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Thread: Building an ITX media hub.

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    Building an ITX media hub.

    got a budget of £200ish not including hard disk, and dont want anything too ott, all it needs to do is:

    Play media
    Contain a 1tb hd.
    Wireless link to my network.
    Browse internet
    Run simple programs like office.
    Relitively quiet
    DVD drive if possible
    Wireless
    Simple click on/power on off/power off would be good

    Main thing i need help with is what mobo/processor, im used to building normal pvs so this is the only bit i dont know about, as i have no itx experience Also what windows verision what other softward is good for a media hub

    thanks in advance.

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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    I would probably look at something like the following:

    Zotac ION Motherboard with Intel Atom N330 Dual Core Wi-Fi Mini-ITX Motherboard ( with 90w PSU ) ~£121

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/165386

    Basically this has the CPU,motherboard,integrated graphics and PSU in one package.

    4GB PC2-6400 ~ £45

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/128662

    Chyang Fun mini-ITX case ~ £40 with delivery

    http://linitx.com/viewcategory.php?catid=1020

    I would remove the included 150W PSU as the one which comes with the motherboard will be more efficient and quieter.

    SATA DVD rewriter ~ £16

    http://www.ebuyer.com/search?sort=pr...imit=10&page=1

    Here is a review for the Zotac motherboard:

    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3562


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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    Further images of the case CAt linked too:

    http://www.techenclave.com/pc-periph...es-131517.html

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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    thanks, would that be suitable for video watching?

    can u do any upscaling with it to HD from normal def?

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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcor View Post
    thanks, would that be suitable for video watching?

    can u do any upscaling with it to HD from normal def?
    I would look at the review TBH. Mini-ITX based setups are not that cheap though.


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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    well i can afford to stetch my budget a little if necessary

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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    Software-wise i like using XBMC on ubuntu and using the kit which CAT has linked you above you can easily set up a system which will use it effectively to upscale media and play 1080p etc.

    Check out the XBMC forums they have guides on how to get yourself set up and working with it

    If you really do want to have a little bit more grunt then there is a similar ZOTAC mobo which takes socket 775 and a couple which take AM2 you could take a look at... more power hungry though.

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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    Sure that N330 will cope with 1080p? I'm not that certain.

    You can always remux the video over the network as transcoding wont happen simply because you won't have enough horsepower in your CPU...

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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    Quote Originally Posted by spoon_ View Post
    Sure that N330 will cope with 1080p? I'm not that certain.

    You can always remux the video over the network as transcoding wont happen simply because you won't have enough horsepower in your CPU...
    The Nvidia IGP in the Ion motherboards offloads the bulk of the decoding of videos off the CPU. I would check the review I linked too. Remember that HD flash can be now decoded by newer generation ATI and Nvidia IGPs.

    Also the motherboard comes with a built in PSU meaning it will be very quiet as many of the SFF power supplies under 200W can be quite noisy.

    There are other socket 775 and AM2+ based mini ITX motherboards but these are not that cheap if you look for one with a decent IGP which can offload video decoding from the CPU.


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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    Quote Originally Posted by spoon_ View Post
    Sure that N330 will cope with 1080p? I'm not that certain.

    You can always remux the video over the network as transcoding wont happen simply because you won't have enough horsepower in your CPU...
    As long as you set it up to pass the decoding to the GPU there shouldnt be any issues

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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    ive been looking at the zotac, given its also got wifi it seems a good choice for me, providing it can do what im after. Aslong as it can play my standard def movie files, and perhaps make them look somewhat higher definition, and also play stuff from bbc i player etc etc it will do for me

    As for software i definately want to stick with windows...as i wont be the only person using it,

    For cases, is there anything smaller? that perhaps take a slim dvd drive instead? id really like to keep it as compact as possible, but need space for 1 3.5 in HD

    Am i right in thinking that linking this to my HDMI port on my tv will with correct setup ofc, give me both sound and picture? ive had loads of problems getting sounds accrossHDMi on my M1330 laptop.
    Last edited by Falcor; 22-11-2009 at 12:52 AM.

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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    yeah it will definately take that in its breeze buddy, very tidy solution dor ya

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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    Ack forogt one more thing!

    Need a good HTPC keyboard, one with a mouse pad/ball built in or something

    any recommendations?

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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcor View Post
    Ack forogt one more thing!

    Need a good HTPC keyboard, one with a mouse pad/ball built in or something

    any recommendations?
    I would check these ones out:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/104608

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Keyso...d-touchpad-USB

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Keyso...ncluded-Silver

    Also getting to small a case will probably mean worse ventilation than a larger case and you do not want the CPU,GPU and hard disk to be start overheating as it will reduce their lifespan.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 22-11-2009 at 02:02 AM.


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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    I really like the look of the Asrock Ion 330. Does everything you need and don't need to fiddle in the tiny case as it's already done for you

    Hard disk isn't as big as you'd like though.

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    Re: Building an ITX media hub.

    does anyone have a comparison chart of all the Zotac IONs? there seems to be around 8 different versions which are subtly differnt but it's not always obvious what changes between them

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