What are your thoughts/opinions on this for an HTPC?

Saffron

Member
Nov 16, 2012
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I work with security systems and solutions at my job and almost all of them revolve around the fitPC3 as the server. They also offer other types of solutions like the Intense PC2 (IPC2). I won't be doing any gaming on it since I have my desktop for that. The IPC2 is also build-to-order so I can ask for an i3/i5/i7 with anywhere up to 16GB of DDR3-1333/1600 memory. They are passive cooled so the only noise would be the HDD or none at all if I opt for an SSD. They don't run very hot either, though, all the ones I have worked with use lower performance CPUs.

What are your thoughts on using one for an HTPC? Or would I be better off building one? Here is a link to the website: http://www.fit-pc.com/web/products/ipc2/
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
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As long as you are not trying to transcode video a HTPC does not really need much computing power or ram, and the Intel HD4400 is actually overkill for streaming video at 1080p, so I see no reason you could not use this. The i3-4010U with 4 gigs of ram would be fine.

For comparison I’m running a G620 with built in graphics and 4 gig of ram hooked up to two 3TB hard drives and it runs XBMC and steams 1080p video perfectly.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,240
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I guess it comes down to expense. You can always build your own passively-cooled HTPC (I've done it), and it might be cheaper to go that route. I can tell you that I'm growing more and more tired of my NUC's noise (I use that as a secondary HTPC). I had to turn it off last night because the fan just kept revving up and down, and it was driving me bonkers! So, going fanless will possibly help keep your sanity! ;)
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
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As long as you are not trying to transcode video a HTPC does not really need much computing power or ram, and the Intel HD4400 is actually overkill for streaming video at 1080p, so I see no reason you could not use this. The i3-4010U with 4 gigs of ram would be fine.

For comparison I’m running a G620 with built in graphics and 4 gig of ram hooked up to two 3TB hard drives and it runs XBMC and steams 1080p video perfectly.
That's basically my HTPC (rig in sig below) except I use a passively cooled HD6450 (not because the Intel graphics weren't enough, I was trying to solve a streaming issue with Netflix.)

Ditto what Smogzinn said about the encoding thing... you need an i3 at a minimum, and it's going to run it at 100%. My solution for that is to encode on my i5 desktop, and transfer the new video files to the HTPC via portable HDD.

As far as form factor, you can build a decent HTPC for around $400 or so (upwards depending on your storage requirements.) You would have to compare that to the model of IPC2 you were looking at.
 

Saffron

Member
Nov 16, 2012
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Storage isn't an issue for me as I have 3TB on my desktop and another 3TB network drive. I will most likely put an SSD for fast boot ups and overall performance and just stream any movies/music I have on storage. I suppose that if went the BIY route I have more options concerning storage and upgrades. It would also be more customized to my tastes and likings. More than 75% of the work it would be doing is watching Netflix and Hulu+. Any Youtube stuff that I want to watch or listen to can be done solely by the HTPC as well.

I appreciate all the feedback and anymore too come. In the end I want to step away from paying a provider for TV content and move on to something different. I am still torn between something of the fitPC nature or building my own, though, in the end I may end up just building my own. The main reason I have considered the fitPC/IPC is because I can get them cheap through the company I work for. The fitPC being fully passive is also another turn on as well as it essentially being ready to run out of the box.

Concerning a passive cooled system, if I were to build it myself, is there a particular CPU I would need to use to do so?
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
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1,875
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More than 75% of the work it would be doing is watching Netflix and Hulu+. Any Youtube stuff that I want to watch or listen to can be done solely by the HTPC as well.
Most of this can be done fairly well on a Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi has a litte trouble at 1080p with a lot of people thinking it is just too slow in with the XBMC interface at that resolution. The point is, it takes very little to do this well.

Concerning a passive cooled system, if I were to build it myself, is there a particular CPU I would need to use to do so?
Nope, pick something cheap with a low TDP and then underclock it until it runs fine on a passively cooled heat sink. Stick to a single 4 gig memory chip (to keep heat down) and pick a good case.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
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Most of this can be done fairly well on a Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi has a litte trouble at 1080p with a lot of people thinking it is just too slow in with the XBMC interface at that resolution. The point is, it takes very little to do this well.


