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HTPC with the latest AMD APU Trinity A10 by ARCTIC

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Just ordered this new HTPC by ARCTIC today called the MC101.. love the design, the only PC with AMD trinity technology so far, gona love it smile.gif ............just wana share! biggrin.gif:D:D;)

http://www.arctic.ac/en/p/living/entertainment-center/571/mc101-a10.html?c=2296

cheers!
post #2 of 38
I have a question. Under the heading "Watch Programs Anytime" in the description, it says "The pre-installed TV tuner (DVB-T (HD) / ATSC) allows you to watch and record all Internet and terrestrial TV programs anytime."

How does it enable you to "record all internet . . . TV programs anytime." ?

The thing looks pretty nice - certainly one of the nicest off-the-shelf htpcs I've seen - although it's not cheap. Can you get it with a SSD either in addition to or in lieu of the hard disk?

Let us know how it works.
post #3 of 38
Cool, didn't know they were out yet.

Wow, that thing is fricken awesome. These types of mini systems and light laptops is where AMD's apu's can really excel.

PS the price seems lower then the equivalent system from asrock with better case materials. I never get why these mini systems cost more than laptops because that's basically what they are minus the built in monitor.
Edited by jeffkro - 6/18/12 at 9:28am
post #4 of 38
Wow, with the trinity defo. awesome! I would have brought it too if I havent brought mine last month. mad.gif

@zon2020 : I guess it is meant to understand that the DVB TV comes on top of the already available internet one, but I agree that it is not so clear.

@jeffkro : I also thought so, the laptops should be far more expensive, but actually, with same spec, that is not too bad. I have a 3D Vision from Asrock, the one you referred to and I love it, but I seriously consider to upgrade, maybe on these Trinity ones as Vision's one is limited for games.
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenJman View Post

Wow, with the trinity defo. awesome! I would have brought it too if I havent brought mine last month. mad.gif
@zon2020 : I guess it is meant to understand that the DVB TV comes on top of the already available internet one, but I agree that it is not so clear.
@jeffkro : I also thought so, the laptops should be far more expensive, but actually, with same spec, that is not too bad. I have a 3D Vision from Asrock, the one you referred to and I love it, but I seriously consider to upgrade, maybe on these Trinity ones as Vision's one is limited for games.

I'm not really knocking the asrock systems, the one with SB and nvidia graphics has pretty impressive specs.
post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 
I got my MC101 today, it's sawesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!!
post #7 of 38
Holy crap, love the design.

Too bad I already have my Llano self-built HTPC but man, this sleek thing looks so much better than my generic crapola case...

Maybe buy barebones, put in my current HDD and sell the Llano guts on ebay...
post #8 of 38
I also bought one of the first units, and loved it. But now it's turning off at random times. CPU seems to stay cool, so I'm guessing one of the other parts (maybe in the power area) is overheating. ;-)

Arctic support so far is like getting teeth pulled. I got a few email, now nothing. Sure hope they can get me fixed back up, as the unit ran GREAT for a while!
post #9 of 38
Congrats @Noahsmith! Let us know what front end, filters, etc you're using.

@matt_helm, sorry to hear about your troubles man...
post #10 of 38
They just got back with me. Have to ship it back to Hong Kong. Sure hope the new one fixes everything. I did love the thing when it was working.

Now if someone would come out with the lower end versions of this chip series. I think I have a Love/Hate relationship with AMD. smile.gifmad.gif
post #11 of 38
You're not really dealing with AMD are you, should be the company that put the system together.
post #12 of 38
I'm dealing with Arctic,

I just meant the A4 and A6 versions of this part. I like the unit I bought, but the A10/A8 are overkill for what I will be using it for.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_helm View Post

I'm dealing with Arctic,
I just meant the A4 and A6 versions of this part. I like the unit I bought, but the A10/A8 are overkill for what I will be using it for.

Yup, pretty much all the current generation cpu's are overkill for HTPC except for some extreme users. Mostly just need continued improvements in the integrated gpu, even they are powerful enough just need better feature support.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Yup, pretty much all the current generation cpu's are overkill for HTPC except for some extreme users. Mostly just need continued improvements in the integrated gpu, even they are powerful enough just need better feature support.

The A4 is not overkill. Its underpowered imo.
post #15 of 38
I ran an athlon II X 2 and was able to run every piece of media I threw at it, same CPU. My weak sauce zacate system does everything except HD Netflix and its way below an A4.
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahsmith View Post

Just ordered this new HTPC by ARCTIC today called the MC101.. love the design, the only PC with AMD trinity technology so far, gona love it smile.gif ............just wana share! biggrin.gif:D:D;)
http://www.arctic.ac/en/p/living/entertainment-center/571/mc101-a10.html?c=2296
cheers!

