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Atom-Based Mini-ITX Motherboard Available

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the small-is-beautiful dept.

Hardware Hacking 240

LWATCDR writes "A company out of the UK is selling an Intel Atom-based Mini-ITX motherboard. It has a riser for two PCI cards, two SATA ports, and an IDE ports so it could make a great little NAS, firewall, MAME box, or low-power workstation. To add to the fun it has a real parallel port 'perfect for hardware hacking,' a real RS-232 port 'perfect for data acquisition,' and two USB ports. The price is around $100, give or take, and hopefully it will come down over time. All in all a nice system to run Linux, WindowsXP, BSD, or maybe even OpenSolaris on."

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240 comments

RS-232!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470180)

Wow I haven't heard that in years. Is it called something else familiar nowadays ?

Re:RS-232!! (2, Informative)

bitrex (859228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470620)

RS-232 is still a popular communications protocol in industrial/control applications, along with test equipment (i.e. data acquisition as stated in the summary). You can still buy exorbitantly priced RS-232 PCI expansion boards [quatech.com] for these applications. The manufacturers of this board are probably looking to get some of that market, hence its inclusion.

Re:RS-232!! (2, Informative)

jobst (955157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470934)

Its an Intel board and they have that in (most of) their server boards : s3000ahlx [intel.com] . I have 3 of those. I use the boards to control my server room temperature (amongst other things) and nothing beats the easy programming of a RS232 port. Additionally I bought some Kouwell ParPort cards to do some other jobs.

Atom x86 1.6GHz runs slower than P/// 700 MHz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23471032)

It's a slow mofo, even the fastest one clocked at 1.6 GHz (2.6 watts)

The super-slow 800 MHz is 0.5 watt (500mW) but some say at deepest sleep it still sucks 100mW so not usable for small battery devices which may have only 3 or 4 total watts available. Translate: about a half day when suspended compared to a typical small (phone) device that can last 100+ hours when suspended and that's with the cell radio alive.

So (1)

bobwrit (1232148) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470212)

Where *did* I put that processor...

Atom-based? That's small! (5, Funny)

YouWantFriesWithThat (1123591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470216)

I could sniff a line of them and have a LAN in my sinus cavity!

Re:Atom-based? That's small! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470356)

I could sniff a line of them and have a LAN in my sinus cavity!
You'll regret that tomorrow...
...again.

Re:Atom-based? That's small! (2, Funny)

ichthyoboy (1167379) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470370)

Pfffft...I'm waiting for the quark-based boards, but only if Nvidia releases an open-source driver to resonate my video strings!

Re:Atom-based? That's small! (1, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470702)

Hey, my motherboard is made of atoms too!

Re:Atom-based? That's small! (1)

shipbrick (929823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471046)

yeah, but now it comes with more molecules! On that reference of humor Idiocracy [imdb.com] , I just saw a real sports drink commercial that said "now with 25% more electrolytes!"

Re:Atom-based? That's small! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470918)

All I saw was "sniff a line" and immediately I thought of cocaine.

Though, a board made out of cocaine would REALLY get you going.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470224)

I don't understand what makes this online store special; several other sites are taking preorders for the same exact Intel board (the site listed isn't shipping the boards until June)...

nas not really (4, Informative)

stokessd (89903) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470226)

I thought it would make a great mini NAS nut it only has a 10/100 nic. That was a bummer

Sheldon

Re:nas not really (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470318)

If you don't need the PCI slot for anything else you can put in a gigabit card.

Re:nas not really (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470360)

the pci bus can hit the full gig-e speeds.

Re:nas not really (1)

msim (220489) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470808)

I bought one of the Via C7 1GHz boards to run as a ultra low powered NAS server the other day, it ended up costing me $50AU posted (which is like $53US at the moment). As much as i'd love to keep getting the latest and greatest like this thing (which looks pretty damned nice). I guess i had to commit and buy something at some point, and at the price i paid, i got it dirt cheap.

On the downside the board i got didn't have onboard SATA (which i knew when i bought it, but for $50 i could live with that compromise). I guess i'll have to put a SATA controller card in the pci slot.

