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AMD Zacate - the next great HTPC chip? - Page 9

post #241 of 940
Quote:


100$ for the mobo + 50$ for the HD5450 + 50-60$ for the mini-ITX case+PSU+ 30$ for ram = 240$ HTPC

+ $60 Duet card and you have a dual tuner $300 DVR w/ no fees.
post #242 of 940
Speaking of SSDs, last night I installed an SSD in my main HTPC. It's a Kingston 64GB SSD and it comes with the Acronis True Image HD software. It was able to clone the existing HDD onto the SSD and does all the right thing with partitions, etc. You just have to make sure the used space on the source drive is less than the 59GB available on the SSD. It worked perfectly. I was hihgly skeptical but it worked and I didn't have to reinstall Windows, redo my HTPC settings, any of that stuff that has taken me months to get right. Thank goodness. Otherwise I wouldn't have done it.

There's a great deal on a Kingston 128GB SSD that includes the same software, some cables and 2.5"-to-3.5" rails. $135 AR.

http://www.buy.com/prod/kingston-128...214308840.html

NAYY.
post #243 of 940
There was recently a thread on this case. Someone on here bought one and had a ton of pictures of it in the thread. It ultimately didn't work out because he was trying to power a ASUS 880G mini-itx board with it. Here it is: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1307756

Why couldn't you just replace the AC power supply with something like this:
http://www.mini-box.com/110w-12v-8-5...-Power-Adapter

If the DC PSU is 120W, wouldn't that be ok?

BTW, Directron has a better price for it and cheaper shipping. The can be found on eBay as well.

I also wonder if this will fit the passive heatsink of the ASUS Deluxe E-350 motherboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Habey EMC-800B with a 120W AC-DC adapter + a 60W DC-DC adapter, only $69:

After checking its specs, I found potential issues should you decide to upgrade to Llano in future.

- Slim Mini-ITX, up to 1.5” = 38mm in height with heatsink or cooling fan
- 12V DC 120W ATX power supply with 12V 5A = 60W power adapter
- Optional side 5010 case fan

38mm is perhaps good for Atom/E-350, but too short for Core i3/A-xxx APU (= Llano). Even SilverStone NT07-1156 is 36.5mm tall, Thermaltake Slim X3 is 36mm tall.

60W is not good enough for Llano+mb+RAM. You can replace it with picoPSU-120, $40, of course.

You have to add a 50x50x10mm fan, ~$5. Not a big issue.
post #244 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by biker19 View Post

+ $60 Duet card and you have a dual tuner $300 DVR w/ no fees.

Might need a HDD or SSD in that too and an OS
post #245 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by biker19 View Post

+ $60 Duet card and you have a dual tuner $300 DVR w/ no fees.

Here's what I came up with -
  • Habey Case as shown by Rene $65
  • ASRock E350 USB 2.0 but SATA 3.0 $110 (likely less when it hits the street)
  • Kingston DDR3 (1033) 3GB Total (Win7 32-bit) $39
  • Diamond HD750 Internal $30AR ($59)
  • Sammsung Slim CD/DVD Burner $27

All my OS are on IDE drives and I would be likely keeping my current setup as a Workstation. So I would get the shorter Habey ($60) and use that $27 to get a $45 320GB 2.5 Drive that's SATA 3.0 or $78 Corsair 32GB SSD (SATA II).

$289 (before taxes/shipping) with 5400rpm 2.5 but SATA 3.0
$322 with 32GB SSD (vLite Windows 7 Image)

@Jakmal

I would agree the majority of regular users of this forum are advance HTPC owners, however we get newbies finding this site everyday and as more content moves online or people looking to cut back on their cable bill, we need to present them with some options.

If you're watching SD content and according to some estimates about 40% of LCD/Plasma owners are watching SD content via basic or uprated cable/sat tv, including myself. You don't need much more power than the Zacate provides and it is better than Atom, where it counts - Media Playback.

If you envision ripping Blu-Ray from the same system (or any other CPU intensive task), then yes you should wait for Llano which will be a great alternative to current gen i3/i5 with much better graphics.

There's nothing this $300 HTPC can't do my current desktop/HTPC does. My desktop has flat out more power, but its not needed to watch media or access streaming content.

That's why I'm considering moving DOWN and Blu-Ray it not in this budget.

Hardware Zone has tested both the MSI, Gigabyte and ASRock boards

Seems to me you can pop in a Blu-Ray disc and it will play it.



