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Hardware Browser

June 3, 2003
Grounding a Cubid 26xx case

May 23, 2003
DivX 3 on XCards

March 12, 2003
EPIA Overclocking

March 4, 2003
EPIA Digital 5.1 Audio

EPIA 800 IR on COM

EPIA Video/Audio to SCART

January 26, 2003
Chyang Fun E-Note Review

January 6, 2003
EPIA M BIOS

January 4, 2003
Lian Li PC-402A Review

December 18, 2002
Morex Cubid 2699 due in 2003

November 13, 2002
FIR/CIR info

November 4, 2002
Netbox Cubit Review

October 26, 2002
Mini-ITX BIOS updated

October 17, 2002
Netbox launch the "CUBIT"

October 12, 2002
Jetway B860T Review

October 9, 2002
RealMagic XCard Review

October 8, 2002
EPIA-M Specifications

October 6, 2002
New cases from Casetek

Mini-ITX BIOS update

October 3, 2002
Morex Cubid 2688R Review

September 24, 2002
More EPIA-M pix

September 18, 2002
EPIA-M spy pic

September 17, 2002
EPIA-M - more details

August 30, 2002
EPIA M to debut in October

August 28, 2002
Lucky Star's LIVE 2000F

FAQ update

August 27, 2002
Mini-ITX BIOS updated

August 22, 2002
Chyang Fun!

August 21, 2002
Bona announces LIGHT barebones system

August 17, 2002
Morex Cubid 2677R Review

August 15, 2002
Mini-ITX BIOS updated

Why the CNPS6100-AlCu won't fit an EPIA 800

Suppliers and Cases lists updated

August 9, 2002
G-Alantic 610i Review

August 8, 2002
Morex add 2688 case to range

July 25, 2002
PowerLCD goes Final

July 21, 2002
Connecting 2 additional USB ports to VIA EPIA MBs

July 12, 2002
Mini-ITX BIOS updated

July 9, 2002
Mini-ITX suppliers list updated

July 3, 2002
Lucky Star enter Mini-ITX market

June 28, 2002
SilentPCReview Survey

Mini-ITX suppliers list moved

June 24, 2002
Traverse MicroServa 500

June 22, 2002
ZM-NB32J & EPIA-800 mod - Zalman speaks

June 19, 2002
G-Alantic gears up for mass production

June 14, 2002
Mini-ITX manual, diagrams and a new mainboard specification white paper

June 10, 2002
Mini-ITX cases thin on the ground, future looks promising

Cubit 2677

QBox/Checkercube


EPIA Driver Download Locations
Posted on August 31, 2006

And you thought we never updated this page.

EPIA PX download
EPIA EX download
EPIA NL download
EPIA N download
EPIA EK download
EPIA CN download
EPIA EN download
EPIA SP download
EPIA ML download
EPIA M II download
EPIA M download
EPIAdownload
EPIA VT-310DPdownload
EPIA PDdownload
EPIA Vdownload
EPIA MSdownload
EPIA TCdownload
EPIA CLdownload

Grounding a Cubid 26xx Case
Posted on June 3, 2003

Many sporadic issues with early Cubid 26xx cases and EPIA motherboards can be solved by grounding the motherboard to the case. Problems can manifest themselves as strange LAN behaviour and booting problems, and seem to occur more often with EPIA M boards. The fix is simple and painless, achievable with just a piece of wire and a screwdriver. Make sure your computer is unplugged from the mains when you do this.

1) Cut a 15cm piece of wire
2) Wind wire round the motherboard screw nearest the PS2 connector, then re-tighten the screw
3) Wind the other end round the screw that attaches the Slimline CD bay to the case, then re-tighten

Sigma XCards now support Divx 3
Posted on May 23, 2003

The REALmagic Xcard from Sigma Designs is a good way of playing back DivX and DVD content on an earlier EPIA. Their original shortcoming has been fixed - the latest driver now supports DivX 3.xx content.

Sigma Designs Downloads Page

Overclocking an EPIA
Posted on March 12, 2003

Here's how to do it safely in software. It works with the EPIA M too.

