AMD E-350 APU vs. Intel Atom D525 with ION 2

AMD E-350 APU vs. Intel Atom D525 with ION 2

Long time platform nVidia Ion didn’t have any competitor in case if it’s needed compact, noiseless HTPC with 1080p support. Maybe that’s why its second generation was mostly marketing ploy. But now situation changed. AMD launched its new platform AMD E-350 APU which combines CPU and GPU on one chip. And according to information Hot Hardware and AnandTech it beats Intel Atom D525 with ION 2 on all categories except gaming – productivity, music, PCMarks, communications, and movies. Moreover, AMD E-350 APU supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA bitstreaming over HDMI. So, looks like nVidia should know what new features and improvements will be in the third generation of Ion. If it’ll be released, of course.

[via eHomeUpgrade]

Xtreamer launched nVidia Ion based HTPC

Xtreamer Ultra Media Streamer / HTPC

Xtreamer, well-known producer of network HD media players, recently launched new device – Xtreamer Ultra. But if you check its spec you may see that it doesn’t look like previous Xtreamer players. The Xtreamer Ultra sports Intel Atom D525 (dual-core 1.8GHz) processor, 4GB DDR3 memory, NVIDIA ION2 (GT218, 512MB DDR3), eSATA, 6 x USB 2.0 ports, 2.5-inch SATA drive bay, DVI-I, SPDIF, HDMI with 7.1-Channel digital audio BitStreaming + LPCM, external IR, and Gigabit Ethernet. Plus optional external 802.11n adapter will be available soon. So, actually the new Xtreamer product is Ion nettop like Zotac BOX, Acer AspireRevo or ASRock Ion330 HT. But the producer offers a good price – $200 in US and €200 in Europe, thanks to aggressive marketing strategy. Just install there XBMC or Boxee and you’ll have a small, quiet but power HTPC.

The Xtreamer Ultra is demonstrated on CeBit 2011 in Hanover. If you cannot visit it you may see its photos in the Engadget gallery.

[via eHomeUpgrade]

New Zotac Zbox with Blu-ray drive

Remote control app for Logitech Revue

Zotac recently launched a new nettop Zbox HD with Blu-ray drive. You may choose between barebone model HD-ID33 and full-functional one ID-34 with 2Gb RAM and 250Gb HDD. Both models use Intel Atom D525 processor and nVidia Ion2 graphic.

The new Zbox cannot bitstream DTS-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD. So, the big fans of HD sound won’t be happy with that fact. However, two USB 3.0 ports, slim and stylish design and very reasonable price – $399 for HD-ID33 and $400 for HD-ID34 can still make those nettops one of the best options for the noiseless and compact HTPC with Full HD support. Sure comparing with AsRock HTPC they leak IR receiver. But from another had ZBox doesn’t have any fans. And personally I like it form-factor more than AsRock one.

[via Engadget]

Tiny, silent and HD ready PC from Aleutia


Products, offered by UK based company Aleutia, can be good candidates to be HTPC or media client. They are tiny, noiseless and use very little power. However they have enough power for HD video playback thanks to nVidia Ion graphical platform.

Also you may peep inside the Aleutia’s PC using their Flickr photo stream. And even you won’t buy anything from Aleutia it might give you some useful ideas to build tiny and silent HTPC by yourself.

Ion based HD player Myko

Myka ION HD Player

I wrote about HD networked media player Myka more then year ago. Since that time a lot of similar devices were released. Popcorn Hour is probably the best from them. But recently a new version of Myka was announced. And it looks exited! I cannot named it just player. It’s full featured HTPC!

The new Myka is based on nVidia Ion with GeForce 9400M and dual core Atom N330. It’s compact but has enough powerhouse for FullHD playback (thanks to Ion and VDPAU). It’s completely quiet because there is a passive cooling only. As the rest Ion based nettops Myka has VGA, DVI-I, HDMI, analog audio and coaxial/optical S/PDIF outputs, gigabit Ethernet, 6 USB and one eSata ports. It’s also sports optical drive and remote control with external USB IR receiver.

The Myka run the latest Ubuntu 9.10 as OS (yes, yes, it’s Linux-based!). However, Windows 7 can be installed as second operation system for additional $110. The Myka includes the most popular Linux media software such Boxee, XBMC and Hulu which allow to user watch video, listen music and see photos from internal HDD, USB storage, network shares or online services. I’d like to know if it’s possible to install software and modify configuration by user. If so the last feature can be added easily – possibility to watch and record satellite/terrestrial TV with VDR and USB DVB-S(2)/DVB-T tuner.

The Ion based HD player/HTPC Myka can be ordered from the producer web store at $379. Additionally Blu-ray drive ($255), 802.11 N card ($40) and 1TB HDD ($125) can be added. Good price for the good device in my mind!

See the Myka GUI screenshot and demo video after break
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