MSI nforce 420 flexATX MB for $38 + sh, USB cable $1

RandyHarris

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Mar 9, 2001
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This is a continuation of a thread in the Hot Deals Forum.

I got my IBM NetVista Case today (off of eBay.) And I also got my MSI NForce MS-6353 motherboard in.

Guess what, it doesn't fit!

Bad news and Good news.
Bad News: The board doesn't fit the motherboard without modifications.
Good News: If you're willing to take the power supply unit, PSU, out of its factory mounted position, and craft a mounting for it so that it goes over the motherboard then you're ok. The motherboard is too tall (as the case stands) to fit. I've evaluated it a few different ways and figured out how I can put a mounting bar across the case and attach the PSU to it. When its done the powersupply will be more "inside" the case such that you won't be able to pull the power cord from the unit without removing the case, but that doesn't bother me. I really like how small and nice this NetVista case is, so I'm going to make it work and not worry if I can't unplug the power cable from the power supply.

I'll try to get some pictures later, no time right now.

Also, the screw that holds down the HDD bracket will be under the motherboard, so care will need to be taken to cover it with duct tape or plastic or something so that it doesn't scratch the motherboard.

Most of the screw holes line up, except for one corner, so that's not bad.

I think that's all I can tell about it so far, oh, there is a CDROM bay for those that didn't think there was.
 

gsiener

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Jun 14, 2000
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Hey guys- do you think this 1.2Ghz low power cpu is the best way to go? It's only a 200MHz part, is used, and doesn't even come with a HS/F. Is this worth $50+s/h??
 

Ziptar

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2001
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Sorry to hear the netvista didn't fit better.... You right though it is a sweet looking case.
After I get settled in the new house I am going to start to custom build some cases. I was able to get a couple of the Low Power SFF Athlons at geeks today. Now that I have Mobile Athlons the goal will be to be as small as possible and as quiet as posssible. I have already started shopping around for low profile heat sinks, sim laptop CDRW/DVD drives and small power supplies. I would like to go with external power supply but, they are hard to come by and the max I have seen is 55watts. More than likely I will get a mATX or 1U power supply and strip the case off of it and use it as an internal.

I bought two motherboards, one for a HTPC and the other to build a system for the wife. I am also toying with gutting an old CD player I have or maybe a VCR for the HTPC.

What is the max RPM for a laptop hard disk, looks to be 4200rpm, are their faster ones??
 

JHeiderman

Senior member
Jan 29, 2002
696
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RandyHarris:
Thanks for the heads up on the Netvista cases and the boards. I ordered two boards and two Netvista cases so I'm sure I'll have to tackle the problem same as you. I would say to you that if you are handy with a soldering iron you could make your own power plug that goes in to the back of the Netvista and internaly make a small extension from the power supply to the back of the case. Just a thought.

I'll take some pictures of mine when I get it but the only problem is I'm going to Seattle for 3 weeks business next week so I may have to take it with me to play with on the road.

- J
 

RandyHarris

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Mar 9, 2001
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Ziptar, IBM has a line called Travelstar. They are notebook drives that spin at 5400rpm, are extremely quiet, and come in very large GB sizes.

Look on Pricewatch.com for TRAVELSTAR.


gsiener, for me the low power 1.2ghz Athlon is worth $50. It would cost me around $20 for a 700mhz Duron off of eBay. So for roughly double the price I get roughly double the speed and not a crippled (Duron) cpu. If low cost is the objective then go for the Duron. I just knew that if I bought say a 700/750mhz Duron now, that I'd regret not getting the SFF 1.2ghz Athlon.
 

tryanasaurus

Senior member
Jan 28, 2001
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I bought a 1600+ from newegg ($53) for mine. I bought the netvista case also (actually I bought a 2 pack in case it need modding). That stinks that the MB won't fit but everything always looks better on paper :) Let me know how yours goes Randy and post pics when you can.

If anyone has a Bios Savior, I'd really be interested in seeing if the bios could be flashed using the bios for the KN7 420 pro.

 

Ziptar

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2001
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Originally posted by: gsiener
Hey guys- do you think this 1.2Ghz low power cpu is the best way to go? It's only a 200MHz part, is used, and doesn't even come with a HS/F. Is this worth $50+s/h??

For now it is for me, I am using this mother board to build the smallest quietest PC I can. I thought about using a regular Athlon and udervolting it, but this mootherboards options kind of limit that. I figure it will be good for now (one Mobo will be my wifes system, the other a HTPC) so I don't have to have the latest greatest in them. For games or crunching power I have a Dual XP 2000+ system. I figure There will be faster mobile cpu in the future cheap (like these) and I can drop those in when the time comes.

It does seem kind of high when compared to a Duron of the same speed (12 x 100FSB) but considering the wattage of an XP/Duron is twice that and this runs a lower voltage, it's perfect for my purposes and will allow me to use a lower watt (read: smaller) PSU.

 

RandyHarris

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Mar 9, 2001
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Socrilles, re: Is it the PCI slot that runs into the PS?, also what is the ventilation like on the case?


Yes, it is the PCI slot that gets in the way of the PSU.

Ventilation isn't abundant... At the very top of the case is an approximate 1.5 inch x 5 inch area of small square holes in the case. With the PSU in the stock location, it has a fan which sucks air from the case and pushes it out the back of the case. (I'll have to re-route the exhaust from the PSU when I relocate mine maybe some flex tubing will do the trick.) There is very minimal venting in the front of the case but there are some slots which look to me that it is where air will enter the case. Lastly, the back top of the case (PSU is at the bottom) has an area of about 1 inch x 5 inches where there are ventilation holes.
 

