ARTiGO: What, Where & How?

ARTiGO: What, Where & How?

ARTiGO: What, Where & How?

ARTiGO: What, Where & How?

VIA EPIA ARTiGOWe had a bit of a surprise the other day when we read some recently released PR on VIA’s new ARTiGO Builder Kit. It said that Logic Supply will have the ARTiGOs available for purchase on December 14, 2007. We thought, “But that’s impossible!” We haven’t even seen a real ARTiGO; it was only sort of mentioned in a fleeting e-mail. Did it even exist? Where did it come from? Oh, it was inspired by Pico-ITX? Could someone from VIA have told us before making us appear like we should have known all along?

Honestly, we are very appreciative that VIA specified us as one of its main vendors. But, we would have loved to have been a little more prepared. Nothing is worse than getting a call from a customer and having to say, “ARTiGO-what?”

So, here’s the lowdown. The VIA ARTiGO is a builder kit for the EPIA PX10000G Pico-ITX mainboard. It comes with a chassis, a board, a 60W power supply, and some cables. VIA has a dedicated Web page for the ARTiGO that is very exciting; just click here for some excitement. From all the PR I have seen, the ARTiGO is being aimed at the do-it-yourself enthusiasts out there who have been itching to get their hands on a Pico-ITX board and put it to good use. The chassis is super slim and low-profile, but it has a greater depth than the X07P1 Pico-ITX enclosure. The power supply is a custom 60W DC-DC board. You can download the specifications here: PWB-N550 Easy Guide.

The system has front access to 4 USB 2.0, but if you want to use a keyboard and mouse, you will have to take up 2 of those USB ports; the ARTiGO does not offer direct PS2 (mouse/keyboard) output. It does have 2 audio jacks, line-out and mic-in; VGA; LAN; and a power button. The mainboard heat sink is slightly modified from the original PX10000G; the CPU fan blows across and out the side ventilation holes.

It has holes for mounting brackets, but they are not included (as far as I can tell) and I can’t find them in the accessories section, either. Also, the chassis has mounting holes so the whole system can be installed inside of a 5.25″ HDD bay of another computer. Which, of course is counterintuitive. One would think that the main reason a person would buy the ARTiGO is because it is a super-small computer—not to create a super-mega double computer. But, I could be wrong, the ARTiGO could be exactly what the super-mega-double-computer enthusiasts have been waiting for.

Oh, and apparently, some of the cables might be optional, too (e.g., DVI & COM), depending on the skill level of the end user.

The ARTiGO is a very low-power, energy-efficient platform that barely takes up space on your desk, wall, etc. This is very promising. And, did I mention that this system is incredibly economical? Well, it is. The ARTiGO has a sales price of $279.00. The only components you need will be an HDD, memory, OS, and if you want, the wireless module.

If you have any questions regarding the ARTiGO, please contact one of our technical sales associates at 802 861 2300, option 1. I promise we will know what you’re talking about.

Note: Despite what is being advertised, the ARTiGO will not be available from VIA until the end of Decmeber 2007. We plan to have these in by the first week of January; we’ll keep you posted.

Update 1/22/2008: The first batch of ARTiGOs have arrived! For those of you who didn’t get your ARTiGO this time around, the next batch will be in-house early to mid February.

Update 2/26/2008: We are still waiting for another batch of ARTiGOs to come in. We are expecting 2 shipments, one in the next week that should fulfill most of our backorders and one in early April that will go into stock.

Comments (19)

  1. December 13, 2007

    The Artigo looks like a pretty nice kit. At this point it’s a good price and I really like the looks of that case. It looks a lot like the reference case, which I was really disappointed that it was never available. Considering that the mobo alone is 230 and a case is over 100, this is a solid deal, even if it doesn’t have the memory or storage.

    I don’t get the the “installed inside of a 5.25″ HDD bay of another computer” thing either. I can’t think of any circumstances where this would be useful.

    I’m hoping this will lead to wider adoption of the Pico-ITX motherboards, but I’m hoping it’s not a sign that Pico is not doing as well as VIA thought it would. I’ll be making some serious inquiries at CES…

  2. January 3, 2008

    I think that the ARTiGO is a great buy and very well thought out. The only way to make it smaller would be to use a compactor (not recommended). It would be most interesting if there was enough room to use an IDE flash module for the boot disk and a SATA HDD for swap and data, and maybe apps as well. Yes, we are thinking Linux or OpenBSD. Which leads to the seemingly perenial problem of cables that are too long for the cases. The kit comes with a nice IDE HDD solution, but nothing that works for what I would like. There must be some manufacturer that would make short SATA cables.
    PAF . . .

  3. January 5, 2008

    As far as mounting in a 5.25″ drive bay…assuming I have a loud/hot gaming PC in the cubboard of my desk that I hate leaving on 24/8 for just those reasons, I buy this, mount it in a free bay using a KVM switch (do they make those for USB keyboard/mice?) and leave it running 24/7 as my desktop PC. That’s what I would use it for.

  4. January 7, 2008

    00kyle,
    Yes, they do make USB KVM switches. If you look hard enough, you could be able to find DVI ones as well.

