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REVIEW: VIA's first C7-based EPIA (EN15000)

Discussion in 'Other CPUs and chipsets' started by stmok, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. stmok

    stmok Member

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    This is a C7 based EPIA running at 1.5Ghz with the VIA CN700 chipset.

    Link to article
    http://www.epiacenter.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=87

    Note, the one they use is a pre-production one. They also have pictures of the yet to be released production model. (Physically, they use bigger heatsinks that cover most of the board, almost 2/3rds, while the pre-production one has the traditional HSF, Chipset heatsink layout).

    Noise-wise, VIA now uses a lower-noise fan and the price is about the same as an EPIA SP-series board. It has Gigabit LAN, SATA connectors, and RAID support (via chipset). Remember, CN700 chipset boards use DDRII memory!

    Not surprisingly, chipset features (like onboard MPEG-II) is not all that well supported in Linux...ie: No worky unless you use specific distros that work with VIA's binary drivers. And even then, they pose a security risk as they only run with root permissions (BOO! Hissss! BOO!...So Linux support sucks at this time.)

    Synthetic performance tests indicate that its about a Pentium III 800Mhz.

    So the general rule of: 2x "PIII speed" = equivalent to approx VIA CPU speed, still applies.
     
  2. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic News Monkey

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    http://www.epiacenter.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=87&page=10

    I don't fully inderstand the second graph on that page. Seems to imply that encrypting 1gb on the EN 15000 took 0.5 seconds whereas it took 8 seconds on a P4 2.4GHz (?). Or am i mis-interpreting?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    stmok

    stmok Member

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    Yeah, its a synthetic bench for testing encyption.

    In reality, it'll take slighly longer because of HDD being bottleneck. But if you're just looking at the Hardware Encryption, that's where the VIA CPUs with PadLock feature, whips ass. (As they have hardware acceleration for this).

    Say if you were to create an encrypted link through the web via VPN (using AES-256), you'll see that you need something pretty hefty for Gigabit links. Alternatively, just use one of these VIA CPUs as the endpoints. The hardware encryption functions can also be used to encrypt files. But you need an app that can take advantage of that...Or if you're a C/C++ programmer, you can write your own. (VIA actually provides the source code and documentation on how you can do this.)

    Its mainly a security function and nothing else. I personally think they should have a fanless FPU accelerator as a future add-on. (Like the good old days of 486sx and a co-processor).
     
  4. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic News Monkey

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    Excellent information. Thanks for that. I guess i only flicked through thre review so i may have overlooked this feature. Seemed odd that the VIA whipped the ass out of a p4 2.4GHz processor :)
     
  5. blakeyboysmith

    blakeyboysmith Member

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    i know ive got some money that i havent spent yet that is burning a hole in my pocket.

    you can get them shipped from o/s for about $415 which isnt too bad... but i may wait a few weeks (after i hand in part of my thesis).
     
  6. OP
    OP
    stmok

    stmok Member

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    Its already here. ;)

    www.eyo.com.au has them for $313.50
    (Its the EPIA EN15000 model, as reviewed).
     
  7. massiveoni

    massiveoni Member

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    why dont they get rid of the 2 PATA and have 4 SATA, yeh i know you will say what about a cdrom, but you could use the sata -> pata converters,

    and also get rid of the pci slot and include onboard HDTV turner, then it would be the perfect PVR

    and hell while they are at it, they should include bluetooth and wifi

    then it would be the complete budget all-in-one computer
     
  8. OP
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    stmok

    stmok Member

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    (1) They, unlike you, have considered that most optical devices, Disk-On-Module (DOM) and other flash-type storage solutions use PATA format.

    And if you actually had experience with SATA to PATA adapters, you'd know you run into serious compatibility issues with certain drives...Do you really want to put the customer in a position where they have to search high and low for a compatible drive? :rolleyes: What about those wanting to install a DOM for a custom solution?

    If you've ever seen that Plextor SATA DVD-burner, you'd know that it only worked with Intel SouthBridge chipsets. Anything else...Tough sh*t. (Its no surprise that it didn't sell all that well).


    (2) An expansion slot is pretty much a must for any end-user. (This is what the EPIA is aimed at. An embedded board for the home user or enthusiast).

    The most common (widely available) hardware is in a PCI format. Hell, even the first generation of AEGIA's PhysX PPU are in PCI. And what about those capture cards and such?

    Are you gonna completely limit the choices of your customers, because you assume this is what they want? A PVR? Some might even consider this as you delibrately limiting the options of the customer and not even bother with your solution to begin with...Because it doesn't meet their needs.


    (3) Bluetooth? Wifi? Why? How much does it cost to integrate wireless and/or Bluetooth capability?


    (4) Eeeh, no. As soon as you said "budget", built-in wifi/bluetooth, HDTV tuner and other nick-nacks you're thinking about, these are gonna jack up the cost. It would definitely not be "budget" anymore.


    Sure, they can add all that wonderful stuff in...The question is...How much are YOU gonna pay for such a solution? And don't say $300, because its gonna cost FAR more than that once you slap all that in. Especially if its components that need to be purchased and designed by a third-party.


    There's a lot more to designing and making something. You can't just want "this and that" without some sort of compromise.
     

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