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post #91 of 229 Old 05-13-2009, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tux99 View Post

For some people (like myself) it's not just a matter of size, but also of quietness, it's much easier to run the Atom+ION passively cooled without fans than a C2D, especially in a small mini-ITX case.

If the Zotac ION-ITX-A will retail at 180USD like some of the reviews mentioned, then a complete system won't cost much more than 200USD either, all it needs is some RAM and a case (the power supply comes with the mobo), and possibly a hdd, but I have so many lying around that I wouldn't need to buy one and it could be run diskless network booting off the back-end server, too.

Everyone keeps mentioning that that PSU is included in the mobo cost, and sorta free, but at the same time, I was assembling a mini-ITX wishlist system at newegg (based on the 9300/C2D Zotac mini-ITX), and don't recall seeing a single mini-ITX case that came without a PSU (I just re-checked.. .only 1 case out of 32 @ newegg is PSU-less and it costs more than many that have a PSU)... so now you just have a spare PSU, not any saved $$ Maybe that'll change if more mobo's adopt the same idea, I dunno.

So right now the C2D Zotac is $60 cheaper... but no proc.. add in the E5200 (bottom of what I would think is reasonable), and the price is a wash for the mobo+cpu, and the case price is a wash (until they sell PSU-less cases).. shrug. So then its a matter of quiet vs. how much fan noise will an E5200 produce (while giving 3x the CPU muscle).. honestly I dunno, and can't say that the muscle is needed depending on how much of the tasks are VDPAU enabled.

Don't get me wrong, I think ION is a great idea.. I just think $180 is way off base for the mobo.
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post #92 of 229 Old 05-13-2009, 03:33 PM
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mini-box.com has a few really cool mini-itx cases, some of which don't come with a PSU.

I especially like this one:

http://www.mini-box.com/M350-univers...=8&category=87
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post #93 of 229 Old 05-13-2009, 03:36 PM
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Looks like Newegg has some of the Zotac boards in stock!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...tion=zotac+ion
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post #94 of 229 Old 05-13-2009, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drkdiggler View Post

Looks like Newegg has some of the Zotac boards in stock!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...tion=zotac+ion

It says Atom N230. Is that the dual-core? I thought that was 330?

Anyway, I see that Zotac board is fanless. Cool! That would work perfectly with the case I listed above. Add in an SSD, and that makes for a completely silent system!
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post #95 of 229 Old 05-13-2009, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drkdiggler View Post

Looks like Newegg has some of the Zotac boards in stock!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...tion=zotac+ion

The dual-core version (ION-ITX-A) is still missing.

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post #96 of 229 Old 05-13-2009, 04:03 PM
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I am also waiting on the dual core (N330), I hope that it will be available shortly. Newegg has a number of mini-PCI Express SSDs available that would fit well in the on-board slot. The combo should make a nice, silent unit.
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post #97 of 229 Old 05-13-2009, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drkdiggler View Post

I am also waiting on the dual core (N330), I hope that it will be available shortly. Newegg has a number of mini-PCI Express SSDs available that would fit well in the on-board slot. The combo should make a nice, silent unit.

According to this German/Swiss webtailer the dual core version will be available on the 27th of May:

http://www.imsuperstore.de/it-outlet...tm&sku=W830138

They already have the single core that newegg has in stock too, that means the expected date for the dual core is likely the same for the US:

http://www.imsuperstore.de/it-outlet...tm&sku=W830137

I agree though, the prices are slightly high, I hope and expect they will drop in a month or two after the release.

EDIT: I just found that intel is charging a 1k Unit Price of 43$ for the dual-core, that's quite a lot for such a puny processor and explains partly the price of the mobo: http://ark.intel.com/cpugroup.aspx?familyID=29035

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post #98 of 229 Old 05-14-2009, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't know about pricing or availability, but you could put a blu-ray in the ASRock ION 330 --> http://www.asrock.com/nettop/spec/ION%20330.asp

LOL, "Slime type"
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post #99 of 229 Old 05-14-2009, 12:56 PM
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I have the impression that within 3 months or so we will be spoiled for choice with regards to Atom+ION products.
Hopefully all that competition will also mean that prices will drop quickly from the initial RRP.

