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Posts Tagged ‘motherboard’

Colorful C.J1900A-BTX Plus V20 Bay Trail Motherboard Takes 8 Graphics Cards for Cryptocurrency Mining

November 13th, 2017 10 comments

Intel Bay Trail processors are mostly found in tablets, 2-in-1 hybrid laptops, and mini PCs, and they’ve often give placed to Cherry Trail processors, and in some cases Apollo Lake ones. x86 compatibility, low cost and low power are the main selling points of the Bay Trail processor family.

Colorful has found a different use case, as they designed a motherboard with 9 PCIe x16 slots, one for a card powered by an Intel Celeron J1900 processor, and 8 to add graphics card in order to mine cryptocurrencies.

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The blue PCI slot takes a PCI CPU card with an the following specifications:

  • SoC –  Intel BayTrail J1900 quad core processor @ up to 2.42 GHz with 2M Cache, integrated Intel HD graphics; 10W TDP
  • Memory – 1×DDR3L SO-DIMM, DDR3L 1333MHz/1066MHz
  • Storage – 1x mSATA slot, 1x SATA 3.0 connector, 1x 4-pin SATA connector
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Connectivity – Dual Gigabit Ethernet via RTL8111E
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • PCIe connector to manage graphics cards
  • Power Supply – 4-pin header for 12V input

The main motherboard is equipped with 16x 6-pin PCIe power connectors with eight located on one side of the board, and eight placed close to each GPU PCIe slots. To complete the setup connect eight mining graphics cards, and you should be good to go.

Anandtech reports that pricing and availability information is unknown at this stage, and they expect the solution to become available to Colorful customers in the next few months. The product page only has some limited details for now.

CHUWI LapBook 14.1 Laptop Manufacturing Changes – Hardware at Launch vs Several Months Later

October 22nd, 2017 11 comments

Products may evolve over time due to parts becoming phased out (EOL), so company often issues PCN (product change notices) to the company for example to replace eMMC flash that’s not manufactured anymore by a new one. They won’t change any advertised features, so the product specifications should remain the same. Reviewers normally get product from one of the first batch of production, and if you purchase the product a few months later, after carefully reading reviews, you may end up with a device slightly different.

But in some cases, the company makes major changes, while still delivering the same advertised hardware specifications. That’s apparently the case for CHUWI LapBook 14.1 laptop. The photo below shows how it looked internally for the sample I reviewed.

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If you zoom on the photo, you’ll find an M.2 slot on the bottom of the right PCB, potentially allowing you to add an SSD internally. At the time, I could also install Ubuntu 17.04 to the eMMC flash. None of those features (M.2 SSD and Linux) were officially supported by the company.

I installed Ubuntu on February 2017, and I had recommended this $250 laptop as a decent inexpensive Linux laptop. But in May, I started to get reports that Linux would not find the eMMC flash. Several people had the same experience even after following the same instructions. So it was likely the company just changed the part.

But at the end of September, I had another person telling me the M.2 slot was gone too, and the company dramatically changed the hardware design with new batteries, motherboard, and so on, as shown in the photo below. The shell looks exactly the same, and connectors are placed at the same location, so I’d assume this is indeed the same model.

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Beside the different eMMC flash, missing M.2 slot, and completely different motherboard, he also pointed out other differences / issues in the model he bought in GearBest (the same seller I got my sample from):

  • Keyboard issues for some keys that need to be pressed harder.
  • Battery changed, and issue with charge controller, so the battery is not usable below 20% charge level
  • Different BIOS with few options
  • Doesn’t run Linux without considerable effort. systemd-boot worked on Arch. It can’t boot Ubuntu boot disk (without isorespin.sh/refind see below)
  • The USB touchpad replaced with a cheaper I2C touchpad, not working in Linux. (He wrote his own driver for it to make it work).

Some of the changes are confirmed in one of the customer reviews on GearBest (Search for user BearGest):

  • No m2 slot in 3rd revision
  • Linux users need to use isorespin.sh to replace grub with a compatible bootloader \’refind\’.
  • Touchpad not supported yet in latest Linux Kernel

Supermicro A2SDi-2C-HLN4F Server Mini-ITX Motherboard is Based on Intel Atom C3338 “Denverton” Processor

July 5th, 2017 15 comments

Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote about Intel Atom C3000 Series “Denverton”  processor based on the same Goldmont architecture used in Apollo Lake processor, and used in an early GIGABYTE MA10-ST0 server motherboard prototype. The latter is not out yet, but according to a YouTube video, the 16-core motherboard should be launched in H2 2017. In the meantime, Supermicro also made their own Denverton motherboard based on a lower-end Atom C3338 dual core processor.

