Intel’s Bay Trail platform includes low-power chips for tablets and notebooks as well as more powerful chips designed for desktop computers.

The most powerful of the bunch (so far) is the Intel Pentium J2900 CPU, and while up until now it’s been tough to get your hands on a device featuring the processor, Newegg is now selling a motherboard + CPU combo with the J2900 chip for $120.

Update: The ECS-BAT-I/J2900 is also available from SuperBiiz for $97.

ecs j2900

The Pentium J2900 is a 2.4 GHz quad-core processor with a maximum TDP of 10 watts. It’s a 64-bite, 22nm chip with Intel HD graphics, like other members of the Bay Trail family. But this model has higher clock speeds and should offer better performance than the processors found in most Bay Trail laptops and tablets.

Intel’s chip supports up to 8GB of RAM, features 688 MHz graphics, and can handle dual display setups.

The ECS BAT-I/J2900 combo offered by Newegg features the Pentium J2900 processor along with a Mini ITX motherboard featuring 1 DDR memory slot, 4 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0 ports, 2 SATA 3 connectors, 1 PCI Express slot, 1 mini PCI Express slot, HDMI, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, and PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors as well as audio jacks.

While we often feature low-cost, low-power, single-board computers aimed at developers, this is very much a consumer-friendly device that you can use to build a low-power Windows or Linux computer. Some of the specs, such as the PS/2 ports lead me to believe it’s also aimed at enterprise customers though — and it’d probably make a decent starting point for a digital signage, kiosk, or point-of-sales system.

via Fanless Tech

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20 replies on “ECS motherboard features Intel’s fastest Bay Trail CPU”

  1. I wonder what the cheapest and smallest PSU would be to match with this system’s low power needs?

  2. That’s cool. Decent enough to replace an aging XP desktop in my office.

  3. It’d be an odd choice for kiosk/POS, even without the 24 pin ATX connector

    1. Sorry, I mean is this board like others using Bay Trail SoC for Windows 8 only?
      I want to use it to run Linux

    2. The ECS page linked to from the Newegg one says it supports “Windows 8 64-bit.” So that means this doesn’t suffer from the 32-bit only UEFI issues of Bay Trail T tablets. I don’t recall this issue existing outside of Bay Trail tablets/hybrids anyway. The manual also mentions the ability to disable Secure Boot in case your UEFI compatible Linux distro doesn’t support it.

      Looks like the main problem would be just like any other Linux install: drivers. Looking at the components, they seem to be well supported by now on shipping kernels on popular distros. You could also use the mainline kernel if you want.

      1. Thanks mo.
        I recall reading on some forums regarding the Celeron J1800 SOC motherboard from Gigabyte & Asus weren’t Linux compatible.

        1. Which ones? It could just be BIOS/UEFI settings or needing to update it. My friend is running XBMC under Ubuntu on his GIGABYTE with a Celeron J1800. Can’t say anything about Bay Trail ASUS boards though.

          Of course, it’s all speculation on the ECS until you see user reviews. If it doesn’t boot Linux due to BIOS/UEFI issues then you’d to have wait for an update or buy something else. ECS does provide updates to their BIOS/UEFI for past boards. I guess this is just the usual issues with running Linux. At least it’s a lot better now then several years ago.

          1. I recently read about the Tablet Lenovo 8″ that there are a fedora version fior it, but with no WiFi driver and some other issues

            it would be nice a GNU Gnome or KDE low price 8″ Intel tablet, I do not know why no OEM offers it, even if it is an option only available for online purchases. I think that the first one will make more money than the future Ubuntu phone,and even more if the repos are pacman based with delta upgrades

        2. I have a Gigabyte J1800 board and it runs Ubuntu just fine with 2 flaws, both of which are video related, I think.
          1) I won’t recover from ‘suspend’ – you have to reboot it.
          2) It won’t drive an HDMI monitor.
          Apart from that, its great!

    1. How’s buying from SuperBiiz like? Good handling of defective items? Since there’s always a chance of a bad batch, I always try to look into post-sales support quality.

        1. Thanks for the link. I always look at how the company handles defective or damage from shipping issues. Even though it’s rare, damaged or defective items happen and that’s when the real service starts. I specifically look at whether they just eat the costs and replace the item or charge the customer fees or just redirect you to the OEM. Of course, I usually go with the guys who eat the costs to make sure the customer comes back.

          Well, time to go read through the reviews. Good thing it’s usually pretty obvious when a customer tries to send back an item they damaged themselves and pretend it’s defective. Especially when the seller replies with more details.

          1. Hmm. A lot of customers complaining about ording in stock items and later (up to a week) being informed that they’re out of stock. The fact that there are no seller replies imply that the customers are telling the truth.

            Also, returns seem to be a hit or miss thing.

  4. I wonder what kind of discount ECS gets for the Bay Trail chip given that Intel’s RCP for it is $94 per chip when buying a tray.

    1. Depends how many they ordered… The Tray list pricing is only for minimum quantities but it gets cheaper once they go significantly past that number…

      This is also part of the latest releases of Bay Trail SoCs that recently came out, which take advantage of improvements in the FAB… Higher thermal limits, etc. also means the FAB generally has higher yields to ensure that level of quality…

    2. Ya, I wonder how much they paid for them. I doubt it’s free plus extra engineering resources like for tablet makers but they should still have gotten a nice discount.

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