Seaberry carrier board turns a Raspberry Pi into a desktop PC with 11 PCIe slots
It's a bit pricey, though
Fancy a Raspberry Pi 4 in a desktop ITX form factor with 11 PCIe slots? The new Seaberry carrier board may make your wish come true – but for a fairly hefty price.
As we mentioned earlier this month, the forthcoming Linux kernel 5.16 will sport better support for the Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module. This tiny daughterboard plugs into I/O carrier boards, making the Compute Module a lot more versatile than the Raspberry Pi 4 proper.
A popular use for this looks to be controllers for DIY low-end NAS servers, such as the forthcoming Wiretrustee SATA Pi and Radxa Taco. At least using a Pi means more choice of OSes and hardware, and the expectation of a longer useful life, than a bespoke solution – our thanks to the reader who pointed out that Helios64 creator Kobol has shut down.
- Do not try this at home: Man spends $5,000 on a 48TB Raspberry Pi storage server
- Linux 5.16 to bring mainline support to Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module – and the nifty devices built around it
- Bullseye! Debian-based Raspberry Pi OS scores an update with 'less closed-source proprietary code'
- Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W: Nippy stocking filler for the nerd in your life – if you can get one
Don't get your hopes too high too soon, though. Although the Seaberry board lets you build a desktop PC using off-the-shelf components, as blogger Jeff Geerling describes, at $435 (about £325), it's nearly 10 times the price of a cheap x86 Mini-ITX motherboard. Yes, you'll still have to add an Intel or AMD chip – but then a top-end Compute Module 4 with Wi-Fi, 32GB of eMMC and 8GB of RAM will set you back £85 anyway.
As Geerling discovered when stuffing a Taco with high-end SSDs, it led to performance disappointment, so don't blow your wad just yet.
You can't get one for a few weeks anyway. Canadian kit-making boutique Alftel Systems has sold out. Normally, it specialises in IT security and wireless, making specialised gizmos such as this $350 board for putting 12 M.2 cards into a single PCIe slot, and the company is reeling from the level of interest from hobbyist Raspberry Pi fondlers:
"Our initial stock was sold out too fast (in a matter of a few minutes) after Jeff Geerling posted his video review on YouTube," the company said. ®