Supermicro A2SDi-2C-HLN4F board specifications:

  • Processor – Intel Atom C3338 dual core Denverton processor @ 1.50 / 2.20 GHz with 4 MB  cache; 9W TDP
  • System Memory
    • Up to 64GB Register DIMM RDIMM and DDR4-1866MHz
    • Up to 32GB Unbuffered ECC/non-ECC UDIMM, DDR4-1866MHz, in 2 DIMM slots
  • Storage – 4x SATA 3 ports, but up to 8x SATA 3 (6 Gbps) ports are configurable; N.B.: total combined PCI-E lanes and SATA ports is up to 8
  • Connectivity – 4x GbE Ethernet via Intel C3000 SoC
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 ports including 2x via headers, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Expansion – 1x PCI-E 3.0 up to x4 (in x4 slot); number of PCI-E lane is configurable via BIOS setup: 0, 2, or 4.
  • Video Output – VGA
  • Serial – 1x COM port via header
  • IPMI & 2D Graphics – ASPEED AST2400 BMC
  • Misc – TPM header; AMI UEFI 2.4/SMBIOS 2.7.1 “BIOS”;  HW monitoring: 4-fan status and tachometer, CPU voltage monitoring, system temperature, VBAT, etc…
  • Power Supply – ATX power connector; 12V DC power input; CPU thermal trip support for processor protection; power-on mode for AC power recovery
  • Dimensions –  17.02cm x 17.02cm (Mini-ITX)
  • Temperature Range – Operating: 0°C ~ 60°C; storage: -40°C – 85°C

The board supports Windows 64-bit operating systems like Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, Hyper-V Server 2016, etc.. as well as various 64-bit Linux distributions such as RedHat Linux EL 7.3, Fedora 25, SuSE SLES 11 SP4, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and others, as well as FreeBSD. You may find the full list here.

If you’d like a complete system, the company also offer SuperServer 5029A-2TN4 with the board, and the company’s SC721TQ-250B mini tower with four hot-swap 3.5″ SATA drive bays, two internal 2.5″ drive bays, and 1 slim DVD-ROM drive bay shared with one internal 2.5″ bay.

Supermicro A2SDi-2C-HLN4F motherboard is sold for just above $200 on websites such as Atacom and WiredZone. I found the barebone “SuperServer” sold for $405 on Newegg. The latter has been reviewed on ServeTheHome in April with the conclusion rather positive:

If you are looking for a 1GbE NAS unit, this is a great option. The performance is well above the previous generation dual core and sometimes quad core models. The ability to maintain a low power profile will help ROI.

Over time, we expect to see better support for the X553 NIC. The major competition for this unit will be when the higher core count variants come out and iterations that support 10GbE.

In many environments, this is going to be a perfect NAS/ network services platform. If you wanted a simple 1GbE Linux NAS or caching appliance, the Supermicro SYS-5029A-2TN4 should be high on your list.

They also ran several benchmarks to put the CPU performance into perspective.

OpenSSL Sign Benchmark – Higher is Better

You’ll find more details about the motherboard on the product page.

Thanks to Paul for the tip.

 

 

GIGABYTE GA-J3455N-D3H Apollo Lake Mini-ITX Motherboard Comes with 2x Gigabit Ethernet Interfaces, 4x SATA Ports

April 18th, 2017 20 comments

GIGABYTE has introduced an update to Bay Trail based GA-J1900-D3V and Braswell based GA-N3150N-D3V motherboards with the launch of GIGABYTE GA-J3455N-D3H mini-ITX motherboard powered by an Intel Celeron J3455 Apollo Lake processor, and equipped with two Gigabit Ethernet ports, four SATA interfaces, and support for up to 16GB RAM.

