Overclockers Australia Forums

OCAU News - Wiki - QuickLinks - Pix - Sponsors  

Go Back   Overclockers Australia Forums > Specific Hardware Topics > Modding > Modding Worklogs


Thread Tools
Old 2nd March 2010, 6:59 AM   #1
slipperyskip Thread Starter
slipperyskip's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 520
Default Level Eleven

This project is inspired by my recent trip to San Francisco where I met up with a VIA Marketing rep at the Rods & Mods case mod exhibit. It was a great event and I came away with ideas and enthusiasm. A crowd favorite at the event was my Pico Bayard and it motivated me to do another Pico-ITX mod. I love doing the small stuff and I am due. Here goes...


This project will be matching up two of the latest pieces of equipment to hit the market, the VIA P820 Pico-ITX mainboard and a Crucial C300 SSD. More to come about the kit but first let's do some project log qualifying work.

A sheet of birch plywood from my local supplier. My working surface is the backside of a chess board I bought in Spain many years ago. I don't know what kind of wood it is but it is very heavy and more importantly, extremely flat. I've been using this board for years with all my small projects.

This sheet cost me $19 which is kinda crazy but what you get is a 5-ply laser-cut piece of very nice wood. It's just not smart to skimp on materials and tools...IMHO, of course.

Using clamps to fix the straightedge I make my mark first in pencil and then in razor. I've learned over the years to spend the time to clamp these things properly instead of using human clamps.

Replaced the straightedge with a 1/2" square laser-cut board to use as a fence.

Weapon of choice is an X-acto Razor Saw with a fresh blade. I usually grasp it in the center instead of using the handle...better control of downward force and I can keep it up against the fence better this way. I saw it half way through then reset the fence on the other side. At intervals I'll run my razor knife down the trench just to "abuse" the saw cut.

That done, I set up another fence to cut a short piece.

The final "cutting-through" of the sawing process is always done with my razor knife. Keeping those edges clean.

The second piece will be exactly the same size as the first. I could measure it but I prefer not to measure anything if I can. Using the two original laser-cut corners as reference I clamp the two pieces together. Sure, I could make a mark and then saw it but I'm going to use the first piece as a fence to cut the second. After about a third of the way through I'll replace the original board with a proper fence.

Clamp the two boards together and "work" the edges over a piece of sandpaper to clean the edges up a little. Not a lot of work done here.

The result is two identical pieces of wood with perfect 90 degree corners. Took around an hour and a half.

I need to sprinkle this first post with some sponsor goodness so here is a SODIMM of Crucial 2GB DDR2-800. Thank you Crucial!

This is my concept of Sketch-up. There will be equipment mounted to both sides of this board with openings for both cables and ventilation.

The two boards I just cut will sandwich this slot-loader slimline optical drive. The drive's face plate has been removed.

That's all for now. Thanks for looking.

Last edited by slipperyskip; 21st April 2010 at 12:56 AM.
slipperyskip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd March 2010, 9:16 AM   #2
wookiie's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Western Sydney
Posts: 663

Looks interesting nice work so far
wookiie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2010, 1:31 PM   #3
slipperyskip Thread Starter
slipperyskip's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 520

Originally Posted by wookiie View Post
Looks interesting nice work so far

Here goes the unboxing ceremony. I try not to do these but this IS unobtainium (at least for now) so I give myself an excuse.


Box inside box. Plain brown no-frills industrial box.

Mostly air and packing material inside the box. Welcome to the world of itty-bitty.

Ta-da! The VIA EPIA P820-12L Pico ITX board with a P720-A daughterboard installed.

VIA Nano 1.2GHz 64-bit x86 CPU.

Turned around. The single 3Gbps SATA connector has a hole cut out of the heatsink just for it. To the left is the 44-pin IDE connector. I'll be using both of these. Lined up along the front are the pin headers for four USB ports, audio, power, reset and a bunch of stuff I don't care about.

Backside showing where the SODIMM goes. The yellow thingy is the CMOS battery. Yes, a remote CMOS battery. My biggest complaint about the PX10000 Pico-ITX board was the battery holder soldered to the bottom making the unit much thicker than it needed to be.

Didn't have a Coke can handy so I thought this iPod touch might do in a pinch to show comparable size. Does that work for anybody?

