Originally Posted by thequinox
I don't quite get what is so inciting about this board. I am planning on building an HTPC soon, and I have seen a lot of people holding out for this board. What makes it any better then say the 8200/8300?
The issues and problems with the 8200 and 8300 have been discussed ad-nauseum in this forum, so I won't spend time rehashing. Consider I've actually been an Nvidia/Purevideo junkie for at least the last three years and for my HTPC's have bought nothing BUT Nvidia motherboards and GPU's for the hardware accelerated decoding features. I was aware of the Intel G35 boards but they still didn't compel me. When the G45 was announced and I read all about it, I was convinced it was going to be a "next generation" HTPC chipset. On top of that I have too many Intel CPU's and spare parts laying around to want to move to AMD.
As far as I've read in the official 8200 thread, there are differences in the 8200/8300 boards with regard to multi-channel audio depending on who makes the board (i.e. gigabyte, evga, etc) some don't do 8-channel LPCM over HDMI but rather just stereo, some have garbled sound when resuming from sleep requiring a reboot, etc.
I don't feel like dealing with issues and surprises in my next HTPC build.
Many people that want an Nvidia based microATX HTPC-oriented motherboard are skipping the 8200/8300 and waiting for Nvidia's next gen mobo (i.e. 9300/9400 or whatever).
The G45 is interesting to many of us because of vertical integration: the integrated graphics processor is by Intel (and a very powerful one), and the audio chip is also by Intel, rather than it being a Realtek or some other third party audio chip thrown onto the board. Because of that vertical integration the ability to bitstream audio will have a better chance of happening sooner since Intel didn't have to coordinate PAVP/PAP compliance on the G45 with any third party audio chip supplier, and coordination with a software player company (Arcsoft, Cyberlink, etc) should be easier.
I could go on, but to boil it down to a single reason, it's probably the IGP and it's ability to effortlessly HD decode all three Bluray codecs with only a very cheap $60-$100 CPU on board that's the biggest selling point with the G45.
For as low as a $199 pricepoint including the motherboard, memory and a CPU, you've got smooth Bluray playback and 8-channel LPCM audio over HDMI that actually works
- that's why it's a big deal.