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Intel Atom+ION HTPC Build Log

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Wednesday, Jan, 19, 2011

This is going to be my first build/case log. Been doing tons and tons of research of the compenents im going to be using aswel as the materials that I am going to be constructing the case out of.

Main Ideas: I started by wanting to use a Mini-Itx form factor for this project. I saw Killhouse's "Eyas" project and was really inspired by his "tiny" design, and would love to use his design in my own project. Aswel as construct the case from scratch, there is a sub agenda. I want to be able to play blu-ray movies with this HTPC with using as little power as possible. I have done alot of research on components that use the least power while still being able to play blu-ray movies.

Case Ideas: Im going to be making a case out of some material, wether its going to be bamboo (keeping with the green theme), carbon fiber (super sexy material) , acrylic or any combination. I think I am going to model it after Killhouses design of his case, as I love the fact that it is so small.
Parts:

For the Cpu i have picked the Intel Atom 330 paired with the Asus AT3IONT-I Deluxe motherboard with the ION graphics processor.

Mobo:
Power supply is external, allowing a smaller case design.
DDR3 uses less voltage than DDR2
This board has the ability to run ram at lower clock speeds, as I will be testing out lower voltage ram that is still able to process blu-ray coding.

Apon reading that the 330 has an average TDP rating of 8w, creating less heat than many other atom processors with similar Ghz, will help out the cooling of the small form factor of the case.

http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Atom/Intel-Atom%20330%20AU80587RE0251M.html

For the HDD, I will be using this build for bluray and streaming so a large HDD will not be necessary. I looked at reviews and found that the Samsung 470 series SSDs used the fewest Watts.

http://www.samsungssd.com/meetssd/techspecs

For memory, and keeping with the lowest power consumption theme, I found that Kingston has launched a memory line called "LoVo," meaning low voltage. The ddr3 I have picked is there 2x2gb, 1.25v, 1333mhz kit. My goal is to see if the memory can be underclocked to 800mhz and maybe under volted aswel to use less power.

This is all the time I have to write for now...If anyone has suggestions/comments, please feel free to post!
Edited by jeffhoyo - 1/20/11 at 9:58am
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post #2 of 14
Did you buy your parts yet?

I would wait for AMD Brazos coming out in the next month.... The APU on it will outperform an Atom while using less power than an Atom+ION.
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post #3 of 14
I figure the power supply will be the real killer here. Do they make such low voltage power supplies?? And what do you estimate the watt consumption at??

Hearing about how little power something like this is going to use, makes me regret buying a dual core/mobo combo for my HTPC, with slight gaming use.

Subing this for sure.
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post #4 of 14
PSUs are brick style like a laptop, although some ITX boards will use normal 20-24 pin power supplies, and they do make SFF PSUs. . flexATX PTX etc.

ATOM/ION will make a great HTPC, I ran the single core with HT one from Zotac for a couple of weeks. Wanted it to be a low power desktop replacement but it couldn't handle flash. It did handle HD video playback though...

I thought about making another ITX pc for server duties, especially after seeing the silverstone case that holds 6 3.5" drives smile.gif
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post #5 of 14
Got a Acer Revo with the 330 dual core and nvidia Ion chipset and 2gb's of DDR2 800. Works perfectly for 1080p on Flash 10.1. It has just enough CPU power and hit's about 80% usage at that res. 720p is a walk in the park.
Have been using it for a solid year with magicJack so it's on 24/7 and has saved me tons of money over installing a land line for telephone.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neur0mancer;12073297 
I thought about making another ITX pc for server duties, especially after seeing the silverstone case that holds 6 3.5" drives smile.gif
What Silverstone case might you be speaking of? Looking for a small form factor case for a mini-server to hold some 1:1 backups of some files on my unRAID server. So far, the only ones I've found that I'd even consider buying are the Fractal Design Array R2 and Lian Li PC-Q08.
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodtobeking;12073208 
I figure the power supply will be the real killer here. Do they make such low voltage power supplies?? And what do you estimate the watt consumption at??

It comes with an external 80watt power supply.

Im hoping for around 25watts under full blu ray playback. Did some Kill A Watt testing today and found that the system is using around 28 with a hard disk drive. The implementation with the ssd should lower it by around 8 watts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo;12073099 
Did you buy your parts yet?

I would wait for AMD Brazos coming out in the next month.... The APU on it will outperform an Atom while using less power than an Atom+ION.

I have just bought the mobo, and I did not know about the brazos, I will have to look them up.
Edited by jeffhoyo - 1/20/11 at 12:07am
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post #8 of 14
Very interesting. I've always wanted to do an energy efficient build, but I'm too poor and need something fast XD. I would love to do something similar if I had the extra money.
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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffhoyo;12075417 
It comes with an external 80watt power supply.

Im hoping for around 25watts under full blu ray playback. Did some Kill A Watt testing today and found that the system is using around 28 with a hard disk drive. The implementation with the ssd should lower it by around 8 watts.
Nah. It'll probably drop by around 5W or so. Modern hard drives aren't that bad nowadays.
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post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rui-no-onna;12076998 
Nah. It'll probably drop by around 5W or so. Modern hard drives aren't that bad nowadays.

Ill have to see. I was also thinking about the low voltage ram also being included in the final power usage.
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