Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 35

Thread: Hardware Review: Mobile Computing Solutions Mini ITX 2ghz Computer (and peripherals)

  1. #1
    SD beats everything. So there. danielkh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    1,538

    Hardware Review: Mobile Computing Solutions Mini ITX 2ghz Computer (and peripherals)



    Caviate:
    This review in no way is meant as a pro or con for other manufacturers, especially MP3.com. I went with this computer for specific reasons listed below and it is the only computer I have used.

    What it is/does: Main Mobile Computer

    Reviewed by: Danielkh
    Manufacturer: Mobile Computing Solutions

    Specs:

    Motherboard: J7F2WE2G-OC-PB (2.0GHz 20 Watt VIA C7 CPU)
    Hard Drive: 120G Seagate 2.5" SATA hard drive
    DVD/CD Drive Support: External Slot Loading USB DVD ROM/CD R/RW Drive
    PCI Expansion Slots: 1x
    Video: 1 VGA, 1 Composite Video, 1 S-video (64Mb Shared RAM VIA AGP Uni-Chrome)
    USB: 4x USB 1.1/2.0 Support for 2x additional (1x with Internal Bluetooth unit installed)
    Daughterboard: PCMCIA Type I/ II and Compact Flash Card reader
    Audio: 6ch Surround Sound '97AC audio CODEC
    RAM: DDR2 PC4200/533MHz 1024Mb/1Gb
    Built in LAN, Harddrive saver card (didn't use), Bluetooth

    Power Supply: M2-ATX Intelligent 160W DC to DC Power Supply

    Case: Dimensions: 10" x 9.25" x 3.125"/254mm x 235mm x 80mm
    Color: Black with light grey logo
    Case Ventilation: 1 40 x 40 x 10mm fan
    Mounting Position: Universal

    Price: $US $599.99
    Rating: 8/10
    Manufacturer website: www.mo-co-so.com
    Purchased at: Ebay.com

    Installed pics can be found here:
    2004 350Z Enthusiast Install

    Initial needs:
    I used to be one of those commuters that used a laptop in my car. I had one of those great mounts and all, but found vibration was a MAJOR issue. Found that the laptop would freeze at certain points, and if the computer went into anything that required constant read/write/search such as virus check, defrag, search, etc., well, you might as well buy another harddrive.

    So when I started looking at computers, I had 2 major requirements:1) Vibration isolation. I wanted to make sure that the manufacturer was aware of the issue and had made appropriate adjustments. (MOCO uses military grade isolation bushings) and 2) PCMCIA support for internet support using cellular card.

    Cons:
    When originally connected, there was a problem with the power connector pins not seating properly. I reported this back and the company responded quickly. I wound up hardwiring the computer as I didn't need quick connect capabilities (plus I didn't want to wait any longer to begin the install.....like a kid in a candy store). I am not sure if this was a bad connector or bad manufacturer.

    Not sure I am happy with 64mb shared memory for video. Know from my desktop building days that the #1 way to really speed up a computer is with increased RAM and Video RAM. From what I have read, the newer versions of this motherboard are running 128mb shared RAM. Now this isn't really a slam on this computer as all manufacturers use smaller case, and I had to go with PCMCIA support, but would have loved to have a room to mount a video card. Limitted space means limitted resources.

    Pros:

    Vibration isolation: After installing the computer and StreetDeck, I wanted to find this area around where I live where someone has actually carved their name in an entire forest. Texas received record rains this year, and a lot of the gravel roads were damaged. While following the directions, I wound up on a road that would litterally rattle your teeth. I thought it would be fine "just a little further", but it never got better. Spent probably 30-50 minutes crawling on this road, music and navigation running the whole time, without a single hiccup. Not sure if anyone knows what the suspension is like on a 350Z, but this was MAJOR!

    Computer went into virus check without me knowing it. Finally caught it at 90% and 120 miles. Never a skip. This was exactly the computer I was looking for.

    I use a soundblaster live external for music, but used the internal sound card for microphone/voice command capabilities. Works great even at cruising speed.

    The internal bluetooth works great for a small keyboard/trackball I use when stopped.

    The video is good. Can't say great because of the 64mb shared, but it is good.

    USB: Having the 4 ports instead of the usual 2 has been great. I have A LOT of peripherals and haven't had too many problems. Once everything got "shaken out" over the first month, all seems quite stable.

    DVD/CDRW: Having this in the console rather than built into the computer is fantastic. Saves opening doors all the time

    Temperature: During my original build, I felt the case was getting too hot, so I installed extra fans. When doing some research on other installs, it appears that the temperature is at or below the average. According to manufacturer, this is due to case design.

    Support: While this is listed last, it is one of my major concerns. Which would you rather have: Toyota that runs great, but when it breaks, the builder fixes it immediately? Or a farrari that spends 90% of the time in the shop WAITING for a mechanic. Tech support is number 1 in my book (Maybe because I am a field service engineer). This company is fantasic with responding to e-mails. I have recently wanted to upgrade some things on my computer, and rather than try and sell me the most expensive, we discussed the most functional. Another BIG plus.

    Rumor:
    Along with the motherboards going to 128mb shared, I have also heard rumors that the new models will have built in WiFi and built in HQCT!

    Periferals:

    Radioshark-- It sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks, did I say it sucks? Avoid like the plague. Version one AND two. May work fine in urban areas, but the interface sucks, the reception sucks, just really bad. Waiting for the Boomzbox. WHERE IS IT?!

