"Official" ASRock ION 330 nettop thread - Page 3 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Are you buying an ION-based nettop?
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post #61 of 247 Old 09-01-2009, 11:03 AM
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Hi,

Just thought I post what works as I read this thread before I bought:

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit (x86) RTM (Final Build)
TV: Samsung 40" LNA530

Installed the OS on the ASRock with only minor interactions. It was pretty easy. It detected the Samsung TV and picked 1920x1080@59.94Hz. Then went to Nvidia.com and got the chipset, graphics, and audio drivers for Windows 7 32-bit and everything worked. I mean everything. Networking and copying files from my macbook was perfect. 32 MB/s or 250 Mbps since both have gigabit ethernet and so is my router (D-LINK DIR-655). I have an average case for my USB HD and that reached read/write speeds of 30MB/s as well...didn't really think about getting eSATA, I mean, that's fast enough!

Also, I tested the following:

1. 1080p Simpson mp4 trailer. Perfect, and low CPU
2. 1080p mkv (encoded in H.264) movie. I installed http://labs.divx.com/mkvwin7preview for Media player to recognize it and this http://sourceforge.net/projects/ac3filter/files/ for the Audio to work and it was perfect and low CPU. The MKV codec is a tech preview but works good enough for me. With it, the decoding is offloaded to the GPU, rather than the CPU.
3. 1080i m2t (which is AVCHD I think - the interlaced video of a Volleyball match from the Olympics off my PVR SA-8300HD). Perfect, and low CPU, and it even deinterlaced the Video!

This little guy can play anything. The 3 drivers, and 2 codecs (mkv from divx and ac3 filter) were the only things I installed after installing Windows 7. I used windows media player for all the video tests. Haven't tested the DVD player, but I'm sure it'll be fine. Currently adding my music library to Windows Media Centre and lots of my DivX movie rips.

With regards to the Audio, they do advertise 5.1 and such, but I only have a Stereo amplifier with 2 speakers. Don't hate. I live a 1 bedroom and don't have room So I can't personally confirm much there.

Hope that helps anyone wondering if certain video files will work or not.
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post #62 of 247 Old 09-01-2009, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrossouw View Post

Oh and another question: I've been only able to find the non-BD version of this in Singapore. Would it be a compromise to buy the DVD version and upgrade the drive?

That's what I'm doing. I bought the DVD version. Will buy a Slim Blu-Ray in a half a year or more.
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post #63 of 247 Old 09-01-2009, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidsense View Post

Not sure if you consider this a viable place to purchase it, but why not from here?

http://www.feppaspot.com/servlet/the...-NetTop/Detail

Apparently, you get a $240.00 BD-drive and 180GB addition HDD space for only $180.00 more. Anyone know anything about feppaspot?

I ended up getting 2 of these from feppaspot (dvd only as all movies on server/4gb). They actually arrived while we were out of town so I don't know exactly how long it took - but it was under a week. Very impressed with the delivery time. They also were very quick to reply to questions I had. The also arrived with w7 pre-installed - just requiring activation. My experience with them was very good and will probably use them again.
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post #64 of 247 Old 09-01-2009, 02:32 PM
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Network driver?

I bought 2 of these. I set one up the way I wanted it and backed it up to the WHS. My plan was to use this backup on the 2nd one. The problem was that I couldn't find a driver for the lan. The only thing I could find was the Nvidia Vista 20.13 (all in one). This didn't work. I ended up setting up the 2nd on manually (so to speak), but would be keen to do this in the future - as I probably will buy a third one. Any suggestions on where to get the lan driver (win7 x32)? Thanks.
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post #65 of 247 Old 09-01-2009, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxnix View Post

Network driver?

I bought 2 of these. I set one up the way I wanted it and backed it up to the WHS. My plan was to use this backup on the 2nd one. The problem was that I couldn't find a driver for the lan. The only thing I could find was the Nvidia Vista 20.13 (all in one). This didn't work. I ended up setting up the 2nd on manually (so to speak), but would be keen to do this in the future - as I probably will buy a third one. Any suggestions on where to get the lan driver (win7 x32)? Thanks.

