Dell maxes out their new Zino HD 410 HTPC

Subject: Systems | February 22, 2011 - 04:49 PM |

While the base model of the Zino HD 410 HTPC comes in at about $300 the model that AnandTech received for review was worth just over $700 after all of the options were loaded on.  That fully loaded model sports a Phenom II X4 P940 on a AMD M880G + SB820
which supports up to 8GB of DDR3-1333 and for graphics uses an ATI Mobility 5450 1GB DDR3. 

Source: AnandTech

Sapphire joins the Atom + ION system crowd

Subject: Systems | February 15, 2011 - 03:55 PM |

There is a different choice now for those looking for a PC that can handle email, internet browsing and home theatre duties, a small self contained system that resembles a thinclient with style and a fair number of video outputs.  The Sapphire Edge-HD Mini PC offers a
Dual Core Intel Atom D510 1.66ghz, nVidia's ION2 and 2GB of DDR2 for system memory with a 250GB drive for storage.  Neoseeker found that 720p is about the limit of this systems capabilities,
as 1080p playback

Source: Neoseeker

The recalled and soon to be released Sandy Bridge based Puget Systems Serenity PC

Subject: Systems | February 10, 2011 - 11:42 AM |

Puget Systems specializes in making custom PCs that are incredibly quiet without sacrificing any performance to do so.  As you saw in Ryan's review of their Serenity SPCR Edition Ultra Quiet Gaming PC, they do a very good job at it.  Since then they have been hard at work extending their line up and keeping up with the newest parts.  One of their more recent Serenity SPCR Edition models went up for review at Anand

Source: AnandTech

HP Comes Out Swinging with New TouchSmart All-in-One PCs

Subject: Systems | February 7, 2011 - 04:45 AM |

If you’ve ever used a touchscreen desktop computer you probably know that while they’re cool, they lack the functionality to replace a keyboard and mouse. Lifting up your arms constantly to touch a screen is the antonym of ergonomic.

The HTPC beginners guide grows

Subject: Systems | February 2, 2011 - 02:22 PM |

Over at MissingRemote a dedicated crew have been assembling a guide that covers all the basics you need to know to put together a powerful and functional HTPC.  Perhaps one of the most important parts they cover is the idea that "Your HTPC Is Not An Investment".  Don't wait for the newest cutting edge tech and pick up parts that are as fast as you need but don't go for overkill.  The way media storage and broadcasting changes, the next HTPC upgrade you make may well need to be an entirel

A refreshing look at frame rates and displays

Subject: Systems | January 26, 2011 - 05:39 PM |

The difference between 1080i and 720p is a difference of spatial resolution and temporal resolution; one has more pixels in total while the other pushed pixels faster.  On the other hand you have refresh rates, which have changed from the previous standard of 60Hz to a wide variety of what are, in many case, purely marketing speak and have more to do with how the display manipulates frames to meet the higher frequency.  Missing Remote tries to help you make sense of it a

A new year brings a new ION to your HTPC

Subject: Systems | January 17, 2011 - 05:05 PM |

New on the market is the ASRock ION 3D 152B, sporting the next generation NVIDIA GT218 NG-ION processor. It is going to need that updated silicon as this unit ships with a BluRay drive and is expected to play back HD content at a reasonable frame rate.  Join AnandTech as they take this unit through its paces.

Source: AnandTech

CyberPower has a pre-built SandyBridge system on the market

Subject: Systems | January 13, 2011 - 03:22 PM |

The new CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 5000 is a P67 Sandy Bridge based system, sporting and unlocked Intel i7-2600K on the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe motherboard.  It has 4GB of DDR3-1600 as well as a GTX 570 Superclock, a 1TB HDD and even a Blu-Ray drive all hidden in a watercooled
Thermaltake Armor A60 case.  The system is overclocked for you, adding a full 1GHz to the CPU bringing it to a very respectable 4.4GHz and the GPU also sports a little bit of an overclock as well. 

CES 2011: ASUS unveils Eee Slate EP121

Subject: Systems | January 5, 2011 - 12:49 PM |

Courtesy of ASUS
Source: ASUS

Western Digital's Live TV Hub takes on all comers

Subject: Systems | December 14, 2010 - 01:21 PM |

Western Digital's TV Live Hub is small on the outside but not on the inside.  A little bigger than the size of a paperback book (if you remember what those are), this new model houses a terabyte of storage so you can set this thing to record and then forget about it for a season or two.  It might not be as flexible as using a nettop or dedicated HTPC but it will get you watching any type of video format or streaming media.  Check out the review at The Tech Report.

Gateway's all in one touchscreen system

Subject: Systems | December 13, 2010 - 04:30 PM |

If you are into all in one systems, as in an oversized monitor housing all your components then the Gateway One ZX4300 at 3.1" x 20.3" x 16.6" and a weight of 19lbs is worth a look.  Inside you will find an Athlon X2 235s, 4GB of DDR RAM, a Radeon HD 4270 and perhaps most importantly a 802.11b/g/n wireless NIC.  The Win7 installation has been tweaked to improve touchscreen performance and TechReviewSource found it decent for general purpose work but don't expect HD output as there is no

ASRock's new HTPC comes in 3D!

Subject: Systems | December 6, 2010 - 03:54 PM |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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.