Icey Wrote:Just to throw in my thoughts I spent around a year and a half "shopping" for a new media centre system to replace my XBOX that would support any HD videos I threw at it. My target price was £200 and my 2 mandatory factors were it had to support XBMC flawlessly and it had to be very quiet - my AV rack is immediately next to where I sit so any noise is annoying.
I knew an ION based solution was the answer and as the H1 was too expensive it came down to the Acer Revo (Linux Model) or Asrock ION 330. In the end the Revo was cheaper at £150 but as with many others I had concerns about it only being a single core atom plus I would need to upgrade the memory to 2GB and since you have to break the security sticker it would invalidate the warranty.
Meanwhile the Asrock ION 330 had dropped in price to around £230 delivered and pretty much had everything I wanted. I added up the cost difference in parts (CPU/Mem/HDD/ODD) from the Revo to the ION 330 and the price difference was justifiable.
I definitely made the right choice with the Asrock machine. Build qualtity is superb especially the motherboard with all solid state components. With the latest BIOS installed the unit is quieter than my PS3. Although there were a few issues getting everything running perfectly there has been a lot of support for this unit on the XBMC forum - MedicineUK's install guide is great!
From my perspective there are only 2 things stopping the ION 330 from being the perfect XBMC machine: 1. No front USB ports and 2. No integrated IR sensor. Both of these are nice to have but their omission is not a problem.
If you can wait some time, you have yet another choice, but yet without dvd/blu-ray.
ASRock has builtin dvd slot, but has no builtin wireless. So building your own HTPC using Zotac ionitx mobo is a better choice. It's just a matter of which case you use.