Later I could build a Quad Core Llano just for CPU intensive stuff.
post #246 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by micksh View Post

Anand didn't discuss OTA. Zacate failed all deinterlacing quality tests. Half of HD OTA is 1080i (interlaced). So, how is OTA HD going to be perfect?

I think it could put 1080i through, but it couldn't convert it to progressive. no?

"The platform is incapable of accelerating and playing back 1080p60 H.264 video. Very little content falls into this category, however if you want to play it you can’t on Brazos. The good news is 1080i60 works just fine." - anadtech

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4134/t...-for-miniitx/3
post #247 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

I am sure Zacate builds will not be the primary HTPC for most of us here on this forum. It can surely replace an Atom+Ion combo with better results, but Atom+Ion is rarely the HTPC pinnacle that manufacturers should try to better.

My issues with the low AMD HTPC solutions are:

1. They don't qualify their low-end GPUs (and in this case, the Zacate units) for anything more than 1080p30. Anything more complicated than that is a hit or miss.

2. 1080p60 is becoming more and more commonplace as budget HD camcorders are starting to support that format. The fact that the Zacates can't decode them in a reliable manner is disappointing. (We tried out many samples from the high end Panasonic 1080p60 which is quite popular in another sub-forum on this site, and 90% of the clips failed to play back without artifacts)

3. The low end GPUs are not up to the mark in deinterlacing or other video processing activities.

We are getting a pre-built HTPC from Zotac based on E-350 (the Fusion ZBOX). We will see how that fares, but we already have a good idea about the weak points of the platform.

As of now, the E-350 appears a step up from the Atom+Ion, but that is not saying much, IMHO.

How does sandybridge handle 1080p60 without a discrete graphics card. I'm really ok with intel core i3 idle power consumption and an extra $100 isn't the end of the world. Adding discrete graphics really ups power consumption though, so this is a no-no. Also what does intel's 24fps issue do to video playback?
post #248 of 940
Ok, I just read the Sandybridge forum and they are having issues too. Sounds like the only perfect playback comes from normal cpu(athlon 2, core i3, or core duo) and one of the newer discrete cards that fully support 1.4a(radeon 6xxx or nvidia 4xx). Does this sound about right to everyone?

Basically the only way to do it right now, without noise, is with a passively cooled nvidia gt430.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-175-_-Product

Am I wrong? Also it sound like zacate plays standard blue ray discs(23.xxxfps no 3d) better than SandyBridge.
post #249 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Ok, I just read the Sandybridge forum and they are having issues too. Sounds like the only perfect playback comes from normal cpu(athlon 2, core i3, or core duo) and one of the newer discrete cards that fully support 1.4a(radeon 6xxx or nvidia 4xx). Does this sound about right to everyone?

Basically the only way to do it right now, without noise, is with a passively cooled nvidia gt430.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-175-_-Product

Am I wrong? Also it sound like zacate plays standard blue ray discs(23.xxxfps no 3d) better than SandyBridge.

I think you need to make up what's most important to you.

Budget and Performance

The fact is i3 won't do 24p (or 3D) and won't be changed until the first revisions come along in 2012, can you afford to wait? If not then yes a sub-$100 Nvidia card is your only choice until the HD6xxx cards become available.

$119 i3
$124 Gigabyte P67
$84 GT430

= $327

When Assassin built his i3's I think he tried to find the best but least expensive parts, so its really not going to be much under $330 if you're just transferring a few parts from your current build into the new one.

If your starting from scratch then you should wait for the Llano and ATI HD65xx (figuring the mid-range will be HD66xx and HD67xx), compare features and then make your choice.

For what I do with my HTPC, I can afford to spend less money overall, reduce my media cabinet foot print and power consumption without taking a performance hit.

That's why I'm excited about Zacate and its future, if anything it will just get better... Many are saying Llano in some cases you won't need a video card to play many casual and older games. You can run WoW on Zacate at a very playable 30fps, maybe a bit faster with more mature drivers. If you can do that with low powered hardware, wait until Llanos which should smoke all the entry level video cards on the market, you currently don't need more than a $50 card to play WoW or Second Life, Llanos should surpass that with ease, less power too.
post #250 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

Here's what I came up with -
...

All my OS are on IDE drives and I would be likely keeping my current setup as a Workstation. So I would get the shorter Habey ($60) and use that $27 to get a $45 320GB 2.5 Drive that's SATA 3.0 or $78 Corsair 32GB SSD (SATA II).

