*Official* Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H Thread (NVIDIA 9400 mATX HDMI 8 channel LPCM) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2837 Old 11-22-2008, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Now that the first motherboard based on the NVIDIA 9400 chipset has hit stores in the US and the UK, it's time to start the official thread. (For general information on the NVIDIA 9300 and 9400 chipset, see this thread.)

Does it have the Northbridge heat/shutdown problem of the Asus board?
Apparently it does not, but it depends heavily on the case fans you use:
Asus P5N7A-VM: In idle state I get around 70 Celsius (SpeedFan 4.36). I ran 3DMark06 for about 1 hour and the highest temp I got was 97 Celsius.

Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H: The temperature of the NB heatsink of the GIGABYTE board never exceeds 44°C at video playback (with room temperature around 24°C). I used Scythe Kama Thermo Mini (http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/ac...wh_detail.html) (the sensor is directly attached to the heatsink).

If you have northbridge heat issues, you can add this fanless heatsink: http://www.thermalright.com/new_a_pa...r_hr05_ifx.htm
If you have northbridge heat issues, you can also try a Thermaltake Extreme Spirit (has a fan, doesn't cool as well as the thremalright, but more commonly available.)


Manual: link (pdf)

Specifications: link
*Intel Socket 775
*NVIDIA GeForce 9400 chipset with HDMI out and 8-channel LPCM audio
*Capable of 24 fps (24 Hz) video output
*Micro ATX form factor

BIOS update downloads: link

Drivers: link

Places stocking the Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H:

Newegg.com

Pictures:


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post #2 of 2837 Old 11-22-2008, 08:03 AM
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A good board indeed!
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post #3 of 2837 Old 11-22-2008, 08:50 AM
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Found some more details and discussion on the following site:

http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=75173

Now I'm almost ready to order it, but am still a bit hesitant to be one of the first ones to try. What if the board has overheating problems or something. The other option is to go for HD 4550 stand alone video card with a tested mobo. Decisions, decisions, decision!

Also, would anybody know the following?

1. What's the minimum Power supply needed to power the board? I've already bought the Antec Minue 350 with 350W PSU.
2. I don't have a HDMI or DVI input in my panasonic Plasma. It's an old EDTV with VGA and component inputs. Does this board has component out capability? Or will VGA offer the same quality as component?
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post #4 of 2837 Old 11-22-2008, 09:05 AM
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i can't decided which board the asus P5n7A-VM or the GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H can u Recommended
i Heard thet the asus GPU get hot what abut the giga ?
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post #5 of 2837 Old 11-22-2008, 09:27 AM
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I have this baby in my HTPC for more than 1 week already and all I can say is I am impressed! For the price you get very good piece of hardware; it is stable, no freezing, no reboots, no overheating problems - everything just works
Here I quote myself from other thread:


My HTPC setup is this:
MB Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H Rev. 1.0 (BIOS F1 10/14/2008)
CPU Intel Core2 Duo E8200 2,66GHz 6MB 1333MHz
CPU heatsink Scythe SCMNJ-1000 Ninja Mini (passive)
8 GB RAM 2x Patriot DIMM 4096MB DDR II 800MHz (PDC24G6400LLK)
Hard drive 2x Western Digital Caviar GP 750GB SATA II, WD7500AACS (OOZJBO), 16MB, 5400 RPM
Optical drive LG GGC-H20L (1.03) Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM/DVD-RW Drive
Keyboard & Mouse Logitech Cordless Desktop S510CZ (RAK73)
Gamepad Logitech WingMan Cordless Rumblepad II
Case Antec Fusion 430
Case fan Noctua NF-S12-1200
Power fan Noctua NF-R8-1800
Operating system Microsoft Vista Enterprise 64-bit SP1

-> via HDMI connected to audio setup:
receiver Denon AVR-2808 (I control everything with included smart remote)
Front speakers 2x KEF iQ7 (Bi-amping)
Center speaker KEF iQ6c
Rear speakers 2x KEF iQ3 (sitting on stands NorStone NS3)

-> via HDMI connected to my screen:
LCD Samsung LE40F86BD, 40" Full HD 1920x1080, 25.000:1 dynamic contrast


As for the Vista scores this is what I get:
Total score 4,6
Processor 5,5
Memory (RAM) 5,9
Graphics 4,6
Gaming graphics 5,1
Primary hard drive 5,7

