I first saw this little bugger in Best Buy while Christmas shopping in 2003. I saw its size and thought it would be better than lugging around my outdated tower and CRT to my buds house for some LAN action. Fast forward to 2005 and my discovery of mini-itx and eventually mp3car.com
I chose to use this rig after reading about VIA’s tiny L2 cache. The AMD XP-M offers 512k compared to 64k. Data is transmitted from the processor chip into main memory through the L2 cache. This stops a data bottleneck. I also opted not to do the wire pin mod because I am lazy. I did try the software side of it to no avail. So I let it run under clocked and very cool. I would recommend using a desktop replacement variant as I am told is does not require any modification for the bios to read it. Here is a table of specs for all XP-M cpus.
Having tossed out the case and psu, I was left with the mobo to which I pretty much stuffed in the glove box with the hdd and opus. I routed the usb front plate and power buttons to the center console near the lilliput touch screen.
The Bios of the FN41 allow for smart fan speeds and over clocking. I could never get the over clocking to work right with my AMD XP 2500+ so I don’t bother. Just leave it on ‘optimal settings.’
Presentation: 10, I loved the sleek style of it but I don’t use the case anymore.
Graphics: 9, Can run Half Life 2 well, more than adequate for carputers. I love the idea running dual screens or on t/s and mulitple moniters thru the S-Video-connector.
Sound: 7, Decent software with nForce running the show with EAX, but as a desktop with latest drivers it would crap out and sound terrible. OEM drivers work great.
Power Consumption: 8, Base of the mobo and CPU is about 80w. Leaves plenty of head room to do the Molex 4-pin connector mod to power a touch screen on an OPUS.
Overall: 9, If you like to run gps, divx and a heavy gui like MCE 2005 at once this flex ATX is a great choice and affordable too, $160 from Shuttle’s eBay store.
SPECS: My Setup;
CPU: Socket 462 (Socket A); AMD XP-M 2000+
GPU: Built in GeForce 4 MX Graphics;
Mem: Dual Channel DDR 200/266/333 * 2; 512 DDR 333
Audio: Realtek ALC 650 6 channel audio
Cooling: Integrated Cooling Engine (ICE); 1u Low-pro heatsink and fan
PSU: 250W AC-DC; OPUS 150w DC-DC
Complete Specs here
Power Consumption of my Setup:
Motherboard w/ integrated gfx 36w
3.5” WD 250g eIDE HDD 11w
USB (from lilliput) 05w