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Reviews: some ideas for an HTPC

A summary of reviews that offers some ideas to make your own compact PC. It is now possible to do just about any type of configuration as long you choose the right components. We just selected four pretty interesting, recently reviewd by our colleagues.

One of the easiest solutions to set up one’s own compact PC is to use a barebone, that is to say, a case that already has a motherboard. Shuttle is one of the industry experts and offers the DS61 with a solution based on the Intel LGA 1155.

Shuttle DS61 v1.1: a barebone that knows how to be discreet

Two times larger than the Intel NUC, with its dimensions of 190 x 165 x 43 mm, it has a fairly rich connectivity of four USB 2.0 ports on the front, and two USB 3.0 rear. We also find HDMI and DVI outputs and two RJ-45 ports, but also two RS 232.

Inside, it is possible to drag a Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processor, the TDP does not exceed 65 watts. It is therefore possible to incorporate some Core i7 variants. We also find two SO-DIMM slots for DDR3, and a space for a 2.5 inch hard drive. Finally, the cooling unit is provided by a thin aluminum heatsink topped by two 60 mm fans. Available for just $184, is this barebone free of defects? Our colleagues at MadShrimps reviewed the 1.0 version, whose only difference is the two extra front USB ports that the new 1.1 version has.

Read the review at


ASRock FM2A85X-ITX: the ideal motherboard for a strong HTPC?

The choice of the motherboard is crucial when it comes to designing a compact machine. Fortunately, there is sometimes no need to put hundreds and thousands in this component, the proof is with the ASRock FM2A85X-ITX reviewed by our colleagues at Vortez.

Built around an AMD A85 chipset and an FM2 socket, it can receive a full range of APUs from A4-5300 to the A10-5800K despite its small size, the connectivityis very strong, with no less than seven SATA 6 Gb/s and two USB 3.0 ports on the rear panel and on the front via a connector. Announced at around $100, this motherboard does offer good performance given its price? This is to discover without delay.

Read the review at


SilverStone NT06-PRO: a compact and efficient cooler?

Another point not to be overlooked in a compact computer is the cooling system because the available space is quite small, it is sometimes difficult to keep some components cool. Our colleagues in Hardware Secrets have just looked at a cooler whose height is small enough to fit in most configurations: the SilverStone NT06-PRO.

With a top of only 52 mm it is still capable of receiving a 120mm side fan and 20 mm thick (supplied) to help it in its task without changing its size. Note also the presence of six nickel-plated copper heatpipes of 6 mm in diameter. The only downside, you have to have at least $58  to get it. Is it worth it? Let’s see without delay.

Read the review at


Diamond BizView 750: a low profile Radeon HD 7750

We end this summary with an unusual graphics card: the Diamond BizView. This exotic name actually hides a Radeon HD 7750 in low profile size, the same finish as those of 3d Sapphire and PowerColor Club. This is an opportunity to remember that this small card is as capable as largest ones.

This model keeps the official specifications of the Radeon HD 7750, thus leaving 512 processing units of the GPU at 800 MHz, while the 1GB of GDDR5 is clocked at 1125 MHz. What can we expect from this type of compact cards? Our colleagues LanOC will tell you.

Read the dull review at





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