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Can this thing be beat for the money?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
First off, when this thing was in my cart at Newegg a week ago, it was only $299. Now it's $350, but even at that price I find it hard to beat.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883108728

Power consumption is the primary concern. The box will be used mainly for streaming to a TV, both from the interent and from my Synology NAS box. However I also want it to be able to fill in a lower power alternative to my main rig for general use like internet, email, and word processing. 1080p playback is required, though most playback will be 720p or less. Internet browsing is required. Storage space need only be enough for the OS, it's just a streaming box, I already have a file server. Did I mention that low power is the primary concern? Don't suggest any 65w processors.

How would this compare to something like a Boxee or Roku, which would be far cheaper? Do those things run Android as an OS? I think a Windows machine would be a bonus so that I have a fully functional computer, but the Boxee is almost half the price and the highest end Roku is even less.
    
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post #2 of 14
Boxee and Roku are extremely hardware limited, and both companies try to nickle and dime you to death making you pay extra for every little feature.

Go with the Windows machine.
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
What do you mean by hardware limited? What items in my list of requirements would they be unable to do or fall short on?
    
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post #4 of 14
I think he means they just aren't powerful, because they have such a targeted specification. I don't think the Roku would work for you anyways because it can't play local content off a file server as far as I know. Plus, I find browsing difficult without a keyboard/mouse of a real HTPC.

On that note, I don't think buying an Intel Atom is worth it, they're getting old/slow and there's better stuff out there.
And at $350 for that, you should be able to build a better Pentium G620 system or a A4/6 system both of will beat it out. For a pfsense or file server, the Atom is good but for HTPC I wouldn't want it anymore.

I saw this for $298 at Frys, was thinking of picking it up for fun. Loses out on size and power consumption, but will win on everything else. Plus it should idle around 35W, normal use shouldn't be too much higher
http://www.frys.com/product/6966127
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post #5 of 14
It can be easily beat.

ASRock E350M1 AMD E-350 APU - $94
G.SKILL Value 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - $20
Kingston SSDNow S50 Series 32GB - $64
hec Black ITX200B Mini ITX Media Center / HTPC Case - $50
(Ubuntu w/XBMC - $0)

Total: $238.96 shipped.


AMD E-350 with 4GB of ram and a 64GB SSD vs Intel Atom with 2GB of ram and a 320GB 5400rpm HDD.

Power consumption should be about the same, but the AMD will be able to stream HD flash videos without getting choppy.
    
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
I had a bad experience with an E350 in a rig I built for my mom. That thing sucked some serious ballz. Trying to multitask lead to solid freezes that would clear up after a 10-20 seconds. Also had the occasional BSOD on boot. Performance for day-to-day task was no better than the D525 (non-Ion) system I built for my sister. Google searches showed I wasn't the only one with these problems.


I'm just scared to try AMD again. Though that setup is pretty tempting. Keep in mind the linked system in the OP has Ion onboard. There will be no issues streaming video.

That JMicron SSD is pretty scary too...
    
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post #7 of 14
Well you can switch that E350 board with a Sandy Bridge Pentium for $65 more

Biostar $79.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138327
Pentium G620 $69.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116399 (cheaper from Microcenter)

Still less than that Atom build if not buying Windows and definitely more powerful.
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
How would power consumption compare?

I actually returned that E350 for a SB Celeron that was like $45 and the performance is awesome for day-to-day computer use, really great for the money. However, power consumption is a big deal. What would that system pull compared to an Atom/Ion?
Edited by AyeYo - 3/26/12 at 4:42pm
    
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post #9 of 14
doh.gif You lost me @ Atom
celeron g530
Biostar h61mgc
cheap 4gb RAMS
cheap gpu

moar powah!
edit..If you reallllly need it all spelled out I can do that..but no..That setup can be beat by a mile for the money
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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmuckley View Post

doh.gif You lost me @ Atom
celeron g530
Biostar h61mgc
cheap 4gb RAMS
cheap gpu
moar powah!
edit..If you reallllly need it all spelled out I can do that..but no..That setup can be beat by a mile for the money

A dedicated GPU will suck up energy.. If energy is a big concern, then I recommend staying with an E350 or a newer AMD APU. From what I hear their APUs are perfect for HTPCs or low budget pcs that only need to stream HD, browse the internet or word process.
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