Items tagged with HTPC

Gamers or HTPC fans who are looking for a feature-packed mITX mainboard supporting Socket 1151 Coffee Lake CPUs might want to check out the new EVGA H370 Stinger. As the name of the board implies, it uses the Intel H370 chipset and is an economical offering that supports Core i3, i5, and i7 Socket 1151 Coffee Lake-S processors. The board is also Intel Optane Memory Ready and has an HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 output integrated. The H370 Stinger supports 7.1 channel high definition audio and optical out. EVGA includes Intel Dual-band WiFi / Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity with external antennas for better signal strength. The board has a single M.2 Key E 32mm socket and a single M.2 Key... Read more...
MINIX offers a wide assortment of ultra small form factor (SFF) systems targeting an array of use cases, from home theater PCs and digital signage to other industrial applications. Despite their diminutive size, the machines are typically full-featured and come with memory, storage, and an operating system – either Windows or Android depending on the model. The new MINIX Neo N42C-4 we’ll be showing you here today is a Windows-based system, but unlike previous models in its class this one includes Windows 10 Professional, rather than the more common Windows 10 Home. The Window 10 Pro upgrade will allow the machine to join a domain and offer Group Policy Management, Bitlocker,... Read more...
The sound of silence -- there’s nothing like it, especially when it comes to a media PC. The last thing anyone wants while binging on the new season of Game of Thrones is the distracting drone of a fan or whir of a hard drive. Silence is precisely what the Streacom DB-4 chassis we'll be featuring here has to offer. I’ve been wanting to build a Home Theater PC (HTPC) for years now. My current rig actually started life as an HTPC, but was soon upgraded for gaming and workstation tasks and now lives under my desk instead of in my living room. When Streacom reached out to us to review the DB-4, I was eager for the opportunity to give a proper HTPC another go. The DB-4 is not your average computer... Read more...
We dig burly, decked-out gaming PCs stuffed with powerful hardware as much as the next guy around here. Sleek, ultra small form factor systems like the MINIX Neo Z83-4 we’ll be showing you here today, however, also have a certain appeal. Powerful gaming PCs are awesome for their intended purpose, but try sticking one in a typical home theater setup and things can so sideways. Not only will it usually look out of place, but there are power, heat, and noise considerations to worry about.  Conversely, a miniscule machine like the MINIX Neo Z83-4 is so quiet and requires such a small amount of power, that you’ll wonder why every self-respecting geek doesn’t have a tiny PC attached to their TV.The... Read more...
A couple of weeks ago, we reported on a rumor of forthcoming GT 1030 graphics cards from NVIDIA, and this week, their existence has been confirmed. Its launch creates a new battle: Radeon RX 550 vs. GeForce GT 1030, although based on the specs alone, it looks like the RX 500 is going to come ahead (but its price will scale). The rumor leading up to the launch of the GT 1030 showed that the card could come equipped with either 384 or 512 CUDA cores, but based on the models available right now, it appears that the variant with 384 CUDA cores is going to be more common. At this point, we can't find a 512 core version of the card available, so it could become exclusive for OEM use like some other... Read more...
The Gigabyte BRIX Gaming UHD is an exciting small form factor PC prospect. It packs a surprising amount of muscle into a tiny frame. This little flyweight may not sound too beastly with its GeForce GTX 950, but Gigabyte reckons it is more than capable of streaming 4K UHD media and taking a few swings at 1080p gaming with good image quality. Its 4.3-inch square footprint should help it blend into many entertainment centers or find a home on a dorm room desk for work, play, business or pleasure. Most ultra small form-factor computers, by comparison, rely on integrated graphics to due to thermal constraints. Don’t get us wrong, integrated graphics solutions from Intel and AMD have come a long ways,... Read more...
In the run up to the highly anticipated releases of Steam Machines in 2014, Valve announced a beta program called In-Home Streaming that will allow users to stream Steam games (say that five times fast) from one computer to another within the same house. Any system with Steam installed on it can run games from the cloud, but this in-home streaming feature would ostensibly allow users to keep one burly gaming rig going downstairs or in a gaming room and still be able to play all those titles on, say, a less powerful HTPC in the living room. It’s all part of Valve’s forthcoming SteamOS release, which will also bring options such as Family Sharing, Family Options for more control over... Read more...
