Thecus has designed the N6850 for quick and easy serviceability. The motherboard is mounted on the removable panel shown below that also contains the main case fan. Just loosen four thumbscrews, disconnect two cables and the entire assembly slides completely out of the case. Thecus even includes a foldable handle on this panel and also the power supply assembly.
N6850 board assembly
Sorry about the soft focus in the photo above, my camera can't handle the depth of view required to get the whole thing in focus. This key component summary should tell you what you need to know, though.
|CPU||Intel Pentium G620 @ 2.6 GHz|
|RAM||2 GB DDR3 DIMM (expandable to 16 GB total w/ 4 GB DIMMs)|
|Flash||1 GB DOM|
|Ethernet||Intel WG82574L (x2)|
|USB 3.0||NEC D720200AF1 (x2)|
|PCIe||PLX Tech PEX 8604 4 Lane, 4 Port PCI Express Gen 2 (x2)|
|SATA||Silicon Image SiI3132 SATALink PCI Express to 2-Port Serial ATA II Host Controller (x2)|
|HW Monitors||- Winbond W33795G hardware monitor
- Fintek F71889 Super Hardware monitor & I/O
|Video||Pericom PI3VDP411LSZBE Digital Video Level shifter|
Table 1: Key component summary and comparison
The board has one PCIe x4 slot and one x8 slot. That's an Intel X520-DA2 10 GbE board in the x4 slot that I used for 10 GbE testing, which is one of the four adapters on Thecus' 10 GbE NIC compatibility list. There are four full-sized DIMM slots, one holding a 2 GB DDR3 1333 DIMM. Thecus says they have tested memory up to 16 GB, which they support, assuming you use memory from the memory compatibility list.
Scrolling through the boot messages revealed only references to Intel Sugar Bay and Sandy Bridge chipsets. So the Southbridge / Companion device to the Pentium G630 CPU could be a Q67, B65 or H61 chipset.
The photo below is the rear view with the motherboard assembly removed. You can see the front panel OLED panel at the top and two upper edge connectors on the right that connect the motherboard lights, touch-switches and USB ports. Camera flash glare obscures the second NEC D720200AF1 at the upper right that drives the two front panel USB 3.0 connectors. The other one is on the main board near the rear panel connectors.
The lower horizontal edge connector brings power from the power supply to the main board via a small board that you can see at the lower right of the board photo above.
N6850 rear view
The cable terminating in the white 8 pin Molex connector brings signals to the GPIO terminal blocks on the rear panel. The other cable running from the main board to the backplane carries PCIe, not SATA signals. There are two PLX Tech PEX 8604 4 Lane, 4 Port PCI Express Gen 2 devices on the main board. The drive backplane has two Silicon Image SiI3132 SATALink PCI Express to 2-Port Serial ATA II Host Controllers to convert PCIe to SATA for the drives.
There are two other expansion options that are hidden away inside. Removing the right side panel reveals the empty bay on top of the drive bay shown below with a SATA power/data cable. Since there is no front panel access, my guess this may be to hold a possible future 2.5" SSD drive option.
N6850 side view
I didn't snap a photo of the other option--a full-height mini PCIe slot on the back of the main board accessible via a cutout in the mounting plate at the top and near the front panel. My guess for this is a possible future wireless option.