I must say I am pretty impressed with the Gigabyte 9400 board so far. I was using Asus hardware only for many many years but recently I began to feel suspicious about this company (mainly because of lack of reasonable support) and my last experience I went through (being one of the first owners of the screwed Xonar HDAV 1.3) was the last drop therefore I want to avoid Asus as much as possible - at least in near future...
So this is my first Gigabyte HW ever and I really enjoy it. BIOS is much nicer to Asus (user friendly, self-explanatory items also well covered in the manual), dual-BIOS, 8 presets to save configurations etc.
No more resizing / changing desktop resolution. I used to have Asus P5E-VM HDMI with Intel G35 chipset and I got that all the time -> Asus blamed Intel -> Intel blamed Asus... That's why I eventually purchased ATI2600 graphics but I was not happy with this setup neither...

So after some time spent on tweaking (nothing critical) I achieved almost perfect HTPC solution with this Gigabyte board. Using one HDMI cable I get perfect smooth playback (50Hz / 24Hz on DVD / Blu-ray), it bitstreams DTS and Dolby Digital (e.g. on my receiver I can see "DTS" and "Dolby Digital") and proper LPCM (e.g. once switched to DTS-MA / Dolby True HD / PCM audio track I can see on my receiver "Multi Ch". (note: if you are using WinDVD (I use version 9 Plus Blu-ray) you need to set audio output to "Waveout" otherwise it did not work properly - at least for me)
I am using more or less default settings for everything (and no over/under clocking). For HDMI output I use YCbCr and enabled PureVideo HD with "Edge Enhancement" set to 85% which makes DVDs much crisper and even helps a bit to Blu-ray as well. This way I get deep blacks, nice colours, crisp picture = I can say I am (finally) happy with what I see on my LCD now

So all in all I can say that for the price (cca 125 Euro / 155 USD) this is a very good piece of hardware.

P.S. One small issue - for some reason after reboot I sometimes "lost" HDMI device from "Audio Devices" although in "Device Manager" there seemed to be no problem at all. I found out that if I Disable / Enable it in Device Manager then it was OK e.g. not loosing after reboots.
Apart form this I have no issue at all e.g. Standby works, embedded network works, everything works


Regarding GPU / chipset temperature in idle state I get around 70 Celsius (SpeedFan 4.36). I ran 3DMark06 for about 1 hour and the highest temp I got was 97 Celsius.
I have only one outflow fan (Noctua) in my case Antec Fusion 430 and it is hardly turning at all (I want to have my HTPC as quiet as possible - and it is indeed absolutely silent) therefore I assume better airflow would decrease the temperature. However I have not encountered single freeze or reboot so far, system is stable, everything works...


Just go for it
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post #6 of 2837 Old 11-22-2008, 09:43 AM
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Thanks for the great review. But are you sure the temps go to 97 Celsius!?! That's like almost the boiling point of water. It must be Fahrenheit and not Celsius (Centigrade). Otherwise, please make sure you have home insurance against fire damage.
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post #7 of 2837 Old 11-22-2008, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rts View Post

Thanks for the great review. But are you sure the temps go to 97 Celsius!?! That's like almost the boiling point of water. It must be Fahrenheit and not Celsius (Centigrade). Otherwise, please make sure you have home insurance against fire damage.

I am European = no Fahrenheit for me
Yes Celsius that's for sure. These temperatures are not unusual at all for passively cooled GPUs.
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post #8 of 2837 Old 11-22-2008, 12:07 PM
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Carlton bale

Thank you for starting this thread.

Of course I'm most interesting if this board has the same problems as asus GF9300 board.

I kindly ask all owners of this board to post gpu temps and if you have any other problems.

This board is 50 EUR more expensive in our country but I'm willing to pay more money only if this board does not have the same problems as asus p5n7a-vm.

Thank you.
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post #9 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 03:32 AM
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I am very interested in this motherboard - it is quite expensive in the UK, but it has Firewire (unlike the cheaper Asus uATX model)

What processors are people running with it for Blu-ray/DVD and HDTV (H264) and how well does the multichannel PCM HDMI audio perform with either PowerDVD or Total Media Theater? Is a Core Duo good enough - or do you need to go Core 2 Duo?

