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 Post subject: Dell to refresh Studi Hybrids?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:18 pm 
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As much as I would love to build my own silent PC, I am not going to do it. As of now, the form factor/performance/noise I am looking for is simply not available for what I want. I want something much like the Mac Mini (small, quiet, good GPU, runs Hulu), but in a Windows format. As of now, the Dell Studio Hybrid is the only thing that comes close. But, from what I here, do to its lack of a decent GPU, true HD is hard to achieve, plus Hulu can be a chop fest if multitasking. The Dell Studio Hybrid has now been out a while with no reasonable upgrades. Is there any news of the Hybrid line-up being refreshed in the near future? I really like the power consumption and form factor. I hope they come up with a true Mac Mini competitor soon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:40 pm 
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I don't know how quiet the Mac mini is, or if there are other reasons you want a Dell equivalent, but you could just buy the Mac and install Windows on it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:36 pm 
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Dell Studio Hybrid is NOT a "silent PC" by any stretch of the imagination. Dell will not "refresh" any model just to satisfy noise sensitive users. We are too small a market segment.

spcr review of Dell Studio Hybrid:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Dell_StudioHybrid

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:53 pm 
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You could always get a Mac Mini and put Windows on it. Nothing compares to it at the moment.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:41 pm 
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Lawrence Lee wrote:
You could always get a Mac Mini and put Windows on it. Nothing compares to it at the moment.
Is it that easy? Are their any driver issues? Do I loose any performance?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:23 am 
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AlexNC wrote:
Lawrence Lee wrote:
You could always get a Mac Mini and put Windows on it. Nothing compares to it at the moment.
Is it that easy? Are their any driver issues? Do I loose any performance?


considering that the components in the mac mini are found in other laptops, i don't think drivers will be a problem


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:04 am 
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You can put Windows on any Mac that uses an Intel processor. Drivers should be provided with Bootcamp.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:16 am 
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If thats the case, why are more people in here not using the iMac for their silent HTPC? From what I have read, it is close to silent as you can get with such a small form case. Plus, it is the most power efficient PC you can get for the CPU/GPU horse power (Core Duo and 9400). It seems to me if you hooked up a USB tv tuner this would be the perfect small factor quiet HTPC. Am I missing something?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:09 am 
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AlexNC wrote:
If thats the case, why are more people in here not using the iMac for their silent HTPC? From what I have read, it is close to silent as you can get with such a small form case. Plus, it is the most power efficient PC you can get for the CPU/GPU horse power (Core Duo and 9400). It seems to me if you hooked up a USB tv tuner this would be the perfect small factor quiet HTPC. Am I missing something?


I don't know if you're missing something, but the rest of us are missing several hundred dollars.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:27 am 
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qviri wrote:
AlexNC wrote:
If thats the case, why are more people in here not using the iMac for their silent HTPC? From what I have read, it is close to silent as you can get with such a small form case. Plus, it is the most power efficient PC you can get for the CPU/GPU horse power (Core Duo and 9400). It seems to me if you hooked up a USB tv tuner this would be the perfect small factor quiet HTPC. Am I missing something?


I don't know if you're missing something, but the rest of us are missing several hundred dollars.

iMacs are targeted to general computer users, not the typical enthusiast who posts in these forums. They certainly have their place, for ready-mades from a major brand, they are the quietest we've come across. But the lack of expansion/upgrade options + price premium keeps them less interesting for more hands-on users who can often build even quieter machines of similar capability for considerably less $$.

The lowest price for a 20" imac is $1200 -- 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo * 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x1GB * 8x double-layer SuperDrive * NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics * 320GB Serial ATA Drive * Apple Mighty Mouse * Apple Keyboard and User's Guide.

A good 20" monitor can be had for <$200. So is the rest replicable for $1000? Probably not in the near invisible form of the imac where the entire computer is within the monitor, but in a small as-quiet box, yes. Probably for ~$500.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:41 am 
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The bitten apple logo probably explains where the other $500 went to. If you want to be part of the cool community, you have to pay the membership fee.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:50 am 
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MikeC wrote:
qviri wrote:
AlexNC wrote:
If thats the case, why are more people in here not using the iMac for their silent HTPC? From what I have read, it is close to silent as you can get with such a small form case. Plus, it is the most power efficient PC you can get for the CPU/GPU horse power (Core Duo and 9400). It seems to me if you hooked up a USB tv tuner this would be the perfect small factor quiet HTPC. Am I missing something?


I don't know if you're missing something, but the rest of us are missing several hundred dollars.

iMacs are targeted to general computer users, not the typical enthusiast who posts in these forums. They certainly have their place, for ready-mades from a major brand, they are the quietest we've come across. But the lack of expansion/upgrade options + price premium keeps them less interesting for more hands-on users who can often build even quieter machines of similar capability for considerably less $$.

The lowest price for a 20" imac is $1200 -- 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo * 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x1GB * 8x double-layer SuperDrive * NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics * 320GB Serial ATA Drive * Apple Mighty Mouse * Apple Keyboard and User's Guide.

A good 20" monitor can be had for <$200. So is the rest replicable for $1000? Probably not in the near invisible form of the imac where the entire computer is within the monitor, but in a small as-quiet box, yes. Probably for ~$500.