  5. Kristina Bond
    Kristina
    January 7, 2008

    Hi Peter,
    When we get one of the ARTiGOs in house, we’ll test and see if flash modules are a possible solution.
    Getting SATA drives in these Pico systems have proven to be somewhat of a headache, mainly due to the cable length and the connectors. On the Logic Supply Web site, we have a shorter cable, 8.3″ (210 mm) as opposed to 18″ (441 mm). This shorter cable has one right-angled head. http://www.logicsupply.com/products/satacable_90

    We had this specifically designed for the GS-L08 Pico-ITX case, but it still doesn’t do the trick (the GS-L08 cannot take SATA drives). But, when the ARTiGO comes in, we’ll investigate the possibility of having SATA in there, too. I’ll keep you posted.

  6. Jason
    February 26, 2008

    I’m looking forward to an update on this product–specifically if you have had any success with SATA or Flash HDs.

  7. Kristina Bond
    Kristina
    February 26, 2008

    Hi Jason,
    There is no way to power a SATA drive in the ARTiGO. The DC board doesn’t have a connector.
    A direct-plug IDE flash module also will not be able to fit into the enclosure.
    The only flash option is to use a 2.5″ IDE flash disk drive.
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. 🙂

  8. John
    March 3, 2008

    So what is the purpose of the SATA connector if there is no power source? What type of drive can be used with this device?

  9. Kristina Bond
    Kristina
    March 3, 2008

    Hi John,
    Not really sure what the situation is with the SATA. This is fairly typical, though.
    The only drives so far that can be used with the ARTiGO are a 2.5″ IDE HDD or 2.5″ IDE SSD. VIA does say you can use an external SATA drive on the ARTiGO product page. Not sure how useful that is for you…

  10. Christian
    May 21, 2008

    Could a SATA HDD be used inside the ARTiGO if the power cable is modified with a SATA power connector and your short SATA cable is used ?

  11. Kristina Bond
    Kristina
    May 22, 2008

    Hi Christian,
    I am not sure how the cable would be modified, but even if you did modify the power cable to support an SATA power connector, I don’t believe there will be enough space for the actual SATA data cable, even if you use our shorter cable with 1 90-degree connector. There would be slack from the cable, and one of the connector heads would stick out a little too far.

    This is all in theory of course, because we haven’t looked into that particular set up. We are hoping that other Pico-ITX cases will come out that can support SATA hard drives without making any modifications.

  12. Al
    June 7, 2008

    SATA is 5 volts, no? Why can’t one tap into c15 5(5volts) and 11(GRND) and power the SATA drive with a separate power cable, and use a short SATA data cable? Could one also use the same rig to get 5 volts from the ide pins?

  13. Al
    September 15, 2008

    No response after all these months? Has anyone hacked together a solution? I need the new 500G SATA Scorpio in mine yesterday!

  14. josh
    September 16, 2008

    While we don’t sell the cables separately, Casetronic’s new TE-T290 Pico-ITX case is designed to use a SATA hard drive, with a power connector that has an extra SATA power cable as well as a short SATA cable with two 90-degree ends that is of the appropriate length to fit around a Pico-ITX board and reach the bracket.

    It might well be simpler to get a different case… but I imagine if you’re pretty adamant about it some SATA power connector wiring diagrams, a listing of the Pico power cables (all of which are available online somewhere,) and some solder and elbow grease will probably get you what you’re looking for.

  15. Tad2020
    January 6, 2009

    It would seem that just recently (this month?) that VIA is now providing a SATA cable and SATA power in the ARTiGO kit.

    http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/embedded/artigo/

    http://www.via.com.tw/en/downloads/datasheets/embedded/artigo/VIA%20ARTiGO%20Assembly%20Guide-SATA%20HDD.pdf

    Sad news for me though, I just bough mine a few weeks ago at Fry’s and it not this new revision with the SATA. At least I had the right idea, mount the STAT HD in reverse and run the cables under the power board.

  16. Kristina Bond
    Kristina
    January 6, 2009

    Hi Tad2020,
    That’s true, VIA is now providing a SATA cable and SATA power in the ARTiGO kit. This happened sometime in mid-December, I believe (at least that’s when we became aware of the change).

    VIA didn’t exactly tell anyone about it…

    But, it’s nice that they made that change!

    Kristina

  17. Nick
    March 3, 2009

    I can’t believe I just bought an Artigo one week ago and didnt get a SATA power cable, VIA should make these availabe to consumers who purchased this kit, (they should make them free of charge minus postage!)

  18. Kristina Bond
    Kristina
    March 4, 2009

    Hi Nick,
    Where did you purchase this kit from? I believe we have a few extras that VIA sent over to us for our stock. I might be able to help.
    Kristina

  19. Dave
    March 24, 2009

    Hi Kristina:

    I have an Artigo which I purchased from LS in March of 2008. I am really interested in getting the SATA power and data cables so that I can add a SATA based SSD. Do you still have the aforementioned cables, and how can I get one? I still have my order number if you need it.

    Thank you!

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