Zotac IONITX-A: An ION / dual-core Atom Mini-ITX Board

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ilovejedd
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Post by ilovejedd » Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:21 pm

Monkeh16 wrote:If it's an Atheros card it'll work with madwifi or.. probably ath9k, being PCI-E. Assuming you're talking about Linux.
What about FreeBSD or OSX/Hackintosh? :P

Monkeh16
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Post by Monkeh16 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:25 pm

ilovejedd wrote:
Monkeh16 wrote:If it's an Atheros card it'll work with madwifi or.. probably ath9k, being PCI-E. Assuming you're talking about Linux.
What about FreeBSD or OSX/Hackintosh? :P
Can't help you there, I use neither at present. But Macs use (or used to use) Atheros cards I believe.

yacoub
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Post by yacoub » Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:50 pm

kevboy wrote:Any recommendations on a case for this? Was thinking of something that could hold 2 x 3.5" HDDs or 1 x 3.5" and 1 x 2.5", maybe with space for a quiet 120mm fan. No ODD needed.
I came to this thread to ask the same thing. I am looking for a roomy case for it that will be small but allow for a quiet 120mm fan that effectively cools the CPU/GPU heatsink on this board.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:01 pm

yacoub wrote:
kevboy wrote:Any recommendations on a case for this? Was thinking of something that could hold 2 x 3.5" HDDs or 1 x 3.5" and 1 x 2.5", maybe with space for a quiet 120mm fan. No ODD needed.
I came to this thread to ask the same thing. I am looking for a roomy case for it that will be small but allow for a quiet 120mm fan that effectively cools the CPU/GPU heatsink on this board.
Review of the Silverstone SG06 and SG06 coming in the next couple weeks.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
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nutball
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Post by nutball » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:45 pm

Shibirian wrote:What chipset exactly? I cannot find any information about that anywhere. I would need to know this because of drivers for my OSses before I buy the board. (Yeah, I have many various strange non-windows systems.) Hope anyone can help me out here. Would be much appreciated! :)
Device manager says it's an Atheros AR928X wireless network adapter.

yacoub
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Post by yacoub » Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:16 am

MikeC wrote:
yacoub wrote:
kevboy wrote:Any recommendations on a case for this? Was thinking of something that could hold 2 x 3.5" HDDs or 1 x 3.5" and 1 x 2.5", maybe with space for a quiet 120mm fan. No ODD needed.
I came to this thread to ask the same thing. I am looking for a roomy case for it that will be small but allow for a quiet 120mm fan that effectively cools the CPU/GPU heatsink on this board.
Review of the Silverstone SG06 and SG06 coming in the next couple weeks.
Neat! What the heck is the different between them, btw? I can't tell from the basic product pages lol :? Maybe just the color and design of the front?
Hmmm, how come in the Specifications chart it lists 80mm fan under Cooling, but the ad at the top shows 120mm golfball bladed fan?

Also, that case is so interesting t makes me wish the Zotac had a PCIe 8x slot so I could add in a GPU ;)

Shibirian
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Post by Shibirian » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:02 am

nutball wrote:
Shibirian wrote:What chipset exactly? I cannot find any information about that anywhere. I would need to know this because of drivers for my OSses before I buy the board. (Yeah, I have many various strange non-windows systems.) Hope anyone can help me out here. Would be much appreciated! :)
Device manager says it's an Atheros AR928X wireless network adapter.
Okay, thanks.

And it's (also) interesting for Hackintosh and DesktopBSD, as well as AROS and Kolibri OS. :-)

That's, by the way, the same chipset used in the MSI Wind U120. OSX knows this chip as Airport, but cannot mount it without "a little help". Only for the people who're interested in it ;-))

ccb
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Post by ccb » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:36 pm

I'm thinking about using this board for my HTPC setup - I notice that the dual-core Atom boards in the Zotac product line all have the PCI-E slot occupied by the Wifi card.

Is there anything preventing the user from yanking the Wifi card and replacing it with a tuner card, like a Hauppauge card? I think the combination of a dual-core Atom and a hardware-based tuner card will be ideal for a HTPC... But I haven't seen any reviews where they ditch the Wifi, hence this post.

Thanks,
-CCB

ilovejedd
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Post by ilovejedd » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:20 pm

ccb wrote:I'm thinking about using this board for my HTPC setup - I notice that the dual-core Atom boards in the Zotac product line all have the PCI-E slot occupied by the Wifi card.

Is there anything preventing the user from yanking the Wifi card and replacing it with a tuner card, like a Hauppauge card? I think the combination of a dual-core Atom and a hardware-based tuner card will be ideal for a HTPC... But I haven't seen any reviews where they ditch the Wifi, hence this post.
Note, it's a Mini-PCIe slot same as laptops, not the PCIe slots you find on desktops.

ccb
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Post by ccb » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:37 pm

ilovejedd wrote: Note, it's a Mini-PCIe slot same as laptops, not the PCIe slots you find on desktops.
Ah, I wasn't previously aware of that type of PCIe slot. Thanks for the clarification. Back to the drawing board (maybe with a USB tuner or two...).

Cheers,
-CCB

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Post by nutball » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:03 pm

I think it's possible to get mini-PCIE to PCI-E adapters, risers, flexi-cables and so on. I came across quite a few when googling for something else a few days ago.

Monkeh16
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Post by Monkeh16 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:12 am

ccb wrote:
ilovejedd wrote: Note, it's a Mini-PCIe slot same as laptops, not the PCIe slots you find on desktops.
Ah, I wasn't previously aware of that type of PCIe slot. Thanks for the clarification. Back to the drawing board (maybe with a USB tuner or two...).

Cheers,
-CCB
It'd be easy enough to attach stick type USB tuners to a backplate and make a cable to connect to a USB header. Many dual-tuner PCI cards (even PCI-E) are just USB devices anyway.

suzyj
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Post by suzyj » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:49 pm

My build:

I chose the D-E flavour, which has the dual-core Atom CPU and wireless, but uses normal ATX power, as I already have a Pico PSU, which is plenty efficient.

The system is comprised of:
  • Zotac IONITX-D-E motherboard,
  • 2GB Corsair DDR2 stick,
  • 1TB WD Greenpower 3.5" hard drive for video,
  • 500GB Hitachi 2.5" hard drive for audio and OS,
  • 2 x Asus U3100 USB DVB-T tuners,
  • PicoPSU-120 power supply,
  • 60W 12V switch-mode power supply (from Farnell),
  • 80mm Noctua fan running at 5V,
  • Custom case (430mm wide to match my other stereo gear).
It runs like a dream, including 1080i and 1080p. I installed Ubuntu 9.04, as well as the nVidia drivers and patched version of Mythtv from Avenard. Power consumption is around 22W at idle, increasing to 27W while playing video.

Here's a pic of my build. The box until recently housed a Via EN15000G:

Image

lordmetroid
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Post by lordmetroid » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:06 am

How much air does the standard fan push?
Can it be replaced with a scytche 100x100x12 mm(~15 CFM) fan if places above the heatsink?

suzyj
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Post by suzyj » Sun Sep 20, 2009 1:26 pm

I got the chipset sensor working under ubuntu, and was shocked to find it was running at 75 degrees. At first I simply increased the fan voltage to 8V, reducing the temperature to 60 degrees, but found that the air movement became audible during quiet passages.

I pulled the machine apart, with the intention of measuring it up for a 120mm fan. While it was open I realised that the large gaps around the motherboard heatsink meant that most of the airflow was able to bypass it.

By fitting two shaped cardboard pieces, as shown, the air from the fan is forced through the motherboard heatsink, before leaving the case through vents on the right side.

The result is spectacular. Running the fan back down at 5V (~700rpm), the chipset now idles at just 40 degrees. The machine is now really quiet again.

Image

sluggy
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Post by sluggy » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:29 pm

suzyj wrote:My build:

I chose the D-E flavour, which has the dual-core Atom CPU and wireless, but uses normal ATX power, as I already have a Pico PSU, which is plenty efficient.

The system is comprised of:
  • Zotac IONITX-D-E motherboard,
  • 2GB Corsair DDR2 stick,
  • 1TB WD Greenpower 3.5" hard drive for video,
  • 500GB Hitachi 2.5" hard drive for audio and OS,
  • 2 x Asus U3100 USB DVB-T tuners,
  • PicoPSU-120 power supply,
  • 60W 12V switch-mode power supply (from Farnell),
  • 80mm Noctua fan running at 5V,
  • Custom case (430mm wide to match my other stereo gear).
It runs like a dream, including 1080i and 1080p. I installed Ubuntu 9.04, as well as the nVidia drivers and patched version of Mythtv from Avenard. Power consumption is around 22W at idle, increasing to 27W while playing video.
So how many people are using this MB for an HTPC build (I see that the original review did have some grumbles about HD playback). Any issues? I am trying to decide between this and the following boards:

Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi
Asus AT3N7A-I

I want to build two machines with identical hardware, but one using Windows 7 and another using Linux with XBMC. Would the ION board be sufficient?

Terje
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Post by Terje » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:14 am

sluggy wrote:Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi
Asus AT3N7A-I

I want to build two machines with identical hardware, but one using Windows 7 and another using Linux with XBMC. Would the ION board be sufficient?
I bought the AT3N7A-I last weekend as a test project to replace a broken pentium M motherboard on a HTPC.

Please note that this is a mythtv frontend. It only plays video, does not record, but when that is said, as long as your video is playable with vdpau, I suppose it has sufficient juice to do recording as well.

Even playing 1080p, it uses less <10% cpu with vdpau offloading everything to the GPU.

I am not sure I recommend this board unless you need PCI though (I bought it specifically because I needed a PCI card in it). SPCRs review states that Asus said they would not ship any of these cards with the same 6000rpm fan that was on the review sample, but this is obviously false.

Mine has the 6krpm fan and some searching around shows that many others have as well. Some people say they got a free replacement fan after calling Asus, other has had more problems with that.

I removed the fan and took a 80mm fan set at low rpm and fastened it with strips so it was hanging from the DVD drive bracket stuff above the cooler. Cut vibrations from the Fan as well, so not such a bad solution in the end.

Problem solved.

As said, it does a great job for video that is vdpau compatible. I see many complaints from people trying to do HD video from youtube/hulu/etc on Atom. Probably you would not want Atom if you use a lot of flash content, at least not until the GPU accellerated flash 10.1 is out, if that actually supports cpu accelleration on linux (which I actually doubt).

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