Looking for router SBC suggestions for high expandability/modularity

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bobbintb

New Around Here
I've been considering building my own router for a while now and am looking for the right SBC, or maybe even super small motherboard. I considered using one of my old PC's but I want something more compact. I'm trying to find something as expandable and modular as I can and nothing I've looked at thus far has really fit the bill. I'm thinking of something that can be easily upgraded so I don't need a new router every few years. Maybe something with a lot of PCIe or M.2 slots. The idea is I can just add cards to expand functionality (ignoring software for the time being). For example, if I decide to have a cellular backup, just add a new card. If I need more parts and don't want to add a switch, just add a new card. If a new Wifi standard comes out and it's time to upgrade, add a new card. I've looked at ODYSSEY-X86J4105 and it seems promising but I don't know if it's expansive enough. I'm also concerned about any potential bottlenecks. I was even thinking about something like a cryptomining motherboard with all those PCIe slots but I don't want something that big and a full size PSU. Any one have any ideas or suggestions?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I've been looking at the Lenovo ThinkCentre SFF computers for a pfSense build myself. They are smaller but may not have the expandability you're looking for. Worth checking out though.
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
Search on here for Qotom for small boxes for routers and firewalls.
Otherwise, you probably looking for a small ATX case to give the most flexibility on cards.
 

daveforever

New Around Here
Compact and expandability are really contradictions in terms to a certain extent. However if you want a more traditional form factor with something that is still small I'd consider Intel NUC or Dell USFF.
 

ben1557

New Around Here
I don't know if I understand you correctly, but if you mean that you need a " pcb " that can be improved or programmed, then it seems that I met with such a thing on a raspberry pi (or something like that), if I'm not mistaken, then I took it here http://bestcell.solutions/s42_dk/ (on Amazon, too, like it was, you can search). I took it not for programming on it, but for personal purposes (I did Internet network coverage for my site), and there was a case with and without, the second probably will suit you
 

bobbintb

New Around Here
Compact and expandability are really contradictions in terms to a certain extent. However if you want a more traditional form factor with something that is still small I'd consider Intel NUC or Dell USFF.
Yes, that's essentially the issue I am coming across. I don't intend to be able to hook up a few video cards or anything like that. Just was hoping for a little more than I was finding.
I don't know if I understand you correctly, but if you mean that you need a " pcb " that can be improved or programmed, then it seems that I met with such a thing on a raspberry pi (or something like that), if I'm not mistaken, then I took it here http://bestcell.solutions/s42_dk/ (on Amazon, too, like it was, you can search). I took it not for programming on it, but for personal purposes (I did Internet network coverage for my site), and there was a case with and without, the second probably will suit you
I think that might be close to what I was looking for. I'd prefer something other than mini PCI-e but that's not a big deal. Plus some of the built ins are what I needed so less expandability is needed. Although I'm a little surprised the ethernet isn't gigabit.
 

ben1557

New Around Here
Yes, that's essentially the issue I am coming across. I don't intend to be able to hook up a few video cards or anything like that. Just was hoping for a little more than I was finding.

I think that might be close to what I was looking for. I'd prefer something other than mini PCI-e but that's not a big deal. Plus some of the built ins are what I needed so less expandability is needed. Although I'm a little surprised the ethernet isn't gigabit.
Yeah 100mb eth looks strange for this type of devices haha
 

ben1557

New Around Here
Yes, that's essentially the issue I am coming across. I don't intend to be able to hook up a few video cards or anything like that. Just was hoping for a little more than I was finding.

I think that might be close to what I was looking for. I'd prefer something other than mini PCI-e but that's not a big deal. Plus some of the built ins are what I needed so less expandability is needed. Although I'm a little surprised the ethernet isn't gigabit.
I again looked at the description of this thing, and it says that there will already be gigabit ethernet in case you chose Orange Zero+ if you are interested, you can review it again haha
 

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