Ok, so I finally got around to building a Mini Media Center. I originally had planned on using an Atom processor or maybe even a Sodaville SoC (Intel CE4100) processor. The problem with the CE4100 is finding a motherboard with one on board, or design and build one yourself, which is out of the question for most people, i.e. everyone.
I started thinking of using Intel’s Atom processor on a Mini ITX motherboard, but I couldn’t find a combination that had all the features I wanted.
My Specs were pretty strict:
· Ceton InfiniTV6 CableCard Tuner - Recording on all 6 tuners (Not available yet, but it must be able to do it.)
· Playing and Ripping BluRay disks
· Full HD 1080 play
· Digital Audio S/PDIF
· HDMI output
· Multiple Sata
· eSATA 6Gb/s
· 1 – PCIe 1x
· Gb Ethernet
· Wireless N
· Low power consumption. 65 – 150w max!
That 65-100w max pretty much ruled out the Atom. So, I started looking at the AMD Fusion Processors, specifically the Zacate E-350, which not only uses much less power than the Atom (18w!!) it has better performance and has the Graphics Processing Unit as part of the processor core.
The AMD Fusion E350 (Code named Zacate) is a Dual Core 1.6Ghz processor with 1Mb of L2 cache. The GPU part of the die is an AMD Radeon HD 6310 GPU with 80 cores running at 492Mhz and DirectX-11 built in.
Now I had to find a Motherboard with the E-350 and all the other features that I wanted. After comparing a bunch of MoBo’s I settled on the Asus E35M1-I Deluxe. Yes, almost the whole motherboard is covered by one massive heat sink!