I still haven't figured out what to run on it, i was leaning towards FreeNAS, but i'll give a few things a shot before i settle for something.

Oh and regarding 10/100 vs Gig-e? my switch doesn't do Gig-e so that was never a real concern for me.

[/random gabbling]

Re:nas not really (1)

Bl4ckJ3sus (1081165) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471012)

I highly recommend FreeNAS. I run mine on a 600mhz celeron w/ gig-e and a couple of old IDE drives. It has performed flawlessly for over a year. Boot from CDROM, save settings to USB...done.

Re:nas not really (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470824)

just barely. PCI gives 133MBps (1.06Gbps) maximum.

Re:nas not really (1)

enoz (1181117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470952)

I have used a gigabit ethernet PCI interface and the throughput never went higher than 20MB/s.

YMMV

Re:nas not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23471024)

Large B, or small b?

Bytes or bits, in other words.

It's a general rule of thumb you won't get more than 30-40Mbs on a 100Mbs connection.

20MBs on a 1000Mbs connection isn't /great/ but it's still better than a normal 100Mbs connection.

Re:nas not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23471096)

Yeah, I was bummed it was a realtek NIC, and not an Intel gige :)

Serial AND Parallel (5, Funny)

simonbp (412489) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470230)

Wow, it has a serial and a parallel port! That's great! Now I can hook up both my MS serial bus mouse AND my dot-matrix printer; I'll be in Windows 3.1 heaven!

Re:Serial AND Parallel (4, Funny)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470598)

You may even be able to install one of those new fangled three dee accelerator cards in that PCI slot! Sounds like a bunch of voodoo to me though...

Re:Serial AND Parallel (2, Interesting)

flnca (1022891) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470910)

You'd be surprised: Serial ports are still being used in industrial applications. And who doesn't like to connect text terminals to their computer? ;) (mainframes still use that, but it's also nice for UN*X boxes when you've got problems with a framebuffer driver or X ... really, a null modem cable can be a useful thing!)

And parallel ports are still useful also, many printers still have a Centronics port in addition to the USB port. Often, the parallel port cabling is more reliable (and portable) that USB. Most UN*Xes support parallel port printers, but not all support USB printers properly. :)

Re:Serial AND Parallel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470968)

I realize you're joking (and I agree that the parallel port is useless), but RS232 is still pretty useful. Especially for working with small embedded systems that this sort of product might be used in.

Re:Serial AND Parallel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23471002)

Or, along with the theme of a MAME box, some of us can use the parallel port for some of those old flash cart devices.

Way out of date chip set and you can better boards (0, Redundant)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470240)

Way out of date chip set and you can better boards at the same price for amd and intle systems. 1 667 drr2 ram simm? No gig-e, no DVI, no pci-e, no firewire and so on.

For $100 or less you can get a 780g board with hdmi / DVI, much better on board video, 4 ram slots, pci-e and pci slots, side port ram (some boards), firewire (some boards), gig-e port, and you can use ati hyper flash on them. 740g ones cost less.

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (3, Insightful)

compass46 (259596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470288)

And what's the power consumption of one of those boards? This board is made to do simple jobs and do it with little energy consumption.

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23471098)

And what is the power consumption of that atom board, much much higher than a VIA CX700 and Eden based board. It is a stinking power pig!

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (4, Insightful)

ejecta (1167015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470328)

Except that board is huge, whereas this is tiny, and this boards power useage is far, far lower.

Small refined things always cost more, even if they aren't as powerful as the 'normal' sized item.

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (3, Informative)

miscz (888242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470674)

Give up on arguing with those idiots. It's the same kind that compares netbooks/subnotebooks to draggable notebooks.

Apples to Orange comparison (1)

rubeng (1263328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470330)

Yeah, but this board seems to come with the CPU - it's really more comparable to one of the VIA mini-ITX boards, not a full blown ATX supply-your-own-processor board.

Re:Apples to Orange comparison (1)

msim (220489) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470832)

well compare the Low power Celeron M [wikipedia.org] compared to the VIA in this wiki article. Im sure the processor list needs to be updated, but you can get a fair idea of power consumption from this article.