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GA-J3455N-D3H specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron J3455 quad core processor @ 1.50 / 2.3 GHz with 12EU Intel HD Graphics 500, 2 MB Cache; 10W TDP
  • System Memory – 2x DDR3L SO-DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB RAM; Dual channel; DDR3L 1866/1600/1333 MHz non-ECC memory modules supported
  • Storage
    • 2x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0 & 1) via SoC, 2x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 2 & 3) via ASMedia ASM1061 chip
    • 1x 64 Mbit flash for licensed AMI UEFI BIOS with PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0
  • Video Output
  • Audio
    • Realtek ALC887 codec; 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel (to configure 7.1-channel audio, you have to use an HD front panel audio module)
    • 3x audio jacks (Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
  • Connectivity – 2x Realtek GbE LAN chips (10/100/1000 Mbit)
  • Expansion Slots – 1x PCI slot
  • USB – 4x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header) via SoC, 6x USB 6 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers) via SoC + GENESYS LOGIC USB 2.0 Hub
  • Other internal I/O Connectors
    • 1x 24-pin ATX main power connector; 1x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
    • 1x CPU fan header; 1x system fan header
    • 1x front panel header; 1x front panel audio header
    • 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 header; 2  USB 2.0/1.1 headers
    • 1x parallel port header
    • 1x Clear CMOS jumper
    • 1x chassis intrusion header
  • Misc – 1x PS/2 keyboard port, 1x PS/2 mouse port, 2x serial ports (DB9), H/W Monitoring (voltage, temperature, fan speed detection & control)
  • Power Supply – ATX
  • Dimensions – 17 x 17 cm (mini-ITX form factor)

If two Gigabit Ethernet ports are not enough for your application,  you could also add a PCI network card. The company only claims Windows 10 64-bit support for the motherboard, but Linux distributions are likely to work too, provided it is not somehow locked by the BIOS/UEFI.

It does not appear to be for sale just yet, and we do not know the price either, but it could be in the $100 range for the barebone motherboard. More details may be available on the product page.

Thanks to Paul for the tip.

$100 Qotom Q1900G4-M Nano-ITX Board Powered by Intel Celeron J1900 SoC is Equipped with Four Gigabit Ethernet Ports

March 30th, 2017 23 comments

Qotom Q1900G4-M is a motherboard designed for networking applications thanks to four Gigabit Ethernet ports connected to an Intel Celeron J1900 quad core “Bay Trail” processor. The board supports up to 8GB DDR3 RAM via a SO-DIMM slot, storage through a SATA port and an mSATA connector, and WiFi or cellular connectivity through a mini PCIe slot and SIM card slot.

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Qotom Q1900G4-M board specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron J1900 quad core “Bay Trail” processor  @ 2.0 GHz / 2.41 GHz (Burst) with Intel HD graphics (10W TDP)
  • System Memory – 1x SO-DIMM sockets for up to 8GB DDR3 memory
  • Storage – 1x SATA 3.0 port + power (14 & 15), 1x mini PCIe connector for mSATA SSD (16)
  • Video Output – VGA (5)
  • Connectivity
    • 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports (3) with Wake-on-LAN support
    • SIM card socket (17)
    • USB only mini PCIe connector for WiFi, 3G or 4G (18)
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port (4)
  • Expansion
    • Front panel audio header (6)
    • RS232 header (10)
    • USB header (12)
  • Misc – HDD LEDs (2); power LED (7); power button (8); CPU fan header (9); automatic boot jumper (11)
  • Power Supply – 12V DC (1)
  • Dimensions – 120mm x 120mm (Nano-ITX form factor)
  • Temperature Range – -10°C to 50°C

The board comes with a heatsink by default. You’ll find some details about the hardware in the user manual. The board is said to run Windows 7/8/10 and Linux distributions, especially now that Linux 4.11 is almost out with several fixes for Bay Trail processors.

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Since the board is supposed to comply with Nano-ITX form factor, you should be able to find a case for it, but if not, Qotom also sells Q190G4 mini PC based on the board. It reminds me of X29 mini PC, except it comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports instead of just two, and lacks HDMI and audio ports, as it targets networking applications.

Qotom Q1900G4-M board sells for $99.90 + shipping, while Q190G4 barebone mini PC goes for $120 plus shipping with a 12V/3A power supply and free VESA brackets, and you can optionally add WiFi, memory (up to 8GB RAM), and/or storage (up to 64GB SSD) to your order. I could also find Q1900G2-M motherboard still with 4 Gigabit Ethernet port – contrary to what the name implies – and selling for $91 + shipping. I have not been able to find a difference between Q1900G2-M and G1900G4-M. If you do, let me know.

First Intel Apollo Lake J3455/J4205 Processor Benchmarks & Video Tests

December 6th, 2016 25 comments

Many products powered by Intel Apollo Lake processors have already been announced, but few are actually shipping, and I have yet to get one here. However, AndroidPC.es got hold of ASRock J4205-ITX and J3455-ITX motherboards powered by respectively a Pentium J4205 quad core processor and a Celeron J3455 quad core processor, run a few benchmarks, and tested videos in Windows 10 on the motherboards with Kodi 17 and MPC-HC.

