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Date: March 10th, 2004
Article by: Roger (Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: VIA Technologies
<---Shop for the VIA EPIA ME6000 MINI-ITX MOTHERBOARD Here


PRODUCT WALKTHROUGH & PICTORIAL

The ME6000 has a VIA C3/EDEN EBGA 600MHz processor, which may not seem like a lot to most folks, however we have to remember what this system was built for. 600MHz is plenty for an HTPC or a casual office worker/internet surfer (let's be honest, the two are synonymous). The northbridge on the ME6000 is the VIA CLE266, which handles the CPU and memory controller. In addition to that, it includes an MPEG-2 decoder and an integrated 2D/3D graphics processor from SiS. All of this ensures that a large part of the processing goes to the northbridge, freeing up the CPU for other tasks.

As for the southbridge, the VT8235 handles the 6 channel audio, the ATA133 ports, MC'97 Modem, USB 2.0, Ethernet controller and the PCI controller.

Looking back at the board, you'll notice something right away.

Look Ma, no fans!

That's right, as mentioned previously, the ME6000 does not use a processor core fan. It has a heatsink over the CPU (VIA C3/EDEN EBGA 600 MHz processor), as well one which covers both the north (VIA CLE266) and south (VT8235) bridge. This keeps the ambient noise level extremely low. What does it mean for temperature though?

Well, I'm glad you asked.

I kept the system idle for several hours while I was working on other reviews, and kept a close eye on the temperature via the BIOS. It slowly climbed till it reached 60 degrees Celsius, then leveled. Occasionally it would drop to the mid-fifties, then would spike back up to 60. I installed Motherboard Monitor 5.3.6.0, which recognizes the Epia ME6000. I then started Prime95. I selected Torture Test, and chose In-Place large FFTs (maximum heat, power consumption, some RAM tested).

I immediately had to turn off the alarm on MBM, as the CPU temperature jumped over 70 degrees Celsius in a matter of 30 seconds. Eventually, the temperature settled at 80 degrees Celsius, jumping occasionally to 81, then dropping back down to 80.

I was happy to see the voltages flat-lining… they never spiked once, which is mainly due to the PSU's quality, however it also means that despite the exceptional strain on the motherboard, it did not require a lot of juice. Remember, this is only a 200 Watt PSU.

Speaking of power, the board has a standard 20-pin ATX power connector, and does not need the addition 12V connector.

 

 


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