OFFICIAL ION 2 (Second-Generation ION) HTPC Nettop Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 180 Old 05-13-2010, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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So, here's what we've got so far in terms of HTPC nettops that make use of the new dual-core Pine Trail Atom D510 processor and, most importantly, nVidia's new second-generation ION GPU:

1. Zotac ZBOXHD-ID11-U (available now) [review 1] [review 2] [setup guide] [discussion] [video]
2. Lenovo IdeaCentre Q150 (to be released by the end of June)
3. Shuttle Barebone XS35 (available Q2) [video]
4. Asus EeeBox 1501P (release date unknown)

I'll keep updating this as products are released/reviewed/discussed below.
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post #2 of 180 Old 05-13-2010, 07:10 PM
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Just as a cross-reference I would like to add here the link to the Linux specific avsforum ION2 thread for anyone looking into running Linux on ION2 hardware:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1231833

(I have added a link back to this Windows thread in the first post of the Linux thread too)

A full overview of all available ION/ION2 devices with technical details, pictures and links to the related manufacturer page, can be found here: http://www.linuxtech.net/features/nv..._overview.html

My Linux news / reviews / tips+tricks / downloads web site: http://www.linuxtech.net/
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post #3 of 180 Old 05-13-2010, 07:40 PM
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Are there any reasons to use a second generation ION card over a first generation ION card for a HTPC? Unless they added bitstreaming I don't really see any reason why it should even be called an upgrade. Sure the GPU is more powerfull, but do we get anything out of that when it comes to HTPCs?
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post #4 of 180 Old 05-13-2010, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zicoz View Post

Are there any reasons to use a second generation ION card over a first generation ION card for a HTPC? Unless they added bitstreaming I don't really see any reason why it should even be called an upgrade. Sure the GPU is more powerfull, but do we get anything out of that when it comes to HTPCs?

As I understand it, the power consumption went down with the second generation, which may or may not be significant to most users (since it was already low to begin with). Also, I think that in order to use the new dual-core Pine View Atom D510 CPU (rather than the previous single-core Atom), you need the second-generation ION chipset for compatibility. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong here.

You can read more insight from the Anandtech review linked to in the original post.
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post #5 of 180 Old 05-13-2010, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpmoon View Post

As I understand it, the power consumption went down with the second generation, which may or may not be significant to most users (since it was already low to begin with). Also, I think that in order to use the new dual-core Pine View Atom D510 CPU (rather than the previous single-core Atom), you need the second-generation ION chipset for compatibility. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong here.

You can read more insight from the Anandtech review linked to in the original post.

The previous Atom 330 was also dual core, and it was used in machines like the Revo 310, and came with certain Zotac mini-ITX motherboards. The 270 was single core and used in other lesser lines.
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post #6 of 180 Old 05-14-2010, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitbrit View Post

The previous Atom 330 was also dual core, and it was used in machines like the Revo 310, and came with certain Zotac mini-ITX motherboards. The 270 was single core and used in other lesser lines.

There are dual-core, single-core, and low-power variants of both Diamondville and Pine Trail:
Diamondville:
N270 (and N280): Low power single core with 945GSE chipset for netbooks and fanless systems; not necessarily "lesser" lines, just a different focus
230 (Single Core) and 330 (Dual Core) - "desktop" architecture (includes HyperThreading) and power consumption, could be paired with 945GC Intel chipset or ION

Pine Trail:
N450 (and 470): low power single core for netbooks and fanless systems
D410/D510 (single/dual core), can be paired with NM10 (GT218 optional) or ICH8M.

For comparison, see Intel's ARK: http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?id...35,35641,36331,
NOTE: For complete system TDP, click on each CPU and scroll down to "Compatible Chipsets" - hover over the balloon to see the full system TDP

There's also the Zxx series, but that's a whole different story...
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post #7 of 180 Old 05-14-2010, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toneloc427 View Post

There are dual-core, single-core, and low-power variants of both Diamondville and Pine Trail:
Diamondville:
N270 (and N280): Low power single core with 945GSE chipset for netbooks and fanless systems; not necessarily "lesser" lines, just a different focus
230 (Single Core) and 330 (Dual Core) - "desktop" architecture (includes HyperThreading) and power consumption, could be paired with 945GC Intel chipset or ION

Pine Trail:
N450 (and 470): low power single core for netbooks and fanless systems
D410/D510 (single/dual core), can be paired with NM10 (GT218 optional) or ICH8M.

For comparison, see Intel's ARK: http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?id...35,35641,36331,
NOTE: For complete system TDP, click on each CPU and scroll down to "Compatible Chipsets" - hover over the balloon to see the full system TDP

There's also the Zxx series, but that's a whole different story...

Thanks for that comprehensive information. I am reading this to mean that if you want the current best-in-class CPU (Pine Trail D510) as well as an ION-based HTPC, you need to use the second-generation ION chipset and you cannot use the original ION chipset.
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post #8 of 180 Old 05-14-2010, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpmoon View Post

Thanks for that comprehensive information. I am reading this to mean that if you want the current best-in-class CPU (Pine Trail D510) as well as an ION-based HTPC, you need to use the second-generation ION chipset and you cannot use the original ION chipset.

