Asus Eee Box B202: An Atom-based mini PC

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Post by MikeC » Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:58 am

Jokoto wrote:Here's a video showing the Eee 901 playing 1080p video. (It was a response to a video from VIA comparing one of their processors to the Atom, and they had the Atom mistakenly running a bit slower than it should have been.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVf3PtNF-j0

It's the Robotica clip (1080p) from Microsoft's WMV HD Content Showcase - could you test it on the Eee Box too?
Tried it. 1080p plays with about 80% dropped frames. At 1920x1200 or 800x600, even with windows desktop optimized for performance (ie no eye candy or effects at all). 720p plays fine at any setting.

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Post by mr. poopyhead » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:20 am

SPCR is famous!
http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/ ... le-09-2008

notice any traffic increase today, MikeC?

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Post by MikeC » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:34 am

mr. poopyhead wrote:SPCR is famous!
http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/ ... le-09-2008

notice any traffic increase today, MikeC?
We actually get links on many other web sites on a regular basis. Traffic is pretty steady -- there's sometimes a burst of increased traffic from new links at very high traffic sites, but it all evens out so that daily fluctuations are relatively small. Today's traffic... might a bit higher than it's been in recent days.

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Post by Beyonder » Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:25 am

Nice review. Looks like a very compelling system.

Maybe this is asking a bit much, but did you think about cracking it open and having a look at the innards? It'd be interesting to see whether or not it'd be possible to add more memory, tweak fans and heat sinks, see what sort of internal connectors existed, etc.

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Post by MikeC » Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:52 am

Beyonder wrote:Nice review. Looks like a very compelling system.

Maybe this is asking a bit much, but did you think about cracking it open and having a look at the innards? It'd be interesting to see whether or not it'd be possible to add more memory, tweak fans and heat sinks, see what sort of internal connectors existed, etc.
Spent about 20 minutes examining it. There's no easy or obvious way to open it up, Just a couple visible screws and removing them doesn't seem to change anything. There's probably some kind of friction / bayonet mounting going on but without know exactly where it's fitted together, I'd probably end up breaking it to get it open. So it's best treated as a black box -- except for the HDD, which you can easily change, like on a laptop. Asus makes no reference whatsoever about upgrades, additional RAM or anything like that in its manual. So unless someone can get a hold of the service manual or is brave enough to risk breaking it...

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Post by MikeC » Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:32 pm

Beyonder wrote:Maybe this is asking a bit much, but did you think about cracking it open and having a look at the innards?
Actually, it turns out to be feasible. With a little guidance from Asus, I used a utility knife blade and small flat head screwdrivers to carefully pry off one side cover. It's the one to the left as you oook at the "front panel". There's a metail cover over the whole innards, and a small door held on with a single screw. No time to look under the whole thing, but under the little door are two laptop dimm sticks-- 512mb SOD PC2-3200 CL3 (DDRII400 SO-D APACER). Obviously they can be replaced with bigger sticks.

Image

It's very clear that the Eee Box is really an Eee PC in a different box w/o a monitor.

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Post by kevral » Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:42 pm

How's the desktop picture quality?

I have an EEE 700, and connected (by VGA) to a secondary monitor the desktop looks pretty shabby.

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Post by Tephras » Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:40 pm

Beyonder wrote:Maybe this is asking a bit much, but did you think about cracking it open and having a look at the innards? It'd be interesting to see whether or not it'd be possible to add more memory, tweak fans and heat sinks, see what sort of internal connectors existed, etc.
ASUS Eee Box Dissected

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Post by MikeC » Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:03 pm

kevral wrote:How's the desktop picture quality?

I have an EEE 700, and connected (by VGA) to a secondary monitor the desktop looks pretty shabby.
very good. No complaints.

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Post by Jokoto » Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:27 pm

MikeC wrote:It's very clear that the Eee Box is really an Eee PC in a different box w/o a monitor.
The motherboard layout is a completely different design. The Eee PC only has one memory slot and no digital outputs compared to the two slots and DVI + S/PDIF of the Eee Box.

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Post by MikeC » Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:01 pm

Jokoto wrote:
MikeC wrote:It's very clear that the Eee Box is really an Eee PC in a different box w/o a monitor.
The motherboard layout is a completely different design. The Eee PC only has one memory slot and no digital outputs compared to the two slots and DVI + S/PDIF of the Eee Box.
OK you're right.

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Post by maf718 » Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:55 am

Thanks for the review, as informative as ever. Asus are onto a winner with this one, particularly if/when they release a model capable of decoding 1080p with a slot loading optical drive.

Am I the only one who thinks Asus' product designers took a lot of styling cues from Nintendo's Wii? The dimensions are almost the same (except slimmer due to no optical drive) and it even sits on its stand at the same jaunty angle.