Step by Step: EPIA 5.1 Digital Audio
Posted on March 4, 2003

The EPIA 5000 and 800 motherboards come with a dual purpose RCA Out and S/PDIF socket which can be used to play AC3 5.1 digital audio to a standard Dolby Digital amplifier. Increasingly, DivX and XviD encoded content is provided with AC3 sound. Here's how to get digital sound out of those DivXes and into your amplifier using just a standard phono cable.

How to play AC3 5.1 Digital Audio on a standard EPIA

EPIA 800 Serial Port IR Receiver
Posted on March 4, 2003

EPIA 800 Serial Port IR Receiver
click for larger image

EPIA Video/Audio Out to SCART Socket

EPIA Video/Audio Out to SCART Socket
click for larger image

Tobias Faust sent us these helpful diagrams - one for an IR receiver that connects to the EPIA 800 serial port, and another showing how to connect an EPIA to a standard SCART Socket. Astute readers will remember that back in July he showed us how to connect extra USB ports to the non-standard EPIA headers. Thanks Tobias!

Chyang Fun E-Note Review
Posted on January 26, 2003

Chyang Fun E-Note Review

Chyang Fun Industry Co.,Ltd. based in Taipei, Taiwan has been manufacturing and assembling PC cases and server housings since 1987. Chyang Fun make a number of Aluminium and Plexiglass cases supporting Mini-ITX and Flex-ATX form-factors, varying the designs slightly to support different motherboards in their barebones systems. Their earlier CF-7989 aka "MiniCube" is a very popular case, supporting the EPIA 5000 and 800 motherboards. This variant of their CF-S688 case design - the "E-Note" - is their first case to support the more powerful EPIA M motherboards.

Chyang Fun E-Note Review

EPIA M BIOS updated
Posted on January 6, 2003

We forgot to mention - the EPIA M BIOS is now at 10B (since December 17, 2002) and enables the "CRT+TV" option in the BIOS setup menu.

Lian Li PC-402A Review
Posted on January 4, 2003

Lian Li PC-402A Review

Lian Li Industrial Co., Ltd, based Taiwan have been producing aluminum PC cases since 1983. The PC-402A is a versatile case supporting many small motherboards, including all the EPIA Mini-ITX motherboards.

Lian Li PC-402A Review

Morex Cubid 2699 - due in 2003
Posted on December 18, 2002

The "E-Note"

Morex Information Ent., Co., Ltd have had a lot of success with their 26xx series of Mini-ITX cases. By our calculations, their forthcoming 2699 case will be number 3 and a half. The 2677 was available almost since the EPIA motherboards hit the scene, the 2677R added a riser card and the 2688R added front-mounting USB ports. The 2699 (presumably R?) cases once again are available in both black and white, and have front-mounting USB 2 and Firewire sockets. We liked the round buttons on the 2677, but that's progress for you. It'll be available in early 2003. Here's a picture for you. We haven't found anything on their site about it yet.

Mini-ITX BIOS updated to version 207
Posted on November 18, 2002

VIA have updated the Mini-ITX BIOS to version 207 (we're not sure what happened to 206 - is this the 'Star Trek' rule of BIOSes?) This version updates the "logo display problem during boot up (under PAL mode)"...

http://www.viavpsd.com/product/Download.jsp?motherboardId=21

EPIA FIR & CIR Secrets Revealed?
Posted on November 13, 2002

If anyone's interested in building their own FIR or CIR Modules, this PDF may come in useful... Let us know if you manage anything!

Netbox Cubit Review
Posted on November 4, 2002

Netbox Cubit Review

Netbox are a UK-based company formed to create the "Cubit" - a Mini-ITX based mini-PC made rather splendidly from 5mm aluminium or Plexiglas. The Cubit comes fully loaded with 512MB of memory, a 60GB Hard Drive, a slimline CDRW/DVD and optionally a low-profile PCI V92 or ADSL modem. When the opportunity came along to review one of these handsome little devils we jumped at the chance.

