Official Dell Zino 410 HTPC - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 01:07 PM
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Another possibility would be the HDHomeRun from SilconDust: http://www.silicondust.com/products/hdhomerun/atsc/

You might even be able to add the cable card version: HDHome Prime. Note they have not yest started shipping this 3 tuner card. http://www.silicondust.com/products/hdhomerun/prime/
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post #182 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by phy88 View Post

I'd be interested to see if the zino's with the P340 and P940 processors could easily handle 1080p flash video without gpu acceleration. That would tell me everything I need to know about the processors and whether it's worth buying another zino (I have the top config from the previous generation, 6850/4330, and it's not as powerful as I would like).

the problem with this is that all of the gpu's used in the zino's will enable gpu acceleration in the latest version of flash.

so i'm not sure how to test this other than to go find an outdated version of flash that didn't have gpu acceleration since i'm not convinced "turning off GPU acceleration" actually does turn it off completely
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post #183 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scJohn View Post

Another possibility would be the HDHomeRun from SilconDust:

You might even be able to add the cable card version: HDHome Prime. Note they have not yest started shipping this 3 tuner card.

I know nothing about TV Tuners but I'm thinking of getting one to go with my (likely) soon to be purchased Zino. What's the difference between the above and a USB tuner? For example, I was looking at the AVerMedia AVerTV Hybrid Volar Max MTVHBVMXR USB 2.0 Interface (sorry, can't post links yet).

From what I gather, the USB tuner will only work for one computer while the network tuner would allow me to watch on any computer connected to the network. Sorry if this is a dumb question
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post #184 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by R1Budha View Post

the problem with this is that all of the gpu's used in the zino's will enable gpu acceleration in the latest version of flash.

so i'm not sure how to test this other than to go find an outdated version of flash that didn't have gpu acceleration since i'm not convinced "turning off GPU acceleration" actually does turn it off completely

Not a problem, un-checking "enable hardware acceleration" works. I've tested this on all my computers including the Zino. Just check the huge difference it makes in terms of CPU usage. Without gpu acceleration, my Zino (6850/4330) barely handles 720...forget about 1080. Unfortunately, even with gpu acceleration enabled in flash 10.1, not all flash HD video plays smoothly, and that's why I'd rather the have a processor that can easily handle any flash.
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post #185 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

Dell seems to have learnt its lesson

I am yet to open up the case, but 30 minutes into running Prime95 + Furmark, and the CPU temperature hasn't gone past 75 C, while GPU is at 68 C! Fan is at 3444 rpm, and the unit seems to be pretty stable even in these stressful conditions.

Would have liked idle power to be a little lower, but that is AMD's issue, I guess.. when compared with the Intel Arrandale based HTPCs..

Anything in particular you guys would like us to cover in the review? Our review config is the 4 core Blu-Ray equipped 5450 model.

Has anyone been able to figure out if all of the original Zinos had overheating issues? Based on the reviews I've read, it was seen more often in the earlier models. I just bought one of the fully-loaded (AMD 6850e X2, ATI 4330 512 MB, blu-ray etc.) Zino 400s on sale, and I am hoping I don't have any issues with it overheating.

Is there anything people recommend for keeping it cool?

TIA

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Originally Posted by scJohn View Post

Jakmal.

Is the quad core over kill or under kill? From a HTPC point of view I think the AMD Athlon™ II X2 P340 would be a better fit than the AMD Phenom™ II X4 P940. Certainly from a cost point of view. 6 GB of ram is also overkill for a HTPC.

I wondered about that, and also whether the increased heat from those processors compared to the low-voltage AMD X2 ones like the 3250e and neo 6850e would cause a problem. I guess not, according to Jakmal.
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post #186 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by masYmas View Post

Is there any way you can find out if the eSata port on the new 410's are port multiplier compatible? I need this feature to support external eSata storage towers with multiple drives.

Thanks!

my testing with a BlacX Duet says the ports DO NOT support PM's.

The BlacX works fine on a add on Sil card in another computer and none of the drives are recognized via eSata in the ZinoHD.
Kinda sad really.

But at least they supply two to begin with.

(BTW the BlacX Duet works fine when connected via USB to the ZinoHD)
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post #187 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scJohn View Post

Jakmal.

Is the quad core over kill or under kill? From a HTPC point of view I think the AMD Athlon II X2 P340 would be a better fit than the AMD Phenom II X4 P940. Certainly from a cost point of view. 6 GB of ram is also overkill for a HTPC.