...

I'd definitely go SSD in one of these for both the heat (lot less) and speed (lot more). I even notice the difference in performance with my Phenom II X3.

Keep an eye on Buy.com and Newegg.com. 64GB Kingston SSD deals keep popping up for $75-85 after rebate. They aren't the top-of-the-line super fastest but, man, the ones I have installed (3 now) absolutely cook. Be sure to use AHCI.

And, the one I installed last night came with Acronis True Image HD which was able to clone my OS drive onto the SSD. They do have a version (not sure if this one will do it) that can restore to dissimilar hardware even.
post #251 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I'd definitely go SSD in one of these for both the heat (lot less) and speed (lot more). I even notice the difference in performance with my Phenom II X3.

Keep an eye on Buy.com and Newegg.com. 64GB Kingston SSD deals keep popping up for $75-85 after rebate. They aren't the top-of-the-line super fastest but, man, the ones I have installed (3 now) absolutely cook. Be sure to use AHCI.

And, the one I installed last night came with Acronis True Image HD which was able to clone my OS drive onto the SSD. They do have a version (not sure if this one will do it) that can restore to dissimilar hardware even.

I have True Image already (not the latest one but its not that old anyway). I think I would wait for more SSD SATA III drives to come out so competition will drive the prices down.

I'm considering getting a SSD for this laptop which would run the programs like VDJ faster and I can throw the current 160GB drive in new HTPC. When I bought it I think I had 110GB left, now I'm down to about 10GB, but some of that is video, most of it is songs. I can move almost all the songs to my 320GB external 2.5 drive.

I think a 60GB or 80GB SATA II SSD should cover it.
post #252 of 940
ECS (Elite Group) has shown a Zacate mITX board with passive cooling -



http://news.softpedia.com/news/ECS-S...d-180936.shtml

According to the story, it might have Bluetooth and WiFi built-in. It supports 8GB of memory like the MSI, Asus and Gigabyte.

That's all that is known at the moment. I think we can expect other boards from Biostar and usual suspect Foxconn as well.
post #253 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenEyez View Post

What do you mean "failed de-interlancing tests"? Are you talking about low scores in the HQV 2.0 benchmark or about the same issue the HD5450 has, can`t do VA combined with sharpening or de-noise, but can do VA without them activated? Because if it`s the second, few people care about it around here.
Even if you add a HD5450 to the mix, you still get a sub-300$ HTPC. 100$ for the mobo + 50$ for the HD5450 + 50-60$ for the mini-ITX case+PSU+ 30$ for ram = 240$ HTPC

What I am saying is from second-hand knowledge (what I heard from Anand while he was testing out with our suite): HQV 2.0 benchmarking has NOT been done yet (We are waiting for the Fusion ZBOX). It can't do plain VA. We didn't enable sharpening or denoising. This MIGHT be a driver issue, but we reported what we saw with the latest drivers.

I would think adding a 5450 to this really doesn't make much sense.. Maybe a 5570, but after drivers mature, I think this will become equivalent to a 5450 in terms of HTPC performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

How does sandybridge handle 1080p60 without a discrete graphics card. I'm really ok with intel core i3 idle power consumption and an extra $100 isn't the end of the world. Adding discrete graphics really ups power consumption though, so this is a no-no. Also what does intel's 24fps issue do to video playback?

1080p60 is fine in SB with Intel HD Graphics. Yes, you are forced to configure to use Microsoft DTV-DVD decoder for some streams, but the playback is at full frame rate with no artifacts.

Intel's 24 fps issue is problematic with a stutter every 42s only if your display refresh rate is set to match source frame rate. If you refresh your display at 60 Hz, it is not much of an issue (In fact, many reviewers like Anand, myself, Andrew Van Til @ MissingRemote / AnandTech and Damian @ MediaSmartServer.net think 60 Hz is the display refresh rate that most users use, and 24 Hz is something only advanced users try to set).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

@Jakmal

I would agree the majority of regular users of this forum are advance HTPC owners, however we get newbies finding this site everyday and as more content moves online or people looking to cut back on their cable bill, we need to present them with some options.

Agree partially But, many guys who set up their first and only HTPC with Atom / ION combo (against my advice) later came back to me with complaints about how they couldn't take advantage of their new AV receiver fully / CPU being too limited where Ion couldn't accelerate something like Real Media etc. etc. and sometimes even with Flash acceleration problems. It is always advisable to have a decently powerful core processor to back up the GPU.

