New Update about the Home Client and Home Workstation

Hey we’re back with a big update on the Home Client and Home Workstation. First, a brief recap in case you missed it.

We’re also in the Register, which you can read here: Storage vendor 45 Drives gets into the PC game • The Register

We are launching two new products that are different from the storage devices we are known for. These new products will be Linux-based personal computers/ clients. Most clients we currently see are Windows-based. We wanted to add to the market by expanding your options for Linux machines, with our 45Homelab touch of high-quality design, metal construction and manufacturing within North America. We made these for the homelabber who’s done it all, and wanted something well-engineered and sleek that they can slot into their home environment.

So, where’s the update?

We saw a lot of you asking for more in the way of specifications. As mentioned on our page, the current designs were up for change. We have updated and improved designs…

Home Client
The Home Client will come milled out of Aerospace grade aluminum (6061). We wanted this product built like a tank. This design has the case acting as the systems heatsink.


  • Intel N97 12W
  • 2x 2.5 GbE RJ45 LAN
  • 1x Display Port, 1xHDMI Port
  • 1x Front Panel with Audio support by internal header
  • 1x M.2 B Key 2242/2280/3042, 1x M.2 E Key 2230
  • 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps), 6x USB 2.0 (internal)
  • 2x RS-232/422/485 (internal), 1x 8-bit GPIO
  • 1x SATA 3.0 6Gb/s (Support AHCI)
  • Wide Voltage DC-IN 9~36V
  • or 16GB of ram

Home Workstation

The Home workstation only requires CPU (and GPU if selected) fans. The new design is updated make this clearer. We also engineered a full-sized GPU slot within by utilizing a dual chamber design, while still keeping the size small.


  • 16GB up to 64GB
  • 1 PCIe 5.0 x16
  • Graphics Output Options: HDMI, DisplayPort
  • Realtek ALC897 7.1 CH HD Audio Codec, Nahimic Audio
  • 4 SATA3
  • 1 Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4 x4)
  • 1 Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4 x4 & SATA3)
  • 1 Rear USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C
  • 2 Rear USB 3.2 Gen2
  • 3 USB 3.2 Gen1 (2 Front, 1 Front Type-C)
  • Dragon 2.5G LAN, Intel® Gigabit LAN
  • 802.11ax (WiFi 6E) + Bluetooth 5.3
  • CPU Options:
  • i5-12600k
  • i7-12700k
  • i9-12900k

We hope this clears some more up from the older designs. Our products are still actively being developed and are subject to change, but we wanted to keep our community in the loop with what was happening in the lab. If you have any questions, feel free to send them our way here or by emailing

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@Joe , Do you have dimensions for these two units?

Re Workstation:

The images are just 3D renders, correct? I don’t see any front IO as stated in the specs.

The specs mention SATA, but what size(s) and number of SATA drives are supported?

What style and class/length of GPU is being targeted? With the orientation in the render, I assume that it would be a blower style that vents out the back, but I don’t know of any blower style SFF GPUs. Is the GPU liquid cooled?

Compare the case design to the SGPC K39.

Just to get more clarification:

The Home workstation only requires CPU (and GPU if selected) fans

Does this mean there is a motherboard included for the individuals who want it preassembled/tested?

Yes, the specs for the motherboard are all the stuff listed and the available CPU options. To my understanding the WS will only be available preassembled/tested and the chassis won’t be available as a bare system (at least not publicly, perhaps special order).

I think what the “fans” line is saying is that there are no case fans, just the ones attached to the CPU and GPU coolers. I think the CPU fan is blowing straight out the mesh on the side shown in the top picture, unless the faceplate not shown is upside down in the bottom picture. I’m not sure what the airflow for the GPU fan(s) would be as those would seem to blow towards the underside of the mobo compartment based on the bottom render.

I don’t see a Supermicro board with those specs, but Supermicro have so many versions of their stuff. I’d be surprised if they strayed away from Supermicro, but it could be (or be based on),an Asus Strix Z690-I or B760-I.

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From the sounds of the specs, its likely an asrock z690-itx motherboard.

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That makes more sense. I was confused by the I/O on the render.

@notsimar and @DigitalGarden
Thank you for the feedback. I have not really search for any computer parts after I stopped building computers in 2006. There were a number of reasons – most were non-technical but more life moments/life events.

Since the COVID lockdown and as I built out my homelab, I have acquired a lot of used Supermicro system as well as purchased the SYS-5029C-T unit.

When I read the specs at first (and put a deposit), I was thinking a Supermicro board as many of their desktop or workstations max out at 64 GB. With the ASRock model it seems more compatible by the specs

The Workstation photo has no front i/o ports as well.

The photo is odd as it presents the motherboard faceplate with a PS/2 port, the USB/AUDIO ports don’t line up to current and past models, and many desktop/workstations would a port for SPDIF. The graphics cards ports have DVI and I have not seen any 4060 models with such a port.

With the video card I seem to find RTX match not GTX.

Hopefully there would be another update soon.

It’s clearly not a photo, it’s just a 3D render of some sort. The “front IO” in the specs may just be parroting the headers available on the OEM motherboard from a list of it’s features in the specs, and not really what is on the WS unit. The GPU will also have to be flipped or it’ll be a massive fail. I’d treat the picture as a general guide of the look and feel of the two chamber design they are gong after and nothing more, and an indication that they don’t yet have a prototype.

