nVidia for CUDA to speed up supported Apps
If only they'd used nVidia for their graphics hardware - then they could have gained from programs that support nVidia's CUDA - which can provide speed increases.
On the face of it, Apple’s Mac Mini makes most 'small form-factor’ PCs look like a pile of junk. The Mini’s ultra-compact design also makes it ideal for use in an office or as a stylish little media centre in the living room. Evidently, Dell has taken note - hence the appearance of its Inspiron Zino range of compact PCs. Dell …
They don't accelerate video on the gpu, meaning the fans spin up as it plays. They flat out just can't play blu ray. Front row is not as good as windows media centre. Putting 4gb of ram and a bigger hard drive into a mac mini will drive the price well above this dell, unless you do it yourself. But that defeats the purpose of buying a mac really.
Surely you could wang the HDMI into an AV amp, and pass the video through to a display/TV?
Still, reasonable performance, decent form factor - one of these with HDMI would be quite nice under the telly - once i have rattle-canned it from 'stupid git pink' to 'matt black'.
More of the same please, manufacturers. I likey.
I have one of these, but not at the £630 price point shown in the article. I got the dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 3GB RAM, 500GB HD, DVD-RW drive, wireless keyboard and mouse, and it came to £329 inc delivery. I think it would have been £20 extra for the wifi card, but I didn't need it.
It came with Win7 64-bit, but is now running Ubuntu Karmic. There are a few minor problems with Ubuntu: Suspend/resume isn't reliable; I have to turn off USB2 to talk to my Canon camera; and audio only comes out of the front jack. But otherwise I'm extremely happy with my purchase.
No S/PDIF makes it pointless as a media centre PC for many people, as there is no means to get digital audio to a home theatre system.
(Unless it's an AV amp that includes HDMI passthough, but not everyone has one of those (I do and I still use S/PDIF rather than HDMI passthough, as most HDMI drivers don't provide 5.1 through HDMI).
Why the bitching about the lack of a 5.1 output? The point of HDMI is to output audio and video over the one high-bandwidth pipe... Otherwise Dell would just have a DVI port instead.
Also - whilst comparing Apple to Dell:
2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x1GB
160GB Serial ATA Drive
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad - British
Total Cost: £574
AMD X2 6850E 1.8GHz 512k
4096MB Dual Channel DDR2 800MHz [2x2048] Memory
640GB (7200rpm) SATA Hard Drive
ATI Radeon™ HD 4330 512MB graphics
8X DVD+/- RW Optical Drive (DVD & CD read and write)
Dell Multimedia Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Black - UK/Irish
Mouse Included in Wireless Keyboard and Mouse option
Total Cost: £520
Yeah, the Mini has the CPU edge, but wow - what a price difference in what you get...
Ok, I stayted on the sideline long enough. HDMI capable 5.1 receivers are just now coming into the price that mere humans could afford [exaggeration, just in case you didn't know]. SPDIF is infinitely nicer as you have a separate and distinct digital audio route. And as someone said, the drivers are a PITA.
Can't argue about the point you make about price but even the minimum 1Gb in the entry level Mac Mini is plenty for media centre purposes with Snow Leopard, likewise if you install Linux instead. Boxee (XBMC based) works very well on the Mini (also works well on AppleTV which is much less powerful hardware).
No doubt one reason for the high price of the blu-ray upgrade will be that the drive is laptop form factor rather than 3.5".
Finally, I've had a Mac Mini switched on 24x7 running a web site for two years now without any sign of the hard drive giving out.
The Mac Mini is an awesome media centre when coupled with the right software. Unfortunately (for apple) that software is Linux and XBMC! When its configured like this it will eat any content you throw at it, including 40Mbs+ Blu-Ray content at full 1080P (with not a frame drop in sight)
This Dell is a good attempt but for anyone running XBMC its a non starter as there is no H/W acceleration in XBMC on Windows unless you use external players (which is a pain to configure)
There are ways of splitting the audio from the HDMI, a lot of TVs do this for you (and have optical out on the back) but you can get specific devices to do it (such as the Gefen EXT-HDMI-2-DVIAUD or the HDDA52V13 or the wonderful MUX-HD from CurtPalme). It does seem to be somewhat of an oversight though.
Yep, absolutely bowled over to see that the svelte Studio Hybrid has been replaced with this thing. No slot-loading DVD drive, no beautiful transparent looks, just a hunking lump of pink plastic. I got a Hybrid from the factory outlet store and I couldn't have asked for more from a media centre PC, the thing is fantastic.
And it only cost me $350 (purchased shortly after I moved to the US). They can take this thing and shove it.
"Small Form Factor" = Small
"Cheap Price Factor" = Cheap
"High Weight Factor" = Heavy
The use of the phrase "form factor" seems to be unique to describing the shape of computer equipment. God knows how other industries get along without it. A factor is something that contributes to a result or outcome. Just adding it to adjectives to create jargon is neither big nor clever.
"I like this car but is it available in other form factors?"
"Oh yes! We have the coupé and estate versions."
There are in fact a Zino HD 300 and a Zino HD 400. I bought my Zino hd 400 on sale for $349.00
I use the hdmi to my tv which has a connection to my Dolby digital amp and I do get dolby digital.
True there is no separate connection except for stereo. The Amd X2 1.5 seems underpowered buts it not. The Amd 4330 graphics give a 5.9 for 3d in windows 7. I am not a big fan of Dell and I bought this for a home theater pc, now I wish I had bought two, one to replace my desktop.
Dell has to many different configurations and they do have sells. Mine was $178 less than the normal price on sale. It did come with a wired keyboard and mouse, not wireless as the article mentioned. I would give it 9 out of 10.
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