My advice, even for entry level HTPCs, is to go with a slightly costlier Clarkdale / Arrandale / AMD 5570 or later based build. This would ensure satisfaction in the long run. Still hold on to the belief that Atom / ION (or Zacate, for that matter) should never be primary HTPC for 99% of the people (though market sales figure prove me wrong, I am sure!)
post #254 of 940
I have to agree with Ganesh as far as having a more powerful CPU just from my own experience.

I had a AMD 5050e 2.6GHz AM2+ in my HTPC and found the whole Windows/W7MC experience wasn't all that great. There's more to an HTPC than just video and sound. You have to be able to navigate quick, get things launched quick, have the guide come up quick, have the photo slideshow come up quick, etc. I tried an experiment taking a Phenom II X3 705e and dropping it in and it was night-and-day -- much better experience. Now that I have a SSD in there too -- wow.

That experience for me is why things don't get compelling for HTPC until Llano.

Hella compelling for nettops though.
post #255 of 940
So far, I am thinking this would be my nettop build with one of the E-350 boards that has on-board wireless.


Lian-Li PC-Q09 w/150W PSU (7.87" x 10.43" x 4.72") $99 + shipping

64GB SSD or suitable notebook HDD
Slim DVD drive
4GB RAM
post #256 of 940
265mm wide, 110mm tall and no expansion slot, no 3.5" bay, only 1 x 2.5" bay?? What a waste of space ... IMO, of course.


LL
post #257 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

What I am saying is from second-hand knowledge (what I heard from Anand while he was testing out with our suite): HQV 2.0 benchmarking has NOT been done yet (We are waiting for the Fusion ZBOX). It can't do plain VA. We didn't enable sharpening or denoising. This MIGHT be a driver issue, but we reported what we saw with the latest drivers.

I would think adding a 5450 to this really doesn't make much sense.. Maybe a 5570, but after drivers mature, I think this will become equivalent to a 5450 in terms of HTPC performance.



1080p60 is fine in SB with Intel HD Graphics. Yes, you are forced to configure to use Microsoft DTV-DVD decoder for some streams, but the playback is at full frame rate with no artifacts.

Intel's 24 fps issue is problematic with a stutter every 42s only if your display refresh rate is set to match source frame rate. If you refresh your display at 60 Hz, it is not much of an issue (In fact, many reviewers like Anand, myself, Andrew Van Til @ MissingRemote / AnandTech and Damian @ MediaSmartServer.net think 60 Hz is the display refresh rate that most users use, and 24 Hz is something only advanced users try to set).



Agree partially But, many guys who set up their first and only HTPC with Atom / ION combo (against my advice) later came back to me with complaints about how they couldn't take advantage of their new AV receiver fully / CPU being too limited where Ion couldn't accelerate something like Real Media etc. etc. and sometimes even with Flash acceleration problems. It is always advisable to have a decently powerful core processor to back up the GPU.

My advice, even for entry level HTPCs, is to go with a slightly costlier Clarkdale / Arrandale / AMD 5570 or later based build. This would ensure satisfaction in the long run. Still hold on to the belief that Atom / ION (or Zacate, for that matter) should never be primary HTPC for 99% of the people (though market sales figure prove me wrong, I am sure!)

I just don't need more power. I wasn't convinced about Atom because of basic problems with media. Going to two cores solved some of it, but adding Nvidia's ION chipset cleared most of the issues, but it still don't accelerate VC-1 (it failed in Hardware Zone's review).

For ALMS fans that are looking for answers since the series announced that Flag To Flag coverage would only be on ESPN3 (Flash), need a solution and more than just set-top boxes.

Suggesting a $400-$600 build it out of the question.

I already have a Athlon X2@2.9Ghz + HD4670, its loafing.

Based on my current setup and what I do with my HTPC, Zacate will be fine.

Which is Record TV, Live TV, Torrents, Flash Streaming (Sports, You Tube, ESPN3, Crackle, Hulu) that's basically it.

*PSX/SNES/NES Emulation

These are hardly CPU or GPU intensive activities. Driver's are not mature and I agree with your site's review that they will be key to the success of Zacate in a desktop/HTPC environment.

