Actually, the EPIA boards come with a C3 installed. The speed depends on how much you pay, I´ve seen them sold with anything from 500MHz-933MHz.... However, none of them are very fast ;-( (although I admit that there are a few situations where the silence of a noiseless system is worth the sacrifice in speed)
My problem is that the names of the EPIA mobos don't state the Mhz: Epia 4000, 5000, 8000 ...
So I'm looking for a website which states their actual speed. I don't want to end up buying a 400Mhz cpu if I would like at least an 800Mhz model or so, fast enough for wordprocessing and cable internet.
I'm planning to make a noiseless and small-form
"typing machine" and "internet terminal" for the living room.
Sorry, I don´t know of such a website, you could try at www.mini-itx.com though. However, when I was looking for EPIA motherboards a while ago I found that the EPIA boards where a bit more expensive than just buying an FCPGA board of choice and buy the 933Mhz C3 to go with it, so I went for that instead. The only reason to go for the EPIA is of course if you´re going to use an ITX form factor computer case....
I eventually gave sold my system though since the performance simply wasn´t up to what I needed (even playing DivX at High quality had problems), that was using a 933Mhz C3 CPU...
I just thought that I'd give one noteworthy point.
<b>VIA C3'S ARE POINTLESS!</b>
Sorry, but they are. They were designed to compete against a Pentium 3. Yet even then, they sucked royally. VIA, in a stroke of lunacy, decided to proclaim then that their advantage wasn't performance, but that they were low power/heat. Never mind that Transmetta processors already held this niche and were much better at it. Never mind that mobile processors also held this niche and were much better at it.
So not only are C3s <i>not</i> the best solution for low power/heat, but they also have absolute crap performance.
And guess what else has better performance and is low heat? An underclocked processor.
For example, take a Pentium III 1.13GHz Tualatin with the 133MHz FSB. It's pretty cool running in the first place. It'd be really easy to just put a large passive cooler or a heat pipe on one of them as it is. But then you can even drop the FSB from 133MHz to 100MHz to underclock it to be an 850MHz P3. Then you don't even need a large cooler. Just a dinky passive cooler or heat pipe would do.
You might think "Yeah, but 850MHz is <i>way</i> less than what I can get with a C3." Yet this underclocked P3 will absolutely slaughter even the best of the C3s, the C3 performance is <i>that</i> bad.
And of course there are also other solutions for small and quiet PCs, such as the miniature Shuttle case/mobo barebones systems. They can even run Pentium 4s using a heat pipe. They're nice, quiet, and small.
So really, the whole point of the VIA C3 is that they're pointless. Underclocked P3s are better. Mobile processors are better. Hell, Intel's Ultra Low Voltage Mobile Celeron just totally blows any C3 away for low a low heat/power chip.
So if you <i>want</i> to waste your money on a C3, go ahead. Just know that much better solutions exist and that doing a little research can go a long way.
You do have a point there: Tualatins don't really produce much heat. I have a Celeron Tualie 1.2Ghz and it remains VERY cool with my copper cooler of which the fan goes below 3000rpm.
Maybe I could even remove its fan, as it sits quite close to the 92mm exhaust case fan.
So yes, you are right, one doesn't need a C3 to make a near-silent system.
But how do you make a near silent SMALL system with intel or AMD cpus?
Those mini-systems you wrote about with P4 or Athlon cpus really aren't near silent you know. Far from it.
My lady said she wants something "which makes no more noise than the VCR"
...Good Lord. I can forget about the mini-P4 or Athlons. Athlon...hmm... maybe I could try a Duron?
I don't know, but maybe there is still a mini-case whith a S370-mobo to house a Tualatin cpu. With that, it is possible to make a near silent AND SMALL system, which indeed would perform better than a C3 or an EPIA.
But I haven't seen any Socket370-mini system lately, that's my problem. Maybe a Duron is the solution and can make her happy.
