1. Post #1
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    I've finally decided I am going to make my Pico-ITX jacket pocket computer. Basically, It is a full featured x86 computer built inside the case from an XBox 360 HD DVD drive:


    So far I have found these parts from around the internet:
    Motherboard/CPU/GPU: VIA EPIA-P820-12 Pico-ITX Mainboard
    http://www.logicsupply.com/products/epia_p820_12
    I'm ordering this bundled with a 60w power supply that powers all the components, as well.



    Statistics:
    1ghz VIA Nano ULV x86 procesor
    1 slot 200pin DDR2 800/677 SO-DIMM RAM supports up to 2gb
    Graphics Accelerator: VIA Chrome9 3D/2D integrated AGP Graphics Controller; supports 1080p hardware accelerated playback.
    Back Panel I/O: 2x USB 2.0, 1 VGA port, 1x HDMI port, 1x Gigabit Ethernet port
    Onboard I/O: 1x USB 2.0 pin header for 4 USB 2.0 ports, 1x SATA port, 1x 44-pin micro-IDE port, 1x LPC/SMBus/GPIO pin header (whatever that is), 1x front panel PS/2 pin header, 2x UART ports/VPC pin headers (whatever those are), 1x LVDS pin header (single channel, backlight control), front port audio pin headers (line in/out, mic in), 1x system fan pin header.

    I should tell you just how TINY this board is, it's 3.9 by 2.8 inches. That's an entire x86 compatible motherboard right in the palm of your hand. It's around the size of an iPhone!

    VIA DVI Module and Cable for VIA EPIA EK, N
    http://www.logicsupply.com/products/dvi_03cg_60


    Pretty simple, I want a DVI output too for this thing so I'll need this. Plus, it's only $1.

    Serener Pico-ITX I/O Board Add-On Module

    http://www.logicsupply.com/products/pxfpio

    Easy way to make use of the pin headers without buying their components individually. Also comes with a power button and Power/HDD lights. If it doesn't fit directly to the P820 since it's designed for the PX10000G, I can easily manually wire the headers to it.

    G.Skill 2gb 200pin DDR2 800 SO-DIMM Laptop Memory

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231155

    It's memory, what else is there to say?

    WD Scorpio Blue 160gb 5400rpm 2.5" Laptop Hard Drive

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136391

    I went for a medium sized cheap hard drive with good ratings.
    :siren:I could also replace it with an SSD, but I don't know what a good one to get is!:siren:

    Philips CDD5263 12mm Slimline DVD/CD+RW ATA Combo Drive

    http://www.centrix-intl.com/details.asp?productid=2822

    I need a slimline optical drive for this build since a full sized drive fills the entire case, and I needed one with an IDE interface so I could use the SATA port on the motherboard for the hard drive. Which leads us to:

    Slimline CD to 44-pin Mini-IDE converter

    http://www.logicsupply.com/products/slimcdide44

    To convert the slimline drive's port to something I can connect to the motherboard.

    ____________________________

    Now I need some help on deciding on my wireless solution. There are two options available to me since the motherboard doesn't have any type of expansion card slot, a Qcom LR802UKG 54 MBps Wireless USB Module[http://www.logicsupply.com/products/lr802ukg] that mounts directly to the USB headers and I can easily mount inside the case or some sort of small USB dongle I can mount outside the case. Normally I would go straight for the internal one, but it's quite expensive once you add an Antenna, which is a shame because I know exactly where I could mount it.



    There you go, Facepunch, it's my supermegaultra build of tiny. I'll get a fancy logo and some pictures and stuff later.

    Edited:

    Turns out that the motherboard has the exact same dimensions as, and stacks perfectly with, 2.5" form factor hard drives. This makes mounting the drive a lot easier.
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  2. Post #2
    Killerelf12's Avatar
    January 2008
    1,840 Posts
    Holy fucking shit. I knew you said you were doing something like this, but that fucking pico-board is small.

    Seriously, I cannot believe that, all I can say is holy fucking shit.

  3. Post #3
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    Holy fucking shit. I knew you said you were doing something like this, but that fucking pico-board is small.