I just went to Nvidia.com and the drivers for the LAN were part of the chipset drivers 2.14:

Windows 7 32-bit Driver Versions:

* GPU Driver (v185.85) WHQL
* Ethernet Driver (v73.06) WHQL
* Network Management Tools (v73.05) "Sedona"
* SATAIDE Driver (v11.1.0.23) WHQL
* SATARAID Driver (v11.1.0.23) WHQL
* RAIDTOOL Application (v11.1.0.23)
* SMU Driver (v1.67) WHQL
* Installer (v7.01)

That's what I installed and in device manager it says NVidia nForce 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet and I did confirm by doing tests that it is getting fast speeds ~240 Mbps.

Btw, I have my media connected to a USB HD. Is there any way to speed things up? I have 18000 songs and it's taking a while. I know, I'm impatient. Any help would be appreciated. It always lags when loading my playlists. I know there's some indexing going on, but I would like to know how I can force to index rather than doing it in the background.

Thanks!!
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post #66 of 247 Old 09-01-2009, 06:11 PM
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OK....so it was late at night and I was having a blonde moment . I checked out the Asrock site and it didn't even occur to me to check out the Nvidia site - doh! Thanks for the info.

Sorry, can't help with the speeds - I have everything connected via gigabit network with no external hdd.
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post #67 of 247 Old 09-02-2009, 07:22 AM
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Anybody know if the new Western Digital 2.5" 750GB/1TB drive that are slightly thicker will fit into the ASRock?

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=684

Thinking of upgrading the 320GB to 750GB
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post #68 of 247 Old 09-02-2009, 12:28 PM
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Does anyone know when the blu-ray version is coming to US? and if it is already sold in US, where I can buy it from?

Thanks,
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post #69 of 247 Old 09-02-2009, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hormati View Post

Does anyone know when the blu-ray version is coming to US? and if it is already sold in US, where I can buy it from?

Thanks,

Online NCIX.com: http://www.ncixus.com/products/42384...330-BD/ASRock/ I'm not from the US, so I don't know about retail stores. This product will most likely be sold through smaller computer stores rather than big ones. The will usually order it for you as well for free if they can access ASRock stock.
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post #70 of 247 Old 09-03-2009, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrossouw View Post
- play youtube videos etc (in HD of course)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

No, not yet.

I disagree. It plays Youtube HD just fine. I just tested it yesterday. Are you sure you have all the latest drivers? I don't know if it's offloading it to the GPU, but it is capable. I tested with this HD clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ7R_buZPSo
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post #71 of 247 Old 09-04-2009, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrossouw View Post
- play youtube videos etc (in HD of course)

I disagree. It plays Youtube HD just fine. I just tested it yesterday. Are you sure you have all the latest drivers? I don't know if it's offloading it to the GPU, but it is capable. I tested with this HD clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ7R_buZPSo

**EDIT** - FYI, what you linked is not HD. The video dimensions are the same as a 720p video, but unless you hit HD in the corner, it's not in HD. The link to the HD version is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ7R_buZPSo&hd=1

----------------------------

Are you sure? I've read at least 3 reviews indicating that it cannot play YouTubeHD or HuluHD because Flash is processor heavy and the dual-core atom cannot handle it. I've seen probably 15 forum posts corroborating this. And that is the only reason I can't buy this. You're not experiencing the same? I'm very curious, because it might change my buying decision.

Examples:

http://www.rgbfilter.com/?p=1652
"Standard definition Youtube works great, but once you hit the HD button, it's a different story. It's more or less unusable, struggling to keep the frame rate up, though I didn't notice any audio stutter. Other FLV based players are probably going to see similar performance issues.

I can't blame ASRock for this, as I've seen stutter of Flash videos on my workstation, which is capable of handling multiple streams of HDV for video editing, and even on that HD Flash is, to be honest, somewhat barfy. You can go into Flash and play around with acceleration settings, but because this is partially depending on the source, there isn't one universal click this setting to fix all your woes recommendation."

http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=602
Flash HD: "Completely unwatchable, CPU utilization > 90%"
Flash HD (overclocked): "Still choppy but a bit better, painful but technically watchable"

http://www.missingremote.com/index.p...1&limitstart=5
Flash and Windows 7 testing: "Thanks to some suggestions from our forum members, I decided to add some more information to my review of the unit. First up, is how performance is on playback of Flash content, such as Hulu. Our own member MSBob had heard rumors that performance was sluggish on the unit so I wanted to see for myself. Seeing the unit handle every blu-ray and high definition format I threw at it without problems, I assumed a little high quality streaming video would be no sweat.