I think the new top of the range PopcornHour that Syabas is allegedly working on will have a hard time competing with all these ION devices, especially considering they still haven't fixed many software bugs that have been plagueing the PCH since it's release, while for an ION there are now several fully featured and good looking media center environments like XBMC, Elisa and the good old Mythtv available.

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post #100 of 229 Old 05-22-2009, 08:42 PM
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Here is an interesting more in-depth look at the Zotac dual core Atom+ION board:

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3566

Subjects covered:

- Wake on USB: Flaky at Best
- Zotac Ion: 720p Gaming Performance
- Watching Flash Video on the Ion
- Overclocking the Atom Processor
- Cooling the Zotac Ion
- Blu-ray and Gaming Power Consumption

(of course all from a Windows perspective...)

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post #101 of 229 Old 05-23-2009, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Looks like flash playback is going to be a real deal-breaker even on the dual-core atom.
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post #102 of 229 Old 05-23-2009, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster View Post

Looks like flash playback is going to be a real deal-breaker even on the dual-core atom.

Yes, that's why I like the competition from Silverlight/Moonlight, it will hopefully eventually induce Adobe to do something about their inefficient flash video code.

It's only a dealbreaker for those who care about flash on their HTPC though, I'd only use it to play back locally stored media files, I have no interest in watching internet flash video streams on it.

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post #103 of 229 Old 05-25-2009, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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XBMC on Ion @ 1920x1080 --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv1Q_DWieAQ

And, of course, the Benny Hillified version --> http://james.nerdiphythesoul.com/ben...id=rv1Q_DWieAQ

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post #104 of 229 Old 05-25-2009, 09:18 AM
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post #105 of 229 Old 05-25-2009, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm audi.
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post #106 of 229 Old 05-28-2009, 02:53 PM
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All four models of the Zotac board are now available and in stock at Newegg.
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post #107 of 229 Old 05-28-2009, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drkdiggler View Post

All four models of the Zotac board are now available and in stock at Newegg.

Yup. I see the long awaited "A" version of the SKU... $199.99 + S/H...

Cheers,
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Cheers, Kermee
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post #108 of 229 Old 05-28-2009, 04:11 PM
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The "A" version includes 90w PSU. The "D" version is without, for $20 cheaper.

Edit: Just noticed, why does the "D" version have a faster FSB than the "A" version? 667 MHz vs 533 MHz.
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post #109 of 229 Old 05-28-2009, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_ross View Post

The "A" version includes 90w PSU. The "D" version is without, for $20 cheaper.

Edit: Just noticed, why does the "D" version have a faster FSB than the "A" version? 667 MHz vs 533 MHz.

FSB is a misprint. All Intel Atoms have a default FSB of either 533 or 400 MHz. 667 MHz probably refers to compatible DDR2 memory type, which is either 667 or 800 MHz.

Cheers,
Kermee

EDIT: I lied. Some Intel Atom's have FSB's of 400 MHz.

http://ark.intel.com/ProductCollecti...familyId=29035

Rest assured, 230 & 330's are FSB 533.

Cheers, Kermee
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post #110 of 229 Old 06-08-2009, 06:37 AM
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Quick update, I finally got a chance to fire up the IONITX-A-U last night. It was truly plug and play. I unplugged my old motherboard and plugged the hard drive into the new Ion board. Everything fired up and ran well. I can now use the Advanced 2x Hardware deinterlacer in MythTV as well as watch Blu-Rays at full speed in XBMC. I did have an issue initially, however, it seems to have been related to my refresh/resolution settings in XBMC. A few notes:
  • By default the video memory is set to 256 MB, however, it can be bumped up to 512 MB in BIOS. I'm not sure whether this matters much with the new drivers.
  • The mini PCIe WiFi card is half height. I have a SuperTalent mini PCIe SSD on the way. I will let you guys know whether the BIOS will allow me to boot from it.
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post #111 of 229 Old 06-08-2009, 01:06 PM
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drkdiggler thanks for the report. Please keep us updated about any flaws or also positive things you notice about the IONITX-A-U with Linux.

