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  Reply # 521756 16-Sep-2011 07:44
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checked out mATX are too big, im looking sor something not that much bigger than the 2009 model mac minis, smaller is better, but must take PCIE cards.

mini itx only have 1 pcie port, and there arent many options for Mini DTX, only found one that had integrated atom processor and rubbish graphics. if someone knows where i can get a good mini dtx motherboard, ill go down that route.???



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  Reply # 521797 16-Sep-2011 09:30
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what about a really good mini itx motherboard with hdmi, pcie 16 slot, as least 6 usb ports (including a couple of usb 3), optical audio out, support for core i3/i5/i7 cpus, nvidia graphics (i think the intel graphics dont work well under linux, which i may use (but i may not..)) any suggestions?

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  Reply # 521802 16-Sep-2011 09:47
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reven: checked out mATX are too big, im looking sor something not that much bigger than the 2009 model mac minis, smaller is better, but must take PCIE cards.

mini itx only have 1 pcie port, and there arent many options for Mini DTX, only found one that had integrated atom processor and rubbish graphics. if someone knows where i can get a good mini dtx motherboard, ill go down that route.???


I think that's where you will struggle to find something that fits all your requirements.

If you want decent graphics (or a PCI E 16 so you can use your own), plus one or two PCI E 1's for DVB-S/T cards... AND have something with a power supply and CPU grunty enough to do what you want to do... I think the options aren't great.

That's why I think the SFF PC's are the best of a bad situation, at least with the OEMs you can be pretty assured that the power supplys won't blow up after a year, and if they do you could reasonably easily find replacement parts.  They come with a good CPU and have PCI E 16 & 1 slots and aren't the size of a regular desktop, and are relatively cheap to pick up second hand off trademe.

Otherwise do the HDHomeRun or MythBuntu / PVR of your choice with the smallest box for the front end and have the server sitting in a cupboard somewhere for the backend







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  Reply # 521806 16-Sep-2011 09:57
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ill consider a mini itx board with a single pci-e 16 slot as long as the graphics on the motherboard are decent, i only need a single pci-e slot atm, i was just looking for 2 to future proof myself. so a mini itx board that fits this ill consider
what about a really good mini itx motherboard with hdmi, pcie 16 slot, as least 6 usb ports (including a couple of usb 3), optical audio out, support for core i3/i5/i7 cpus, nvidia graphics (i think the intel graphics dont work well under linux, which i may use (but i may not..)) any suggestions?

all the warnings about shuttles are putting me off, and they dont come with usb 3 ports, and the graphics dont work well under linux, but they do fit my requirement of small and future expansion. but if i have to use one of the pcie ports for graphics, then a mini itx board with great graphics would be a better option.



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  Reply # 522096 16-Sep-2011 18:20
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ok now im being annoying, sorry for this. thinking about ditching the shuttle and going with mini itx machine, since shuttles seem to only support a graphics card in the PCIe 16 slot, i was hoping to use this for another tuner or something at some stage, not only graphics options, as i only want to use decent onboard graphics.

so i was looking at "CPU/MOBO/GPU: ASUS E35M1-I ~$200" as suggested, but wondering if the cpu is too underpowered at only 1.6GHZ? this will be a server eventually and i may do some work on it from time to time with sql server, visual studio etc. not that often it has to be grunty, most of hte time it will just be sitting there recording tv, serving files over samba, used to browse the web etc.
it does look good and quiet, just 1.6GHz....

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  Reply # 522204 17-Sep-2011 00:14
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What about a Mini ITX board with the H67 chipset that support i3, i5, i7... this would like you say give you "onboard/cpu" Intel HD graphics and leave the PCI-E slot free.

ASUS P8H67-I or GIGABYTE GA-H67N-USB3-B3 come to mind.

I believe there are Intel linux drivers for these Intel GPU's now, but I would triple check that and if they work with whatever media player software you intend to use.

