PEAK INSIDE MY NEW 921!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Supporting Founder
Original poster
Supporting Founder
Sep 10, 2003
Hayden, ID
Ok I got my 921 today & I could not resist opening it up, literally. I have seen many requests for INSIDE pictures. Here they are. I am not an expert on computer components but I will try my best. The case only has rear screws (7 total) that are easy to remove & lid slides off.
#1 top view, note 250G Maxtor hard drive
#2 OK, I braved taking the front panel off. It shows what is behind secret door #1 in the middle. It appears to be an access slot. There is definitely enough room to ADD another hard drive or similar sized device behind it. There is dead space below the shown hard drive with side rails for attachment.
#3 Close up of expansion area
note in order: 8vsb, tuner1, tuner 2, then 3 PCI type slots.
#4 another view showing relation of PCI slots to removable back panel.

That is all I chose to take apart. It all went back together again!!!


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Cool. What kind of expansion slots do you think those are? Are those the 66Mhz 32bit PCI slot, or are they some sort of AGP interface.

Regardless, there is PLENTY of room for expansion. 3 "slots" plus a second HDD. I can see adding a second OTA tuner as a possibility. But what else could they do to need 3 slots.
Thanks for the pix

Nice job, TahoeRob. First thing I noticed was the 3 empty PCI slots on the mobo. Wonder how long it will take for someone to put in an embedded CPU card with a firewire out so that we can download stuff from the hard drive 8)

By the way, how is your OTA reception up in Winchester? I live in northern Culpeper County, and wonder what my chances are of picking up the DC stations. I had a Samsung T-151 for a while, but could not get WRC (NBC-4) very well. I am hoping with either the 921, or the HD TiVo, and a dedicated UHF antenna I can bring everything in :p

- martincva
Thanks for the view. Sure makes me wonder about the noise factor. Maxtor is known for loud drives and with two fans, and all that mass, me thinks it's going to require some closed cabinet.
It is nice that it looks like everything is modular, the 2 sat and ota look like they could be swapped out if needed. It is hard to tell in the pics, are the tuners cards in PCI slots too, or are they custom connectors?
Nice job, Robert.

I was happy to see not much has changed in the overall design / layout from the under the covers I saw last January. Somewhere I have a picture of the front drive bay expansion slot as the unit they had on display did not have that metal plate cover on at the time so seeing behind it was simple matter of just the removal of the plastic front cover. It looked just like the inside of a computer drive bay.
What I never saw was the 3 PCI slots. They just told be that was for an additional tuner. I was not aware that they had 3 slots!
Your pictures show everyone that this 921 system is truely expandable as long as E* will support it well into the future.
Interesting that the CPU is using Passive cooling.
Any clue as to what Processor that is?

Also, are there any markings on the Mother Board to indicate who makes it?
Does anyone know the slot standard? Looks longer than a normal PCI or AGP slot. I'm not familiar with Macs. Anyone? I have seen slots like this in industrial non-computer hardware dedicated function systems like industrial process controllers.

Overall the 921 design looks like it was well planned for the concept of being future proof, at least for a dozen years or so.
They looked like PCI slots.

I did not note the maker of the MOBO.

It did have a place to mark the origin of assembly but all it said was "origin of assembly"

I did see a Broadcom chip.

I was not brave enough to remove the heat sink to check the processer!!

It does seem to have the same noise level as the 501.
So, who else thinks that since tahoerob had the courage to 'expose' the 921, that he should now really "man-up" and do some experimenting with those PCI slots? In particular, try a 1394 or ethernet card?
Doubt it would fit. Look at them closely in the picture. Besides, last I heard, the OS was not plug 'n play :) I know you were kidding.

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