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Based on the footprint, it’s sized for single-fan GPUs. An mITX board is 170mm front-to-back, so the maximum card length isn’t going to be a lot more than that. Allowing for Gigabyte’s low profile 4060 at 182mm would be a good idea. I think MSI is also coming out with a low profile card, but I think it’s going to be longer, so where’s the cutoff. More generally, the GPU compartment would be sized to fit most full-height single-fan GPUs from the NVIDIA x50 and/or x60 series. Have they said they are actually reselling GPU(s) as part of the full build, or just that the build has the capacity for a SFF GPU?

The GPU in the picture goes back to something like a GTX 750;

Unless they’ve stumbled on a stash of really old hardware they’re trying to unload, I think just take the back image as guidance for how the compartments are laid out and not anything more. If you are interested, as I mentioned above, look for build guides for the K39 case, like;

That should give you a general idea of how I think they are intending the internal components to fit together.

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It is a photo. Prototypes are developing very quickly. Good catch on the GPU, it was flipped on the next revision.

The front IO stated was what was supported by the motherboard. We are still looking into sourcing parts for that, and if it is something customers want.

In terms of drive suport, there is a mounting point for one 2.5" drive inside the chassis along with the M.2 spots on your motherbaord.

The fans statement was that essentially saying there are no case fans in the system.

We havent shared exact dimensions, as we’ve been moving quickly with minor changes. The dimensions of that prototype were 9.13 x 4.14x 8.20"

If you have any more questions we try to answer as best we can at this current stage!

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Sadly this Workstation update I seen on the site last week, I was hoping it was a different product and accidentally had pics mixed up. The redesign will no longer fit my requirements nor the space it was going to need to physically fit. The market is flooded with cubes that are awkwardly narrow and tall. I was so excited for an actual workstation shape, and how well it matched my other 45 drives products as I run them visible in the living space. It also looks like it probably doubled in liters.

Not sure how I feel about the mini pc now, I might wait to see how the black looks.

So I guess my question is, is the old workstation form factor possibly going to return or will i be better off contacting for deposit refund?

I do not disagree with your statement.

My request on the workstation side does echo what @DigitalGarden and @ZarZ are stating.

Given the unit is called a workstation, the statement on the case fans, I am hoping the unit would be adapted to be positioned horizontally than vertically. When I look at my desktop or workstation, I prefer for the unit to be stable (in the horizontal position rather than vertical as it looks like a tip hazard).

As I am writing this post, the concern is that the workstation is trying to be a smaller version of the HL15 or fit in a market to compete with System76’s Thelio line (which stand vertically). Vertical workstations or minis are products which I tend not to purchase.

Front USB I/O or an option there is an optional mount (for the plug) would be acceptable. I tend to use a docking station with my laptop. For a workstation it is convenient to use the front ports than the rear ports).

The only item i would source myself would be a 10GBe network card (along with the motherboard GBe network poirt).

Getting this unit from 45homelab helps confirm how I can adapt the unit for future repairs. As I have a SuperMicro SYS-5029C-T, the small space was not easily to upgrade the RAM or install any low profile PCI card. The space restriction and air flow caused some PCI cards to not be compatible due to the amount of heat.

that is my thoughts on the workstation.

@pcHome Ya I feel like it went from a robust Fractal Node 202 style to a Fractal Node 304 / Fractal Node 804. Everyone and their brother is making mini tower/cube cases with all the functionality of this case in a similar size but at the basically the cost of JUST the 45D Deposit. no one makes a proper workstation format anymore and I actually got really excited, then let down here.

Also the passive case airflow design doesnt inspire me for it running actual heavy loads.

And the new dual chamber is giving half the case to a graphics card. Keep in mind the case is NOT deep enough for any high-end cards, so it is primarily just added dead space. Heck i would have expected the Flex PSU to get changed to a SFX or ATX with all that extra dead space.

For me the area i was going to utilize it in, will not support this tall of a case with top venting that i would feel comfortable with the clearance. I was going to be using this and and ordering another HL-15 in my camper to do video encoding of video i shot traveling with the 3060 they were offering. But at this point its turned into a larger slower version on my SFF tower gaming PC at the same price.

I appreciate everyone’s hard work at 45Drives trying to bring new products to the market, so please don’t think I’m ungrateful. And I had no problem splurging for higher priced equipment if it fits my needs and especially if it looks good doing it. This sadly no longer fits my needs or has the iconic 45drives look.

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Thanks for the feedback. I will pass it along to the R&D department and continue to post updates as they develop!

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I would state at this moment. I might be choosing not to purchase the unit based on what I am reading.

If I have a CPU with that many cores/thread, then I want to be using it for processing. It is a workstation and that would be its job.

If the case was a true workstation form and can handle not just low profile PCI but moderate ones. There are always going to be a future need to use a PCI network card - if I want to be honest. The case lives on with new hardware.

To me given the initial audience are tinker-type people, then I was hoping it would be similar to the HL15 without the need for many drives but the option to use more PCI cards.

I really like the case design (front part). I am just not sure to buy something with less options (for future upgrades - on my own).

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Even though I backed out with the new designs. These are two of the MANY competing case designs the revision is placing itself in. may help you better utilize the several liters of size added since first version.

This is a case that is very close in size, has SFX power supply

Or if you like the this case has a Flex PSU, and more compact.

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