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Zotac ION - Why it is awesome

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  • Zotac ION - Why it is awesome

    I just got my ION yesterday. I got it mainly for the dual video outs, but I'm even more impressed with it now that I have it.

    I'm posting this in the LinuxICE forum so I can document how the LinuxICE install goes and also document any issues I run into and workarounds that I find.

    Here's a list of reasons why this board kicks butt:

    - Dual Channel DDR800
    This should be a very nice boost over the intel atom board's single channell 667MHz RAM.

    - Dual Video Out
    I've got a xenarc which accepts HDMI. I plan on adding a second monitor later. When I do, this board is ready

    - DVI out
    This board would make an excellent media center box. It's got coax and optical out, hdmi + dvi... mythtv frontend lovefest!

    - Much better OpenGL performance
    The Intel GMA945 is okay, but it doesn't hold a candle to nvidia in this category. perfect for nghost3.

    - Faster bios
    I haven't done full test yet, but the testing i did do it went from video on to loading the boot loader in about 1s. This is a big improvement over teh 4-7s on the intel board.

    More to come later. I've got a ssd drive coming next week. I'm hoping to shave off 4-7s on boot with the faster ram and the faster bios (as well as a slightly faster drive). We shall see.
    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
    Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

  • #2
    not a LinuxICE user, but saw this in my RSS feed. Just wanted to add that I've been using this board since August and like you said, it's a great and fast board with lots of expansion capabilities. definitely recommend it as a carpc and media center!
    EWF, HORM, MinLogon on XP.

    Zotac ION Atom N330, 2GB low-profile RAM, M3-ATX
    Win Embedded Std 2011 RC
    OCZ Vertex Turbo 30GB SSD
    Lilliput 629 Transflective, WRX Screen Mount
    BlueSoleil BT, i-Blue GM-2 GPS, DirectedHD Radio, Andrea Mic
    VoomPC 2

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    • #3
      I'm interested in the boot times and bios features as well. Can you give a link as to the exact MB you're using, if possible with what bios version? I'd like to know about what RAM you're getting too. I have a DG45 and with all 10 USB's loaded

      Thanks!
      Worklogs: 08 Sequoia Platinum Carputer (In Progress!)
      Skin: MetroSex on the Beach preview

      07 Infiniti Fx35 (done!) & 06 Infiniti M35 (gone...)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RipplingHurst View Post
        I'm interested in the boot times and bios features as well. Can you give a link as to the exact MB you're using, if possible with what bios version? I'd like to know about what RAM you're getting too. I have a DG45 and with all 10 USB's loaded

        Thanks!
        Motherboard:
        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813500036

        RAM:
        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-590-_-Product

        SSD:
        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227393

        I'll start benchmarking on monday when the drive comes.
        Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
        Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
        Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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        • #5
          Initial tests look good. From post, 25s with LinuxICE2 stock, and 15s when upgraded to 9.10 and adding ureadahead. Compare that with 30s and 23s using the intel board and the OZC agility.

          9.04 based LinuxICE2:
          [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JphzjZglHo[/media]

          9.10 based LinuxICE2:
          [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA99K5QFXNA[/media]

          Issues:
          After upgrading to 9.10, i had to install the 2.6.31 kernel and the nvidia closed-drivers. Hibernate breaks (there may be a fix), and I only have 640x480 resolution. These are issues that have workarounds, but are annoying and time consuming.
          Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
          Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
          Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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          • #6
            Have you tried booting tinycore on that thing?

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            • #7
              The Ion is nice! I'm doing a nettop build with their 9300HD model (LGA 775 socket) so their will be no problems with video streaming such as 1080p CSI miami episodes.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Crinos View Post
                Have you tried booting tinycore on that thing?
                tinycore thought small, isn't very useful for the carpc. For one, it's missing a lot of hardware support (wifi for one). Secondly, the nvidia driver is much more than 10mb which is greater than the size of the entire distro.

                Just for kicks, i'll try moblin next.
                Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
                Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
                Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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