By Luke Anderson
Not long ago I decided to switch out the hardware on my personal NAS. I had an old Athlon system that was of little other use running FreeNAS, which served my needs. Honestly, the thing was a bit loud, and probably used a bit more power than was really necessary (okay, I was just looking for an excuse to upgrade). So I bought a cheap Atom-based CPU/Motherboard combo and switched things out. I was able to switch to a better-looking case thanks to the smaller board, and now I can’t even hear it running. I’ve been tempted to use similar hardware to make a new HTPC, but I haven’t found a case that I quite like. Of course I may just hold out for one of the new MSI Wind Nettop CS120’s.
MSI just announced the availability of their new Wint Nettop, which offers a lot in a tiny package. Obviously the small size will make it great for sitting in the living room, but that’s not the best feature. Between having a slot-loading DVD burner, 7.1 channel audio support, built-in WiFi and nearly-silent operation, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better solution (at least in this price bracket). Other specs include a 1.6GHz Atom 230 CPU, 1GB of DDR2 (expanable to 2GB), a 160GB hard drive, a CompactFlash slot and a copy of Windows XP Home. All of this will set you back only $299. Just download Boxee and get yourself a Netflix subscription and you’ve got a kick-ass little HTPC.
[ MSI ]