For school I have a Senior Project I have to do based on a Jr. Research Paper I wrote about how computers work. I have decided to build a HTPC and have some questions about what Mini-ITX board I should put in. I am on a limited budget so I am wondering about a performance difference in two boards.
To start with I am going to be using these parts. I already have the HDD and the Windows 7 32-Bit.
I know the ASUS board is faster but will it make a huge difference? The PC will be used for streaming Netflix, Hulu, MLB.TV and watching DVD's. Eventually when I get a Blu-Ray drive for watching Blu-Rays.
It's only a $66 difference but I am on an extremely tight budget as a high school student and don't have much extra money to spend after my car insurance. I will get some help from my parents but before making the case for the more expensive setup I want some more knowledge about if it is really worth the extra money. If I get the ASRock board I might also be able to get a Blu-Ray drive now instead of later.
So which PC should I make a case for?
Another option but I don't know if it will be as fast as graphics for the HTPC. I have an old Intel E4400 and I know there are some mini-ITX mobo's but are there any with comparable built in graphics?
I use MLB.TV and it puts more stress on the CPU than you would think. If I were you would definitely go with the ASUS board. I should have a better time playing MLB.TV and it should be more "future proof", if that is a real thing.
As a side note, I don't know if you have already used MLB.TV, but I am not a big fan of it. Seems to be connectivity issues sometimes, and I don't know how the player works, but it really does require a a surprising amount of processing power.
I think I am actually going to go in another direction now.
I have an old Core 2 Duo E4400 and 2gb of DDR2 Ram in my old rig. I found a Zotac mini-ITX board and I am going to pair it with an ATI 5450. Since I already own the CPU and RAM it is actually cheaper than the Atom/ION board and it will be much more powerful.