Netbox Cubit Review

Mini-ITX BIOS updated to version 205
Posted on October 26, 2002

VIA have updated the Mini-ITX BIOS to version 205 (we're not sure what happened to 204) This version updates the PXE bootrom to revision 2.13. Some users have reported that BIOS revisions from 203 and later allow 512MB DIMMs to work, particularly when used in pairs. Useful to know!

http://www.viavpsd.com/product/Download.jsp?motherboardId=21

Netbox launch the "CUBIT"
Posted on October 17, 2002

The "CUBIT"

Netbox are a UK-based startup with an impressive new product - the "CUBIT". It's a PC with design and character, hand finished and assembled from 5mm Aluminium or Plexiglas in 5 colours. And of course at the heart of it all is a Mini-ITX motherboard, surrounded by a 60 Gb Drive, 512 Mb memory, combo CDR/RW/DVD drive and modem. Netbox can even customise your case for you, by cutting a logo into one of the side panels.

The CUBIT at Netbox.co.uk

Jetway B860T Review
Posted on October 12, 2002

Jetway B860T Review

Although we focus primarily on Mini-ITX motherboards, there are alternatives. The Shuttle range of barebones systems eloquently show what can be done with more money, and where money is no object the MicroPC will set many a weeny pc lover's heart a fluttering. But at the low cost end of the market, the EPIA 5000 and 800 have had the run of the roost for the past 6 months. Mark "EdenStation IPX" Gill has taken a look at the Jetway B860T - a motherboard with many similarities and some important differences from the current line of EPIAs.

Mark Gill's Jetway B860T Review

RealMagic XCard Review
Posted on October 9, 2002

RealMagic XCard Review

The RealMagic XCard was released by Sigma Designs earlier this year, and seems ideally suited to beefing up the DVD, VCD and DivX video playback capabilities of a Mini-ITX motherboard. We tried one and found out...

Sigma Designs RealMagic XCard Review

Final EPIA-M Specifications Released
Posted on October 8, 2002

VIA have updated their website with product pages for the EPIA-M motherboard. The EPIA-M takes the EPIA concept several stages further, bringing the Apollo CLE266 chipset to the table for smooth DVD playback and integrated 2D/3D graphics, and combining it with the VT1616 AC'97 codec for 5.1 surround support. Beefed-up connectivity comes courtesy of 2 x USB 2.0 ports on the back panel, and 2 x IEEE 1394 (Firewire) connectors and a LVDS (flat panel) connector on the mainboard. The EPIA-M has one DDR266 DIMM socket, one PCI slot and a floppy connector - and still measures 170 x 170mm. Pricing and release dates are currently unknown, but we can confirm that the EPIA-M will complement, rather than replace, the existing EPIA motherboards.

More details to follow, but in the meantime - VIA's EPIA-M

New Mini-ITX cases from Casetek
Posted on October 6, 2002

Casetek CK1010-1A (Blue)

Casetek CK1010-1A (Blue)
Casetek CK1010-1B (Black)

Casetek CK1010-1B (Black)

Casetek have posted pictures of their new Mini-ITX case, the CK1010. The 260 x 135 x 298.5mm case comes in 3 variants and two colours. The CK1010-1A has space for a low-profile PCI card, a standard CD-ROM and a 3.5" Hard Drive. The CK1010-1B dispenses with the CD-ROM support in favour of a 3.5" FDD bay, and the CK1010-1N dispenses with removable drives altogether in favour of support for a full-size PCI card. There is enough space in the cases to fit boards up to 180 x 190mm, so some smaller Flex-ATX boards may fit as well as the standard 170 x 170mm Mini-ITX boards. All cases come with an internal 150W Power Supply.

Manufacturer's Product Pages

Mini-ITX BIOS updated to version 203
Posted on October 6, 2002

VIA have updated the Mini-ITX BIOS to version 203. When their site comes back up we'll tell you what's in it.

http://www.viavpsd.com/product/Download.jsp?motherboardId=21

Morex Cubid 2688R Review
Posted on October 3, 2002

Morex Cubid 2688R Review

We got hold of a Morex Cubid 2688R yesterday and liked what we saw. Then we took lots of pictures of it for you. An evolutionary step on the 2677R, it provides addtional front-mounting USB ports and a space for an optional compact flash reader.

