Skip to main content

This extraordinary motherboard is being used by server CPU scavengers

It’s hard to believe, but even motherboard vendors have factory outlet stores (FOS). Straight from AliExpress comes the Shenzhen FOS, which specialises in new motherboards for obsolete server processors.

Dual X79 motherboard - $76.50 from AliExpress

Dual X79 motherboard - $76.50 from AliExpress
(roughly £63/AU$120)
Every now and again, eBay and AliExpress are awash with old servers ditched by the world's cloud computing giants. With this competitively-priced motherboard from Shenzhen FOS, you can take full advantage of these server CPU flash sales.

Shenzhen FOS has managed to carve out a niche based on the fact that, every now and then, tens of thousands server CPUs flood the market as hyperscalers and cloud computing providers (web hosting, cloud storage, website builders, VPN companies etc.) change platforms.

Suddenly, eBay and AliExpress are awash will old (but still useful) servers dumped by the likes of Microsoft, Google and Amazon - and they're extremely cheap. The problem, however, is that they don't have a consumer-focused, user-friendly motherboard to slot into.

Enter the Shenzhen FOS and a handful of other craftspeople, who fulfil that specific need at a very competitive price.

For example, take this dual X79 motherboard, which can accommodate a pair of Intel Xeon CPUs, supporting E5-1600/E5-2600 Series V1/V2 processors.

You can get a pair of them for sometimes as little as $10 (about £8, AU$12), delivering up to eight cores. Add in the motherboard, which costs $76.50 excluding delivery (about £63, AU$120), and you have a decent barebones system.

Bear in mind...

If this product comes from mainland China, it will take at least a month to reach either the US or the UK (and potentially more). You may be levied a tax either directly or through the courier. 

Have you managed to get hold of a cheaper product with equivalent specifications, in stock and brand new? Let us know and we'll tip our hat to you.

However, we haven’t tested this motherboard and the usual caveats apply, especially when the website's opening statement reads: “Due to different batches of productions, there might be some difference between the pictures you've seen and the motherboard you get. Retail boxes, colors of DIMM slots, SATA ports, PCI or PCI-E Slots and other ports, are subject to change without prior notice”.

TL,DR: you may end up with a motherboard that's rather different from the one you thought you were ordering.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.