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Thread: Intel Atom System as HTPC

  1. #1
    Larkspeed
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    Intel Atom System as HTPC

    I currently have an Intel Atom 330 1.6Ghz system with 2Gb Ram sitting in the cupboard under the stairs acting as a headless NAS box.

    What I am wondering is if it is possible to use it as a HTPC

    It has onboard graphics but these only have a VGA output

    It only has 1 standard pci slot

    The case itself is only 5.5 cm thick so any card I put in would have to be very low profile.

    Am I right in assuming that it would basically be impossible to find an add in card that will fit in this machine and have HD output through HDMI.

    I have looked and you can get Micro ITX motherboards with a faster Atom CPU and onboard HDMI but these are pretty expensive and outside my budget range, plus they all seem to use SODIMM's unlike this one that uses standard memory sticks..

    I was hoping to be able to just drop a card in and be done with it.

  2. #2
    Editable... jimbouk's Avatar
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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    A low profile, PCI graphics card that would be suitable for high definition video playback - yeah I think we're talking unicorn horns here. Sounds like a job for a cheap FM2 combo though, micro-ATX rather than mini-ITX would save you ~£30 on the motherboard. How cheap are you looking?

  3. #3
    Larkspeed
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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    But it would not really save me any money it would end up costing way more.

    Change the motherboard to Micro ATX and I have to change the case, put in a CPU, and a PSU.

    I was wanting something in the 30 quid range anything over that and i'll just leave it as a NAS as it's not really worth it to me to spend more, not that I could afford to anyway

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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    How about this:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/407426-biostar...68i-350-deluxe

    Uses standard RAM and has HDMI out

  5. #5
    Larkspeed
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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    Unfortunately over my budget.

    Plus shipping on top and I would have to buy new memory as that is DDR3 and my current one is DDR2

    Besides which it looks like eBuyer do not deliver to Europe

    Really the only option for me is a slot in card and if that's not possible then it just stays a NAS.

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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    PCI graphics cards are expensive for what they are, usually twice the price of the PCI-E equivalent and are very rarely low profile. Best to leave as it is if you dont have the funds available to upgrade.

  7. #7
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    I'm pretty sure your case won't fit an expansion card at all, as 5.5cm is much smaller than even a low profile bracket (79.2mm). A low profile expansion card itself can be as small as 36mm, but I doubt you'd find a graphics card that small due to the amount of power delivery circuitry, memory etc. that needs to be fitted on the board - plus once you add on the motherboard height and standoffs you'd still be pretty damn tight. It might be doable with a mod, but do you really want to be messing with it that much?!

    I'm afraid you're probably stuck with it doing NAS only. You could always look at a streaming media player if you want to pull HD content off the NAS and output it over HDMI...

  8. #8
    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    Yep. £30 quid would buy you most of Raspberry Pi I guess? Install XBMC and away you go.

  9. #9
    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    Hmmm, not a bad call on the RasbPi, actually - in budget and great community support if you don't mind that you'll have to do a bit of tinkering.

    EDIT: Farnell will export to NL, here's the export page link: https://export.farnell.com/jsp/raspi...sp?&country=NL Apparently it'll cost £27.44 for the Pi, not sure about the shipping costs though (Farnell usually do free shipping in the UK, not sure about overseas though), it's £10 for delivery, so £37 in total. There's probably a registered supplier in NL though, probably worth a search locally...
    Last edited by scaryjim; 08-01-2013 at 01:20 PM.

  10. #10
    Larkspeed
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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    Even the raspberry Pi is considerably more expensive here.

    That said I do know someone who has one and "a bit of tinkering" is an understatement.

    I do already have a HD streamer I have a popcorn hour a-110, the hdmi port quit so can only use component, the sata port quit so I can't put a hard drive in it but it does still work for network streaming.

    I was only looking at the HTPC route because I'm pretty sure with everything else on it failing I Don't hold a lot of hope that the popcorn hour is going to last much longer.

    Ah well I'll just leave it as a nas and worry about the network when the time comes.

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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    Scaryjims idea of stream HD content to a smart TV or DVD player seems to be your best bet. in the Uk £60 gets you a smart DVD Blu Ray player. You could then use that to view the content from your NAS on your TV through the DVD player.

  12. #12
    Larkspeed
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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    A: I'm not in the uk

    B: That's double my budget

  13. #13
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    What about a vga+audio to hdmi converter?
    eg http://www.amazon.co.uk/Neet®-Conver.../dp/B002C6NP5C
    HDMI and HD really isn't that special for pc's, vga can handle more than 1080p the only thing it cannot do is sound.

    I'm guessing it's not the nvidia ION but the intel 945G chipset which mean it might actually struggle with 1080p streaming playback, it'll depend on the software.

  14. #14
    Larkspeed
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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    Unfortunately again that is over my budget

  15. #15
    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    Either:
    1.)Increase your budget
    2.)Be patient and look on Ebay for a good deal

    £30 is neither here nor there especially if things cost more in The Netherlands.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

  16. #16
    Larkspeed
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    Re: Intel Atom System as HTPC

    30 quid may be neither here nor there to you but it's a hell of a lot of money to me.

    Your logic does not really hold up. Things cost more here which means I have less ready cash available so 30 quid is harder to come up with not easier.

    Sorry if that sounds short, I always find that people seem to neglect to realize that not everyone actually has money.

    And you forgot option 3 which I said I was taking 3 posts back and that was to just leave it as it is since I can't do it within by budget.

    Thanks to everyone for their ideas but I can't do it in my budget so it stays as is.

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