Morex Cubid 2688R Review

More EPIA M-Series pictures
Posted on September 24, 2002

Time for more pictures of the forthcoming "VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX Mainboard". And some model numbers: The ME6000 (Eden) and the M9000 (C3). These will add to, not replace the current EPIA range.

EPIA-M

A slightly earlier motherboard on display, sans Apollo 266 heatsink - note the untidy capacitors next to the ATX power socket. Don't they know to stand in line?


Look what we found... ;-)
Posted on September 18, 2002


EPIA 2 (or is it M?) - More details
Posted on September 17, 2002


While lurking on the VIA's site, what did one of our spies (thanks John) find but their Q3 2002 Mainboard brochure - and nestling on page 5 is a Lego picture of the 'EPIA 2' motherboard. In case you can't read pixels, the specs given are:

VIA C3 933Mhz/Eden ESP 6000 Processor EBGA Package@133/100Mhz FSB
VIA CLE266 Chipset Featuring Integrated AGP 8X Equivalent Graphics Engine
DDR266 SDRAM
1 PCI Slot
ATA/133 Support
VIA 6 Channel Audio
VIA IEEE 1394 (optional)
4 USB 2.0/1.1
VIA 10/100 LAN
VIA TV Out (optional)
Mini ITX Form Factor (170mm x 170mm)

The prospect of 6 channel Audio, USB2 and a Graphics-giddyup are mouthwatering to say the least. The TV-Out Port now appears to be an option, as is the new Firewire port, which together with 2 choices of CPU implies a larger product range than VIA's currently have. This is backed up by our EPIA M info posted a few weeks back. So which is it VIA - EPIA M or EPIA 2? 2M? And how much will these extra features add to the price of the EPIA motherboards? Will these add to or supercede the EPIA 5000 and EPIA 800? The big question Bart Banaan will be asking is whether VIA will allow Mini-ITX Projecteers access to the raw capabilities of the powerful Apollo CLE266 chipset by providing an LCD controller header - it's a bit difficult to make out from the picture...

And before anyone asks, we don't sell them in the Online Store. Not yet.

EPIA M to debut in October
Posted on August 30, 2002

The next generation of EPIA motherboards to be produced by VIA will be called the EPIA M Series. The 'M' stands for multimedia, representing the target market, and will be based on the CLE266 chipset. Future versions of the EPIA will cater for different market segments and will have another letter representing their intended application.

Speeds and other component details will be released next month. We do know that there will be different speeds to the 2 current VIA boards - the EPIA 5000 (533Mhz Eden) and EPIA 800 (800Mhz C3). The boards will be in mass production in October and will be on display for the first time at the VIA Technology Forum in Taipei this year (October 8-9, 2002).

VIA Technology Forum 2002

Lucky Star 2000F - First Look
Posted on August 28, 2002


Here is a first look at an engineering sample of Lucky Star's new LIVE 2000F motherboard. It is a Mini-ITX board based on the PN133T (Twister-T) chipset, running an ESP6000 CPU at 667Mhz. The Twister-T chipset provides the 2000F with Savage 4 2D/3D graphics, bringing the Mini-ITX platform more in line with other small form factor motherboards - but with the benefits of the Fanless Eden CPU. Measuring 170mm x 180mm, the 2000F includes a FDD connector (at the bottom of the image) which will make flashing the BIOS easier for some users, if nothing else! Our spies tell us that the engineering samples passed the testing stage and Lucky Star are currently preparing for a pilot run.


Revision 0.0...


...Twister-T...


...Fanless Eden

LIVE 2000F Specifications

Processor - VIA ESP processor [ ESP6000 - 667MHz ]
- Latest 0.15 and 0.13 Micron technology
- 128K L1 and 64K L2 cache

Core Logic - VIA Apollo PN133T
- VT8603 North Bridge
- VT8231 South Bridge

Main Memory - Two 168-pin DIMM memory sockets
- PC100/133 SDRAM support

Graphics - Integrated SAVAGE 4 - AGP4X with 2D/3D Graphics acceleration
- Motion Compensation for DVD playback
- VIP port for video overlay function

