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 Post subject: DH61AG versus more orthodox board
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:15 pm
Posts: 436
Location: Michigan
So I've got this DFI R100 industrial PC, which currently has a Pentium 4 system in it with a 1U power supply and high speed fan on the heatsink that are each about as loud as a vacuum cleaner. What I'm going to do with it is rip out all the guts and replace them with Sandy Bridge ITX board, i3-2100, and a DC/DC converter.

What brought me to the DH61AG is the onboard DC/DC converter and a useful complement of ports. (other H61 ITX boards have VGA and parallel ports, which only waste backplane space) However, I'm not sure if I could get a more efficient or cheaper or more versatile system by going with a more traditional board and a Pico-PSU. What are your thoughts? There's got to be a reason not everyone is using the DH61AG, some catch somewhere.

I don't care about upgrading to Ivy bridge, I've never been a fan of having the latest and greatest. I think I'll just bu{y|ild} a Haswell or Haswell+1 box when it comes out. So this system will be pretty much final once I build it.

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WIP Desktop: DFI R100 industrial PC case, DH61AG, i3-2100, 8GB DDR3, 500GB 2.5" HDD, Linux Mint 12
Laptop: HP tc4400, Core 2 Duo T7200, 3.5GB DDR2, 160GB Scorpio Blue, Ubuntu 11.04


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 Post subject: Re: DH61AG versus more orthodox board
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:44 pm
Posts: 332
Location: Seattle
I didn't see a power cord included on Intel's site for that board, nor did I find any images of the inside of your machine. But I did see that unless that motherboard has an unusual rear panel arrangement and is installed upsidedown, any cooler you get will have to be 1U.

Unless you get a board with an integrated CPU/APU, you'll need a VERY low profile cooler like Scythe's Kozuti: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835185167

If you'd prefer not to be restricted to 150 watts and an expensive power brick, this 250w unit is probably the quietest PSU that should fit in your machine, but may not fit because the fan is mounted on the outside. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817339004


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 Post subject: Re: DH61AG versus more orthodox board
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:15 pm
Posts: 436
Location: Michigan
Fire-Flare wrote:
I didn't see a power cord included on Intel's site for that board, nor did I find any images of the inside of your machine. But I did see that unless that motherboard has an unusual rear panel arrangement and is installed upsidedown, any cooler you get will have to be 1U.

Unless you get a board with an integrated CPU/APU, you'll need a VERY low profile cooler like Scythe's Kozuti: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835185167

If you'd prefer not to be restricted to 150 watts and an expensive power brick, this 250w unit is probably the quietest PSU that should fit in your machine, but may not fit because the fan is mounted on the outside. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817339004


Yep, I was looking at either the Kozuti or the Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP. The motherboard is mounted right side up mid-chassis with the hard drive under so CPU cooler space is indeed an issue.

Image

As far as the 250W PSU you suggest goes, it won't fit because the power supply is almost butted against the side of the motherboard. (needs to be a real 1U supply, which means 40mm screamers, which pretty much necessitates a DC/DC converter and power brick)

Image

Mini-Box sells the DH61AG board and a compatible 19V power brick, which is actually not much more expensive than 12V bricks they sell (and without the added cost of a Pico PSU). With the size of the chassis (4 litres: 22cm * 20cm * 9 cm IIRC), will I really be able to cram enough stuff in there to exceed 150W?

I guess I'm just a bit leery of the whole DH61AG thing because there must be a catch to paying $25 extra ($80 for a basic H61 ITX board vs $105 for the DH61AG) for $40 worth of DC/DC conversion circuitry.

Also, if more pics of the enclosure would be instructive, I should be able to provide them tomorrow after I visit my parents' house. (I've already dropped the box off there because I am moving out of my apartment in a week)

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WIP Desktop: DFI R100 industrial PC case, DH61AG, i3-2100, 8GB DDR3, 500GB 2.5" HDD, Linux Mint 12
Laptop: HP tc4400, Core 2 Duo T7200, 3.5GB DDR2, 160GB Scorpio Blue, Ubuntu 11.04


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 Post subject: Re: DH61AG versus more orthodox board
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:35 pm
Posts: 808
Location: Greece
Quote:
I guess I'm just a bit leery of the whole DH61AG thing because there must be a catch to paying $25 extra ($80 for a basic H61 ITX board vs $105 for the DH61AG) for $40 worth of DC/DC conversion circuitry.


This is probably because the built in dc-dc converter has a lower rating (there is no gpu slot on this motherboard so intel didn`t have to worry about providing a high power output), also because of the benefits of intergration (no need for another pcb, extra cables etc). In practice, intel motherboards tend to be quite power efficient so I would trust them in making an efficient dc-cd converter.

Overall, I think the DH61AG would be a great board for this case. It`s known to be a very efficient board, rivaling atom and brazos systems in idle power consumption. You could use a different board along with a pico psu, but after building a system with a similar slim board (D945GSEJT) I would say the built in dc-dc conv. is a great boon.

With no video card occupying the space near the cpu you should be able to fit a decent cooler like the Skythe Kozuti or AC Freezer. I think both of these would be a good match for your case since the later seems designed with top down coolers in mind.

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My PCs: Workstation : HTPC in a CD player case : Custom Mini ITX projects


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