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 Post subject: Upgrading a Tranquil T2e VIA system
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:20 am 
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A long time ago I bought a T2e with a VIA ME6000 board. Unfortunately the motherboard died and so I'm looking for a more modern motherboard to replace it.

I sent a note off to Tranquil PC and they were nice enough to reply very quickly. Unfortunately they recommended not upgrading the motherboard due to potential thermal and power problems. (Sounds like a challenge to me ;-))

Looking at the way the heatsinks attach, I don't think the Intel Atom board will work, but it looks like most modern VIA boards will. Has anyone upgraded one of these?

The case is too beautiful to not use.


Last edited by nmuntz on Thu May 28, 2009 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:01 pm 
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Post some photos of the interior and let the not-so-silent hordes chime in. :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:25 pm 
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Hi res: http://rednerd.com/forums/spcr/

The heat sink that goes right on the cpu and NB is held on by those two flimsy plastic push pins, but it seems to work for the lowly 600MHz cpu.

Image

Image


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 Post subject: seems like standard via
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:38 pm 
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It seems like a standard via itx motherboard type configuration, you can probably find something similar with a c7N or a better processor. Check logicsupply.com, they probably have a board that can swap in. Wouldn't worry too much about power, I have a c7n board and it burns about 35W at load. I'm not really sure what the case was designed to take, but it looks fairly robust. Does that pushpin panel thing slide back and forth at all? That would make things simpler. Finding the same kind of push pin connector might be hard, but a few boards I've seen from via have the same kind of mechanism. You may have to just connect one or two and fake the other ones. I've had luck connecting a north bridge cooler on my own via c7 board, so these things can be done, it just may take a little doing. I'd look for something with bigger holes, then you might be able to find some kind of bracket with long holes made for different kinds of boards and clamp it down in some way. Although it does remind me, I have an old via 600Mhz itx board someplace, I stopped using it when I replaced it with the c7, I wonder if it would fit.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:21 pm 
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That black metal piece clamps the heatpipes in place, and the plastic pins/springs holds it against the CPU and chip, right? Is there a bottom piece too? I am guessing that the top and bottom pieces both have half-cylindrical grooves for the heatpipes. It looks to me like the side condenser side (the clamps against the side heatsink) allow the heatpipes to be moved a bit, which means the position of the CPU doesn't have to be exactly where it is on the original board.

I think it would be possible to try a board other than VIA if you have mechanical skills. AM2 or 775 boards have much more substantial heatsink mounting holes that could be used with DIY hardware to clamp the heatpipes to the CPU. It's just a matter of finding a board with the right CPU placement -- and a cool enough CPU. Of course, the NB chip could be an issue, depends how hot it runs, whether your existing heatpipes can cool it, whether the stock heatsink on it is big enough to leave alone...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:52 pm 
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Quote:
Does that pushpin panel thing slide back and forth at all?


Yes, as MikeC noticed, there is some leeway there.

Quote:
That black metal piece clamps the heatpipes in place, and the plastic pins/springs holds it against the CPU and chip, right? Is there a bottom piece too? I am guessing that the top and bottom pieces both have half-cylindrical grooves for the heatpipes.


Correct. The four screws hold the plates together.

I think I could make this unit work with basically any mini-itx board that doesn't have capacitors in the wrong place (most Jetway boards). Worst case scenario is I drill out the plate to make new holes to secure it to the mobo properly. Even on the condenser side, I could drill out the plates that secure the heat pipe to the larger heatsink if the CPU and NB placement is quite different.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:29 pm 
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Seems to me you could consider the Zotac Ion board. Placement of the CPU and chip isn't that far off and neither is the power/thermal profile. If the power adapter and DC/DC board (it has one, right?) are decent, keep it and reuse it with the Zotac Ion itx B. If not, get the Zotac ion itx A w/power adapter and 12VDC input on the i/o panel. We have an A version in the lab now. V. nice.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading a Tranquil T2e VIA system
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:17 pm 
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Hi,

Did you complete your T2e upgrade project? I've got a Tranquil T2e that I'd like to upgrade to use as a media center and I'm not sure what motherboard I should/could use. I'd welcome any tips you might have about what I should do. Many thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading a Tranquil T2e VIA system
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:27 pm 
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MikeC, I would also be interested to know if you completed your T2e conversion. I have just bought a little used zotac ionitx-c-u single core atom board and would really like to reuse my T2e case and power supply. The T2e has a VIA EPIA SP13000 in it at the moment, but that can't handle HD video. The zotac is supposedly passively cooled, but in the brief run up I gave it on the bench using an XBMC live CD the heatsink got uncomfortably hot.

I can't help thinking that that massive alloy block on the side of the T2e case would do a far better job if only the heat block can be made to fit the Atom board.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading a Tranquil T2e VIA system
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:17 pm 
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ChchKiwis wrote:
MikeC, I would also be interested to know if you completed your T2e conversion.

Never had or even held one in my hands. I contributed to this thread because I know about it -- and other similar systems -- and I too would be interested to know what the OP and others w/ the Tranquil systems have done.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading a Tranquil T2e VIA system
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:13 pm 
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Apologies, yes I see you were not the OP.

If I get brave enough to start pulling apart two working machines to build one more capable but much quieter one, I will update you on how it went.

In the meantime, I do hope someone has tried this and can share their experiences.


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