Storage (ATA) - Two ATA 33/66/100 IDE connectors
- 8/16/32MB DOM or standard 2.5" HDD - ( 3.5" HDD - Case Spec )
- 1 X CD-ROM or DVD drive
- 1 X FDD connector

Storage (Flash) - DOC Flash memory (8MB ~ 32MB) - OPTION

Audio System
- VIA VT1612A
- 3 Audio Jacks - Line-Out, Line-In and Microphone-In
- Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster Pro Compatible
- Digital I/O compatible with consumer mode S/PDIF

Ethernet (LAN) - VIA VT6103
- 10/100Mbps Ethernet MAC integrated
- 10/100Mbps Ethernet PHY VT6103 on board

TV Out - OPTION - VIA VT1621
- Integrated Macro Vision 7.01
- High quality scaling and filtering
- S-Video or Composite video output
- Support NTSC/PAL TV

I/O Ports - 3 Audio Jacks - Line-out, Mic-in and Line-in
- Four USB ports (two USB ports located at rear side)
- One EPP/ECP parallel port
- One 16C550 compatible serial port
- Two External PS/2 Compatible Keyboard /Mouse ports
- Two TV output ports (S-Video or optional RCA TV out)
- One S/PDIF out (optional and multiplex with RCA TV out)
- One RJ45 port
- One PCI slot
- One LVDS connector

FAQ update
Posted on August 28, 2002

We updated the FAQ. Issues covered include using very large drives with an EPIA motherboard, and fixing crackly sound under Linux. We'll try to update it more often - we promise.

Mini-ITX BIOS updated to version 202
Posted on August 27, 2002

VIA have updated the Mini-ITX BIOS to version 202 (dated August 26 2002). This revision fixes the boot on LAN functionality inadvertently broken in version 201.

http://www.viavpsd.com/product/Download.jsp?motherboardId=21

Chyang Fun cubes imminent
Posted on August 22, 2002


CF-7989 for Mini-ITX - Perspex and Aluminium


CF-7789 for Mini-ITX - Like this but without the 3.5" bay

Chyang Fun Industry Co. Ltd have rather generously modified the cases of two of their existing Flex-ATX based barebones systems - the very similarly named CELL BOX CF-7989 and CF-7789 - to be suitable for Mini-ITX motherboards. Not so generously, they seem to have kept the names. Some retailers are already advertising the CF-7989 (the Aluminium one with the perspex front) as the "MiniCube". Note - our picture of the CF-7789 (the all Aluminium Shuttle-alike) has a 3.5" bay whereas the final product apparently won't. Both cases measure (L) 270mm x (W) 190mm x (H) 160mm, and come with an integral 180W (a Channel Well CWT180XCP we think) power supply, 2 front mounted USB ports and a full-size vertical PCI slot. Incidentally, the CF-7989 looks remarkably similar to one we found apparently manufactured here. Confused? We certainly are. But we're looking forward to seeing one in the flesh.

Links: Product pages for the CELL BOX CF-7989 and CF-7789 systems

Bona announces LIGHT system
Posted on August 21, 2002


Bona Computech Co., Ltd. (aka Lex), have announced an Eden and C3 based barebones system called "LIGHT". It is based on the Lex CV860A - their 200 x 150mm Mainboard supporting an EBGA C3 or 400/533/667 Eden processor. The motherboard, although not Mini-ITX in the 170 x 170mm sense of the word, has all the usual Mini-ITX features PLUS a 32 pin socket for Disk On Chip memory, a 50 pin Compact Flash Disk socket supporting up to 576MB of Compact Flash memory and three (3) Ethernet sockets! If you don't believe us take a look our exclusive spy pictures (click to enlarge). The whole system is wrapped up in a very appealing looking book-style case measuring just 42 (H) x 220 (W) x 165 (D) mm.








Lex LIGHT barebones system

Lex CV860A Mainboard - full specifications

Morex Cubid 2677R Review
Posted on August 17, 2002

Morex Information Ent., Co., Ltd, based in Taipei, Taiwan have been manufacturing and marketing PC cases since 1986. They are also known as Casetronic in the USA and also as Procase. The Cubid 2677R "Super Mini Case" is one of 3 in the Cubid range, the 2677, 2677R (includes a PCI riser and PCI slot) and the 2688 (additional USB ports at the front). They kindly provided us a case to review, and we liked it so much it took us over a week to review it. There's a gallery of over 30 pictures at the end of the review.