Even if I do get a HD capture card or device and switch to HD D*TV, that's still H.264, hardly a problem for Zacate.
post #258 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

my advice, even for entry level htpcs, is to go with a slightly costlier clarkdale / arrandale / amd 5570 or later based build. This would ensure satisfaction in the long run. Still hold on to the belief that atom / ion (or zacate, for that matter) should never be primary htpc for 99% of the people (though market sales figure prove me wrong, i am sure!)

+1.
post #259 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I have to agree with Ganesh as far as having a more powerful CPU just from my own experience.

I had a AMD 5050e 2.6GHz AM2+ in my HTPC and found the whole Windows/W7MC experience wasn't all that great. There's more to an HTPC than just video and sound. You have to be able to navigate quick, get things launched quick, have the guide come up quick, have the photo slideshow come up quick, etc. I tried an experiment taking a Phenom II X3 705e and dropping it in and it was night-and-day -- much better experience. Now that I have a SSD in there too -- wow.

That experience for me is why things don't get compelling for HTPC until Llano.

Hella compelling for nettops though.

More power is great, when you use it. I think an SSD would be more beneficial and I think I'm going to vLite my Windows 7 just so it boots a bit faster, learning from the CarPC community who should be eating up these boards.

Has anybody used this in an WMC environment yet? I think we're all just guessing based on some benchmarks.

I just feel my overpowered AMD setup is just that and this will as I said, allow me to eliminate my desktop and my desk. Otherwise, why not buy a pricey J&W 880 board, throw in my 3GB, CPU in that? The aim isn't just to reduce size, but reduce power consumption as well.

So what I have heard in this thread so far -
  • Don't use it as a HTPC, not enough CPU headroom is the main concern here.
  • Don't use it as a Server Motherboard, more affordable options exist
  • Wait for the Llano that's when the real fun will start

What are some of the strange concerns?
  • Won't do 1080p60, find me some over the counter 1080p60 content. I've heard ESPN HD linear is broadcasting in 1080p60. For DirecTV its transcoded into H.264 anyway.
  • I guess Silverlight could be a concern, likely solved with matured drivers. For me? I don't have a Netflix account at the moment and as far as I can tell nobody tested it either.
  • It has trouble with less commonly found formats.

Quote:


It's the more eccentric content that you'll run into CPU limitations with.

So what are we talking about here? Would I expect people that run high end setups to replace their rig with Zacate? That's insanity, its a freakin $100 or less embedded solution.

What were you expecting???? The second coming? Does it beat the crap out of Atom? Yes, for AMD Mission Accomplished (unlike Bush) and will only get better from here.
post #260 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

265mm wide, 110mm tall and no expansion slot, no 3.5" bay, only 1 x 2.5" bay?? What a waste of space ... IMO, of course.

The internal 150W PSU makes it a little bit wider than the smaller square cases and having the DVD and 2.5" bay underneath the mobo makes for much better airflow instead of stuffing those into the space right above. To me, that seems like a decent tradeoff to add 1" on height and 2" in width over something the size of the Habey -- having nothing hanging over the motherboard but on the side and underneath. That's a design I've been looking for. I think it would also fit a Sandybridge or Llano system unlike the smaller cases.

I do think it's weird though they just don't have a cutout for a low profile card when it seems there is room. None of the smaller cases do either though.
post #261 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

...
  • Don't use it as a HTPC, not enough CPU headroom is the main concern here.
  • Don't use it as a Server Motherboard, more affordable options exist
  • Wait for the Llano that's when the real fun will start
...

I think some of the comments might come from the perspective of "I already have an HTPC and there isn't enough here to make me replace it". You know how it is once you have these things setup and it took what it did to get any WAF in any of it. I think I'd feel different if I had some hunk of junk running in my media cabinet. I'd still be concerned about how it would perform in W7 and W7MC given my experience with even the 2.6Ghz dual-core I started out with.

However, if someone wanted a value HTPC, not high end, I'd totally build them one with an E-350 board. If I hadn't just built a Clarkdale system for my bedroom I'd wait for this and use it instead. I also plan to use this exclusively for nettop builds. This changes the game there for me. I don't agree with the assertions about not using it as a server mobo. I don't see a similar offering at the same price with the same features and power usage and none was offered.

This thing rocks and so does my Lian-Li case
post #262 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I think some of the comments might come from the perspective of "I already have an HTPC and there isn't enough here to make me replace it". You know how it is once you have these things setup and it took what it did to get any WAF in any of it. I think I'd feel different if I had some hunk of junk running in my media cabinet. I'd still be concerned about how it would perform in W7 and W7MC given my experience with even the 2.6Ghz dual-core I started out with.

