Originally Posted by stepmback
I am looking for a good server board for a soon to be built WHS 2011 server with FlexRaid. It will be going into a Norco 4220 20HD server. I plan on using one of he new Ivy Chips from intel so it needs to be an LGA 1155 compatible.
My wish list includes
USB 3.0, at least 6 SATA ports, preferably SATA III, Intel NIC, solidly built for less than $300?
I'm assuming you have very basic needs. Your wish list doesn't include any form of virtualization support, ECC RAM hardly matters in a home environment, and it doesn't sound like virtually any other feature common to an actual server motherboard is genuinely important to you. The only way you get more than 2 SATA 6Gb/s ports is on a higher end 1155 motherboard or by going AM3+, and given that you're running spindle drives, you really don't need SATA 6Gb/s, it's just additional bandwidth you'll never use.
If Intel NIC is really important to you, then my recommendation would be to look for an ASUS P8P67 Pro board. I'm sure they're still available at some outlets online, or via eBay or a brick and mortar location I own one I use in an enthusiast system that has done beautifully for me. You can also look into the Intel BOXDP67BGB3 board. The key is really a board with at least 2 PCI-E slots running at x4 each. This allows you to use SAS expander cards in the PCI-E slots to provide the rest of the connections necessary to use all of your case's hotswap bays. Unfortunately, on LGA1155, a lot of those boards are P67 boards, at least when you talk about standard consumer boards. There are some server boards, like the Super Micro MBD-X9SCL-O around that price (~$160.00), that provide the necessary PCI-E slots, but the back panel connectivity is extremely
limited (no USB 3.0, only 2 USB 2.0) though you do get dual Intel NICs. These boards are also limited in terms of processors (only Xeon E3s or Core i3s and below, Sandy Bridge), and only take ECC memory, which is more expensive.
I'd say you're better off spending half or less than that of the $300 limit you set. A basic media server demands little, just enough horsepower to keep up with 5400 RPM drives (that's not a lot of horsepower). A high-end enthusiast board is overkill, especially one on a dying socket. Similarly, Ivy Bridge is unnecessary, especially right now, when the best procs for basic server use (the new i3s and Pentiums, with lower TDPs) aren't even out yet.
If you must have SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0, buy a P67 motherboard with an Intel NIC and sufficient connectivity to meet your needs and call it a day.