Sunday, September 5, 2010

Antec ISK 310-150 mini-ITX case review

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Today we'll be taking a closer look at the Antec ISK-310 150 mini-ITX case.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lian Li PC-Q07 mini-itx-case review

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Today I'll be reviewing the Lian Li PC-Q07 mini-ITX case. I picked it up this week to install my Core i3 CPU, but unfortunately, the Gigabyte H55 mini-ITX motherboard that I ordered turned out to be a micro-ATX board (wanted the GigaByte GA-H55N-USB3 but received the GA-H55M-USB3 - bummer).

Anywayz, the only mini-ITX board I had lying around was the Asus AT3IONT-I (Deluxe version), so we'll be using that board to test the case.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

ASUS AT3IONT-I Deluxe Review

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Most custom HTCP builds are probably based on the Intel Atom/Nvidia Ion combo. The fact that it's a cheap solution , widely available and supported allows it to act as a key enabler for such Atom/Ion based HTCP custom builds. However, in order to achieve the full HTCP experience, where you can enjoy key additional benefits such as :
  • Hooking up a remote control
  • Have low power consumption
  • Emit low or even no noise
  • Wireless LAN & Bluetooth
takes some additional effort to put into place. It's easy to start with off with an Atom/ION board, but in addition to that there are a lot of other pieces of the HTCP puzzle that we need to fill in. Thus people end up buying additional components to hook up to their Atom board, adding to the cost, and the potential issue of having components that don't work all that well together.

Asus has tried to address this issue with the Asus AT3IonT-I Deluxe. It's a complete package, not only offering the Intel Atom/Nvidia Ion motherboard, but additional features like remote control, onboard DC/DC converter (eliminating the need for a PSU), WiFi , Bluetooth and perhaps most importantly, a complete passively cooled system. For completing your build, all you need is a case, some memory and storage, and your good to go.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Installing XBMC on AsRock ION 330 HT with Ubuntu 10.04

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ASRock box
Today I installed my AsRock ION box (after it sitting in some desk for 6 months). For those of you who don't know the AsRock ION, it's a tiny desktop PC driven by an Intel Atom CPU, and featuring an Nvidia Ion graphical chip. Although the Atom CPU is considered slow, the Nvidia Ion chipset more then makes up for that when watching high definition, 1080p video content. The Ion chip basically offloads whatever CPU processing would be required to decode the video content. As such, the GPU takes over all the work, and we're not really bothered with the fact that the Intel Atom is slow.