Did your order get shipped? There were a few delays, even big red markers on their product pages over the case icon saying 'Mid September' then later changed to 'Early October'. now those little delay decals are gone suggesting there are no more delays. So I go to add one to the cart and when I show shopping cart it says it's 'Unavailable'.

Just trying to understand when these are shipping.
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel View Post

Did your order get shipped? There were a few delays, even big red markers on their product pages over the case icon saying 'Mid September' then later changed to 'Early October'. now those little delay decals are gone suggesting there are no more delays. So I go to add one to the cart and when I show shopping cart it says it's 'Unavailable'.
Just trying to understand when these are shipping.

I received mine a LONG time ago (pre-ordered before it ever shipped). I've had a few issues, but I think I might have figured the whole thing out. They use an electronic "power switch", and I think it's been sending an off signal at random. Not 100% sure that's it, as it's run for weeks without shutting down, then won't stay on for a day. Very weird.

Like I said earlier, as a playback device, it's about 5 times the speed you need. Boots in about 10 seconds (with an SSD), SageTV is running a few seconds later (never timed it). It has handled every video I threw at it, including very high bit rate VC-1 and mpg4.

I even ran City of Heroes on it at 1920x1080. Had to turn a few settings down, but it could handle it. (I can't even run that at full blast on my i7 + 680!!!)

Even ran a HDTV show while connected by VNC by accident one day. Worked, but that did cause a FEW weird graphics effects during the playback. lol
post #18 of 38
did the auto reboots/power offs get fixed with an exchange?

That describes exactly the kind of issue that gives me so much hesitation on these seemingly too-good-to-be- true prebuilt machines from small foreign companies. What do you do when there's a bad part. When I build it, I can replace anything because I put it all together using retail parts. When an OEM build breaks...you may or may not be able to just fix it yourself and if the company is across the globe... forget it.

having said all that, I really want this thing cause there's just nothing else available using the mobile A10 chips. One can't build a mobile A10 HTPC.
post #19 of 38
Well I've had an interesting time with my unit thus far.

It started with the device not powering on no matter what I did. I looked closely and found the power ribbon attached to the power button was resting neatly between the motherboard and the chassis.... completely unplugged. I could see where it was meant to be plugged into the motherboard, and it is impossible to plug it in without unscrewing the heatsink from the underside of the motherboard giving you enough room to lift the board away from the chassis to plug the cable in.

Now that I've done that, and firmly fastened the screws back to ensure good heat transfer from the APU to the heat sink.... I'm up and running. Temperatures are well within the ranges described in the reviews so my little operation didn't compromise heat dissipation at all (thank god). I emailed Arctic about this issue and still haven't heard back from them which is a huge negative for anyone wondering what kind of support you'll get.

Anyways, now that the thing is up and running, it's working mostly perfect. I say mostly because the performance is exactly what I expected and more than what I need for an HTPC.

The only issue I'm dealing with now is the fact that I can't really suspend or put the computer to sleep. Whether I issue a command to go to sleep mode, or if I press the power button on the chassis, or power button on remote control.... what happens is it goes into sleep and then within a second of getting to sleep mode... it comes right back out of sleep as though I pressed power again. It's very strange. I can do a shutdown and it stays off in that case, but sleeping seems to be crippled for some reason.

If I can figure out and resolve this one remaining issue, I'd say this thing is a gem for HTPC enthusiasts.
Edited by azazel - 11/9/12 at 11:32am
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel View Post

...
I say mostly because the performance is exactly what I expected and more than what I need for an HTPC.

The only issue I'm dealing with now is the fact that I can't really suspend or put the computer to sleep. Whether I issue a command to go to sleep mode, or if I press the power button on the chassis, or power button on remote control.... what happens is it goes into sleep and then within a second of getting to sleep mode... it comes right back out of sleep as though I pressed power again.

I agree on the performance. But, I'm currently using an E2-1800 (Zotac box), and that's just a hair too weak. ;-)

I normally don't use sleep on anything, but the one time I hit the wrong button on the remote, it worked fine. Are you sure you have windows set up right? (just asking, as they added a bunch of options)


BTW, Mines back in the shop again. Started crashing again. If you get one, and have to send it back (from the US), use USPS, only about $50, much cheaper than UPS or FedEx.


(Will post again when it comes back)
post #21 of 38
Update on my unit. Arctic replaced the MB and so far it's working perfect. No crashes!!!! (been on almost 24/7 since mid December (?))
post #22 of 38
Any updates guys? Still running well? Sick of my high power bills and big boxes but saw a couple of posts about questionable reliability and sleep two very important things for me? Have you discovered any other quirks? Also any idea about the built-in ir, is it the same as the Microsoft one a ehome receiver? I believe only these will accept certain windows commands etc

Also can you confirm it will bitstream dts-hd and truehd? Any of you guys using wmc and mediabrowser? Any menu lag with large libraries? Have you tried recording a couple of tv shows and playing back an uncompressed full bitrate mkv at the same time? All my movies are uncompressed bluray rips so I need it to playback faultless via wmc otherwise it is a paper weight to me.

