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Neoware Eon: Hardware 


 


 

 



Neoware Eon

Overview

The Neoware Eon is an old thin client based on the 300MHz Geode GX1 chip set. The case is on the larger size but includes an internal power supply and has space for fitting either an ISA or PCI expansion card. The Eon comes with a varying amount of RAM and/or flash depending on the model number (3000/4000/6000)

Specifications

The basic specs are:

Processor
   Type
   Speed
Geode GX1
300MHz
Memory
 3000
   Flash/RAM
 4000
   Flash/RAM
 6000
   Flash/RAM

8MB/32MB (max 256MB)

16MB/64MB (max 256MB)

256MB/256MB (max 256MB?)
Video
   Chip
   Max resolution
CS5330A
1280 x 1024 16-bit colour
Ports
   Network
   USB
   Serial
   Parallel
   PS/2
10/100
2 x USB1.1
2
1
Kybd & mouse
Power
   Off
   Running
7W
~18W
Dimensions
W x H x D29cm x 5cm x 23cm

I would take the stated memory sizes with a pinch of salt. Personally I have seen:

The 3000s run Windows CE, the 6000 Windows XP Embedded 2002.

CPU

All the Eons I have seen have been running at 300MHz. Google occasionally finds mention of units running at 233MHz.

Linux's cpuinfo reports:

CPU family:5
model:7
model name:Cyrix MediaGXtm MMXtm Enhanced
Stepping:4

Power Supply

The Eon has an integral mains supply and the connector is a standard IEC "kettle" style connector.

MotherboardEon BIOS chips

I have seem two versions of the motherboard fitted to Eons - a MB-5BLGP and a MB-5BLMP. There are a few differences between the motherboards but, as far as I can see, these do not appear to be anything of real significance.

For example an obvious difference is type of BIOS chip fitted: a DIL package with the MB-5BLMP and a PLCC with the MB-5BLGP. I take this to mean that the MB-LGP is probably the newer of the two?

Expansion

Eon 6000 inide view Both the Flash memory and the RAM in the Eon are easily replaceable. (Click on the photo for a larger version).

Flash: The flash, depending on the model you have, is either a "DiskOnChip" plugged into a DIL socket or a "DiskOnModule" plugged into the 40-pin IDE connector. I have run Tiny Core from a Compact Flash card adaptor connected to the IDE interface. Although pin 20 is present on the connector it is not connected to the +5V rail and so the DOM (or CF adaptor) needs a separate power connection.

RAM: The board has two sockets for RAM: one that takes 168-pin PC100 DIMM RAM and one that takes a standard 144-pin SODIMM. The PC100 RAM needs to be low profile if you intend to use it along with a PCI card. The pictured unit (Eon 6000) came with SODIMM memory. As far as I can determine the maximum amount of RAM that can fitted in each socket is 128MB, so the total amount of RAM that can be fitted is 256MB. Note that the RAM also has to be low density. Fit a high density module and you'll find you've only half the RAM available. (See my comments here).

Expansion Boards: A small riser card is plugged into the edge of the board. This carries an old style ISA connector and a PCI connector. Any board plugged in here covers the 168-pin RAM slot so it may not be possible to use both at the same time.

CPU multiplier CPU Speed: There is a header on the motherboard close to the CPU to set the CPU clock speed. I haven't tried overclocking the Eon to 333MHz, but if you want to experiment the options here are:

1-23-45-6Speed
SOS333MHz
OSS300MHz
OOO266MHz
OSO233MHz
SOO200MHz

Power:Power connector There is a socket on the board close to the parallel port that can provide power for things like Compact Flash card adaptors. I have no idea of how much power you're able to draw from this connector.

Eon 6000

Note: I no longer have an Eon 6000. The one I photographed at the time (August 2009) had a paper label on the motherboard marked V1-05. The Eons I have here (September 2012) carry a paper label V1-03. From the earlier photographs I took of the 6000 it looks as though the DOM is powered via the IDE interface and that the 256MB of RAM is provided by a single SODIMM - so maybe the V1.05 is a significant revision? I can't verify this having disposed of the 6000 along the way.

 


Any comments? email me.    Last update September 2012