BB-ITX84 Blade Computing System for Thin Mini-ITX

4U - 8 blades, using the new Thin Mini-ITX motherboard standard, DC or AC power

The BB-ITX84 Blade server system is designed around the newest industry standard Thin Mini-ITX architecture, introduced in June, 2011 by Intel and utilizes non-proprietary off the shelf parts. The new thin design ensures maximum computing density in a minimum vertical space, typically under 25 millimeters, offering exceptional density and low power consumption when used with the Intel Atom line of processors. A new unique thin heat-pipe based cooling system allows expansion to faster processors such as the Intel Core i3/i5/i7 and low power Xeon processors while retaining the low height.

It can be ordered as a build it yourself blade system where you provide the parts, or as a fully configured ready- to-run system built to your specifications. We offer a wide variety of motherboard, processor, and storage options.

Flexibility - blade tray supports up to four 2.5" disk drives with stacking

Features at a glance

  • Fully configurable blade server system supporting all industry standard Thin Mini-ITX motherboards
  • High density at low cost - 8 blades in 4 rack unit space
  • Unique heat-pipe and active blower system supports Intel Core i3/i5/i7 and low power Xeon processors
  • Support for low power Intel's "Marshall Town" Atom processor motherboards that use passive cooling heatsinks
  • Configuration for identical blades or a mixture of technology to meet application requirements
  • Supports up to four 2.5" disk drives per blade tray (2 standard, 4 with optional stacking rails) for RAID
  • Open frame blade tray design ensures unrestricted air flow and ease of service
  • Eight 33 CFM hydro-wave cooling fans, for total front to back airflow of 264 CFM
  • Support for total CPU power dissipation from under 20 watts to 95 watts per tray
  • Standard switches and LED's for power, reset, power good, and disk activity work with any motherboard
  • Built in fan failure and over-temperature alarm alerts you visually, audibly, with mute button
  • 240/120Volts AC operation or 12/19VDC power (based on motherboard) for fixed or mobile/remote deployments
  • Unique power system design keeps power supply heat away from critical components
  • Modular power supply system enables fast and easy replacement
  • Built in wiring harness system enables secure and stable blade tray wiring
  • Each tray is easily removable from the front with a single thumbscrew
  • Locking front panel to prevent tampering or accidental interference
  • Designed to be reconfigurable and reusable, upgradeable for long term ROI
  • Rugged design using 16 gauge powder coated steel throughout, RoHS compliant
  • Removable permanent dust filter in front door fan panel, washable


Broad applications - The BB-ITX84 is suitable for use in most any application requiring servers, graphic renderer farms, remote KVM operated workstations, small business web and communications servers, or specialized process control systems that use PC based solutions. Anywhere you need high computing density, low power, and ease of servicing, this system can be configured to meet not only those, but most any need often filled by much more expensive and proprietary blade server systems.

As seen at left, blades can easily be removed from the chassis with one thumbscrew, sliding out the front of the chassis, with no interruption of service to other blades in operation. Build-a-Blade systems are easy to configure, easy to manage, and provide an exceptional return on your investment due to their low power nature, and their ability to be re-used when technology advances and you need additional processing power.


Great ROI ! - When you need a new washer/dryer at home, do you sell your house? Of course not! Build-a-Blade is based on the same concept, you simply upgrade the "appliances" (the blade trays) inside the house (the chassis) making for an exceptional Return On Investment that can span many years of service.

Support for RAID based blades - You can place up to four 2.5" hard disks or solid state drives on a BB-ITX84 blade tray. Two normally, plus an extra two drives using the optional drive stacking rails.

Supports a wide variety of processors and motherboards -  Systems can be configured to be low power Atom based processors, such as the D425 CPU with passive cooling at 1.8Ghz all the way up to Core i7 processors and Xeon processors requiring active cooling solutions. Our high volume front-to-rear air flow system supports motherboards up to 95 watts of power dissipation when combined with the low profile active CPU heat pipe/heat-sink. See our list of supported motherboard and processor combinations for the BB-ITX84

Easy remote management - Just like any blade server system, remote management solutions of all kinds are supported, based on the hardware you choose.  These include hardware KVM switches, VNC, Windows remote desktop, and Intel IPMI, AMT, Remote Management Modules and others.

A unique power supply solution, so unique, we've applied for a patent - One of the biggest heat generators in computer chassis is power supplies, and they are also often the most vulnerable and difficult to replace components. Some proprietary solutions for existing blade systems use redundant power supplies driving a common power buss for all blades. While this can be effective, it is also expensive, and you are forced to purchase proprietary spare power supplies typically available from only one manufacturer.

In keeping with our non-proprietary industry standard components concept, our unique solution is to use multiple off the shelf AC to DC power bricks, much like laptop power supplies, and mount them on a rear rack-mounted tray as seen at left and  in the in-use installed photo at right. See our FAQs and the points below on why this design has many advantages.


This power delivery design solves several problems and makes service very easy:

  • It gets the power supply heat out of the chassis - improving performance and reducing stress
  • It allows for redundancy - no single power supply failure will take down all blades
  • A wide variety of vendors supply these, you aren't locked to a single source
  • It makes service very easy - if a supply fails, you simply unplug the cable, plug in a new supply, and you are running
  • It improves efficiency - these switching power supply bricks have a high conversion efficiency
  • It eliminates power supply fans - these supplies are designed to be open air cooled - no worries about dust filters or replacement fans specific to power supplies
  • It allows for AC or DC operation

Fully scalable: start small, grow big - you can start small with a chassis and one blade, and add additional blades as needed. We sell starter kits you can populate yourself with your own components as well as fully configured turn-key ready to run systems. The BB-ITX84 blade trays will support passively cooled motherboards that have a heatsink on the CPU cooled by the normal front to rear airflow of the BB-ITX84 chassis, or they can support actively cooled motherboards adhering to the Thin Mini-ITX cooling standard via the Intel HTS1155LP Ultra Slim Active Thermal Solution shown below:

We offer trays for purchase with and without this accessory, though any BB-ITX84 tray can be upgraded to use the HTS1155LP at any time as mounting holes and standoffs are provided for it. See our flexible configurations below:

Above: Active cooled blade for Core i7/Xeon, passively cooled blade for Atom processors, basic blade for do-it-yourself configurations



See Our Store to choose a solution right for you. If you need standard Mini-ITX motherboards for greater options and support for up to six RAID drives, consider our BB-ITX96, with 9 blades in a 6U rack space.

For specifications, manuals, and other details, see our Spec-sheets and manuals page

Have configuration questions? Need a quote? Contact support