I'm looking mainly for a system to play DVDs and Blu-ray and SD/HD TV in Vista Media Center - and currently have a SPDIF only AMD 4850e+780G HD 3200 Radeon IGP solution which is not perfect (but OK) and wonder if I should upgrade for lossless audio and better SD and HD de-interlacing performance?
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post #10 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 09:29 AM
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I would like to know how quick Intel CPU do I need for mkv files (720 and 1080p).

Is E7200 fast enough or is safer to take E8XXX series?

Thank you.
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post #11 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 09:46 AM
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Guys... did you take note of the Audio Chip their are using - see bold


REALTEK - ALC889A

Take a look right from the RealTek site:
"ALC889

7.1+2 Channel HD Audio Codec with Content Protection

General Description
The ALC889-GR/ALC889DD-GR is a high-performance multi-channel High Definition Audio Codec with Realtek proprietary loss-less content protection technology that protects pre-recorded content while still allowing full-rate audio enjoyment from DVD audio, Blue-ray DVD, or HD DVD discs."

http://www.realtek.com.tw/products/p...n=4&ProdID=173

Has anyone confirmed the "content protected" audio tracks are coming thru? The issue with the other boards is the realtek chips they were using did not support "content protection" and the HD audio tracks were down mixed due to that lack of support..
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post #12 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 10:00 AM
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The ONLY differences between the CPU lines are E8xxx supports hardware virtualization and has more L2 cache. Other then that Ghz for Ghz its the same CPU. Your not losing any instruction set features. The increased cache should make a difference but honestly how much you, would need to do a comparison. My gut tells me its not that much of a difference.. Is it worth the $ 70 premium? I dont think so..

Quote:
Originally Posted by lubej View Post

I would like to know how quick Intel CPU do I need for mkv files (720 and 1080p).

Is E7200 fast enough or is safer to take E8XXX series?

Thank you.

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post #13 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 11:00 AM
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what are the main differences between gigabytes and asus board? i think im going with gigabyte because asus has heat issues
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post #14 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 11:12 AM
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Asus = 9300 chip

Gigabyte = 9400 chip
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post #15 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 11:15 AM
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yes, but thats the only difference?
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post #16 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 11:36 AM
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Think the mix of eSATA and internal SATA connections may be different, and the Gigabyte board has Firewire (which is important to me as I use Firewire to connec to my satellite receiver) The ASUS may also have their quickboot system (which actually sort of reboots at shutdown and then goes into a form of standby waiting to be woken up at "switch on"? AIUI)
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post #17 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 11:38 AM
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nice, seems like definite gigabyte. i dont really care about esata output, but firewire is nice feature!
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post #18 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 11:42 AM
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Yep - the lack of Firewire made the ASUS board a non-starter for me. The 9400 is a bit more powerful as well AIUI?
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post #19 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 11:57 AM
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yes chipset side only difference in 9300 and 9400 is that igp is more powerful in 9400. anything else is exactly the same.
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post #20 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 12:16 PM
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Also... This is a MAJOR difference the Audio Processor / Codec is different - see my note above
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post #21 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 12:28 PM
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The Asus seems to use a different Realtek chip: Realtek ALC1200 8 -Channel High-Definition Audio CODEC

I wonder if heat will be an issue with the Gigabyte board? The Asus board is only a 9300 and the OEM chipset heatsink uses heatpipes (and there are complaints of chipset heat issues already), this OEM one on the 9400 doesn't appear to even use Heatpipes. Wonder how well the Thermalright HR-05 (SLI/)IFX chipset coolers with heatpipe will fit (w/ 80 x80 x25mm fan)???
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post #22 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 12:38 PM
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Stanglx
thank you for your reply.
So E7xxxx will be fine.

Regarding " Content Protection", should we be worried, is this something new?
Is the only MB that uses this audio chip?

Thanks
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post #23 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 01:31 PM
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Though not having any crash nor reboot issue, i have mounted a third party heatsink for northbridge cause it's damned hot on touch.

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post #24 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 04:25 PM
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Well... the issue is for HD codecs such as TrueHD and DTS-HD is they are encrypted and require special hardware to understand PAPS & AACS compliance. If there is no "decrypter" (for the lack of a better word) the audio stream will be down converted to just AC3 / DTS (Depending on the track). LPCM does not have this issue but I read on in the MB manual and it states it only supports LPCM for 2 channels.

In theory this chip is better then the ASUS chip as the ASUS chip is an older chip (not much) and does not have this feature... BUT they do not state which content protection is will "decrypt". The only known HTPC add-on board that supports this is the ASUS Xonar sound card...