Morex Cubid 2677R Review

Mini-ITX BIOS updated
Posted on August 15, 2002

VIA have updated the Mini-ITX BIOS to version 201 (dated August 13 2002). This revision allows you to hide the summary screen during boot up.

http://www.viavpsd.com/product/Download.jsp?motherboardId=21

Why the CNPS6100-AlCu won't fit
an EPIA 800
Posted on August 15, 2002

More than a few readers have spotted Zalman's beautiful CNPS6100-AlCu Flower Heatsink, and suggested it as a way of making the EPIA 800 motherboards totally silent. We're going to have to stop you right there folks, as it doesn't fit. It's designed for Socket 370 operation - and the current EPIAs have no CPU sockets. That's why they're so cheap! Here's a picture we knocked up to keep you happy, we know how you like pictures...


Mini-ITX suppliers/cases lists updated
Posted on August 15, 2002

We're constantly updating these lists, but we haven't told anyone about it in a while. Now we have. The links are up there on the top left. There's nearly 50 suppliers now. This isn't really a story is it? Anyone want a badge?

G-Alantic 610i Review
Posted on August 9, 2002

G-Alantic Enterprise Co., Ltd. are a Taiwanese manufacturer and exporter of all sizes of computer cases and associated components. The 'Starex' series 610i case is their first foray into the microcosmic world of Mini-ITX. They kindly provided us with one of the first cases to come off the production line, which we obligingly reviewed. There's a gallery of over 50 pictures at the end of the review. Aren't we nice to you? We'll have a Cubid 2677 review up after the weekend.


G-Alantic 610i SG Review

Morex add Cubid 2688 case to range
Posted on August 8, 2002





Just as we're putting the finishing touches to our 2677 review we notice the 2688... So how long has that been there? ;-) From the weeny pictures on their site the differences appear to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but worthwhile nonetheless:

2 x Additional USB ports on the front
Front Access to the left-hand bay above the hard drive
Placement of the case fans against the rear of the case
Grille at the front
New style rectangular power/reset buttons..

Manufacturer's product page

PowerLCD goes Final
Posted on July 25, 2002

Not really hardware, but we don't have a software page ;-)

ManDaRK has completed PowerLCD, the driving software used in Bart Banaan's SpacePanel and SpaceCase projects. It's now at version 1.1, and we provide a mirror of it here, along with port95nt.exe (used by PowerLCD):

PowerLCD 1.1 (1.83Mb)

port95nt.exe (1.57Mb)

How to connect 2 additional USB ports to VIA EPIA motherboards
Posted on July 21, 2002

Additional USB Ports
click for larger image

The puzzling "* For VIA Standard Modules Only" entry in your EPIA manual and our FAQ has been solved, at least where USB is concerned. Tobias Faust provided the solution, and Johannes "Mediabox" Hermen drew a nice diagram. Johannes put a 500mA Fuse in the +5V powerline to save the board in case of overcurrent. Many thanks to both of them. Incidentally, you may want to check out Tobias' Sat-Mediabox page, which just goes to show that great minds think alike ;-)

Mini-ITX BIOS updated
Posted on July 12, 2002

VIA have updated the Mini-ITX BIOS to version 10F (dated July 11 2002). This adds DMI and full-screen logo support and can be downloaded, along with the Award BIOS Flash Utility you will need to update your BIOS, from:

http://www.viavpsd.com/product/Download.jsp?motherboardId=21

Mini-ITX suppliers lists updated
Posted on July 9, 2002

Countries most recently added to our ever-popular Mini-ITX suppliers list include Denmark, Canada, USA and The Czech Republic. And for a limited time only (until we get bored or run out) we're bribing you with Eden and C3 Case Badges in return for additions to the list... can't be bad?

Lucky Star enter Mini-ITX market
Posted on July 3, 2002

Lucky Star Technology in Taiwan have announced the imminent availability of their Live 1000 motherboard, based on the Eden 1000 reference design. Samples have already been sent to customers.