    Seriously, I cannot believe that, all I can say is holy fucking shit.
    That was my response. I was looking at nettops and netbooks and trying to find the smallest one in the hopes of barely squeezing the board in. Then a facepuncher turned me on to the Nano-ITX Wikipedia link, which turned me on to Pico-ITX. My face: :pcgaming:

    Edited:

    Here's some comparison shots of the board to items:

    HDMI Cable:


    Mugen CPU cooler:


    iPod Touch
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  4. Post #4
    Gold Member
    GoDong-DK's Avatar
    November 2009
    14,886 Posts
    That was my response. I was looking at nettops and netbooks and trying to find the smallest one in the hopes of barely squeezing the board in. Then a facepuncher turned me on to the Nano-ITX Wikipedia link, which turned me on to Pico-ITX. My face: :pcgaming:

    Edited:

    Here's some comparison shots of the board to items:

    HDMI Cable:


    Mugen CPU cooler:


    iPod Touch
    This is pretty awesome. But really, take your time building it.
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  5. Post #5
    B1N4RY!'s Avatar
    September 2009
    15,255 Posts
    $229.00 is a lot for a motherboard of that size/power

    Edited:

    For wireless, use this: http://www.buyincoins.com/150m-wifi-...duct-2464.html

    It's the same one that I've used in my X360 PC mod

  6. Post #6
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    $229.00 is a lot for a motherboard of that size/power
    Hell, if you can find a better one, I'm all ears. I chose this one because it has an x86 compatible processor, good video processing for media playback, and some good ports for me to use. Sure it's expensive, but it's great quality. And TINY!

    Edited:

    Build that I am getting my comparison photos from: http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=184073

  7. Post #7
    B1N4RY!'s Avatar
    September 2009
    15,255 Posts
    good video processing for media playback
    Code:
    VGA: 	VIA Chrome9 3D/2D AGP Integrated Graphics
    I STRONGLY doubt it.
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  8. Post #8
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    Code:
    VGA: 	VIA Chrome9 3D/2D AGP Integrated Graphics
    I STRONGLY doubt it.
    It will play 1080p blu-ray videos with only 20% CPU utilization(according to a demonstration video by VIA), that's good enough for me. Once I get the whole thing working I will replace my cheap DVD reader with a proper Blu-Ray drive to take advantage of it. But like I said, if you can find me a better pico-ITX board I will gladly use it. (Already looked at PX10000G, worse than 820 in almost every way)

  9. Post #9
    B1N4RY!'s Avatar
    September 2009
    15,255 Posts
    I don't think you can find any better PicoITX boards for the price. Generally, smaller the form factor, the more expensive it is
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  10. Post #10
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    That's my point :colbert:

    Should I try for Mobile-ITX then? Let's see how much I can make this cost :woop:

    Edited:

    On a more serious note, can someone recommend a decent 40mm case fan? I'm pretty sure the one that Microsoft included in the HD DVD drive case is pretty shitty. I don't need much airflow since none of the components get particularly hot, but I would like it to be quiet. Also, if anyone has owned or seen one of these drives before, have you noticed that the HD DVD drive is better ventilated than the 360 itself?

  11. Post #11
    FalcoLombardi's Avatar
    December 2009
    8,370 Posts
    Nice job Mack
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  12. Post #12
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    Okay, I have another question. It's easier to get decent SATA laptop drives than IDE ones, and easier to get IDE hard drives than IDE disk drives. Should I switch the hard drive to IDE and the disk drive to a SATA one? It will probably make it a lot easier to upgrade to a Blu-Ray drive.

  13. Post #13
    Gold Member
    Nsybouts's Avatar
    January 2010
    3,536 Posts
    I want to do this myself already
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  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    hexpunK's Avatar
    August 2008
    15,659 Posts
    Still waiting for that Wii NAS idea someone had :colbert: If I had the money I would take it up myself.