I need a small system for in the living room, as my lady doesn't want a BIG pc there, not even a mini tower, not even a nice design pc like the Dells of now.
Get an Athlon XP1600+ (1400 MHz) and drop it to 1050MHz, then drop the core voltage down to 1.50v (the lowest setting for most boards). You'll still have roughly 3x the performance of the C3.
Those mini systems SUCK for your use, because they are tall and narrow. Instead I suggest you go with a Micro ATX Desktop style case, which would more closely match the other items in your living room. Take a look at <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=1..." target="_new">This Case</A> as an example of something more appropriate for your living room.
<font color=blue>You're posting in a forum with class. It may be third class, but it's still class!</font color=blue>
The link works fine for me too. It must be one of <i>those</i> days. You know, the kind that software developers hate because the code that <i>they</i> wrote is fine, yet it still doesn't work. Heh heh.
But anywho, thanks for that link. I'd looked all over for one of those suckers a while ago when I was trying to design a microATX system and was shocked to find it so difficult to locate any of those style of cases in microATX. I could remember old P90s and 286s even that had cases like that, yet for some reason it was hard to find a modern case like that. Maybe I was just having bad luck that day.
I managed to dig up the thermal specs on the ThoroughbredA 1700+. It has a max output of 49.4W of heat, which is the absolute best of all Athlon processors until you go all the way back to the Athlon 900MHz. Not bad. It totally blows the .18 micron AXPs away.
Here's a small shocker for you. The Tualatin Celeron 1.4GHz puts out 34.8W. The fully-fledged P3 Tualatin 1.4GHz puts out 32.2W. So the P3 actually runs <i>cooler</i> than the Celeron, even though the cache is run with less latency and is doubled in size! Who'd have seen that coming? Heh heh. But anyway, a P3 Tualatin <i>definately</i> runs a <i>lot</i> cooler than an Athlon Thoroughbred.
I will give VIA some credit though. An 800MHz C3 Samuel2 has an output of only 12.1W. An 866MHz C3 Ezra has an output of only 11.0W. That is pretty good. Still, with a good passive cooler, you could run a silent P3. And if you underclocked a P3, you could really do well. (And the P3 would <i>very much</i> outperform the C3.
And there's still Intel's Ultra Low Voltage Celeron at 650MHz with a thermal output of only 7W that'd challenge even the best of C3s in any performance benchmark. Too bad it's <i>really</i> hard to find these suckers. They'd make excellent set-top boxes. Heck, they might even make a good PDA and definately a good tablet PC.
[EDIT]Speaking of really cool but hard to find suckers that'd work well in PDAs and/or tablet PCs, the Transmeta TM5800 at 800MHz only puts out 6W of heat. It's hard to beat that. Too bad they perform oddly because of their weird interpreted-code nature.[/EDIT]
Anyway, toss in a Zalman CNPS3100 heat sink and you can have a passively cooled P3 that'll very much outperform a VIA C3.
[EDIT]A P3 Tualatin 1.13GHz (512KB cache) with an B0 or B1 stepping is what I'd get, as it only has 27.9W thermal output. And if you <i>really</i> needed something even cooler, I'd still get the same P3, but then underclock it to 850MHz by dropping the FSB to 100MHz.[/EDIT]
Wow. I have to add that Intel managed to impress me once again. I had been completely ignoring the Pentium 4s because everyone knows that they're hot, right?
Well, they are, so it wasn't such a bad idea to avoid them. Heh heh. <i>However</i> I just looked it up and a P4 Northwood 2.53GHz has an output of only 59.3W! That sure as hell beats the AXP 1600+ with 62.8W. In fact in order to beat that, you have to go all the way down to a TBredA 1900+ (1.6GHz) for 52.5W So Intel CPUs, even the P4s, <i>really are</i> cooler than AMD CPUs.
Uh oh. Maybe I shouldn't have dug this up. Now I'm going to have fanboy hate mail.