We will need someone to verify if TrueHD and DTS-HD play on someone audio system. Realtek does not provide enough information to know for sure

Quote:
Originally Posted by lubej View Post

Stanglx
thank you for your reply.
So E7xxxx will be fine.

Regarding " Content Protection", should we be worried, is this something new?
Is the only MB that uses this audio chip?

Thanks

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post #25 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanglx View Post

Guys... did you take note of the Audio Chip their are using - see bold


REALTEK - ALC889A

Take a look right from the RealTek site:
"ALC889

7.1+2 Channel HD Audio Codec with Content Protection

General Description
The ALC889-GR/ALC889DD-GR is a high-performance multi-channel High Definition Audio Codec with Realtek proprietary loss-less content protection technology that protects pre-recorded content while still allowing full-rate audio enjoyment from DVD audio, Blue-ray DVD, or HD DVD discs."

http://www.realtek.com.tw/products/p...n=4&ProdID=173

Has anyone confirmed the "content protected" audio tracks are coming thru? The issue with the other boards is the realtek chips they were using did not support "content protection" and the HD audio tracks were down mixed due to that lack of support..

ALC889 has a decryption module that constitutes the "contents protection" feature (as the HD Audio Link bus is user accessible, non-downsampled audio from premium contents must be encrypted when sent to the audio codec and the encrypted audio would be decrypted by the decryption module before converted into analog). But this feature applies only to analog (who uses onboard analog anyway?) and there is no software player that is capable of encrypting audio. So actually this feature is pretty useless.


Here is a slide created by Realtek. Basically ALC889 = ALC885 + a couple of features.


LL
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post #26 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 04:44 PM
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Thats too bad... doh!
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post #27 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvhk View Post

Though not having any crash nor reboot issue, i have mounted a third party heatsink for northbridge cause it's damned hot on touch.

I have slightly different experience. My system:

- GA-E7AUM-DS2H
- E5200 with stock cooler
- 1 x HDD, 1 x BD drive
- NSK2480 with the two 120mm stock case fans at low speed

Temperature of the NB heatsink

I used Scythe Kama Thermo Mini to measure the temperature of the NB heatsink. The sensor is directly attached to the heatsink. The temperature never exceeds 44°C at video playback (with room temperature around 24°C).

GPU temperature

Here is the GPU temperature by GPU-Z at BD playback: 54°C.


The GPU temperature never exceeds 62°C even when playing games.

Needless to say, NB/GPU temperature heavily depends on the case airflow. I think Antec NSK2480/Fusion Remote is very good in this respect.
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post #28 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 05:29 PM
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Is the 9400 GT controller housed in the northbridge? Besides the processor and the northbridge, are there any other areas that heat up a lot? I'm thinking that a silent Northbridge Heatsink like Zalman ZM-NB47J Fanless may be an acceptable solution.

http://www.amazon.com/Zalman-ZM-NB47.../dp/B000292DNQ

Thanks renethx for posting the temps. The fact that the GPU temperature never exceeds 62°C even when playing games makes me feel better. JohnnyB's 97 degree Centigrade just scared me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pvhk View Post

Though not having any crash nor reboot issue, i have mounted a third party heatsink for northbridge cause it's damned hot on touch.

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post #29 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 06:00 PM
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I cant find any mention that it only supports analog... Why cant you just SPDIF to the internal HDMI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

ALC889 has a decryption module that constitutes the "contents protection" feature (as the HD Audio Link bus is user accessible, non-downsampled audio from premium contents must be encrypted when sent to the audio codec and the encrypted audio would be decrypted by the decryption module before converted into analog). But this feature applies only to analog (who uses onboard analog anyway?) and there is no software player that is capable of encrypting audio. So actually this feature is pretty useless.


Here is a slide created by Realtek. Basically ALC889 = ALC885 + a couple of features.


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post #30 of 2837 Old 11-23-2008, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rts View Post

Is the 9400 GT controller housed in the northbridge? Besides the processor and the northbridge, are there any other areas that heat up a lot?

The single chipset (called "GeForce 9400 and nForce 730i" or simply "GeForce 9400" or "nForce 730i") includes everything except CPU: memory controller, PCIe 2.0 x16 controller, graphics, low-speed I/O controllers (PCI, SATA, USB, HD audio, ethernet). The other third-party ICs (audio codec, IEEE 1394, IDE controller etc.) run cool.
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