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 Post subject: quiet & small pc. Epia or Soltek barebone ?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2004 6:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:04 am
Posts: 12
Location: The Netherlands
I am looking for a small, very quiet system. Primary function will be running a program that controls a infrared transmitter ( see www.irtrans.de ) . I am mobility impaired and I use the ir-transmitter to control all my equipment like TV, 2 VCR'S, DVD, SET-TOP BOX, A/V-RECEIVER. Currently i use a silent midi sized pc , but i still hear it's fans when there is no sound on tv or dvd.

So i need a very quiet computer. I narrowed my choices to:
1. Soltek eq3401 barebone. It is supposed to be even quieter than the Shuttle Zen. This is a allround pc with update possibilities. Not limited to small tasks. Main question: will it be quiet enough for me ?

2. An epia1000 based system with no fans. Choices: Mappit(recently reviewed here). Lex Neo (see http://www.lex.com.tw) , Scythe fanless casing (see http://www.scythe-usa.com/ ).
The Mappit is very quiet and very costly. The Neo is very new and a little cheaper than the mappit. I would really like to see some reviews or comments on the Neo. The Scythe fanless case is also very new.
These epia systems are all adequate for simple tasks but are otherwise very limited. Not updateable. I would really like a dvi-i output on these epia systems. I read the Neo has optional LVDS headers.??
Main questions: will these systems be quick enough for my needs (quick response times, fast usb transfer) ?. How big a lcd can i use concerning resolution and picture quality ? How to get DVI output ?

Do you have any suggestions or answers ?

Henk


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:16 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Yorkshire - England
An EPIA M1000 is more than adequate for most day to day tasks & will happily run WinXP with 256Mb of RAM.

Haven't got my Neo sample yet - but I expect it to be ever better than the passive LEX Light systems - spookily quiet!

I have a Scythe passive cooled EPIA M10000 also. I was sceptical at first - it's fiddly to assemble the heatlane, but it does work.
Running with the CPU @ 100% and stressing the graphics & RAM for 6 hours in a 20'c ambient resulted in a CPU temp of 72'c & a case temp of 32'c.
It is also spookily quiet!

The Hush is also very quiet, but unfortuanately, is thermally compromised. The whole internals heat up & help to derate the already mediocre Morex DC PSU, causing instability & intermittant NIC problems.
A superbly engineered, but flawed product.

Then there's the Tranquil - which has no where near the quality of the Hush & early samples had major problems with build quality. This resulted in the CPU cooler becoming detatched from the CPU.

You name an SFF system & I've had one in my hands, built & fiddled with it!

Which is my favourite?
Well it has to goto the Neo - I liked this when I first clapped eyes on it at Computex. (I'm a big LEX fan anyway).

We hope to have a passively cooled 1.6GHz PentiumM solution coming along real soon - I am really excited about this!!

:)


Cheers

Nigel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:04 am
Posts: 12
Location: The Netherlands
The Lex Neo seems to be an own development of Lex and not a VIA EPIA. I didn't find any reviews of it yet because it isn't sold anywhere. I will have to wait for some weeks. Hopefully Ultim8pc will write a in depth review of the Neo ;-) The only trouble with it is that it has only 2 usb2 ports (and no optical drive option). How is Lex with driver and bios support ?

Why isn't there a somewhat bigger case with external power block (fanless) and passive cooling on the processor ? These cramped small cases lead to bad expandability (no pci slots) and strange mounting of hard discs and cdrom drives.

I have read Zalman has announced a passive cpu cooler for the via c3. Probably won't fit in a small case.

The Tranquilpc line has a pci slot, optical drive and 4 usb ports. A real shame that it's build quality is below standard. It would have been perfect for me.

Thank you,

Henk
hlinde at euronet.nl


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 Post subject: Expandability and A4F
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 5:59 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Brisbane, Australia
hlinde wrote:
Why isn't there a somewhat bigger case with external power block (fanless) and passive cooling on the processor ? These cramped small cases lead to bad expandability (no pci slots) and strange mounting of hard discs and cdrom drives.


Well our Mappit A4F 19-1HE is a rackmountable version whch has one available PCI slot, a standard 5.25" CD/DVD-Drive of your choice and a standard 3.5" harddrive (up to 250GB). For people that need more capacity and fast HDDs we could equip the A4F 19-1HE with a 2 channel SATA RAID Controller and 2 SATA HDDs, but that version would have to go without a CD-Drive, as the 2nd HDD is built into that space.
The A4F also got 4 USB and 2 Firewire connectors.

Regards,


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 3:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:04 am
Posts: 12
Location: The Netherlands
Yes , I know of the Mappit. It's on my list. But it's price (819 Euro for the m10000) is a bit on the high end of the price range of these systems. The rackmountable version is 100 Euro's ( 125 us$) above the 'normal' Mappit.
The Neo will be around 700 Euro's with hard disc and and 512mb memory.

@ Ultim8pc: I overlooked your remark on the passively cooled pentiumM in your last post. That will be a solid performer. Will the price be a lot higher than the various epia systems ? The passivly cooled intel systems I have found (Hush atx and FutureDesign) are a lot more expensive than the epia's.
What's the name of this board ?

Henk
hlinde at euronet.nl


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 7:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:16 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Yorkshire - England
The passively cooled PentiumM solution, will be based on the Commell LV671 motherboard.
It's price will be high due to the cost of producing the heavyweight all aluminium case, the price of the mobo, custom passive CPU cooler & the PentiumM CPU itself.

LEX's BIOS & driver support, is in my experience, very good. Their own website leaves somewhat lacking.

Nigel


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