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Christmas Shopping for a new Intel Mini PC - 2014

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  • Pete
    replied
    Yeah here still waiting on a similar box here purchased for $93 USD on sale with W81 license.

    Newegg also has similiar boxes for a bit over $100 with no Wintel licenses.

    Today though do have HP laptops / desktops around and they make a good product.

    Leave a comment:


  • tbever
    replied
    HP stream box

    I just ordered one of the HP stream boxes from Amazon for 179.00. I was planning to upgrade my hometroller from HS 2 to 3, but I also plan to upgrade the ztroller to the znet, so I think I will just start from scratch with a new box. Will see how it works out. I hear 8.1 is pretty stable, but so far my other machines are all win 7 and mac. http://www.stuff.tv/news/ces-2015-hp...palm-your-hand

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  • NeverDie
    replied
    Originally posted by Automated View Post
    Pete, I have a very similar box bookmarked on Amazon, as the Zotac ZBOX you posted about. Have a look. A little more expensive, but you get 2 more cores and a bit more speed (as well as burst). Also comes with the Win 8.1 license. There really are so many of these little boxes these days...

    Zotac ZBOX-CI320NANO-U-W2 nano Plus Windows 8.1 with Bing mini PC series

    Only 235.00 from Amazon. They were in stock just a few days ago. Looks to be they are out at the moment.
    Thanks again for pointing this out. I just now snagged one for my wife to use. Fanless and very compact. If anyone else reading this thread is still interested, Rakuten presently has them at $236 with free 5-8 day shipping. The effective price is $212 if you subsequently utilize the 10% discount credit (promo code NEWYEAR15), but the credit is only good toward a future purchase.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pete
    replied
    Thanks ND.

    Where did you find it at $37?
    Just doing quick aimless googles. Prices have changed again with my googling yesterday.

    Relating to the carpc stuff.....

    The carpc's take the VGA out to the car bus downgrading it some for the HU display in a intermediary "box". This device has video and bus outputs and is recognized by the bus of the automobile as just another device. The carpc software has an integrated serial sniffer such that you can watch the serial com. All of the devices on the bus chatter endlessly. It is primitive in one way and very functional in another way.

    The car stuff OEM configured in a small rack like structure that sits in the back of the vehicle on the side of the trunk area. Its an interesting concept which dates back to the 1990's with this mfg's vehicles. (IE: Amp, blue tooth (with integrated 3G/4G), cd changer, satellite, radio tuner, gps, TV module). First blue tooth module/3G in the early 2000's came from the EU as there was none here in most vehicles at the time. (I diy'd it to the CDMA telephone wiring cluster).

    The MythTV box (combo Squeeze Server) does a good job of removing television commercials. That said though mostly now streaming everything and doing that virtual in the cloud recording of stuff.

    IE: Kept this to watch without commercials.
    Last edited by Pete; December 31st, 2014, 10:57 AM.

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  • NeverDie
    replied
    Originally posted by Pete View Post
    Curious where did you get your 2900 motherboard from.

    Did you purchase the ECS one?

    I see it on sale at Amazon for $80.

    I see the ECS J1800 on sale for $37.

    Thinking of upgrading the D525 in one carpc to the J1800 or the J2900 mostly cuz the car pc is doing more today than just a couple of years ago.
    I got the Q2900 from NewEgg. It was $103 plus shipping. It was the Asrock, not the ECS.

    I got the ECS J1800 from amazon. It was $42-$43, with free shipping. Where did you find it at $37? The HDMI video quality on the one I received is a bit iffy. Not sure if that's generally true or not, but it might explain the low price. I'm using it headless and dedicated solely to HSPro3, so the HDMI video doesn't matter to me aside from the initial setup.

    I plan to use the Q2900 as a file server and for managing the SiliconDust for capturing OTA HDTV. I'm using the Zbox hooked to the living room HDTV as a web surfer for the family. It hibernates when not in use, and it wakes up very quickly. So far I'm pleased with it in that role, as it's small enough to tuck away and basically disappear.
    Last edited by NeverDie; December 30th, 2014, 12:36 PM.

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  • Pete
    replied
    Curious where did you get your 2900 motherboard from.

    Did you purchase the ECS one?

    I see it on sale at Amazon for $80.

    I see the ECS J1800 on sale for $37.

    Thinking of upgrading the D525 in one carpc to the J1800 or the J2900 mostly cuz the car pc is doing more today than just a couple of years ago.

    Leave a comment:


  • NeverDie
    replied
    Originally posted by NeverDie View Post
    By the way, before I lose momentum on this, I'll quantify this a bit further so that we (anyone reading this) are calibrated. On the Q2900-ITX I described above running Linux HS3Pro, which serves up pages to a chromium browser on another computer (a core2 duo running Windows 8.1):
    • It takes 3-4 seconds to display the Node Information page.
    • It takes 2-3 seconds to display the device list page. It's 180 devices, and in that same range regardless of whether or not it's a sorted list or not.


    These timings are from eyeballing the second hand on an analog watch. They seem to be very repeatable.

    For comparison, it takes about 1-2 seconds for the same browser on the same external computer to request and display an arbitrary page, including graphics, from the amazon.com website.


    Merry Christmas!
    FWIW, before packing up the cubox-i2ex to send it back, I decided to time its page loads. It was about 9 seconds and 3 seconds respectively. So, definitely noticeable, especially on loading the nodes page.

