I know how easy it is to throw together an HTPC. I mean many people build these themselves and are quite happy with that they have come up with to suit their specific needs. What if I were to tell you that there is a company out there that not only offers you a plug and play solution to having the benefits of an HTPC in the living room, but took the design and the options to a level that I haven't seen with that I have been able to come up with over the years. My personal HTPC is built atop a Zotac m-ITX motherboard with a dual core Atom processor. The issue I have is when I add the video card or the fans on the HTPC chassis, when it begins to spool up, the unit is more of an audible distraction than a benefit to adding said builds into a home theater environment. I want to hear the movie, not my PC that is streaming the content.
ARCTIC takes these issues head on and said what can we do to make these issues just go away? Well to start off, the unit we are about to see is completely passive. There is a combination of internal heatsinks that can use the thick aluminum plate of the external case to help with the transfer of heat to the slow current of air in the room naturally. On top of that, with the included dual core Intel Atom D525 and AMD Radeon HD 5430, there is enough "grunt" to play the Blu-ray you slip in the ODD or stream 1080p to this unit from another PC and wirelessly if you want.
What really set this unit apart from an HTPC you build or any media box you can buy is the complete list of accessories all ready to just plug and play and go to work for you. ARCTIC has really taken all of the guess work out of the build process as they offer you a PC that is one of the smallest units I have had the pleasure of using in my home theater environment.
Some of you may be thinking to yourself, yeah I can build them silent, but I assure you; you will never get close to the amount of goodies you can pack into your build compared to everything that is offered inside of the MC001-BD Entertainment Center and I guarantee you won't come close in the limited footprint this is delivered in.
I have had ample time with this unit and I think I have put it through all of the paces I can think of doing or that my location allows with certain features of this EU unit. Even with a limitation of not being able to use the included tuner, there is still a ton left to cover with what ARCTIC offers in the MC001-BD, especially when we start adding on the ARCTIC accessories.