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shinyspoon
2006-03-16, 19:34
Hi,

Evesham have introduced two mini-pc.
1. CPU choices are Intel Celeron M 370 processor (1.5GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 400MHz) - £499
2. Intel Pentium M 760 processor (2GHz, 2MB cache, 533 MHz) - £699
3. Both come with 512MB DDR-2 533MHz RAM.

These are AOpen mini PC barebone and look like a mini-mac clone.

I'm thinking of buying one of these to only run Slimserver, initially using WinXP.
I'll probably install Linux at some future date when I get time.

Any experiences, comments?

Thanks,

Pete

NWP
2006-03-17, 00:13
You should post links to the actual PCs you are looking to buy. Barebones can mean a lot of things. Are these complete systems?

In general, I haven't been too impressed with the quality of AOpen system.

If you are looking for a small quiet machine to act as a slimserver, you may want to compare these Evesham systems with the mini-ITX systems available from Logic Supply: http://www.logicsupply.com/default.php/cPath/29

mherger
2006-03-17, 00:19
> Evesham have introduced two mini-pc.
> 1. CPU choices are Intel Celeron M 370 processor (1.5GHz, 1MB L2 cache,
> 400MHz) - £499
> 2. Intel Pentium M 760 processor (2GHz, 2MB cache, 533 MHz) - £699
> 3. Both come with 512MB DDR-2 533MHz RAM.
>
> These are AOpen mini PC barebone and look like a mini-mac clone.

While many will say you need a dual core cpu at >3GHz I say they'll do a
great job server your Squeezeboxen. The only constraint will be the disk:
are these boxes using 2.5" harddisks?

> I'll probably install Linux at some future date when I get time.

For compatibility issues with Linux you'd better google around.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
SlimString Translation Helper (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

shinyspoon
2006-03-17, 06:51
You should post links to the actual PCs you are looking to buy. Barebones can mean a lot of things. Are these complete systems?

In general, I haven't been too impressed with the quality of AOpen system.

If you are looking for a small quiet machine to act as a slimserver, you may want to compare these Evesham systems with the mini-ITX systems available from Logic Supply: http://www.logicsupply.com/default.php/cPath/29

I thought about posting a link, but didn't want to advertise and appear to be affiliated to Evesham- I'm not.

Here's a review link, these are completed systems:
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2006/01/02/evesham_mini_pc_plus/1.html

The Evesham site:
http://www.evesham.com/PCs/List.asp?e=4EF43E0E-AE61-4312-9752-7CE3EC71EFA9

Regards,
Pete

bert1e
2006-03-17, 06:57
Hi

You could also consider a genuine mac mini as they are now also intel based. Not sure if anyone has installed linux on one tho. They have intel centrino duo's in them and the cheapest one is £499. So about the same price as your aopen.

I am running slimserver on a dedicated mini-itx 600 Mhz fanless system with linux and its fine but did involve some fiddling.

shinyspoon
2006-03-17, 07:03
> Evesham have introduced two mini-pc.
While many will say you need a dual core cpu at >3GHz I say they'll do a
great job server your Squeezeboxen. The only constraint will be the disk:
are these boxes using 2.5" harddisks?

> I'll probably install Linux at some future date when I get time.



From the Inside PC review, the disk seems to be a normal 3.5in one. Sizes from 40GB 5400rpm to 100GB 7200rpm.
The internal disk will only be for the O/S and Slimserver application.
If I get One I'll start off with WINXP, then alternate install and try UBUNTU.

Thanks for the responses,
Pete

bert1e
2006-03-17, 07:05
From the review link posted earlier it says laptop disk i.e 2.5"

shinyspoon
2006-03-17, 07:07
Hi

You could also consider a genuine mac mini as they are now also intel based. Not sure if anyone has installed linux on one tho. They have intel centrino duo's in them and the cheapest one is £499. So about the same price as your aopen.

I am running slimserver on a dedicated mini-itx 600 Mhz fanless system with linux and its fine but did involve some fiddling.

I also looked at the mini-mac, but I don't want to start on yet another OS. However, the mini-pac seems to get more favourable reviews and is still under consideration.

Thanks,
Pete

shinyspoon
2006-03-17, 07:11
From the review link posted earlier it says laptop disk i.e 2.5"

Hopefully my reading skills will improve when I get better, I only looked at the pics and didn't read the small print.

Thanks,
Pete

gharris999
2006-03-17, 12:07
I just ordered the AOpen bare-bones (case, mobo, optical drive) version of this unit for $314.99USD (179.41GBP). I found it via Froogle. It will take me until next weekend to have it up and running, dual-booting WinXP and (hopefully) Fedora Core 5. I'll let you all know how it goes and what the final costs were. I plan to wait to order the CPU and ram until I've got the unit in my hands, which should be by next mid-week.

shinyspoon
2006-03-17, 12:31
I just ordered the AOpen bare-bones (case, mobo, optical drive) version of this unit for $314.99USD (179.41GBP). I found it via Froogle. It will take me until next weekend to have it up and running, dual-booting WinXP and (hopefully) Fedora Core 5. I'll let you all know how it goes and what the final costs were. I plan to wait to order the CPU and ram until I've got the unit in my hands, which should be by next mid-week.

Please let me know gharriss, I nearly bought one this evening from Evesham, but I'm undecided as to whether the minimum spec:
Intel celeron M 370 and 512MB is sufficient as I plan on initially running XP.

Thanks
Pete

shvejk
2006-03-17, 21:12
Assuming that the PC is dedicated to Slimserver and that your music collection is < 100GB, the PIII HP ePC plus Michael's SlimCD is a much cheaper option and it runs great.

With some bidding luck on eBay, you can have a running Slimserver PC for about $100. It does not look as sexy as MAC mini, but you can easily hide it somewhere in a closet.

Most ePCs are sold with 128MB or 256MB of RAM and, for that reason, WinXP is not recommended, but SlimCD solves the lack of Linux skills problem.

Hope it helps with your decision.

gharris999
2006-03-18, 08:38
Shvejk has got a good point there, if you are looking for a dedicated slimserver box that won't be called on to run anything else, the AOpen mini won’t be the cheapest option.

Edit: no guarantees on the time frame I noted above for getting the AOpen mini-pc box up and running. I'm noticing that many vendors are now listing this item as out-of-stock. I ordered from a vendor that I haven't dealt with before. We will have to wait and see if they actually ship it on Monday as their website claims that they can.

gharris999
2006-03-22, 23:44
OK, the AOpen mini-pc arrived. Looks great. Almost exactly like a mac mini minus the apple logo.

The bare-bones unit comes with absolutly no documentation about supported CPUs, RAM, etc. The AOpen web site seems useless. I used this article: http://www.anandtech.com/systems/showdoc.aspx?i=2707&p=2 to clue me into what CPU and ram to order: a Intel Pentium M 740 and 1 gig DDR2 sodim for the Ram. The mini-pc also has a mini-pci slot, so I ordered an Intel 2200BG card. All told, my costs so far are $634.47 plus shipping. The CPU, at $210.50, seemed overpriced, but I didn't take the time to shop around. Hopefully, the CPU and RAM will arrive on Friday, so I can get this beast working over the weekend.

All told, it's a little hard to get excited about this hardware. Since clever folks are now booting Windows XP on Intel mac minis, could linux be far behind? Yes, this cost is almost $200 less than a comperable mac mini, but if you wait a bit and get the mac mini, you can be the first one on your block to have a triple-boot os machine.

If folks are interested, I'll post some pics of the AOpen mini-pc in action once I have it up and running.

Edit: I forgot to add in a 2.5" hard disk into the costs. But I happen to have an extra one on hand, so my cost there is zero.