However, if someone wanted a value HTPC, not high end, I'd totally build them one with an E-350 board. If I hadn't just built a Clarkdale system for my bedroom I'd wait for this and use it instead. I also plan to use this exclusively for nettop builds. This changes the game there for me. I don't agree with the assertions about not using it as a server mobo. I don't see a similar offering at the same price with the same features and power usage and none was offered.

This thing rocks and so does my Lian-Li case

What about this one?



Drive rack holds 3.5 AND 2.5 drives.

I like the PQ-7 as well and its $59 but without a PSU and all the PSU are expensive blowing budgets out of the water.
post #263 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

The internal 150W PSU

Hmm, 150W is even pointless if there is no expansion slot, only one 2.5"/3.5" bay... What are Lian Li engineers are thinking about?

OK, I see a 110W version, PC-Q09, and a 150W version PC-Q09F. Still perplexing: zero expandability with such a large case + 110W/150W PSU...
post #264 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Ok, I just read the Sandybridge forum and they are having issues too. Sounds like the only perfect playback comes from normal cpu(athlon 2, core i3, or core duo) and one of the newer discrete cards that fully support 1.4a(radeon 6xxx or nvidia 4xx). Does this sound about right to everyone?

Basically the only way to do it right now, without noise, is with a passively cooled nvidia gt430.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-175-_-Product

Am I wrong? Also it sound like zacate plays standard blue ray discs(23.xxxfps no 3d) better than SandyBridge.


Anandtech have testet the 430 as a HTPC card, but it was not a perfect HTPC card. They're currently recomending the AMD 5570 Chip.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3973/n...force-gt-430/4

But then you won't get 1.4a and 3D, so there isn't really a perfect HTPC card out yet. But once AMD release the weaker cards in their 6-series we'll be there. I'm hoping that Llano will offer the full spectrum aswell.
post #265 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by zicoz View Post

But then you won't get 1.4a and 3D, so there isn't really a perfect HTPC card out yet.

Yes, there is, since October last year. Saphire HD6850 does it all, without compromises. Although it is not passive it is silent at idle and can be made silent at HD video playback with simple fan management.
Surely it requires quiet powerful PSU but these are available. It really depends on what you call "perfect".
post #266 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

What about this one?



Drive rack holds 3.5 AND 2.5 drives.

I like the PQ-7 as well and its $59 but without a PSU and all the PSU are expensive blowing budgets out of the water.

I have the PC-Q07 for my desktop and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I've done a couple of PC-Q07 builds and I think I've had enough even though people like the looks . See all those tiny little screws on the side. Yes, you get to take every single one off and put it back on -- anytime you want to get inside the case. They also take a full-sized ATX PSU which for what I want to put in it is way overkill.

Someone needs to make a small 150W PSU that screws into a ATX PSU slot.

I haven't tried the PC-Q11. It does address some of the complaints I have with the PC-Q07 but it's price premium isn't justified yet. And it still has all those little screws.

Another mini-ITX case I've used for cheap builds is this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811190110



I had pretty low expectations but it turned out to be a pretty decent case, especially for $50. People who see it usually call it "cute". I like that it takes a 5.25" ODD and 3.5" HDD and comes with a 150W PSU. It also has an expansion slot. What I don't like is that it's very hard to line up the ODD and not have it stick on the drive door and the PSU fan is a bit noisy. I'd give it 4 out of 5.

I think this case looks very cool and I wonder how decent it is. Unfortunately, I have not found a USA reseller. Anyone want to go in on a carton of 100 ?

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/24...e_W197_75.html

post #267 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Hmm, 150W is even pointless if there is no expansion slot, only one 2.5"/3.5" bay... What are Lian Li engineers are thinking about?

OK, I see a 110W version, PC-Q09, and a 150W version PC-Q09F. Still perplexing: zero expandability with such a large case + 110W/150W PSU...

There is also an 80W DC-DC version with external AC-DC PSU.

I don't think the Lian-Li PC-Q09 is a "huge" as you think it is.

The Habey case is 9.0" x 8.0" x 3.0" (228mm x 203mm x 76mm)
The Lian-Li is 7.87" x 10.43" x 4.13" (200mm x 265mm x 124mm)

So the Lian-Li is -1.13" D, +2.43" W and +1.13" H. I don't think that's much bigger and it has the headroom in the case and power supply to run a Clarkdale / Sandybridge mini-ITX system and in the future Llano or better. It's definitely not "huge".