Unfortunately, apparantly Macromedia's Flash does not play very well with the graphics of the ION chipset in Vista. I loaded Flash 10 on the system and started off with what most users in the HTPC environment would be using, Hulu Desktop application. For the purpose of this test I am going to use the Pilot episode of Warehouse 13 as my test file. Playing back content from within Hulu desktop (in full screen) proved to be unwatchable. CPU hovered around 60-70% and Memory was around 45%, so the specs were not the issue, however the video was experiencing constant stuttering and juddering."
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post #72 of 247 Old 09-05-2009, 07:52 AM
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You are right, the link itself wasn't HD, but I did click on the HD button when I did that test. Some observations:

1. I've had 3 people come over and say "Yes, that looks amazing!." Here's the catch, CPU is about 55 to 70%. Obviously no hardware accelaration.
2. When you watch the Youtube HD in the IE 8 like I am, the HD video inside the page (non-fullscreen) will appear slightly jittery. But when I switch to full screen, it plays flawlessly. The CPU then is between 55 to 70. My theory is when it is inside the window, the computer is actually resizing the Youtube HD video to fit inside the webpage so you can see the info in the side, and comments, etc...That takes CPU cycles to do and in my (unverfified) opininion explains the jitteriness when viewing in non-fullscreen.

Also, some of those reviews did their test in August or even May. Perhaps the drivers changed? When I did my Windows 7 assessment on Monday, I got a 3.1 for the CPU. I just did it yesterday (Friday) and got 3.3. Who knows, maybe the newer drivers help? One thing is for sure, Adobe needs to work on getting Flash to be hardware accelerated. I'm personally very happy with Youtube HD in fullscreen only, not resized smaller. As for Hulu, I have no idea

So yeah, if you use Flash in HD and you are using other CPU intensive applications, the PC will be unusable, but if you only watch the Youtube HD clip in full screen, it appears to work just fine.

Hope that clears things up.
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post #73 of 247 Old 09-05-2009, 09:32 AM
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I tried that YouTube HD video on my Intel D945GCLF2 Atom 330 build and it played perfectly. Perhaps it's not the best example out there? I recall playing a video (first scene was a pan of a spinning Earth) and that one was noticeably not smooth.

In any case, YouTube HD is very easily remedied. The videos themselves just use the H.264 codec and there are countless Firefox add-ons you can use to download videos from YouTube (I use Easy YouTube Video Downloader 1.8). Once you've downloaded the MP4 files, then hardware accelerated playback is possible.

Hulu remains problematic because they've increased security and it's become difficult to download their videos now.
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post #74 of 247 Old 09-05-2009, 02:22 PM
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what about hulu?
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post #75 of 247 Old 09-05-2009, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidsense View Post

**EDIT** - FYI, what you linked is not HD. The video dimensions are the same as a 720p video, but unless you hit HD in the corner, it's not in HD. The link to the HD version is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ7R_buZPSo&hd=1

----------------------------

Are you sure? I've read at least 3 reviews indicating that it cannot play YouTubeHD or HuluHD because Flash is processor heavy and the dual-core atom cannot handle it. I've seen probably 15 forum posts corroborating this. And that is the only reason I can't buy this. You're not experiencing the same? I'm very curious, because it might change my buying decision.

Examples:

http://www.rgbfilter.com/?p=1652
"Standard definition Youtube works great, but once you hit the HD button, it's a different story. It's more or less unusable, struggling to keep the frame rate up, though I didn't notice any audio stutter. Other FLV based players are probably going to see similar performance issues.

