ASUS Via C3 budget box

Forum: Hardware Talk
Topic: ASUS Via C3 budget box
started by: dougz

Posted by dougz on May 14 2006,20:51
Noticed this box in a thread on < Silent PC Review >

Features: VIA C3 800MHz, mobo w/ 1 PCI, case w/ 4 drive bays, 165 W PSU.  On-board VIA UniChrome 2D/3D & audio.  Sockets for 2 184-pin DDR DIMMS.   Case is only 7.1" x 10.8" x 11.8".  

User reviews on Newegg indicate that it runs quite a number of Linux distros (including Knoppix) and can boot USB pen drives.  Yes, there is USB 2.0.  Uses well-supported VIA CLE266 northbridge & VT8237_CD southbridge.

User reviews praise the reliability & quiet.  Best part is the price.  US$103 (plus shipping) includes processor, mobo with video/audio/etc., case, PSU, CDROM, and floppy.  Add memory, HD (if desired, ATA/SATA), KB, mouse, display.

Seems like a natural for DSL fans.  Cheap, quiet, appropriate.  Anyone have any experience with it?

< Newegg product page with user reviews >

< Manufacturer's overview >

< Manual >

No, I really don't work for Newegg or Asus...  :;):

Posted by kerry on May 14 2006,21:35
Not bad. But i'm in hawaii(HI) it say's it don't ship here :(
Posted by dougz on May 15 2006,00:05
Not bad. But i'm in hawaii(HI) it say's it don't ship here :(

Good news & bad news.  They do indeed ship to Hawaii, just not 3-day for $10.99.  I added one to the cart, plugged in Zip Code 96701 and the cheapest shipping is $44.05.  

I guess that is part of the price for living in paradise.   :)

Posted by kerry on May 15 2006,01:21
Yeah everything cost's to much! :angry:  I usally just ask friends and family to grab the things i want when they go for vaction and bring it back as carry on. I got mom bringing me back a targus dual mode mouse this weekend from fry's. If i ordered it it wolud cost over a hundred dollars, But it just cost me $25.00 from the store and mom brings it back for free. :D It so wierd they don't even have that mouse anywhere in hawaii.
Posted by humpty on May 18 2006,16:52
Surprised to see it with a cpu fan (it shouldn't need one).
There's a nice review of the Via C3 here;
< >

"If you want quiet, though, the C3's the only no-tinkering way to get it. Water cooling and lagging the case panels and building your PC in a fridge and so on are all valid alternative computer-silencing strategies, but the C3 Just Works with a passive sink of unremarkable proportions."

Posted by dougz on May 21 2006,16:17
Surprised to see it with a cpu fan (it shouldn't need one).

Lots of 800 MHz C3s came with fans.  Tradeoff was enormous (expensive, too big) heatsink or cheap heatsink/cheap & noisy fan.  < LinITX page >  < SPCR page >

The Eden is also guaranteed to run without a fan while the C3 is not.  < Fanless not guaranteed >

As is so often the case, "it all depends..."   :;):

For only 14 watts, one can get a 1.4 GHz processor for AMD Socket A.  Same chipsets used as with AMD Athlon cpus (e.g., KM266 Pro+ VT8235).

Large Socket A heatsinks may well allow fanless.  Certainly, one could achieve lower noise than C3 fans by use of undervolted 80mm fans on Socket A cooler.   < CPU Overview >  < CPU specs >  < CPU & Micro-ATX mobo for US$85 >

Via has always been kind of half-hearted in supporting C3/C7 and Mini-itx/Nano-itx for consumer & hobby use.  Promises made, unmet, etc, etc, etc.  Driver issues for Linux.  

AMD, OTOH, never bothered offering Geodes for consumer/hobbyist.  Doesn't mean we shouldn't use them.  I've even seen them on mini-itx.

I think the Geode probably offers the best performance/watt in low power, low cost CPUs.  I don't think the Vias can touch them.

Add US$25 256 MB DDR memory, salvaged Socket A heatsink/fan & ATX/micro-ATX case and one would have a pretty nice US$110 DSL pendrive machine.  If one had to buy case & HSF, add US$40.

Needless to say, DSL & DSL-N would be extremely fast on a Geode.  Substantially faster than on a C3.

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