My D201GLYA2 seems to be on it's last legs and I was in the market to get a replacement setup while I could.
So I tried the Intel Atom330 board...wasn't pleased with the boot times...even with a decent SSD it was slower than the d201.
I was browsing newegg, and came across this Zotac mini-itx socket 775 board. Seemed to have ok reviews, never used Zotac before but for $54 I figured I'd give it a shot.
I paired it with this Celeron 430.
And since I couldn't use my old Auzentech X-Mystique with the upgraded op-amps, I also ordered this Asus Xonar DX PCI-E sound card.
When everything came in, obviously playtime began. Slapped it all into my case and started the setup. Talk about a breeze. Setup was smooth (minus a minor hiccup caused by my PATA storage drive...resolved that by replacing it with a SATA drive). The CPU is only 600Mhz faster than what was in the D201GLY board, but this was just screaming fast compared to the D201GLY. Post was complete in under 4 seconds, and it seemed that I could simply turn around once and the OS would be at the desktop. Figured it was just me though.
Zotac 610i board
2GB DDR2 800
32GB Patriot Warp v2 SSD
80GB SATAII 5400rpm 2.5" drive
Asus Xonar DX PCI-E
Some cheap little micro-bluetooth 2.1 adapter
QStarz 5Hz GPS
So after loading ALL the software (iGuidance, Garmin MobilePC, QStarz GPS software, Bluesoleil, Asus Xonar drivers, MB drivers, Winamp, RideRunner, Bootvis, disabled Indexing, moved pagefile to data drive, installed and enabled EWf, etc) I decided to start tweaking...and to be honest...I didn't tweak much at all since it was already so fast.
Running Bootvis for a first 3-pass run to record the boot times resulted in an average of 9 seconds. After the 3rd pass, I selected the Optimize function and let it do it's thing. Afterward, I ran another 3-pass run. The results were an average of 6 seconds. *6!!!!!* I'm not sure if that includes the Bios time or not...but if not, add 4 seconds to that and it's still just a 10 second boot.
Out of curiosity, I figured why not enable HORM and see how fast that is...and to my surprise...enabling and using HORM actually made things SLOWER. Who am I to argue? So I disable HORM, and set things back to the way they were - sure enough...back to a 6s boot time.
So not only does it boot like a dream, the Asus Xonar DX is an awesome sound card for the price. I tried the X-Fi x-treme music, the X-Fi 5.1 USB, and neither one sounded as crisp and clear as this Xonar DX. I have it set to "Hi-Fi" mode and the audio is great. I might upgrade the speakers in the car down the road sometime...after some soundproofing treatment
So if anyone is looking for a cheap setup, fast as hell, and doesn't run too hot...check out those components. It definately uses more power than the Atom330 systems, but it doesn't run that hot and as long as I can keep it cool enough in the Houston, TX heat...I don't care (to a point) how much power it uses.
and btw...just for kicks, I was able to overclock the Celeron 430 from 1.8Ghz to just over 2.2Ghz while being perfectly stable. I was actually quite shocked at this as there is only the chipset voltage to adjust. I restored it back to default though as it didn't really offer any speed improvement that I'd need in a car.
I'll post up a screenshot here in a bit of the Bootvis report.