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Biostar's J1800TH is Thin Mini-ITX Board for Embedded Applications

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Phillip Wager

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With only two USB slots unless there is a USB header onboard this things seems ill-equipped for any tasks.
one usb port can support like 52 usb devices you are just looking at a tangled mess of adaptors but i do see a header for a external case usb
 

IInuyasha74

Splendid
Moderator


Yea thats true, but every USB hub device divides the max speed of that USB port between however many devices are connected. Not to mention the other boards roughly the same size with the same CPU or pretty much the same CPU and already have more USB ports. Its good they have the header, but given it probably only costs them about five cents for each USB port they add in cost I don't see any reason why not to of added more. I guess they were thinking of the limited thin form factor, but several board makers have put USB ports on with the narrow end against the board, which would of made plenty of space so I don't really see or understand that as a viable reason either.
 

James Mason

Polypheme
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Why would it need more than 2 usb ports?

It's designed to be put behind a large touchscreen tv/monitor so you have an interactive office building information desk. There was a similar one installed (while i was still there) at a place I worked. It allowed people who were coming onto the corporate campus to get more interactive update on what conference room they were supposed to go to.
 

IInuyasha74

Splendid
Moderator


Well that is one use for it but used in a home for example to make a tv more like a smart TV as they are called now would typically have people wanting to connect mouse, keyboard, and USB flash drives at the very least. For use as a PC in a small business it falls short in many places it could be used because its common to need to connect printers, keyboards, mice, flash drives, scanners and several other devices by USB. Granted some of those can be done other the network, but to make a small cheap printer work as a business print system typically needs a computer connected to it like this, which seems one of the ideas for its design.

Though honestly for use with a smartTV or a touchscreen display for use like you described is really kinda of useless now since numerous android and linux devices exist now that are the size of a smartphone or smaller and made to connect to a TV and do this exact same thing but use much less power, much less space, and since they come with RAM and storage onboard already and typically cost less than this board product above really makes this product a poor choice for those kinds of things. Ones like the Rhasberry Pi B+ even come with 4 USB ports. Granted its performance is lower, but when you are talking about a device meant to only display information, play videos, browse web pages, or other similar small activities it won't matter.

Guess what I am trying to say is above the lack of USB ports creating problems for many places it could be used (like a print server, or home lite HTPC) other products already exist that are cheaper, more efficient, some are more user friendly, and some are quad-core units making them faster also at times. So this product just seems kind of a waste.
 

IInuyasha74

Splendid
Moderator


Since that dual core is an Intel Atom CPU that is actually meant for tablets. Trying to use it like an office PC with several documents open and a dozen web pages would lead it to lag pretty bad.
 

James Mason

Polypheme
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I think it's really intended for exactly what they said at the end of the article, "thin clients, digital signage, and kiosks." A customized thin client (although I don't know why you'd need a custom one) really only needs an internet connection to connect to a terminal server. the two USB ports are for the local keyboard and mouse, and that's all you should be hooking up to a thin client anyways.

You're right it would be bad at all those things you mentioned, because it's not designed to be good at them anyways.
 

mrmez

Splendid
I setup and OC'd a Raspberry Pi for some very basic office stuff.
Opening programs was a pain, but if you didn't close them it was perfect for email, internet, open office etc.
Thats only the size of an old mobile phone and with a bunch of accessories is only $100.

The Pi has a pretty bad cpu, but excellent gfx. Perfect for HD videos, digital signage etc.
If you are going to have weak underpowered garbage, it may as well be cheap and tiny. No point in Mini ATX.

PS. There are also much more powerful products than the Pi that are the same size and don't cost much more.
 

IInuyasha74

Splendid
Moderator


Yup thats what I have been saying :)
If you need something to do this, there are much better choices.
 

christinebcw

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Sep 8, 2012
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I'm curious about the use of SATA-II ports instead of SATA3's. Do the SATA3 memory controllers generate that much more heat? I doubt they'd add $1 to parts and assembly, so I'm back to wondering "heat levels" with a large, doubting question-mark. (I'm imagining one of those roadside warning signs, scrolling out messages from a filled-up Seagate 8Tb drive... uh huh...)

Oh wait. ATOMs have SATA-IIs... that's why. It's a bandwidth-thing.
 

IInuyasha74

Splendid
Moderator
No idea how much it costs yet, since searching for it doesn't have any listings. Seems they still aren't out yet.

christinebcw: Hello again :)
I don't think the reasoning for SATA II over SATA III was because of heat, I think its because of the really low performance parts. I am thinking they decided that either no one would bother with a SATA III device trying to be as cheap as possible, or that the CPUs are so weak they couldn't take full advantage of SATA III transfer speeds. So given that they probably decided to just save an extra 5 cents instead of trying for it.
 

christinebcw

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Yes, it's an ATOM chipset limit, nothing more - that's the built-in memory controller. Nothing too skulduggerous about this... I just don't know how they think I'm going to stick all those helium-filled 8Tb drives on this thing... it's so small... so lightweight!
 

IInuyasha74

Splendid
Moderator


You got some 8TB Helium drives? Nice.
Yea this is pretty limited for that. Kind of what I was mentioning earlier, to me it seems there is a better solution for any task than this thing. If you needed to go cheap out of the way storage there are Android offerings like Raspberry Pi, or if you have a little more cash there are a ton of $35 motherboards waiting to be paired with a $50 CPU and you will have 6 SATA III's with a little shopping ready to give you fast access.
 

christinebcw

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We have disk burning kiosks with an HDD and 3-4-5 burner-drives, and occasionally we could get by with a single-burner environment (which would mean pre-burning a stack of disks, and letting the single drive pop out replacements constantly rather than at some multiple-disk interval).

And the "helium drive" reference was merely a joke towards this product's "lightweight" status, as if HGST and Seagate would be running Danny-Deckchair races as their next conventions.
 
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