Intel Shelton "ITX" - A Via Eden/EPIA alternative

widefault

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Intel Shelton "ITX" - A Via alternative

In August of last year there were reports on tech sites about an Intel platform for embedded and low-cost/low-power systems named Shelton and based on a cacheless 1GHz Celeron chip. Initially it was thought to be PIII based, but turned out to be based on the Banias Pentium-M core. That was pretty much all, it got a little notice but nothing much seemed to happen.

Flash-forward to a month or so ago when I(and others) came across a few Ebay sellers with an Intel "ITX" motherboard. This was Shelton, the setup mentioned above. Now, I like weird stuff like engineering samples, limited production stuff, etc, so this was a no brainer purchase. Clicked the Buy-It-Now, waited a few days, and it arrived on my doorstep.

Here's what arrived...

The board, came with the I/O plate and a few stickers for the case with different warnings, pinouts, and a layout of the board-



With a Zippo to show size of CPU heatsink-

Back of board-

Stickers-




i845GV chipset, one PCI, one IDE channel, one DIMM slot, 4 USB, onboard video, sound, and ethernet, no serial or parallel. All your basics, but nothing more. Two big-ass heatsinks on the CPU and NB.

Setup was simple, tossed on a 160GB WD drive, a 256MB of El Cheapo Mushkin, and an old 300 watt PSU. Loaded XP, and started playing around with it.

Here are some CPU-Z screenshots-





And some from Sandra, tried to show comparisons to like-speed CPUs.





And a couple comparison links for PCMark04 and 3DMark2001-
3DMark2001
PCMark04

That's what I've run so far, as well as Seti@Home. The point of Seti@Home was to guage what the effect of having no cache has on a cache-heavy application. Surprisingly, the Shelton does fairly well. Compared to a Pentium-M Dothan 2MB cache@2GHz(OC'd 1.5Ghz@533MHz{quad-pumped 133MHz} effective bus), the cacheless 1GHz(10x400MHz bus{quad pumped 100MHz}) Shelton is about 15-18% slower. Significant, but I expected much worse, especially compared to the cache-giant Dothan core.

Overall, it's a hell of a little board for the price of around $100 with shipping. Easily a much better performer than a Via mini-ITX, but without the same kind of "goodies" on the motherboard. Also runs just as cool, if not cooler. Currently have this in a slim Flex-ATX desktop case made by AOPen. After running 24 hours of Seti@Home, the CPU heatsink was warm to the touch, and that is with ONLY the PSU fan moving any air in the whole system. The northbridge actually runs hotter than the CPU, at least by the heat coming off the heatsinks.

So, comments, questions? Request for different benchmarks?
 

EnderXC

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It would be interesting to campare it to one of those embedded VIA board.
 

widefault

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Search for "Intel ITX" on ebay, there are two sellers who regularily have these up for sale. Last I looked, the price was below $100 with shipping. Tempted to get one more, but I don't have a use for this one, yet.
 

sleepeeg3

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There have been alot of them on eBay lately: http://search-desc.ebay.com/intel-i...QftrvZ1QQpriceZ1QQsaprchiZ150QQfsopZ1QQfsooZ1

I totally would have gone with one of those for a carPC install if it was not flexATX - would not fit in my dash! Instead, I went with one of those s370/Celeron combos. Advantage was an extra DIMM slot (does not matter if the Shelton can take a 1GB stick) and of course a frustrating 2cm wider. Disadvantage was it runs about 3x as hot and cannot be passively cooled! Now it looks like it does not matter since I am going to stick the system under the rear seat. They are probably pretty close speedwise and should be just enough to run high quality DivX & audio upsampling plugins for WinAMP/fubar, unlike the VIAs, which was my main issue with them.

So ya, Shelton all the way. :cool:
 

widefault

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Shelton should easily outperform the same speed PIII, and would smack around the same speed Celeron pretty easily. Well, unless the PIII and Celeron are Tualatin-cores, might be closer then. I have the parts here, I might try a comparison when I get some time.
 

sleepeeg3

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Ya, it be a Tualitin. Does not really matter, because at 1GHz, it would take a fair boost to do any gaming, but you can pretty much do everything else fine. :cool:

Depending on what you use it for, what would be sweet is if you yanked out the Shelton chip and were able to replace it with a faster Dothan! I have seen the 1.5GHz go for as low as $45... (okay, so they mislabled it as a P4 M). You could probably score a 1.7GHz chip for under $100. Not bad for a P-M system that would normally cost you $200+ for the board alone and could probably beat an A64 3000+ in CPU benchies. The question is what lies under that epoxied heatsink...

Anyone looking for a cheap P-M, use Intel's old OPN codes:
http://search-desc.ebay.com/SL7GL-S...QftrvZ1QQpriceZ1QQsaprchiZ100QQfsopZ1QQfsooZ1
 

widefault

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I've actually got two P-M desktop systems. One is a 1.5GHz@2HGz on the AOpen i855 board, the other a 1.6GHz@2.13GHz on the DFI board. Great chips, great systems, and built on the cheap. The 1.5GHz box cost under $300 thanks to Newegg refurbs and dumb ebay sellers.

