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AOpen i915GMm-HFS

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Deep-Blue 23rd August 2005, 15:24 Quote
Personally i like the idea of a Pentium M based rig. I could go an purchase a passivly cooled 6600, a Samsung silent hard disk, and nice Asus silent optical drive, and a SMALL matx chassis, and have a very quiet, very powerful, and yet very small machine!

If you could fill the 2x DDR2 slots with 2x 1Gb 533Mhz DDR2 sticks, and a low profile GeForce 6200 Turbocache low profile card in the 16x slot, you could use even less power, still have decent gaming, and have a brilliant all rounder.

All that is really needed, is for a few more mobo manufacturers to produce boards (competition is goooood), and for Intel to reduce the price of Pentium M to a reasonable price.

Once thing i did notice though. Nothing was mentioned about Celeron M support. Do we know if it will take a CM?

Edit: ebuyer.co.uk has Celeron M starting at £104 inc VAT. If the board supports Celeron M, i may just have to look into this gear for a small linux box.

Deep Blue
The_Pope 23rd August 2005, 15:30 Quote
Yep - sounds like you're the kind of enthusiast that AOpen are targeting with this board :)
Bindibadgi 23rd August 2005, 15:35 Quote
6200 decent gaming?? There's little point of DDR2 gig sticks, when you could buy two gig sticks of PC3200 and they would run at low latency DDR333 with virtually no performance loss and you'd save money too.

It supports any Pentium M, inc Celeron.

The P-Ms are damn nice CPUs, if you wanna only game or only use it as a media centre. As a core PC i'd go P4 everytime (if you are an Intel fan).
The_Pope 23rd August 2005, 15:38 Quote
I personally prefer "fast enough" and as quiet as possible. Pentium M is perfect for that. What exactly do either of you need 2GB of RAM for btw? If you're gaming, then Battlefield 2 and that's almost it, but any mention of a 6200 kills that idea.

2 x 512MB is plenty for Media Center (note the correct spelling Bindi!)
mclean007 23rd August 2005, 15:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Pope
2 x 512MB is plenty for Media Center (note the correct spelling Bindi!)
Cheeky! I say it's Windows Media Center Edition (that being the spelling of the trademarked software name, effectively a proper noun), but referring to an HCPC (Home Cinema PC - who has a theatre in their house? That's just silly, unless you want a private performance of Macbeth) I would call it a media centre (that being the correct way to spell the word!)
:D
Bindibadgi 23rd August 2005, 15:59 Quote
You and you're frikkin Americanisms.

Centre is spelt "RE" in proper oxford-english :P If we're talking trade marks, sure it's the other way around but you'll be walking over my cold dead body before i willingly do it though. Along with spelling sulphur with an "f".

If you're running a Turbo Cache then you want extra ram, but seeing as it's single channel DDR anyway you might as well buy a gig and a 512meg stick.

Noise: depends what you're used to really; you cant put a huge heatsink on the Pentium Ms which is unfortunate but you can run them virtually passively!
Tim S 23rd August 2005, 16:19 Quote
Media Center PC's are all about silence - I'd be pissed off if there was anything remotely noisy in my MCPC - Wil's has a fan that moves, and that'd annoy me sufficiently. :)

I'm thinking of building one at some point - I'll be passively watercooling it I think. I may even go so far as to get an i-RAM and then have my hard drive array in another room.
mclean007 23rd August 2005, 16:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigz
I'm thinking of building one at some point - I'll be passively watercooling it I think.
Zalman Reserator?
Quote:
I may even go so far as to get an i-RAM and then have my hard drive array in another room.
Extreme silence bigz! How about running a Linux box with MythTV front-end and booting it over ethernet, with your disk array on a back-end server in a different room? Saves on the i-RAM, plus it's pretty cool (to geeks anyway!)
Tim S 23rd August 2005, 16:34 Quote
I've got a lot of watercooling kit already lined up, but I might consider trying to use a reserator tank in the loop rather than a more conventional radiator. The only problem is that the pump can rattle in there, so that would have to be replaced with something else.
Bindibadgi 23rd August 2005, 16:41 Quote
You'd have to build a custom hold down though, good luck on that :P
Tim S 23rd August 2005, 16:43 Quote
I wasn't planning on using this board...
Bindibadgi 23rd August 2005, 16:46 Quote
Most pentium Ms have a custom hold down though, unless you're going Asus P4P/C + CT479.
The_Pope 23rd August 2005, 16:52 Quote
mclean007 is spot on. Media Center is software for a media centre ;)

For the sake of clarity, I use HTPC if I want to talk about the generic group, otherwise specifically Media Center if referring to Microsoft Windows MCE.
Kipman725 23rd August 2005, 17:08 Quote
great idea but why the custom heatsink! this would work great with a heatsink like the xp-120 running passivly.