If you're a proponent of the desktop, don't worry, the sky isn't falling on your form factor. Yes, we've read the same reports you have, the ones pointing out how traditional PC sales are shrinking in the wake of a mobile revolution that has consumers turning to tablets and smartphones for surfing the web and logging into Facebook. There's no denying mobile is sexy right now, but when it comes to getting work done and playing games with more depth than Angry Birds, desktops haven't lost their swagger. Desktops are evolving, however, and getting smaller and less intrusive. Zotac is a company that's been at the forefront of this evolution by offering up a constantly-expanding line of small form... Read more...
Zotac has been making ultra-small form factor systems for quite a while now. You can check out a number of our reviews of various ZBox systems and you’ll notice that most of the systems have been built around low-power platforms like AMD’s E-Series APUs or Intel’s Atom processors. With its latest generations of mini-PC’s, however, Zotac has been able to crank things up a few notches. With some recently released ZBoxes, Zotac has managed to squeeze in Intel Core-series processors, which put the diminutive systems into an entirely different performance category. The latest Zotac ZBox to hit the lab is the ZBox Nano ID65 Plus. Despite its relatively tiny 5”-square form... Read more...
Zotac has been making ultra-small form factor systems for quite a while now. You can check out a number of our reviews of various ZBox systems right here. If you read those previous reviews, you’ll notice that most of the systems have been built around low-power platforms like AMD’s E-Series APUs or Intel’s Atom processors. With its latest generations of mini-PC’s, however, Zotac has been able to crank things up a few notches. With some recently released ZBoxes, Zotac has managed to squeeze in Intel Core-series processors, which put the diminutive systems into an entirely different performance category. The latest Zotac ZBox to hit the lab is the ZBox Nano ID65... Read more...
CyberPowerPC announced a new line of Zeus HTPCs that are designed to be stylish enough to be prominently displayed in your home theater configuration but are dead silent, never interrupting your movie-watching or game-playing. CyberPowerPC bills the Zeus HTPCs as “your DVR, enthusiast home theatre PC, gaming console and DVD/Blu-Ray Player” in one, and indeed, looking at the specifications, that’s feasible. Wrapped in a slim microATX chassis (17.125 x 15.35 x 2.75 inches, L× W×H), the Intel-based version of the Zeus HTPC starts with a quad-core Intel Core i5-4430 processor, AMD Radeon HD 7750 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 2TB (7200 RPM) HDD (for $895). There’s also... Read more...
Here's a question: does the world need a giant Windows 8 PC? Something tells us the answer must be "yes," and that something is the InFocus BigTouch. It's a giant 55" all-in-one Windows PC, built for huge conference rooms, educational spaces, and working event spaces. Or, the home office of someone who firmly believes that bigger is truly better. It's a massive machine -- large enough to double as a suitable HDTV in most cases, with an internal PC that boasts six USB sockets, two HDMI ports, two Ethernet jacks, a Core i5 processor, and a display resolution of 1920x1080. There's also a 120GB solid state drive, plenty of cooling, a touch layer, built-in wireless, and a borderline-crazy $5,000 price... Read more...
Most HTPCs have more modest components than your average gaming rig, and they’re typically designed to be quiet and to blend in with a home theater. Enthusiasts who go the HTPC route will often keep a dedicated PC in the media room and keep another set up for serious gaming. Velocity Micro is apparently not a fan of that model, because the company just released a monster system called the Raptor Multiplex that’s designed to be a kitchen sink sort of computer with both powerful gaming capabilities and all the home media amenities you’d want. The solid all- black aluminum chassis certainly looks like it means business, and on the inside there’s a Thunderbolt-enabled Asus... Read more...
Just as we always suspected, Valve's push from the PC to the living room isn't going to end with Big Picture mode. The next logical step, and one that Valve hinted at before, is to jump over on the hardware side of the equation and launch a PC-based console of its own, a "Steam Box," if you will. Confirmation of Valve's plans comes from Kotaku, which claims to have heard from Gabe Newell himself that the end goal is for the company to develop its own hardware. If Big Picture mode was a test, it's safe to say PC gamers passed, as Newell said the reaction to the 10-foot UI has been "stronger than expected." "Our hardware will be a very controlled environment," Newell added. "If you want more flexibility,... Read more...
For our latest End-of-Summer giveaway, we partnered up with our good friends at ZOTAC and planned to give away a full-featured, ultra small form factor HTPC / mini-PC! This time around, you could have won a ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD12 Plus, complete with a dual-core APU and AMD Radeon HD 7340 series graphics, all wrapped up in a tiny enclosure that's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand! Here’s a look at the complete breakdown of the system's specifications and features: Model: ZBOX nano AD12 Plus Chipset: AMD A68M GPU: AMD Radeon HD 7340 CPU: AMD E2-1800 APU (1.7 GHz, dual-core) Memory: 2GB DDR3-1333 SODIMM Networking / Connectivity: Ethernet 10/100/1000Mbps WiFi 802.11n/g/b... Read more...
