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Alternative to Mac Mini

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
First off, I know there are lots of Apple haters so I get that. Anyways, I love my MacBook Air and use it all the time and so having a Mac Mini for an HTPC would be nice. However, unless I can find a good deal on one I may have to go with a PC. I like the size/look of the Mac Mini, so I was wondering anyone know any HTPC's that are similar in size? I can build one or buy a barebones and go from there.

All I use it for is playing YouTube, iTunes, Pandora, VLC for my 1080p .mkv movies stored on my external HDD's.

The HTPC needs at least 4 USB (3.0 preferred) and wireless built in is preferred. Don't need any optical drive.
Macbook Air
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D E6600 2.4ghz @ 3.6ghz Gigabyte EP45-UD3P Rev 1.0 BFG GTX275 4x1gb Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
150gb Raptor, 3x1tb Storage Samsung 22x DVDRW + LG 22x DVDRW (BOTH SATA) Windows 7 64-Bit Samsung 245BW 24" 1920x1200 5ms 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G11 Silverstone Strider 750w Modular Antec 900 Razer Copperhead 
Mouse Pad
Custom Outer Space 
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Macbook Air
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D E6600 2.4ghz @ 3.6ghz Gigabyte EP45-UD3P Rev 1.0 BFG GTX275 4x1gb Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
150gb Raptor, 3x1tb Storage Samsung 22x DVDRW + LG 22x DVDRW (BOTH SATA) Windows 7 64-Bit Samsung 245BW 24" 1920x1200 5ms 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G11 Silverstone Strider 750w Modular Antec 900 Razer Copperhead 
Mouse Pad
Custom Outer Space 
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post #2 of 16
Have a look at the Intel NUC
My System
(15 items)
 
  
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FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
MouseAudio
Logiteck G400s none 
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My System
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
MouseAudio
Logiteck G400s none 
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post #3 of 16
11-321-014-TS?$S300W$

look in to habey cases
Pre OCN build
(16 items)
 
  
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phenom ii B97 ECS A970M-A AM3+ EVGA GXT 460 2x4gb adata 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
OCZ Vertex 4 Samsung F3 1TB Samsung f3 1tb Samsung HD155UI 
Optical DriveOSMonitorPower
Super Writemaster DVDr Windows 7 Samsung Syncmaster Antec Basiq power 550 + 
Case
Bitfenix Raider 
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Pre OCN build
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
phenom ii B97 ECS A970M-A AM3+ EVGA GXT 460 2x4gb adata 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
OCZ Vertex 4 Samsung F3 1TB Samsung f3 1tb Samsung HD155UI 
Optical DriveOSMonitorPower
Super Writemaster DVDr Windows 7 Samsung Syncmaster Antec Basiq power 550 + 
Case
Bitfenix Raider 
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post #4 of 16
also have a look at the Qubz




http://www.ebay.com/itm/390372393750
SoulStorm Brew
(11 items)
 
El Niño
(11 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A8 7600 GA-F2A88XN-WIFI Gigabyte windforce gtx 750 ti 2 x 4g GSkill Ripjaws 2133 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Sammy 830 128g + 2.5 " Toshiba 1T  Modded stock FX cooler lapped + 92mm Tacens Aur... Sony Bravia 46" 
PowerCaseMouse
420w Tacens radix IV  Silverstone grandia Loves to be touched  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 5350 ASUS AM1I-A itx HD 8400 2 x 2gig Crucial ballistix tactical 1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Sammy 830 64g + Toshiba 750g 2.5  stock + 120mm Skythe slipstream 32" LG 
KeyboardPowerCase
Tacens Levis  60w brick Akasa Crypto mini ITX 
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SoulStorm Brew
(11 items)
 
El Niño
(11 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A8 7600 GA-F2A88XN-WIFI Gigabyte windforce gtx 750 ti 2 x 4g GSkill Ripjaws 2133 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Sammy 830 128g + 2.5 " Toshiba 1T  Modded stock FX cooler lapped + 92mm Tacens Aur... Sony Bravia 46" 
PowerCaseMouse
420w Tacens radix IV  Silverstone grandia Loves to be touched  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 5350 ASUS AM1I-A itx HD 8400 2 x 2gig Crucial ballistix tactical 1600 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Sammy 830 64g + Toshiba 750g 2.5  stock + 120mm Skythe slipstream 32" LG 
KeyboardPowerCase
Tacens Levis  60w brick Akasa Crypto mini ITX 
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post #5 of 16
This is pretty close size-wise and like a Mac mini has a motherboard with an Intel mobile chip:
i3-3217U barebones

There's also the Intel i3 NUC.
post #6 of 16
I quite like these mini ITX cases http://www.quietpc.com/st-f1c-evo
 
Mega Media PC
(21 items)
 
