Author Topic: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?  (Read 2128 times)

usaf-lt-g

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Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« on: March 04, 2009, 06:11:57 pm »
Hi guys,

Been a while since I've posted anything but thought I would ask the question anyways. I'm looking for any info on supported all-inclusive mini-ITX or smaller form factor motherboards. By all inclusive, I mean passively cooled CPU already on-board, Gig-E ethernet, preferably HDMI or DMI video output, an optical out for audio, and something other than VIA Graphics. As some of you already know, one of my thin clients I currently own is based on the MSI CN700 series motherboards. HOWEVER, the downside to this MB, is that it contains on-board VIA Unichrome graphics which was a bear in itself to just get it to work with UI1. Is the Intel GMA950 3D Graphic Engine supported by UI2 in 710?

I really want to upgrade my thin client's board to something that at least supports UI2 (geforce?), and PXE is kind of a must. My current board supports PXE, and although a little slow booting, it usually runs very well. The thing I like the MOST about the small form factor of the mini-ITX is that it's virtually silent since it's passively cooled, VERY low power consumption, and takes up practically no room in my TV cabinet (It's basically a 7inch by 7inch by 3 inch tall sqaure case). Compatibility is a must obviously, I'd prefer not to have to setup all kinds of open source drivers just to get UI1 working again.

Any possible leads would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks!

totallymaxed

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 10:13:53 pm »
Hi guys,

Been a while since I've posted anything but thought I would ask the question anyways. I'm looking for any info on supported all-inclusive mini-ITX or smaller form factor motherboards. By all inclusive, I mean passively cooled CPU already on-board, Gig-E ethernet, preferably HDMI or DMI video output, an optical out for audio, and something other than VIA Graphics. As some of you already know, one of my thin clients I currently own is based on the MSI CN700 series motherboards. HOWEVER, the downside to this MB, is that it contains on-board VIA Unichrome graphics which was a bear in itself to just get it to work with UI1. Is the Intel GMA950 3D Graphic Engine supported by UI2 in 710?

I really want to upgrade my thin client's board to something that at least supports UI2 (geforce?), and PXE is kind of a must. My current board supports PXE, and although a little slow booting, it usually runs very well. The thing I like the MOST about the small form factor of the mini-ITX is that it's virtually silent since it's passively cooled, VERY low power consumption, and takes up practically no room in my TV cabinet (It's basically a 7inch by 7inch by 3 inch tall sqaure case). Compatibility is a must obviously, I'd prefer not to have to setup all kinds of open source drivers just to get UI1 working again.

Any possible leads would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks!

Look at the Atom based ASUS Eee Box 202... this has an Intel ATom 1.6Ghz CPU and a GMA950 GPU with 1Gig RAM and a 160Gb HD + WiFi g/n. The Eee Box will run UI2 + Overlay well and UI2 perfectly.

Andrew
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purps

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 01:03:40 pm »
Does anybody know if it is possible to get the ASUS Eee Box 202 without the hard disk, WiFi and all the m$ stuff?
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Pnuts

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009, 07:04:16 pm »
Does anybody know if it is possible to get the ASUS Eee Box 202 without the hard disk, WiFi and all the m$ stuff?

Without MS Stuff, yes: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883220003

otherwise it is kind of a ready to go box and because of this, you wont be able to find it without a hard drive and WiFi

-Pnuts

colinjones

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 11:16:23 pm »
Its worthwhile pointing out that although the GMA950 works in the Eee Box b202, that cannot be said generally. Some other motherboards also use the 950/945 Intel chip and crash with the Photo Screen Saver, it seems implementation specific. The only way around it currently is to disable the PSS which tends to leave your background messed up when not viewing video, but leaves the chip working well in UI1/2masked

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2009, 12:26:13 am »
While we are on the subject and since you asked about an eeebox without an HD and wireless, you might want to check these out:

MSI Wind PC
CPU Type: Intel 1.6GHz Atom processor on board
FSB: 533MHz
NIC: Gigabit
SD/MMC/MS/XD Reader
Internal CF Reader (not easily accessable)
8 Channel Audio
Video: Intel GMA 950 (VGA out only)

or

MSI Wind Nettop 100
CPU Type: Intel 1.6GHz Atom 330 (dual core) on board
FSB: 533MHz
NIC: Gigabit
SD/MMC/MS/XD Reader
Internal CF Reader (not easily accessable)
8 Channel Audio
Video: Intel GMA 950 (VGA out only)

Basically Identical but the Nettop has a dual core w/ hyperthreading version of the CPU. Just buy some RAM and it is ready to go as a MD.