Infact I would be ordering one now if ti wasn't for the stupid heatsink...
Bindibadgi 23rd August 2005, 17:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Pope
mclean007 is spot on. Media Center is software for a media centre ;)

For the sake of clarity, I use HTPC if I want to talk about the generic group, otherwise specifically Media Center if referring to Microsoft Windows MCE.

Fair enough. I just used media centre as a generic term and Windows Media Center as the trademark then.

There's very little space on the board, and so having a full P4 mount would take up too much space.
Highland3r 23rd August 2005, 18:25 Quote
Nice review guys, looking forward to a Pentium M based shuttle...
Any chance someone can PM/email or whatever me details of the tests you ran (compression/encoding etc) on this system... Would'nt mind running through some tests with Dual Channel and a little more on the FSB front just too show/see how much of a difference these really make to the M's.
charl3s_fatal1ty 23rd August 2005, 18:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
You and you're frikkin Americanisms.

Centre is spelt "RE" in proper oxford-english :P If we're talking trade marks, sure it's the other way around but you'll be walking over my cold dead body before i willingly do it though. Along with spelling sulphur with an "f".

lol. go bindi!! :)

looks pretty nice for a media centre PC but as you say, I'd got with an Athlon 64 or X2 for really demanding stuff like games
Bindibadgi 23rd August 2005, 19:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highland3r
Nice review guys, looking forward to a Pentium M based shuttle...
Any chance someone can PM/email or whatever me details of the tests you ran (compression/encoding etc) on this system... Would'nt mind running through some tests with Dual Channel and a little more on the FSB front just too show/see how much of a difference these really make to the M's.

AutoGK 1.96, custom sized Dr.Who mpeg2 recording from freeview, about 15 mins of one of the episodes. I basically set it to auto and 174meg xvid output and it does the same thing every time.
MP3 Encoding is using DBPowerAMP, copying to wave first off moby-play CD then trancoding it into mp3 using the standard lame encoder.
HD WMV is the T2 clip off the MS website.
Hackjedi 23rd August 2005, 21:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep-Blue
Personally i like the idea of a Pentium M based rig. I could go an purchase a passivly cooled 6600, a Samsung silent hard disk, and nice Asus silent optical drive, and a SMALL matx chassis, and have a very quiet, very powerful, and yet very small machine!

If you could fill the 2x DDR2 slots with 2x 1Gb 533Mhz DDR2 sticks, and a low profile GeForce 6200 Turbocache low profile card in the 16x slot, you could use even less power, still have decent gaming, and have a brilliant all rounder.

All that is really needed, is for a few more mobo manufacturers to produce boards (competition is goooood), and for Intel to reduce the price of Pentium M to a reasonable price.

Once thing i did notice though. Nothing was mentioned about Celeron M support. Do we know if it will take a CM?

Edit: ebuyer.co.uk has Celeron M starting at £104 inc VAT. If the board supports Celeron M, i may just have to look into this gear for a small linux box.

Deep Blue


you must be working at the shop I visited this afternoon. A well known shop here in the Netherlands sells a high end game system and on the display it said:

"The best gaming experience with the new 6200 turbocatch"


L(*)L
Tim S 23rd August 2005, 21:28 Quote
TurboCatch, I love it :D
FIBRE+ 24th August 2005, 02:45 Quote
Good article, I was sold on it untill I got to the problems. Still interested, but I think we need to let them faff around with them a bit more, and wait until there is some more rivalry so prices go down and quality/reliability goes up. I think mobile technology will be pretty big in desktops for 2006, especially for HTPC.

They couldve have gone for a heatpipe setup (for cpu) like on the some of the Abit mobos where it sits over the the conections on the rear. http://www2.abit.com.tw/page/uk/motherboard/motherboard_detail.php?pMODEL_NAME=AW8-MAX&fMTYPE=LGA775

Probably wouldnt be that good in reality tho.
The_Pope 24th August 2005, 04:00 Quote
Surely the reason for the unique heatsink is that there IS no standard heatsink for Pentium M, because they are normally buried inside laptops! Having taken the fish out of water, you can't really expect to just slap on your favourite oversize cooler, especially in a space-limited layout like MATX.
Bindibadgi 24th August 2005, 11:53 Quote
Yea, that's the whole idea - noone sells a pentium M heatsink. I dont see why they couldnt make the holes P4 size, then just insist on users ONLY mounting heatsinks that use the holes because it'll make sure that there's contact with the CPU surface. They could then provide a heatsink that's larger, but lower profile than they currently supply and use a bigger/quieter fan with it.
I dont see why the end user shouldnt be able to slap on their oversized cooler - surely the whole point of building your own is about CHOICE. If you want a big, Silverstone case then you have the space to do it, otherwise you can buy a much smaller heatsink or even have the mounting holes compatible with a silent, low profile watercooling solution.
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