Media Server
(16 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7 3820 P9X79 PRO Reference EVGA GTX 780 TI Reference EVGA GTX 780 TI 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveOptical Drive
Reference EVGA GTX 780 TI Samsung  Corsair Force 3 Samsung BD-ROM drive 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
XSPC Raystorm Full Copper block Phobia 150mm silver nickel reservior EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel Original CSQ EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel Original CSQ 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel Original CSQ Alphacool 140.3 UT60 Nexxxos Radiator Alphacool 140.3 UT60 Nexxxos Radiator 12x Noctua NF-A14 PWM fans on rads 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
EK D5 Vario X-top EK D5 Vario X-top Win 7 Pro x64 Dell U2713H 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer Lycosa ECGA SUperNova G2 1300W Caselabs TH10 Razer Lachesis 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Razer eXactMat NI Komplete Audio NAD C320 Stereo Amplifier 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 d0 Asus rampage ii gene Asus GTX 480 Corsair xms3 ddr3 2000 c9 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
OCZ Vertex 3 Samsung 2.5" notebook drive Samsung DVD-R drive Noctua 120 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Noctua 120 Noctua 140 Noctua 140 Win7 x64 pro 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Mythbuntu 12.04.1 Panasonic 46" Plasma HDTV Apple Aluminium Keyboard  corsair hx650 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Fractal R1 Apple Mighty Mouse Sony STR-DH800 Amp via HDMI in 5.0 speaker conf... Mordaunt Short 905 Centre, 902 front and 904 re... 
Other
Xbox wireless controller dongle 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
core 2 quad q6600 Asus P5K-E XFX 9800 GT Geil DDR2 4x1GB @ 1066 MHz  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Seagate Baraccuda Samsung HDD Seagate Baraccuda WD Caviar Black 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Baraccuda Samsung DVD-RW Thermalright CPU cooler Mythbuntu 12.04.1 
PowerCaseOtherOther
Corsair 450W PSU Antec 300 WinTV Nova HD-S2 WinTV Nova-T PCI 
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Mega Media PC
(21 items)
 
Media Server
(16 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i7 3820 P9X79 PRO Reference EVGA GTX 780 TI Reference EVGA GTX 780 TI 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveOptical Drive
Reference EVGA GTX 780 TI Samsung  Corsair Force 3 Samsung BD-ROM drive 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
XSPC Raystorm Full Copper block Phobia 150mm silver nickel reservior EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel Original CSQ EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel Original CSQ 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel Original CSQ Alphacool 140.3 UT60 Nexxxos Radiator Alphacool 140.3 UT60 Nexxxos Radiator 12x Noctua NF-A14 PWM fans on rads 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
EK D5 Vario X-top EK D5 Vario X-top Win 7 Pro x64 Dell U2713H 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Razer Lycosa ECGA SUperNova G2 1300W Caselabs TH10 Razer Lachesis 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Razer eXactMat NI Komplete Audio NAD C320 Stereo Amplifier 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 d0 Asus rampage ii gene Asus GTX 480 Corsair xms3 ddr3 2000 c9 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
OCZ Vertex 3 Samsung 2.5" notebook drive Samsung DVD-R drive Noctua 120 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Noctua 120 Noctua 140 Noctua 140 Win7 x64 pro 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Mythbuntu 12.04.1 Panasonic 46" Plasma HDTV Apple Aluminium Keyboard  corsair hx650 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Fractal R1 Apple Mighty Mouse Sony STR-DH800 Amp via HDMI in 5.0 speaker conf... Mordaunt Short 905 Centre, 902 front and 904 re... 
Other
Xbox wireless controller dongle 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
core 2 quad q6600 Asus P5K-E XFX 9800 GT Geil DDR2 4x1GB @ 1066 MHz  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Seagate Baraccuda Samsung HDD Seagate Baraccuda WD Caviar Black 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Baraccuda Samsung DVD-RW Thermalright CPU cooler Mythbuntu 12.04.1 
PowerCaseOtherOther
Corsair 450W PSU Antec 300 WinTV Nova HD-S2 WinTV Nova-T PCI 
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post #7 of 16
In progress.
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570k Asrock Z77E-ITX GTX670 Windforce 8gb Samsung 30nm 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
OCZ Agility 3 240gb OS and Steam h100i Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Asus VG236HE 120hz 
KeyboardPowerCase
Steelseries 6gv2 Antec TruePower New TP-750 Bitfenix Prodigy (White) 
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In progress.
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570k Asrock Z77E-ITX GTX670 Windforce 8gb Samsung 30nm 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
OCZ Agility 3 240gb OS and Steam h100i Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Asus VG236HE 120hz 
KeyboardPowerCase
Steelseries 6gv2 Antec TruePower New TP-750 Bitfenix Prodigy (White) 
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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougieFresh View Post

This is pretty close size-wise and like a Mac mini has a motherboard with an Intel mobile chip:
i3-3217U barebones

There's also the Intel i3 NUC.

Those look nice, but $400 + the rest of the parts. I could get the Mac Mini for about that cost and IMO it looks nicer and would play well with my external Mac formatted HDD's without having to download 3rd party software.

Really I want a PC alternative at a cost of up to $350-$400 max, otherwise I would go with the Mac Mini.
Macbook Air
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D E6600 2.4ghz @ 3.6ghz Gigabyte EP45-UD3P Rev 1.0 BFG GTX275 4x1gb Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
150gb Raptor, 3x1tb Storage Samsung 22x DVDRW + LG 22x DVDRW (BOTH SATA) Windows 7 64-Bit Samsung 245BW 24" 1920x1200 5ms 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G11 Silverstone Strider 750w Modular Antec 900 Razer Copperhead 
Mouse Pad
Custom Outer Space 
  hide details  
Reply
Macbook Air
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D E6600 2.4ghz @ 3.6ghz Gigabyte EP45-UD3P Rev 1.0 BFG GTX275 4x1gb Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
150gb Raptor, 3x1tb Storage Samsung 22x DVDRW + LG 22x DVDRW (BOTH SATA) Windows 7 64-Bit Samsung 245BW 24" 1920x1200 5ms 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G11 Silverstone Strider 750w Modular Antec 900 Razer Copperhead 
Mouse Pad
Custom Outer Space 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 16
I'm looking at the zotac zbox as an upgrade to my current htpc

www.amazon.com/Zotac-i3-3120M-2-5GHz-Barebone-ZBOX-ID83-U/dp/B00BBDKVSG/
post #10 of 16
Do you need an optical drive?
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