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Patriot Box Office Media Player Review


Internal Impressions

While we are used to reminding you that opening up most devices will void your warranty, the Box Office is meant to be opened for the installation of a 2.5” drive so we don’t have to worry about that. In a nutshell, you simply have to remove a few screws on the back of the Box Office and slide the metal shell off. Before we tear it down further lets go over what is visible with just this much dissembled.

To one side of the media center chassis is a raised area where you drive goes. As you can see, there are small raised lips which form the outline of a 2.5” drive which is bordered by a typical SATA data and power port.

To install your hard drive, all you have to do is slide it into position and gently push it home so the connectors slide into position. With this done all you have to do is secure the drive in place with typical drive screws. The result is a simple and easy installation which should be fool proof as long as you take your time.

The only other thing which is easily visible is the fan this unit sports which is a 9 bladed Power Logic PLA04710S12L unit. It is a 12volt 47mm x 10mm “low speed” sleeved fan but to be honest, Power Logic’s idea of “low speed” and our version differs greatly. While we cant be precise about its speed, the 40mm version of this fan (which is available online) moves at 5000rpm and the 50mm version moves at a brisk 3200rpm.

Interestingly enough, this fan has been set up to suck air from below the storage sub-chassis (where the PCB and chips are located) and into the storage area. We are not sure why Patriot has gone for this as it would make a heck of a lot of more sense to have the fan blowing down and onto the Realtek SOC heatsink. In any case, this is not our biggest gripe with this fan. That award goes to the fact this fan is extremely loud but luckily you probably won’t be able to hear it above your TV.

On the positive side this small fan does provide some much needed air movement and Patriot does state that it is not necessary if you plan on running your Box Office without internal storage. Though this is probably not going to cover too many people as two of the main claims to fame this model has is its active cooling and internal storage.

To further disassemble the Box Office, you will have to patiently remove a whole bunch of screws and this is NOT recommended. We are doing this for demonstration purposes ONLY.

We can see the PCB is actually fairly simple and really only contains four important things: the Realtek SOC, Flash NAND storage chip, Ram chip and a few capacitors.

All of the capacitors are made by CapXon and while they are far from the best manufacturer of caps, they are better than some. As long as the fan keeps up its end of the cooling bargain, we can’t ever see these becoming a failure point in this device.

The on board storage this unit sports is a single Hynix HY27UF082G2B-TPCB NAND flash chip. This is a 3rd generation lead free single layer cell (SLC) chip that uses 2.7V ~ 3.6V and operates with single nCE (single Chip Enable control) and single R/nB (single Ready/Busy Output). It has a density of 256MB and has a temperature range of 0° – 70°C. Overall, it is a very good single chip solution for Patriot to have used in this media player since while it may not be the fastest NAND we have come across, it is more than fast enough for this unit. To our way of thinking, Patriot could have made a much, much worse choice.

The ram Patriot has selected for their Patriot Box Office is a Nanya made DDR2 SDRAM module. To specific it is a NT5TU64M16CG-AC branded chip. This 128MB chip is rated for 400mhz at 5-5-5 @ 1.8 volts.

While we can’t show you the actual Realtek chip our unit came with as we did not want to damage it by removing the heatsink, we can tell you it is a Realtek RTD1073DD unit. This is a third-generation System on a Chip (SOC) which Realtek classifies as a “Digital Media Processor” and since Patriot uses the “DD” version of the RTD1073 chip, it can natively decode AC3 and DTS audio.

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