MiniITX or MicroATX for the new year??

Discussion in 'Tech' started by Torx, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Torx

    Torx Indigenous Nudist

    Messages:
    19,339
    Trophy Points:
    88
    yea.. so.. i say this shit every year "i gonna build new puter!" and i never do. but this time im going to stray away from big box, power consuming, high performance computing. Instead i want good power and performance in a small package..

    i started doing some research on a microatx system, then i noticed the microitx boards and cases... I just want something quiet, small, lightweight, powerful, hdmi, high def capable, dvdburner, and maybe one hdd inside with external hdds in a drobo or similar raid box running off its own power supply.

    if i can put something together under $500, that would be great

    anyone into this yet?? done any research or planning a similar build??
  2. ivanolo

    ivanolo Guest

    If I was building a Mini-ITX system, this is more or less what I'd build....

    Motherboard choices:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...mpareItemList=N82E16813500035,N82E16813500041

    CPU* choices:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...ption=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc=

    *These are 65w quad-cores, which is why they're more expensive. Regular quads are 95w. For a small form factor PC, though, I think the former are worth it.

    RAM** choices:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...ption=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc=

    **Buy 1.8v sticks to ensure maximum compatibility.

    Case choices:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...ption=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc=

    And I'd throw in a Blu-ray combo drive and a 1TB HDD so I could rip movies in hi-def.

    For a Micro-ATX rig, I'd opt for a Core i5/i7 CPU and a more powerful video card, such as a Radeon HD 5770.
  3. Torx

    Torx Indigenous Nudist

    Messages:
    19,339
    Trophy Points:
    88
    yea the zotac boards look great, i want the one with wifi built in.
    i would also prefer an onboard cpu like the atom, that way i dont have to bother with a new hsf and cpu (to save on cash)

    it could end up being an htpc later on if i replace with a more powerful microatx if im not satisfied by the performance.
  4. Chainblade

    Chainblade Junior Member

    Messages:
    3,841
    Trophy Points:
    53
    i just bought an acer revo 3610 for my htpc. $289. tiny tiny little computer. not super powerful but it's the dual core atom with the ion chipset. will play 1080p stuff fine, which is all I need it to do at most. i think the whole system uses 65watts. pretty insane.

    I'll probably build a new desktop capable of decent gaming in the 2nd part of the year.

    I'd also wait and see what Intel announces at CES in a few days. I think they are announcing like 32 new processors or something. Even if you didn't buy any of the new ones, that should drop the prices of the "old" a bit.
  5. sims

    sims walls of text

    Messages:
    2,542
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    I did a bunch of reseach on them when i was looking to built a HTPC, I settled for my PS3 for the meantime though.

    this is probably the best thing i found ultimately for the price

    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=42470&vpn=Fiono 330 Black&manufacture=FunTwist

    pretty much exactly what you want at a really good price.

    edit - it has no HD so you can decide what you want to go with. maybe a smaller SSD drive for maximum awesomeness, and a large external when you need it. the big downside to these units is that they are not wifi.

    there are a tone of cool options now in the ITX market and alot of cool cases though.
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=46917&vpn=IONITX-F-E&manufacture=Zotac here's a good option if you wanna build it yourself.

    edit again - I believe NCIX use to stock a funtwist PC that did have WIFI, so you could also look into that.
  6. Chainblade

    Chainblade Junior Member

    Messages:
    3,841
    Trophy Points:
    53
    why get that barebones one for $300 when you can buy an acer revo 3610 for $289, which comes with everything you need?
  7. sims

    sims walls of text

    Messages:
    2,542
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    those prices are canadian, a revo is around 350 or so here, everything is always more expensive.

    its a personal preference really, they are infact very similar, the revo is more expensive but has a harddrive and junky mouse and keyboard. if he wanted to go SSD anyways the funtwist might be a good option. the WIFI is the big dif. but like i said, they previously sold one.
  8. Chainblade

    Chainblade Junior Member

    Messages:
    3,841
    Trophy Points:
    53
    ah yes canadian. i guess it just depends on what you want to do with your htpc. i have no need for a keyboard and mouse for my htpc. i use an xbmc android app on my phone. and i have no reason to want a nice hard drive in it either really since i use an external drive to actually store all my media. revo doesn't have wi-fi though but that's fine again for me since i find video streaming over wi-fi, even not in hd is not reliable enough anyways. plus with two other roommates at the moment, trying to fight my streaming video while they are doing their own thing just doesn't work.

