[sclug] mini-itx boards

Bob Dunlop bob.dunlop at xyzzy.org.uk
Mon Nov 3 19:59:23 UTC 2008


On Mon, Nov 03 at 09:54, Darren Davison wrote:
> is anyone familiar with mini-itx boards that could recommend one for me?
> Critical aspect is a need for gigabit LAN.  Other than that, good
> support in vanilla (pref debian) kernels would be nice. (I hear some of
> these boards/CPUs need a fair amount of kernel patching)

All modern kernels should support the majority of mini-itx chipsets
these days.  Opps, you said debian so a recent kernel may be a problem.

A couple of years back when the only realistic choice for a mini-itx cpu
was VIA I would always recommend a Jetway mb over the EPIA equivalent.
Jetway had better power consumption for the same spec, hence smaller
heatsinks.  Jetway also tended to use the previous revision of interface
chips giving better chance of easy support.

These days the Intel Atom cpu is the obvious choice for a mini-itx board
and I'd guess that the Intel board would be well supported.

The main problem I'd see on your horizon is gigabit LAN support, not many
boards have gigabit, few have the processor bandwidth to justify it.
Gigabit is stilly patchy on mainboards let alone mini-ITX.  Do you
really need gigabit ? dropping back to 100mbit will greatly increase
your options and chance of patchless compatibility.

At work we recommend customers throttle back to 10mb when possible, saves
300mW compared with 100mb so well worth it when the power budget is circa
the one Watt mark.
        Bob Dunlop

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