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Dell Zino HD - New mini HTPC

post #1 of 5041
Thread Starter 
Dell has announced a new mini-style PC using "desktop" components called the Zino HD:


Specs:
  • Processor options:
    • AMD 2650e (single core, 512K L2, 1.6GHz)
    • AMD 2850e (single core, 512K, L2, 1.8GHz)
    • AMD 3250e (dual core, 1MB L2, 1.5GHz)
    • AMD 6850e (dual core, 1MB L2, 1.8GHz)
  • Chipset: AMD 780G
  • Memory: 800 MHz DDR2 SODIMM, two slots, 8GB maximum
  • Video: ATI Mobility Radeon HD3200 (integrated into chipset) or ATI HD4330 (MXM card). Note: systems ordered with HD3200 graphics do not have an MXM slot for future upgrade
  • Audio: 5.1 DD/DTS over HDMI (HD3200) or 7.1 LPCM and 5.1 DD/DTS over HDMI (HD4330), stereo analog
  • Optical drive: 12.7mm (standard laptop) drive bay for SATA DVD+/-RW drive or Blu-ray combo drive
  • Hard Disk: Standard 3.5" SATA hard drive


Media capabilities:
  • Blu-ray disc playback - All configurations, requires BD-ROM & software
  • 1080p h.264 and VC-1 M2TS/MKV/BD-rips - All configurations
  • SD streaming Flash - All configurations
  • HD streaming Flash - Any GPU, 3250e & 6850e confirmed, 2650e & 2850e probable with Flash 10.1
  • 5.1 AC3/DTS bitstreaming over HDMI - All configurations
  • 7.1 LPCM over HDMI - HD4330 versions only
  • Dolby TrueHD / DTS-MA bitstreaming - Not possible


Useful links:
Dell product page (US)
Support manuals
AMD Blog Review part 1
AMD Blog Review part 2
Dell Blog Review






post #2 of 5041
Still wondering what the official specifications are going to be. It does have HDMI so it will definitely be better version of the Hybrid...
post #3 of 5041
Looks like we won't need to build our own mini-itx systems anymore.. this dell looks pretty ideal
post #4 of 5041
Pretty cool idd. I'll be checking the reviews
post #5 of 5041
Thread Starter 
If they use a Nvidia 9300 or ATI 4200 GPU then it'll be a slam dunk. It looks like they're using a standard slim optical drive, so replacing it with a BD_ROM should be easy even if Dell doesn't offer it as an option. Lack of built-in wireless might be an issue for some though.
post #6 of 5041
Quote:


Looks like we won't need to build our own mini-itx systems anymore.. this dell looks pretty ideal

Plastic cases and active cooling make these pre built boxes a little less appealing for many.
post #7 of 5041
post #8 of 5041
Not much for audio on there, hopefully you can get it through the hdmi.

EDIT** To the guy above thanks for the link, sounds good to me!!
post #9 of 5041
now worries, I'm spewing as I already just bought the new mini (2.26GHz)
But I think to to some extent you cant really compare, as the mini isn't really geared to being media front-end.
post #10 of 5041
if this thing performs like my studio slim it will be a solid machine.
post #11 of 5041
post #12 of 5041
I'd like to know how the 400's (Zino HD) GPU compares the mac mini 2009's 9400M ...

I haven't been able to find any comparative reviews...
or even just reviews of the Mobility Radeon HD 4330 (512MB?) on it's own.
post #13 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by jalyst View Post

I'd like to know how the 400's (Zino HD) GPU compares the mac mini 2009's 9400M ...

I haven't been able to find any comparative reviews...
or even just reviews of the Mobility Radeon HD 4330 (512MB?) on it's own.

While I don't have any comparative data, I do have a blog on this box I will be posting later this week. I have had one for testing for about a week.
post #14 of 5041
You mean a review on your AMD blog?
Cool, thanks for letting me know!

Hopefully there's some comparative analysis that creeps in....
I wouldn't blame you if it was somewhat biased considering you work for AMD

Cheers
post #15 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by jalyst View Post

You mean a review on your AMD blog?
Cool, thanks for letting me know!

Hopefully there's some comparative analysis that creeps in....
I wouldn't blame you if it was somewhat biased considering you work for AMD

Cheers

Actually, I had no other systems to compare it against. This blog is more about the box, features and the observations I made when I was playing with it.
post #16 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by jalyst View Post

I'd like to know how the 400's (Zino HD) GPU compares the mac mini 2009's 9400M ...

I haven't been able to find any comparative reviews...
or even just reviews of the Mobility Radeon HD 4330 (512MB?) on it's own.

I'd be interested in seeing how well the 4330 does on 1080i de-interlacing quality. A lot of the low end 4XXX series cards have pretty poor playback quality, which is why folks here generally recommend only the 4650 and above.

It's a nice form factor, but invariably these large OEM's seem to always botch something (like the lack of HD HDMI audio on the mac mini) as it seems they never test it out running the kinds of apps we run and hooked to the kind of gear we hook it to.
post #17 of 5041
Some would argue that the mac mini is not marketed as a HT-centric device hence the lack of HD HDMI audio, but I can see what you're getting at.

I wonder how the 9400m compares with the 4330 wrt 1080i/p de-interlacing quality?
post #18 of 5041
Just updated the AMD@Home blog with a look at the Dell Zino HD.

http://links.amd.com/ZinoHD
post #19 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

Just updated the AMD@Home blog with a look at the Dell Zino HD.

http://links.amd.com/ZinoHD

Thanks. I don't understand why they insist on pushing x64, using as an HTPC I just don't see the benefit of going x64 over x32.