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Post by ATWindsor » Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:59 am

I can't help but to think that asus could have made this computer fanless with just a little bit of work, the extremly small Dell inspiron 901 has almost nok heatsinks, and runs fanless with an stom, the chipset doesn't draw as much of course, but this box has much mor room and 11 watt is a pretty small amount to cool.

AtW

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Post by Jokoto » Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:15 am

I have the impression that the chipset actually runs a lot hotter than the Atom CPU. Too bad they don't have an equally frugal chipset to pair with an Atom in nettops and netbooks. There's of course Poulsbo, but isn't that mostly paired with the lower-power Silverthorne? Poulsbo's driver support is also not quite there yet, judging by some of the tests I've seen.

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Post by ATWindsor » Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:33 am

Jokoto wrote:I have the impression that the chipset actually runs a lot hotter than the Atom CPU. Too bad they don't have an equally frugal chipset to pair with an Atom in nettops and netbooks. There's of course Poulsbo, but isn't that mostly paired with the lower-power Silverthorne? Poulsbo's driver support is also not quite there yet, judging by some of the tests I've seen.
But still, its a measly 10 Watts, 10 watts isn't that hard to cool passivly.

AtW

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Post by Brian » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:45 pm

Thank you for the link. So it has a blower, plus one heatpipe servicing both the CPU and northbridge.

Aside from the cooling solution, there's not much to see inside. I was hoping to see the PSU, but apparently, that's soldered to the mobo just like everything else, isn't it?

@ATWindsor, you certainly can cool 20W fanlessly, but that would require a larger heatsink. I think Asus struck a reasonable balance between quiet and small, considering to whom they plan to sell the Box.

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Post by SteveRCE » Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:20 am

Relative to this thread and to anyone who has purchased an Eee Box, read the following news article:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=2016&tag=nl.e589

Mats
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Post by Mats » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:51 pm

A new model is coming, called EEE Box B206.

Intel Atom N270
ATI Radeon HD 3450, 256 MB RAM, HDMI
36 W power adapter

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Post by dougz » Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:33 pm


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Re: Asus Eee Box B202: An Atom-based mini PC

Post by Tibors » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:19 pm

A while ago I bought an Asus Eee Box B202. Sometime later I swapped the 160GB harddrive for an OCZ Vertex 32GB SSD. And now finally I made it almost completely silent by using something better than Q-fan to control the fan: lm-sensors

In Debian/Ubuntu they split lm-sensors into several packages:

Code: Select all

# apt-get install lm-sensors fancontrol
When I let the system idle and set the fan at full speed, then the temperature sensor in the CPU registers 12ᵒC below room temperature. So in my configuration file I add 12 to the value of that sensor. I also find the reported fan speeds hard to believe, so I divide them by two. Lastly I'm not interested in voltages, speed of fans that are not there and temperatures that go down when I stress the system. The resulting file (/etc/sensors.d/B202.conf) contains:

Code: Select all

chip "coretemp-*"
    compute temp2 @+12 , @-12

chip "w83627dhg-*"

    ignore in0
    ignore in1
    ignore in2
    ignore in3
    ignore in4
    ignore in5
    ignore in6
    ignore in7
    ignore in8

    ignore fan1
    label fan2 "Fan"
    ignore fan3
    ignore fan4
    ignore fan5

    set fan2_min 1000
    compute fan2 @/2 , 2*@

    ignore temp3
    ignore cpu0_vid
More interesting are the settings for the fan controller (/etc/fancontrol) I use:

Code: Select all

INTERVAL=5
DEVPATH=hwmon0=devices/platform/coretemp.0 hwmon1=devices/platform/w83627ehf.656
DEVNAME=hwmon0=coretemp hwmon1=w83627dhg
FCTEMPS=hwmon1/device/pwm2=hwmon0/device/temp2_input
FCFANS= hwmon1/device/pwm2=hwmon1/device/fan2_input
MINTEMP=hwmon1/device/pwm2=20
MAXTEMP=hwmon1/device/pwm2=50
MINSTART=hwmon1/device/pwm2=80
MINSTOP=hwmon1/device/pwm2=80
MINPWM=hwmon1/device/pwm2=80
Now I can only hear the fan (from my normal siting position) very late at night. Note however that I use this system only for web browsing, e-mailing and simple text editing.

Code: Select all

martijn@surfbox:~$ sensors
coretemp-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 0:       +35.0°C  (high = +82.0°C, crit = +102.0°C)

w83627dhg-isa-0290
Adapter: ISA adapter
Fan:         1250 RPM  (min = 1004 RPM, div = 4)
temp1:        +46.0°C  (high = +70.0°C, hyst = +34.0°C)  sensor = thermistor
temp2:        +56.5°C  (high = +80.0°C, hyst = +75.0°C)  sensor = diode

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