Did yours come with the Media remote? And therefore included the optional IR unit?

One problem that a lot of people had with the old system was video stuttering in Media Center when MC was overlaying.

As I was playing around with the unit, I realized that the quad core is absolutely essential, particularly if one is used to the Arrandale / Clarkdale based HTPCs. Even though those Intel offerings are only dual core, they have four threads. AMD's offerings don't seem to have hyper threading, so each core is only 1 thread. In my tests, I found that the performance of the quad core is similar to (sometimes slightly better than) the Corei3-330M (which is the lowest Core i3 Arrandale from Intel). I would hesitate to recommend the dual core variety inside the Zino 410, even if one does only HTPC tasks with the unit.

On the other hand, 6 GB is definitely overkill for RAM, as is the 750 GB 7200 rpm hard disk. While I might not complain about the latter ( who doesn't want more storage :P ? ), I feel the former only serves to increase the idle power consumption. (Details in the review expected to be posted later this week).

Yes, the review unit has the media remote as well as IR receiver. It is the same model as the one supplied by ASRock for their Vision 3D HTPC. Picture in the Miscellaneous Components section here. (Zino's remote is black in colour instead of silver, but that is the only difference).

Given the performance of the quad core and the acceleration provided by the GPU for video tasks, I don't think we will have problems with video overlay in MC. I will test it out anyway.

Ganesh T S
Sr. Editor, AnandTech Inc.
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post #188 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phy88 View Post

Not a problem, un-checking "enable hardware acceleration" works. I've tested this on all my computers including the Zino. Just check the huge difference it makes in terms of CPU usage. Without gpu acceleration, my Zino (6850/4330) barely handles 720...forget about 1080. Unfortunately, even with gpu acceleration enabled in flash 10.1, not all flash HD video plays smoothly, and that's why I'd rather the have a processor that can easily handle any flash.

using this as the reference video.
http://www.flashstreamworks.com/arch..._id=1244959370

The dual core p340 system with "enable hardware acceleration unchecked wuld run about 70% on both cores, no noticeable stuttering or stopping or skipping.

with the box checked, cpu was about 50% on both cores.
Not sure if that is just because of the video or what but i tried it several times.
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post #189 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

As I was playing around with the unit, I realized that the quad core is absolutely essential, particularly if one is used to the Arrandale / Clarkdale based HTPCs. Even though those Intel offerings are only dual core, they have four threads. AMD's offerings don't seem to have hyper threading, so each core is only 1 thread. In my tests, I found that the performance of the quad core is similar to (sometimes slightly better than) the Corei3-330M (which is the lowest Core i3 Arrandale from Intel). I would hesitate to recommend the dual core variety inside the Zino 410, even if one does only HTPC tasks with the unit.

On the other hand, 6 GB is definitely overkill for RAM, as is the 750 GB 7200 rpm hard disk. While I might not complain about the latter ( who doesn't want more storage :P ? ), I feel the former only serves to increase the idle power consumption. (Details in the review expected to be posted later this week).

Yes, the review unit has the media remote as well as IR receiver. It is the same model as the one supplied by ASRock for their Vision 3D HTPC. Picture in the Miscellaneous Components section here. (Zino's remote is black in colour instead of silver, but that is the only difference).

Given the performance of the quad core and the acceleration provided by the GPU for video tasks, I don't think we will have problems with video overlay in MC. I will test it out anyway.

i'm trying to find a reason why the power of the quadcore is still needed?
maybe if you are doing encoding of video, but even then that difference is only time.

again, i'm playing BR iso files with full DTSHD audio with no problems, playing ripped mkv content, 1080p flash content, hulu, youtubeHD, etc all without a problem using only the P340 dual core.

i am NOT using a tuner car, however i've never found that to be extremely hard on processors for the cards currently available.
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post #190 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by R1Budha View Post

i'm trying to find a reason why the power of the quadcore is still needed?
maybe if you are doing encoding of video, but even then that difference is only time.

again, i'm playing BR iso files with full DTSHD audio with no problems, playing ripped mkv content, 1080p flash content, hulu, youtubeHD, etc all without a problem using only the P340 dual core.

i am NOT using a tuner car, however i've never found that to be extremely hard on processors for the cards currently available.