The Live 1000 runs the fanless Eden ESP 6000 processor at 667Mhz, making it the fastest silent Mini-ITX motherboard available. The VIA EPIA 5000 runs at 533Mhz.

Additional USB Ports

Since the launch of the VIA Eden platform in February, Lucky Star received many enquiries from their current customers, so they built a Mini-ITX prototype. The interest was so great at the CeBIT trade show in Germany that they decided to go ahead and develop products. Lucky for us!

In some markets, Lucky Star will be bundling a compact size case with their motherboard, and offering it as a barebones system.

And that's not all. Our spies tell us that Lucky Star are in fact developing 4 motherboards - and the next 3 will be based on the Eden 2000 design, including one based on the TwisterT (ProSavage PN133T) chipset.

Lucky Star's Live 1000 Press Release

Lucky Star Website

SilentPCReview has freebies!
Posted on June 28, 2002

SilentPCReview are a new site (though not as new as us - it's our one month birthday today) focussing on the quieter aspects of PC life. There's some good information about silent hardware choices and modding your PC to run as quiet as a kitten licking a butterfly. Of course a Mini-ITX system comes into this category straight out of the box, and this is one of the reasons we like it. But enough meandering - they're giving away free stuff! OK, it's a prize draw and you have to fill in a survey to enter - but it's free stuff!!

SilentPCReview's survey on PC noise

Mini-ITX suppliers lists promoted
Posted on June 28, 2002

Our ever-popular Mini-ITX suppliers list has been promoted to its own page, and given a friend - the (rather bare) Mini-ITX case suppliers list. Inevitably, if you know of any more - or our links are broken or incorrect - please drop us a line at feedback@mini-itx.com.

We'll also be including distributors where possible, which may help tracking down a local supplier - or if you decide to buy 68 motherboards in one go like Bart (SpaceCase) Banaan and his tribe of modding freaks did!

Traverse announces MicroServa 500
Posted on June 24, 2002

Traverse Technologies Australia have announced the MicroServa 500, a Mini-ITX based turnkey firewall solution available in July based on our favourite firewall -ipcop. Of course you could also buy theirbarebones system andinstall ipcop yourself... They also manufacture and supply PCI riser cards and low-profile PCI cards ideal for Mini-ITX applications - the NETjet ISDN card and the Pulsar ADSL card - both only 44mm high. Their case looks rather natty, and by our calculations is slightly smaller in volume than the Cubid 2677 - and this one has the added bonus of a Compact Flash slot!




Specifications

Dimensions(WxHxD): 11.61"(295mm) x 2.56"(65mm) x 10.24"(260mm)
Drive Bays: 1 x 3.5" internal drive bay

Manufacturer's product page

ZM-NB32J & EPIA-800 dream team?
Posted on June 22, 2002



Zalman ZM-NB32J


EPIA-800 Heatsink + Fan

Astute surfers may have spotted that the recently released Zalman ZM-NB32J Northbridge heatsink looks like it will almost certainly fit in place of the EPIA-800 fan and heatsink package. All the dimensions are right, it even has adjustable push-pins to hold it in place. If they work together, it would remove the only fan from the EPIA-800, effectively turning it into a faster version of the fanless (and hence silent) EPIA-5000! We spotted this too, and quickly fired off an email to Zalman HQ. Here's the reply:

"In answer to your smart request regarding the ZM-NB32J (the latest model for Northbridge chip), this can be used on a general BGA chip package generating up to about 4W at full load. The VIA EPIA-800 platform is equipped with C3-E 800MHz processor, which generates 8.5W at full load. Consequently, ZM-NB32J shouldnever be installed on C3-E 800MHz chip."

Oh dear. What if we promise not to do anything tricky? ;)

The hunt continues...mail us at feedback@mini-itx.com if you find it!

G-Alantic gears up for mass production
Posted on June 19, 2002

G-Alantic are poised for mass-production in July of their GA610iPL and GA610iSG Mini-ITX cases, which like the Cubid 2677 can be mounted both in bookshelf or pizzabox format. Unlike the Cubid 2677 it takes standard 5.25" CD and DVD drives, which may be a deciding factor for some Mini-ITX owners.


