Jonsbo N1: Brief Text Review

This is my brief review of the Jonsbo N1 case after using it for our home NAS build.

The Good

It’s sleek and fits well on my desk.

The Bad

The fan on the case is weak, and drives usually go above 48C 54C (!) when under load. Not the end of the world, but I generally aim to keep my drives around the 30-40C mark, and the fan is NOT adequate for that.

Good news is, the fan is replaceable (I think), but the problem is I’m not sure if it will improve the airflow situation since the case is already constrained. I’ll replace the fan when it fails and update this post if it helps any.

The Ugly

The structure and design of the case may interfere with your motherboard SATA ports (it did for me). So I only had two out of my four SATA ports usable.

If it doesn’t, you still have to source one more SATA port, since most M-ITX motherboards only come with four SATA ports and the N1 has five drive bays. If your motherboard has a M.2 slot, you can stick a M.2 to SATA card in there (being mindful of the M.2 accepted “keys” – my motherboard only supports the non-SATA, NVMe “key”). There are plenty of SATA controller M.2 sticks on AliExpress that you can use, although I cannot guarantee data integrity with those sticks.

Alternatively, you can get a LSI RAID card and flash it into IT mode, but that takes up one of the PCIe ports.

Conclusion

Next time, I’ll just build my NAS in a larger case, even if it’s more difficult to lug around and transport. M-ITX cases don’t make sense for building NASes. The Jonsbo N1 is certainly a nice M-ITX NAS case for casual home users, but if you start to expand past several terabytes it might be worthwhile to consider your options.

Update

July 14th, 2022

I sent an email to the Jonsbo customer support team and they sent back this response:

Dear Eric,

In summer time, the HDD temperature is usually a little bit higher, but usually if it is under 60℃ it should be okay.

In any event, if you really want to change to use a more powerful fan, the standard is 14025, which mean 140 x 140 x 25 mm.
Noctua may be a good choice.

I hope my information is useful for you.

Have a good day.

Best regards,
[name redacted]

Once one of the hard drives die from the heat, I’ll replace the fan then along with the dead hard drive. It’s good to know they used standard dimensions! Good job, Jonsbo.

comments