Re:Apples to Orange comparison (1)

msim (220489) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470842)

gah, i shoulda previewed this, Via link here [wikipedia.org]

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470342)

Oh, is that so? Do the processors in your "better" systems have a 4W TDP? I doubt it. That's what this is about, so shut up.

Oh yea, for that "$100 or less," does yours come with the CPU, as this one does?

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470348)

this is all about the size and power requirement. its application specific.

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (5, Insightful)

doctorcisco (815096) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470398)

You just don't get it. Let me spell it out for ya:

1) This CPU runs on **4 watts!** I'm not sure my cell phone can run on 4 watts in standby.

2) This system board is really, really small. It would make a simply superb POS system, home fileserver/email server/router/allaround network appliance, a great low-power system the size of a trade paperback ... a lot of things like that.

Yeah, the 10/100 ain't so great, but you can always put a GigE NIC in one of the PCI slots.

Let's review: Really small, really low power, really really powerful for its size and power footprint. Lots of neat things one can do with this.

doc

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470604)

1) This CPU runs on **4 watts!** I'm not sure my cell phone can run on 4 watts in standby.

My Nokia charger was rated for 1.5 watts. My current Motorola Razr comes with a charger that's rated for ~2.8 watts. Obviously, the wattage of a charger has to be higher than the battery output in order to charge the phone.

Make of it what you will.

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (1)

SuperQ (431) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470786)

I don't know which Nokia charger you have, but mine (ACP-12U) is 5.7V, 800mA. That's a bit over 4.5 watts.

I bet some winmo phones run at > 4 watts standby ;-)

For an intel chipset mobo, 4 watts is great. I'm hoping Soekris will come out with something atom-based. A good networking-focused board with that CPU would rock. Not that I'm complaining about the CPU power of my net5501. I just wish there was a good multi-gige network board out there.

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (2, Informative)

enoz (1181117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471028)

The ACP-12U appears to be a Travel Charger [nokiausa.com] , meaning that it charges a phone much faster than a regular charger by supplying a higher current (perhaps at the cost of battery life).

This charger's maximum output rating is not a reasonable measure of the phone's usage.

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (1)

QuestionsNotAnswers (723120) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470882)

You might have read Amps as Watts - looking at a couple of chargers around the office: 1.5A 5V DC -> 7.5W. A Razr fast charge could easily be 2.8A.

To calculate cellphone average Watts usage:
watts = batteryVoltage * batteryMilliAmpHours / hoursRunningBeforeFlatBattery

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (1)

TummyX (84871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471126)

1) This CPU runs on **4 watts!** I'm not sure my cell phone can run on 4 watts in standby.

My Nokia charger was rated for 1.5 watts. My current Motorola Razr comes with a charger that's rated for ~2.8 watts. Obviously, the wattage of a charger has to be higher than the battery output in order to charge the phone.

Make of it what you will.
Um the charger only has to have higher voltage than the battery.

Why does it have a fan? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470914)

...and not just a fan, a humongous heatsink as well.

Surely they can do better than that. There's no way that board is going to compete with koolu, zonbu, dectop, etc. in the tiny-pc game - they all have machines which are much smaller and suck less power.

I think I'll wait a month or so until somebody figures out the real point of the atom CPU.

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470942)

The CPU runs on 4 to 8 watts, but the chipset itself consumes up to 22 watts. Sorry, but that's too much.
See http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets/designex/307504.htm [intel.com]
No gigabit LAN is a bummer. I'll buy if they reduce power consumption to 10 watts.

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470956)

1) This CPU runs on **4 watts!** I'm not sure my cell phone can run on 4 watts in standby.

I'm thinking auto NAV/Entertainment PC. My 1KW inverter uses 4 watts on standby and I leave it on all the time. Think of it as a no boot time GPS NAV unit/media box. With a hard drive, I could load all 20 or so map CDs for my TOPO map and be all set for some serious backroads fun.