Nope, pick something cheap with a low TDP and then underclock it until it runs fine on a passively cooled heat sink. Stick to a single 4 gig memory chip (to keep heat down) and pick a good case.
Just a some supporting evidence, I'm using a RaspPi to run XBMC streaming from my server. I used OpenELEC to keep overhead down so I could dedicate as much power to actual playback as possible. Mine streams my Blu-Ray rips without a problem.

Pulling 3W or so when idle, I just leave it on all of the time and have no problems. I am thinking of replacing my WDTV Live Hub with another one, if I wasn't afraid of putting the rest of the house into a panic at having to learn a new GUI.
 
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tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
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Most of this can be done fairly well on a Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi has a litte trouble at 1080p with a lot of people thinking it is just too slow in with the XBMC interface at that resolution. The point is, it takes very little to do this well.


Nope, pick something cheap with a low TDP and then underclock it until it runs fine on a passively cooled heat sink. Stick to a single 4 gig memory chip (to keep heat down) and pick a good case.
Gotham Beta was just released. It has a lot of speed improvements for Rasp Pi and Android. I can't speak for Rasp Pi, but on my Samsung S3 XBMC doesn't run horribly. It's a little slow, but I haven't updated to Frodo 12.3 or to Gotham yet and it's an S3. Rasp Pi probably is faster still.

I'd just get a NUC though or something like it.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,240
384
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Concerning a passive cooled system, if I were to build it myself, is there a particular CPU I would need to use to do so?
The passive case will normally have TDP limits listed. I'm using an i3-3225 in my Streacom FC8 EVO.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,205
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Concerning a passive cooled system, if I were to build it myself, is there a particular CPU I would need to use to do so?
I have a Sandy Pentium G620, a 65W CPU; I used a copper-base Intel cooler (from my i5) and it hardly spins the fan up, ever. Streaming duty is not very taxing... even a lesser Celeron would do. These days a Pentium G3220 or even a Celeron G1830 would work.

Why passive? Even with just one fan, spinning at low RPM, would be cheap insurance against heat buildup... a quality fan undervolted or controlled.

At least with a BIY system, you would have complete control over what's going into it, including the case.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,183
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It is interesting, but it looks like it is a toy. A mobile i7 is junk that can only handle 4 threads. My i3 4330 3.5 Ghz CPU can handle 4 threads and has the HD4600 graphics. A 2.1 Ghz processor seems kind of slow. So what happens when you want some storage?

Prices don't look so good. This is being sold like an Intel NUC. It uses Sodim RAM and looks like it has 2 MINI-PCIE Slots and can handle one 2.5" Drive. However, you have to still buy the storage and the RAM. So add $200 to the price.

Sure it will probably work well enough assuming all the drivers work properly for viewing video. I don't really care for mobile CPU's and chipsets and ultra low power systems. I also like using normal DDR3 RAM in the amount of 8 gigs. There was a study a while back that said SSD's lasted longer when used with more RAM. So are these 4K ready for video?
 
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Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,205
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Certainly there is a niche market for these type form factor PCs, and certainly it could work tasked with HTPC duty, but the size of the case really precludes any mods or additional components (storage, ) although it would work well as part of a NAS setup.... I guess that's the idea.

I agree a SFF/i7 setup is a little silly... Power = heat, so they castrate it so it can be passively cooled?
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
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It is interesting, but it looks like it is a toy. A mobile i7 is junk that can only handle 4 threads. My i3 4330 3.5 Ghz CPU can handle 4 threads and has the HD4600 graphics. A 2.1 Ghz processor seems kind of slow. So what happens when you want some storage?

Prices don't look so good. This is being sold like an Intel NUC. It uses Sodim RAM and looks like it has 2 MINI-PCIE Slots and can handle one 2.5" Drive. However, you have to still buy the storage and the RAM. So add $200 to the price.

Sure it will probably work well enough assuming all the drivers work properly for viewing video. I don't really care for mobile CPU's and chipsets and ultra low power systems. I also like using normal DDR3 RAM in the amount of 8 gigs. There was a study a while back that said SSD's lasted longer when used with more RAM. So are these 4K ready for video?
Since when was watching a Movie so intensive that you need to handle 4 threads and need 8 GB of ram?
 

bgt

Senior member
Oct 6, 2007
570
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The HTPC I have in my sig is better then any NUC, the laptop chips used in NUCs are a lot slower then the desktop version , and fanless=noise free:)
 
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