Hmm in terms of "better" onboard graphics in Mini ITX or DTX format Zotac has some interesting boards, hard to get in NZ though.

Zotac 9300
http://www.zotac.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=100195&lang=ap

Zotac IONITX 
http://www.zotac.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=100179&lang=ap 



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  Reply # 522333 17-Sep-2011 14:35
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ok after all my swaying back and forth, i have ordered the following from computer lounge

- SILVERSTONE SG06 BLACK CUBE MINIITX CASE W/300W
- WESTERN DIGITAL CAVIAR GREEN 2TB WD20EARX 64MB CACHE SATA3
- ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE AMD ZACATE AMD HUDSON M1 DDR3-1333 SATA3 USB3.0 MINI ITX

i just need to get 4GB of cheap ram, theres some around $50 ill probably get, and ill buy a notebook style bluray drive for it later (thats the type the case supports).

went with the E35M1-I deluxe board because,
- it completely silent, no fans, big cooling system thing on board
- quiet cheap considering it comes with a cpu
- lots of ports, plus usb 3.0
- can be overclocked to 1.98GHz which is ok
- standard mini itx so i can upgrade just motherboard and cpu later and not stuck with a shuttle device which i cant
- reviews for it were saying its a really really good board, and a must have.
- the bios looks really cool, more like a linux/windows interface and you can use a mouse (sure i wont use the bios much, but i want to play with it :))

down sides are
- PCI-e 16 is stuck at 4 or 8 speed (cant remember which), but im only going to be using this for tuners and not graphics so shouldnt be a problem.

thanks for all the suggestions and the warning about shuttles.

now i just have to wait until monday before i can pick up the parts... was planning on putting it together over the weekend...

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  Reply # 522336 17-Sep-2011 14:44
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I got laptop ram cheap at elive ($55 delivered)... desktop would be even cheaper maybe?



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  Reply # 522350 17-Sep-2011 15:14
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yeah i found some 4GB for around $40
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=525459
just trying to find a place close to me to pick it up, emailed pbtech seeing if they would price match a cheaper one (they're selling same stuff for $67ish)

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  Reply # 522353 17-Sep-2011 15:20
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Amazing prices of RAM at the moment... loving it... my lappy running 8gb now!
good luck with you machine!



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  Reply # 522355 17-Sep-2011 15:21
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this may be a winner, cheap and close by
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Components/Memory-RAM/1-GB-or-more/auction-407074332.htm
ill upgrade to better quality ram later and buy 2x 4GB sticks.



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  Reply # 522358 17-Sep-2011 15:23
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blakamin: Amazing prices of RAM at the moment... loving it... my lappy running 8gb now!
good luck with you machine!

cheers, sadly the bluray drive is going to be nearly the most expensive part of the machine, so ill put that on hold for now.  my sold mac mini is paying for this (quickest auction ive ever had, was on trademe for 8 hours before it was sold) 

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  Reply # 522777 18-Sep-2011 22:06
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+1 for Hp small form factor. Nice and quiet and beautifully engineered. They go better with home theater gear too. Of course you need to use low profile cards. I use a DC 7700 for my lounge front end. Best to split tv server and htpc front end tasks. Put a tower in a cupboard somewhere fill it with TV cards and disks. Focus on keeoing fronts ends small and quiet. Only thing I've heard about shuttles is that they are noisy and hot.




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  Reply # 525065 23-Sep-2011 15:18
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I know that the PB shop in vivian St in Wellington has a shuttle for sale.

I am not sure of its specs and it has been on display there for some time now.

cheers Paul. 



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  Reply # 525068 23-Sep-2011 15:25
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cheers, settled on the Asus all in one mb mini itx mentioned early and the silverstone sg06b case. not exactly what i'd call small (coming from a mac mini) but will be easy to upgrade in future and is pretty quiet (hard drive is the loudest thing in it, thinking about getting a SSD drive to fix that)

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