Some of the HTPC tasks I expect units to be good with:

1. x264 encoding
2. WinRAR built-in benchmark
3. WinRAR split archive decompression (resultant file size > 4 GB).

Also, have you tried Netflix on your machine yet? Silverlight (used by Netflix) doesn't use GPU for accelerating the DRM portion, so the CPU usage is much more than Flash. This is where a powerful CPU would help.

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post #191 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 03:01 PM
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Finally got approval for my blog post on the Zino HD 410.

You can find it here...
http://blogs.amd.com/home/2010/10/18...n-410-zino-hd/

Regards.
Java

There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary, and those that don't.

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post #192 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

As I was playing around with the unit, I realized that the quad core is absolutely essential, particularly if one is used to the Arrandale / Clarkdale based HTPCs. Even though those Intel offerings are only dual core, they have four threads. AMD's offerings don't seem to have hyper threading, so each core is only 1 thread. In my tests, I found that the performance of the quad core is similar to (sometimes slightly better than) the Corei3-330M (which is the lowest Core i3 Arrandale from Intel). I would hesitate to recommend the dual core variety inside the Zino 410, even if one does only HTPC tasks with the unit.

On the other hand, 6 GB is definitely overkill for RAM, as is the 750 GB 7200 rpm hard disk. While I might not complain about the latter ( who doesn't want more storage :P ? ), I feel the former only serves to increase the idle power consumption. (Details in the review expected to be posted later this week).

Yes, the review unit has the media remote as well as IR receiver. It is the same model as the one supplied by ASRock for their Vision 3D HTPC. Picture in the Miscellaneous Components section here. (Zino's remote is black in colour instead of silver, but that is the only difference).

Given the performance of the quad core and the acceleration provided by the GPU for video tasks, I don't think we will have problems with video overlay in MC. I will test it out anyway.

I don't fully agree with needing a quad core. I think it all depends on what you want to do with it.

I think a dual core is fine for just about any content consumption. There may be a few corner cases where a quad would be handy but not sure that you need it for most common HTPC scenarios.

Now, I would not position the Zino as a high end HTPC but it is a very good mainstream solution for most content consumption scenarios.

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post #193 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

Some of the HTPC tasks I expect units to be good with:

1. x264 encoding
2. WinRAR built-in benchmark
3. WinRAR split archive decompression (resultant file size > 4 GB).

Also, have you tried Netflix on your machine yet? Silverlight (used by Netflix) doesn't use GPU for accelerating the DRM portion, so the CPU usage is much more than Flash. This is where a powerful CPU would help.

then you and i differ GREATLY in what an HTPC is for.

1. re-encoding is not a standard function of an htpc, and even as such, x264 encoding is merely a time based assessment, so even the "slower" processor is fine for this as it will accomplish the task, albeit taking more time to do so.

2. WinRAR is again, a time based benchmark as any computer can unrar a file, lower level processors just take longer to do so.

3. see #2.

so all in all, i think your assessment is purely on the desire for things to be done faster, not if they can be done at all.

an htpc is first and foremost a playback device. secondly it is a capture device, and thirdly it is a "computer" for all other uses.

as a playback device, this unit appears to have corrected the shortcomings of the previous unit in the ability to playback HD content of all types, and playback HD audio sources. so far it also appears to have corrected the temperature problems the first group of original zino's also seemed to have.

as a capture device, i've again, not found this to be a particularly stressful job and most modern processors can handle this easily. However, I am not currently planning on doing any capture using this machine, so i cannot give an accurate assessment of the latest generation of capture cards.

as a "computer" it appears to be mid level at best, and on par with most of the mid level quasi-gaming laptops available with discrete or onboard current generation or one generation old GPU's.

And yes, i've played back HD content from netflix through media center and had no issues, however the previous computer, a Dell Studio Hybrid with Intel GMA3100, was also able to do this easily as the streams are at best 720p and stereo audio at this time.
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post #194 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

I don't fully agree with needing a quad core. I think it all depends on what you want to do with it.

I think a dual core is fine for just about any content consumption. There may be a few corner cases where a quad would be handy but not sure that you need it for most common HTPC scenarios.

Now, I would not position the Zino as a high end HTPC but it is a very good mainstream solution for most content consumption scenarios.

I agree that content consumption doesn't need a quad core. I am just trying to make sure that people don't expect the same performance from a dual core equipped Zino as what they would expect from a 2C / 4T Arrandale based machine. (both would be advertised as dual core only).

