ZimaBoard 832 Single Board Server review
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ZimaBoard 832 Single Board Server review

Apr 18, 2023

REVIEW – I have been into Raspberry Pi mini-computers for several years. I have found them to be a good solution for many small projects like running my DakBoard, to handling simple graphics for my podcast. Over the past year, I have upgraded my network infrastructure to support 10G, and I have been searching for a NAS with a 10G network card. Everything I found so far is quite expensive. I have also considered buying a cheap PC that has a PCIe slot and adding a 10G card then converting to a NAS, but that is a bit cumbersome and still not necessarily cheap. I was just about fed up with looking when I got the offer to test and review this ZimaBoard 832 Single Board Server. While it is a mini PC, the Zimaboard Home Media Server also has the unique feature that offers an external side-loading PCIe card. Looks like I am back in the NAS game. Let's see!

The ZimaBoard 832 Single Board Server is a low-cost single-board server exclusively designed for makers and geeks. It has both the expandability of an x86 single-board computer (SBC) and the appropriate power of a microserver.

The ZimaBoard Single Board Server is a mini computer server that is self-contained. On the surface, there are metal cooling fins and branding. On the slim narrow front edge, there are 2 SATA ports with the power port in the middle. On one long edge, there is the exposed PCIe clot and on the back, there are 2 ethernet ports, 2 USB-A ports, the power port, and a mini DisplayPort.

Since the ZimaBoard 832 Single Board Server comes with CASA OS, there is not much that you have to do to set it up as is. I just attached the included SATA cable, along with a 1TB SSD drive, connected my PCIe 10G card, plugged in an SFP+ 10 G cable, plugged the other end into my switch, and connected the AC adapter. Then just like that I was up and running. Since I can access the device via its IP address from another browser on any computer that is on my network, I did not bother to connect a monitor, keyboard, or mouse directly to the Zimaboard.

The ZimaBoard 832 Single Board Server comes with CASA OS preinstalled. I had never tried this OS before so I was hesitant to use it fearing that it would not support my intention to add a 10G network card via the PCIe slot and use this device as a NAS. I had already downloaded and mounted Windows Tiny 11 to a flash drive and was just taking a quick look at CASA OS prior to replacing it with the Windows OS. However, I liked what I saw in the OS and was intrigued enough to test it out with the 10G card. I was quite surprised when the card worked with no issues. I was able to connect an SSD and transfer files across my network with no problem. However, I was not able to test the data transfer speeds since my other computers do not have a 10G card as yet. That will happen soon. I was able to successfully use the storage and my future plans include installing remote access so I have the option of accessing via my VPN from anywhere in the world. While I am still a Raspberry Pi fan, I am now also a Zimaboard fan.

The ZimaBoard 832 Single Board Server is a device that I really like. Having a mini computer that is also a server with enough power to manage multiple tasks is great. The external PCIe slot is genius to me and the fact that the CASA OS recognized my 10G card without a glitch makes this an obvious choice for me to continue to build into a true NAS with remote access, etc. I give the ZimaBoard 832 Single Board Server a well done and two thumbs way up!!

Price: $199.90 – Zimaboard; $229.99 – Amazon (For the 832 model as reviewed)Where to buy: Zimaboard website, AmazonSource: The sample of this product was provided by Zimaboard.

REVIEW World's First Hackable x86 Single Board Server PCIe x4, SATA 6.0 Gb/s & Dual Gigabit Ethernet Onboard Personal NAS, 4K Streaming Server, VPN Router & IoT Gateway Pre-installed CasaOS Price Where to buy Source