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  1. Member Ansuer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    United States
    Search Comp PM
    All these years I've been running Beyond Media on XP boxes as my media center. I pretty much convert everything to XviD (1280x720 at the highest) because that's all my slowest media center can handle.

    Well, I'd like to replace all of them with something new. Preferably small form factor. Needs to have VGA/DVI/HDMI output and SPDIF Out. One of my boxes is a mini-ATX but I'd like even smaller than that.

    Most important, I want to be able to run x264 in high resolutions with all the encode/decode trimmings (needs lots of power).

    Can anyone recommend a small form factor and powerful machine to look at?
    Ansuer - "try not... do... or do not... there is no try"
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  2. Get Slack disturbed1's Avatar
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    Apr 2001
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    init 4
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    To decode HD x264 just grab an Nvidia card that will off load the processing to the GPU. The GeForce 8400GS line can do this for around $40 (USD) or less, and comes in a low profile PCI for those mini ITX boards that don't have AGP/PCIe. Matter of fact, I haven't been able to locate an AGP 8400.

    If you want smaller than mini/ITX, good luck getting anything with power. You'll be into the ARM, MIPS, VIA C$, and Geode class of processors. Forget about adding a video card to that line up, the case not only too small, they generally lack the needed slot. These boards tend to use SoC, or some type of on-board IGP by SiS/VIA. These IGPs generally do have accelerated MPEG-2 decoding. An old main stream PC (Slow PIII) will have more muscle than these things for xvid decoding, x264 playback would be a pipe dream. If you really want smaller look into a dedicated STB like the Western Digital one.
    Linux _is_ user-friendly. It is not ignorant-friendly and idiot-friendly.
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