[SOLVED] Modern SFF server in a Thinkcentre S50 case

Nov 2, 2019

I want to build myself a small home server. And I want to fit it into an IBM Think Centre S50 8183 case. It's a cute little box that i've had lying around for ages and would like to make something cool out of it. But currently it's rocking a Pentium4 with 2GB of ram.

  • The motherboard seems to be a fairly non standard size - microATX (243.84 millimeters [9.60 inches] x 223.52 millimeters [8.80 inches]) according to the Intel spec. This doesnt seem to conform to many microATX boards available today.
  • The rest of the case is taken up by a custom 200W PSU.
Requirements for the server are
  • run typical front end dev workloads (linux based)
  • have decent support for virtualization
  • run a modded minecraft server
  • stream media over the LAN and act as a central data warehouse for household devices
I know most of these would be well supported by any modern chipset, but for minecraft I think I need something equivalent to i5 3GHz single core performance, 16GB RAM, faster RAM is better.

I'd also like this to be low power, at least when idle but I'd also sacrifice some performance if I can keep the power and noise down and keep it always on.

Onboard video is more than acceptable. I'm most comfortable with Intel systems, but would be cool trying out AMD.

What are my options for motherboards for this box ? I'm thinking some sort of laptop components would fit my requirements, but I've been out of the hardware loop for a while and am getting a bit lost in my googling for a replacement.

I'm not above making physical mods to the case, might even consider some sort of water cooling solution, maybe some LEDs. I could probably even manage to install a custom PSU if required.

Would love to hear some thoughts and suggestions.



The IBM Think Centre S50 8183 uses a proprietary format motherboard. However, you might be able to mount a mini-ITX motherboard in that chassis.

Something like this: https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813119181

Pair it with a low power CPU, like this: https://www.newegg.com/core-i3-8th-gen-intel-core-i3-8300t/p/274-000A-003N1

Front panel connections are also proprietary, so be prepared to make your own "adapters" to pair the proper connections between the motherboard headers and case. Replacing the PSU should also be on your list.