At $850 (the cost of the review config sent to us), the Zino can be considered as a bridge between mainstream and high end. It seems to be slightly better than other mainstream configs we have reviewed, in line with the common understanding that you get what you pay for

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post #195 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

I don't fully agree with needing a quad core. I think it all depends on what you want to do with it.

I think a dual core is fine for just about any content consumption. There may be a few corner cases where a quad would be handy but not sure that you need it for most common HTPC scenarios.

Now, I would not position the Zino as a high end HTPC but it is a very good mainstream solution for most content consumption scenarios.

I have no intention of ever playing Bluray/HD audio disc's or files. It's function is pretty (I think) basic.

Run SageTV which will pull from an HDHomerun and display the results, along with Internet based video on my 50" 720P plasma.

Would I even need anything more then the basic Zino 410?
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post #196 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by R1Budha View Post

then you and i differ GREATLY in what an HTPC is for.

1. re-encoding is not a standard function of an htpc, and even as such, x264 encoding is merely a time based assessment, so even the "slower" processor is fine for this as it will accomplish the task, albeit taking more time to do so.

Many people dedicate HTPCs for ripping their Blu-Rays and DVDs. Re-encoding is a required functionality for that. I review PCs on what the readership wants

In my tests, I found the quad core AMD offering give better rates than a i3-330M even though it is at a slower clock (a 433 MHz difference). These type of activities greatly benefit from multi-core processors rather than multi-thread ones.

Quote:


2. WinRAR is again, a time based benchmark as any computer can unrar a file, lower level processors just take longer to do so.

3. see #2.

so all in all, i think your assessment is purely on the desire for things to be done faster, not if they can be done at all.

Not faster, but who is more efficient. Many times, users download split archives and spend a lot of time in decompressing them and waiting for it to get done so that they can watch the downloaded media (not commenting about whether it is legal or not, but this is a much more common scenario than you would imagine). Note that this is not dependent on the processor alone, but the system as a whole. A 7200rpm hard drive helps in getting this done faster than a 5400 rpm one. So, this is a test of system characteristics.

Quote:


an htpc is first and foremost a playback device. secondly it is a capture device, and thirdly it is a "computer" for all other uses.

as a playback device, this unit appears to have corrected the shortcomings of the previous unit in the ability to playback HD content of all types, and playback HD audio sources. so far it also appears to have corrected the temperature problems the first group of original zino's also seemed to have.

as a capture device, i've again, not found this to be a particularly stressful job and most modern processors can handle this easily. However, I am not currently planning on doing any capture using this machine, so i cannot give an accurate assessment of the latest generation of capture cards.

as a "computer" it appears to be mid level at best, and on par with most of the mid level quasi-gaming laptops available with discrete or onboard current generation or one generation old GPU's.

And yes, i've played back HD content from netflix through media center and had no issues, however the previous computer, a Dell Studio Hybrid with Intel GMA3100, was also able to do this easily as the streams are at best 720p and stereo audio at this time.

I tend to agree with almost all of the above points, except for the fact that it is not enough for a system to just be able do the tasks. Many such systems exist which can get the job done. The best choice would be the one which is most efficient at it. Best price / Lowest time to get the job done / Power efficiency at doing it -- These are all tradeoffs. What I hope to present is a coverage of all those metrics so that end users can see what is important for them and choose the appropriate system for their needs.

Ganesh T S
Sr. Editor, AnandTech Inc.
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post #197 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 03:36 PM
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jakmal and R1Budha, thank you both for your input on this! Based on my needs, I'm going with the dual core, but I really appreciate that my decision is more informed because of you guys.

Cheers
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post #198 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

Finally got approval for my blog post on the Zino HD 410.

You can find it here...
http://blogs.amd.com/home/2010/10/18...n-410-zino-hd/

Very nice review! Will more than likely buy the version with the BD drive and ATI 5450 even though it's a bit overkill. I may wait until Black Friday and possible price breaks along with the possibility they change their configuration options again. I also need to look into the best option for a USB TV tuner.
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post #199 of 794 Old 10-18-2010, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by R1Budha View Post

using this as the reference video.
http://www.flashstreamworks.com/arch..._id=1244959370

The dual core p340 system with "enable hardware acceleration unchecked wuld run about 70% on both cores, no noticeable stuttering or stopping or skipping.

with the box checked, cpu was about 50% on both cores.
Not sure if that is just because of the video or what but i tried it several times.