Yes. The new ION2 is basically a discrete GPU that communicates to the NM10 chipset via a PCIe x1 lane. I really don't see much of a benefit with ION2, though. The original ION made for a low power, HD-capable replacement to the power hungry Intel 945GC chipset while the newer one even adds to Pinetrail's power consumption.
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post #9 of 180 Old 05-17-2010, 03:01 PM
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I really wish we could get some more details on the Lenovo and Shuttle systems. I have been looking into buying an Ion system for months now, but I am holding off until I can really get some details of the cost and specs of these Ion 2 systems.

The Lenovo device is visually very attractive, but I want to know configurations and prices beyond the fact that it starts at $250 for the diet version. I want to know what a tricked out version will cost.

And the Shuttle is very enticing, because the DVD drive and fanless operation are 2 very attractive features. I just wish they would throw us a bone and give us a bit more detail on pricing, specs, and release dates.
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post #10 of 180 Old 05-19-2010, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Original post updated with new review of the Zotac at Hot Hardware, here.
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post #11 of 180 Old 05-20-2010, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Orders of the Zotac appear to be taken now at Amazon.com; although the item is not in stock, this is a preferable option for many because of the free shipping and no tax in most states, as well as the comfort of ordering from Amazon.

As of today, several other vendors began showing availability, or at least ordering capability:

Google Product Search

Mod's note: Fixed link.
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post #12 of 180 Old 05-24-2010, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow. Someone blogged a killer startup guide to the Zotac HD-ID11. Check it out.
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post #13 of 180 Old 06-19-2010, 10:31 AM
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Lenovo Q150 is now shipping on Amazon.

Version 1 has the Atom D410, 160Gb HDD, 1Gb RAM, integrated graphics (not Ion), N wifi, and Windows XP Home...$218

Version 2 has the Atom D510, 250Gb HDD, 2Gb RAM, Nvidia Ion 2, N wifi, handheld wireless keyboard/mouse, and Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit...$350

Apparently there doesn't appear to be an IR sensor on either.
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post #14 of 180 Old 06-20-2010, 09:57 PM
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Looks like the XS35 from Shuttle has been delayed until the Fall in Europe. Maybe here as well. They redesigned it a bit, but I think it might be worth the wait.
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post #15 of 180 Old 06-20-2010, 10:03 PM
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http://www.anandtech.com/show/3765/n...n-nvidia-ngion

This article makes me nervous about ION2's architecture as it seems fundamentally flawed by design of the limitation of the cpu--gpu link at PCIe x1. Original ION may be the safer bet as at least it works flawlessly.
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post #16 of 180 Old 06-21-2010, 09:29 AM
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Yeah,
That Anandtech article got me worried as well.
I think the Q150 is ION , not ION2, as mentioned above, is that correct? I wonder if the Q150 is fanless.

That might be a great option.
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post #17 of 180 Old 06-21-2010, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

Yeah,
That Anandtech article got me worried as well.
I think the Q150 is ION , not ION2, as mentioned above, is that correct? I wonder if the Q150 is fanless.

That might be a great option.

It's not fanless, and it is ION2 because the D510 CPU is not compatible with the first-generation ION chipset.
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post #18 of 180 Old 06-23-2010, 11:36 PM
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Looks like the shuttle XS35 will be called the X350 in the US, and will be available for preorder this week

http://us.shuttle.com/news.aspx
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post #19 of 180 Old 06-24-2010, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

Looks like the shuttle XS35 will be called the X350 in the US, and will be available for preorder this week

http://us.shuttle.com/news.aspx

Cool. And in this video, Shuttle mentions that the price point will be under $300.

Makes me tentatively regret getting the Zotac Zbox HD-ID11. We'll see.
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post #20 of 180 Old 06-24-2010, 04:23 PM
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But we'll have to add an OS, Hdd, and ram, right? So, probably closer to 500.
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post #21 of 180 Old 06-24-2010, 06:20 PM
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My understanding is that Ion2 is still choking on Flash, if you want to playback that type of content from your HTPC.

Personally I am more interested in the new ASrock HTPC that was announced that will utilize an Intel i3 mobile chip and have a blu ray player - There's a video of it on youtube somewhere.

I started with these nettops but am now looking at a full HTPC with upgradability - almost at the same price point
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post #22 of 180 Old 07-29-2010, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitar1969 View Post

My understanding is that Ion2 is still choking on Flash, if you want to playback that type of content from your HTPC.

Personally I am more interested in the new ASrock HTPC that was announced that will utilize an Intel i3 mobile chip and have a blu ray player - There's a video of it on youtube somewhere.

I started with these nettops but am now looking at a full HTPC with upgradability - almost at the same price point


nvidia released an update driver on this a week or so ago, which fixed some of the flash issues. There's an update review here,
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3765/n...n-nvidia-ngion

Seems the ion 2's are slowly making there way into the hands of consumers, I ordered the lenovo Q150 D510, should have it tomorrow, plan on installing boxee, will provide some feedback later next week. I'm going the HTPC route after returning the Popbox, as it didn't meet expectations

This thread looks to be dying, but would like hear back from any one with a Nex Gen Ion, their experience, and which HTPC app they are using.

