A holiday motherboard Special

Just in case folks wanted to go green for the holidays in terms of our computing desktop, here's a -fanless- low-powered Intel "Little Valley 2" motherboard that started selling on Monday at NewEgg. Hopefully the link is still good - last time, they ran out in less than 3 days on the Lil' Valley 1 version of the board. I also noticed they posted a Retail Kit version for $2 more.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121326

The form factor is actually mini-ITX which is micro-ATX compatible but the whole mobo with soldered on CPU, graphics, networking, audio, is just 6.7 inches square. Price is just $65 and it listed today at newegg. This is $10 cheaper than the next closest competitor with stock on this item (mini-box.com).

Last time they had a sale, newegg sold out in 3 days or less on the Little Valley 1. This new board features a new Conroe-L-based Celeron 220 cpu that's even lower-power but supposedly faster than the version 1 of the board. Plus the new board has 2 SATA ports. Rest of the features include 1 IDE port, 1 DIMM slot (1GB DDR2 max), two sets USB pin headers + 2 usb onboard in the back, front panel audio header pins, PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, 1 parallel, 1 serial port, and 1 PCI slot.

I purchased a new iStar storm 3 mini ITX tiny tower case with 80W high efficiency power supply. Newegg also has highly rated Wintec AMPO memory, 1GB DDR2 5300 dimms for $19 (w/ heat spreader!!!) and you may want to get the Samsung slim DVD burner which I've verified is truly ATAPI compliant. (not like that $38 cheapy APOS DW-ISD081 Dual Layer for $38 at pcdirect.com which didn't work properly for ATAPI compatibility, even with th pin 45/47 jumper hack).

URLs for case, dimm, and burner are:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811165041
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820161675
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151135

The case comes with adapters for small notebook disk drives. I'll be using a toshiba 120GB MK1246GSX notebook SATA disk, which is also on special.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149068

I have 2 systems running with the previous Lil' Valley 1 board w SXDE 1/08 b79 and swapped out the 40mm cpu fan with newer, quieter mini-Kaze 40mm fans. They each have 94+% efficiency DC power supply systems (like the one that comes with the iStar case). They run at 25 - 32 Watts on average. I'm hoping to shave a few more watts off the power envelope, get quieter and run faster.

Happy system building this holiday (while supplies last!)

Comments:

Hi Dr. Liu,

Thanks for the info. I have been trying to do away with internal DVD burners (& so far have been quite successful).

Thus, one question that could be important to me is, can you boot the system from an external USB DVD drive? Thanks again.

Posted by W. Wayne Liauh on December 13, 2007 at 06:42 AM PST #

I haven't tried to boot this system with an external USB optical drive, but I've done it before on other systems with Nevada and S10 current and maybe prior releases going back at least a year so I don't think it's a problem. BIOS boot menu supports removable drives. One of my solutions with a previous D201GLY boards for eliminating all optical drives was to boot/install via PXE which works better. You do need to unpack the x86.miniroot in the net install image and add support for Murayama's sfe driver (i.e. build the driver, copy it to the unpacked directory's [unpacked]/kernel/drv and then run the add_drv command with -b [alt-root-dir] flag to add relavant driver_aliases and perms to that driver. There's a BigAdmin article I co-authored that summarizes all the steps to get the install to work. See this URL: http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/features/articles/device_driver_install.jsp

Posted by PotstickerGuru on December 14, 2007 at 03:39 AM PST #

Hi James
I just want to know have you install solaris on this motherboard, I am going to build a low budget solaris system for myself and this new MB seems better than the old one. Also I've seen someone successful to install 2Gb of RAM on D201GLY, does this one support more than 1Gb of RAM stated in the Spec?

Thanks

Posted by Steve Wong on December 19, 2007 at 12:31 PM PST #

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