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Wall-mounted PC

Posted on Sun 03 Jan 2010

A tiny wall-mounted media PC system I built, based on the Zotac IONITX Mini-ITX motherboard.

I decided to build a small form-factor PC for use in my kitchen, mainly to use as a MythTV frontend, but also to allow me to view recipes on the web, and play games while cooking!

I intend to fix this to the wall alongside a monitor on a VESA mount, though I've not got around to doing this yet.

Components

Mini-box M350 case.

Front of case and removable front panel

This tiny case is just big enough to squeeze in a Mini-ITX motherboard and a 2.5in HDD. It is a sturdy metal construction with plenty of holes for airflow. The removable plastic front panel hides two additional USB sockets which can be connected to suitable headers on the motherboard, the power switch and power LEDs (blue, of course).

Zotac ION-ITX-A motherboard

Back panel and view with cover removed

This Mini-ITX motherboard is packed with features so little else is needed to make up a complete system. It has an on-board power supply, requiring only a small external adaptor which connects to the board via a conventional DC jack. The board has a single Mini PCI Express x1 slot, which comes filled with an AzureWave WLAN card, with an external antenna which is connected to the back panel. The board features an inbuilt dual core Atom N330 processor running at 1.GHz. This is covered with a large heatsink, meaning that only a small fan is required to keep the system running at a safe temperature. For graphics, it has an NVidia ION graphics processor, capable of playing back hi-def video, with D-sub, DVI and HDMI outputs.

2 GB DDR2 800 RAM

This motherboard can handle up to 4 GB RAM in its two 240-pin DIMM slots, though for me, a single 2 GB stick was plenty.

160 GB SATA 2.5in HDD

I didn't need a huge amount of space, as most of my data is contained on a server.

Software setup

I installed Ubuntu Desktop 9.10 (64bit) on to the hard drive via a USB pen drive, which was surprisingly simple.

I then installed MythTV using apt-get as usual. When first running mythfrontend, it asks you for the server address, which I entered. I added an entry to /etc/fstab to mount the data share on my server using CIFS, which allowed MythTV to pick up the various media files stored on there (pictures, videos, music).

Updated on 2010-04-25 13:53:08 +0000 | Requested on 2019-01-20 16:43:09 +0000