Intel NUC i5 HTPC Review

The Intel NUC looked appealing ever since I first saw it – it provides HD 4000 graphics, an i3 or i5 processor, an SSD, HDMI output,¬†and 1Gb LAN all in a 4″ by 4″ by 1″ package that can even mount on the back of a monitor with a VESA mount. Here’s the Intel reference page: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/motherboards/desktop-motherboards/nuc-i5.html When my son started crawling and pulling himself up on things, he became VERY interested in buttons and … Read more…

FoxConn R10-H1 Review

I recently built a cable-box replacement system using a FoxConn R10-H1 barebone system. It is essentially a case, power supply and motherboard all-in-one (plus some extras in this case – a heat-sink fan assembly). Here’s a link to the system on NewEgg. After having several AMD systems in the past, this was the first Intel setup I have had in some time. It has gigabit ethernet, and an HDMI port – perfect for an HTPC. Here’s a … Read more…

Fine Tuning Media Center 7 – ATI Display Hardware

When I upgraded to an ATI HD 5770 card, one of the biggest issues with the HDMI output was the odd ‘choppiness’ when scenes went from full color and light to very dark. After I had figured out how to correct it, all was well…then there was a newer version of the ATI Catalyst driver suite. Dynamic Contrast strikes again!!! What I did not realize is that the update reset the settings for Dynamic Contrast … Read more…

ATI 5770 HDMI Audio

I upgraded our current HTPC with an ATI 5770 a while back. I normally go for the nVidia cards, but the 5000 line from ATI had something that fit perfectly in the HTPC: Full HD audio bitstream output through the HDMI output. While we don’t have a receiver\multi-speaker setup [yet]…I figured this would still be a better card than what was already in there – an nVidia 8800 series. I like the jumbo, 2-slot cooler … Read more…