PSN: CAPTDANMAN
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post #23 of 180 Old 07-29-2010, 11:42 AM
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Looking forward to your opinions of 1080p flash, and noise, on the q150!

The shuttle fanless x350 with ion is still "coming soon" but won't be cheap since the non-ion version is available for ~$450.
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post #24 of 180 Old 07-30-2010, 07:48 PM
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Boy I kinda suck at this whole HTPC thing but I bought the Lenovo Q150 D510 about two weeks ago and so far I'm underwhelmed to say the least. As far as I can tell I have updated the drivers on everything I could and, at least in my case, Hulu(standard not plus) looks just okay and Netflix HD steaming stutters and as does youtube HD stuff. A few reviews on newegg are loving it but I'm not liking it much so far. Anyone got some tips for a HTPC newbie I would very much appreciate it.
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post #25 of 180 Old 07-30-2010, 09:05 PM
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Seems UPS delivered my Q150 with the d510 today, but it wasn't at my house. So either he/she delivered it to the wrong house, or some one took it off my front porch. Anyway, it's going to take Newegg 2 weeks to work through this mess, and now the Q150 is out of stock. Maybe this is a good thing

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post #26 of 180 Old 07-31-2010, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akbungle View Post

Boy I kinda suck at this whole HTPC thing but I bought the Lenovo Q150 D510 about two weeks ago and so far I'm underwhelmed to say the least. As far as I can tell I have updated the drivers on everything I could and, at least in my case, Hulu(standard not plus) looks just okay and Netflix HD steaming stutters and as does youtube HD stuff. A few reviews on newegg are loving it but I'm not liking it much so far. Anyone got some tips for a HTPC newbie I would very much appreciate it.

Are you using a wired or wireless connection to your q150? What is you Internet speed in mb/s?
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post #27 of 180 Old 07-31-2010, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akbungle View Post

Boy I kinda suck at this whole HTPC thing but I bought the Lenovo Q150 D510 about two weeks ago and so far I'm underwhelmed to say the least. As far as I can tell I have updated the drivers on everything I could and, at least in my case, Hulu(standard not plus) looks just okay and Netflix HD steaming stutters and as does youtube HD stuff. A few reviews on newegg are loving it but I'm not liking it much so far. Anyone got some tips for a HTPC newbie I would very much appreciate it.

Seems UPS deliverd my Q150 to the wrong house, neighbor dropped it off after 2. As others have said almost no bloatware on this guy, just Mcafee which I removed. Spent a few hours doing all the windows updates, installed Nortorn for now, Boxee and Damain Tools lite. Screen res is set to 1080p, wired network, boxee works well with standard Def ISO on my WHS. Netflix does not work with boxee, received a message from the netflix server about reduced network bandwith, and the video stops while a status indicator in the back very slowly buffers the movie, but it never starts to play back. Netflix plays fine with in a browser, playing one of their few HD videos now. With boxee I'm getting 2 channel stereo, could be the default setup, If i'm not mistaken Netflix HD is 2 channel stereo, at least that's what the PS3 indicates. I loaded an ISO via damain and played via Media player, video played great, but I still think I'm getting 2 channel stereo but there was a DD logo on the botton left of the screen.

My kid played kidzui for a couple of hours with no issues what so ever and it's all flashed based.

I've not made any changes to the factory defaults, drivers etc. Tomorrow, I will drop the res to 720p and see if that helps with Netflix in boxee. I really would like to use boxee as the default media player. it's the most user friendly, and hopefully the rest of the family can use it.

I've not tried XMBC, and may not anytime soon. I don't have any BD video to test. Oh, and the Q150 does have the old verison of the nvidia adriver, it lenovo's verison but its dated April 2010.

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post #28 of 180 Old 08-02-2010, 09:56 AM
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Dbailey75,

What do you think of the fan noise?
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post #29 of 180 Old 08-02-2010, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

Dbailey75,

What do you think of the fan noise?

It could be an issue for some, depending on what your watching, the fan will crank up, and when all the TV and amp volume levels are down, you can here it, and may be more of less noticeable depending on your specific setup. For Me it's not a big deal, I have a built in unit in my house that's very deep as it was made to hold a 35-36 " crt tv, and the depth of the built in does a good job dispersing the sound, I have an HP Media Smart WHS a few shelves down, which also produce some fan noice, but it's not noticeable unless your standing with in 2-4 feet of the equipment. My couch is roughly 20 feet from the TV.

Hope this helps.

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post #30 of 180 Old 08-02-2010, 02:02 PM
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Thanks. That does help. I have my gear sitting near the couch (run in-wall to the TV), so I am only 3 feet away...sounds like it will be too loud, since my wife thinks the PS3 slim is waaaay to loud.

I guess I'll try out the X350, if it ever ships
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