    I also measured the page load times on the Zbox, and I'm not able to perceive a difference between it and the J2900, even though outside of HS3 the J2900 seems to run faster.

    I've been able to run the Zbox at 12 volts DC just fine, even though its adapter is rated at 19.5v (probably to support worst-case USB loads). So, going forward I'll be powering it directly from my 12v DC UPS.
    Last edited by NeverDie; December 28th, 2014, 11:52 AM.

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  • Pete
    replied
    And I was reading that you can overclock the Haswell I3. I don't think that I really need to do that anyways. Thinking still though it will work a bit less running Homeseer 3 in Ubuntu Server that Windows.

    I was on that web site a bunch when I built my NAS using the AMD E350 motherboard. (which I guess is similiar to the Atom). That said though the board is mounted adjacent to all of the drive bays with absolutely no play space. I used an extension for the raid card.

    Leave a comment:


  • NeverDie
    replied
    I finally found a list of idle power consumption for various processors:


    http://www.servethehome.com/Server-d...on-benchmarks/

    The Haswell E3-1230 v3 consumes 21 watts at idle, which in my case would be most of the time. With the E3-1230v3, there's the possibility of running ESXi on a platform with low idle, but a lot of reserve bench strength should it be needed. Now that I know that a Q2900 consumes 9 watts at idle, the E3 at 21 watts idle becomes more interesting. It seems roughly comparable to the i7-4770.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pete
    replied
    For Linux there will be no GUI and still utilize my running KVM with a Java console that handles any Bios stuff.

    For Wintel same KVM. Raritan 16 port job. I will try the new Bios stuff.

    Don't pay attention much these days.

    Yes on the new Haswell I3.

    NAS boxes today have no monitors connected to them.

    Been playing with that EFI stuff a while now relating to the Jogglers. IE: Boots to Linux, Android and Wintel. Have another tablet booting to Wintel, Android, Linux and Mac.

    Leave a comment:


  • NeverDie
    replied
    Out of the various options you outlined, which did you settle on? The i3?

    The low-end boards I've examined so far haven't offered headless access to the bios setup screen. Interestingly, even some of the low-end SuperMicro MB's lack that feature. Luckily the z-box is small enough and light enough that I can easily walk it over to an HDMI connection if the need should arise. For the heavier file server I plan to make with the Q2900, though, it may not be quite as easy. How are you all handling your bios/uefi access to your headless units?

    Leave a comment:


  • Pete
    replied
    My looking today had motherboard, memory, SSD prices less than less week ago.

    Started a new DIY above for picked build.
    Last edited by Pete; December 27th, 2014, 11:32 AM.

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  • NeverDie
    replied
    Thanks, Michael. Good info!

    I looked into it further and, as far as I could discern, none of the J1800, J1900, or J2900 motherboards support overclocking of memory. I guess it would undermine their primary purpose, which appears to be low cost and saving energy. i.e. I haven't seen any MB's in that genre that run their memory at faster than 1333, which is the seemingly immutable speed of the Q2900-ITX.

    The AMD 5350 and related motherboards might offer a noticeable step up in speed, and IIRC some of those motherboards may support overclocking.

    Anyone discovered any noteworthy discounts happening today? Last chance for 2014.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael McSharry
    replied
    @Michael: What were the read/write speeds on the SSD? What was the speed of the RAM on the different systems?
    The SSD are Samsung 850 PRO on new and OCZ Vertex 4 on old. The OCZ is over a year old and likely is about 25% slower on benchmark. The interface is Sata 6gb/s on the new. 3 gb/sec on the old. The old RAM is DDR2 so likely 667 mhz. The new is DDR3 2666 MHz. Abit IP35 vs. ZRock Z97 for the old vs. new motherboards.

    Before I installed the SSD vs. hard drive on the old system everything was very slow and to the point where I was going to build new system. The SSD gave it another year or so of life. I have no specific information of the internal design of either architecture, but I tend to believe the pipe and not the CPU is the limiting factor.

    When looking at Windows Performance monitor the CPU use barely changes when rendering HS pages on new system. I do see network and disk spikes. Since my test is with localhost using IE10/IE11 it is not easy to tell if resources are being used by IE or by HS. Both systems are W7 Ultimate but one was freshly built and one has years of stuff added to the registry and wherever else things get put to slow the system down over time. Basically it is not a controlled experiment, but just observations.

    Leave a comment:


  • NeverDie
    replied
    By the way, before I lose momentum on this, I'll quantify this a bit further so that we (anyone reading this) are calibrated. On the Q2900-ITX I described above running Linux HS3Pro, which serves up pages to a chromium browser on another computer (a core2 duo running Windows 8.1):
    • It takes 3-4 seconds to display the Node Information page.
    • It takes 2-3 seconds to display the device list page. It's 180 devices, and in that same range regardless of whether or not it's a sorted list or not.


    These timings are from eyeballing the second hand on an analog watch. They seem to be very repeatable.

    For comparison, it takes about 1-2 seconds for the same browser on the same external computer to request and display an arbitrary page, including graphics, from the amazon.com website.


    Merry Christmas!
    Last edited by NeverDie; December 25th, 2014, 09:33 AM.

    Leave a comment:

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