  15. Post #15
    Gold Member
    Ins4ne's Avatar
    November 2008
    910 Posts
    If you wanted smaller storage I think Kingston has 1.8 inch ssd's
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  16. Post #16
    Gold Member

    November 2008
    10,947 Posts
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  17. Post #17
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    Actually, I know what that super tiny one's interface is;ZIF. It's the same as used in the iPod classic HDD's. Pretty sure there are converters, but I don't want it to be bottlenecked by the speed of those.

    http://www.sourcingmap.com/zif-pin-s...aign=usfroogle
    Said adapter. Seems like the Crucial is a better value, but I could always get the ZIF one as a backup drive. But then again, the Crucial is 4x the space for a little over 2x the price.

    That Crucial one looks like a great deal. Is SATA III backwards compatible with SATA 2? I don't know much about 3, other than it's newer. But thanks for the suggestions, when it comes to SSD's I'm next to clueless.

    Nevermind, read description of product.

    Edited:

    Still waiting for that Wii NAS idea someone had :colbert: If I had the money I would take it up myself.
    Not really an idea someone had, BINARY posted an empty Wii case from Deal Extreme and since people were asking for things to put computers in. Someone said it would make a kick-ass NAS server, but nobody said they were going to do it.

  18. Post #18
    B1N4RY!'s Avatar
    September 2009
    15,255 Posts
    Actually, I know what that super tiny one's interface is;ZIF. It's the same as used in the iPod classic HDD's. Pretty sure there are converters, but I don't want it to be bottlenecked by the speed of those.

    That Crucial one looks like a great deal. Is SATA III backwards compatible with SATA 2? I don't know much about 3, other than it's newer. But thanks for the suggestions, when it comes to SSD's I'm next to clueless.

    Edited:



    Not really an idea someone had, BINARY posted an empty Wii case from Deal Extreme and since people were asking for things to put computers in. Someone said it would make a kick-ass NAS server, but nobody said they were going to do it.
    No that was my way of foreshadowing saying that I'll consider doing it
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  19. Post #19
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    No that was my way of foreshadowing saying that I'll consider doing it
    Should put that in spoiler tags :ninja:

  20. Post #20
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    So with all the crap I've gathered up it comes to around $420 with the Scorpio Blue HDD. SSD is just not on the budget for this one, at least not yet. I've started marking off preliminary positioning for things, but I'll need at least the motherboard and disk drive to really figure out where things go. And for the daughter boards I'd need to get them period because they have no size information on them. I'm thinking of mounting the 'front panel' ports on the top of the device, limited to two USB and the line out/in jacks. I'm not doing much fancy metalwork here, at most I'll be making a detachable motherboard tray. The ODD and HDD are going to use simple aluminum mounting brackets attached to the case with either hot glue or epoxy. Much of the screwwork on the inside will be filed down to make room for stuff, and the grid of plastic(for strengthening?) will be filed down. Strength will be achieved by my motherboard, maybe supplanted with glued on aluminum braces. Since the whole thing will weigh about as much as the average netbook/Apple laptop, I don't think strength will be too big a problem.

    ___________________
    Now I have another dilemma. I saved the PCB for the eject button from the 360 HD DVD drive itself, and near as I can tell it still works. How feasible would it be to rewire it to operate the disk drive's ejecting? Since it fits inside perfectly already and looks stylish, I'd like to use it if I can. An alternative would be to use it for the power button, but I would prefer the eject if at all possible. Anyone else worked with slimline disk drives before?

    Edited:

    Don't mind the busted automerge

  21. Post #21
    SUPER SWELL FELLOW
    Phrozen99's Avatar
    May 2006
    2,359 Posts
    Is it possible I hook a battery of sorts into it? If it can, I will probably go and make one for myself.

  22. Post #22
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    Is it possible I hook a battery of sorts into it? If it can, I will probably go and make one for myself.
    If you can get a rechargable with the right voltage, wattage, and amperage it should be easy to plug it into the DC jack on the motherboard. The motherboard powers all the other components since it has a built in power supply :woop: which means it just needs the one input.

  23. Post #23
    SUPER SWELL FELLOW
    Phrozen99's Avatar
    May 2006
    2,359 Posts
    If you can get a rechargable with the right voltage, wattage, and amperage it should be easy to plug it into the DC jack on the motherboard. The motherboard powers all the other components since it has a built in power supply :woot: which means it just needs the one input.
    I can imagine a cell phone battery or something similar would power it for a few hours at least.