Thanks for the reply Mike. I have been bonking my head for three months trying to find a decent HTPC. I first bought a HP Pavilian Slimline, but the fans were too loud. Then I started researching on building my own, but it seems that to get a quiet HTPC, you need a big box. That is why I was so surprised to read reviews saying the Mac Mini was quiet, being that it was so small. What really excites me is the core duo and 9400 built in graphics chip; along with a low wattage output. It almost seems to good to be true.

Honestly, all I want is a quiet small box that is powerful enough to push Hulu and some form of a media center. I can just use an external USB Tuner card if needed. I would rather have a Windows 7 MCE box, but there seems to be no small form/quiet/low wattage options out there.

By the way, you can get a refurbed Mac Mini for $499. I don't think that is too expensive for the convenience of a small PC. The only thing keeping me from buying it is the possibility of fan noise. I just cant get myself to believe that it is actually quiet being that it has a core duo and an nvidia 9400.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:10 am 
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AlexNC wrote:
Thanks for the reply Mike. I have been bonking my head for three months trying to find a decent HTPC. I first bought a HP Pavilian Slimline, but the fans were too loud. Then I started researching on building my own, but it seems that to get a quiet HTPC, you need a big box. That is why I was so surprised to read reviews saying the Mac Mini was quiet, being that it was so small. What really excites me is the core duo and 9400 built in graphics chip; along with a low wattage output. It almost seems to good to be true.

Honestly, all I want is a quiet small box that is powerful enough to push Hulu and some form of a media center. I can just use an external USB Tuner card if needed. I would rather have a Windows 7 MCE box, but there seems to be no small form/quiet/low wattage options out there.

By the way, you can get a refurbed Mac Mini for $499. I don't think that is too expensive for the convenience of a small PC. The only thing keeping me from buying it is the possibility of fan noise. I just cant get myself to believe that it is actually quiet being that it has a core duo and an nvidia 9400.

You're right, $499 is cheap, relatively speaking.

You could also try a Zotac 9300 mitx w/ a 45nm C2D in an Antec ISK300 case as I did in the review of the case.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Antec_ISK300-65

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:50 am 
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MikeC wrote:
You could also try a Zotac 9300 mitx w/ a 45nm C2D in an Antec ISK300 case as I did in the review of the case.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/Antec_ISK300-65

Actually, that was the other choice I have been considering. Great review by the way. A few questions about that setup ...

1) How quiet is the above setup compared to the Mac Mini?
2) From what I understand, the Zotac board will not allow wake by USB (MCE controller). What implications does this have? I assume it means I will not be able to send it into deep sleep; aka low wattage use, and then wake it up using the MCE remote. If so, is there any word on this board being revised in the near future? I hear they are revising their Atom based board to fix this issue (I think it was AnandTech that reported this). I really want a setup that will give me the best performance/wattage. It would drive me nuts knowing the computer is sitting there unused just wasting 50watts at idle. The Zotac board sounds great, except for the USB issue.

Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:59 pm 
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AlexNC wrote:
1) How quiet is the above setup compared to the Mac Mini?
2) From what I understand, the Zotac board will not allow wake by USB (MCE controller). What implications does this have? I assume it means I will not be able to send it into deep sleep; aka low wattage use, and then wake it up using the MCE remote. If so, is there any word on this board being revised in the near future? I hear they are revising their Atom based board to fix this issue (I think it was AnandTech that reported this). I really want a setup that will give me the best performance/wattage. It would drive me nuts knowing the computer is sitting there unused just wasting 50watts at idle. The Zotac board sounds great, except for the USB issue.

1) don't know; but I have a hard time believing the mac mini would be quieter than our optimized builds.
2) don't know what zotac is doing. But if you like to leave it on all the time, our system drew just 30W at the wall -- with an E7200.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:12 pm 
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Thanks Mike. One last question ... maybe =)

I would like to add a USB HD Tuner 'dongle', much like the link here ...
http://about.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=29887647/search=tv%20tuners/st=product/sv=title&mode=about_dvr
I would also like to link a USB hard drive to the system.

Do you think there would be any issues since the system is only 65W?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:07 pm 
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AlexNC wrote:
Thanks Mike. One last question ... maybe =)

I would like to add a USB HD Tuner 'dongle', much like the link here ...
http://about.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php/masterid=29887647/search=tv%20tuners/st=product/sv=title&mode=about_dvr
I would also like to link a USB hard drive to the system.

Do you think there would be any issues since the system is only 65W?

Probably not -- but if there is, it's easy enough to get a higher power adapter. I'm quite sure the DC/DC board in there is not just 65W despite Antec's specs; they are almost always at least 100W capable.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:08 am 
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I seriously contemplated buying a mac mini for my htpc build. Why didn't I?

Price was one thing, and limited tinkering ability a second. I like a wider selection of dvd/bd-drives, ability to fit & suspend more HDs, 8GB RAM support, etc. Those weren't available on the Mac.

Don't get me wrong, Mac Mini is a great piece of hardware, but in the end I chose the tinkering self-build route. What I ended up with is a bulkier and better specced machine, which draws a bit more power and costs a bit less. So, it was clearly a trade-off involved in my choice.

Mac Mini is a great machine in it's current incarnation, even if you want to run Windows (any version) on it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:53 pm 
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You will probability be interested in something similar to this http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=55084

Is a quad core that I intend to be with zero moving parts and the complete system will not take more than 30W idle and 45W full load at 1.8Ghz.


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