Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Future Is Here - KEEX 6100


This just arrived.  For those that don't follow my blog, this the Quanmax KEEX-6100.  It is an ECX board, an Intel created standard.  It is the exact size of a 3.5" drive.  While it may not look like much, after much research and personal experience with Quanmax boards, I believe this is the BEST size-to-power ratio motherboard that is commercially available.  This is not an atom board, does not use a ULV chip, or a 600mhz VIA processor.  This is a Socket G2 - Sandy Bridge Core i3/i5/i7 motherboard.  It does use a the mobile version (traditionally used in notebooks), but that is the only compromise you will have to make.  This is the same processor found in the new mac mini the (i5 or i7).


Board features:
Compact Flash Slot (Bootable)
SATA x 2
Mini PCIe
LVDS x2 (with backlight power)
VGA, HDMI, Display Port

But the real advantage is size.  In comparison to a 5.25" optical drive - this is miniscule.  This board will fit easily at the top of the dome in essentially otherwise unusable space.  This helps with heat issues.  In addition, this allows you to have the entire rest of the dome to use in any way you see fit.

I am not sure which design I am personally going to integrate this into, but I will discuss hooking up to an ECX board in my tutorial - which I assure you I have been working on.

ECX vs Mini-itx
For those interested in starting soon and utilizing this board.  By far the easiest way to obtain this board is from a company called Sliger.  They are a Quanmax distributor and were extremely helpful.  They can provide not only the board but DC power recommendations, accessory cables (some of which are required).  Not only do they have this board but all the other Quanmax ECX boards.  Everything from atoms to core 2 duos to amds to the sandy bridge 6100.  One of the owner's emailed me back within an hour after I sent an inquiry and answered all my questions.  I highly recommend Sliger if you are going to go the ECX route.

Website: http://www.sliger.com
Email: sales@sliger.com

Stay tuned - I promise you the 17" tutorial is on the way with the 20" to follow.

8 comments:

  1. JBerg,
    I am really curious about your progress with this board. In my opinion it all depends on the cooling of the processor. Heatpipes might be a good solution, but also underclocking the processor to prevent as much heat as possible. You might even give it a try with a passive cooler and a fan at the original position on the top of the dome. The distance between the fan and the coolert should not be very much, if I remember that right.

    Do you plan to install OS X on it? I studied the specifications and it really sound equal to the Mac mini, so success should be around the corner. But you should consider that using the LVDS output requires additional attention. In my case I had to install a software called SwitchResX to make OSX recognize my panel.

    It is really that it comes with a 2xLVDS with even 24bit. Panels with 24bit are not so common, but two of them? well, maybe in industrial environments (to where these boards naturally belong).

    Best Wishes and looking to hear from you (and this little treasure)
    Frank

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  2. JBerg,

    How much did the board cost?

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  3. Not gonna lie, its expensive - $200+
    And this does not include the fan, processor, or AC-DC power source.

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  4. Really like the look of the motherboard. To be honest, I was fearing a higher price - I spent about 230GBP on a similarly niche Nano-ITX Atom board a couple of years ago, so I personally wouldn't be too bothered on splashing out a bit for an i7 motherboard of those dimensions.

    Also, great work on the mods - makes me REALLY tempted to have a go at a 20" G4 iMac myself.

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  5. Honestly the board is great. I have already confirmed that it's hackintoshable. It's size to power ratio really can't be beat.

    My new 20" mod is coming along nicely, I'll post an update soon. I'll have a parts list and guide eventually. So far it doesn't appear to be unreasonable or overly difficult.

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