    Griffin PowerMate (MP3.car)-- Absolute lifesaver! Just came out of shoulder surgery. Have the knob set for long click-Voice control, and I tell you, wonder how I lived without it.

    Mp3Car USB adapter for XM Direct (mp3car.com)-- A little more road noise than I like, but overall works pretty well. Good buy.

    Streetdeck -- A must have. Never spent $200 for software in my life. Well worth it.

    Xenarc 700TSV-- Another must have. Fits perfectly in 350Z nav cubby and with the IR support, no need for visible controls. Auto on is perfect!

    Soundblaster Live 24 External -- Works great. Good buy.

    About all for now. I have a lot more periferals, so will edit this as I think of them.

    Dan

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    302
    Have you experienced any issues with cpu holding 100% when playing video? Most of the time close with audio as well. Sound isn't choppy, just can't do anything else. Very concerning since I feel as if this board can't support simple tasks like playing video and audio at same time? Any ideas?

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate stroths's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    64
    I had a good experience with that same company recently (www.mo-co-so.com). I wanted a barebones kit with that case you mentioned and the D201GLY2. He only had the kit with the D201GLY at the time and he allowed me to pay a small amount more and get the GLY2.

    Came preassembled with M2-ATX pre-wired which was a nice plus. He even threw in a HD Safe Card for free.

    For anyone considering this case, I would highly suggest you go with a SATA drive. While a PATA will fit, it is extremely tight because you need an adapter. The larger IDE cable is also not the best idea for a case this small. If you have no option then get an IDE cable that's rounded instead of flat. I did this to allow better airflow, but its not as good as a SATA cable would have been.

    Another issue I ran into (user error) was with the case. There are two grilled ventilation holes cut out near one end of the case. There is an internal tray with a fan mounted to it that will slide in from either side of the case. I put it in backwards which made the fan on the opposite side from the ventilation holes. This caused it to get pretty warm. Once I realized this, I flipped it around and it runs nice and cool now.

  4. #4
    SD beats everything. So there. danielkh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    1,538
    Quote Originally Posted by Autockr989 View Post
    Have you experienced any issues with cpu holding 100% when playing video? Most of the time close with audio as well. Sound isn't choppy, just can't do anything else. Very concerning since I feel as if this board can't support simple tasks like playing video and audio at same time? Any ideas?

    I had some problems with CPU usage, but found I didn't care for the internal shared video memory with streetdeck. Modified the case and installed a standalone 256MB video card (geforce fx 5500) and pretty much all the cpu problems are gone now.

    I mentioned to Chris how much better the computer works with the video card, and I think he is now designing a case that can mount one in it. Mine is floating over the motherboard. It's held stationary by the plug.
    My opinion is my own.

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate PORTUGAL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    PORTO
    Posts
    527
    Quote Originally Posted by Autockr989 View Post
    Have you experienced any issues with cpu holding 100% when playing video? Most of the time close with audio as well. Sound isn't choppy, just can't do anything else. Very concerning since I feel as if this board can't support simple tasks like playing video and audio at same time? Any ideas?
    If my epia M10000 can, then this mboard shouldnt have any problems.

    It should be more than enough, i dont have any graphic card and i never had problems with video playback.
    Here in Portugal we have great weather, lots of brunnets, party a lot,drink a lot....
    http://img138.echo.cx/img138/896/bannerjoshua5dy.jpg

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate overlander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    113
    Quote Originally Posted by danielkh View Post


    Rumor:
    Along with the motherboards going to 128mb shared, I have also heard rumors that the new models will have built in WiFi and built in HQCT!
    Where did you hear that and is there any update on this? I was going to pull the trigger on this motherboard next week, but this might be worth waiting for? Anybody?

  7. #7
    SD beats everything. So there. danielkh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    1,538
    The wireless can be built in now (along with bluetooth). Not sure on the HQCT or 128mb shared, but you could write Chris and ask him about it. mo-co-so.com
    My opinion is my own.

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate overlander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    113
    I just got off the phone with them. The J7F5 is the enhance board with 128 shared video. HQCT must still be added. They can integrate bluetooth for $10. I'm buying this board next week.

  9. #9
    SD beats everything. So there. danielkh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    1,538
    You are going with integrated wireless too, right? One other thing I found when I started integrating the system......not enough USB ports, even though this board has more than the usual.

    On the board, it can handle another riser (another 2 ports). See if Chris has an extra riser laying around he can throw in the box. Right now, I use the 2 main usb ports, bluetooth/wireless on 2 internal ports, 4 ports coming out as 2 risers, and another 4 ports using PCMCIA card (don't think that is list in my specs as it is kinda new) for a total of 12 ports.

    To give you an idea of USB ports needed. This is my system, but will give you an idea....

    1) DVD drive
    2) Satellite radio
    3) GPS receiver
    4) Hub for external jumpdrives, phone charger, etc.
    5) EVDO Network device
    6) IPOD
    7a) Griffin Powermate
    7b) Imon Ultrabay (I finally broke down and bought one. Haven't figured out how to mount it yet). This will replace the Griffin once mounted.
    8) OBDII device
    9) Andrea USB Microphone
    10) Soundblaster Live 24 bit External
    11) Touchscreen
    12) Bluetooth (internal, but still using a port)
    13) Wireless (same as above)

    and if you are going to add it....

    14) Radio hardware
    15) Bluetooth phone
    My opinion is my own.

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate overlander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    113
    good point. I'll need 9

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •