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Thread: MSI Wind PC

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Thumbs up MSI Wind PC

    I just wanted to report my success with the MSI Wind barebones. It is $150 at NewEgg (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856167032). I added 2G of RAM for $50 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820148060) and put a SATA drive in it that I already had. It's now running ubuntu-server 8.04.01 (http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download) with Squeeze Center 7.2 (http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/DebianPackage) and serving up my 6000 songs to a Squeezebox. It's very close to silent and has cycles to burn even though it's just an Atom.

    To get it running, the only problem I had was with MySQL. The startup script was broken and I had to disable the low disk space check. I wasn't sure about the installation process, but I ended up following instructions in the wiki (http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.ph...gMySQLInstance) to get SC talking to MySQL.

    BTW, I'd love to talk to someone with some experience getting the hard drive to spin down while still serving the time screensaver to an idle Squeezebox.


  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    I just ordered a Duet today and was looking at using the Wind PC as a server. Thanks for posting your success.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Dithering hurts.

    Perhaps I should have done this sooner. I noticed that the linked page at newegg is now 'deactivated' and no supplier I can find has the MSI Wind in stock. This seemed like a qreat server option, and I'm wondering what has happened. The Shuttle KPC atom options also look attractive, but are not shipping from what I can tell.

  4. #4


    Just to warn you a bit here...

    I have a VIA based MSI AXIS box. I don't know what is wrong with it, but watt-o-meter shows 29W when it is off (or stand-by). So if you are looking for some truly power efficient solutions this is might be not a good way.

    I have ended unplugging my box (cable switch) when I don't use it (which is for some 20h on weekdays, sometimes even 24h).

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Thinking about doing one of these MSI Wind PC barebones as a SC7 server using a similar Linux based setup.

    Some people seem to have had difficulties with the onboard NIC. How does it work for you?

    The NIC looks to be a PCIe Realtek RTL8111C which has WOL support-- does wake on LAN (WOL) work in Linux (e.g. when set with ethtool will it power on when the SB/receiver sends a magic packet)?

    Also, do you know if it suspends to RAM (ACPI S3, typically invoked using "pm-suspend") and hibernates to disk (ACPI S4, typically invoked using "pm-hibernate") reliably under Linux?

    I've been using an Intel D201GLY2, which does not support suspend to RAM, and want faster wake times!
    Last edited by syburgh; 2008-09-27 at 10:25.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    MSI Wind barebones back in stock....

    at newegg...Ordered yesterday.... Will update with details.

  7. #7

    Eee Box?

    It's a shame you can't get an Asus Eee Box for the same great price as the Wind. It's double the price for essentially the same thing, bar 801.11n wifi.

    Maybe a price watch will bear fruit.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Built up a Wind PC box this weekend

    Just set up a new MSI Wind PC dedicated for SC7 on CentOS 5.2.

    Performance is good (about the same as D201GLY), gigabit network is nice to have (needed separately downloaded driver for CentOS 5), and ACPI S3 support + WOL work really well on this platform (WOL is automatically enabled when power is applied, so no need to boot OS after power loss). Delay from S3 resume to navigation using SB3 appears to be under 10s in all cases. The disk is the loudest aspect of the system, and for $150 I could not really ask/need more for SC7.

    Draws 3W in S3 (w/WOL enabled) and 28W playing music (1x3.5in 5400rpm disk, 1GB SODIMM). Peak draw during startup looks to be 36W, but I didn't watch too closely.

    Need to hack together a better auto-suspend-when-idle script and this will be done.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    I finally had time yesterday to build the MSI wind barebones. I had ordered it with a 1tb wd green hd and 2gb of memory. I wanted to have it also run as a samba and print server as well as running music ip. Total cost, plus shipping was about $310 US.

    The build (and I am not that far from novice) was quite easy. The only inaccuracies/problems is that you have to remove two screws from the front chassis before one can lift the cage out to install the hard disk.

    I did not get a cd/dvd drive. In retrospect, if may have saved a little time, but it was not that hard to do the os install.

    To outline what I did was:
    download the beta of Ubuntu 8.10 32 bit intel cd.
    booted from that and installed the usblive package
    used usblive to create a usb drive version of the startup disk
    Installed ubuntu from that. The Wind booted from it with no problem.
    added the debian main testing to the sources
    installed squeezecenter 7.2.1
    I had good luck copying my server.prefs and plugin/*.prefs along with my playlists and plugins from my previous install on a linux server.
    I had to install mplayer for alienbbc to work

    I need to try spinning the hd down, etc. but so far it has gone very well.
    The noise level is very low, just the disk which is not loud, easily disappears behind the background of radiators, etc. Heat seems to be no problem.

    I did not have to change anything on the mysql install, apparmor, or anything else to get this up. Performance is quite snappy, but I'll update when all my music is moved over.

    All in all a good experience.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    CentOS 5 on MSI Wind PC

    Wrote up some setup notes for SqueezeCenter on CentOS 5 using Wind PC. The formatting could be improved, but I did cut and paste from this to do the actual configuration so it shouldn't have too many gaps.

    Result is fairly specialized, but hopefully low maintenance (ran another system with the same feature-set for about a year with no issues)
    • Automatic suspend (ACPI S3) after 60 min with all players inactive (in pause/stop/poweroff state)
    • Automatic transition from suspend (ACPI S3) to hibernate (ACPI S4) after 2 days of inactivity
    • Automatic power-on in response to WOL packet sent by SB3 players (worst case from S3 to usable UI navigation seems to be <10s)
    • System usage stats using collectd and displayed via web browser (CPU, memory, IO, hddtemp, etc.). Sadly the lm_sensors package does not yet support the hardware monitor chip in this system, so no voltage or MB temperatures are collected
    • Root and audio library are mounted readonly
    • Password-less rsync and samba for library maintenance

    Power efficiency is an attractive feature of this system. During operation I typically see 28-29W draw. Observed power usage in various ACPI power states (1x3.5in 5400rpm SATA disk, 1GB SODIMM) is:
    • G0 idle: 28W, seek: 30W, startup peak: 36W
    • S3 w/WOL: 3W, S4/S5 w/WOL: 2W

    Build was easy-- be sure to remove the extra screws under the front panel as noted by others. The customer reviews at Newegg are a good source of info on the hardware.

    The only significant foible I've noticed with this system relates to the network adapter, which reverts from 1000Mb to 100Mb after each suspend/hibernate/reboot cycle. Adding a "speed 1000" argument to the network init script resolves this (detailed in my notes).

    This is an interim solution until FreeNAS supports modern hardware features (as of 0.69b4 it's far away from offering this functionality: currently lacks WOL support, working ACPI S3/S4 support, and a driver for the network adapter). These are all limitations inherent in the use of the FreeBSD, and the BSD vs. Linux discussion has certainly been had before...

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