ASRock's new HTPC comes in 3D!

Subject: Systems | December 6, 2010 - 03:54 PM |
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The ASRock 3D HTPC delivers
exactly what it sounds like, as it ships with a GeForce GT425M GPU, though it seems that the nVIDIA 3D glasses must be purchased separately.  That is not the only selling feature, inside is a full Core i3 330M not an Atom processor and the backplate features 5 USB 2.0 ports, a single USB 3.0 port, LAN, HDMI, DVI, a powered eSATA port, five audio jacks and an optical S/PDIF output. 
As far as Blu-ray capabl

Source: Tech Spot

Your guide to the media players on the market

Subject: Systems | November 30, 2010 - 04:55 PM |
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Patriot, Sage, Sony even Google and Apple; everyone is putting out their own solution for streaming media and replacing TV.  That can make it rather hard to decide just what solution you should be looking at purchasing.  Missing Remote is here to help, with a large list of all of the popular media extenders on the market, broken down by features, media compatibility and streaming ability so you can quickly compare all of your choices.

Can it play Crysis ... silently?

Subject: Systems | November 25, 2010 - 01:27 PM |
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When the gorgeous slideshow that was Crysis first hit the market, no one was worried about how much noise their system made while they overclocked it in an attempt to get playable framerates. 
Now that other games with the same demands have come and gone SPCR has decided that it is time to use Crysis for a different kind of benchmark.  They've put together a guide on building a PC that can manage above 35fps in Crysis while only producing about 20dB

An HTPC of a different sort, the Micca Slim-HD

Subject: Systems | November 23, 2010 - 03:27 PM |
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At first glance, the Micca Slim-HD resembles an external HDD case, which makes sense as that is what it is in the most basic sense.  The big difference is that it can output a 1080p signal over HDMI and audio via a standard 3.5mm plug, without needing to be hooked up to anything but a display.  AnandTech would recommend this to anyone who puts price and portability above features, as this device lacks the ability to stream media from the net, which is something that competitors at a sli

Source: AnandTech

CULV and ION together thanks to Zotac

Subject: Systems | November 18, 2010 - 01:59 PM |
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Silent PC Review has an interesting little piece of equipment up for review, the Zotac IONITX-P-E has a CULV processor embedded in it's ION powered motherboard.  As you would likely assume, the performance is a vast improvement over an ATOM powered ION board and is also more expensive.  If you are looking for a fairly energy efficient all in one HTPC or media server this Zotac board is worth a moment of your time.

An Atom powered high def HTPC from Zotac

Subject: Systems | November 12, 2010 - 12:34 PM |
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Zotac's Zbox HD-ID34BR-U nettop is a mix of good and bad in a box that resembles a laptop that cannot be opened.  The bad, at least in The Tech Reports experience was that the BluRay player had a habit of disappearing from Windows, a rather nasty fault for a box that is intended to play HD video. On the good side were the peripherals, there are a pair of USB3 ports for your usage and the blend of the Atom D525 1.8GHz
and the new nVIDIA Ion GPU managed perfect video playback of 1080p sources. 

System recommendations of a different sort

Subject: Systems | November 8, 2010 - 03:28 PM |
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We at PC Perspective are not the only ones who make systems recommendations for those looking for somewhere to start when they build a PC, many other sites have recommendations as well.  For instance, The Tech Report has seasonal updates to their recommended systems and this Fall sees an entirely new box along with updates to their usual suspects like the Econobox and Double Stuff Workstation.  This update also includes "The Vespa" their take on the sub-$300 nettop.

Wireless HD transmission

Subject: Systems | November 4, 2010 - 02:23 PM |
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Wireless is in, wires are passe.  
You can ditch your cable for satellite, set up a wireless router for your HTPC to be connected to the internet and even buy a wireless speaker system but when it comes time to hook up those sources to of from a TV you are stuck with physical wires again, ruining the entire theme.  Drop by Legit Reviews for a look at a solution to your dilemma in the form of the Air SyncHD Wireless 1080p HDMI Transmitter Kit. 
It is a plug and play kit consisting of a transmitter

Another quiet build from SPCR

Subject: Systems | November 1, 2010 - 04:43 PM |
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With a name like Silent PC Review it should come as no surprise that the focus of their system recommendations is on systems that produce as little noise as possible.  Their latest build would be perfect for a home file or media server and is enclosed in a mid-tower case as opposed to an HTPC styled enclosure.  That helps when you are planning on including up to nine HDDs, with a nice mod using elastic cord to reduce noise.  Check out the full build here.

