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Subject: Systems | February 8, 2010 - 07:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The ASRock ION 330HT-BD is a small HTPC system based around an Intel Atom 330 and an Ion GPU that work to play Blu-Ray movies at full definition. As it turns out, the system displayed absolutely no problems when Hardware Heaven tested it, the CPU peaked at roughly 25% utilization indicating that there is plenty power to play your movies. The testing they did with Oblivion did not go quite so well, so don't expect much gaming from this HTPC.
Subject: Systems | February 4, 2010 - 02:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Subject: Systems | January 25, 2010 - 02:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Whether you are setting up an HTPC, upgrading your stereo or picking up a new TV, it is a good idea to think about connections before you start. The chances are you will have multiple inputs to worry about; as an example a PC with a TV tuner may output the sound to a TV via an HDMI connection, while using an S/PDIF or optical connection to send audio directly to the stereo receiver. Digital Trends includes and goes beyond such matters in their new article with suggestions on matching your receiver to the requirements of your Blu-ray player and ensuring that the speakers you purchas
Subject: Systems | January 20, 2010 - 02:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
CyberPower has sent their newest Xtreme Gaming system to Ars Technica, with a price tag that has dropped from their previous system. Housed inside is a Gigabyte P55A-UD4P with an i5-750 @ 2.66GHz and 4GB of Kingston HyperX 4GB DDR3-1600 and perhaps most importantly an ATI HD 5870 1GB. That P55 board, with a pair of DIMMs seems to have allowed CyberPower to drop the price,
Subject: Systems | January 18, 2010 - 03:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
One alternative to the Windows Media Centre when building an HTPC is to go with a flavour of Linux and MythTV. The set up may be a little daunting to those who have never used or installed Linux, but the rewards are worth the time invested. MythTV does have an Achilles Heel, which is its inability to deal with streaming video from the net. Many have tried to integrate that capability into the program, with mixed results. There is a new plug in in the works that may solve this dilemma, MythNetVision which consists of a search screen and a site/RSS browser screen. <
Subject: Systems | January 5, 2010 - 12:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Subject: Systems | December 18, 2009 - 02:47 PM | Ryan Shrout
Remember the ASUS Eee Keyboard we showed you LAST year at CES 2009? You can see a video of the impressive device that we have yet to actually see for sale anywhere, here.
VIA Nano Processor Readies VIA EPIA Boards for Next Generation Embedded Applications and Windows 7 T
Subject: Systems | December 15, 2009 - 11:35 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Taipei, Taiwan, December 15, 2009 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the latest VIA EPIA-M800 Mini-ITX and VIA EPIA-N800 Nano-ITX boards.
Subject: Systems | December 11, 2009 - 01:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Thermaltake RSI H Series - DS100 case is specifically built for miniITX boards, which in this case you can read as made for an ION based system. This means that the case can be built to a much smaller scale, 12.5 x 10.6 x 2.8 inches, just enough room to fit a system in and also remain inconspicuous in a living room. Motherboards.org takes you on a tour of the case as well as one possible system build to place inside the case in their latest review.
Subject: Systems | December 8, 2009 - 02:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Cryo is a UK based custom computer shop with some good taste in components and a willingness to overclock. Their Cryo Quad is housed in a Lian Li PC7-YCF case and features a Core i5 50 CPU running 4GHz kept cool by a Corsair H50 cooler as well as 4GB of Corsair GT PC3-12800 and a BFG GTX295. Join Elite Bastards as they benchmark every piece of this system.
Subject: Systems | December 1, 2009 - 02:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Taipei, Taiwan, December 1, 2009 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced Mobile-ITX, the latest VIA-developed open form factor specification for the creation of ultra-compact and portable embedded devices.
Subject: Systems | November 30, 2009 - 03:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
A Swedish company called Fractal Design offers custom systems with some interesting features. Their
ships with a feature called ModuVent, which are pieces of bitumen in either 120mm or 140mm squares which you can install into unused fan holes to both reduce noise and stop dust from coming into your system. Since you can fit up to 7 fans in the system you can choose to make it either very quiet or fill all the holes and get a ton of airflow. You may not get out to Sweden often,
Subject: Systems | November 26, 2009 - 12:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The return of the tube amp is something that many wish for, but there is a lot of legacy components that
really do not belong in a modern stereo system, especially if you are using it in conjunction with an HTPC. There is little point in picking up a sound card that provides HD audio if you are hooking it up to an amp that has played a Velvet Underground album on the day it came out. Digital Trends takes a look at the modern A/V receiver and explains what the best features are, along with hints on price points for certain features.
Subject: Systems | November 19, 2009 - 03:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Popcorn Hour C200 bills its self as a Network Media Tan, theoretically able to manage anything you could accomplish by building your own HTPC, but without needing to set it up. Once you strip off the marketing speak, what you are left with is a NAS optimized for local networked media sources as well as YouTube, Blip.tv, Revision 3
and the like. The list of supported formats and sources on the second page of the Techware Labs review is impressive and you can catch a video of
Subject: Systems | November 13, 2009 - 01:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Leadtek has an interesting new product, the PxVC1100 MPEG-2/H.264 Transcoding card based around the Toshiba SpursEngine BXA32110
chipset. It is designed specifically to provide Inter-transcoding between H.264 and MPEG-2 and up-convert SD/DVD video to HD like quality. Legit Reviews testing showed
Subject: Systems | November 9, 2009 - 02:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Apart from the obvious lack of Apple Genii, TechReviewSource has spotted a different reason to visit one of the two stores that opened in the USA. Microsoft sells Signature Series computers that come with a minimum of preinstalled bloatware. Bing is probably the most offensive thing on the computer, they don't even load it with trial MS Office software, according to the information on the link. Microsoft might not be the first brand to come to your mind when buying a new system, but maybe they s
Subject: Systems | November 4, 2009 - 03:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you have yet to play with recording and playing TV via a TV tuner card on a PC, perhaps the Haupauge HVR-1800 TV Tuner Card might change your mind. For ~$90 you will get a TV Tuner card that can handle ATSC HD (the over the air HDTV standard in North America), clear braodcasted QAM digital TV channels if you are lucky enough to live in an area where they are broadcast and a 125 channel cable ready TV tuner built-
Subject: Systems | October 28, 2009 - 03:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If the PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard doesn't quite meet your standards or if you are simply looking for a second opinion on recommendation, The Tech Report has just updated their system setups, specifically for Windows 7. You will notice several similarities, especially in the graphics subsystem, though their top of the line rig doesn't sport three HD 5870s. Check out the systems, peripherals and alternatives.
Subject: Systems | October 27, 2009 - 12:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
A.C. Ryan might not be the first name you think about when you are looking for a DVR but perhaps it should be. They have made HDD cages for a while now and branched out from that with the PlayOn! DVR TV. USB 2.0 and HDMI as well as as wireless or wired network connectivity offer a range of ways to get media on or off of the HDD as well as capturing live broadcast TV. Read on at techPowerUp to see if A.C. Ryan has found a sweet spot between HTPCs and a NAS device.
Subject: Systems | October 15, 2009 - 12:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The colour scheme is a little off and it is unlikely to pick up a warhorse or any other type of mount in the near future, what the iBUYPOWER Gamer Paladin E870 i7 PC does do is hit 20,533 in 3dMark06. Think Computers liked a lot of things about this prebuilt system but perhaps one of the best features was the extra software that came with the PC; there was almost no bloatware whatsoever. Do keep in mind the price, while the basic rig is $1739, the one that Think Computers tested runs you $26