Small Form Factor Hardware Options

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Small Form Factor Hardware Options

Postby ZeonOtaku on Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:46 pm

I'm looking for something similar to or like Raspberry Pi - something that would make a good embedded PC. Anybody heard of anything out there?

I'd love to get a few Raspberry Pi's if they weren't sold out.
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Re: Small Form Factor Hardware Options

Postby Toneloc427 on Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:30 am

Have you looked at the VIA VAB-800 or APC 8750, or any of the Pico-ITX boards? They're all a lot more expensive, but also usually much higher performance, and with more accessible I/O.
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Re: Small Form Factor Hardware Options

Postby ZeonOtaku on Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:56 am

Toneloc427 wrote:Have you looked at the VIA VAB-800 or APC 8750, or any of the Pico-ITX boards? They're all a lot more expensive, but also usually much higher performance, and with more accessible I/O.


No I haven't, but will now. I just didn't know what all was out there.
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Re: Small Form Factor Hardware Options

Postby GeneC on Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:07 am

Have you noticed this.? :arrow: http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2055

« Monthly Stats – May 2012 |

Introducing the mintBox

Written by Clem on Friday, June 8th, 2012 @ 4:30 am

In association with CompuLab, Linux Mint is proud to present the mintBox.

Image

Image

The pro model is recognizable by its ribbed case (its faster performance requires more heat dissipation)

We’re passionate about what we do and for our very first Mint device, we wanted something unique, something special and extraordinary. The mintBox is Mint in a box. It’s tiny, it’s silent, it’s extremely versatile and it comes packed with connectivity.

The mintBox is the very first branded Mint device

About CompuLab

CompuLab has been making embedded computer-on-modules for over 15 years. Each unit comes with a 2 years standard warranty and the quality of their components is excellent. They also provide us with free hardware and we have an excellent relationship with them. We were immediately impressed with their fit-PC3 unit. The hardware is unique, and the box and form-factor are amazing.

We work with CompuLab on the fit-PC3 to make sure the software tightly fits the hardware and to provide a high level of integration. Not only does the fit-PC3 run Linux Mint, the fit-PC3 basic and pro models are now also available with Linux Mint branding under the name “mintBox”.

The Fit-PC3 Basic and the mintBox Pro

The mintBox is a CompuLab fit-PC3 unit, with a green retro-lit Linux Mint logo, and 10% of each sale goes towards Linux Mint.

About the mintBox

The mintBox is amongst the toughest computers on the market. It features a die-cast solid-metal case which acts as a giant passive heatsink. Although the metal makes the mintBox heavier than other devices its size, it makes it feel really unique, robust and well engineered. More importantly, it cools down its components without needing any fans. Other than the noise coming from its internal 250GB hard-drive, the mintBox is completely silent.

The mintBox features a die-cast solid-metal case

What is impressive is the size of the unit. It’s smaller than a DVD case…

As you can see on this picture, the mintBox is tiny

And what’s even more impressive, is the connectivity. The mintBox features 8 USB ports, 4 at the front, and 4 at the back (2 of which are USB 3.0). It also comes with Ethernet, Wifi and Bluetooth and feature an HDMI port and a DVI adapter so you can connect it to the wire or join a wireless network, enjoy it on your computer screen or your HDTV, and connect USB keyboards and mice or control it remotely over Bluetooth.

A mintBox plugged to a keyboard, a mouse and a TV

The mintBox features a total of 8 USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity

Here’s an exhaustive list of its extremely rich I/O:

Dual-head display HDMI + DisplayPort
Digital 7.1 S/PDIF and analog 2.0 audio, both input and output
Gigabit Ethernet
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n + BT combo with dual antennas
2 USB3 ports + 2 USB2 ports
2 eSATA ports
Bay for 2.5” SATA HDD
2 mini-PCIe sockets / 1 mSATA
Serial RS232 port

The mintBox can connect to a vast variety of devices and peripherals. A DVI adapter is also included with the unit.

The mintBox is available in two versions.

mintBox Basic ($476 + shipping, duty & VAT):

250GB HDD
APU G-T40N (1.0 GHz dual core + Radeon HD 6290 – 9W)
4GB RAM
Flat metal case
mintBox Pro ($549 + shipping, duty & VAT):

250GB HDD
APU G-T56N (1.65 GHz dual core + Radeon HD 6320 – 18W)
8GB RAM
Ribbed metal case
Another highlight of the mintBox is how easy it is to open it. Both the RAM and the HDD are accessible from underneath the box. Use a standard screwdriver to open the bay and you can upgrade your RAM or switch the HDD for a SSD drive without any hassle.
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Re: Small Form Factor Hardware Options

Postby ZeonOtaku on Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:54 pm

That Mint box is pretty nice. Unfortunately, it doesn't have 3.5in audio plugs (or any audio plugs for that matter) - granted USB devices exist. Though it is indeed pretty nice and something to definately look into in the future. For now, I think I'm going to try to create a linux install in a VM, keeping the guest OS hardware as limited as I can while still maintaining the performance needed. Then, when I have the install as small as I can get it while still maintaining performance, research hardware around that.
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