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Thursday, 6 May 2010

What’s on the workbench today? iTX Mini HTPC!

On the workbench today we have an iTX Mini PC, using an Antec ISK 310-150 Mini iTX Case.

I quite like this case, it is sturdy, however I’m not keen on the quite flimsy silver plastic front especially the thin DVD opening cover.

There are plenty of vents for cooling however and room to fit two full size fans on the right hand side, no in-built IR which could be an issue.





What’s inside:

Minix 785G-SP128M, this little motherboard has the AMD 785G chipset. I’ve used regular micro ATX motherboards from Gigabyte before for other HTPC builds with the same 785G chipset, which isn’t too bad for HTPC’s so it’s all familiar stuff.

Motherboard Key Features Highlight:

1. Integrated ATI Radeon™ HD 4200 Graphics
2. Supports DirectX® 10.1 3D graphics, Windows 7 Ready

3. Supports AMD® Phenom™ II x4/ Athlon™ II x4 processors (up to 65W max.)

4. Built-in 128 MB Local Frame Buffer (Side-port memory)

5. Supports ATI Avivo™ HD technology and built-in Universal Video Decoder 2.0 (UVD2) which leverages CPU consumption when play HD movie, hence power-saving

6. Designed with 100% high quality solid capacitors and components to ensure high performance and great longevity

7. One PCI-Express Gen.2 slot for expansion

8. Two DDR2 SO-DIMM slots for extensible upgrade

9. 7.1+2 Channel High-Performance HDA Codec with Content Protection (Realtek ALC885)





  • Motherboard: Minix 785G-SP128M
  • CPU: AMD Phenom AM3 x3 Processor 2.3 GHZ
  • CPU Cooler: Glacial Tech PLA08025S12L
  • RAM: Kingston DDR2 RAM 2GB (Notebook)
  • HDD: Seagate 160GB (Notebook)
  • DVD: Sony CRX890S (Slim)
  • PSU: Antec FP-150-8 150 Watt


  • Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
  • My Movies Client 3.13
  • Heatwave 1.3
  • RadioTime MCE
  • SilverLight
  • Flash Player
  • AutoHotKey
  • Media Center Studio
  • Shark 007 Codec Pack 2.4.8

Windows Experience Index Score: 4.1


I installed the latest drivers from AMD / ATI / Realtek. I also installed the Shark 007 codec pack for Windows 7.

With the default settings in the Shark007 pack unchanged I played a High Definition MKV movie, in the screenshots below you can see the CPU usage.



I don’t think hardware acceleration is on. I tried a few different settings in the codec pack but the CPU usage remained about the same, should be more like 10-15% when accelerated.

I only ever seem to be able to get hardware acceleration working on the Asrock Nettop’s which have Nvidia graphics and CUDA. Perhaps someone can tell me how to get this working with the ATI graphics?


Overall not a bad little machine and has more power and grunt than a Nettop. I need to test it some more, but so far so good.

1 comment:

Defunk said...

This is awesome. Smart minds think a like I was going to try something like this with the Intel D510MO Atom but it doesn't have HDMI on it so I was holding off. Now I'm starting to hear of lots of other mobo makers that are just as good.