Ranitomeya dorisswansonae, Amazon poison dart frog
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Dell Inspiron 400HD Zino
Alternative System

Jim Carter, 2009-12-17

Before the Zino was announced I was designing a media playback node based on the Intel Atom processor. Here is the parts list I was just about to buy, for comparison and historical interest:


Intel D945GCLF2D mobo with Intel Atom 330 CPU installed, and CPU fan. $79 at Fry's. D945GCLF2F has an S-Video port for $85. Mini-ITX (170mm / 6.7in square). Atom 330 basic specs: dual core, 1Mb L2 cache, 1.6GHz clock, 533MHz FSB, 8W max power, no virtualization, 64bit arch, execute disable. I wonder what the total mobo power draw is.


Antec (http://www.antec.com) ISK 300-65 (in ISK product series) for 170mm square ITX mobo. $100 at Newegg. 80mm 3 speed fan (and a cutout for a second fan), Includes 65W external power brick and ATX DC-DC converter board (internal). Drive bays: 1 5.25in slim optical drive, 2 internal 2.5in bays. Vertical and horizontal clearance for 1 half-height expansion slot. Front ports: 2x USB, 1x eSATA, 2x audio (phones, mic). Rear ports: what the mobo provides. External dimensions: 96h x 222w x 328d (millimeters) or 3.8 x 8.7 x 12.9 inch. Includes a stand for vertical mounting.


Kingston KVR533D2/1GR. From Amazon, $28.


OCZ Solid solid state disc, 30Gb. $121 from Tiger Direct (order through Amazon); $125 at Newegg.

Optical Disc

(Research not done yet.)


M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Powered Speakers (14 watts). From Amazon, $133.72 (on sale). Purchased; these are being used on the Zino.


These days the emphasis is on BIG monitors. On Amazon I spotted the Boss Audio BV7HR 7-inch Headrest TFT Monitor. I think the idea is to mount it in a car on the front seat headrest, so a rear seat passenger can watch movies. $71 at Amazon. Pedestal stand included. Resolution: 1152 x 234px (that's what they say), brightness 450 NIT. 1 customer review; he likes it.

Also at Amazon: Pyle PLMN7SD 7 inch TFT/LCD Monitor with SD card reader and builtin stereo speakers. $85. With stand and remote control.

While I would like a small, low power display, I'm going to defer these items.

The total cost (excluding optical disc, speakers, display, tax and shipping) is $338, about $100 more than the Zino. Dell purchases in high volume, and from vendors that an individual has no access to or could not develop trust in.

Ranitomeya dorisswansonae, Amazon poison dart frog