I can't blame ASRock for this, as I've seen stutter of Flash videos on my workstation, which is capable of handling multiple streams of HDV for video editing, and even on that HD Flash is, to be honest, somewhat barfy. You can go into Flash and play around with acceleration settings, but because this is partially depending on the source, there isn't one universal click this setting to fix all your woes recommendation."

http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=602
Flash HD: "Completely unwatchable, CPU utilization > 90%"
Flash HD (overclocked): "Still choppy but a bit better, painful but technically watchable"

http://www.missingremote.com/index.p...1&limitstart=5
Flash and Windows 7 testing: "Thanks to some suggestions from our forum members, I decided to add some more information to my review of the unit. First up, is how performance is on playback of Flash content, such as Hulu. Our own member MSBob had heard rumors that performance was sluggish on the unit so I wanted to see for myself. Seeing the unit handle every blu-ray and high definition format I threw at it without problems, I assumed a little high quality streaming video would be no sweat.

Unfortunately, apparantly Macromedia's Flash does not play very well with the graphics of the ION chipset in Vista. I loaded Flash 10 on the system and started off with what most users in the HTPC environment would be using, Hulu Desktop application. For the purpose of this test I am going to use the Pilot episode of Warehouse 13 as my test file. Playing back content from within Hulu desktop (in full screen) proved to be unwatchable. CPU hovered around 60-70% and Memory was around 45%, so the specs were not the issue, however the video was experiencing constant stuttering and juddering."

Hulu can stutter and judder because of the net, not always the fault of your pc.
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post #76 of 247 Old 09-05-2009, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever69 View Post

You are right, the link itself wasn't HD, but I did click on the HD button when I did that test. Some observations:

1. I've had 3 people come over and say "Yes, that looks amazing!." Here's the catch, CPU is about 55 to 70%. Obviously no hardware accelaration.
2. When you watch the Youtube HD in the IE 8 like I am, the HD video inside the page (non-fullscreen) will appear slightly jittery. But when I switch to full screen, it plays flawlessly. The CPU then is between 55 to 70. My theory is when it is inside the window, the computer is actually resizing the Youtube HD video to fit inside the webpage so you can see the info in the side, and comments, etc...That takes CPU cycles to do and in my (unverfified) opininion explains the jitteriness when viewing in non-fullscreen.

Also, some of those reviews did their test in August or even May. Perhaps the drivers changed? When I did my Windows 7 assessment on Monday, I got a 3.1 for the CPU. I just did it yesterday (Friday) and got 3.3. Who knows, maybe the newer drivers help? One thing is for sure, Adobe needs to work on getting Flash to be hardware accelerated. I'm personally very happy with Youtube HD in fullscreen only, not resized smaller. As for Hulu, I have no idea

So yeah, if you use Flash in HD and you are using other CPU intensive applications, the PC will be unusable, but if you only watch the Youtube HD clip in full screen, it appears to work just fine.

Hope that clears things up.

@whatever69

Can you set this box on its side without obstructing airflow or causing any other mechanical problems?
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post #77 of 247 Old 09-05-2009, 04:59 PM
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Don't know about mechanical problems, but airflow shouldn't be a problem as the air vents are at the back.
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post #78 of 247 Old 09-05-2009, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Hulu can stutter and judder because of the net, not always the fault of your pc.

Hulu HD wasn't playable even on my E2160 (stock, 1.80 GHz) build. Played perfectly on the E5200, though. Windowed Hulu 360p/480p plays fine (default small size), but fullscreen is noticeably choppy. AnandTech's review is spot on. On the ION's case, the stutter and judder really is because of the PC and not the internet connection (I have 20Mbps cable).

If you install Linux, though, it seems hardware accelerated playback/VDPAU with Boxee is working properly. Remember, Flash video, these might be, but Hulu still uses H.264 for actual encoding.
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post #79 of 247 Old 09-05-2009, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidsense View Post

@whatever69

Can you set this box on its side without obstructing airflow or causing any other mechanical problems?

I agree with saxnix, the only vents are in the back, so I don't see any problems if computer is on its side. The DVD rom is good for that too as the DVD is securely snapped in.
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post #80 of 247 Old 09-08-2009, 02:54 PM
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Hi,

So I answered one of my previous questions. I emailed ASRock support and they responded the same day. You can install the 2.5" 12.5mm (rather than the standard 9.5mm) 750GB or 1TB Western Digital Hard Drive. I also opened up the computer and saw that there is some room to have a thicker 2.5" drive.

