Not that long ago it was a significant challenge to build a small and quiet home theater PC (HTPC). Mini-ITX was an option, but case selection was limited and more importantly the form factor was held back by the lack of decent integrated video performance and the power/heat dissipation requirements of the processor (CPU) and graphics (GPU). With both of those concerns addressed with Intel’s Sandy Bridge (SNB) architecture the next, natural evolution turned toward the mainboard. Intel responded again with a thin PC standard and today we have a chance to look at the first full featured implementation – the Intel DH61AG Media Series motherboard. In our first look several features were outlined besides the slim physique that make it especially interesting to the HTPC crowd; including a built in 19V DC power connector, mSATA support, eight channel analog line level audio and the brand new “HTPC” header which, with the right hardware can enable affordable HDMI CEC on the PC; today we couple it with a 2.7GHz 35 watt Core i5-2390T to find out if DH61AG makes good on the initial promise.
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