Antec ISK-100 : New tiny mini-ITX enclosure from Antec

September 26, 2010 Leave a comment
Antec ISK 100 mini ITX enclosure

Antec ISK 100 mini ITX enclosure

I just watched an Antec Youtube video (see below) where I first noticed a new tiny mini-ITX enclosure from Antec called the Antec ISK-100. It was recently added to the Antec website. Antec & Newegg are selling them through their online stores, and it also popped up on my dealers site (although none in stock at the moment, and no delivery date).

It appears to be the smallest form factor ever made by Antec for mini-ITX based systems.

Read more for the specs, the youtube video and some images…

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Categories: Hardware, HTPC, mini-ITX cases Tags: , ,

New fan-less home for my Atom AT3IONT-I

September 21, 2010 2 comments

Introduction

Asus AT3IONT-I Heatsink

Asus AT3IONT-I Heatsink

After initially installing my Asus AT3IONT-I in my Lian Li PC-Q07 case, the motherboard had to be moved to a different case, as my Core i3 / gigabte miniITX motherboard also arrived.

I moved the Asus AT3IONT-I in an Antec ISK 310 150 case. It’s a much smaller case than the Lian Li PC-Q07, and I thought it would be interesting to see if it could also run fan-less here.

Read more…

Bitstreaming Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD with the Intel Core i3

September 13, 2010 10 comments
Dolby Digital TrueHD - DTS HD Master Audio

Dolby Digital TrueHD - DTS HD Master Audio

When the Intel Core i3 platform was announced, it was hailed as being the holy grail for HTCP enthusiasts. The reason being that the Core i3 chip (that combines both CPU and GPU onto one physical chip) offers more then the current Atom based platforms have to offer. Not only is the Core i3 platform a lot more powerful compared to the Intel Atom platform, is also maintains a fairly low power consumption. Obviously, it cannot compete with the power consumption of the Atom. However, combine the Atom with an Ion chipset and a blu-ray player, and the difference becomes a lot smaller.

One of the biggest strengths of the Core i3, and the H55 chipset is that it also supports HDMI Audio Pass Through for  Native Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD Master Audio bitstreaming.

The primary goal off this writing was to get the  Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD Master Audio up & running. And guess what …. it really worked ! :)

Read more…

Intel Core i3 H264 GPU Acceleration using Ubuntu and XBMC

September 9, 2010 22 comments
Intel Core i3

Intel Core i3

This article outlines the steps that are needed, starting from a clean Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid), to get DTS 5.1 / Dolby Digital 5.1 through HDMI, and H264 hardware GPU decoding up & running.
It involves the following steps that will be outlined in detail below

  • Starting from a clean Ubuntu 10.04 system
  • Installing the latest intel-drm-next kernel
  • Installing libdrm
  • Installing libva
  • Installing the latest version of XBMC (needed for libva support)

As the Corei3 CPU (combined with the H55 chipset) platform is hailed as THE htpc platform for 2010, I thought I might give it a try.

Read more…

Antec ISK 310-150 mini-ITX case review

September 5, 2010 2 comments

I was looking for a new mini-ITX case for a new HTPC project. The case needed to be fairly small, have good airflow, and have an internal PSU. I stumbled upon the Antec ISK-310 150 mini-ITX case.

Today we’ll be taking a closer look at it.

Categories: Hardware, mini-ITX cases Tags: , ,

Lian Li PC-Q07 mini-itx-case review

August 31, 2010 1 comment

Today I’ll be reviewing the Lian Li PC-Q07 mini-ITX case. I picked it up this week to install my Core i3 CPU, but unfortunately, the Gigabyte H55 mini-ITX motherboard that I ordered turned out to be a micro-ATX board (wanted the GigaByte GA-H55N-USB3 but received the GA-H55M-USB3 – bummer).

Anywayz, the only mini-ITX board I had lying around was the Asus AT3IONT-I (Deluxe version), so we’ll be using that board to test the case.

Read more…

ASUS AT3IONT-I Deluxe Review

August 30, 2010 7 comments

Introduction

Asus AT3IONT-I Deluxe box

Asus AT3IONT-I Deluxe box

Most custom HTCP builds are probably based on the Intel Atom/Nvidia Ion combo. The fact that it’s a cheap solution , widely available and supported allows it to act as a key enabler for such Atom/Ion based HTCP custom builds. However, in order to achieve the full HTCP experience, where you can enjoy key additional benefits such as :

  • Hooking up a remote control
  • Have low power consumption
  • Emit low or even no noise
  • Wireless LAN & Bluetooth

takes some additional effort to put into place. It’s easy to start with off with an Atom/ION board, but in addition to that there are a lot of other pieces of the HTCP puzzle that we need to fill in. Thus people end up buying additional components to hook up to their Atom board, adding to the cost, and the potential issue of having components that don’t work all that well together.

Asus has tried to address this issue with the Asus AT3IonT-I Deluxe. It’s a complete package, not only offering the Intel Atom/Nvidia Ion motherboard, but additional features like remote control, onboard DC/DC converter (eliminating the need for a PSU), WiFi , Bluetooth and perhaps most importantly, a complete passively cooled system. For completing your build, all you need is a case, some memory and storage, and your good to go.

Read more…

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