 

ASRock J4205-ITX Motherboard

ASRock J4205-ITX Motherboard

Let’s have a look at some of the benchmarks to better understand of what we can expect from Apollo Lake desktop processors.

pcmark-apollo-lake-processorFirst there’s not that much of a difference between Celeron J3455 (1,771 points) and Pentium 4205 (1,830 points) in PCMark Home Convetional benchmark, however you should clearly feel a boost in performance compared to systems with Intel Cherry Trail x5-Z8300 processor (1,141), and the score is getting fairly close to a mini PC with an Intel Core i3-5005U dual core / four thread processor (15 Watt TDP).

apollo-lake-benchmark-3dmark

If we look at 3D graphics performance, there are even more contrasts between various machines / processors. There’s a really big leap between MINIX NEO Z83-4 with x5-Z8300 processor and both Apollo Lake motherboards (150 to 165% better 3D performance), but on the other hand there’s a noticeable gap (almost 50%) between Intel HD 5500 graphics found in Core-i3 processors and Intel HD 500/505 graphics used in J3455 and J4205 processors.

AndroidPC guys also ran other benchmarks such as Cinebench, games fps, and so on, and I invite you to read their review (in Spanish) if you want to find out more. However, since there was some confusion about 10-bit HEVC and VP9 support, it’s interesting to also check out the video test results.

1080p “standard”
MPC-HC KODI 17
MPEG2 / MP2 2.0 – 6.6Mbps OK OK
MPEG4 / MP3 2.0 – 7.6Mbps OK OK
H264 / AAC 2.0 – 7.2Mbps OK OK
VC1 / WMA3 2.0 – 8.6Mbps OK OK
VP8 / VORBIS 2.0 – 7.8Mbs OK OK
1080p  – Higher bitrate 
Birds – H264 / No audio – 40Mbps OK OK
Samsung Oceanic Life – H264 – AC3 2.0 – 40Mbps OK OK
4K Videos
Skyfall – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 10Mbps OK OK
Timelapse – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 43Mbps OK OK
H.265/VP9 Videos
Tears of steel – HEVC 8bit / AAC 2.0 – [email protected] – 17Mbps OK OK
Beauty – H265 – HEVC 8bit / No audio – [email protected] (recorded @ 120 fps) – 12Mbps Skipped frames OK
Samsung UHD Dubai – HEVC 10bit / AAC 2.0 – [email protected] – 51Mbps Skipped frames OK
Google test – VP9 Youtube OK OK

So all videos can play in Kodi 17 even 4K 10-bit H.265 videos and VP9 videos, however MPC-HC appears to have issues with some H.265 videos. Both ASRock motherboards support HDMI 2.0 with up to 4K @ 60 fps, but none of the 4K H.265 videos had a framerate over 30 fps, so this would have to be tested. HDMI audio pass-through was not so great, as it only worked for Dolby Digital 5.1, not but TrueHD or DTS HD, possibly because the boards are equipped with a DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 converter which could introduce issues.

There are some Linux benchmarks (Phoronix) for ASRock J4205-ITX board, but currently limited to C-Ray.

Portwell Nano-6062 Nano-ITX Apollo Lake Board is Powered by Intel Atom E3900 Series Processors

November 7th, 2016 1 comment

We’ve seen a series of announcements of Intel Apollo Lake based boards and modules in the last couple of weeks, with community boards such as UP Squared to ASRock IMB-157 mini-ITX board, and industrial system-on-modules and carrier boards such as the ones offered by Congatec, Seco, and Adlinktech. One more embedded systems company has now unveiled their Apollo Lake solutions with Portwell Nano-6062 Nano-ITX motherboard powered by Intel Atom E3900 “Apollo Lake” SoCs.