    i did a lot of research and personally found the acer revo 3610 to be the best deal. the asrock 330 and the new dell htpc are more expensive and don't really give you anything more.
  9. sims

    sims walls of text

    Messages:
    2,542
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    do the new revo's not have Wifi? I thought they did.
  10. Chainblade

    Chainblade Junior Member

    Messages:
    3,841
    Trophy Points:
    53
    heh i'm a dumbass, i was assuming you were talking about the one you posted...which doesn't have wi-fi. ya the revo's do have wi-fi, 802.11n at that.
  11. hans5849

    hans5849 Serious as a heart attack

    Messages:
    10,197
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
  12. ivanolo

    ivanolo Guest

    To put things into perspective, though, the dual-core, hyper-threaded Atom 330 is about as fast as a single-core Celeron 420. Unless your system has that Broadcom accelerator or a GeForce 9400 (that's what ION is), it's going to struggle with 1080i. I just don't think it'll cut it as an HTPC, much less as a modern gaming machine.

    My opinion of the Atom is, it's Intel's attempt at shoehorning the x86 architecture into low-powered devices for which other architectures are better suited.

    Anyway, if you're still wanting to try the Atom, replace my previous motherboard and CPU recommendations with any of these:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010200446%2050012150&bop=And&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&ActiveSearchResult=True&SrchInDesc=330&Page=1
  13. Chainblade

    Chainblade Junior Member

    Messages:
    3,841
    Trophy Points:
    53
    then you haven't done enough reading. i did tons of research and confirmed people easily had the dual core atom 330 with the ion handling 1080p. that brodcom accelerator is just a dedicated hardware solution basically so the cpu and gpu don't have to work as hard. It's only about $20 on ebay. I may pick one up depending on how it goes but i don't think i'll need it. the argument with xbmc is that it doesn't support gpu acceleration in it's windows client so it's relies all on the cpu. in that case the dual core atom is not enough. but there is a plugin for xbmc now so it does utilize the gpu. this takes a lot of strain off the cpu. just google xbmc acer revo 3610 and you will read people that aren't having any problems. now without that plugin, yes, you would have to have the brodcom accelerator.

    no way in hell it's a modern gaming machine, i'll give you that. but as a htpc, it's fantastic. like i mentioned before, it's tiny, quiet, and the whole system uses like 65watts. what's not to like?
  14. Mr. Ali

    Mr. Ali Junior Member

    Messages:
    5,420
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    CA, USA
    Uh, thats exactly what ivanolo said, that the Atom processor alone without ION or the broadcom chip will not do 1080p...
  15. ivanolo

    ivanolo Guest

    Chainblade, please take a moment to re-read my post, specifically the second statement. *Thanks, Mr. Ali!

    If you're not going to multitask, I guess it should be fine. I'd like to be able to rip and encode a DVD, download some torrents, and watch a hi-def movie, all at the same time, with power to spare. What's that? The Revo doesn't have an optical drive? :p

    Seriously, man, Atom is squarely aimed at low power computing, not performance. Buy a 45w, dual-core Athlon, a 780G/785G motherboard, an HD 5770 video card, an efficient PSU, and... you have a pretty decent HTPC that came play games and do much more.

    Anyway, I'm out of here. I'll let you guys keep masturbating over your crappy quasi-PC. :D

    I hope you see the light, Torx.

    P.S. I'm not really anti-Atom. I just think it's better suited to light tasks, not HTPC duties.
  16. Chainblade

    Chainblade Junior Member

    Messages:
    3,841
    Trophy Points:
    53
    haha evidently i can't read. my bad.

    i don't want my htpc to do anything else except watch movies. that's why it's called a htpc. it's going to be hooked up to my tv full time. i have no need to have it to anything else. yes, if I was doing other things like you mentioned, i wouldn't had bought the revo, i would had built a pc with similar parts like you mentioned :p. but i have my laptop and will be building a separate gaming machine this year for all those other tasks. and i agree, the atom is only for light tasks but it can handle 1080p video with the help of the ion and that's all i need it to do. with that said, i probably very rarely will even be doing 1080p. most of the time, i will be doing 720p anyways. and as far as the optical drive goes, i don't care since i have a PS3 that I can watch DVDs or blu-rays. but, personally, i don't think i've watched a movie on physical media in years. i either download or rip movies or watch over the internet.
  17. sims

    sims walls of text

    Messages:
    2,542
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    why did you get the revo as a HTPC if you have a PS3?
  18. ivanolo

    ivanolo Guest

    Yeah, that's retarded.