Secondly, I just installed the 1.60 BIOS (http://www.asrock.com/nettop/downloa...odel=ION%20330):

1. Improve SSD hard disk performance/compatibility.
2. Add key for the 2nd option to enter BIOS Setup.
3. System can be waken up by onboard lan under S5 through GigaLan hub.
4. Add "Good Night LED" feature.
5. Improve compatibility of Lan connection.

Number 4 is the really nice feature that I thought was a great idea. All LEDs on the front are turned off when using the PCs. A great thing for HTPCs as most of these Blue LEDs are blinding.
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post #81 of 247 Old 09-08-2009, 03:00 PM
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Is anyone will to comment on how the ASRock ION 330 behaves as a "general" desktop pc? I am not particularly interested in using this as a HTPC but more of a media centric desktop replacement.
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post #82 of 247 Old 09-08-2009, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for the heads up about the bios. I am about to attempt it now. Never done a BIOS update before (seemed kind of risky/complicated for my lack of skills), but after reading the info it looks pretty straight forward. Famous last words.....
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post #83 of 247 Old 09-08-2009, 04:16 PM
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Wow....that couldn't have been any easier to do the update.

I got rid of the light (on the one that is connected to a projector/avr) and you now have no idea that it is on at all. I thought it would still show the hdd activity light, but that is gone too. The only distraction now is wondering if it is on or off
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post #84 of 247 Old 09-08-2009, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxnix View Post

Wow....that couldn't have been any easier to do the update.

I got rid of the light (on the one that is connected to a projector/avr) and you now have no idea that it is on at all. I thought it would still show the hdd activity light, but that is gone too. The only distraction now is wondering if it is on or off

Yeah, the windows BIOS installer is one click. As for the wondering if it's one or now, yeah, I'm gonna have to just tap the keyboard to make sure it's even on! :P But it's definitely a great feature as the PC was eye level for me.
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post #85 of 247 Old 09-08-2009, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomdahlberg View Post

Is anyone will to comment on how the ASRock ION 330 behaves as a "general" desktop pc? I am not particularly interested in using this as a HTPC but more of a media centric desktop replacement.

It depends what sort of general stuff you're doing. I think it would be great for day to day use and consuming media. Anantech has a great review about it and has some Benchmarks. Now if you're using it to rip and encode video, or edit video, I would do more research as I'm pretty sure there are more powerful alternatives. Please note that I do neither so someone else would have to comment. But generally speaking, I find it running Win7 very, very well.
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post #86 of 247 Old 09-09-2009, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever69 View Post

It depends what sort of general stuff you're doing. I think it would be great for day to day use and consuming media. Anantech has a great review about it and has some Benchmarks. Now if you're using it to rip and encode video, or edit video, I would do more research as I'm pretty sure there are more powerful alternatives. Please note that I do neither so someone else would have to comment. But generally speaking, I find it running Win7 very, very well.

Great, thanks! I was planning on replacing a loud and cumbersome full-size desktop pc as my music listening / web browsing / email writing / etc with something small, quiet and concealable so it sounds like this would work!
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post #87 of 247 Old 09-09-2009, 01:30 PM
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I fired up word and it seemed to work fine. Same for web browsing. I am sure if that is all you are doing (email/web/music), it will be fine for you.
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post #88 of 247 Old 09-10-2009, 09:02 PM
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is the blu-ray version already available somewhere in the us???
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post #89 of 247 Old 09-14-2009, 09:30 AM
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K, after doing some reading, I'm getting very excited about picking one of these up.

It's just gonna be in the living room with the intention of making it a 24x7 HTPC, running windows 7 media center, so the full-screen HD flash doesn't scare me off. *grin*

To aid in the heat/power/longevity of it, I might even consider a cheap SSD. All I gotta do now is find a decent deal on one of these things.

(question: What's the roundabout price tag on building something similar by hand? Can you grab all the components (case, external power supply, etc) from the Egg?)
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post #90 of 247 Old 09-16-2009, 03:50 AM
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