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Thread: another M2-ATX review

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate Goofus's Avatar
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    another M2-ATX review

    Haven't done much yet, but here goes....
    I'll be hooking this up with my old desktop gear.

    The system will be running the following:
    Asus P4S533 matx motherboard
    Onboard sound -> headunit input
    P4 1.8 Northwood cpu
    256 meg ram (probably more later if I can find some cheap)
    3.5" 40GB harddrive
    GeForce 4mx
    pci wireless card
    Super 7" touchscreen
    Gyration wireless mouse/keyboard
    GPS mouse from EBay
    Digimotto OBDII scanner
    Bluetooth adapter (I don't have this yet, probably a usb one though)
    Full sized DVDRW (tempary use for maintenance only)

    I'll try to power everything off of the M2-ATX.



    The box that it came in. Everything seemed to arrive in good shape.


    Here's what I got. PSU, Manual, 12V input connectors (3 on right), bag of jumpers, ATX connector w/ 2 molex & 1 floppy size connectors, wire from PSU to switch connector on motherboard (top, under ATX connector).

    I didn't get the wires with the 4x4 plug for P4's. My motherboard will take a regular molex in place of this so I won't need the cable, but this would be a problem for most other motherboards. Not sure if it was supposed to be included or not. A packing list in the beginning of the manual might be a good idea.



    Blurry close ups. I was impressed by the build quality. I was expecting something that looked a little homebrewed with RadioShack parts, but this looks like anything you'd find in mass produced consumer electronic. Somebody else reported a bad solder joint, but all of mine were perfect and looked like they were done by a machine.


    Size comparison.

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate Goofus's Avatar
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    Got side tracked and couldn't finish my original post.


    Here's the case I'll be using. It's a brand new Lian Li prototype. I think it's made designed as a HTPC case because it looks so nice, but I'm going to tweak it a bit for in car use.


    This high quarity case is made out of the finest materials. I had to break out my $1.99 Harbor Freight scissors to cut through it. It's steel, not aluminum.


    Test fit. This thing's going to look sweet!!!


    Awe, a masterpiece!!! This thing would look great integrated with the finest home audio gear. It's a shame it will be hidden under my seat.

    Okay, enough flaunting of my equipment, back to the review.


    The ATX PSU that came with this case puts out a rock solid 12ish volts.


    Here's a test run with just the motherboard and hardrive hooked up on my laboratory workbench. The M2-ATX is being powered by the old ATX PSU. Due to this motherboards layout, the wire that goes from the M2-ATX to the "on" switch on the motherboard is way to short. The directions are fairly clear if your wiring this PSU up to your car, but nothing is said about testing it on the bench like this. I googled how jump the ATX PSU into working and then just started connecting M2-ATX wires randomly until the pc powered up. I insulated the back of the M2-ATX from the pc case with professional electricians grade paper envelope.


    This one's kind of messy. I have the same setup as above with an ampmeter between the ATX PSU and the M2-ATX. I've also added a CDRW drive. All the system components are being powered by the M2-ATX. It's only pulling about 4.8A (58 watts, I guess) in the picture, but I'll soon fix that. I moved the envelope so the M2 wouldn't get too much insulation.


    I overclocked the P4 Northwood cpu from 1.8 to 2.4 and bumped the voltage from 1.5-1.7 to try to draw more power. I saw the meter hit 9.2 during Windows installation, but his was as high as I could photograph. I guess I'm up around 110W. So far the M2-ATX hasn't missed a beat and I haven't noticed any serious heat issues.

    I know from the photos, it probably looks like I'm a professional and do this stuff for a living, but I actually don't really have a clue what I'm doing. I'm not even sure if my ampmeter is hooked up correctly, but the readings seem about right, so it's probably okay. I suppose I'm probably supposed to be measuring some voltages and stuff too. Feel free to help me out people.

    Next, I'll test out the startup/shutdown controller functionality on the bench, but I'm pretty lazy, so don't expect to actually see it in my vehicle for a few weeks. After that I'm going to go dig up as much **** as I can find to plug into this system and see what this power supply can really do.

    So far I'm impressed with the unit, but I'm using a laptop in my car now, so I don't have any reference to compare it too. It's been sitting on my static filled carpet for a week, I've dropped it on the ground once, and have rolled my chair wheel over it (as I stood up, so my weight wasn't on it). It still looks and works fine.

    Pros:
    Great build quality.
    Stable performance with desktop components.
    If I haven't broken it yet, it's unlikely that you will.

    Cons:
    Lack of P4 motherboard power cable.
    Motherboard switch wire way too short.
    Documentation could be improved; people like me need more detailed directions.

  3. #3
    Raw Wave tbird2340's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate CavityCr33p's Avatar
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    Hah, man, you could have sent me that case!

    Good review, entertaining!
    2000 Sunfire build 100%, or is it ever really 100%?

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate Goofus's Avatar
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    I originally thought of going into business selling these cases, but I decided that I didn't want anyone else to have a case as nice as mine. In case I change my mind later though, I'll have the marketing dept take some more pictures of it to post. Pictures really don't do it justice though. You have to see it to trully appreciate the craftsmanship.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator xBrady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goofus
    Got side tracked and couldn't finish my original post.
    Oops, lol. I removed the posts that split your review up.
    AMD XP 2600+/512MB RAM/120GB hard drive
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  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate
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    Lol! Great review. That's some fine quality crapmanship. Applaud the ghettoness.
    Audio: 4 * Rainbow Audio Germs + Infinity Basslink / Case: iStarUSA S3 / CPU: C2D P8700 / MB: Jetway NC64-LF / SC: ASUS Xonar Essence STX / RAM: Crucial 2x1GB 1066MHz / HD: MTRON 2.5" 30GB / DVD: Panasonic UJ-815B / PSU: Opus 180w / LCD: Xenarc 700TSV

  8. #8
    Newbie Blazenhazn's Avatar
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    !! why were you insulating the M2-ATX with paper envelope?? I'm no engineer either, but personally I try to aviod combining high-temp, high-voltage devices and flammable materials when testing a new set-up!! It's a really good thing it didn't get too hot!
    Lexus GS300
    Old setup - 10.4 non-touch, Media Center 2005, Biostar M7NCG, AMD Duron 1ghz, M1-ATX
    ..Moving on to something MORE PRACTICAL :)

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate
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    Eh, the M1-ATX barely got warm. More likely to static fry it on the metal case. Done that.
    Audio: 4 * Rainbow Audio Germs + Infinity Basslink / Case: iStarUSA S3 / CPU: C2D P8700 / MB: Jetway NC64-LF / SC: ASUS Xonar Essence STX / RAM: Crucial 2x1GB 1066MHz / HD: MTRON 2.5" 30GB / DVD: Panasonic UJ-815B / PSU: Opus 180w / LCD: Xenarc 700TSV

  10. #10
    FLAC Griff1's Avatar
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    Thanx for the review,you've answered all my Q's with regards to this PSU,my biggest fear was that it wouldn't provide enough amps on the 12v rail to power my P4 1.8A as this chip uses 12v V-Core.Everything else is onboard and i'm using a 2.5" hard disk and a few USB devices so all should be sweet.thanx again Goofus.

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