i just got a mini-itx Morex case and a via epia board. Been meaning to write a review but my step-grandfather died and im replacing my floor and 'beastmaster' was on last night etc etc etc. Here is a little information that maybe you will find useful? Any more questions just ask me if you wish.
The case you are looking at has a manufacturer website at www.procase.com.tw
. This is printed inside the case, otherwise its rather 'hidden' on the web AFAIK. You are probably interested in 'mini-cases' 2677 and 2688. I have a Eden 533mhz board running in the 'Cubid 2677' case. http://www.procase.com.tw/2677.htm
I dont know if you can even buy a 2688, I didnt see any information about it on the web until after I had opened my 2677 and gone to this mfg's website.
The cubid 2677 power supply is in two parts, an outside-the-case transformer that takes the AC voltage from line down to 12VDC, and a printed cicruit board screwed inside the case, which trasnforms the 12VDC into the various stuff that the ATX powersupply standard requires. The transformer is a big plastic box with two long wires on it that lies outside the case, much like what I've seen on laptop AC adapters. Its like someone took a 'wall-wart' and shoved it down the line so its farther from the wall (now what, floor warts?)
The case has slits in the sides, to ventilate the air moved by the case fan. The fan is in the back right where it makes air go over the hard disk. The fan plugs into the motherboard. It is rather quiet compared to a normal old computer fan but still it is not silent.
Add a modern hard disk in the case and it becomes clear why it needs a fan: hard disks are hotter than the C3 CPU. i got an IBM 60 gig drive and ran the system without a fan for a few hours, it was very hot to the touch. I'm not saying it was too hot to touch but it was not pleasant. Turning on the fan in the case changes the heat picture completely and things are
comfortably cool with the fan on.
As for the CPU and the motherboard, they do not get very hot. The 533Mhz version is guaranteed to work without a fan, from what I have read on the web somewhere. The 'bridge' chips on the motherboard get about as hot as the CPU does from my experience. The faster CPUs, I dont know. See this discussion for more information. http://forums.silentpcreview.com/forums ... .php?t=157
In my writeup of my debian linux 3.0 on this setup I mentioned the sound had slight crackling sound problems sometimes, for instance when I did certain operations with my USB mouse. But that didn't stop me from playing Tori Amos bootlegs non stop for 10 hours at a time. I dont know if this is debian sound drivers or what, and I'm too lazy/unwilling to install pirated windows and see if it works better there.
To calculate component power consumption, I have an idea. Many electrical devices display the required voltage and amperage on their cases. For USB stuff I think its also in /proc/bus/usb/devices file in linux under MxPwr. Other items, like Hard Disks, can have it even at the manufacturers website. You can use the equation volts*amps=watts to calculate power consumption for these individual devices, then add them all together to see how much you need.
For example, my logitech USB mouse says 5V, 100mA. Thus it draws 5V*0.1A=0.5 Watts. My keyboard says 5V, 200mA. 5V*0.2A=1Watt. My hard disk is around 6 Watts I think. So thats like 0.5+1+6 = 7.5 watts that I need right there. Then there is the CPU, which I dont know, i guess 10 watts, Fan, i guess 1 watt. I could look these up but im too lazy at the moment sorry. The Cubid 2677 case says it takes 12VDC @ 4.5A , so i guess that is like 54 Watts that it can supply to the components.
I read a report about the ethernet not working on mini-itx due to power problems. Ive downloaded about 2 gigs of stuff so far with no problems yet. Then again I do not have 5 billion USB devices plugged in either.
As for putting a PCI card in here, please note that these cases are very thin, like 2-3 inches tall, so you will not have space to put a card into the eden's single PCI slot unles you use some kind of secondary daughtercard that allows you to plug the real card into it at a right angle. Even with this, you may still hit into the RAM, the ethernet/usb/etc connectors on the motherboard, or the hard disk. Even if you could get a PCI card in this case, there is no hole for it to reach the outside world.