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Mini ITX Problem

555 Views 13 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  elario

Hi everyone,


First time poster and new member, but been a lurker for a long time. Been big into home theater for a long time and I am currently in finishing stages of my new home theater. I have also been working on building a wired home network. I have currently a drobo FS with all my media on it and have cat 6 cables running to multiple rooms in the house. I want to eventually build my own htpc but still learning. My main question right now is I picked up a mini itx off of ebay that I thought I could use in my theater and eventually move to my bedroom or game room once I build a htpc. But when I stream off my drobo I either have video lag, audio lag or almost as if the video is stuttering. I know my files are good because when I stream off my pc in my office it is perfect. I have been researching but have got numerous answers and just not sure. I have read because it has on board hdmi and no video card, in proper codecs, mother board is to cheep.... so basically wondering if I there anything I could do to use it and have no lag. or just instal somewhere in my network for music and web browsing.


It is a foxconn motherboard D270S

4gb total of ram

2.5 satta drive 650 gb

also using XBMC


1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Your motherboard has an Intel Atom D2700, which is not enough for the higher end of video playback. The Intel GPU you have is no good for hardware acceleration (more modern Intel GPUs fare much better).

Thankfully you have a PCI-E slot so you should get a low-power Nvidia card and you will be able to use that for hardware acceleration of most video codecs. Like a Geforce 210, you can get them for about $25-30.

The other thing I would suggest is to consider using OpenElec, which is XBMC in a very light Linux OS.

Ok I will try that. When buying or building a mini itx. what kind of motherboard should I be looking for so that I can use the onboard hdmi and have no problems. Also does codecs actually make a different with video lagging?


Ideally you buy something that has plenty of CPU power (for software decoding) or a GPU that supports hardware decoding - and not just on paper but something that is known to be stable in the real world with no issues or artifacting on your choice of OS.

In the example of your Atom D2700, a better choice would have been the ZOTAC D2700-ITX because it paired the Atom with a Nvidia 520 GPU. However these are relatively old motherboards so unless you are getting them extremely cheap you would be better to forget about these old Atom boards and look at something more modern.

Nowadays, most current GPUs do hardware acceleration pretty well, although Nvidia cards still have the top spot in terms of stability, lack of artifacts and working well on both Windows and Linux.

Thanks for the info, much appreciated. I think I'm starting to understand a bit better now. Think I am going to try and pick up one of those video cards and see how it does and also going to try and build a mini itx for my first build.



Originally Posted by ctm 8134  /t/1519504/mini-itx-problem#post_24401046

Thanks for the info, much appreciated. I think I'm starting to understand a bit better now. Think I am going to try and pick up one of those video cards and see how it does and also going to try and build a mini itx for my first build.

Feel free to post back before you buy a card if you want to make sure it is a good one. With such a low power system I would probably try to pick up a cheap passive 8400 GS or Geforce 210. I bet you could find someone selling one for 15 or 20 bucks.

Found this video card on ebay for just under $30 with shipping and comes with half height  bracket for low profile case


MSI NVIDIA GeForce 210 (N210-512D2) 512 MB DDR2
That card does not have a HDMI output.

I would need to know more about your setup, case etc and requirements but I assume you need HDMI so that card is a no-go.

Here you can see some of the low-end Nvidia cards, it will give you an idea of what to search for on ebay and what you should pay:

I wonder if they named the add wrong or maybe I sent you the wrong info here is the link. The picture and description sows HDMI output. Also might be limited for any video card my case is very small might be something I will have to change later on. it is the E mini E-Q8


Here is The link for the video card.


Unfortunately the e-mini EQ8 doesn't have an expansion slot.
What do you think about Zotac GT520 video card ? Guy in my area will sell to me for $25. I know my case does not have a expantion slot but that will be my next thing.
Yes it will do the job fine. More powerful than I would use for a HTPC personally but if you are happy with the price, go for it. Make sure it is the PCIE version of course.

Rather than buying a GPU and then a new case, it may be cheaper to just sell your Atom motherboard and get something that doesnt need a discrete GPU ?

Thanks for all your help. Learned a lot just in this last little bit and answered some questions I have had for awhile now. Two more questions for ya if you don't mind. First would be what do you think of this setup for a mini itx, Fanless dual core D525 Atom processor  with Asus AT5ION motherboard. 4GB Ram with with SSD drive.


Next question is now that I got my answer do I delete the thread I created or leave it for others in case someone as same kind of problem.


Thanks again
It's dated but if you're buying used and getting a good price it should be fine. With OpenElec the Atom/Ion combo is one of the most stable and trouble-free there is. Video acceleration of H.264, VC1 and MPEG2 is excellent thanks to the maturity of the platform.

One of my HTPCs is similar in spec. The stability and lack of issues running OE has been worth it's weight in gold compared to other platforms.

The old Atom processors are very weak, they run fine with OpenElec or XBMCbuntu but if you choose to use Windows you may find the overall experience to be slow. I wouldn't run Windows with such a slow setup personally.

They are advertised as fanless but in my opinion they need a small amount of airflow, either on the heatsink or in the case.Just a small amount to take the edge off temps during a prolonged session.
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