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 Post subject: Power specifications of onboard 90w onboard?
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 5:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:42 am
Posts: 15
Location: UK
Hi all, been ages since I have been around (recently married, which takes a fair chunk of hobby time) but finally got some new hardware to play with and I'm looking to build myself an HTPC.

I have chosen the Asus AT3IONT-I Deluxe, which comes with an onboard DC converter and an external 90w ac adapter. Unfortunately I can't find ANY mention of the power specs. If anyone has or knows specifically about this board then great, but I'm sure it won't be disimilar from other 90w onboard PSUs.

Stuff that would be useful to know:
a) Physically what power connections will I have to connect up SATA devices?

b) What is the maximum number of SATA devices that I can run off this PSU without overloading it?

I'm not needing hundreds of drives but I will initially have a 5.25" (not laptop slimline) Blu-ray ROM/DVD-RW drive and a 640Gb 2.5" Samsung HD (regular, not Solid state). However, I would like to be able to add at least one more drive for more storage, preferably a 3.5" Samsung 2Tb. Will the 90w onboard supply be up to the task? Does anyone happen to know the power draw of 5.25" blu-ray, 2.5" HD and 3.5" HD?

Looking at the pictures of the board it appears to only have a single molex to run a splitter from. A molex to 2 sata would no doubt be fine but could I do 1 molex to 4 sata? (possibly via a 1->2molex splitter if you can't purchase a 1 molex to 3 or 4 sata).

Thanks in advance. ;)

Neil


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 Post subject: What I know.
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 7:51 am 
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 7:00 am
Posts: 21
Location: Utah
I just bought an AT3IONT-I Deluxe a week ago for a new build. I'm still putting the machine together. I've had a lot of problems with the build, but I'll tell you what I know, and maybe someone can give advice on the problems I'm having.

The board has a molex connector, with pins, not holes. (I think this is unusual.)
It comes with a cable that attaches to the molex, and has 3 SATA power connectors. I hope to get four SATA drives working, so I bought a SATA power splitter. (I bought this board because it has four SATA data ports.)
The molex splitters I've seen won't work because the board has pins, not holes.

I don't have the machine in front of me now, so I'll post the stats on the bottom of the power brick tonight.

My drives are an Onyx SSD, a full size Optiarc DVD drive (noisy monster), and two Western Digital Scorpio Blue 2.5" drives.

It's all squeezed in a Morex 6610 case, with one Scythe slipstream 120mm 800 rpm on top. The board's BIOS has an option called 'q-fan', which I use to run the fan at around 580 rpm. It's nice. When the two notebook drives spin down I can't hear a thing unless I stick my ear on the case. It's seriously quiet.

The bad news is, I can't get it to work. :?
Windows XP freezes, and I got one error running memtest86 overnight.
Linux runs fine though...

I have two ideas:
The Onyx has some new firmware, which I just flashed to the drive last night. I had to erase the drive to do it, and so I'll have to reinstall my OSs later. I think it might fix the freezing, but I don't think it would account for the error in memtest.

Power may be an issue. It just occurred to me today that I got the one error in memtest while all four drives were plugged in, but it ran fine after I removed them. It could just be coincidence. I'll investigate that tonight as well. The AT3IONT-I uses DDR3 RAM. I'm using some rated at 1.35v (G.Skill ECO). The board lets me set the voltage that low, but it might be more stable at another voltage. I'll try that too.

I'm pretty sure that heat _isn't_ an issue. The cpu hasn't ever gone above 35c, and the case is full of holes.

Sorry to ramble.
I hope I answered part of your question, I'll find the stats on the power brick for you later.
If anyone has any ideas about this I'd love to hear it.

Thanks! :)
Matthew


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 10:46 am 
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 7:00 am
Posts: 21
Location: Utah
I found another clue for you.
Someone on the xbmc forums has one of these boards attached to four SATA drives with no problems. "...one 2TB, one 1.5TB and two 1TB..." he says. So, they sound like 3.5" drives.

Sorry, I'm new here and can't post links. You can search google for "at3iont-i xbmc" and the thread is the first result. The post I read is on page 4.

He had to use a power splitter to add the fourth drive, like I did.

No progress on my glitches yet.

Matthew


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:42 am
Posts: 15
Location: UK
Sorry, started replying to this at work and then got distracted by having to do work. Anyway, thanks for the replies.

Okay, the molex is correct, it's a molex out, like from a psu, rather than a molex in for a drive. Are you sure that you have molex to sata rather than sata to molex? I was going to use a y splitter for 1 molex to 2 molex and then 2 splitters for 1 molex to 2 sata.

Having read a few things about drives now, 2.5" drives use 5v but 3.5" use 12v and a small amount of 5v. It is probably 6A for 5v and 6A for 12v.

Sounds like your issues might be memory related but XP wasn't designed for SSDs so if this is the first time you have installed XP on the SSD look up the fixes. Q-fan is awesome, I try to always get Asus boards. It makes most fans turn right down and make hardly any noise.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:24 am 
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 7:00 am
Posts: 21
Location: Utah
The power brick didn't have much information on it. It just said 19v at 4.47A, which is 90 watts, which you already knew.

Quote:
Okay, the molex is correct, it's a molex out, like from a psu, rather than a molex in for a drive.

