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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While looking for a good nettop to use as a HTPC ive stumbled upon this forum and have come across several popular CPU+GPU combinations that are in my price range, but i am stuck between these four:


1. Intel Atom D525 (1.8 GHz Dual Core) paired with NVIDIA ION2 (w/512MB DDR3)


2. AMD E-350 APU (1.6 GHz Dual Core) paired with AMD Radeon HD 6310


3. Intel Celeron SU2300 (1.2 Ghz Dual Core) paired with NVIDIA ION1


4. AMD Athlon Neo X2 L2325 (1.5 Ghz Dual Core) paired with ATI Radeon HD 3200


I believe that the last two options can be eliminated considering their GPU's are nowhere near as powerful as the first two options; but i may be wrong.


I don't know what OS i will be using yet but it would be nice if the hardware would work well with a Linux variant like MythTv or Ubuntu with XBMC.


Any help provided would be greatly apreciated!


Also, if willing to help some more then here are the specific Nettops im choosing from.

Spread Sheet


Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ogormask /forum/post/20901706


there a reason you want such a tiny cpu? if you want more power go with an i5 or so.

Any of the bigger CPU's are considerably more expensive and in my opinion unnecessary since i wont be recording and time shifting tv.

All ill be doing is outputing 1080p videos to my hdtv.
 

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Buy a cheap amd athlon or pentium g and an nvidia card.

IMO it will cost a little bit more money but it will be more flexible to choose OS or filters for advanced settings.



amd fusion will be fine using win7 and dxva/EVR
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony_Montana /forum/post/20901812


Buy a cheap amd athlon or pentium g and an nvidia card.

IMO it will cost a little bit more money but it will be more flexible to choose OS or filters for advanced settings.



amd fusion will be fine using win7 and dxva/EVR

Do you have any prebuilt systems in mind? Ive never built a PC before and wont have the time to do so for awhile.
 

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When you think about it is just doesn't make sense. Fry's has a Lenovo mini-tower with a G620, 4 gig ram, a 1 TB, and optical drive with Win7 Home Premium for $349.



Not a bad good looking units with slots enough for a couple Ceton.


I chose not to buy one because Microcenter had a similar configuration in their house brand but included an i3 and Win 7 Pro, plus a wireless card. The chassis has bays galore and 3 PCIe 1 X 1 PCIe 16x and a PCI slot. It will be a dedicated Ceton/media server. The drive is a WD blue so it is a 37 watt idle box but the Win 7 pro reinstall media comes with it, and it supports different size drives and partions. I will probably put an Antec 380 Green PSU in it, like a I usually do which will bring the idle watts down by 5 or so..


So why pay so much money for these tiny underpowerd clients?


I picked up an Nvidia GTS450 at Microcenter for $89 after rebate. That plugged into the Lenovo would $440 for on heck of a competent Home Theater source if you don't mind a minitower form factor.


This Microcenter minitower unit I just bought is going to sit behind my big dlp and run headless. It's only purpose will be to host the Ceton on 24x7, and if I see a deal in a few months on a second Ceton I will pick it. I especially like Win 7 Pro as the OS for a headless unit so I can remote in for maintenance. Now that I have WHS doing client backups I should be able to assure almost 100 percent uptime with the Digital Cable Tuner(s).


This way I can pull the Ceton from its current loction in my main HTPC which I like to put to sleep without disrupting Cable TV for the rest of the house.



My WHS is a G620 with an Antec Green PSU and it uses 32 watts at idel with 5 TB in it. So these tiny devices are not that much more efficient and the CPU are just so weak, you have to question their viability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwalte /forum/post/20901970


I wouldn't pick any of those and go with an i3 2100 instead. For 1080p it helps to have the extra power.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtgray /forum/post/20901987


When you think about it is just doesn't make sense. Fry's has a Lenovo mini-tower with a G620, 4 gig ram, a 1 TB, and optical drive with Win7 Home Premium for $349.



Not a bad good looking units with slots enough for a couple Ceton.


I chose not to buy one because Microcenter had a similar configuration in their house brand but included an i3 and Win 7 Pro, plus a wireless card. The chassis has bays galore and 3 PCIe 1 X 1 PCIe 16x and a PCI slot. It will be a dedicated Ceton/media server. The drive is a WD blue so it is a 37 watt idle box but the Win 7 pro reinstall media comes with it, and it supports different size drives and partions. I will probably put an Antec 380 Green PSU in it, like a I usually do which will bring the idle watts down by 5 or so..