The summer may be coming to an end, but it’s just the beginning of our latest giveaway here at HotHardware! For our latest End-of-Summer giveaway, we’ve partnered up with our good friends at ZOTAC and are giving away a full-featured, ultra small form factor HTPC / mini-PC! This time around, you could win a ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD12 Plus, complete with a dual-core APU and AMD Radeon HD 7340 series graphics, all wrapped up in a tiny enclosure that's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand! Here’s a look at the complete breakdown of the system's specifications and features: Model: ZBOX nano AD12 Plus Chipset: AMD A68M GPU: AMD Radeon HD 7340 CPU: AMD E2-1800... Read more...
Those who like to tinker with and build computers have a new toy to play with in the cubieboard, a $49 self-described “open arm box” that offers intriguing possibilities as an HTPC build. The cubieboard supports Ubuntu (and other Linux distros), so it can operate as a regular desktop, but it can also run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and turn a TV into an “Android TV”. The nitty gritty details include a 1GB ARM Cortex A8 processor with 512KB of L2 cache on board, a Mali 400 Open GL ES GPU, 1GB of DDR3-480MHz, and 4GB of flash storage. The cubieboard also has 10/100M Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports, an MMC slot, SATA, and an IR port. The little fellow can be powered by a USB... Read more...
When we first took a look at the ASRock Vision 3D 137B with NVIDIA 3DTV Play last year, we were quite impressed with the machine. It offered excellent all-around performance for a system in its class and had an extensive feature set that included Blu-Ray and 3D video playback capabilities, all wrapped up in what we considered to be an attractive enclosure. So, when ASRock came to us with an updated model outfitted with a newer CPU, GPU, and other components, we were eager to check it out. Once it arrived we were pleased to see ASRock hadn’t messed around with the system’s aesthetics and after prepping it with an OS and various other apps, the system took residence in our home theater... Read more...
When we first took a look at the ASRock Vision 3D 137B with NVIDIA 3DTV Play last year, we were quite impressed with the machine. It offered excellent all-around performance for a system in its class and had an extensive feature set that included Blu-Ray and 3D video playback capabilities, all wrapped up in what we considered to be an attractive enclosure. So, when ASRock came to us with an updated model outfitted with a newer CPU, GPU, and other components, we were eager to check it out. Once it arrived we were pleased to see ASRock hadn’t messed around with the system’s aesthetics and after prepping it with an OS and various other apps, the system took residence in our home... Read more...
As we flip past more channels blacked out by the DirecTV and Viacom dispute and the case for ditching satellite or cable pay TV builds, svelte little HTPCs like the Giada i53 Mini PC look even more compelling. China’s Giada (not her) has a spate of interesting mini computers, and the i53 is a well-appointed member of the family. The machine runs your choice of Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors with the Intel HM76 chipset and Intel GMA HD 4000 graphics. It appears that 4GB of DDR3-1333 RAM is standard, and storage options are between a 320GB or 500GB 2.5-inch HDD. There’s a USB 3.0 port on board as well as a quartet of USB 2.0 ports, audio out and mic-in, HMDI, VGA, and a SD/MMC/MS/MS... Read more...
There’s been quite a few smallish cases unveiled this week, and we’ll finish the list off with two more. Streacom announced full specifications on the FC9 and FC10 fanless HTPC chassis. The cases are awfully pretty, with a sandblasted aluminum finish in black or silver and understated profile to blend in with your home theater room. Both the FC9 and FC10 feature Heatpipe DirectTouch cooling in lieu of fans as well as a slim slot-loading optical drive; two USB 3.0-ready side ports; support for Nano160, 200, 200XT or StreaFlex 250 PSUs; and support for an MCE-compatible IR receiver and remote control. Top to bottom: FC9 and FC10 The FC9 supports mini-ITX and micro-ATX motherboards,... Read more...
Over the last couple of years, Zotac has introduced a number of ultra small ZBOX systems that have seemingly gotten smaller and smaller with each new generation. The latest model we’ll be showing you here today, however, is the smallest yet. The new Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus is an AMD E-series APU based small form factor / HTPC system that fits in the palm of your hand—literally. Despite offering a dual-core processor, integrated DirectX 11 class graphics, 2GB of RAM, a 64GB solid state drive, USB 3.0, a flash card reader, and various other connections, the ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus measures just 4.17” x 4.17” x 1.46”... Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus Review... Read more...
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