Can't change the CPU on the Shelton, at least not easily. It's soldered directly to the board, would require some excellent skills. The heatsink is actually soldered to the board using 4 stiff little pins, getting that off would pretty much mean a damaged board.
 

widefault

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Well, anybody want to send me one? :D

Seriously, anybody who has one and would like to benchmark, I'd love the comparison as well. Going off of the PCMark04 ORB comparisons, the Shelton setup is anywhere from 2.5 to 3 times faster than a Via. Surprisingly, the few Transmeta chips listed on the ORB seem to match up pretty well with Shelton.
 

mac_cnc

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Lemme see if I can run benchmarks on my 1ghz Via eden. Ill see what I can put up.
 

sleepeeg3

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Do a Sandra CPU & maybe a StuperPI run too. PCMark is going to be influenced by a couple of other factors, depending on your build...

I'll try to throw a 1.2 Celery into the ring as well, if I have time.
 

widefault

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Actually, I think PCMark on either board with only memory added should make a good basis for comparison. There'd be nothing but the hard drive to really affect the numbers, and unless someone used an older drive, it wouldn't do much.

I'll do a SuperPi run later tonight and post results.
 

sleepeeg3

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Tualatin...



Look at this iNsAnE bandwidth with 2-2-2-5 timings! :eek:




It looks like you are running Sandra 2004, but if you were running 2005, the Shelton's results would probably be a hair above the Tualatin's. ...and the VIAs would still all around suck.

The only difference is I can overclock. :cool:
 

widefault

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I'm working on the overclocking. The clockgen PLL on the board is well capable of it, and the chipset can at least go to 533Mhz(133 quad pump). And if I could get the FSB up, I could also get the memory running faster since the chipset supports DDR333 at 533MHz bus speeds. It's sort of on the back burner for right now, playing with some low power Geode SBCs right now.
 

RQLe

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From my experience 1ghz Via eden runs like a 400mhz-450mhz celeron. This PM celeron would be great.
 

bob

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Id love to get one of those boards. Mmmm... Laptop dvd drive in it, 40 gig 2.5" in there, and a little case to put it all in... :D
 

widefault

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When I bought it, I had hoped I'd be able to drop it into one of the mini-ITX cases, but it's too big for most of them. The PCI slot is in the #2 position, while the standard mini-ITX boards have their one PCI slot in the #1 spot, so it's about 2cm wider. Ended up buying a low-profile mATX case, which is one of the only "bad" things about this setup. I would have also preferred a few more bells and whistles(one more IDE channel, SATA, firewire, etc), but that would also drive the price up quite a bit.
 

Dew

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Just bought one of these for my bsd router project. Putting it in an el cheapo low profile Flex ATX case($35 shipped, including 140w PSU, way overkill), I'll have to get a PCI flexible riser and mount my 4-port NIC above the board, but that's cool.
 

widefault

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I haven't, but it should work. According to the chipset specs the 845GV supports 2GB using 2 DIMMs, so 1GB should be good.
 

Dew

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I have. I tried a 1GB stick of Kingston Value Ram PC2700. Came up as 512MB.
 

AeriaGloris

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Wow, this is just the kind of thing i'm looking for!
Does anyone know where i could get one of these in the UK?
 

Skipper007

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I would like to congratulate Intel for naming a product after me.

(Hey, I can dream, right?)
 

omega-x

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is this board overclockable?

i'd think a chip like that could handle...1.33ghz? easily.

pin mod? bios?

this is really tempting
 

Ruffy

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woah under 100

I been looking for something to use when making firewalls/small single task servers
 

Glyndur

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omega-x said:
is this board overclockable?

i'd think a chip like that could handle...1.33ghz? easily.

pin mod? bios?

this is really tempting
I havent tried on mine but the chip is soddered to the top of the board and so it the heatsink. Clockgen might work, but mine is just fine where it is at 1Ghz chugging along as my file server.
 

widefault

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If you can find a compatible ClockGen it should overclock, BUT be aware that the PCI bus will also be heavily overclocked. That means possible issues with onboard sound and video. Not to mention overclocked memory(176MHz@133MHz bus), but that's not as big a concern as long as you run DDR333 or better.
 

Dew

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I tried the various clockgens for intel boards, most read the wrong speeds, none of them had any effects on chip/bus speeds.
 

EnderW

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Hey anyone know would be a good case if I want to house the following?

  • Intel Shelton ITX
  • Laptop DVD-ROM
  • Laptop Hard Drive
  • PSone Screen modded into the case

And how would the PSU work? Can you get an external one?
 

omega-x

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damn, these things have dissapeared. right when i have the cash and will to get one too.
 
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