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Tuesday, 14 October 2008 07:57

J&W MINIX, Athlon 64 X2 3400e impresses - 2 MINIX board

Written by Eliot Kucharik


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Review: Low-Power AMD Platform, the best for HTPC

 

J&W is the first vendor ever introducing an high-end miniITX board. It has all the features you can wish for with SATA RAID II support for four hard drives, eSATA, 6x USB 2.0, Gb LAN, VGA, DVI, HDMI, analog and digital sound-outputs. There is no other consumer miniITX solution in the market which is even comparable to it.

 

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As you can see, it's also the first miniITX solution featuring an all solid capacitor design. Using the AMD 780G chipset with 128MB DDR2 sideband-memory gives the board superiority against any other competition on the market. Using an Marvel 8056 chip you also get native PCIe Gb LAN and Realtek's ALC885 gives you a quite good onboard sound solution. You need to use a 4cm fan, as long as you are not gaming, you can run it with 5V, otherwise we recommend to buy a quieter fan.

 

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The board features a three-phase VRM, which could do 95W, but we strongly advise only to use max. 65W TDP CPUs. Small cases have the disadvantage that airflow is considerabley lower compared to a standard tower. The less your CPU TPD, the better. The chokes and other chips are on the backside of the PCB, so don't forget to use the plastic cover for the case which J&W provides to prevent a short-circuit which could damage the board.

 

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The board also features a PCIe x16 slot, but due to restraints on the PCB it only supports x4 speed. So, with PCIe 2.0 enabled you will get enough speed if you consider this board for gaming.

 

J&W finally got the package right. The box looks really nice and with a nice bundle it doesn't disappoint. Two SATA cables with clips, HDD cable, HDD to SATA power-cable, back panel and a 4cm fan complete the package, besides manual and driver-CD.

 

 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 15 October 2008 04:01
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