It's odd. I'll try to explain again. The motherboard supplies the power, but the connector on the board doesn't look like the connector that would be on a power supply. It has pins like a drive.

Here's a scan from the manual:
Image

The cable in the right of the picture comes with the board. Each of the three connectors on the right can plug into a SATA drive.
I wanted four drives, so I got a splitter that takes one SATA power connector, and turns it into two.
It was this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812198015

Quote:
Are you sure that you have molex to sata rather than sata to molex?

I always get those mixed up. :oops:
Hopefully the pictures make it clear.

I swapped out the parts in my machine that I think weren't working.
It still has the DVD drive and three 2.5" drives, and I haven't had any trouble with it yet.

I think I need to use it for a few more days before I give it my stamp of approval. I'm going to see if I can borrow a Watt meter too.

I hope that helps.
Matthew


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 9:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:42 am
Posts: 15
Location: UK
Ahh, yep, I see what you mean. I just found a molex to 2 sata splitter on my desk and it looks the same as the molex on the board, so wouldn;t plug into it. Still, if there wasn't a cable available for it I'm sure it would be pretty easy to buy a couple of cables and swap the various plugs on them to get what it would need. The 3 sata on the adapter that it comes with should be fine for me since my case doesn't have room for that many drives (well, I could maybe fit 2x2.5" into the space of the 3.5" but no point since I would probably put a 2TB 3.5" in there and the biggest 2.5" are only 1TB anyway... and much more expensive.

So was memory the issue in the end? I will initially be putting an old copy of vista ultimate that I don't use until I can get a copy of windows 7, but may try out linux in the meantime to see whether that can do what I want. Never actually tried installing linux before but I like the idea of a) free and b) lower resource usage. Still, apparently media centre is pretty nice. Have you tried home theatre gate that comes with the asus board?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 8:17 am 
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 7:00 am
Posts: 21
Location: Utah
I think the problem was the firmware on the SSD. The system doesn't freeze if I boot from a different disk, or from the SSD since I put the new firmware on it.

Still, I can't figure out why memtest gave me that one error. I've run memtest overnight three times since then and haven't seen any other errors. Maybe cosmic rays did it. I don't know. Anyway, it's working now so I'm not going to worry about it.

Linux is nice, for the reasons you mention, but it can be tricky. I think the best way to try it out would be to have a friend show you what it can do, or help you set it up the way you want. Another way would be to look on youtube for 'how to' videos, or videos of people showing off their HTPCs. XBMC is a popular version for playing movies on boards like this, so that would be something to search for. (I don't use it myself though.)

I haven't tried home theater gate. I have some software for Windows called 'media player classic' (which is free) that I'm trying out right now.

Matthew


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 12:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:42 am
Posts: 15
Location: UK
All of my hardware has arrived and is setup. Got an In Win BM648 case, which I'm quite liking, although it is a little bigger than I expected (was assuming it would be tiny but it's still pretty decently small). I like that I can fit in a full-size optical drive, though, which reduced the cost and should improve reliability and longevbity of my blu-ray drive over a laptop version.

Most of my issues have been with Vista, which I never liked, so hoping that I can get a new copy of Windows 7 to solve that. Generally it is looking good (particularly after adding a 2Gb usb stick for readyboost to add a bit of responsiveness, but I should really up from 2Gb to 4Gb of ram). I'm trying out home theatre vs. media centre at the moment. I am hoping that there will be something that is nice to use with a remote but which gives decent access to the main things that I will be wanting to use on it, which includes DVDs, Blu-ray, video files, CD and mp3 music. I don't need a TV add-on, unlike most people. Still, I might find myself just using my wireless keyboard w. touchpad and accessing stuff like i would on any other PC. I should receive my first blu-ray series soon so can actually test the blu-ray setup.

The motherboard is looking nice and running well so far. HDMI includes audio signal along with video, which I wasn't expecting from a PC setup. Nice but actually not needed, since my audio goes to my logitech z5500 via the optical toslink output (I highly recommend the z5500 to anyone wanting some good 5.1 audio options, including built-in DTS decoding, without spending crazy money).

I need to find out how to change the remote's button settings, because if I prefer media centre to home theatre gate (undecided so far) I will want the buttons to relate to media centre instead. Overall I am very pleased with my setup, but media centre seems a bit finicky with video codecs. I have found some information about updating it with suitable 64bit codecs (I always try to use 64 bit OS if possible) so hopefully that should sort out my issues with it not playing various video formats.

Overall very pleased with the motherboard. Running a single 2.5" and an optical drive with no problems at all and the ac adapter isn't even getting warm so i should be able to add at least another 3.5" (might end up with a small SSD for the OS and then a 3.5" and 2.5", but I will need somewhere to mount the SSD in the case. Should be room, since I was able to remove the PSU due to the built-in power on the motherboard).

I'll hold off on linux for the moment, unless I can't get a copy of Windows 7 and Vista starts to really wind me up. I do have at least one mate that I know uses it, so will get his help if I go down that route. Still, it would limit use of a few apps that I will want, as well as the occasional game (I like pretty low-spec games, so should be able to run a few of them. Anything it can't manage will stay on my main PC.

I wouldn't worry about the memtest error: memory often has the odd error, most of which are handled without you even noticing. If you start to get a lot of blue screens or similar glitches then remember that error and try some more testing.

Thanks for all of your help. :)


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