Re:Way out of date chip set and you can better boa (1)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470428)

But do you get the Processor with that too? Think this board is aimed more at the Home that likes to have a small, quiet, cheap to run file server that can run their chosen OS. NOT a all singing dancing Games playing Bluray viewing / editing beast you think it should be.. :D:D but what do i know I'm just a Slashdot reader...

can't bother with fans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470254)

I thought maybe this board would make a good mesh node but anything with a fan is not going to make the cut

Re:can't bother with fans (3, Informative)

ejecta (1167015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470352)

I have a via PC2500E board (same as what's in the GPC sold over there in the US), it's a low power cpu but they ship it with a tiny heatsink + fan as that's cheaper than a moderate sized heatsink with no fan. Simply remove puny heatsink, add on moderate sized heatsink and you're good to go.

Personally I find the bucket of old Socket 370 heatsinks I have laying about are great for this purpose, simply drill four mounting holes in them and you're good to go sans fan.

What is the total watts used? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470276)

Great that the cpu is 4 watts, but how much does the whole motherboard take?

RS232's not dead? Good! (4, Insightful)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470302)

Nice to see manufacturers still including the venerable RS232 port. It may be old and slow, but it's very easy to work with, if you're an electronics hobbyist -- much simpler than implementing USB connectivity...

Re:RS232's not dead? Good! (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470450)

I'd guess that this is also intended as a replacement for various DOS-based industrial control systems. It's small enough to fit even in enclosures that had weird custom PCs in them (such as some CNC machines) and yet has the serial and parallel ports needed to control such devices.

Exactly!! (4, Interesting)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470756)

The company I work for is using old bloated PC's with out dated knoppix running on them for computability reasons. Our mission critical industrial hardware runs partially on serial. USB to serial doesn't work, because of conflicts with other apps that use USB. They're always slow, unreliable, and power hogs. Since they are vehicle mounted, it's not uncommon to kill a deep cycle battery after a long days work, thus requiring a boost to start the vehicle. I'll be forwarding these specs to my boss.

Re:RS232's not dead? Good! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470494)

Amen. R232 may be primitive but for many hobby hw hacks (HHH) you don't need the speed.

Re:RS232's not dead? Good! (0)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470538)

RS232 is still useful, but there's not much reason these days to have it on the motherboard.

I'd prefer to see more USB ports than RS232 or PS/2 ports.

Re:RS232's not dead? Good! (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470564)

Also handy for connecting to the serial console of other machines. When you can't ssh in to a machine because you screwed up the firewall, you can ssh into another machine on the network and accesss through the console.

Also handy for configuring managed switches (cisco, netgear, riverbed, juniper, etc).

Keyspan has the USB-serial thing covered, but needing to install drivers can get in the way sometimes.

Re:RS232's not dead? Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470658)

actuly i preffer the usb serialports for my hobby projects. i have some that speaks ttl levels directly so i can avoid those nasty max 232's.
i even have one with a avr programmer and ttl serial port. and also i get 5v from usb to power the mcu's
rs232 serial chips are much easier than using the old ports.

Re:RS232's not dead? Good! (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471048)

It's a hell of a lot more reliable than USB as well, particularly over any distance, and you almost always get a mechanically-solid connection instead of something flimsy that will work its way loose at the most inopportune time. I generally go out of my way to avoid using USB in an industrial application, much preferring RS-232/485 or Ethernet where possible.

Very Nice (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470316)

There was something that flew past the other day talking about how Via is going to be the next big player in x86 chips, blah blah blah...

But even in the market Via pioneered, Intel and AMD now have superior offerings, both in performance and TDP.

Media Box? (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470402)

Hmmmm. Assuming I could get your hands on a PCI graphics card with a modern chipset to offload the video decoding to, any bets on whether one of these would make a nice little media box? As long as the heavy lifting was done off chip I think it could handle 1080p. Heck, assuming said video card was DHCP compliant I could bundle one of these with a BluRay drive, already have all my media on a network drive. Be a nice little all-in-one media center front end box. Low power so should be whisper quiet.

Now, anyone know where I could get my hands on a modern graphics card with a PCI interface? Or what the obvious flaw in my thought process is?

Re:Media Box? (4, Funny)

Runefox (905204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470498)

Video cards have IP addresses now?

That said, the Radeon HD 3450 would be great for that, if only that was a PCI-E slot. A Radeon 9250 or GeForce 6200 is about the most you'll get in PCI nowadays though...

