AVS Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,955 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Fry's has this kit on sale until 4/4/2015. Not very powerful but it runs OpenELEC like a champ including HD Audio. I'm running it via a USB flash drive and 2GB of RAM. The BIOS has full support for Windows 8.1.

I covered my build in the NAS Based DVR thread here.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,955 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Does it have a fan?
The case uses an external brick and is fanless. The CPU does although it's beyond quiet when you adjust its settings via the BIOS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,909 Posts
Here is the link
http://www.frys.com/product/8412958

Here is just the case
http://www.frys.com/product/8227866

I was looking to see if it had a spot for a 2.5" or 3.5" drive, and it says no. Is there really nowhere to put even a 2.5" laptop drive in it? I am looking for something like this to build for the RV that I can put several of my newest releases of movies on for watching when there's no internet. I have a 2.5" 500GB laptop drive that would be perfect for something like this.

EDIT: The details say it has no internal bays, but the comments say there are two 2.5" bays.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,764 Posts
EDIT: The details say it has no internal bays, but the comments say there are two 2.5" bays.
Case does have space for two 2.5" drives. You mount the drives behind the motherboard plate (both side panels are removable). Warning, it can get pretty hot. Used this case for a Zacate E-350 build and my Seagate 500GB 5400RPM was regularly in the 50-60° C range (SoCal weather).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,955 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Case does have space for two 2.5" drives. You mount the drives behind the motherboard plate (both side panels are removable).
Thanks. I took that side off as well and never even noticed as I wasn't looking to use a drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,909 Posts
Perfect info, thank you for the reply. I'm going to go pick one up tomorrow. I have everything else I need for OpenELEC - a USB thumb drive to boot off of, two 1GB sticks of DDR3, and a 2.5" 500GB spinner. I was going to get a Pi2, but by the time you add a clock, case, memory, etc., you are at as much or more than this little box. And even at that point, this makes it all one single case. I even have a MCE remote and receiver and a FLIRC laying around, probably use the FLIRC. Dang, it even has a PCI slot for a wifi card. Nice little setup for $70. Glad you posted this.

Lucky me, Fry's is just down the road from me too, don't even have to get on the interstate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,909 Posts
I finished mine yesterday. Clearances are tight to get it all jammed in that little case. I did put a 2.5" HDD on the back of the motherboard, one thing you have to watch for is the fact that you may have clearance issues where the heat sink pegs poke through the motherboard. I'm also concerned the drive will get hot, because there's almost no airflow back there since the "bottom" side of the case is not perforated.

The fan is a little loud. I can't get it to slow down via BIOS, either. I put it down to 12.5% and 40C, and it just won't slow down. It won't matter to me, since it will be in a cabinet.

OpenELEC on this little thing is amazing, super-fast. Absolutely worth $70.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,955 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The fan is a little loud. I can't get it to slow down via BIOS, either. I put it down to 12.5% and 40C, and it just won't slow down.
Did you update the BIOS? It fixed WoL (Wake-on-LAN) and who knows what else. I didn't have a issue slowing the fan and mine is virtually silent. I can't hear it from a few inches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,909 Posts
I did, I'm on 10.2


EDIT: I found the problem. Somehow BIOS reverted CPU Smart Fan Target back to Disabled under Hardware Monitor. It is practically silent now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,764 Posts
I was going to get a Pi2, but by the time you add a clock, case, memory, etc., you are at as much or more than this little box.
Technically, the Pi already has RAM built in and storage cost would have been the same/similar either way. The RTC is also optional (I don't bother).

Mind, I hear you on the cost. My own Pi 2 PMS build costs $120 before storage. Granted, half of that is due to a UPS Pico HAT with 3,000 mAh LiPo battery. Other parts, I already have on-hand but if I add everything together, total cost is close to $300.

In fairness to the Pi though, that Fry's deal pretty much gives you the MB and CPU for free given the case by itself goes for $70-80. Besides, not everyone has a Fry's nearby. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,909 Posts
I decided to try OpenELEC booting off the hard drive (spinner). Glad I did. It boots just as fast as it would have off USB. This is a great little box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,955 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I decided to try OpenELEC booting off the hard drive (spinner). Glad I did. It boots just as fast as it would have off USB. This is a great little box.
I just swapped the CPU to the AMD 5350. I returned the barebone kit one for a whopping $20 upgrade. Makes a world of difference across the board especially using the 30 second skip with DVBLink.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,909 Posts
I am only using mine for playing back movies from the local hard drive. For what I'm doing, the little 2650 is just fine. Still extremely happy with the box.

If you think about it, $20 is a 25% (or more than that including the rebate) increase in price. :) Sure is fun though, huh?

I did set up HDHR Viewer in Kodi, but it will only work when I am at home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,955 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
If you think about it, $20 is a 25% (or more than that including the rebate) increase in price. :)
True but it changed its personality. I was getting frustrated waiting on the 30-second skip. Now it advances instantly. Plus if I ever punt it can now be real computer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Just curious, but how well would something like this work for word processing / internet browsing? My wife wants something cheap to use for writing, and wants something she can use a regular keyboard with, I had been looking at a Chromebox, but for $70 all I would need to add is a monitor (which I would have to do with the Chromebox anyway).

I realize this deal is now dead, but if something similar pops up and would work out I may save myself some money and use this instead of a Chromebox.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,909 Posts
I'm not real sure how it would work with Windows. I put 2GB of RAM in mine and installed OpenELEC, and it works great. I am almost positive that this machine would work VERY well with 2GB RAM and Ubuntu, which includes Firefox and an Office suite (not Microsoft, but the applications work just fine). I have a very old laptop I use in my garage with 2GB RAM and Ubuntu, and it is acceptable. This thing runs circles around that laptop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Thanks TornadoTJ, that's what I am thinking something like Open Office and Firefox would be more than enough, and it should likely be able to run those without too many headaches.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top