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HTPC Barebones Nettop with HDMI and Ion?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by soopahfly, 25 Jan 2011.

  1. soopahfly

    soopahfly Minimodder

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    Can anyone recommend a Net-Top with HDMI output?

    I'm preferably looking for :

    Barebones, I got loads of Memory & Hard Drives kicking about
    Nvidia Ion Chipset : I want this to be able to play HD Movies (720P max)
    Low Power (This will never be turned off)

    I've seen the Foxconn nT330i which looks interesting, not bothered about physical looks, as I'll mount it to the Vesa mount on my TV.
     
  2. tyepye

    tyepye Minimodder

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    Heya,

    I can definitely recommend this Zotac Zbox. It's a very good piece of kit. Silent running, and keeps cool.
     
  3. soopahfly

    soopahfly Minimodder

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    Looks good!
    Bit on the costly side though, the Foxconn is ~ £140.

    Any other suggestions?

    Don't mind if it's not ION, as long as it's cheap enough to put a Crystal HD MiniPCIe card in.


    Edit!

    Found the Zotac substantially cheaper at DABS of all places.

    I try and avoid Aria, as they charge over the odds for postage.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2011
  4. tyepye

    tyepye Minimodder

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    Be careful as the are a few versions of the Zbox out there. So make sure you check the specs. The one with ION costs about £180 at Dabs/Aria/Scan.

    The cheaper £150ish (AMD/Intel) version doesn't have ION but still does output 720p video via HDMI according to the specs. Have a look around and find if other people have been successful using it to output 720p video.

    I'm pretty sure the Zbox doesn't come with expandable slots so the Crystal HD card wouldn't be able to go there.
     
  5. soopahfly

    soopahfly Minimodder

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    Spotted that some aren't Ion, so I'll keep that in mind.

    Does it not have any internal miniPCIe sockets?
    Doesn't matter if it's the ION ZBox, as it will do HD decoding straight off the bat, it's more if it's a plain jane Intel chipset.
     
  6. soopahfly

    soopahfly Minimodder

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    OK, So lets assume I'm going for the Zotac ID11 (Intel Atom D510 Dual Core, Nvidia Ion2 Chipet).

    I've got a 500Gb SATA II Western Digital HDD ready to go in.
    So, we're on the topic of Memory.

    This box will be either running ubuntu or Windows 7. XBMC, SABNZBD, uTorrent, Sickbeard and CouchPotato.

    The question is Memory.

    Do I go for 1, 2 or 4GB Ram?

    The most stressful thing this PC will be doing is extracting Rar/Par files and decoding 720p MKV Files.
     
  7. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    I have an ION net top as a HTPC and it plays my uncompressed blu-ray rips perfectly but its a bit sluggish when going through the menus. I run a live install of XBMC to keep the load minimal. You should be fine with 2GB of ram but if your running windows 7 and XBMC on top another 2Gb would not go amiss. Remember that the ION chip will use some of your ram as video memory.
     
  8. tyepye

    tyepye Minimodder

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    I'm not too sure how much memory it would use decoding 720p and rar/par-ing. I do know that my atom powered netbook with 2GB ram, which with a bit of doohickery, is able to output 720p and uses only about 1GB of ram when playing back a 6.5gb 720p HD movie. Nice and smooth.

    So I would have thought 2GB would be fine, but if you have 4GB of memory lying around it why not just stick that in there.
     
  9. soopahfly

    soopahfly Minimodder

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    After looking on the XBMC forum, I think I'll go for this setup.

    I think I'm going to go down this route:

    ZBOXHD-ND22-U (Intel CULV Celeron Processor)
    Nvidia Ion2 Graphics Processor (I presume it's ION2, as it's not an atom processor)
    4GB Ram
    500Gb WD Scorpio Blue HDD

    The Decisions I still have is ...

    Windows or Ubuntu
    Boxee or XBMC
     

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