Re:Media Box? (1)

Runefox (905204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470508)

I stand corrected - One of these [tigerdirect.ca] Radeon HD 2400's would be great. Apparently X1550's have been made in PCI variants and nobody told me, either.

Re:Media Box? (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470522)

I apologize for the transposition. It should have been HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection). It's the protected path DRM that BluRay needs to output properly. I blame the entire IT industry for running out of distinctive acronyms.

Re:Media Box? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471022)

Fantastic. Now I'm going to start transposing these :(

Re:Media Box? (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470714)

I doubt 1080p, I have not seen that much offloading from graphics processor. But then there's a lot I haven't seen :-)

Besides, it has a fan and has no optical sound output.

Re:Media Box? (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471124)

Well, some of the new Nvidia and ATI cards will offload almost the entire H.264 and VC-1 decoding. Max out the RAM and I think this thing has a shot at doing smooth 1080p. Won't know for sure until someone does some serious benchmarks.

Is it just me, or does the... (1)

thesymbolicfrog (907527) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470412)

summary sound like someone creepy looking through sunglasses and a binocular?

"Ooh, a Mini-ITX. I'd use that to attach storage to *my* network, ifyouknowwhatimean. Mmmm... and a *real* parallel port. That would be perfect for some hardware hacking... alone."

4 watts? (4, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470440)

And it needs a fan? My 486 consumes more than that and doesn't even need a heatsink. And what the hell is TDP [wikipedia.org] if it doesn't represent some real mathematical value instead of Madison Avenue mumbo-jumbo?

Re:4 watts? (5, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470634)

If you read the page, the fan is on the northbridge, not the CPU. Which makes me wonder: how much power does the northbridge draw, anyway? And what's the point of a 4 watt CPU if the northbridge draws more than that?

Re:4 watts? (2, Interesting)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470744)

945G northbridges are rated somewhere around a dozen watts as they're made on the old 130 nm process node. My laptop has the 945GM and the northbridge actually runs hotter than the CPU, which isn't surprising as the CPU's TDP is a couple watts less (C2D U7500.)

Re:4 watts? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470860)

If you read the page, the fan is on the northbridge, not the CPU.

Did read it, didn't note it. I guess all that traffic generates a lot of heat.

And what's the point of a 4 watt CPU if the northbridge draws more than that?

Marketing? Makes Intel look all "green" and stuff.

Re:4 watts? (3, Informative)

flnca (1022891) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471068)

If you want a truly low-power board, check out the EFIKA [pegasosppc.com] with Freescale MPC5200B processor. It has lower specs that the board in TFA, but consumes less than 10 watts with hard drive, and has RS-232 serial port, USB and NIC. Systems with Freescale MPC5121 and MPC5123 dual-core CPUs are also in the make (see news section [genesi-usa.com] ). :)

I'm running an EFIKA 5200B board with ATI 9250 graphics card, hard drive and CD burner with Debian Linux. Installation was via USB stick and serial port. :)

Re:4 watts? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470950)

If you read the page, the fan is on the northbridge, not the CPU. Which makes me wonder: how much power does the northbridge draw, anyway? And what's the point of a 4 watt CPU if the northbridge draws more than that?
Lol, from the design brief for the 82945G GMCH chipset, the TDP of the chipset used is 22.2W (with system bus of 1066MHz, memory frequency of 667MHz and 2 dimms installed). That's only 5.5x the TPD of the actually cpu attached to it...

Limited features on that board (3, Interesting)

eagl (86459) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470490)

Deal killer for that board - no DVI or HDMI output combined with no PCI-e slot. Either the digital vid output or a slot suitable for a reasonably new video card with DVI/HDMI HDCP compliant output would be sufficient, but having neither makes this a rather bad choice for any type of HTPC and of limited use to many others who, like me, think a single analog video out port is a relic from the DOS ages.

That said, for someone who wants a reasonably quick and low power system and doesn't mind an analog video output (car-puter builders?) this would be a great little motherboard.

For me... No DVI and no reasonable way to add fast digital video out means it's not even on my lottery win wishlist.

