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This review is from: Silicondust HDHR4-2US HDHomeRun CONNECT for Cord Cutters. Two ATSC OTA Network Tuners Multi User, Multi Room Live TV throughout your home. Compatible with HDHomeRun DVR, Plex, Android, Win10, Mac, iOS
Pros: Small, light, inexpensive, fast, convenient, always works, multi-platform, great support.
Cons: Silicondust could provide a little more documentation and hints on some of the cool features available.
Other Thoughts: I just fired DirecTV, threw away the dish and stuck up an RCA ANT751R antenna. I already had a third generation HDHomerun and was trying to get my antenna working with a Hauppauge 1250 PCIe tuner when I came to the realization: "Why am I screwing around with a stupid card in a power sucking PC when I can just stuff another HDHomerun on my LAN?!?!" Newegg had the most recent one on sale so I jumped on it.
I got it and popped it onto my LAN, plugged in my antenna and it worked just like my other one, seamless, simple and perfect. I then went shopping and dropped $0.99 on the Android App for my incredibly awesome $30 Coolpad T-Mobile pay-as-you-go phone. Well I was missing some channels so I contacted email@example.com who got back with me in less than 12 hours.
What I didn't know and what I learned from Silicondust support that the new fourth series units not only work like the old ones BUT have more web capabilities. Now I can scan for channels via the web interface which is immediately available on my cheap phone with the $0.99 app. Best of all the new units scan FAST, I've got 59 channels and my HDHomerun will finish an ATSC scan in 50 seconds! Lastly, I found that if I go to http://my.hdhomerun.com from a computer on my LAN with my HDHomerun I can see my unit, the status of my unit and my channels. If I poke on the Channels Lineup, I get a list of the channel numbers and names found AND if I poke the channel number, in Firefox, I get a VLC web page with the TV channel, TV in a browser, with no plugins or silliness.
If you've got a second or third generation HDHomerun and love it, consider a fourth generation it's just dazzling how cool the new features are.
BTW, despite what others have said, silicondust e-mail support was outstanding and very helpful.
This review is from: Zotac ZBOX-BI320-U Intel HD Graphics Integrated by CPU Black Mini-PC Barebone System
Pros: Small, quiet, low power consumption, quick for what it is, modern graphics, no OS "tax", audio through HDMI works immediately as does suspend to ram and suspend to disk.
Other Thoughts: I bought this system to replace my dreadfully slow 425 Atom and to reduce power consumption. What I got was something that, at idle, drew 8-9 watts of power, 15-16 running Mythtv at 1920x1080 and 25 watts running the Unigine Tropics demo. Compiling a relatively small package like stella takes three mintues 30 seconds; in comparison, my 2.8 GHz Core i7 920 takes about one minute ten seconds. Half the GHz, half the cores and 33 % the speed, all the while only using 15 watts of power; amazing.
The Tropics Demo runs, albiet in the single digits frame rates but it runs and renders correctly. My atom would render Google Earth at slideshow rates but this Celeron renders it smoothly and easy to watch.
The box is nearly silent, only the disk activity is a little bright but a bit of electric tape can take care of that.
Nearly the best $90 I've ever spent on a computer.
Pros: Low power, will run any game that has come out or will come out until the PS-5 and whatever MS calls their next console. Processor-wise it's about 90% of a Core i7 920. Graphics-wise it's akin to a R7 250. It's perfect for a small, low-power, low noise build.
Cons: Current video drivers are still beta but work well enough. Some motherboards still have incompatibility issues.
Other Thoughts: In 2009, I paid $740 for a Core i7 920, 6GB of RAM and a nVidia gtx260 video card. The AAA game, Crysis, had come out and that system could really play it beautifully. Now I have this 7850K and my mobo, RAM and CPU ran $310. CPU-wise it's about 90% of the i7 920 and about 80% of the video; more on modern games that use features such as Tesselation that the GTX260 didn't even support.
So, on one hand, it can't keep up with a five year old gaming system but on the other hand, the new rig draws less power at full honk than the i7 920 does at idle. To it's credit, the i7 920 was in a league of it's own, nothing could come close or touch it, at the time it was an astonishing chip. Also, since then, very few games have come out that were even as demanding as Crysis so the need for faster processors and faster video cards have diminished.
Kaveri is also similar to the core processors in the Playstation 4 and XBone, because of that, few if any games will exceed the capabilities of Kaveri, at least until the next generation of consoles.
So is it the perfect chip for a bargain build gamer? No, a Vishera 4300 and a R7 260x will be a less expensive build and deliver more FPS but will consume more power.
Summer is coming and it will take 30-50 watts of air conditioning power to remove 100 watts of heat from a computer. That takes the amount of energy my i7 920 uses from 400 watts of energy to 600. Compared to the Kaveri which at full honk is pulling around 100 watts, the total energy consumption is 1/4 the i7 920.
My i7 920 now has a GTX 660 TI video card and can now render 3x the frame rates of my Kaveri, however, for a game like Tomb Raider or Far Cry 2 that run around 30-45 FPS on Kaveri, I can't really tell the difference, when immersed in game play, that the experience is that much better on a "real gaming" system. Then there is all that fan noise.