I don't think that link is a good example since the flash server adjusts the quality and bitrate dynamically. In any case, the 6850/4330 plays that video smoothly with and without gpu acceleration (I didn't notice any quality difference):

Available: 5277kbps
Current Bitrate: 4060kbps
With GPU acceleration: Plays smoothly, CPU 30-50%
Without GPU acceleration: Plays smoothly, CPU 70-90%

On the other hand, this youtube 1080 flash video trailer isn't smooth with or without acceleration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siQgD9qOhRs

With GPU acceleration: Noticeable dropped frames, CPU 60%
Without GPU acceleration: Slight stutter, CPU 90-100%
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post #200 of 794 Old 10-19-2010, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phy88 View Post

I don't think that link is a good example since the flash server adjusts the quality and bitrate dynamically. In any case, the 6850/4330 plays that video smoothly with and without gpu acceleration (I didn't notice any quality difference):

Available: 5277kbps
Current Bitrate: 4060kbps
With GPU acceleration: Plays smoothly, CPU 30-50%
Without GPU acceleration: Plays smoothly, CPU 70-90%

On the other hand, this youtube 1080 flash video trailer isn't smooth with or without acceleration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siQgD9qOhRs

With GPU acceleration: Noticeable dropped frames, CPU 60%
Without GPU acceleration: Slight stutter, CPU 90-100%

I'll try that link tonight and get back to you on what i observe.
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post #201 of 794 Old 10-19-2010, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scott View Post

Very nice review! Will more than likely buy the version with the BD drive and ATI 5450 even though it's a bit overkill. I may wait until Black Friday and possible price breaks along with the possibility they change their configuration options again. I also need to look into the best option for a USB TV tuner.

you might look at purchasing the non BD equipped unit that has the 5450, and adding a tray load BD drive yourself.
You'll spend $500 on the computer and $100-150ish on the drive and it can be installed in about 5 minutes total with only a few screws removed.

Just a thought and possible money savings.
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post #202 of 794 Old 10-19-2010, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R1Budha View Post

you might look at purchasing the non BD equipped unit that has the 5450, and adding a tray load BD drive yourself.
You'll spend $500 on the computer and $100-150ish on the drive and it can be installed in about 5 minutes total with only a few screws removed.

Just a thought and possible money savings.

I thought about that, but with Dell's deal right now on the higher end model only at $150 more than the other unit that has the 5450 it about covers the cost of putting in a BD player myself. With the higher end you get more ram, hard drive, the AMD P940 processor and the BD player for about the cost it would take me to buy the BD drive and install it myself
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post #203 of 794 Old 10-19-2010, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by David Scott View Post

Very nice review! Will more than likely buy the version with the BD drive and ATI 5450 even though it's a bit overkill. I may wait until Black Friday and possible price breaks along with the possibility they change their configuration options again. I also need to look into the best option for a USB TV tuner.

Thanks. It was a little on the long side for a blog post, but I tried to cover a fair amount of usage scenarios. Though there are still plenty more that could be covered.

Hopefully, some users here will be able to add more data points on performance to provide a better perspective on the capabilities of the box. Overall, I thought it did pretty well for most mainstream use.

Perhaps I will find some time to test out MKV playback, eSATA functionality, etc. and provide another update. Just need to find the time.

As for TV Tuners, lot's to choose from. While I tried what I had on hand (TV Wonder 750), it worked well. I am using the same unit for my bedroom HTPC with the older Zino.

If you are interested in that one, Diamond Multimedia makes one with the TV Wonder 750 in it. In fact, I think they just used our reference design.

Likewise, there are other good solutions out there as well.

Regards.
Java

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post #204 of 794 Old 10-19-2010, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

I posted a picture of the IR unit on the previous page. The PN is listed on the PCB for the IR.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post19334743

It's a little blurry, but I am pretty sure it is 02CXVG.

PER DELL PARTS CHAT
Customer: i need the price and how to order Dell part number 02CXVG
Agent: I'll be glad to assist you on that.
Agent: By the way, how soon do you need the item so I can check for its availability as well?
Customer: as soon as possible however it is not critical for operation
Agent: Thank you for patiently waiting.
Agent: As per checking, the IR Receiver board for Inspiron 410 is for $5.99
Agent: Unfortunately, we do not have it currently on stock.
Customer: do you have an estimated stock date?
Agent: We can try to request this part and see if they would be able to provide any allocation so we can order this, if not, we would need to wait approximately a week or two for the stock to be replenished.

