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Geode LX/NX, VIA C7, mini ITX systems

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January 3, 2007 12:47:15 PM

Hi,

I'm thinking to build a silent and efficient PC just for internet, msn, video conferencing, play DVDs, Audio CDs and mp3, maybe some OFFICE applications.

It's hard to find usefull information, benchmarks and real experience in work with this systems.
From what I googled, the AMD Geode NX is better than VIA C7, but get more warm than VIA C7 and consumes a bit more (I know it is insignificant in the pay bill).
The Geode LX is very appealing, with just 3.9W peak, but it may be too much slow for windows XP... and the others may be very slow with XP too.

Anyone have some experience that could share about those systems and CPUs? What operating system do you use? What Applications? It's fast the user response?... etc.

Thank you :) 

More about : geode mini itx systems

January 3, 2007 1:57:07 PM

Fascinating.

Consider using Windows 2000 Professional instead of XP. It uses less RAM and CPU resources and is virtually 100% compatible with Windows XP.
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January 3, 2007 2:11:39 PM

Quote:
Fascinating.

Consider using Windows 2000 Professional instead of XP. It uses less RAM and CPU resources and is virtually 100% compatible with Windows XP.


Yep yep... I have several "XP" only programs that exsist, without 1 single issue, on my 2K system

Note: i have yet to see a driver (for my uses anyway) that say XP only
so far any drivers I've had to install say XP/W2000.....

People can argue all day about the huge benifits of XP, for my uses (games, office apps, some Vid/Audio encoding, and security) XP offers "me" nothing over W2k.

Besides all that unless you are really strapped for Hard Drive space XP will run pretty dern well on any CPU, 900mhz or higher if you have at least 512mb of ram.
January 3, 2007 2:33:05 PM

Quote:
Fascinating.

Consider using Windows 2000 Professional instead of XP. It uses less RAM and CPU resources and is virtually 100% compatible with Windows XP.


Yep yep... I have several "XP" only programs that exsist, without 1 single issue, on my 2K system

Note: i have yet to see a driver (for my uses anyway) that say XP only
so far any drivers I've had to install say XP/W2000.....

People can argue all day about the huge benifits of XP, for my uses (games, office apps, some Vid/Audio encoding, and security) XP offers "me" nothing over W2k.

Besides all that unless you are really strapped for Hard Drive space XP will run pretty dern well on any CPU, 900mhz or higher if you have at least 512mb of ram.

I've had XP running on a 466Mhz Celeron with 128mb of RAM. Barely.
January 3, 2007 2:35:52 PM

Quote:
Fascinating.

Consider using Windows 2000 Professional instead of XP. It uses less RAM and CPU resources and is virtually 100% compatible with Windows XP.



actually, if you do a quick research on how to customize XP, you can get the memory usage down far below standard win2k.


There are many websites that tell you how to do this, and one of the big things you can do is disable visual themes (looks like win2k). XP is more secure and stable OS, and runs fine on ITX systems, and old legacy computers, it just requires some service, and visual tweaking.

You can even get Windows down to ~10mb of memory usage I believe using TinyXP install.

Also, most ITX boards support 1gb of memory anyway, which is plenty for normal usage... and VIA processors (up to 1.2ghz) are PLENTY fast for windows XP.

Here is a great website to shop for these technologies (if you dont know it already).

MINI-ITX.COM

I have built several ITX based computers and I can tell you they run XP fine, and much better if you look up which services to kill, and how to turn off the visual styles of XP.

Good Luck! Let us know what you go with... always fun to build these lil'guys.


You might want to try a NANO-ITX board too..... small = more awesomeness.
January 3, 2007 6:54:30 PM

Quote:

I've had XP running on a 466Mhz Celeron with 128mb of RAM. Barely.

