Fractal Design Define Mini and ECS HDC-I Review - Creating a Fusion HTPC
For a number of years now we have been looking at components which would make ideal HTPC/Media PC items. There was a phase when AMD (or ATI) was creating some decent cards under their All-In-Wonder brand which were ideal for outputting video to a TV. Then the same company began focusing on high definition builds, letting us know that their Radeon range could be combined with particular Athlon CPUs and mATX boards for a good Blu-Ray experience as that format was first introduced.
As high definition content has increased in popularity with HDTVs replacing older technology, web video streaming (and downloading) at 1080p and even mobile devices being able to record in full HD we have seen another evolution in technology from AMD with the release of their Fusion platform. The first batch of products based on Fusion have tended to be mini-ITX based with low power requirements mixed with connectivity which rivals larger mATX and ATX products.
Today we will take a look at another of those, the ECS HDC-I and combine it with a case designed for cool and silent running, the Fractal Design Define Mini. We will show the build process, components paired with these two items and performance in tasks such as Blu-Ray playback and video streaming. If you are thinking about building a low power, quiet HTPC or all-purpose system this article should help in the decision making process.