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Portwell Nano-6062 Nano-ITX board support either of the new new Apollo Lake SoCs:

  • SoC
    • Intel Atom x5-E3930 dual core processor @ 1.3 / 1.8 GHz with 2MB L2 cache 1MB, 12 EU Intel Gen 9 HD Graphics (6.5W TDP)
    • Intel Atom x5-E3940 quad core processor @ 1.6 / 1.8 GHz with 2MB L2 cache, 12 EU Intel Gen 9 HD Graphics (9W TDP)
    • Intel Atom x7-E3950 quad core processor @ 1.6 / 2.0 GHz with 2MB L2 cache, 18 EU Intel Gen 9 HD Graphics (12W TDP)
  • System Memory – 1x DDR3L 1866/1600 SO-DIMM slot Up to 8GB
  • Storage – 1x SATA III port, 1x mSATA socket, 1x micro SD socket; 8 MB serial SPI firmware flash with AMI Aptio 2.X (UEFI) BIOS
  • Video Output / Display I/F
    • dual channel 24-bit LVDS connector up to 1920×1200
    • 2x DB-15 (VGA) connector up to 2560×1600
    • 1x DisplayPort up to 4096×2160
  • Video Support – Hardware acceleration for H.264, H.265, MPEG-2, VC1/WMV9, JPEG, VP8 and VP9
  • Audio – Realtek ALC892 HDA codec, 1x 3.5mm Line-Out audio jack, on-board header with Line-In, Line-Out, and Mic-in
  • Network Connectivity
    • E3930 – 1x RJ45 connector using 1x i21oIT Gigabit Ethernet controller
    • E3940/E3950 – 2x RJ45 connectors using 2x i210IT GbE controllers
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 on rear I/O, 2x USB 3.0 via 3.0 pitch header
  • Serial – 1x RS-232/422/485 on-board connector
  • Expansion
    • 1x M.2 socket (type E)
    • 1x full size mini PCIe socket
    • 8-bit configurable GPIOs controlled by embedded controller
  • Misc – Watchdog timer, hardware monitoring (CPU & system temperature, voltages), on-board TPM 2.0 chip
  • Power Supply – 12 to 24V DC input
  • Dimensions – 120 x 120 mm (Nano-ITX form factor)
  • Temperature and Humidity Ranges – -40 °C to +85 °C; 5% to 95% RH, non-condensing
  • MTBF – Over 100,000 hours at 55 C

The board ships with a passive heat spreader and an installation CD, and the company explains the board is especially suited for medical, networking, panel PC, kiosk, and digital signage applications. There’s no word about supported operating systems, but Portwell normally offers support for Windows, Linux, and in some cases VxWorks. It’s worth noting that Intel promises Windows 10 Enterprise (64-bit) and IoT Core (32-/64-bit), Linux through Wind River 8 (64-bit) and a Yocto Project BSP (64-bit), Android 7.0 Nougat 64-bit, as well as Wind River VxWorks 7 real-time operating system for their Apollo Lake E3900 series processors, so in theory any of those OS should be possible.

nano-6062-portsPortwell did not provide pricing nor availability info for NANO-6062 board. You may be able to find a few more details on the product page.

Via HackerBoards

ASRock IMB-157 is one of the First Intel Apollo Lake Motherboards

September 6th, 2016 6 comments

We’ve already seen Intel launched 6 Apollo Lake Celeron and Pentium processors, some upcoming Acer Apollo Lake laptops, as well as Intel Apollo Lake NUCs, and now ASRock has listed one of the first Apollo Lake motherboard with their IMB-157 mini-ITX board.

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ASRock IMB-157 mini-ITX motherboard preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron / Pentium Apollo Lake processor with Intel gen9 HD graphics (BGA1296 package)
  • System Memory – 2x SO-DIMM dual channel DDR3L @ 1867 MHz up to 16GB
  • Storage – 1x SATA 3.0 6Gbps connector, 1x M.2 slot
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 4K @ 24 Hz, VGA up to 1920×1200, LVDS up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz, internal eDP & VGA headers; Triple display support
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5mm jacks for Mic-in and Line-out, speaker header
  • Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet via 2x Realtek RTL8111G controllers
  • USB – 4x external USB 3.0 ports , internal header with 4x USB 2.0 ports
  • Serial – 6x internal COM ports, including COM1 & COM2 with support for RS232/422/485
  • Expansion – 1x half/full size mini PCIe slot, 1x PCIe x1 slot, 1x M.2 slot, header with 8x GPI, 8x GPO shared with Parallel (LPT) header
  • Misc – Watchdog timer, 1x TPM (Trusted Platform Module) header
  • Power Supply – +12V or 19V~+24V via DC jack or 4-pin ATX power connector
  • Dimensions – 17 x 17 cm (mini-ITX form factor)
  • Temperature – 0ºC – 60ºC
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There’s no word about operating system support, but the board should be able to run Windows 10, various Linux distributions, and possibly Android.

Pricing and availability information do not seem to be available at this stage.

Via FanlessTech