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Pros: This board has all the pros of the thin mini-ITX form-factor with all the features needed for an HTPC or desktop PC. It's priced in the same range as other mini-ITX motherboards which means in the end it comes out cheaper because all that's needed for a power supply is an AC adapter (19V 7.4mm * 5.0mm tip).
Cons: Even after updating the BIOS to 0602 this motherboard will not boot to the BIOS with an i5-4590S installed. I tried two different CPUs and two different H81T/CSM motherboards with the same results. I also tried earlier versions of the BIOS. The i5-4590S is on the QVL as of version 0503. This has become a very expensive project as a result of having to buy two CPUs and two motherboards to figure out the issue and it definitely the motherboard. Inserting an i3-4130 and G3220 it boots up no problem.
Other Thoughts: Don't try to run a Haswell Refresh CPU on this motherboard. Despite being advertised to work with the newer CPUs if you update the BIOS, it doesn't work and you will be out your money unless you're actually able to get a refund. It works great with the i3-4130 and G3220 though.READ FULL REVIEW
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.
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