Re:Limited features on that board (2, Insightful)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470696)

For me... No DVI and no reasonable way to add fast digital video out means it's not even on my lottery win wishlist.
Why would it be on your lottery win wishlist? It's a hundred bucks. I'm only a student, and a hundred bucks is a lot of money, but it's nothing that can't be saved for.

Re:Limited features on that board (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470838)

My lottery win wishlist is full of stuff that I either can't afford now, or don't want enough to spend any amount on but would like to have if it was either free, or I had so much money I could throw it away on stuff I don't really need or want that much.

Like those little remote control helicopters that keep showing up on woot... I don't care that they're only $7, I simply wouldn't buy them because although I'd like to play with one I'm not willing to spend any money. So unless I can acquire them for free or I win the lottery, I won't get one. But they're neat so they are on my lottery win wishlist.

This motherboard... It doesn't even fit that criteria. I am not interested in anything computer hardware that doesn't have digital output because I have almost no use at all for any electronic device that does not have digital video output. The utility of an analog-only video output approaches zero, for me.

If I ever do decide to run the time machine back half a decade and build something using an analog-only display, then I would be faced with pulling the perfectly good working hardware out of my parts bin, or buying something that isn't any more capable than hardware I discarded 4 years ago. Once again, the utility for acquiring more analog-only hardware approaches zero.

Long-winded answer I suppose, but there it is.

Re:Limited features on that board (1)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470880)

Then this motherboard obviously isn't for you. No one's advertising it as a high-end card that will suit everybody's needs. If digital video-out is mandatory for you, then you're not the target audience.

Re:Limited features on that board (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470940)

That was half of my point. The other half of my point is that the target audience is probably fairly limited, for no reason other than the lack of digital video output. If the board had DVI or HDMI output, or it had a pci-e expansion slot, in my opinion it would probably appeal to a much larger audience because it's a really neat motherboard that has one deal-killer missing feature.

Even with a dual-slot PCI riser card, it would be tough to turn this board into a good HTPC mobo and a number of HTPC builders would shun it entirely because you can't add two tuner cards and get digital output. It's not possible. Therefore, unlike the original submission and unlike the board promo materials, this board would make a terrible basis for an HTPC machine.

Re:Limited features on that board (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470964)

Whoops, the original submission doesn't mention HTPC. My mistake. Still, it's been mentioned enough that the point remains mostly valid.

Re:Limited features on that board (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470716)

yeah I agree entirely!
they didn't even include a second pci slot so I could stack my voodoo 2s!

but in all honesty do you really need your 8 bit nintendo roms in 1080p?

Speedy enough for a MAME box? (1)

bitrex (859228) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470656)

For most of the older games it would be fine, but MAME has no support for hardware graphics acceleration. I use MAME on an Athlon X2 4800+, and it still chugs a bit on some "newer" games such as Mortal Kombat 3.

**Warning** Do not buy from this site (3, Informative)

eudaemon (320983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470730)

Shipping from UK to the USA costs more than the device: they want 52.90GBP for the system, and 59.99GBP for shipping!
Unless you want to pay 219.75 USD for this device, I highly suggest you find a supplier in the United States.

Re:**Warning** Do not buy from this site (1)

eudaemon (320983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470752)

And they have a 40% restocking fee to boot! Ripoff artists.

Well there's the shipping... (1)

Twisted64 (837490) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470998)

...and then the costs of going to the US to pick it up. I don't think many people actually ignore shipping costs when purchasing online.

Is it just me? (1)

Yellow Onion (1277092) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470774)

or does it seam odd that it has intel HD sound yet doesn't have gigabit eth?

Re:Is it just me? (1)

enoz (1181117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471094)

It has Realtek HD sound.

I don't know if the "High Definition" in the Realtek name actually means anything or is just a marketing ploy.

SATA Hub? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470804)

Is there as cheap device into which I can plug a half dozen or more SATA HDs that will power them and connect them to a single PC SATA port? A SATA hub that works like a USB hub, even if it doesn't have hotplug functions?

Re:SATA Hub? (3, Informative)

hoxford (94613) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470948)


Something like this:
http://www.addonics.com/products/host_controller/ad5sapm-e.asp [addonics.com]

or this:

http://www.sataport.com/ [sataport.com]

Re:SATA Hub? (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470988)

Dude, I'm not the original poster, but your second link is *exactly* what I've been needing for a project. Thanks for the link!

