Intel Atom based Windows7 Media Center PC

Today I had wondered what the current pricing is for Windows 7 Media Centre running on Intel Atom would be.. so I found a couple of media centres running 1080p with Intel Atom quite nicely.

Windows 7 Media Centre is still simply the best, better than all the opensource junk… take a look it here.

Intel D945GCLF Motherboard (w/onboard Atom 230 1.6Ghz)
2GB DDR2 800 (Runs at 533, 4-4-4-12)
Noah Mini-ITX Case
12V picoPSU-90W
Seagate 7200.11 1TB HDD 32MB
Panasonic UJ-875 Slot Load DVD-RW/RAM/DL 8x
Vista Home Premium x86 w/SP1 (just for running VMC)
Hauppauge Nova-T 500 Dual DVB-T Freeview PCI
Hauppauge Nova-TD-Stick Dual DVB-T Freeview USB

So I’m running four freeview tuners in total, so I can record three things at the same time and watch something else (and yes, surprisingly after all the latest bios/driver updates it does have the balls to do it…). It’s even running fine and upscaling to a 1080p LCD TV and the telly looks pretty damn sweet via the VGA, and of course the whole unit is deadly silent with only a whisper of slow fan noise.

All in all I’m very happy with the end result/performance, and the hardware is totally fine for this kind of stuff, even the old i945 GMA950 does a decent job of offloading general MPEG decoding so that DVD’s/TV are smooth and stutter free in media center. I did test the two versions (x86 and x64) back to back before I activated for good, and Vista x86 in the end does run a bit nicer on the Atom, and it gives slightly higher overall WEI scores too.

Obviously a pure 1080p HD beast it is not, but it’ll handle 720p and broadcast 1080i stuff fine which is still plenty good enough when your sitting 8 foot away from the screen…




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