Commodore C64 ITX PC – Part IV

At the weekend, I thought I’d see if I could get away with using the older ITX board I mentioned I had spare in my previous post… alas, it’s not the ideal solution!

With the ITX board fitted loose inside the case, the Keyrah interface board fitted, the ‘big ‘n’ hot’ 3.5″ IDE HDD installed, the 12v DC to DC power board next to it and not forgetting all the associated cables inside the C64  it really was a squeeze to get everything there (not helped by the large IDE and ATX cables too).

In this state, I’m a little concerned about air circulation and heat build up, especially as there’s no room to install a fan. The C64 is often known as ‘the breadbin’ not ‘the toaster’ 🙂

In addition, even with the ITX board installed without any motherboard mounting standoffs (again, not ideal) the CPU heatshield is almost touching the C64 keyboard circuitry.

A bit of a shame really so it’s back into the spare parts drawer  until another day (maybe it’ll fit inside a Nintendo NES case 🙂 ).

So, with notes taken I had a look-see around the internet to see what other ITX boards I could find that would meet my requirements. After a hefty surfing session I came across this one and it’s absolutely perfect…..hopefully!

Intel D945GSEJT

You can see from the picture above that this is one hellava slim ITX board. The actual height is only 2cm!

It’s got an embedded Intel Atom N270 CPU which is more than enough to run XP and Vice64. In fact I’d like to try other intense 16 bit emulators like Winuae on this board.

It’s got all the usual interface ports…specifically SATA so that I can use a slim 2.5 drive and SO DIMM slot for horizontal RAM installation thus keeping the slim profile.

..and best bit of all. The DC converter is built directly on to the board and as a result I won’t have to install a DC to DC board into the C64 case. Simple plug it into the laptop style mains PSU I have and all should be fine – o.k i could install a PicoATX power supply but then again, I’d have the height issue to deal with again.

I just placed my order this evening along with a 2GB ram module. Hopefully it’ll arrive before the weekend and can really get this project started!

Full ITX specs are here –

Form factor
  • Mini-ITX (6.70 inches by 6.70 inches [170mm x 170mm])
  • Board z-height is 20mm
Processor Passively cooled, integrated single core Intel® Atom™ processor N270 with a 533 MHz system bus and 512KB L2 cache
Chipset Passively cooled, mobile Intel® 945GSE Express Chipset:

  • Intel® 82945GSE Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH)
  • Intel® 82801GBM I/O Controller Hub (ICH7-M)
Memory Single 200-pin DDR2 SO-DIMM connector:

  • Support for DDR2 533 MHz SO-DIMMs (DDR2 800 MHz and DDR2 667 MHz validated at 533 MHz)
  • Support for up to 2 GB single-channel system memory
Audio Realtek ALC662* codec for 2+2ch (multi-streaming) Intel® High Definition Audio (Intel® HD Audio):

  • Front panel microphone/headphone header
  • S/PDIF digital audio header
  • Internal mono speaker header
Video Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950 (Intel® GMA 950) dual-onboard graphics support:1

  • Analog displays (VGA)
  • Digital displays (DVI-D)
I/O Control Legacy I/O controller:

  • 1 PS/2 header
  • 2 serial headers
  • 1 parallel port header
LAN support Realtek 10/100/1000 Ethernet Controller*
Peripheral interfaces
  • 7 USB 2.0 ports (3 back panel ports, 4 front panel ports)
  • 2 Serial ATA 3.0 Gb/s connectors (supporting IDE and AHCI)
  • 1 power header for storage devices
  • 1 parallel ATA port (44-pin mobile header)
Expansion capabilities One PCI Express* Mini Card slot for low-profile expandibility (I/O shield can mechanically support up to three external antennae for use with wireless adapter)
Power Integrated DC-to-DC circuitry:

  • 12 VDC jack on back panel for external power supply
  • ATX12V 2 x 2 power connector for alternate internal power supply
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