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Pros: Worked with intended motherboard
Other Thoughts: I purchased these to use with the Giada MI-D2550GT-M motherboard. They work perfectly. Both sticks passed Memtest 86+ and I was able to install OpenELEC no problem.
Iwill S197-H80 case
Giada MI-D2550GT-M motherboard
12V 5A AC adapter
16GB USB stick
This review is from: Giada MI-D2550GT-M Intel Atom D2550 Intel NM10 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU/VGA Combo
Pros: - Built-in DC-DC power-supply so only AC adapter is needed (12V 2.5x5.5mm like picoPSU)
- Quiet fan with great fan control in BIOS
- Very low power (30W max measured with Kill-a-Watt)
- Built-in Nvidia GT610 well supported in Linux/OpenELEC
- Awesome for low-profile cases, especially with side-venting
- mSATA slot
Cons: - LVDS is default video so when installing OpenELEC it can be a little tricky to get HDMI output (see below for fix)
- No power to USB header when turned off which for certain IR receivers means it cannot be turned on from off
- Lousy self-service support via Giada website; no documentation, drivers or BIOS updates available; site VERY SLOW
Other Thoughts: First thought: ignore the comment in the other review about Linux and the GPU. This motherboard mates the Nvidia GT610 to the Atom D2550. The PowerVR GPU is not used. It works perfectly for Linux and with a little tweaking, OpenELEC.
Other thoughts: I've built several systems for clients using this motherboard. Almost all are for OpenELEC or XBMCbuntu though a few are for Windows. This version has an mSATA and one regular SATA slot presumably for an ODD. The fan is very quiet and the fan speed can be fine tuned in the BIOS which is great. It runs OpenELEC very well since the NVIDIA GT610 has very good driver support. With OpenELEC it's a bit tricky to setup at first because the HDMI is not the default output. You'll see the OpenELEC splash screen and then all is dark. To fix this first be sure to install OpenELEC with SSH and then do the following:
1. Plug in either an HDMI or VGA cable to the display and connect a network cable.
2. Boot OpenELEC and let it go from the splashscreen to the blank screen.
3. SSH into your OpenELEC system (usually called ‘openelec’ on the network)
4. Find the device ID for the monitor output (usually for HDMI it is DFP-1)
cat /var/log/Xorg.0.0.log | grep DFP
5. Copy the NVidia config to where it's read from
cp /etc/X11/xorg-nvidia.conf /storage/.config/
6. Change to that dir and then edit the file
7. Add this line in the Device section (with the right number for your device):
Option "UseDisplayDevice" "DFP-1"
8. Exit and save
There is additional information on this process on the XBMC site.
Besides this bit of tweaking, the only other real downside to this motherboard is the poor Giada website. There are no BIOS updates, no driver updates, no downloadable documentation. Support has been pretty responsive though.
Overall, I would not hesitate to purchase this motherboard for OpenELEC/Linux. It's quiet, low-power, doesn't need an external DC-DC PSU (just the AC adapter) and runs really well.
Pros: - Quiet for HTPC
- Small enough for mini-ITX
- Large capacity for many hours of HD recording
- Runs cool
- Suited for DVR applications, which is what I am using it for.
Cons: - None so far
Other Thoughts: I am using this a my bedroom HTPC which is a mini-ITX HTPC that uses Windows Media Center and a networked SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime to DVR TV. For the longest time I was using a 128GB SSD for both the OS and recordings but research made me paranoid enough to realize I was better off off-loading the recordings and live TV buffer to a regular drive and saving the write-cycles on my SSD. My mini-ITX case, a Realan E-K3 can fit 2 x 2.5" HDDs so I moved my OS to a 64GB SSD and my recordings/buffer to this 1TB drive.
My biggest worry with adding a regular drive to a mini-ITX HTPC were heat and noise. This drive has neither. You cannot hear it at all and temperatures in this small case have remained the same. Despite being 1TB, this HDD is the standard height for 2.5" devices so it fit perfect. This then should have no problem fitting in a notebook. This in combination with an mSATA SSD in a notebook would be an excellent combination -- have the OS on the SSD and media on the 1TB drive.
As for performance, I am not doing much to tax the drive but I don't notice (and don't expect to notice) a difference with the live TV buffer on the hard drive now. I do have what seems like some crazy number of hours of recording space now which is great in case I am not able to sweep the programs to my home server before space runs out. I can also keep copy-once recordings on this drive instead of moving them to the server which means they now won't show up on my other HTPCs that cannot see them.
Overall, this is a great drive. I make a HTPCs for other people and if they want space for media or live TV buffer/recordings, this is definitely the drive I will use.