    And for the burner I found a decent slimline blu ray drive by panasonic for I think 80 bucks.

    I just don't know what I'd put it in....

    Edit:

    If you don't mind, I might try your idea with the hd dvd player. I'm sure I could pick a broken one up on ebay for pretty cheap.

    Would there be any chance to fit a mini-itx in there?
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  24. Post #24
    B1N4RY!'s Avatar
    September 2009
    15,255 Posts
    I can imagine a cell phone battery or something similar would power it for a few hours at least.
    I can see that happening in my dream.
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  25. Post #25
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    I can imagine a cell phone battery or something similar would power it for a few hours at least.

    And for the burner I found a decent slimline blu ray drive by panasonic for I think 80 bucks.

    I just don't know what I'd put it in....

    Edit:

    If you don't mind, I might try your idea with the hd dvd player. I'm sure I could pick a broken one up on ebay for pretty cheap.

    Would there be any chance to fit a mini-itx in there?
    No Mini-ITX, not a chance in hell. It's bigger than the damned case. Nano-ITX is also going to be a pain, too much to justify using it when the Pico-ITX boards are the same price anyways. Also, a cellphone battery would nowhere near powerful enough to run it for a few hours with a mechanical HDD and ODD. An SSD or Compact Flash storage solution will be a lot less demanding, but a laptop battery would be far better. Since the TPD of a VIA Nano processor is less than 10 watts, just about any laptop battery would work. Go ahead with your idea, it's not a new concept, really, this is just the first time I've seen it in a 360 HD DVD player case. Any burner would work fine, but an pATA/IDE interfaced one would be best because most modern hard drives are SATA based and IDE ones are far more expensive for the quality. ODD's are the same pretty much every interface, but Blu-Ray ones are mostly SATA only. But please, let's not dilute this thread further, make your own.(trying not to sound rude)

  26. Post #26
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    So my Christmas present this year is the funds to power this build :woop: (does anyone else like this emote a lot?)

    I've been in a slump in the past couple weeks, after having a crisis of self-worth when I realized that my greatest achievement this month was that I unlocked a TANK in a VIDEO GAME. Then I got so depressed and I couldn't even accomplish anything in a goddamn game, just staring at the screen or the wall moping. Then I realized that now I can do something new, something unique, that nobody has done before. Something I actually know I have the ability to do. It's instilled in my some sort of drive, a motivation I haven't felt since... ever. Then in the past weekend I suddenly decided to stop being a fucking emo and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Then I became a dynamo and started ordering parts, designing, organizing, thinking, sketching, remaking, disassembling, breadboarding, reassembling, fitting, thinking, then redesigning and now I have an idea of how I will make this thing. I am 100% certain I can actually finish this project, and it won't end up in the pile of half-disassembled, half-reassembled unfinished projects that live in the garage. I'm ordering the parts this week, they should arrive by the end of it or the beginning of the next. Expect a tidal wave of updates once that happens.

    TL;DR:
    I.
    Can.
    DO THIS!


    Edited:

    Now for a completely related question: Does anyone know where I can custom print those little shiny stickers that companies so often slap on their computers? You know, the ones on shiny foil that say "intel inside" and whatnot. I want to print some for the VIA chipsets in this guy.

    Edited:



    These guys, to be exact.
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  27. Post #27
    fusionpoo's Avatar
    December 2008
    145 Posts
    good luck with this from everyone at disputed productions(me and crunic :)

  28. Post #28
    Gold Member
    Xybjj's Avatar
    March 2009
    1,201 Posts
    Trekkie: They're called case badges, I believe. You can order them online, but they usually come with the hardware as a 'accessory'. http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/stickers/5b43/

    Also, I'm quite curious as to where you put the RAM and CPU in that ridiculously small mobo.

    Edited:

    Unless.. they're both soldered on.
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  29. Post #29
    Gold Member
    Satane's Avatar
    March 2007
    3,705 Posts
    Trekkie: They're called case badges, I believe. You can order them online, but they usually come with the hardware as a 'accessory'. http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/stickers/5b43/

    Also, I'm quite curious as to where you put the RAM and CPU in that ridiculously small mobo.