Jacob Potter
2006-03-23, 07:15
On 3/23/06, gharris999
<gharris999.25414z1143096301 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
> All told, it's a little hard to get excited about this hardware. Since
> clever folks are now booting Windows XP on Intel mac minis, could linux
> be far behind?

It's been done. http://www.mactel-linux.org/wiki/Main_Page

- Jacob

bert1e
2006-03-23, 11:32
Hi I just thought you might like to know aopen are releasing a new model of miniPC MP945-VX which might be why its out of stock? http://www.coreduonews.com/2006/03/16/aopen-minipc-mp945-vx-alternative-to-mac-mini/#comments

gharris999
2006-03-25, 14:10
OK, I got the CPU and Ram today so I'm trying to get this AOpen mini-pc set up and running. I seem to be having thermal problems. The machine is shutting itself down after 10 minutes or so and the heatsink for the cpu (Pentium M 740 1.7ghz) is getting really hot. There is a fan on the heatsink, but I haven't been able to tell if it's running or not.

There's no IDE connection to the HD or the DVD if you have the case open, so I have to run with the case closed if I want to set up an OS. I wish AOpen would post a manual for this beast. The only manual they have available is a really lame one designed for OEMS to ship with finished machines.

gharris999
2006-03-27, 17:39
OK, this has been as much fun as a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. I've requested an RMA to send the unit back to AOpen. The CPU fan seems to be totally non-functional. I can't run the machine longer than 10 minutes at a time without it shutting down. I tried a video card fan with the same type of connector and it didn't run either. So...defective fan control on the motherboard.

I guessing that it will be 8 weeks or longer before I get a new unit back (that according to the AOpen tech support guy.) Since I'll be out of the country for all of May and June, I won't get a chance to build this machine until July.

What a frigging waste. I guess there is a reason I've shied away from AOpen products for the past 10 years.

eguy
2006-03-28, 09:30
I got mine at http://www.dvnation.com/pandora.html . Great price, great service, with warranty.

gharris999
2006-04-14, 15:41
OK. Itís two weeks later and I have a functioning AOpen mini-pc up and running WinXP. The AOpen RMA folks were nice enough. I guess it was about two weeks turn around time to get the machine back with a new mobo. Indeed, the fan control on the old motherboard must have been bad. With the new motherboard, the fan runs constantly (and audibly) once the machine is up to operating temp.

I just set up another mac mini for a friendís mother this past weekend. The AOpen mini pc seems like a bit of a disappointment in comparison. Yes, I could put it together for less $$ than the mac mini, but when I build a PC, I expect to spend less AND make a better machine. This one isnít better than the mac mini.

I suppose that this machine might be appropriate for someone who wanted a semi-stylish case running linux and slimserver headless. Unfortunately, with this machine you do get constant, audible fan noise. So Iím not sure youíd want the semi-stylish case sitting next to your stereo. And if you put the machine in a closet and out of ear-shot, whatís the point of that semi-stylish case?

About the only real benefit of the AOpen mini-pc that I can see is the low power consumption. For some folks, I can imagine that that is a real selling point.

This machine will end up as a present to some needy friend who doesnít have a computer. I donít think Iíll bother to set up Fedora on it or install slimserver.

Mark Lanctot
2006-04-18, 08:20
Isn't there any fan speed adjustments in the BIOS?

Or you could run SpeedFan:

http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

which isn't resource-intensive and is much more powerful and configurable than anything you could do in the BIOS. Windows only though.

gharris999
2006-04-18, 09:29
I'll give SpeedFan a try. One of my gripes with AOpen is the sorry state of their downloadable support files. I flashed the bios of the replacement motherboard with an allegedly newer version of the bios and actually LOST some functionality. The old version (which I stupidly didn't back up) had complete hardware monitoring. The new version hides all that from the user.

The fan starts out quiet enough, but once the CPU gets up to operating temp, the fan runs at a very audible level. This is a 1.7ghz Pentium 4M, not the fastest or hottest CPU supported.