The P720 daughterboard adds 2 USB ports, a VGA port and a Gigabit Ethernet port to the mainboard's onboard HDMI port. That's what I said...HDMI.

Misc. cables I'll look at later.

For me, one of the most amazing things about this board is that it has an onboard power supply. This connector allows you to connect a standard external 60W ACDC power brick directly to the Pico-ITX. I don't have to use a Pico-PSU with this project like I did the last one. TBH..I'm...just...shocked. The power for the rest of the system like the SSD, optical drive and cooling fans comes directly off headers on the Pico board.

So what will this little sucker do? According to VIA I should be able to watch H.264 (BluRay) at 1080p with about 20% CPU utilization. Total system power should max out at around 20W. We'll see.
slipperyskip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2010, 5:18 PM   #4
de_overfiend's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Gold Coast
Posts: 2,114

that is one very cool little motherboard . Cant wait to see what you have planned. *subscribed*
I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me
de_overfiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2010, 5:27 PM   #5
Ravennoir's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 6,165

wow thats tiny
Desktop - i7-4790K - ASUS Maximus Hero VII - 32GB Kingston HyperX 1333Mhz - Gigabyte GTX980 G1 Gaming - Thermaltake Core X5 - Corsair AX860i - Dell U3014
Laptop - Alienware 17 R2 - i7-4710HQ - 16Gb DDR3 - GTX-970M - Server - HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 - Xeon E3-1230 - 16Gb DDR3
PSN ID : Ravennoir - BattleTag : Ravennoir#1705
Ravennoir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2010, 6:13 PM   #6
kombiman's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: viva brisvegas
Posts: 10,597

Wow! What motherboard?
this space left intentionally blank
kombiman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2010, 6:35 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Melbourne, 3723
Posts: 182

Originally Posted by Ravennoir View Post
wow thats tiny
that's what she said.

ONTOPIC: This shall be awesome. I've been wanting to build a Pico-ITX system for ages, when I do I'll look upon this for inspiration.
| Project µ.R.G.E: The Ultimate LANBox. |
Mi Goreng Noodle Club | Successful trades: 50+; over $4000. | [Logitech 'G' Owners Club Member #80]
| µ.R.G.E: i7 860 @ 2.8Ghz | Beastie: i7 920 C0 @ 4.01Ghz |
Chewman_BG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2010, 6:39 PM   #8
nEBUz's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wanaka, NZ
Posts: 824

Hahaha. Love pico-itx, it's even smaller than the ARM9 dev kit on my desk

GL with the project
NS2: The Hero Of Canton
If a guest comes to your home, grab a stick: Czech Proverb
Trades: ~ $3k so far
nEBUz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2010, 6:48 PM   #9
NavidsonRecord's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 87

Will a Pico Mobo run a few dedicated servers at a LAN? Like afew TF2 servers at the same time as a few COD4 and CSS servers?
NavidsonRecord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2010, 7:23 PM   #10
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 119



edit: but this will
CirCit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2010, 7:32 PM   #11
Sumomaniac's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Gunnedah NSW
Posts: 699

I would love this connected to my 24 inch LCD for work...
Sumomaniac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2010, 7:42 PM   #12
brayway's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dun - New Zealand
Posts: 6,687

Looks awesome!
how much are one of those itx MB/CPUboards and a daughter card worth? if you dont mind me asking.
i7 950 - 3x GTX470 - 12GB Corsair Dominator - Corsair 800D | 2013 Macbook Air 13" |
'96 FTO GPX | '94 FTO GS | '92 Legacy GX | '89 Legacy RS |
brayway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2010, 8:23 PM   #13
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 105

Mate thats fantastic.

Small builds like this excite me!

Let us know how it runs once you get the chance!
swan14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th March 2010, 12:42 AM   #14
ShaneHm2's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,546

Looks very impressive indeed. Can't wait to see more.
[Logitech 'G' Owners Club Member #120]
Originally Posted by Merudo View Post
my retard ex girlfriend fell for this, because they gave her a six month subscription to marie claire.

What a fucking idiot.
ShaneHm2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th March 2010, 1:16 AM   #15
AgB deano
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 857

That thing is tiny!

Keep up the updates yo!
aka "Deano_au"
AgB deano is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +10. The time now is 1:47 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
OCAU is not responsible for the content of individual messages posted by others.
Other content copyright Overclockers Australia.
OCAU is hosted by Micron21!