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Fanless Nano-ITX Motherboard Reviewed 36

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the small-and-quiet-isn't-a-bad-way-to-start dept.
TheEagleCD writes "The first look at the fanless EPIA-N8000E Nano-ITX motherboard has just hit the internet. While some skeptics commented that this board is only 'for those who like VIA or want an even smaller footprint than a nano-notebook,' others say that 'the size, heat output and noise levels alone will recommend it to many projects.' It will be interesting to see how the market really receives this first Nano-ITX motherboard which is the de-facto successor of the Mini-ITX form-factor which made a strong statement by being seen on many company booths at this year's CeBIT."
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Fanless Nano-ITX Motherboard Reviewed

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  • Embeded use (Score:3, Funny)

    by Gattman01 (957859) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @04:06PM (#14975445)
    I've always wanted to run Linux on my coffee mug. And I can use the heat from the CPU to keep the coffee warm.
    • by rootofevil (188401) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @04:25PM (#14975615) Homepage Journal
      even better, you could write a script that regulates the load on the processor to keep your drink at a given temperature!
    • Re:Embeded use (Score:2, Informative)

      by Noishe (829350)
      Too bad an embedded coffee mug wouldn't heat a cup of coffee.. A coffee maker uses around 1000 watts of energy, and a mug warmer about 100 or 200 watts.

      An AMD Geode embedded processor uses 14 Watts for the fastest one, and 0.9 Watts for the "El Cheapo"

      Assuming that all of the Watts is put towards heat, You'd need over 8 of the 'spensive ones to keep your coffee warm.
  • by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @04:11PM (#14975483) Homepage
    OK, fine, when it will hit http://www.linitx.com/ [linitx.com] or http://www.icp-epia.co.uk/ [icp-epia.co.uk] or some other place where I can actually buy it. Or this is expoware same as their SMP Eden platform. I have been waiting for them to ship it for god knows how long now as it is exactly what I need to build a cost/power effective SMP development/testing rig for the developers where I work now.
  • Site is fried... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Zencyde (850968)
    Well folks, it looks like it may have been Slashdotted, but here goes the Coral Cache URL anyways: http://www.epiacenter.com.nyud.net:8080/modules.ph p?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=84 [nyud.net] Good luck to all, and to all a good luck.
  • Neato! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @04:25PM (#14975614) Homepage Journal
    Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these.. in a single ATX tower!
  • by HunterZ (20035)
    "this board is only 'for those who like VIA"

    I didn't know that VIA actually had a following. Last I checked, there were two groups of people who used their stuff: those who tolerated it and those who didn't know any better.

    I got a bad taste in my mouth with their AMD K6-2 chipsets (Apollo MVP?) and continued to have lackluster experiences with their mobo chipsets straight up through Socket A. As someone who prefers to use AMD (more bang for the buck) I've been sticking to nVidia nForce chipsets for the past
    • by sznupi (719324)
      I was fully agreeing with you (well, perhaps except small detail that I'm on SiS - perhaps not top performers (hmm..except PCI bandwith), but stable & reliable) up until the ending. AFAI remember, VIA _was_ getting favorable reviews during SocketA days. Even though their chipsets were often quite...shitty.
      At least I learned that you can't trust, when buidling computer for actual use, reviewers who build a machine from minamal number of standard components, run some benchmarks...and that's it.
      • looks like you guys missed the last 3 years. ;)
        • by sznupi (719324)
          Well, VIA still didn't get their act together when it comes to PCI... (as for PCIe - I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if the only reason they're doing good is because AMD gave them working implementation and said "use it!")
      • Would you do this? WHYYYYY?

        okay, yeah, you would think you could trust them /sarcasm off
  • What is with the VGA port? Are they that much more expensive than DVI? It seems that basically all boards with integrated graphics have this failing, and it is extremely annoying. While a DVI-VGA adapter is about $5, this choice alone excludes a huge chunk of the market.

    Another thing which most of these SFF boards lack is dual ethernet, or at least gigE. So much for routers, file servers, and networked DVR's.

    Oh well, while I am wishing for the impossible, why not remove the BIOS and add a serial con

    • What is with the VGA port? Are they that much more expensive than DVI? It seems that basically all boards with integrated graphics have this failing, and it is extremely annoying. While a DVI-VGA adapter is about $5, this choice alone excludes a huge chunk of the market.

      Nope. The N-series has those ports you see but the NL-series has no ports, just headers. That includes an adapter for an LVDS or DVI connection. There is a miniPCI slot on bottom if you want to install a wireless card or something else mi
    • I agree with you Kono. I have been watching mini boards and anticipating this nano board for a while now with a couple of cool projects in mind but am always bothered by the fact that there is an abundant lack of dual lan. I understand that with mini boards you can use a pci version or here the mini-pci...but what if you need that for another component of the system. I guess I have always just thought of these being used in projects that would really fall heavily on a network backbone (e.g. server, route
    • What is with the VGA port? Are they that much more expensive than DVI?

      Yup, seems annoying since I'd think that if someone wants a tiny system then they'd opt for an LCD panel and the analogue port is just wasted electronice. However there is the NL board that at least does away with the bulky 15-pin VGA port, though a small header connector and the DAC circuitry are still there.

      Another thing which most of these SFF boards lack is dual ethernet, or at least gigE.

      Actually Via and most other Mini-ITX board ma
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Windows requires the use of a floppy for RAID drivers; this board has no connector for a floppy drive. Thus, if you want to use Windows and RAID:

    There are three solutions to installing Windows on this board: 1) Use a USB floppy drive; 2) Set the SATA mode to IDE in the BIOS (change it from RAID); 3) Install Linux instead.


    Heh.
  • I wonder how long vendors still can sell boards of any size without a DVI plug. I'm just buing a Asus A8N-VM CSM because it's the only reasonable board with a DVI in its class (and without chip set cooler).

    I might go one day with an ITX board but DVI is a killer argument for me.

    O. Wyss
    • Re:DVI instead VGA (Score:3, Informative)

      by chill (34294)
      Then go with an NL-series instead of an N-series. Same basic board, just no connectors (only headers). It also has a connector for an LVDS or DVI daughtercard ($35-40 extra).
  • Look at these photos:

    VIA Luke CoreFusion 1.0GHz

    A Luke processor is obviously only lukewarm, and as result doesn't need a cooler.
  • I was searching something like this to replace my noisy Opteron biprocessor box. However, is the processor x86-compatible? I mean, can I run standard x86 code on it? I don't care about the driver support since I don't use Windows very often.
    • Sure, it is an x86 processor, based on the Winchip.

      Let me just put this in perspective for you:

      For anything other than MPEG2 or MPEG4 viewing, or encryption, this processor will perform like a PII 350 or slower. Imagine running Gnome or KDE on a PII 350 with a TINY (64k) L2 cache, and you'll come to understand just how much this chip sucks.

      Via claims that their philosophy is low-power computing, but the real deal is Via does not want to pay their design team to completely redesign the Winchip. The Winchip

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