In recent times AMD products seem to have been moving towards media centre computers and systems with low power consumption. In fact, the majority of 690 boards released within the last year were microATX boards, many featuring components which were designed for more media related uses, such as HDMI ports.
Our main media centre PC here at Driver Heaven has been based around the 690G for some time comprising a FX-62 CPU and Asus M2A-VM motherboard. We have no complaints as it performs well, however the noise levels can get a little irritating. Additionally, microATX cases are not ideal for a living room environment due to their size. So what are the options to help with the decor and noise levels? Well one would be to buy a Shuttle PC, the other would be to have a lot more fun and build our own mini-ITX system.
Could a system be built which would handle some light gaming, high definition playback and perhaps a little encoding, while being as small as possible? To find out we will be creating a mini-ITX system and looking at its stand-alone performance as well as testing it against a microATX motherboard of similar specification.