SPCR Review - VIA EPIA EN1200E


Forum: Hardware Talk
Topic: SPCR Review - VIA EPIA EN1200E
started by: dougz

Posted by dougz on May 29 2006,10:41
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...VIA's power-miserly approach has continued with the Eden and the latest C7 processors. The Eden is designed with a thermal envelope of just 7.5 watts which only Intel's limited edition Ultra Low Voltage processors can match. By comparison, both the Pentium M and the Turion 64 are designed with a thermal envelope of around 30 watts.

VIA processors are most commonly embedded in a Mini-ITX motherboard. VIA's own series is called EPIA, but other manufacturers also make VIA-processor embedded M-ITX motherboards. SPCR has looked at several EPIA boards in the past. Both SPCR and EPIA have evolved considerably since the last review in 2003, so it's time to take another look. VIA was kind enough to supply a sample of the EPIA EN12000E, a fully passive board featuring a VIA Eden processor clocked at 1.2 GHz.

< Review >


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CONCLUSIONS

If low noise and power efficiency are your primary requirements and you're willing to sacrifice a little performance, VIA's EPIA EN12000E can fit the bill quite nicely. Although you're almost certain to notice some difference in speed, I was shocked at how little functionality was lost by the much slower processor....

Best of all, the EPIA can be run in a completely fanless system without overheating....

It also cannot handle HD video properly at least not when it is encoded in Windows Media format....

The system also seemed a little unstable at times, as the frequent system freezes with Photoshop will attest. The odd behavior when switching display types was also a little disconcerting....

It would do well as a low-end HTPC or as a browser portal. However, for a general purpose PC where the performance requirements are unpredictable, the EPIA is almost certain to run into the occasional task where a little more oomph would be appreciated.

< Review Conclusion >

Posted by dougz on May 29 2006,23:25
Since there seems to be interest in fanless VIA on this site, I thought I'd post this link.  Of course, this is post will self-destruct if/when the < DSL Mini-ITX Store > starts carrying the Via EPIA EN12000E.

Unlike some previous Via announcements, you can actually buy this product at < Logic Supply > for US$272 plus S&H.  Product is in stock.  (Found this in article discussion at SPCR site.)

I have no interest... yada, yada, yada.  And you will make a donation to DSL if you buy this, won't you?   :)

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