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Home | News Archive | April 2004

ATI RS300M P4 Mini-ITX from IBASE
April 25, 2004



IBASE Technology, Inc in Taiwan has announced their MB870, a Mini-ITX sized Socket 478 Pentium 4 / Celeron compatible motherboard utilising ATI's powerful Mobility Radeon 9100 IGP chipset (aka the RS300M). Industrial manufacturer IBASE released the Mini-ITX sized Intel 845GV-based MB850 towards the end of last year. Specifications of the MB870 include: P4 support up to 3.2Ghz; up to 800Mhz FSB; VGA, LVDS and TV-Out; 1 x IDE and 2 x SATA sockets; one DDR RAM slot; 10/100 LAN; and a plethora of pin headers on the board. The MB870 adds to the growing number of Mini-ITX form factor boards from manufacturers such as Axiomtek, Commell, DFI, Eyetech, Insight, Lex, Lippert, Samsung and Unicorn. Of course the CPU and cooler isn't included on the board, adding to flexibility but making direct comparisons with mainstream Mini-ITX boards with embedded Eden/C3 CPUs difficult (though if any of these manufacturers fancy sending us one, we'll certainly try...)

m Permalink | mini-link

First Lead-Free Eden-based Motherboard
April 21, 2004

Yamashita System, Co of Japan has introduced the first lead-free motherboard based on the Eden CPU used in all fanless Mini-ITX boards. The AS-1210 can be considered to be a Micro-ATX version of the EPIA ME6000, with the same chipset and similar capabilities. VIA have been manufacturing environmentally friendly CPUs and companion chips using tin, silver and copper composites for a while now, but Yamashita are the first to introduce an entirely lead-free board.

m Permalink | mini-link

Tranquil's T2 and T3
April 11, 2004

Tranquil PC have announced their two new near-silent machines, the "T2" and "T3" are now available to order. The T2 is the new Tranquil PC for 2004, with new styling and several improvements over the original Tranquil. The T3 is a new low cost Mini PC designed for diskless operation - bootable over a network or with an optional Compact Flash reader. Our picture (taken at CeBIT) shows the two devices getting rather friendly with each other - and of course the T2 can be used as a controlling server for several T3 nodes.

The T2 is available in many configurations, like the original Tranquil, including a case and board barebones option for the self builder. Configuration options include a CDROM or blank front panel, 60W or 120W PSUs, riser card for 2 PCI cards (up to 200mm in length), a 19" rack mounting option and the ability to hold up to 4 x 3.5in HDDs, or 3 with a slimline optical drive. The 387mm x 345mm x 66mm Steel, Aluminium and Polycarbonate case and improved heatsink is designed to handle the next generation of 1.2Ghz and above Nehemiah C3 CPUs.

m Permalink | mini-link

Tranquil T3 Competition Results!
April 11, 2004

Tranqui PCl announced two new near-silent machines, the "T2" and "T3" at CeBIT 2004. In the finest traditions of village fetes, we asked you to guess the weight of part of the custom tooling used to create the T3.

Over half of the 1314 entries guessed under 50Kg, and 1100 of you guessed under 200Kg, but the true weight was over 300Kg. James Martin slightly over-estimated with 985,763Kg, approximately the weight of the RLA-120 Orbital Launch Vehicle... Christopher Hester went the other way with 0.1Kg, and almost 200 people guessed under 10Kg, making us think that perhaps you thought we were asking you to guess the weight of the T3 itself. We weren't, so read more carefully next time! The few sneaky multiple entrants we had were way off with their guesses, so the extended Ridd and Shoemaker families get away with it this time...

The true weight of the custom tool was 305.45Kg.

Our mate Eric (who's been promising us an article for a year now) made the 3rd best guess by multiplying Pi by 100, but luckily we didn't have to rig the results as the winner with 308.8215 Kg was Maarten Vaandrager in the Netherlands. Well done Maarten, your T3 will be on its way to you shortly.

m Permalink | mini-link

Those Crazy Japanese Fools
April 07, 2004

We haven't had a "Crazy Japanese Fools" story in a while, but luckily while browsing Akiba Hotline we chanced upon this little gem. It's a rather natty Thomas the Tank Engine project, Mini-ITX powered of course. We like the colour-matched slimline CDROM, and of course the machine translation...

Or how about a flying toaster, or wooden MiniCube mod?

m Permalink | mini-link

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