For some time I've been playing with the idea of getting a VIA EPIA system, since the 17x17cm of Mini-ITX is pretty damn cute :), and they aren't too expensive and everything except RAM is integrated on the board. Add low power consumption and heat production, it's pretty cute. (Yes, I do know about the sucky performance). I got even more interested when I read that they have produced a new version with AES encryption in hardware - this would be pretty ideal for my router/server thing as I encrypt everything. (Too bad I don't have an URL for this, I read it in a magazine).

Then Scali threw me the following two URLs:
http://www.vr-zone.com.sg/?i=306
http://www.imakenews.com/opensystems/index000038561.cfm?x=a27DhtP,an60QKb

A Mini-ITX Pentium M@1600 mhz - whoa? Aren't Pentium M supposed to be pretty fast, unlike the sort of crappy VIA EPIA? Add in the advantages of an intel chipset, intel graphics, and a gigabit ethernet port... hardware AES doesn't seem that important anymore :P

Well, dunno why I'm posting this I guess, I'm just fascinated by the 17x17cm size :)
Posted on 2004-01-06 15:31:04 by f0dder
Humm, then again:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0%2C3973%2C1354023%2C00.asp


Centaur plans to enhance the cryptography engine in its next generation CPU, adding SHA-1 capability. The current AES implantation can hit about 12.5 gigabits per second on a 1GHz CPU and up to 25 gigabits per second peak in the next generation 2GHz C5I. Contrast this to the 3.0GHz Pentium 4, which can hit about 1.5 Gb/sec with the best available software implementation.

So for my purposes this new EPIA might be better anyway... my current box has about 100% CPU usage when I'm saturating the 100mbit NIC with encrypted data - and apart from that, no heavy computations are done.

Would be interesting to find prices for boards using the Pentium M and the new C5...
Posted on 2004-01-06 16:06:37 by f0dder

A Mini-ITX Pentium M@1600 mhz - whoa? Aren't Pentium M supposed to be pretty fast

Isn't intels M processors for laptops and such (M=Mobile), and they got some speed step thingy - which lowers CPU speed when the batery is low?
Posted on 2004-01-06 18:35:01 by scientica
Originally posted by scientica
Isn't intels M processors for laptops and such (M=Mobile), and they got some speed step thingy - which lowers CPU speed when the batery is low?


Marketing documents said so. And, it seems to me that Pentium-M is nothing more than an extended version from the old P6 core, rather than the (new) netburst core.:eek:
Posted on 2004-01-06 20:51:48 by Starless
f0dder: I have a EPIA M 1Ghz Nehemiah board but i dont use it for network (i use it as a HTPC).

pros:
* small size
* integrated mpeg HW decoder
* 5.1 on board sound card
* 4 x USB ports

cons:
* YUCK GFX drivers (i'm on TV Out mostly, but if I switch to VGA only than the TV Out is disabled and i must attach a monitor to select the TV back)
* noise on the CPU fan

for me it will be OK if I can find a decent noiseless PSU and a notebook DVD-Rom :grin:

Add low power consumption and heat production, it's pretty cute.

yeah, if you can find decent PSU and fans. mine has now 3 'old' fans and it is kinda noisy. i must work on that :rolleyes:
Posted on 2004-01-07 02:59:38 by TBD

which lowers CPU speed when the batery is low?

"Battery" isn't going to run low when you run it on a normal power supply :). Besides, the speedstep tech could probably be used to lower clock frequency when full speed isn't needed - which would probably reduce power consumption and heat production.


And, it seems to me that Pentium-M is nothing more than an extended version from the old P6 core, rather than the (new) netburst core.

As I understood it, it was sort of a like an enhanced P3 with SSE2 support - which is still pretty nice performance running 1600+ mhz :).


noise on the CPU fan

Shouldn't you be able to slap on a big heatsink and run without active cooling?

I also heard from a friend that GFX drivers are quite an issue :/. He basically couldn't get TV-Out working on 2k and had to install XP; dunno how the situation is under linux (but probably not that much better? ;)).

Btw, how is the speed of the 1Ghz Nehemiah? My friend has one of the older models, around 800mhz I think... and the speed sucks :P. WinXP definitely had to have styles disabled, and the UI is sorta laggy - while it runs perfect on my old Athlon700. While the UI is laggy, it does work perfectly for playing DivX etc, though.
Posted on 2004-01-07 05:41:40 by f0dder
Shouldn't you be able to slap on a big heatsink and run without active cooling?

i didnt want to screw the mobo as I paid EUR160 (a lot for me) and it was cheaper for me to use
old fans that i had around (cheap -> less quality)

dunno how the situation is under linux

i monitored some time ago the forums and they try to r3v3rs3 to add HW mpeg support (i saw some good results). also they are some distros especially for EPIA mobos

how is the speed of the 1Ghz Nehemiah?

i cant complain :tongue: DiVX with AC3 works perfectly, i played even two DiVX in parallel - no problem
on WinXP with styles enabled.

... also by using Girder with a homemade IR receiver is bliss :grin:

now i will wait for new EPIA with 12V DC convertor onboard and with CF reader. hehe.
Posted on 2004-01-07 06:02:32 by TBD