I've been going back and forth on this, so I figured I would ask everyone here.

I've been wanting an ITX HTPC. I'm stuck, because I don't know if I should use an existing Q8200 and get a Zotac 9300 ITX board, or if I should just purchase a pre-built Atom/Ion barebones and install my RAM/HDD.

I am not as concerned about cost as I am about making a good decision. The HTPC will really just be used to play DVDs and stream movies from a home server and the internet.

Any opinions are welcome.

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  1. the things you mentioned are the easiest things to do. The cheapest computer you can get would be good enough. Seeing as the q8200 is quite a god cpu compared to an atom I would just get the zotac board.

    I don't really understand the point of this thread though. Only you can know what you find a good decision.
  2. Best answer
    I'd recommend staying away from the Atom/Ion barebones. I built one for my mother using the MSI Wind bare-bones system from Newegg. Fully functional and works for her needs, but the cooling fan can get loud at times.

    If that Zotac board has a socket 1156 and can accept a CoreI3 processor, I'd probably go that route. Something like this:

    -Wolf sends
  3. I've been researching an ITX HTPC build too.

    Along with wolf's H55 suggestion, there's also the new Asus 880G ITX board and you can pair it with a cheap AM3 CPU.

    It might be hard keeping that Q8200 cool in a tiny ITX case.
  4. For the same price as an Atom/ION board you can get a Core i3/H55 cpu/mobo if you do your shopping right. At most you'll pay $20 more.

    Since your Q8200 is an LGA 775 chip, why not check out the DG45FC mini-itx board if you want to reuse it?
  5. Thanks for the input so far. I appreciate getting different opinions, since I keep going back and forth on this.

    I've wanted to do the i3 530/H55 ITX, and have thought about the AMD ITX as well, but still have the Q8200 just sitting there to be used.

    You guys think the quad will tough to cool in a small case like that? Is the DG45FC good enough for HD video playback? I didn't remember it being able to do that.

    Thanks again for different ideas.
  6. You could always underclock/undervolt.
  7. From the few reviews that I checked real quick, the X4500HD graphic chipset is sufficient for HD playback. My real concern is actually the processor.

    Checking the specs and (more importantly) the CPU Support List I'm noticing that the Q8200 is NOT supported with that motherboard. Only the Q8200S is supported. The difference being 65 watts TDP for the Q8200S and 95 watts TDP for the Q8200.

    If you don't have the Q8200S processor, getting the DG45FC is a moot point.

    -Wolf sends
  8. Thanks for looking at that Wolf...happy I didn't get that. I think the 9300 ITX would work fine and be able to handle everything. Al I would need is the motherboard and the case, I believe - I have some RAM and a HDD sitting around.

    Any recommendations on quality ITX cases that would support this? Do you think the 150w (like in the Antec ISK line) or 200w (Like the Thermaltake Q) PSU be OK for this, or should I look at a different PSU?
  9. ITX case selection will depend on a number of things:

    Size contraints (you want it small for a reason) Does it need to be shallow, slim, narrow, etc.
    Do you need a slot for an expansion card?
    Slim vs. standard ODD
    Internal vs. external PSU
    HSF selection

    If slim is your goal, my own ITX project research has only turned up four low profile coolers that can handle a 95W CPU that are under 65mm (ISK height limit):

    Thermolab Micro Silencer (59mm, 105W)
    Thermolab Nano Silencer (39mm, 100W)
    Prolimatech Samuel 17 (46mm, 95W) add another 12mm for a slim 120mm Scythe Kaze fan not included.
    Scythe Shuriken Rev.B (64mm, >95W) Probably too tall plus I've read about this cooler having problems being installed on the Zotac ITX boards because of the NB chipset and/or RAM.
  10. I don't want this project to be too expensive, but I know these can get a little costly. I guess I would say $80 - $100 at tops...obviously lower would be better.

    It doesn't have to be a specific size, but I don't want something as big as I could build with a standard mATX either...

    I'd rather not have to get a slim drive, but I'm not against it. I would like the expansion card slot in case I want to use a TV tuner.

    The standard cooler won't do the job will it? I'll check out those coolers.

    I'd rather the PSU be inside if possible, but a plug doesn't bother me...I have an outlet high on the wall, so I could put it up there too.

    Thanks for the
  11. If you go with higher-end graphics (IGP or discrete) you probably do not want the PC-Q07. It has no fans. The PC-Q11 has a fan and the PC-Q08 has a couple of fans. Even that 9300 ITX board is going to put off a lot of heat.

    When I built the PC with the Q07 I had a DG41MJ mobo with a E3300 and the stock cooler. Temps were fine. But, those are pretty low-end low TDP parts.

    Too bad the DG45FC isn't spec'd for the Q8200. I would *think* you could pair the Q8200 with the DG45FC if you had a better CPU cooler. Better safe than sorry though, agreed.
  12. I've found a few boards at a local microcenter, where I have a gift card. What does anyone think of these:

    GeForce GF9300-D-E ITX WiFi LGA 775 mini-ITX Motherboard:


    GF9300-G-E LGA 775 GeForce 9300 mini-ITX Motherboard

    They seem similar, and from the newegg listing, it looks like they both have wifi (the G-E through a module that plugs in to the USB header).

    Anyone with opinions or experiences with these?

    Thanks for all the help so far.
  13. Best answer selected by huron.
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