Is this a good HTPC barebone?


bcboncs

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Definitely does not included the CPU.  It relies on the i3/i5's ability to decode HD video (meaning there's no separate GPU).  This has the potential to be a very low power yet capable HTPC.  If you want to do a bit more with your HTPC (run low level games perhaps?) then this could be a good solution.  I personally would rather stick with the tried-and-true Atom CPU + ION GPU combination for an HTPC and run games and other apps on a laptop or desktop.  My desktop is based on a first gen i3, a RevoDrive SSD, and a cheap gaming video card and it has been able to easily handle everything I've thrown at it (although I'm far from a heavy gamer, my heaviest game is probably Starcraft 2).

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This unit is LGA1156 = Clarkdale and those new Celerons are LGA1155 = Sandy Bridge. I'm pretty sure they don't interchange.

 

Today, I would never recommend an Atom+ION for a HTPC. The Sandy Bridge stuff will surpass it in every way and just to save a few bucks it seems dumb to buy a basically outdated and slower system.

 

I think this Clarkdale system is a really good deal at $80 paired with a ~$100 processor. It would run circles around any of the Atom or E350 mini systems out there at similar prices. Heck, it's still a decent deal at $130 considering you get the MB, case and power supply for that.

 

Peter

 

 

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I prefer an HTPC that does one thing as does it well.  Any Atom+ION box is capable of full 1080p playback.  While an i3 box is capable of that and more, why spend more on unused power/features?  If the i3 box ran at lower power consumption, then that would make sense to me, but I don't think that's the case.  My Atom+Gen2 ION Zotac Zbox runs at 26W flat (whether idle or playing a video).  I find that pretty impressive.  As I understand it, the i3 approaches the Atom's low power consumption, but it still runs at a few watts higher.  So the Atom+ION is cheaper in the initial investment, and cheaper in the long run (via lower impact on the power bill).

 

Again, to each his own.  If you want a more capable HTPC that can run extra software, then the i3 is the clear choice.

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But what about this coupled with one of the new celerons like the G530 or G620?

 

How do you think that would perform streaming full 1080p .264 mkvs?

 

Plus nvidia 430 for smooth motion with 1080 mkv with high bitrate and better pic quality.

 

Atom ion cant hadle this

 

Sent from my Optimus 2X using Tapatalk

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An Atom+ION doesn't do HD audio bitstreaming and it will be laggy running an app such as WMC or XBMC compared to an i3. You can't play back any higher quality video without using the hardware acceleration. It will be really laggy if you start trying to do multiple things with it, such as connect dual monitors and use it for a little web browsing while watching a movie. There are a few i3 systems running <20W idle and many that match the Atom power usage levels. I just wouldn't spend money on an end-of-life Atom when a little more cash gets such a better system in return. Just saying.

 

Peter

 

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An Atom+ION doesn't do HD audio bitstreaming and it will be laggy running an app such as WMC or XBMC compared to an i3.

I run openelec on my Jetway MiniTop (Atom+Ion2) and it works perfectly fine.  There is no lag what so ever.  As far as the HD Audio, you are correct... but it is what it is and I have had the MiniTop for a while so I dont really care about the HD audio, for now at least.

 

You can't play back any higher quality video without using the hardware acceleration. It will be really laggy if you start trying to do multiple things with it, such as connect dual monitors and use it for a little web browsing while watching a movie.

But these Atom+ION boxes are really designed and marketed towards the HTPC group or the grandma that uses it for web browsing and email.

 

There are a few i3 systems running <20W idle and many that match the Atom power usage levels. I just wouldn't spend money on an end-of-life Atom when a little more cash gets such a better system in return. Just saying.

True enough, and it is not so much Atom that is EOL, it is ION.  If I had to get one right now I would go AMD Fusion based.  The integrated GPU on those is great and from what I have read they will do HD Audio.

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If I had to get one right now I would go AMD Fusion based.  The integrated GPU on those is great and from what I have read they will do HD Audio.

 

Yes, the Fusion is just another nail in the Atom coffin. Why go Atom when the Fusion is similar price and beats it performance wise?

 

Peter

 

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Fusion doesnt work well with xbmc-openelec if that is what want to be runned.

 

I have Openelec running great on my little Fusion HTPC. I'm using the build specifically for the Fusion APU, but it's clearly indicated on their download page. 1080p and audio bitstreaming work great. Files served from unraid.

 

I think it comes down to what you want to use the HTPC for. If you're just going to run OpenELEC, I think the AMD Fusion is pretty much unbeatable at the pricepoint right now. If you want more, it's worth the expense to jump to low end Sandy Bridge.

 

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I prefer an HTPC that does one thing as does it well.  Any Atom+ION box is capable of full 1080p playback.  While an i3 box is capable of that and more, why spend more on unused power/features?  If the i3 box ran at lower power consumption, then that would make sense to me, but I don't think that's the case.  My Atom+Gen2 ION Zotac Zbox runs at 26W flat (whether idle or playing a video).  I find that pretty impressive.  As I understand it, the i3 approaches the Atom's low power consumption, but it still runs at a few watts higher.  So the Atom+ION is cheaper in the initial investment, and cheaper in the long run (via lower impact on the power bill).

 

Again, to each his own.  If you want a more capable HTPC that can run extra software, then the i3 is the clear choice.

 

+1

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Fusion doesnt work well with xbmc-openelec if that is what want to be runned.

 

I have Openelec running great on my little Fusion HTPC. I'm using the build specifically for the Fusion APU, but it's clearly indicated on their download page. 1080p and audio bitstreaming work great. Files served from unraid.

 

I think it comes down to what you want to use the HTPC for. If you're just going to run OpenELEC, I think the AMD Fusion is pretty much unbeatable at the pricepoint right now. If you want more, it's worth the expense to jump to low end Sandy Bridge.

 

Zuhkov do you have a link or two for the components you used to build that machine, I'm happy for now with my atom/ion 2 setup but the lack of HD audio bitstreaming is starting to make me sad.

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