So why pay so much money for these tiny underpowerd clients?


I picked up an Nvidia GTS450 at Microcenter for $89 after rebate. That plugged into the Lenovo would $440 for on heck of a competent Home Theater source if you don't mind a minitower form factor.


This Microcenter minitower unit I just bought is going to sit behind my big dlp and run headless. It's only purpose will be to host the Ceton on 24x7, and if I see a deal in a few months on a second Ceton I will pick it. I especially like Win 7 Pro as the OS for a headless unit so I can remote in for maintenance. Now that I have WHS doing client backups I should be able to assure almost 100 percent uptime with the Digital Cable Tuner(s).


This way I can pull the Ceton from its current loction in my main HTPC which I like to put to sleep without disrupting Cable TV for the rest of the house.



My WHS is a G620 with an Antec Green PSU and it uses 32 watts at idel with 5 TB in it. So these tiny devices are not that much more efficient and the CPU are just so weak, you have to question their viability.

The thing is, i am on a very limited budget and i just need a computer that will get the job done. I am not going to be using a tuner card with it so it doesn't need the procesing power to handle recording and time shifting TV. With that said i am pretty sure (PLEASE correct me if im wrong) that the CPU's and GPU's ive mentioned should be handle 1080p playback.
 

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Should be, yes, always will, no. 1080p can be finicky and those that you have listed can sometimes have issues, whereas the i3 does not. It isn't the recording that needs the power, but the 1080p content you want to watch.
 

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I have found that using the "I don't need the PC to do xxxx...." justification comes back to bite you at some point in the future. For example, I built myself a Zacate rig a few months back with the goal of just being a WMC7 playback client in the livingroom. That went over horribly! The WMC7 menus were terribly slow, and the entire system just ran sluggish. Could it handle BluRay playback, and HDTV? Yup! The video was smooth as silk and looked great, however, the overall experience was negative. I built myself a Phenom II X4 955 rig with a HD6570 to replace it and I cannot be happier. I've been involved in HTPCs since 2004, so you'd think I would know better by now, but the cheap price tag of the Zacate was just too good to bypass. Again, cutting corners did not create a decent solution. The Zacate is now serving as a bedroom client where it gets minimal usage, but is perfectly suited for that task. It's small and quiet.

Can those setups handle what you're looking for? Yes. Will you be happy with it in the long run? Probably not. Save up for a little while and snag either a Core i3, or a Phenom II w/ a discreet video card and you'll be much happier and have more options open to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwalte /forum/post/20902178


Should be, yes, always will, no. 1080p can be finicky and those that you have listed can sometimes have issues, whereas the i3 does not. It isn't the recording that needs the power, but the 1080p content you want to watch.

Can you recommend any i3 computers then? Or suggestions on building my own? I really dont care if it is a full sized desktop or a mini pc.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by karoom21 /forum/post/20901466


1. Intel Atom D525 (1.8 GHz Dual Core) paired with NVIDIA ION2 (w/512MB DDR3)


2. AMD E-350 APU (1.6 GHz Dual Core) paired with AMD Radeon HD 6310


3. Intel Celeron SU2300 (1.2 Ghz Dual Core) paired with NVIDIA ION1


4. AMD Athlon Neo X2 L2325 (1.5 Ghz Dual Core) paired with ATI Radeon HD 3200

Among those options, #3 is the best followed by #2. For Linux, you're pretty much required to go with NVIDIA graphics so either #1 or #3. However, I recommend just going for an SFF desktop featuring Llano or Sandy Bridge.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by karoom21 /forum/post/20901850


Do you have any prebuilt systems in mind? Ive never built a PC before and wont have the time to do so for awhile.

I have an already configured Intel Atom N330 dual core on ION board that I took out of service when we expanded to multiple TV's.


I am in the process of looking for a buyer...


It has hardware 1080p and bluray support.
 

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Today, Newegg had a DIY kit. Minitower with PSU, intle H61 board, i3 2100, 500 GB HDD and 4 gb of ram for $259. Another of their Shellshocker deals. Sold out now. All you needed was an OS... I was a big proponent of the Atom Ions when I built one 18 months ago. I paid $140 for the Asus board and memory was high back then so probably $50 fot 2 GB of ram. Now you can buy a Sandy Bridge i3,the motherboard and 4 gigs of ram for the same mone. Atom Ion systems are still pretty much the same as before.
 
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