I have installed many PC systems in the past, but I have never installed any HTPC (Home Theater PC) before. Lately, I’ve been thinking about setting up a Blu-Ray system, and I happened to have bought a 42” LCD, so I just bought the whole set of Home Theater devices on an impulse. Well, no more further ado, let’s check out my new babes. CPU: Intel i3-540 RAM: Kingston DDR3-1333 1G*2 MB: GIGABYTE H55M-UD2H ODD: LITEON Blue Ray 4X HDD: HITACHI 1TB The entire hardware cost me quite some cash. So, for budget concern, I didn’t purchase any add-on Graphics card, because the Intel Core i3 is a CPU+GPU combined CPU, so I want to check out its performance. The next step of course is the unboxing of my new goodies! The first one is chassis, a Thermaltake DH202. The reason I chose this bad boy is because of its fancy appearance, matching with the touch LCD, which is real neat. The price is reasonable as well, so I just bought it without consideration. The subtitle at the right side of package box clearly states: All new revolution 7” Touch Screen”, which hopefully will proof to be the case. Open up and you can see the firm packaging and the manual. The HTPC package itself looks very sturdy and firm. Here comes the main actor! The quality aluminum panel with a classy texture matches with the overall product finish. Behind the DH202 is my newly bought 42” LCD Monitor. Let’s take a shot of the back panel, there’s a VGA cable provided. As you can see, the PCI Slot is also considerately designed for better air-flow. After opening up the chassis, you can see the CD-ROM and Hard Disk drives using a so-called screwless design. And inside, there’s another small package. The interior is neat and organized, the connecting rack in the middle of the chassis are cut with a CPU heat-dissipating hole to ensure a better air-flow. Let’s see what we got in the little package, you may find some software CD, installation screws, a manual, an installation CD, a remote control, a warranty card, batteries for the remote and a cleaning cloth. Next, it’s time to check out the CPU. The newly bought Intel Core i3 540 is the first CPU+GPU combo ideal for people who want to install an HTPC system but are reluctant to purchase an additional graphics card. I think the Core i3 540 is the best choice for people like me. The motherboard that I chose is a Gigabyte H55M-UD2H. It is an H55 chipset based motherboard. For budget DIYers you really get quite a bang for the buck, and it also supports ATI CrossFireX. In case you want to make it a gaming rig in the future, you still have an upgrade path to install more powerful graphics cards in the future. Let’s check out the MB back panel. - 1 x PS/2 Keyboard or Mouse jack - 1 x 6-1 Audio in/out port - 1 x Optical connector - 6 x USB connector - 1 x RJ45 connector - 1 x DVI connector - 1 x VGA connector - 1 x HDMI connector - 1 x DISPLAY connector - 1 x e-Sata connector Let’s install the CPU first. The cooler I chose this time is the Intel BOX Cooler, which is quite a perfect low profile cooler for the system. Cooler installed. The next thing is the memory, and my choice is Kingston’s DDR3-1333 2G kit. Up and ready! And it supports Dual Channel memory lanes. Everything is almost set. It’s time to install the main system. First, let’s uninstall the hard disk rack from the chassis and then install the hard disk. With the screwless design, the installation is as easy as can be. Now, let’s install one of the most important devices, the Liteon 4X Blu-ray. Before installing the optical drive, you have to uninstall the front panel. At the beginning I thought it’s going to be very troublesome, but it turns out to be easy. All you have to do is to gently press the 3 tenons on the front panel, then it pops right open. Next, put the Blu-ray to the top of the drive section, then close the front panel, done. Next, let’s install the Power Supply. The power supply for my new system is theThermaltake Toughpower XT 750W, it got a cable management design which is very convenient. The good side of this cable management is that you only install those cables you really need to run you system. Otherwise, there will be lots of cables tangling inside the chassis. Let’s take a picture of the whole system, it looks a bit messy, because I haven’t taken care of those cables yet. Well, we are almost done! Let’s start installing the operating system next. I use the Logitech Cordless Desktop EX90 keyboard, which is cheap n good. Before installing the operating system, please don’t forget to install the VGA cable to the D-Sub connector at the back panel….as Idid… For connecting to my beloved 42” LCD monitor, I chose the most convenient interface- HDMI. As OS I chose Windows VISTA 64-bit. Next, install the Gigabyte motherboard drivers, which are very handy, all you need to do is to keep pressing “next”. Look! There’s a blue light at the right bottom side of the system. After closer look, it is the memory reader panel which is very for any flash memory cards and the like After having installed the windows system, let’s intall the DH202 multimedia software CD. When it is done, just follow the instructions in the manual to choose the settings. The 7” inch monitor immediately lights up with some basic system information, check it out: Let’s put the bundled remote control to use, it looks quite perfect for my future multimedia control center.. Due to the dual monitor output, I have to adjust some settings. You can find the dedicated Intel section in the configuration settings, the interface is very clear, so it is done quickly. I wonder if setting this is just for Intel Core i3 only. This is the Intel multi monitor setting page, the instructions are clear and concise. Let’s check out something special here. At the Graphics section in the Device Manager. The graphics information show Intel Graphic Media Accelerator HD! Now it’s time to playback the Blu-ray now. Let’s install the bundled Power DVD software first. Is this the Readme of a Blu-ray? Next, let’s turn on the Multimedia software iMON, iMedia HD for Tt’s DH202 touch interface. It is userfriendly and clear! I picked a very classy Blu-ray –National Treasure, I can’t never get tired of watching it. The quality of the Blu-ray movie is definitely much better than normal DVD flix. No matter for playback resolution or audio sound quality, it is definitely superb! Looks like I am going to rent a lot of Blu-rays in the future! Conclusion: The new released Intel Core i3 CPU+GPU technology really brings out the quality of Blu-ray DVD and the smoothness of my HTPC playback. The dual monitor setting interface should even be clear enough for people like me who install an HTPC for the first time. Another thing is, the innovative design of Thermaltake DH202 with the 7” Touch LCD is also brilliant! I can check the multimedia information of my data and the remote control makes things so much easier. What amazed me is that you may also operate the Media Center of Windows Vista by using the same remote control. Now I’m definitely the of my entertainment machine.