Specifications

Dimensions(WxHxD): 13.38"(340mm) x 3.78"(96mm) x 10.83"(275mm)
Drive Bays: 1 x 5.25" + 1 x 3.5" Exposed plus 1 x 3.5" internal drive bay

Manufacturer's product page

Mini-ITX manual, diagrams and a new mainboard specification white paper
Updated on June 14, 2002

VIA have updated their Mini-ITX Mainboard Specification White Paper. The most important changes involve power consumption and performance comparisons with other low power platforms.

New Mini-ITX Mainboard Specification White Paper (Adobe PDF)

Here are the Mini-ITX Mainboard Operation Guidelines - i.e. jumper settings, details of the Mini-ITX power supply specification and motherboard and back panel Layout Diagrams.

VIA EPIA Mini-ITX Mainboard Operation Guidelines (Adobe PDF)

Here is the online version of the Mini-ITX user's manual. Print this out double sided on A5 paper, fold then staple and you'll have a rudimentary copy of the manual supplied with an EPIA-5000 or EPIA-800 motherboard.

User's Manual - EPIA Mini-ITX Mainboard - Version 1.0 (Adobe PDF)

Here's the VIA EPIA Mini-ITX downloads page where you will find the latest BIOS, 4 in 1 and VGA Drivers etc.

VIA EPIA Mini ITX Mainboard - Downloads

Just for good measure, here's the Eden drivers page at VIAArena - this has a very useful Linux drivers section.

VIAArena Eden Drivers Page

Mini-ITX cases thin on the ground, future looks promising
Posted on June 10, 2002

There seems to be a limited selection of Mini-ITX cases actually available at the moment, although VIA promise us that more cases are on the way from manufacturs such as Morex (who already make the Cubid 2677), G-Alantic (who make the GA610iSG and GA610iPL), Yeong Yang, Chenbro and Casetek. We couldn't find much on most of their websites but there were several lovelies on display at Computex. Also on display were some natty cases, such as this selection here. Let's hope some of them actually make it to market.












Available now - Cubid 2677
Posted on June 10, 2002

The 2677 saves space by using an internal 12V power supply combined with an external power adaptor, and by using a SLIM (i.e. laptop style) CD-ROM bracket. The result is only 2.5" tall, though your choice of CD/DVD is of course limited. In the US, iDOT computers sells this as the ITX-PV and Caseoutlet sell this with/without a motherboard. In the UK, ultim8pc sell it as the 'Cupid' 2677...



Specifications

Material: 1.0(mm) sheet metal cold rolled construction
Finish: Painted in Beige or Black
Dimensions(WxHxD): 11.50"(295mm) x 2.50"(63.5mm) x 10.75"(273mm)
HDD Bracket: 3.5" x 1
CD-ROM Bracket: Slim type x 1
Option: Standard PCI Expansion Slot Version
Internal Power Supply Dimensions: (mm) 160 (L) x 45 (W)
Input: DC 12V in (From External AC Adapter)
Ouput: 54.95 Watts
External Power Supply (AC Adapter)
Input: AC 100~240 V
Output: DC 12V, 4.58A

Manufacturer's product page

Mini-ITX Case Suppliers List

Available now - Qbox/Checkercube
Posted on June 10, 2002

One of the few Mini-ITX cases available now, iDOTpc.com sell this as the "ITX-PB Aluminum Mini ITX Cube" in Black or Burgundy although their picture has a QBox logo on it. Caseoutlet.com sell it as the "Checkercube 1215" in Black, Burgundy or Silver, or as a barebones system (motherboard, case, power supply). It looks very like a Shuttle to us (no bad thing)




Specifications

Material: Aluminum cold rolled sheet metal
Finish: Bright shining burgundy, black or silver color with acrylic front panel
Dimensions(WxHxD): 7.87"(200mm)x7.87"(200mm) X 11.61"(295mm)
Cooling: 2 x 60mm fans included
Drive Bays: 2 x 5.25" + 1 x 3.5" Exposed plus 1 x 3.5" internal drive bay
Power Supply: 130Watt ATX power supply

Mini-ITX Case Suppliers List


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