I just ordered a MSI Wind Nettop 100 from newegg earlier today. While there isnt a wiki page for it, the MSI Wind PC does have a wiki page and it looks like it works well. Since the PC and Nettop version seem identical except for the CPU, I went with the nettop as they are currently the exact same price on Newegg ($149). Im assuming it will work just like the PC version because of this and ill add a new wiki page once i can verify.

colinjones

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2009, 12:57:48 am »
Note that the MSI Wind machines DO have the GMA950 crashing issue, so to get them to work you will need to disable your PSS. They also have the issue with the Realtek 8168/8169 NIC issue which means they will not correctly network boot as an MD - there are 2 articles on the wiki on how to resolve this issue.

tschak909

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2009, 08:50:52 am »
I'm going to say this in every machine specific thread until somebody takes the initiative.

Guys,

WE HAVE DEVICE TEMPLATES!

They can be used, along with setup scripts, to create specific workarounds needed for machines.

You know, to make all this stuff plug and play, so we don't have to resort to reading huge forum threads to apply work arounds...

-Thom

schaferj

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2009, 06:54:43 pm »
We're also looking to change out MDs to lower engery / more capability.

Are the MSI Wind NIC & PS issues solved in 0810?

Has anyone tried the Jetway HBJC200C91 booksize bare bone? 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856107034
Newegg reviewer says the BIOS is better than the msi wind and it runs 10c cooler.

thanks,
joseph

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2009, 07:10:47 pm »
Thom,

I hadn't thought much about using DTs for MDs.

So that we can understand, are you suggesting that Device Templates should be created for systems when they require drivers of extra configuration?

So these would be as an exception to the PnP until the drivers / configs are incorporated into the release?

thanks,
joseph

totallymaxed

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2009, 07:21:25 pm »
I'm going to say this in every machine specific thread until somebody takes the initiative.

Guys,

WE HAVE DEVICE TEMPLATES!

They can be used, along with setup scripts, to create specific workarounds needed for machines.

You know, to make all this stuff plug and play, so we don't have to resort to reading huge forum threads to apply work arounds...

-Thom


Hmmm... I will say this again. I do not believe DT's are the way to go for MD's at all. We have none currently... and they were investigated at length by Pluto and were rejected completely.

We just need to add support for specific hardware into the initramfs and related scripts so that under 810 we have support for these devices build in as standard. One thing that would facilitate this might be a standard set of Web admin pages that allow newer drivers and configurations to be added to the PnP system as we move forwards.

Andrew
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tschak909

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2009, 07:34:41 pm »
The WebDT does not have enough muscle or support to be an MD. Don't go there.

They make excellent orbiters though. So long as you have a cradle close. ;)

I want to see somebody here build a media director around an ARM9 design, possibly OMAP, with the supporting DSP. This would have enough power to be a media director, while maintaining an extremely low power footprint.

Game emulation might be a bit slow on it tho. ;)

hehe

-Thom

hari

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2009, 07:55:41 pm »
I think 'maxed was referring to DeviceTemplates not WebDTs..

Didn't fiire use a specific DT for their MDs?

br, Hari
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totallymaxed

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2009, 10:07:54 pm »
I think 'maxed was referring to DeviceTemplates not WebDTs..

Didn't fiire use a specific DT for their MDs?

br, Hari

Yep I was Hari... and yes Fiire used a DT to detect their Via based MD's... but thats the only instance i am aware of... and it was driven by their need to install their proprietary drivers. But in reality it never worked well... we could install their drivers on any Via hardware we tested with ;-)

We need good support for newer hardware in the PnP scripts and initramfs etc...and as i said earlier we need a simple way to ad this support in Web admin. Pluto tried device templates for whole MD's and it was never workable.

All the best

Andrew
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totallymaxed

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Re: Any updates to small form factor motherboards?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2009, 12:12:03 pm »
The WebDT does not have enough muscle or support to be an MD. Don't go there.

They make excellent orbiters though. So long as you have a cradle close. ;)

I want to see somebody here build a media director around an ARM9 design, possibly OMAP, with the supporting DSP. This would have enough power to be a media director, while maintaining an extremely low power footprint.

Game emulation might be a bit slow on it tho. ;)

hehe

-Thom

Now the ARM port is a really great idea (wrong thread really but...) and CHT would sponsor some hardware for this (we've discussed this on irc) if we could decide on a target platform. There are a few candidates... Hari has one of course...but I cant remember of hand if that board has a DSP.

Anyway if Thom and a small team are interested we'd sponsor the hardware (the Devs get to keep the hardware would be the deal). Maybe we should ask Colin to setup a new thread on this where interested Forum members could offer to support this work with some monetrary contributions too?

I think this would a great and very worthwhile endeavor for the the whole community...and incredibly cool & exciting too ;-)

All the best

Andrew
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