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This review is from: Foxconn NTA350-0H0W-B-A-NA AMD A45 (Hudson D1) Black Mini / Booksize Barebone System
Pros: Small, silent, runs Windows great (see other comments).
Plays 1080p MPEG-2 & some 720p h264 content fine on Linux .
Cons: Struggled mightily with any 1080p h264 content, and some 720p h264 content on Linux, whether using the open source or ATI drivers.
Other Thoughts: My intention was to use it as s MythTV frontend (I hate having a big loud PC in my living room & bedroom). I didn't do my homework when I bought it, but quickly learned that ATI video is not the way to go for an underpowered Linux HTPC. Replaced it with a Zotac ID80 (with a Nvidia card), and no more problems...
Turned it into a kid's Windows PC, and it is very nice for that.
This review is from: Zotac ZBOX-ID80-U Intel NM10 Black Mini / Booksize Barebone System
Pros: Small, silent, and streams 1080p mkvs on Linux. This was my criteria, and it meets every need perfectly. Running Mint14 / MythTV 0.26 - plays any mkv I can throw at it flawlessly with Nvidia proprietary driver & VDPAU setting in MythTV.
Hardware install was much easier than other mini PCs I have tried (don't have to pry anything open etc.). Not a critical point, just nice.
No problems getting 5.1 sound working through HDMI.
Came with a free SSD at the time.
Cons: It does seem to be getting a little warm, but it isn't as hot as other reviews made me believe it would be. I haven't noticed any problems because of it., but I do have it in an open area in an air-conditioned room
Other Thoughts: Tried a Foxconn mini PC w/ ATI for a previous MythTV frontend, but later learned the woes of ATI video drivers on Linux. It would play about half of my 720p content, and none of my 1080p. Definitely go with an Nvidia card for Linux HTPC -- ATI & linux don't play nice. There is information out there about this, but I didn't even think about this being a problem when I was building the other box.
I can't comment to wifi capabilities, I have it wired.
I wish the IR receiver was built into the case for my purposes, but I can understand they they didn't - it would go against the idea of VESA mounting...
This review is from: APEVIA Black SECC Steel / Aluminum X-MASTER-BK/500 ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
Pros: case is fine - as described. A little loud, but not too bad.
Cons: Don't count on getting a rebate from them. They will deny it for any reason they can find, and not inform you. Then, if you don't complain soon enough, they "don't have records" & won't pay. I've dealt with plenty of rebates & often have to contact the company (a lot of rebate companies will deny everything they can), but this is the worst policy I have come across.
Other Thoughts: I give this one egg because there are plenty of cases of the same quality in the same price range -- the reason to buy this one was because of the rebate. If you are buying it expecting a rebate, prepare to be disappointed.READ FULL REVIEW