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Everex gPC2 for $119 with Free Shipping

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by mtennant, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. mtennant Guru

    After Walmart started selling another Linux based box from Everex recently, I became interested in mini-ITX motherboards again. They've come down in price over the last few years.

    The Walmart system

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=7754614

    uses a board made by VIA that can be obtained barebones. It is a very low power consumption system.

    I just got mine from ClubIT for $60 with free shipping.

    http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A4842001

    I'm running it with a SATA drive and an Antec Earthwatts 80% plus power supply. It is very quiet and runs in a modified small Dell case.

    If you are looking for a cheap barebones system you can build yourself, or a full blown system from Walmart that can run PBX in a Flash, my experience says they work, at least for my small VOIP only setup using the same motherboard.

    If anyone actually tries loading PiAF on the full blown Walmart system, please report back here.
  2. tbooth Guru

    for that price you could always a a spare duplicate system
  3. mtennant Guru

    I'd like to see how much stress a system like this could take. I'm only running it with 256MB of RAM right now. With more memory, I'm sure it could take on many more tasks.

    You are right, why not have a spare system be part of your normal quote if you are installing for a business?
  4. jehowe Guru

    After reading a newegg review from a user that installed CentOS I'm a little more comfortable and will probably go ahead and get one from Walmart and a gig of memory. I've got two past life gaming systems at home, one running a firewall the other PBXiaF, that I know are bleeding electricity and $ monthly. My goal is to see if this hardware can replace any or hopefully both of these machines.

    My home PBXiaF is probably more demanding than most home setups. I currently don't use a zaptel card for PSTN (spa-3000 does that), but have eight extensions (one remote), five trunks, multiple DID's, conference room, plus three teens and a 20 year old making two and three simultaneous calls a daily occurrence with four simultaneous calls on an occasional basis. If this hardware can handle that, I'll really be happy.
  5. wardmundy Nerd Uno

  6. Alex728 Guru

    not sure if you can get this in the UK (any ideas?) but I would expect you must be able to get the bits to build a similar machine

    would certainly be interested to know how it copes with TDM cards for FXO ports..
  7. wardmundy Nerd Uno

    We're thinking about writing the review and then donating the machine as a door prize for someone who attends the FreePBX training in Charleston. I don't have any TDM cards, but hopefully the winner will and can report back.
  8. jehowe Guru

    For the UK try here- http://www.mini-itx.com/store/

    You can build your own, they also have the VIA C7-D processor that the Everex uses. More choices and form factors are much smaller, but prices are much higher than the model WalMart is selling. You may want to hunt around and see if Everex has a UK distributor.
  9. mtennant Guru

    I'm looking forward to Ward's review of the Walmart $199 PC running PiaF.

    I have a question on just how powerful this machine could be with enough memory, say 1GB.

    How do you go about stress testing Asterisk boxes? There must be some kind of software the simulates tens or hundreds of SIP calls at a time.
  10. jehowe Guru

    I'd also like to know if there is a relatively easy way to test asterisk hardware.

    For home users without TDM cards, I think the WalMart special will probably run just fine. But for TDM card owners, I know one big question will be how well the VIA board will be able to handle the plus or minus 1,000 interrupt requests per second these cards generate.
  11. mtennant Guru

  12. jehowe Guru

    A partial followup, I received the everex machine yesterday. The case and peripherals are cheap, but overall not bad looking, quiet, and very capable. After removing the pci modem card and installing 1gig of memory I was able to install PBXiaF 1.1. The on-board NIC was picked up by CentOS 5 (I feared it wouldn't) and everything went smoothly.

    No trunks, routes, or extensions are setup just yet. I want to test a TDM card (zapmicro) and will finish those things off when it arrives, hopefully this weekend. I did upgrade to FreePBX 2.4b4 with all the modules.