A different type of HTPC case from Lian Li

Subject: Systems | October 28, 2010 - 02:21 PM |
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It doesn't look particularly like an HTPC case at first glance, being rather tall and not shaped like your usual stereo components but after a while you can begin to see why Lian Li is positioning the

When it comes to HTPCs, only the movie should be seen or heard

Subject: Systems | October 20, 2010 - 06:08 PM |
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The aesthetic choices made differ greatly between a high powered gaming machine and an HTPC.  The gaming rig can be bog and loud and not interfere with its use; an HTPC is preferably tiny enough to be mistaken for a receiver and too quiet to hear.  OCIA investigates the steps needed to make a silent HTPC in their new article.  They start with the stylish Zalman HD 503 case and take you through the selection and assembly steps to get you the silent HTPC of your dreams.

Source: OCIA

Build yourself a silent home server

Subject: Systems | October 19, 2010 - 06:03 PM |
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SPCR are updating their silent server build with new parts that have arrived on the market recently.  While the idea behind the server is similar to what we saw in the Puget Systems Serenity system that
Ryan reviewed, the focus on the system is slightly different.  This system ends up with six HDDs as well as an IcyDock for backup and is extremely quiet even for an SPCR build; even better it will only set you back ~$1200.

A Sage guide to a powerful HTPC program

Subject: Systems | October 13, 2010 - 02:37 PM |
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SageTV is a program to help make the most out of your media center PC (or Mac), and they have just released a brand new version which Missing Remote wrote a guide to.  They take you through more than just the basic requirements and setup, choosing instead a slightly more comprehensive guide that includes other software that enhances the capabilities of SageTV.  Check out the guide whether you are already a SageTV master or if this is the first time you have h

Fermi can do quiet

Subject: Systems | October 7, 2010 - 11:52 AM |
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When you read about a build with dual GTX480s the one word you do not expect to be used to describe the PC is quiet but that is exactly what [H]ard|OCP is showing off in their new article.  The trick was apparently the case chosen to house the system with a SLI GTX480s, a Silverstone Raven RV02. 
That allowed them to install everything 90o from normal and have air flow running from bottom to top with partial positive pressure (for more on air pressure listen

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Mmmmm, God Box; the Ars systems guide returns

Subject: Systems | September 28, 2010 - 12:53 PM |
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If somehow the PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard hasn't given you the inspiration you need to build a new PC, or you can't afford the $5,500 EVGA Classified SR-2 based uber system then perhaps what you seek is at Ars Technica.  The have three different system recommendations from the $800 Athlon II X3 based Budget Box to the $12,600 God Box.  They include every part you might need from the CP

Source: Ars Technica

A handy feature guide to your TVs ready to go companion

Subject: Systems | September 28, 2010 - 12:05 PM |
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For those wanting to skip the entire process of building an HTPC to capture shows and to stream online content there is a lot of choice between set top boxes and the like.  From the renewed Apple TV through Google's new attempt to integrate their player with new TVs to the PS3, there are quite a few different ways to get nonstandard content onto your TV screen.  Gizmodo has put together a chart outlining what features each offers, from mobile device integration through Hulu compatibility,

Source: Gizmodo

CyberPower's new Dragon sports a Phenom II X6 and a GTX460

Subject: Systems | September 16, 2010 - 12:12 PM |
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The system which Think Computers just finished testing, the CyberPower Gamer Dragon, costs a hair over $1000 and sports a six core Phenom II with 4GB of DDR3 and a GTX460 in a customized Elite 430 case.  They compared the total system price to what the cost would be to build it from scratch and CyberPower turned out to have priced the system below what ThinkComputers could have built it for, always a nice touch from a boutique store. 

What is this about Google and Apple providing TV service?

Subject: Systems | September 14, 2010 - 02:26 PM |
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Recently we have seen the advent of Google TV and a re-imagined Apple TV hit the markets and a lot of consumers are wondering what the difference between the two services is and how they differ from an HTPC.  Digital Trends explains in their article, highlighting the strengths and limitations of the two services.  Apple TV is very proprietary as you would expect and is mostly a way to connect your TV to iTunes so you can rent shows and movies as well as being able to disp

Head back to school with a new system

Subject: Systems | September 9, 2010 - 01:51 PM |
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The Tech Report has updated their systems guide, with a mind towards the student who needs something powerful enough to get their projects complete and maybe a bit of streaming media and gaming on the side.  Sticking with their established categories of Econobox, Utility Player, Sweeter Spot and the Double Stuff Workstation, they've updated the components to reflect the parts available currently.

ZOTAC announces the first mini-PCs with integrated slot-load Blu-ray drives

Subject: Systems | September 8, 2010 - 12:26 PM |
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HONG KONG – Sept. 8, 2010 – ZOTAC International, a leading innovator and the world’s largest channel manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and mini-PCs, today announces the new ZOTAC ZBOX Blu-ray series mini-PCs -- the world’s first shipping mini-PCs with an integrated slot-load Blu-ray drive and slim and stylish design.

Source: ZOTAC