    Edited:

    Unless.. they're both soldered on.
    It's all integrated on the motherboard.

  30. Post #30
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    It's all integrated on the motherboard.
    Close. CPU and Graphics Multimedia Unit are integrated on the board(fun fact: The graphics unit is larger than the CPU by a factor of 3.). The RAM is standard DDR2 SO-DIMM, it's on the bottom of the motherboard.

    Poor image, but that socket there is where the RAM goes.

    Take that into consideration. A single RAM stick from your desktop computer has more surface area than this motherboard.

    Also, thank you Xybjj, I didn't know what they were called. I'll see when the motherboard gets here whether or not it comes with some.

  31. Post #31
    Gold Member
    GoDong-DK's Avatar
    November 2009
    14,886 Posts
    Close. CPU and Graphics Multimedia Unit are integrated on the board(fun fact: The graphics unit is larger than the CPU by a factor of 3.). The RAM is standard DDR2 SO-DIMM, it's on the bottom of the motherboard.

    Poor image, but that socket there is where the RAM goes.

    Take that into consideration. A single RAM stick from your desktop computer has more surface area than this motherboard.

    Also, thank you Xybjj, I didn't know what they were called. I'll see when the motherboard gets here whether or not it comes with some.
    Any update on whether it's going to run Windows or Linux?

  32. Post #32
    Crunic's Avatar
    May 2010
    62 Posts
    Good luck on the build man, it's looking great so far. This should be an extremely interesting work log. I'll be waiting for more updates =D.

  33. Post #33
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    Any update on whether it's going to run Windows or Linux?
    Not yet, need to get the board first. Unless the HDD installs first, in which case I will use my desktop as a surrogate installer for my various OS's. I'll probably cut it in half and put one in each partition. I'm thinking I'll start with Xubuntu and XP to start with, then switch XP with 7 and Xubuntu with... something else, not sure yet.

  34. Post #34
    Gold Member
    GoDong-DK's Avatar
    November 2009
    14,886 Posts
    Not yet, need to get the board first. Unless the HDD installs first, in which case I will use my desktop as a surrogate installer for my various OS's. I'll probably cut it in half and put one in each partition. I'm thinking I'll start with Xubuntu and XP to start with, then switch XP with 7 and Xubuntu with... something else, not sure yet.
    Fair enough.

  35. Post #35
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    Okay, sent in the orders for all the parts I am getting. Newegg parts shipped out fine, as presumably did the CD drive, but apparently about ten minutes before I placed my order from Logic Supply someone bought the last P820 motherboard. New ones are expected on Saturday, and the whole order will ship then. So I can start installing OS's since the HDD is from Newegg in a couple days, but actually trying to do something with the motherboard will have to wait till sometime next week.

  36. Post #36
    Mr Jazz
    Makol's Avatar
    January 2009
    39,113 Posts
    good luck with this from everyone at disputed productions(me and crunic :)
    Ok, steal my name.

    Edited:

    On topic: Very interest build log, never seen one like this before.

  37. Post #37
    SUPER SWELL FELLOW
    Phrozen99's Avatar
    May 2006
    2,359 Posts
    Are you sure that little onboard gpu can handle blu ray movies?

  38. Post #38
    I'm dumb! You don't have an excuse!
    MacTrekkie's Avatar
    July 2009
    5,485 Posts
    Are you sure that little onboard gpu can handle blu ray movies?
    According to VIA videos it can, but without a BluRay drive the point is moot. Speaking of drives...

    My slimline disk drive has arrived :woop:! Also did my tiny USB wireless internet dongle. And now Logic Supply has no expected date for new P820's to arrive. I'm going to try to get them to remove it from my order so I can get all the other things I need from them and then order the board from another supplier.

  39. Post #39
    TheUnwantedFag's Avatar
    September 2010
    271 Posts
    Looks great makkie. I'm looking forward for more updates from you.
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  40. Post #40
    Gold Member
    doonbugie2's Avatar
    May 2008
    7,387 Posts
    Oh my god, and I was going to build a ITX. I'm totally going to do this later.
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