Richard Jones' Log: Mini-ITX vs. MiniMac

Fri, 14 Jan 2005

MiniMac $1550, Mini-ITX $1220. Both are configured to have DVD-RW, 80GB HD, 512MB RAM, wireless networking and digital TV capture. On the downside, the ITX system has fans, but they're supposed to be quiet. In its favour, the ITX system has S/PDIF audio out, which the Mac can't do.

Mini-ITX components* (from Aus PC Market - I'm pretty sure I could get cheaper components locally):

$286.00VIA M-10000 MiniITX Motherboard w/1Ghz CPU - 1xPCI 1xDDR, Video/audio/LAN/TVout/Firewire
$176.00PC-3200 512mb Corsair 184-pin DDR SDRAM (200mhz XMS3200 CAS 3) w/heatspreader
$143.00Black 2699 Mini-ITX desktop case w/external fanless PSU, suit VIA Eden / M-Series, takes SlimCD, 1x PCI slot
$242.00 + $33.00Pioneer Tray-loading Slim DVD-RW+DL, 8x DVD±R, 4x DVD±RW, 2.4x Dual Layer+R plus IDE/Power adapter GHA-K003 for Slim CD-ROM (GHA-SR242)
$126.50Maxtor 80GB DiamondMax Plus9 ATA133 IDE Hard drive, 7200RPM, 2mb cache (I'd probably spend another $80 and get 200GB)
$71.50Skymaster USB2 802.11g 54mbps Wireless Network Dongle (or I could just go with the cable, which would cut $120 off the Mac price too)
$146.30AverTV DVB-T 771 digital terrestrial TV PCI card w/remote control

And, it'd be a bit of fun to actually build the thing :)

Update: Linux distro to run on it. And a HOWTO for good measure.

Update 2: OK, this so wasn't supposed to be a Mac-bashing exercise, but rather hopefully the first in a series on my adventures in build-your-own-PVR-land.

*Prices are Aussie of course.

Comment by Zed on Wed, 30 Aug 2006

fyi, the via cpu's are not as powerful as the Intel cpu

that said, I love my little itx system

Comment by Richard Jones on Wed, 30 Aug 2006

Yes, but when I wrote the OP (January 2005) the Mini Mac was using a Power chip which was probably of comparable performance to VIA's cpus.