RandyHarris

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Mar 9, 2001
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For anybody who is getting the MSI NForce MS-6353 motherboard, I have the Manual (in German) and the v3.0 BIOS update for it. I made a floppy image of the boot disc to update the BIOS with WinIMAGE, so you'll need a floppy to extract it to.

I can't test these links on my local machine as I'm behind the router, let me know if they don't work and I can fix them.

MS-6353 v3.0 BIOS Update.
MS-6353 Manual in German.
 

Ziptar

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2001
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Originally posted by: RandyHarris
For anybody who is getting the MSI NForce MS-6353 motherboard, I have the Manual (in German) and the v3.0 BIOS update for it. I made a floppy image of the boot disc to update the BIOS with WinIMAGE, so you'll need a floppy to extract it to.

I can't test these links on my local machine as I'm behind the router, let me know if they don't work and I can fix them.

MS-6353 v3.0 BIOS Update.
MS-6353 Manual in German.

Thanks for the files. The links aren't working. If you can't get them to work email them to me and I will put them on my host.

 

RandyHarris

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Mar 9, 2001
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Wow, that's really slow shipping for the NetVista cases! Lucky for me it was only about a 10 minute drive from my house to run down and pick up my Netvista in person. It was kind of interesting actually, the guy has a pretty big warehouse full of closeouts and discontinued stuff, he sells it all on eBay.

Hey check it out, Dell just came out with a very small computer. OptiPlex SX260
 

vladgur

Golden Member
Jul 31, 2000
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hey Randy, how loud is the power supply?
Also whats a good quiet slim heatsink/fan for that athlon cpu
 

OrionAntares

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Aug 2, 2002
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Archived link to original Hot Deals thread

<a target=new class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge href="http://forums.anandtech.com/arcmessageview.cfm?catid=40&threadid=896369&highlight_key=y&keyword1=nforce">MSI nforce 420 flexATX MB for $38 + sh, USB cable $1
</a>
 

JHeiderman

Senior member
Jan 29, 2002
696
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What is the advantage of flashing to the newer bios posted? Does it have any kind of overclock features? Multiplier adjustments? Just wondering.

I got my board up and running last night and I'm pretty impressed so far with the speed with 512megs of DDR and a Duron 750!

- J
 

pcNate

Member
Apr 24, 2002
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I was getting pretty interested in this when I first saw this deal on the Hot Deals forum, but I don't know if I'd want to do it if I have to go modding the case...if there's a problem with the MSI mobo, why not look around for one of those even smaller mini-ITX mobo's? I believe they are the smallest out there...but a little more expensive because of their size.
 

vladgur

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Jul 31, 2000
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Originally posted by: pcNate
I was getting pretty interested in this when I first saw this deal on the Hot Deals forum, but I don't know if I'd want to do it if I have to go modding the case...if there's a problem with the MSI mobo, why not look around for one of those even smaller mini-ITX mobo's? I believe they are the smallest out there...but a little more expensive because of their size.

pcnate because there is not mini-itx NFORCE motherboard, many of them come with integrated cpus that do a lackluster job of dvd-decoding, itx boards dont have SPDIF-out and no PCI slots
 

kami333

Diamond Member
Dec 12, 2001
5,110
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Actually, the Jetway B860T will come close to those needs if you aren't caught up in using a AMD chip,?@no spdif though. If you get an Epia 800 and use a PCI Radeon you can get good dvd playback and have spdif as weill.
 

pcNate

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Apr 24, 2002
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Originally posted by: vladgur
Originally posted by: pcNate
I was getting pretty interested in this when I first saw this deal on the Hot Deals forum, but I don't know if I'd want to do it if I have to go modding the case...if there's a problem with the MSI mobo, why not look around for one of those even smaller mini-ITX mobo's? I believe they are the smallest out there...but a little more expensive because of their size.

pcnate because there is not mini-itx NFORCE motherboard, many of them come with integrated cpus that do a lackluster job of dvd-decoding, itx boards dont have SPDIF-out and no PCI slots


Ah ok, that makes sense. Are there any other flex ATX nForce boards floating around then? They seem to be pretty hard to find....but that board and the IBM case seem to be a great deal. Maybe some pics would help us all to see how hard it would be to mod this case.
 

RandyHarris

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Mar 9, 2001
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pcnate, I don't think its going to be difficult whatsoever to move the PSU. Its just a matter of getting some metal strapping that is maybe 1/16th thick long enough to go from the front of the case to the back of the case, and then attach the PSU to it.

That's it.
 

RandyHarris

Member
Mar 9, 2001
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I'm trying to figure out the correct order for the (2) Front of the Case USB ports to connect to 1 of the 2 the external USB connectors on the MS-6353 motherboard.

So far I have traced the wires from the NetVista Front USB cable:

TOP USB
4 BLACK
3 GREEN
2 WHITE
1 RED

BOTTOM USB
8 ORANGE
7 BLUE
6 YELLOW
5 BROWN


I'm not sure if the thick black wire which is a ground goes to PIN #10 on the motherboard or not...

All I did was release all 9 wires from the black connector and used my meter to see which wire goes to which pin. Its pretty clear from the manual how they need to hook up, I'm just not sure if the thick black should go to 10 or not.