I'm very tempted to get it too, but I can't currently find a valid excuse to justify the expense with my wife... (maybe I should pretend the PopcornHour is broken )

Does suspend-to-RAM work with it and Linux?

What case did you settle for?

Do you run it completely passive or do you use the fan? What are the temps like?

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post #112 of 229 Old 06-08-2009, 03:55 PM
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I will keep you posted. As for the case, I am sticking with my old case, the Omaura TF8:

http://www.cpu3d.com/review/2336-1/o...roduction.html

I was originally tempted to wait for the Acer Aspire Revo, but my entertainment system wouldn't look "balanced" without another box in the second bay. The IONITX is very small, a vast majority of the case is empty. The large hole in the back, where my power supply used to be is funny as well.
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post #113 of 229 Old 06-10-2009, 01:43 PM
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Gang:

Major bummer -- the following SSD:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820609413

is not detected AT ALL by the IONITX-A-U when plugged into the mini PCIe slot. I am hoping that Zotac will release a new BIOS that includes such functionality.
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post #114 of 229 Old 06-10-2009, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drkdiggler View Post

Gang:

Major bummer -- the following SSD:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820609413

is not detected AT ALL by the IONITX-A-U when plugged into the mini PCIe slot. I am hoping that Zotac will release a new BIOS that includes such functionality.

I halfway expected such a problem with a PCIe SSD. This will take some time IMO.

Also, I've heard that firefox is quite sluggish on Atom CPU's (it IS quite beefy) and that Google's Chrome browser is considerably faster (even though it is still in alpha and doesn't support the flash plugin or several security features). So, I'd be interested to hear of your experiences in this area, as well, once you get everything set up.
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post #115 of 229 Old 06-11-2009, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomKooze View Post

I halfway expected such a problem with a PCIe SSD. This will take some time IMO.

Also, I've heard that firefox is quite sluggish on Atom CPU's (it IS quite beefy) and that Google's Chrome browser is considerably faster (even though it is still in alpha and doesn't support the flash plugin or several security features). So, I'd be interested to hear of your experiences in this area, as well, once you get everything set up.

Much of this article is for screen real-estate on a netbook, some the speedup tricks might help for any Atom based design: http://www.ubuntumini.com/2008/11/cu...-netbooks.html
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post #116 of 229 Old 06-11-2009, 07:47 PM
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I also suspected an issue, but for $50, hoped to be pleasantly surprised.
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post #117 of 229 Old 06-12-2009, 10:10 AM
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Well, I have decided that I can't wait for Zotac to provide SSD mini PCIe functionality so I have ordered a SATA SSD drive. I plan on re-doing my HTPC from scratch as I have run into issues as I have done a lot of learning (and screwing things up) on this HTPC. For those of you interested in the board and how it performs, I will keep you posted. Note however that I have a narrow profile of what I use my HTPC for, i.e., strictly XBMC and MythTV frontend (backend runs on a VM on my server). For those of you who use their HTPC in the same way, I hope that I can help your decision in whether or not to buy the IONITX-A-U. For those of you with a broader use case, YMMV.
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post #118 of 229 Old 06-12-2009, 12:22 PM
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Thanks, I'm looking forward to further details of your experience.
Especially working suspend-to-RAM is crucial for me.

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post #119 of 229 Old 06-14-2009, 06:03 AM
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Thanks for the info!

I plan on springing for one of these, as soon as they are back in stock. The price isn't that steep, until I included the Blu-ray drive. A $250 BD drive drives the total price way up!

I have a 4GB SSD that I took out of my EeePC. I upgraded to Super Talent 64GB SSD. I'd like to see if it works, but I plan on also getting a regular HD for it too.
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post #120 of 229 Old 06-18-2009, 09:31 AM
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1st review of the ASRock ION 330-BD Nettop is up at TweakTown

Some interesting things:
Overclocking of the dual core Atom to 2.1ghz, 24% increase
40W peak comsuption in tests
$399 USD RRP for non BD drive model
Instant Boot utility to boot to windows OS in 4 seconds
Doesnt come with an OS
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