Probably overkill for E-350 though. I'd say it's size and price are more suited to a higher end mini-desktop or my personal nettop.
post #268 of 940
What about the Mini-Box M350? Does anyone think it would work for the fanless Asus board (even though it says the TDP has to be less than 10W for fanless operation)?
post #269 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

There is also an 80W DC-DC version with external AC-DC PSU.

I don't think the Lian-Li PC-Q09 is a "huge" as you think it is.

The Habey case is 9.0" x 8.0" x 3.0" (228mm x 203mm x 76mm)
The Lian-Li is 7.87" x 10.43" x 4.13" (200mm x 265mm x 124mm)

So the Lian-Li is -1.13" D, +2.43" W and +1.13" H. I don't think that's much bigger and it has the headroom in the case and power supply to run a Clarkdale / Sandybridge mini-ITX system and in the future Llano or better. It's definitely not "huge".

Probably overkill for E-350 though. I'd say it's size and price are more suited to a higher end mini-desktop or my personal nettop.

Let's compare them rigorously.

- Wesena HTPC-ITX2: 197mm x 75mm x 197 mm = 2910675 mm^3
- Habey EMC-800B: 200mm x 75mm x 225mm = 3375000 mm^3
- Lian Li PC-Q09: 265mm x 110mm x 200mm = 5830000 mm^3

Volume comparison:

PC-Q09/HTPC-ITX2 = 2
PC-Q09/EMC-800B = 5830000/3375000 = 1.73

So PC-Q09 is twice larger than HTPC-ITX2 and 73% larger than EMC-800B! Now you see how huge it is.

Lian Li PC-Q09 is almost the same size as

- Wesena HTPC-ITX7 (or OrigenAE M10): 250mm × 100mm x 240mm = 6000000 mm^3,

which has a full-height expansion slot and supports 1 x 2.5" + 1 x 3.5" + slim ODD.

Maybe Lian Li engineers kept in mind an encoding (or similar CPU intensive tasks) machine with Core i7-2600K?? But even then supporting only 1 x 2.5" is a poor design (IMO).
post #270 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Let's compare them rigorously.

- Wesena HTPC-ITX2: 197mm x 75mm x 197 mm = 2910675 mm^3
- Habey EMC-800B: 200mm x 75mm x 225mm = 3375000 mm^3
- Lian Li PC-Q09: 265mm x 110mm x 200mm = 5830000 mm^3

Yes, let's make it rigorous.

I think for a desktop, a more valid comparison than volume is the footprint (D x W) -- the amount of space taken up on the desk. The height really isn't a factor -- none of these is particularly tall.

Wesena HTPC-ITX2 = 197mm×197mm = 38809 mm^2
Lian-Li PC-Q09 = 265mm x 200mm = 53000 mm^2
Habey EMC-800B = 200mm x 225mm = 45000 mm^2

In the real world that's pretty similar. Sure, you can convert that into ratios and say the footprint is 16% larger but given the dimensions are so small to begin with, 16% isn't very much -- 1" less depth, 2.5" more width.

And then there is price. The Wesena doesn't come with a PSU so you need to buy one. The Habey's AC/DC adapter is underpowered so you need to update that as well.

Wesena HTPC-ITX2 + 120W PSU (extra) = $149
Lian-Li PC-Q09 + 150W PSU (incl.) = $99
Habey EMC-800B + 102W AC/DC adapter (unless 60W is enough) = ~$107

And, since we're putting the Lian-Li in the league of the HTPC-ITX7 then it's $99 vs. $169 for price once you get the PSU for the ITX7. I wouldn't put the Lian-Li in the same league as the Origenae cases -- no LCD and no IR.

BTW, I like all 3 of those cases and I agree that it's a waste the Lian-Li doesn't have room for an expansion slot. In my mini-builds that slot is always used for a wireless card. With these smaller cases it'll have to be a USB wireless dongle (yuck) or something like the ASUS with built-in wireless (hoping it's not yuck). I am not convinced that a nettop/mini-desktop needs more than one HDD/SDD so the lack of additional bays doesn't figure into my thinking.

If I list out the compromises -- oh and I have trust me -- it's still my current favorite unless I am going el cheap and then it's the Athenatech case I listed above.
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