Rock 5b as a SATA NAS

Dear enthousiasts,

I recently set up a simple x86-64 NAS with software RAID 5 under OpenMediaVault, it is working fine and performance is really good on Intel 12th gen with a µATX B660 board, but power consumption at idle is too high. 30W total power drawn at the wall plug by a 400W 80plus gold ATX supply, with 3 SATA drives simply powered but not spinning, and between 40 to 45 W in data transfer at full speed with less than 20 % of CPU of the core i3 12100 power.

So, given the nice performance of the RK 3588 chip, I would like to test it in a NAS hardware project and possibly reach better idle results for NAS usage with competitive data transfers. Aside the fact that quad and penta SATA hats are difficult to find, cases for both pico-ITX board and 4/5 3"5 drives do not exist. I would like to evaluate the possibility to make this setup a reality and have a bunch of questions as I am not sure get the whole picture, so any help or exchange on this topic would be fine:

  • Is the M.2 PCIe to 4x SATA3.0 module the best option for Rock 5b?
  • Quad and penta SATA hat are unavailable but also cannot be used directly with the 40 pin GPIO or no cooling is possible, is it correct? Then the boards cannot be assembled mechanically and 12V power is required for the hat board, right?
  • Does a case exist to host a power supply, the rock 5b board and the Internal SATA III Drive Enclosure (available on Allnet China at the time of writing)? Of course I can recycle a mini PC tower for the purpose but it is still big, connections to the board will be internal, with home made screwed supports and I need 3x 5"25 front enclosures to hold the fore-mentioned drive enclosure
  • OMV is at least available through Armbian. No idea how to proceed precisely, but it would probably be the simplest way to setup the NAS, provided RK3588 chip is well supported. Any idea about this?

I am waiting for your advice, reactions, explanations, alternatives…

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