------------------------

So there you go, the part number is 02CXVG and the price is $5.99

I went ahead and had them request to order it for me and they are supposed to send me an email when it becomes available for me to order.
The expected time for stock is 1-2 weeks at this time according to the CSR.


BTW, it might be nice to have a post on the first page that details all the findings for the unit so people do not necessarily have to dig through all the pages for info like the part number and price of the IR Board........
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post #205 of 794 Old 10-19-2010, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by R1Budha View Post

PER DELL PARTS CHAT
Customer: i need the price and how to order Dell part number 02CXVG
Agent: I'll be glad to assist you on that.
Agent: By the way, how soon do you need the item so I can check for its availability as well?
Customer: as soon as possible however it is not critical for operation
Agent: Thank you for patiently waiting.
Agent: As per checking, the IR Receiver board for Inspiron 410 is for $5.99
Agent: Unfortunately, we do not have it currently on stock.
Customer: do you have an estimated stock date?
Agent: We can try to request this part and see if they would be able to provide any allocation so we can order this, if not, we would need to wait approximately a week or two for the stock to be replenished.

------------------------

So there you go, the part number is 02CXVG and the price is $5.99

I went ahead and had them request to order it for me and they are supposed to send me an email when it becomes available for me to order.
The expected time for stock is 1-2 weeks at this time according to the CSR.


BTW, it might be nice to have a post on the first page that details all the findings for the unit so people do not necessarily have to dig through all the pages for info like the part number and price of the IR Board........

Nice work.

Regards.
Java

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post #206 of 794 Old 10-19-2010, 11:45 AM
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Java Jack, Can u tell me what kind of temperature u are seeing on the hard drive
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post #207 of 794 Old 10-19-2010, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

Finally got approval for my blog post on the Zino HD 410.

You can find it here...
http://blogs.amd.com/home/2010/10/18...n-410-zino-hd/

Hi Jack
Nice review

You mentioned on your blog that Dell had a Black Friday deal. If you don't mind, could you give us an indication as to the discount? I know there is no guarantee that it will be the same this year but it might be worth waiting if the discount was significant

Thanks
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post #208 of 794 Old 10-19-2010, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by oaklandnative View Post

I know nothing about TV Tuners but I'm thinking of getting one to go with my (likely) soon to be purchased Zino. What's the difference between the above and a USB tuner? For example, I was looking at the AVerMedia AVerTV Hybrid Volar Max MTVHBVMXR USB 2.0 Interface (sorry, can't post links yet).

From what I gather, the USB tuner will only work for one computer while the network tuner would allow me to watch on any computer connected to the network. Sorry if this is a dumb question

I use an PCI Express turner card. So I do not have any experience with USB turners.

Just a reminder that with any tuner card, regardless of connection type, you will need an antenna to plug into the card. Assuming you are going with OTA broadcasting.

USB turner cards usually have just one tuner. Internal cards usually have two turners and the HDHomeRun. One of the reasons I went internal. IT all depends or your use. With 2 turners, you can record two shows at the same time or watch one live and record another. With 1 turner you have to choose - live or record.

Not 100% sure but USB turners use software to decode the signal while internal turners use hardware decode. So is the CPU fast enough to decode the MPEG2 signal. I believe the HDHomeRun is also hardware decode based.

With the HDHomeRun you are going to have to run cable(s) to your computer(s).
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post #209 of 794 Old 10-19-2010, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R1Budha View Post

BTW, it might be nice to have a post on the first page that details all the findings for the unit so people do not necessarily have to dig through all the pages for info like the part number and price of the IR Board........

I've edited the first page with the IR information.
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post #210 of 794 Old 10-19-2010, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scJohn View Post

Not 100% sure but USB turners use software to decode the signal while internal turners use hardware decode. So is the CPU fast enough to decode the MPEG2 signal. I believe the HDHomeRun is also hardware decode based.

With the HDHomeRun you are going to have to run cable(s) to your computer(s).

Generally speaking, the chip used on an internal card is often the same chip (or a low power variant) used on the USB tuner. Therefore, things like h/w decode will be the same on either solution.

Regards.
Java

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