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Home Theater Computers > AMD Llano - THE great HTPC chip?
ilovejedd's Avatar ilovejedd 08:37 PM 06-17-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkristof View Post

There certainly is interest in a rough date for the 65W parts. 65W power envelope does make more sense for the HTPC market.

+1. I think the expected lower pricing compared to "high-end" 100W TDP models doesn't hurt either.

vkristof's Avatar vkristof 04:15 PM 06-18-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

Yes, we are listening Expect the HTPC review of the A8-3850 to be posted on June 30 (NDA lift date).

We are planning to repeat all the tests done for the Discrete HTPC GPU Shootout piece. Planning to add some notes about the accuracy of the colour output (RGB to YCC coversion). Let me know if you want us to cover anything else.

Wow. That was a comprehensive, interesting review. Thank you for pointing that review out.

Let's hope that the LLano does not perform like the 6450.

But since it will not be a mature product...

One thing I would be interested in the A8-3850 HTPC would be thoughts/testing related to the impact of a slower GPU core clock on video performance, since some of the lower cost Llanos have slower GPU clocks.
lowwattlinux's Avatar lowwattlinux 08:09 PM 06-19-2011
Hi Folks,

This is my first post here. I've been lurking for several months, while I have built a HTPC with a ASUS E35M1-M PRO at the heart of it. I want to thank all the posters for the information used.
I just stumbled on this owners manual for the next generation fusion boards Asus F1A75-M Pro at the German Asus website. The links are at the bottom of the page under SocketFM1.
I tried to leave a link, but this being my first post I'm not allowed - Sorry!



Thanks Again!
vkristof's Avatar vkristof 10:23 AM 06-20-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowwattlinux View Post

Hi Folks,

This is my first post here. I've been lurking for several months, while I have built a HTPC with a ASUS E35M1-M PRO at the heart of it. I want to thank all the posters for the information used.
I just stumbled on this owners manual for the next generation fusion boards Asus F1A75-M Pro at the German Asus website. The links are at the bottom of the page under SocketFM1.
I tried to leave a link, but this being my first post I'm not allowed - Sorry!



Thanks Again!


Thank you. As should be expected the manual is in German, but I think it's the 1st A75 MB manual I've seen

http://support.asus.com/download.asp...zTFJjeFBeZEtJj

All 4 USB3 are on the rear panel. No DP video. Three PWM Fan connectors, fourth w/o PWM.

The ATX version has a manual available in English:
http://support.asus.com/download.asp...v8oy3YyHxt4ljn
vkristof's Avatar vkristof 11:36 AM 06-20-2011
Dunno if this Cyberlink press release was previously mentioned, but it sounds good to me and various improvement claims are made.

Taipei, TaiwanJune 14, 2011CyberLink Corp. is excited to announce its flagship products PowerDVD, PowerDirector, MediaShow and MediaEspresso are now optimized for the latest AMD A-Series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) Family, spearheading the advance in providing users with hardware-accelerated HD playback, enhanced video editing, effects rendering, accelerated facial recognition and maximum video transcoding performance by utilizing AMD technology offering supercomputer-like performance.

http://www.cyberlink.com/prog/compan...nt.do?pid=2820
jakmal's Avatar jakmal 12:07 PM 06-20-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkristof View Post

There certainly is interest in a rough date for the 65W parts. 65W power envelope does make more sense for the HTPC market. .

We have to make do with whatever CPU AMD has sent us.

That said, the rumored specs of the A8-3800 (65W) and A8-3850 (100W) indicate presence of Turbo Mode on the A8-3800 which clocks at a base frequency of 2.4 Ghz and can go up to 2.7 Ghz. The A8-3850 clocks at 2.9 Ghz with no Turbo Mode. GPU clocks are the same for both versions.

What I plan to do is to set the max clock speed of the processor to 2.4 Ghz in the BIOS. It is not perfect, but I hope the HTPC benchmarking run under such a setting would closely reflect the HTPC performance of the 65W TDP version.

Also, I personally believe that people intending to replace/find an alternative to a Core i3/i5 based HTPC should only look at the A8-3800 series (pricing is expected to be competitive on that level). The A6 and A4 series are probably intended to replace the Sandy Bridge Pentium versions.
rogo's Avatar rogo 02:15 PM 06-20-2011
Jakmal, your synthetic test sounds reasonable at least, and I tend to agree that only the A8s are going to be in league with i3/i5. The earliest benchmarks suggest that on some tests, their CPU horsepower isn't even enough to do that, but we'll see what the more comprehensive testing shows.