    I finally got a PS3 for Christmas, and I've started loading all my movies and songs. I even got the Netflix disc to be able to stream stuff, and it's orgasmic! I'm gonna need a bigger HDD soon, though.
  19. Torx

    Torx Indigenous Nudist

    Messages:
    19,339
    Trophy Points:
    88
    yea, see.. im looking for an htpc solution that ONLY streams.. no hdd needed but having to add one is a nice option.

    im looking at the WD TV live and patriot box office now for tv only
    and a microatx system for home pc/htpc

    so many fucking options on what i wanna do and how i wanna spend money, irritating me.
  20. Chainblade

    Chainblade Junior Member

    Messages:
    3,841
    Trophy Points:
    53
    because i want a real PC, as it will also be acting as a file server of sorts. and that's how i download my torrents and usenet stuff. i just want a full computer just in case i need it for other uses.
  21. sims

    sims walls of text

    Messages:
    2,542
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Gizmodo has done a tone of reviews on the different streaming boxes or whatever you want to call them lately. I don't have any personal exp with any of them, but the ASUS got the best reviews. check them out, they have a decently detailed review of the good and bad on most of the bigger named units.

    have you honestly considered a PS3 at all? for the same price as a revo you get a BR player if you don't already have one. you can get a media player remote for it which is nice though I guess that can be had for a PC to if you really want one. it does the streaming that you want aaaaaand prehapse one day will be a good gaming system :p lol. seriously though, uncharted 2 kicks ass, and more and more good games will come out. if you're a gamer and need a BR player it seems like the obvious choice. it was for me. it has a shitty browser that can be used in a pinch to. USB ports for mouse/keyboard/USB drives/portable HD. No SATA though :( Internal HD is a laptop drive thats very easily upgraded withhold effecting the warrenty at all.

    its convenient to have a HTPC in the odd cases when there are codec issues or files won't play/subtitle issues etc but i couldn't justify one just yet since my PS3 does the job 90% of the time.

    I kinda agree with ivanolo on this one aswell, If i was doing it today, i don't know that I'd get an atom based PC. I love the atom, but to me it seems like it belongs in the netbook market(ivanolo probably hates these to :p), its biggest advantage is power usage, i can get 8 hours of solid use without issue on my EEEPC, and battery life in that circumstance is important to me. on a Desktop, not so much. You can still build a quiet, low power usage PC that's considerably more powerful in every way. it seems like you would be unnecessarily gimping yourself if you really want it to be able to preform other PC tasks.
  22. ivanolo

    ivanolo Guest

    You guys keep bringing me back! ;)

    I don't hate netbooks if they're on sale for $199-$249. Otherwise, there are perfectly capable laptops for $449.
  23. Chainblade

    Chainblade Junior Member

    Messages:
    3,841
    Trophy Points:
    53
    well we will see. who knows. everybody that i know who has the revo 3610 cant say enough good things about it. i know it will what i want it to do. I figure at worst, I can sell it for the same amount. I bought it below retail anyways. could I have gotten more powerful parts for the same money? yes. but that's not really the point always. i think some of you focus too much on having the latest and greatest stuff. my "gaming" machine that i just sold last month was a Pentium 4 3.0ghz, 2GB memory, geforce 7800 gs and it ran every game on the market. No it didn't run at full detail and i was only using a 19inch monitor so it wasn't super high resolution but it was fine.

    just like how i am playing PS2 games right now even though it's considered "old". just like all you guys probably think i'm stupid because i just bought a new DLP tv. ya the technology is basically "dead" but i got a 65" 1080p tv for $800 brand new. and it looks fantastic. maybe being in debt in the past has just taught me to buy things differently than other people, who knows.

    oh and by the way, i don't think people buy netbooks necessarily because they are cheap, i think they buy them because they are small and have amazing battery life. they are "good enough" power for 99.9% of people out there. Those two laptops you posted are definitely better but you are talking 15.6" screens, more weight, and far less battery. not all people need or want that
  24. ivwshane

    ivwshane We are all old school!

    Messages:
    6,633
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Earth
    Why not just get an xbox and have a windows 7 box stream everything to it?
  25. Mr. Ali

    Mr. Ali Junior Member

    Messages:
    5,420
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    CA, USA

    This works well but it does not play mkv files which is a huge bummer for me.