Sounds good for me.
I think AMD Geode NX 1Ghz will perform like your celeron, but I'll put 1Gb DDR if I buy it.
How does it perform on playing DVDs, DIVX, etc?
January 3, 2007 7:49:24 PM

Some of the VIA computers have built in Mpeg2/Divx acceleration, which means video will be perfect.... did you even read the links I sent you?
January 3, 2007 8:14:06 PM

I already knew those links.
I already saw benchmarks of VIA C7 and Geode NX. But I want experience from users that use those systems day by day.
I don't want to click and menus open 2 seconds after.
I think I'll go for a Pentium Solo ou Pentium M system...
Thanks
January 3, 2007 8:19:40 PM

I used to use the systems every day, and will be building one for my car soon enough.

The built in decoders make for smooth multimedia, and fine WinXP usage. What ever you do, get loads of memory, thats all I will tell you.
January 3, 2007 8:33:08 PM

Quote:
I used to use the systems every day, and will be building one for my car soon enough.

The built in decoders make for smooth multimedia, and fine WinXP usage. What ever you do, get loads of memory, thats all I will tell you.

Thank you a lot.
Can I ask you more things?
Did you used a Geode already? NX, LX?
What is the difference between C7-D and C7? C7-M is recommended or is too slow?
I can't find any system with VIA C7-D (Epia or other).
What have you built already?
From what I saw in some links, Geode NX system gets warmer and uses more power then VIA EPIA, but the Geode NX 1Ghz uses only 6W vs 20W of VIA C7. This sounds controversial.
I think its fun too building this mini itx PCs but there is very little information. Is not like building a "normal" PC.
Sorry for all questions.
Thank you
January 3, 2007 9:47:53 PM

Quote:
Fascinating.

Consider using Windows 2000 Professional instead of XP. It uses less RAM and CPU resources and is virtually 100% compatible with Windows XP.

I think every modern CPU runs XP pretty smoothly. With 1GB of RAM, even a sub GHz P3 runs XP flawlessly.
January 4, 2007 12:12:03 AM

I can attest to that.
January 4, 2007 8:51:56 AM

Don't you think this processors are better option than VIA C7 2GHz?

VIA C7 2 GHz 20W

Any of this bellow should be better than C7 2GHz I think.

Pentium M
725 1.6 GHz 21 W

Pentium Core Solo
U1400 1.2 GHz 5.5 W
U1300 1.06 GHz 5.5 W

Pentium Core Duo
L2400 1.66 GHz 15 W
L2300 1.50 GHz 15 W
U2500 1.20 GHz 9 W
U2400 1.06 GHz 9 W
January 4, 2007 9:24:10 AM

Can I just chuck in the idea of Boot Camp-ing a Mac Mini - they're completely silent and way more powerful than any of the options that you've been looking at thus far.
January 4, 2007 8:52:15 PM

I second using a Pentium M if you're looking for the best performance/watt. The Pentium M desktop boards are a little pricey, but no more so than an ITX board. I currently have a Pentium M 1.4 Banias in my laptop permanently set at 600MHz/0.700V. I'm pretty sure the CPU doesn't consume more than 5 watts when running at full load, and it is more than enough to watch movies, surf the web, and do basic office apps with it. In fact, that's all I really do with my laptop, as it's primary role is school work. It only has 256MB ram, but for these tasks, it's all that's really needed. Your idea of 1GB is overkill unless you're thinking of installing Vista in the near future.

Actually why don't you just buy a low-end laptop, and then use a USB keyboard and mouse and LCD flatpanel along with it? Better yet, get a docking station so you don't have to mess with unplugging everything every time you want to take your computer with you. :wink: The battery can be like a UPS. :)  If you're looking for extremely low power consumption, it's hard to beat a laptop. My Inspiron 1200 consumes 12 watts on average, 15 when watching a DVD.
January 4, 2007 9:07:45 PM

I'll not buy a laptop, but thanks for the idea.
I thinking on 1Gb because with anti virus in memory, and some apps it gets near to 512 fast, and i want smooth operation.
I am really inclined to Pentium M or Solo.
Thanks for share your experience. I'm open for more ideas ;) 
!