Hey guys so I want to build an Atom based desktop inside a SEGA Dreamcast shell but I have only ever build ATX mid-tower PCs and have never dealt with an Atom processor. I have a few questions I'm hoping can be answered:
1. What is the best site to buy components for compact power-efficient PCs like this?
2. What is the best atom board available right now under 100 dollars?
3. Will I need to buy a separate fan/heatsink for the Atom chip itself or will the board have one included?
4. What is the best small low power PSU? I have heard good things about the Pico 80w.
Thanks! Also, I plan to be emulating retro game consoles with this machine, so I don't wanna go overkill with the Atom board, just any recommended Atom board that will smoothly emulate and play HD video.
I'd rather not go over around 250-300 dollars as this is just a fun side project. If it is possible to get the price of everything around 150-200 that would be amazing. I need all necessary parts for the PC (board, memory, hard drive, optical drive, fans, psu) except the case.
The GMA3650 integrated GPU in the Cedar Trail atoms is horrible due to the lack of decent GPU driver support even in Windows. OpenELEC and Linux do not support it at all. In my own testing even simple Windows operations were slow like moving them around, min/max etc. It behaves ok for a nettop if you shut Aero off. See here too: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/atom-cedar...
To answer question #4, the picoPSU-80 is good but it doesn't come with the P4 (CPU) power plug so you need to buy a molex-to-P4 adapter. However, the picoPSU-90 does have a P4 plug so for a few dollars more over the picoPSU-80, get the picoPSU-90 but save money and wires by not needing the molex-to-P4 adapter.
If you can find an Atom/GT610 combination motherboard like the Zotac D2550ITXS-B-E or Giada MI-D2500GT you'll be much happier and have a decent GPU capable of doing what you list.
Also, take a look at an E-350 motherboard too as long as your emulator/video player can take advantage of GPU acceleration.
Thanks everyone! I'll probably try and keep a running forum post on the project which I have now entitled DreamPC once I get the project out of the planning stages.
I've got plans to create my own GUI, or get somebody else to make it for me since I'm way more of a hardware guy than I am a software guy, and make it Dreamcast themed. I also plan on hardwiring the controller to the system and turning into a USB/SD card hub where the memory card would normally go.