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Building a GP7A-HD Media Centre – Hardware Assembly Jan 26

Well the processor arrived from Amazon for my new Aopen GP7A-HD Nettop, so time to put it all together. A quick summary of the parts:

Aopen GP7A-HD

Part Supplier Cost
Aopen GP7A-HD BIC Camera 40000yen
Weston Digital WD5000BEVT 500gb Sata 5400rmp T-Zone DIY 7800yen
2 x Century PC3-8500/FDDR3-1066 SO-DIMM 2GB (7800 each) T-Zone DIY 15600 yen
イ ンテル Boxed Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 2.53GHz BX80576T9400 Amazon Japan 35000 yen

As you may have noticed some of this was not cheap.  I could have shaved some money off the processor, but it was quite a big improvement for the extra $50 dollars.  (100 yen is approx 1usd).

The assembly was actually a total breeze todo.  the instructions in the box are all in english.  Which strikes me as really odd given that this product was a Japan release only to start with.  Still I’m not complaining and the instructions had lost of good quality photos and clear steps to pull the unit apart and install your goodies.

I had a slight moment after undoing the first set of screws as the unit would not lift up to then slide back.  After a some varioius trying i resorted to a flatbladed cutlery knife.  Slippled that in, gave a gentle twist and popped open a treat.  A note here is I had to do this a second time again, its a very ‘tight’ build.

The four connectors to the case had to be undone, and it is a little fiddly to take off and put on.  I guess if you have big fingers you should stick to ATX motherboards!!!

4 screws hold down the DVD drive and once undone that frame lifts off very easily (another small connector to be undone here as well).  The SATA drive mounts underneath here and is fairly easy to put in with the provided screws.

I think popped in the memory which snaps into place just like regular laptop memory (all be it bloody expensive laptop memory, so do make sure your grounded!)  At this point i semi reassembled it waiting for the processor.!

Next is installing the processor which is well documented and very easy to do.  (note here, make sure you check state of lock, i though it was unlocked to start with).  The documentatoin is a little unclear is you need to use thermal grease at this point.

As I’d pulled heatsink off my IBM laptop some months back and the documentation recommended thermal grease I figured it would be a good idea, and I had some good quality stuff from other projects.  The heatsink then installs very easily.

Reassembly is alos very well documented with photo’s and cautions to make sure you put it all back together.  Last step is popping that case back on.  And whlie its a very snug fit, i would not call it crammed or bad fit.  Just well done, snug.

Next was connect to the TV via HDMI and power up.  Wow, cool BIOS flashscreen, this is a sexy product.  And the sweet bit is that the system came up waiting for an OS.  Last check was the that everything appeared in the BIOS, and it was all there, just as it should be.  Next post – installing the OS, both Ubuntu and Windows got a tryout.

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