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Advice for new travelling server: Intel Z690 chipset?

Hi all,

About two months ago I asked for help here about a server that mysteriously dropped about 100x in disk performance between orderly shutdown in one location, flying together with me as carry-on luggage to another location and then booting up. That issue was never resolved, and after another trip and a week on a shelf without power I tried rebooting and, voila, disk performance was back to where it should be. Great that it works again, but, umm, disconcerting not having been able to identify a core reason.

Fast forward to today: the box is more than 10 years old and I have come to accept that it is time to buy a new travelling box. But my performance requirements in combination with size constraints for carry-on stuff really limits the alternatives a lot. The best compromise that I’ve found is an Intel NUC 12 Extreme.

But I’m concerned about the Intel Z690 chipset in the NUC 12. I cannot find anything about support for that chipset in NetBSD. On the other hand, I don’t find much about various other chipsets either, so my impression is that chipset support is documented mostly when there is some sort of issue that requires some quirk in NetBSD to make it work.

So what are the odds of the things I really need? Not that much, really. Apart from as much CPU as possible:

* disk performance from the multiple M.2 PCIe X4 Gen4 slots (PCH) devices?

* networking: the NUC 12 has 10GbE (AQC113) + Intel® i225-LM.

* USB keyboard: can this still be an issue?

* a working console (there is no VGA, but 2xHDMI?) and 

I don’t care about graphics (except for a basic console), audio or any of the likely gazillion other devices, sensors and thingamajigs that are sure to be included. But I really need disks and networking to, well, work reliably.

Should I take the plunge and buy this box as “the things I need will likely just work”? If the only show stopper is networking, I suspect that it should be possible to just add a separate PCIe NIC (I suspect a PCIe x1 NIC based on the 82574L should be a rather safe option).

Any advice welcome.


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