Re:SATA Hub? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470976)

Yes - it's called a motherboard.

Re:SATA Hub? (1)

PayPaI (733999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470984)

Yes [cooldrives.com] Most SATA hosts will support this, some older ones might not.

Intel has a much better board (4, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470834)

Intel has a much better board than this, erm, intel motherboard: the Intel D201GLY2A Little Valley Mainboard [logicsupply.com] , 79$ in bulk packaging. And yes, that's a mini-ITX with a serial and parallel port and yes that includes the CPU too, an Intel Celeron 220 1.2 GHz, Conroe-L (65 nm) based on Intel Core microarchitecture.

Oh the TIME(ING) (1)

Icyfire0573 (719207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470870)

I've been searching now for the past few days for some hardware like this. Basically, I have two designs in mind. One being a SBC with PoE and Bluetooth, the other being an SBC with at least 2 ethernet ports a mini-pci (for wireless) and 1 pci-e slot for an the new asterisk boards. If anybody knows of anything like this please let me know.

Most excellent news for hackers (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470898)

I've been looking for something just about like this for a DVR project. I have the case modded nearly for this project, PSU basically picked. Just need a Motherboard. The basic plan was to remove the VCR mechanism, replace with a DVD/CD player and go from there... This looks like it might work nicely :)

4W CPU with active cooling? (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470922)

looks fishy to me ... Most passively cooled northbridges on current mainboards generate more heat, so what's wrong with that CPU? The heatsink seems huge and it still has or needs a fan...

Just regular Intel desktop boards (1)

juventasone (517959) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471006)

This is just an Intel D945GCLF: the price point will be about $60 USD, and it will be available everywhere by next month. It's very similar to the Intel D201GLY2 which has been available for the past year and sells for about the same price. The CPUs are an Atom 230 and Celeron 220 respectively. I assume they gave them those model numbers purposely so that those comparing would realize they're very similar, but the Atom is a slight notch above.

Supplier in USA (3, Informative)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471016)

http://www.mini-box.com/Intel-D945GCLF-Mini-ITX-Motherboard [mini-box.com]

$80

I think this box would be an ideal computing appliance for the average user. Of course, I would recommend CentOS and a carefully configured set of applications and GUI.

Think, like, your mom and dad checking their email and looking for bargains on Craigslist. At 4 watts.

Every version of this you could want (2, Informative)

coyote4til7 (189857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471090)

I spent a few minutes googling and came up with a US supplier with various mini-itx logic boards. One has gigabit ethernet. Others have HDMI, DVI and more:

http://www.mini-box.com/s.nl/sc.8/category.100/.f [mini-box.com]

And no... I have no connection with them ... but if they want to thank me for the plug, I could put some of these to use...

Seems like I also hit another page that had mini-itx boards with a Duo 2 processor. Now, I just need to find one with a Duo 1 processor, put it in a tiny metal case and use to cook breakfast. :-)

Better than other Mini-ITX boards? (1)

tji (74570) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471106)

There are quite a few Mini-ITX options out there today.. Many of them are based on VIA CPUs (low power x86 compatible). Since the form factor is nothing groundbreaking, what is the advantage of this board?

Is the "Atom" faster than a VIA C7? The C7 is not far behind the Atom in power consumption. With those CPUs, the power usage of all the other components makes the couple watts difference pretty negligible.

To be really intersting, they need a few things:

- Lose the fan. Low power, low heat, low noise.

- Upgrade the GPU. The CPU is relatively slow, but with decent video offload, it could make a great MythTV frontend.

- Add an HDMI, or at least DVI port.

- Shrink the size. Yeah, a parallel port is interesting for a couple people out there. But, how about giving them a header on the board and the option to buy a cable for it. For the rest of use, lose the obsolete stuff and shrink the board.

Re:Better than other Mini-ITX boards? (1)

bwy (726112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23471172)

Agree, the EPIA 5000 has been around for years and needs no fan. In this form factor I think a completely solid state solution is ideal.
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