Arctic MC101 (A10) – All In One HTPC Review

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Arctic MC101 (A10) – All In One HTPC Review

In the last few weeks review of the Arctic MC101 (A10) have been popping up all over the web. The Arctic MC101 A10 is Arctic’s latest addition to its home entertainment lineup. Don’t confuse this package as a standalone HTPC, being that it utilizes an AMD A10-4600M APU, you should consider the Arctic MC101 to be an All In One HTPC.

Specs:

CPU AMD Trinity A10 – 4600M
Graphics AMD HD7660G
Chipset A70M (Hudson M3)
Memory (RAM) 8 GB (two x 4 GB) / 4 GB (two x 2GB)
DDR3 1,600MHz
Internal Connection / Storage mPCIe (mSATA) : free to use
SATA III 6 Gb/s : HDD 1TB 5,400RPM
SATA III 6 Gb/s : free to use
OS Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
(Windows 8 ready)
Wireless WIFI 802.11n
LAN Gigabit LAN
WOL option in Firmware
TV Tuner DVB-T (HD) / ATSC
Audio • 8 channels audio codec
• SPDIF out
• Support Blu-Ray
• HD audio through HDMI
Back Panel • TV Antenna
• DC power jack
• Audio jack x 2 (line-in and line-out)
• USB 3.0 x 2
• Optical SPDIF
• HDMI
• USB 2.0 x 4
• RJ45 (ethernet)
Side Panel • SD card reader
• Combo eSATAp + USB 2.0 (2 in 1)
• USB 3.0
• TRRS audio jack (for headset)
Front Panel • Infra red receiver
Power Supply DC 12V EuP 2013 compliant (<0.5W)
Dimensions (Product) 226 W x 168 L x 32 H mm
Product Net Weight 1.17 kg
Limited Warranty 2 years
Gross Weight 3.2 kg

The Arctic MC101’s Specs are impressive, but more impressive is the addition of a TV Tuner card. However there are a few things that are missing from a proper All In One HTPC:

  • Blu Ray
  • More hard drive bays
  • Tv Tuner card? How about a Cable card compatible tuner card!
  • Cooling Issues

The first three issues are subjective, you may need them you may not. Ultimately you need to decide if the cost of the system is appropriate. The final issue is a problem, a big no no in HTPCBuild.com’s book. Why? HTPCs are part suppose to be part of your home theater. Which means they tend to get stuffed into tight TV cabinets, next to high powered amps, and stacked onto dvd/blu ray players. Also, let’s not forget that the ideal HTPCs should be near silent during operation. These factors, when compounded, lead to low air flow and high temperatures.

The Arctic MC101 is quiet, but because of its power AMD A10-4600M APU, it has an idle temperature of 45C and load temperature of 60C. Both reviews mentioned the heat factor in the Arctic MC101. This causes for concern, as a lot of potential consumers will be placing these units into TV cabinets were air flow is severely limited. NOTE: AMD specs the A10-4600M APU for operation up to 100C.

As for power consumption, HTPCBuild.com loves APUs! Why? It is a great processor for media playback and it sips on power. From the reviews, the Arctic MC101 is roughly idling around 16 watts, media playback at 45 watts, and full load around 58 watts. Compared to the less muscular APUs this is a bit more power hungry, but if you need the processing speed it is a very very good compromise.

The Arctic MC101 (A10) should be hitting shelves by mid September. The retail price is set @ $719.00 (4GB of RAM) and $749.00 (8GB of RAM). Factoring in the issues and the price, I wouldn’t buy an Arctic MC101. I’d much rather build a comparable system without all the flaws in the Arctic MC101 A10.

Full review can be found here:

Category: Reviews

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