    For what it's worth, the system bogomips score is 3002. Running zttest on the ztdummy average slightly above 99.95% which is below the general consensus of what is needed for proper timing for trouble-free conferencing. My current home system handles an occasional 4~5 party conference call with nearly the same zttest average, so ymmv. I will be testing again with the TDM card and see how well the board can handle the IRQ loads. Fingers crossed. Thumbs up so far!
  13. wardmundy Nerd Uno

    Just finished the WalMart $199 PC install of PBX in a Flash. Nerd Vittles article is here. In the meantime, order one! Flawless install in 33 minutes. No choppy sound! Everything works out of the box. Haven't tried adding external cards. In-house conference call with 3 users worked well. Other than having to plug in bluetooth adapter upside down, proximity worked great, too.

    Because Linux already is preinstalled on these boxes, you'll have to adjust the partition option on the first screen. From the pull-down, choose Remove Existing Partitions and Use Default Partition Layout. Unbelievably good! :smile5:
  14. mtennant Guru

  15. jehowe Guru

    Can't wait to read your feedback Ward! I feel a little guilty saying anything until your article, but will comment on the card I've installed. The four port Zapmicro card received (Digium TDM400 clone) installed pretty easily and is running flawlessly with one FXO and two FXS modules. No apparent IRQ issues with the motherboard/card combination, and zttest scores are above 99.99%. One observation I posted in the help forum is the high cpu usage when pulling http pages from the server. Really not sure if it's normal based on the hardware spec's or something else.
  16. jehowe Guru

    Another terrific article Ward, both about the Everex PC and the walkthrough of an initial install. I wanted to make one final comment (unless I run into problems) now that I have another week of uptime on the box. There have been no issues at all with calls and call handling. It's had up to three simultaneous calls on several occasions with perfect performance. I still see too much CPU load accessing webpages (webmin, freePBX, etc), but that can be controlled and on a quiet box it would seem to be a perfect fit for home or perhaps even SOHO environments. The FPU is pretty weak so I don't think it would do too well with the higher compression codecs (I use ulaw), but I haven't tested that.

    I added one gig memory (very inexpensively) and one thing I may do if I get time is find a better (and maybe more efficient) power supply. The one that's in there works fine, but is pretty cheap and is a potential weak point of the system.

    WalMart's been sold out of them (I think we can all blame Ward for this :wink5:), but TigerDirect carries this model as well for the same price. I picked up a second to replace an older PC serving as a firewall and it works great in that capacity as well. The total electric usage for these two 24/7 machines is around 60 watts at idle, which is down nearly 200 watts for the PC's they replaced. Electricity is expensive here (Chicago area), so I'm hoping to recoup the costs and maybe even come out ahead with the energy savings eventually.
  17. rmavillarica New Member

    I've been following this thread with interest since electricity is relatively expensive here in the Philippines. Apparently the Everex is also available from www.zareason.com as discussed here.

    No affiliation with them. Just relaying purchase options.
  18. wardmundy Nerd Uno

  19. riche New Member

    I recently got the Walmart Everex system up and running with PBX-IAF. I'm using a Yeastar TDM800 card installed for my FXO/FXS ports. I was having some issues initially (tried different Asterisk distributions before settling on PBX-IAF), so I shut off all unused IRQs in the BIOS. I don't know if, in the end, this had any impact, but PSTN interface is working fine. I am still in test mode before I roll this out at my company (5 analog lines, about 20 phones, and 1 valcom paging system). I only have 3 SIP phones (GXP-2000, GXP-2010, X-lite) running at this point while I test functionality. CPU has no problems keeping up, memory (439MB, presumably after RAM set aside for video) usage has peaked at 37%. My only complaint is that it takes close to 10 seconds to initiate a PSTN call. I was able to get yeastar tech support help me improve this a bit, but my sense is that this is just the nature of interfacing with an analog phone line. I was actually a little surprised when I timed our old key system to see that it still took about 6-7 seconds. I've been polling my users and they seem to be willing to tolerate it so that they can get the digital receptionist, etc. I'll keep you updated (expect some questions, anyway).
  20. james Guru

    The $199 WalMart Special

    Well we happened to get in the 1 day a month it isnt sold out and picked up the $199 wal-mart special (Everex) we dropped a dual span t1 and looped it up as PRI well took 30 seconds to crash it. hard drive was toast... It had a seagate HDD that went south. we swapped that with a western digital and we are back up but havent done anything new to it (yet) We will see how it does but new drive 199 pc were still under $300:crazy:

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