Let's Make Robots!

Mini ITX X86 Question

Hello,
This is an inquiry to all your smart hardware people and expert link gatherers.  MarkusB wants to purchase a brain for the MAAHRs project, which I will be installing MRL.  Several of us came to the conclusion that a mini-atx computer would be the best choice.  But we don't know which one. Do you have experience in these?  Even if you don't, can you give us an idea & link of what might be a good start?  

Preference would be:

  • X86 architecture 
  • lots of memory 
  • integrated wifi if possible

To get the ball rolling I found this

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=mini+itx&cid=586171940194088278&os=reviews

The Pros are that its completely silent, has USB 3.0, and a bunch of other features... The bad part is that it appears to be extremely picky about its memory .. you have to get exactly the correct kind....

 

 

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VIA's are not the fastest kid on the block, but they are cheap, cool (as in heat) and extremely low power.

http://www.via.com.tw/en/initiatives/spearhead/mini-itx/

There is a collection.

Apparently there is a quad core coming out soonish.

Thanks for the info.   We need links to actual boards boards though.. Hmmm site seems broken..

I noticed, it was up when I linked it.
VIA Has some nice embedded boards, they are really small, but also have some larger, Mini ITX and Nano ITX boards, all are good and X86 based. 

You want a system that requires as little power as possible, go for an intel atom system with embedded video.

How about to rip apart an Eee PC.

Pros:

  • small
  • SSD
  • standard memory module
  • fast CPU
  • onboard grafics
  • onboard sound
  • onboard WiFi/Bluetooth
  • and lots more
  • runs good with Linux or Windows
  • good power efficiency with up to 8 hours per battery charge (maybe even more if you don't need the screen turned on...

Cons:

  • costs?

Or go with another netbook/ or even an andriod tablet PC (e.g. Haipad).

Plus you can mount the screen right to the rest of the computer, as in take out the keyboard... Hmmm now I want to try this haha :)

I grabbed one similar to this and threw 4 gb and a 250gb drive. I use it as my mini server though not my dev system. It's quiet, the one I have has wifi,as well as hdmi and dvi...though I didn't plan to use the hdmi, it's a nice addition for later. The proc is one of the slower ones, but honestly, for what I'm doing, I don't need blazing speed. It also runs better than the current vm I run on an older pentium4 system, so it was a nice upgrade.  I also have another system thats about half the size and with the more recent 525 atom proc, but seriously, I didn't see much of an improvement other than the video was a bit better...it's also a bit noisy since it has a plastic case and less venting. that was one of the jetway systems. Honestly, thats sitting on my printer doing nothing since I found the noise annoying....  :/  Getting one in a case may be more economical as well....One of the other brands I was looking at was Zotac...they have several models so I would search that in newegg and see what you can find.

I work on a sickly snail in comparison...  Maybe it's a good thing that I do, so the software I make will be optimized as much as possible to work on tired dying computers....

Are you going to turn any of those into bots?

I think were moving ahead.
I believe we'll go with TinHead's suggestion, except dual core (for $20 more why not??)
Please check me on the Memory and PSU - still need suggestion for a disk ... gettin close...

Mother Board $85
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Dual-Core-Mini-ITX-Motherboard-BOXD525MW/dp/B0041RSC94/ref=pd_cp_e_1

Memory $21
http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-CT25664BC1067-204-PIN-PC3-8500-SODIMM/dp/B001KB6Z2U/ref=pd_bxgy_e_text_b 

PSU $50
http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-160-XT 

Disk ???