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ASRock AM1H-ITX AM1 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 DC-In/ATX Power Input Mini ITX AMD Motherboard
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: 19V DC power input
Four SATA connections
Mini-ITX form factor
HDMI or DP output
Digital optical audio output

Cons: The only cons are limitations of the AMD AM1 platform, not this board: single channel memory and no aftermarket APU cooler options (available yet). Neither is a problem, just nice-to-have things.

Other Thoughts: I recently built a Intel i3 NUC, very tiny HTPC for over $700 with a mSATA SSD for the Win 8.1 OS and a 1TB WD AV-25 media drive. The system I built with this motherboard and the 25w AMD Kabini 5350 quad-core APU cost less than half as much as the i3 NUC, performs just as well, and has much more storage. It uses slightly more power (idles @ 25w) and is still a perfect fit on my media shelf in a Silverstone Milo ML06B case. Using the DC input on this mobo with an external laptop AC adapter left a big space where the PSU would have been. In that space I mounted an SSD for the Win7 Media Center OS and two 2TB WD AV-GP media drives for recorded TV and movies. This little box runs very cool and quiet with one just 120mm exhaust case fan mounted above the APU. It is connected via the GigE LAN port to four WMC extenders in the house, using HDHomerun Prime cablecard tuners (the only equipment I rent from my cable provider).

I am very pleased with this mini-ITX AM1 motherboard and the combination of features it has which seem to be optimized for a HTPC build.

Intel NUC BOXD34010WYKH1 2 x 204Pin SO-DIMM Intel HD Graphics Integrated by CPU Mini / Booksize Barebone System
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Extra small form factor: ~ 4" x 4" x 2.5"
HD4400 Graphics are great for video viewing
mSATA SSD and a 1TB HDD fit
Idles at 8w, sleeps at 1w, watching TV at 15w

Cons: Pricey after adding ram, msata, HDD, wireless card and Win 8.1 Pro with MC. Can't afford another one unless I sell some stuff.

Other Thoughts: Installed Win 8 Pro on a USB 3.0 flash drive in 10 minutes. Getting all the windows updates and the 8.1 upgrade and recent update and then installing drivers and Media Center took much longer. But it was worth it - this does everything my full ATX size HTPC did while consuming less than a quarter of the electricity. The early July 2014 drivers from Intel have not given me any problems. The optional 7260 AC wireless card streams HD video really well one room away, but not 2 rooms away from my 300-N access point. I couldn't be happier with this "baby box".

8gb DDR3L G.SKILL Ripjaws 1600-9
120gb Samsung 840 EVO mSATA SSD
1TB WD AV-25 HDD for video/recorded TV
Intel 7260 AC wireless card
Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

CORSAIR CXM series CX430M 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: 80 PLUS Bronze 430w
modular cables for drives/peripherals
Low price

Cons: Bare minimum of modular cables (4)
sata plugs are too close together.

Other Thoughts: I had a 400w Antec HCG (OEM=Seasonic) in my nMedia case HTPC. An excellent PSU, but its multitude of fixed cables were stuffed under the BDR drive. The CX430M is smaller and I only need to use the two sata power cables (just two plugs on each). One connected to the SSD OS drive and the 2TB AV-GP. The other needed a sata (F-M) 6" extension cable to reach the BDR drive and a small SSD for programs. This PSU is perfect for my use and the 400 HCG went into my wife's PC, much quieter than the original Earthwatts 380 that it replaced.
If I receive the rebate, this PSU only cost a mere Lincoln!


ROBERT V.'s Profile

Display Name: ROBERT V.

Date Joined: 07/02/04

  • Reviews: 39
  • Helpfulness: 21
  • First Review: 08/17/04
  • Last Review: 12/23/14
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