Did you get a sense of what the high end of the cost range would be (i.e. with 4330 GPU, etc...)? Also, did you test out playback of hd content (such as BR rips, mkv/ts, etc...)?
post #20 of 5041
Thanks I have posted to a Mini community site for dissection ;-)
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=17385034
post #21 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

Thanks. I don't understand why they insist on pushing x64, using as an HTPC I just don't see the benefit of going x64 over x32.

Did you get a sense of what the high end of the cost range would be (i.e. with 4330 GPU, etc...)? Also, did you test out playback of hd content (such as BR rips, mkv/ts, etc...)?

I'm not sure why the push for x64. It may be the direction that MS wants to head, not sure.

As for cost, like most CTO models, it really depends on how you configure it. The site is up and running now so you could play with different configs to get an idea of where prices will settle in at.

I did not get a chance to test everything out before my unit was hijacked by our marketing team for an event. I will get it back later this week so I can continue testing.

Overall, it has handled things pretty well so far.
post #22 of 5041
I was really hoping for more robust processor options, what they're currently offering just doesn't seem like it's going to cut it in the real world
post #23 of 5041
Yeah compared to the Mini the CPU/Mem subsystem looks a little anaemic.
I'm hoping the Graphics subsystem will give it a leg up....

Looking forward to some detailed comparative reviews between the two.
I know some will say they cater to different markets, but there's a lot of overlap with a little tweaking ;-)
post #24 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomdahlberg View Post

I was really hoping for more robust processor options, what they're currently offering just doesn't seem like it's going to cut it in the real world

While I would love to be able to squeeze a 45W part in there to make everything more snappy, I think it would be hard to do with such a small foot print.

However, after doing a lot of testing in a real world environment, it did pretty well. I cover everything I did with it in the blog.

I have more testing to do, but it actually was not bad at all, especially given the price point it is hitting.
post #25 of 5041
The base unit shows 2.1 sound?!? Does this get put out via HDMI however?
post #26 of 5041
Thanks for the reviews guys. I'm thinking about finally getting into an HTPC; the fact that no one seemed to be able to get all the components right out of the box was always a deterrent. It seemed, to get the box you wanted, you had to BYO, and futz and tweak, etc. It wasn't for me; I've gone the NMT route to this point.

However, like I said, I was finally looking to dive in. I was going to try and "convert" my old Inspiron 531S..then I thought about going with a Studio Hybrid, when I came across this Zino HD. It certainly looked like a leap forward in a small-form HT box...and now that it's gotten good reviews and an AVS stamp of approval, it seems like a no-brainer; especially at $229 (I'll probably bump to the 4330)!

CD
post #27 of 5041
I would like to see a little head to head comparison against the Ion builds like the ASRock or Acer, especially since the ASRock now has the BR Drive option.
post #28 of 5041
I have been trying to buy something for a while that will allow me to essentially do one thing. Watch ESPN 360 on my TVs in a rec room (Have an Xbox 360 that I can watch donwloaded video my CD collection and pictures already. Doing Hulu and such could be a bonus and I want to make sure it can handle HD as I am sure that ESPN will move to a better resolution at some point and it would be stupid to save $50-$75 and have to rebuy in a year, but I still want this to be as cheap as possible

I have been considering the Aspirerevo 3610, a Dell Inspiron 537s and now the Zino looks nice. The only problem is that I can't find any bechmarks for most of the processors they offer and AMDs website sucks. Why name their processors one thing to sell to the world and then use some other naming convention on their own site so that it is impossible to actually find info about them? I tried copying the text right off Dells site and putting it in teh search box at AMD and get nothign at all. Even searches on the model numbers pull up no results there. The only processor I can find anything on is the base 2650e, which seems about halfway between the Atom 230 and 330 according to http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

I heard the Atom 330 is just barely adequate, so that means the base processor is probably no good here. However, aside from that one processor, I have no idea what I am buying.
post #29 of 5041
So, will the base unit ($229) be powerful enough to run Win7 Media Center PVR/LiveTV if I combined this with a HDHomerun Dual QAM tuner (ability to record 2 shows while watching previously recorded)?
post #30 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee L View Post

I have been trying to buy something for a while that will allow me to essentially do one thing. Watch ESPN 360 on my TVs in a rec room (Have an Xbox 360 that I can watch donwloaded video my CD collection and pictures already. Doing Hulu and such could be a bonus and I want to make sure it can handle HD as I am sure that ESPN will move to a better resolution at some point and it would be stupid to save $50-$75 and have to rebuy in a year, but I still want this to be as cheap as possible

I have been considering the Aspirerevo 3610, a Dell Inspiron 537s and now the Zino looks nice. The only problem is that I can't find any bechmarks for most of the processors they offer and AMDs website sucks. Why name their processors one thing to sell to the world and then use some other naming convention on their own site so that it is impossible to actually find info about them? I tried copying the text right off Dells site and putting it in teh search box at AMD and get nothign at all. Even searches on the model numbers pull up no results there. The only processor I can find anything on is the base 2650e, which seems about halfway between the Atom 230 and 330 according to http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

I heard the Atom 330 is just barely adequate, so that means the base processor is probably no good here. However, aside from that one processor, I have no idea what I am buying.

Hello Lee,

The reason you don't find much info on those CPUs on our website is because they are OEM specific skus.

However, here are some specs.

2650e is a 1.6GHz CPU, single core
2850e is a 1.8Ghz CPU, single core
3250e is a 1.5Ghz CPU, dual core
6850e is a 1.8Ghz CPU, dual core
All are 25W parts

These are the same core architecture as our other desktop products. Therefore, they are more robust than the Atom for general purpose computing, etc.
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