ll save some room in the already tiny case. The only issue you might run into is with the placement of the socket. Looking down at the KPC, the right-hand side of the case holds the power supply, which could cause clearance issues with the CPU heatsink. On the Shuttle board, the CPU socket is towards the center of the board, leaving more room for the power supply.

While I have little need for a HTPC, I am still interested in the box as a NAS appliance. With Windows Home Server, I might not have the need for actual RAID for backups, so I can get away with a couple 1TB drives. Has anyone out there actually tried a mini-ITX board in the KPC?

5 thoughts on “Shuttle KPC as NAS or HTPC”

  1. I worked on basically the same project. Used a ShuttleX case and installed a mITX board. I used the Foxconn 45CSX Intel Atom 330 Intel 945GC Mini ITX Motherboard. And at $66 bucks it’s perfect for a storage unit that i set up in the bedroom of the RV. Am a full time RVer so size matters. Since the Shuttle X case has the 5.25″ slot i can add a dvd burner and will be able to make backups of the backups. My storage is for Flight Sim aircraft files i use on my main machine. I have tossed the idea of installing Linux on it but really, its a closed home unit, I don’t see security of the files as an issue in my instance anyway. And so far have used windows and even windows 7. Good luck on your build. Oh, and when you walk into a store and they start trying to stear you to other stuff, stick to your guns. It’s very worth it. The hardest part is ripping the case off a power supply and rebuilding it to fit in the space alloted. Being a ham radio guy this was nothing to accomplish. The selection of the power supply you wish to use for the build is the key. I ended up using a power supply from a dell 4500s and just about cutting it in half. have fun.

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