Cheers
post #23 of 38
Mine is not so reliable. If I had to do it over, I'd probably not do it. I'd say about 2 times per week It's crashed and still running super super HOT by the time I get home. I have to reboot it and I tend to let it cool down for 20 min before turning it on again just to be safe.

As for the sleep mode... it doesn't work for me. Sleeping lasts about 3 seconds, and it just turns itself back on.

I should also note that they never did acknowledge my email about the power cable not being connected to the motherboard (how it arrived in the box) preventing me from turning the unit on without disassembling the thing. Although I worked it out on my own... it seems like they were just hoping I'd somehow forget about it altogether and live with a DOA device.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel View Post

Mine is not so reliable. If I had to do it over, I'd probably not do it. I'd say about 2 times per week It's crashed and still running super super HOT by the time I get home. I have to reboot it and I tend to let it cool down for 20 min before turning it on again just to be safe.

As for the sleep mode... it doesn't work for me. Sleeping lasts about 3 seconds, and it just turns itself back on.

I should also note that they never did acknowledge my email about the power cable not being connected to the motherboard (how it arrived in the box) preventing me from turning the unit on without disassembling the thing. Although I worked it out on my own... it seems like they were just hoping I'd somehow forget about it altogether and live with a DOA device.

Thanks for the update. Are you running WMC, XBMC or something else? Have you checked the eventlogs or dump files to see why it is crashing? This makes me a little nervous but there is really nothing else out there that has the style, power, energy efficiency and small foot print. Did you purchase the barebones unit or the one with a HDD?
post #25 of 38
Barebones A10, added my own SSD.

I'm running both WMC and XBMC... have not looked at any memory crash dumps. Eventlogs only show that the system was not shutdown cleanly.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel View Post

Barebones A10, added my own SSD.

I'm running both WMC and XBMC... have not looked at any memory crash dumps. Eventlogs only show that the system was not shutdown cleanly.

You should try reading the dump files. Have you tried putting one dimm in at a time? Imaging across to another HDD even if it is a mechanical drive, any bios updates, driver updates etc If all that fails I would be sending it back crashing a couple of times a week would be unacceptable to me.
post #27 of 38
Hello.

Power on with ir remote controler works when the PC is turned off completely or only when the PC is suspended?

Has anyone tried if it works a IMON (SOUNDGRAPH) remote control with the Artic?

Thanks in advance.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonDMC View Post

Any updates guys? Still running well? Sick of my high power bills and big boxes but saw a couple of posts about questionable reliability and sleep two very important things for me? Have you discovered any other quirks? Also any idea about the built-in ir, is it the same as the Microsoft one a ehome receiver? I believe only these will accept certain windows commands etc

Also can you confirm it will bitstream dts-hd and truehd? Any of you guys using wmc and mediabrowser? Any menu lag with large libraries? Have you tried recording a couple of tv shows and playing back an uncompressed full bitrate mkv at the same time? All my movies are uncompressed bluray rips so I need it to playback faultless via wmc otherwise it is a paper weight to me.

Cheers

Mine's been rock solid since the last return. I'm 99% sure it can bitstream those, but I have a new receiver, and I'm not sure where to look for that. (old one show the audio mode for any change, and I'm not enough into the audio to look) (also, that is program AND hardware dependent)

I'm using SageTV client, no lag anywhere. (but never had lag with any client on SageTV, except with a SUPER low end ZBOX)

No reason to record and playback on SageTV, and would think hard on Seppuku if I had to have a recorder and playback in one device. (just kidding on the Seppuku, but YUCK! That's almost as bad as watching "Live TV")
post #29 of 38
Hi Matt_helm, azazel.

I just bough my MC101. I have exactly the same problem as you do. Woks ok for hours and the suddenly powers off.
I thought it was a temperature issue, but it might not. Looks like CPUID Hardware Monitor reports incorrect temperature (still being worked by CPUID HM staff, hope they give me a solution).
So, looks like a motherboard issue or the power switch problem you reported.
Can you give me more information on the solution they gave you? Who did you contact to in Arctic?
Thanks.
post #30 of 38
They just told me there was an issue with the Motherboard. I ask, as I work on computers all the time, and wanted to know. It's not failed since I've got it back, running 24/7, except for W7 patches, or some reason I want it off.

It was in sleep mode (power light off) the other day, but then I remember I dropped the remote the night before, after I turned the TV off. I think it hit the power button when it fell, and went into sleep mode, as I never leave it that way.

Please note that I ordered mine before they shipped, so I know mine was from the very first batch.

I don't remember which temp monitor I was using, but I know one of the temp sensors reported the correct temp, and mine was fine before the crash. I think it was Core Temp.

I had lots of weird error/shutdown messages in the event log, like it was trying to run something, and could not find it.
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