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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,


I am new to forum and looking to build a ITX based HTPC.

I am planning to use Win7 MC (MSDN).

HTPC will be used only for movies, photos , music and some time online content.

I don't have Blue Ray/ 1080P content yet but i would like to watch MKV files
if i get any.


I need pro and cons of following build:


1. Zotac ION based

case: CoolerMaster Elite 100 Amzon.com $70



Zotac IONITX-D-E Atom N330 Dual Core WiFi ITX Intel Motherboard Amazon 170$

Corsair XMS2 4 GB Amazon $50


HITACHI Travelstar 500GB newEgg 80$

Anywhere Remote Control new egg 25$


Total: $395 (Excluding OS)



2. Zotac 9300 Based

case: CoolerMaster Elite 100 Amzon.com $70


Zotac GeForce 9300 HDMI Wi-Fi Amazon $140

Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5200 Processor Amazon 65$

Corsair XMS2 4 GB Amazon 50$

HITACHI Travelstar 500GB newEgg 80$

Anywhere Remote Control new egg 25$


Total: 430$ (Excluding OS)

Question:

1. Which is better build in terms of ?
  • Performace (Watching 1080P content, HULU etc)
  • Power Utilization
  • Heating (as my media center is closed with glass doors)


2. Which build is future proof?


3. If given a choice, should I buy ACRyan PlayON HD (with 1TB HDD it will cost ard 280$) or build a HTPC with one of above build.


4. Which extra software will I need for HTPC to work as required?
 

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If you're not married to that case I might suggest one of many others, the ventilation on that case is pretty poor, as with many mini-itx cases, but especially for one of it's size. I just have one question to ask, what kind of audio do you need? I've been STRUGGLING with getting 8 channel audio over HDMI in a mini-itx system for quite some time now, and have finally figured it out, so if you need it, neither of those systems will cut it.


Besides that, I would probably go for the ion system just to keep the noise to a minimum. You may want to consider a SSD for the boot drive and moving your storage out of the system, again, to minimize noise. If 8 channel audio weren't a priority to me, I would likely be going with a system that I worked out, for about $500 that would run at ~22dBa at full load. Because of the 8 channel audio I've had to make the system bigger, and will likely load at ~30dBa
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rshrimal /forum/post/17043053

Question:

1. Which is better build in terms of ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rshrimal /forum/post/17043053
  • Performace (Watching 1080P content, HULU etc)

The second one, of course (Zotac GF9300-D-E + Pentium DC E5200). Aside from the E5200 being a darn good processor for its price, the Atom is just too underpowered for a lot of tasks including (fullscreen) Hulu.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rshrimal /forum/post/17043053
  • Power Utilization

This one's a win for the ION.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rshrimal /forum/post/17043053
  • Heating (as my media center is closed with glass doors)

Another win for the ION.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rshrimal /forum/post/17043053


2. Which build is future proof?

Since the Atom is pretty much obsolete even today, this one goes to the GF9300 build.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rshrimal /forum/post/17043053


3. If given a choice, should I buy ACRyan PlayON HD (with 1TB HDD it will cost ard 280$) or build a HTPC with one of above build.

Assuming this one's similar to the Popcorn Hour, well that's personal preference. I have a Popcorn Hour and I replaced it with an HTPC.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rshrimal /forum/post/17043053


4. Which extra software will I need for HTPC to work as required?

Depends on what you need. The built-in Windows Media Center in Windows 7 works pretty well (have it on a test ION build, but haven't deployed it in primary HTPC yet). Not sure how you want to handle Blu-ray playback. I rip my movies to a file server so AnyDVD HD is a must for me. I also just rip the main movie devoid of menus and extras so I didn't really need Blu-ray playback software. Just the filters from MPC HomeCinema.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the answers....


Currently I don't need 8 channel over HDMI as I will connect this to TV directly. As I am living in small place so don't have space/budget for 7.1 channel. When I will move to a proper place I will build a better HTPC+AVR combination and move this build for bedroom so 7.1 Channel is not a priority.


I will plat Blue Ray as MKV file or Rip it (dont know much). So Please suggest any other software/HW combination that I need.


Can you prefer any other case instead of the one i choose as I may someday buy a slim blue ray if it become cheap so I need a slot for that also.
 

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go for the dual core, if the mkv is not encoded right with dxva, your cpu will do all the work and a atom is not going to handle 1080p
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rshrimal /forum/post/17043053


3. If given a choice, should I buy ACRyan PlayON HD (with 1TB HDD it will cost ard 280$) or build a HTPC with one of above build.

As a casual device with a small media library, the AC Ryan (or Mvix Ultio, or Xtreamer) is fine. If you have a lot of content, or if you want to be able to do other things (transcoding, audio/video jukebox, web browsing, netflix/hulu), then a standalone streamer is not sufficient.


As for case suggestions, you might want to read this thread . There are lots of comments from people who have used this board in various cases.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtosDracon /forum/post/17043175


If you're not married to that case I might suggest one of many others, the ventilation on that case is pretty poor, as with many mini-itx cases, but especially for one of it's size. I just have one question to ask, what kind of audio do you need? I've been STRUGGLING with getting 8 channel audio over HDMI in a mini-itx system for quite some time now, and have finally figured it out, so if you need it, neither of those systems will cut it.


Besides that, I would probably go for the ion system just to keep the noise to a minimum. You may want to consider a SSD for the boot drive and moving your storage out of the system, again, to minimize noise. If 8 channel audio weren't a priority to me, I would likely be going with a system that I worked out, for about $500 that would run at ~22dBa at full load. Because of the 8 channel audio I've had to make the system bigger, and will likely load at ~30dBa

8 channel audio? wasnt 7.1 the maximum?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rshrimal /forum/post/17044517


Thanks for the answers....


Currently I don't need 8 channel over HDMI as I will connect this to TV directly. As I am living in small place so don't have space/budget for 7.1 channel. When I will move to a proper place I will build a better HTPC+AVR combination and move this build for bedroom so 7.1 Channel is not a priority.


I will plat Blue Ray as MKV file or Rip it (dont know much). So Please suggest any other software/HW combination that I need.


Can you prefer any other case instead of the one i choose as I may someday buy a slim blue ray if it become cheap so I need a slot for that also.

Withe either system I would go with the Antec ISK300-65, will hold a mini-ITX board, includes a 65w power supply which should be enough for either system, it's getting close with the 9300+5200, but should work just fine, a pair of 2.5" HDDs and a single slim optical drive. The thing is absolutely minute, in large part because most of the power supply is in an external brick instead of inside the case, but it still houses a single 80mm fan from the factory with room for a second 80mm fan. IMHO, it is THE mini-itx case to get.


The only thing the ION can't do is flash video or encoding/transcoding because of it's ultra-low power design, but the 9300/5200 combo will not have that problem, it will however use twice as much power and put out twice as much heat as the Ion system.
 
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