Front Panel

It would be convenient to run the HiFive Unmatched in a case with front-panel USB and audio, but there aren’t headers for this on the board, and the one PCIe card will presumably be occupied by a video card.

Is the best solution simply to connect a USB hub externally and run the cord back through the case, or are their other solutions available? For instance a video card that also provides an inside-the-case USB port or some way to connect a second PCIe card.

The other incredibly-stupid solution would be to just use the one-and-only PCIe slot for an inside-the-case USB hub and then run a couple of dongles from that to the front panel and looking for a USB video device with open source drivers so that the one thing on a rear dongle is the seldom-reconnected video port. This would have severe performance issues, however, and last I checked the Linux USB video comparability list was still fairly limited.

I think some people will use the pcie x8 for running a network card and using the board as a firewall or switch.

Audio header, usb header, sata header, these are just a few desirable features left out from what would be a typical desktop board. It remains to be seen if the m.2 e key x1 and m.2 m key x4 can be used for non-storage or wireless purposes.