Seems like that A8-3800 is really the HTPC chip of choice (I've said this before). I know some people go i5 for HTPC, but generally most go i3 for lower power and no discernable performance losses in most tasks (re-encoding is probably the most obvious counterexample). I'd think the AMD 3800 would fall into a similar bucket vs. the 3850.
vkristof's Avatar vkristof 10:04 AM 06-23-2011
Since they're testing the mobile chip, the IGP clock is 444 MHz

http://techreport.com/articles.x/21099

Seems to be mostly gaming benchmarks, but the IGP features are described.
vkristof's Avatar vkristof 08:19 AM 06-24-2011
Not for sale yet, but initial documentation (including manuals in English) from the Gigabyte site:

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/lis...id=10&p=2&v=27

An article that comments on the Gigabyte documentation/mktg release:

http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte...+Enthusiast%29

Since I view the Llano from a HTPC perspective, the least-featured A75M-D2H mATX is the most attractive to me. Hopefully it's in the $70 (or less) price range.
vkristof's Avatar vkristof 09:11 AM 06-24-2011
Both ATX & mATX. I think at least a couple of mfgs list DDR3 16600 as tops for four memory sticks. Dunno if this is unusual, a don't care, stale documentation or what:

http://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/featu.../186169/page:1


I still haven't seen a price for any of these.
zicoz's Avatar zicoz 09:21 AM 06-24-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

We have to make do with whatever CPU AMD has sent us.

That said, the rumored specs of the A8-3800 (65W) and A8-3850 (100W) indicate presence of Turbo Mode on the A8-3800 which clocks at a base frequency of 2.4 Ghz and can go up to 2.7 Ghz. The A8-3850 clocks at 2.9 Ghz with no Turbo Mode. GPU clocks are the same for both versions.

What I plan to do is to set the max clock speed of the processor to 2.4 Ghz in the BIOS. It is not perfect, but I hope the HTPC benchmarking run under such a setting would closely reflect the HTPC performance of the 65W TDP version.

Also, I personally believe that people intending to replace/find an alternative to a Core i3/i5 based HTPC should only look at the A8-3800 series (pricing is expected to be competitive on that level). The A6 and A4 series are probably intended to replace the Sandy Bridge Pentium versions.


Are you running the HTPC tests on laptop APUs aswell as desktop APUs? Personally I'm aiming towards building my next HTPCs around one of the laptop APUs with 320/400 stream processors.
jakmal's Avatar jakmal 10:22 AM 06-24-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by zicoz View Post

Are you running the HTPC tests on laptop APUs aswell as desktop APUs? Personally I'm aiming towards building my next HTPCs around one of the laptop APUs with 320/400 stream processors.

I only have a desktop APU in hand. However, I asked our notebook editor to run a few tests too, and the results appear very similar. Is it is easy for end-consumers to buy the mobile APUs directly in the market?
vkristof's Avatar vkristof 06:49 PM 06-24-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

I only have a desktop APU in hand. However, I asked our notebook editor to run a few tests too, and the results appear very similar. Is it is easy for end-consumers to buy the mobile APUs directly in the market?

AFAIK, no and I think they are in BGA packages, meant to be soldered directly to a PCB.

Correction: This review of an AMD reference platform states that the mobile package IS a PGA (not a BGA), but it's lidless and has 722 pins. The lack of a lid over the die is shown in the "Inside Compal's Llano based Notebook" photos.

http://hothardware.com/printarticle.aspx?articleid=1690
zicoz's Avatar zicoz 05:37 AM 06-25-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

I only have a desktop APU in hand. However, I asked our notebook editor to run a few tests too, and the results appear very similar. Is it is easy for end-consumers to buy the mobile APUs directly in the market?

Thank you for that. No unfortunately it seems to be near impossible to buy mobile parts, so I'll probably end up buying a laptop and disasemble it.

I have found some parts on Ebay, but it turns out that things like the contact for the power supply is on a dedicated board so buying a motherboard doesn't really help you all that much.

But I think that one could build HTPCs that are really slick if one uses mobile parts, imagine something that is maybe 13" across and less then an inch high in sleek aluminum sitting infront of your TV.

Using desktop parts you're limited by things like CPU cooler, I/O panel an standing memory.

I have a picture here that shows the height difference between a laptop motherboard and desktop motherboard with stock AMD cooler.


The red lines shows the heights.
rogo's Avatar rogo 02:38 PM 06-25-2011
Zicoz, I tend to agree with you. Those could be awfully nice; the quesiton is would there be some way to source boards and chips that isn't stupidly expensive or wasteful like buying laptops.
jakmal's Avatar jakmal 04:29 PM 06-25-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

Zicoz, I tend to agree with you. Those could be awfully nice; the quesiton is would there be some way to source boards and chips that isn't stupidly expensive or wasteful like buying laptops.

Only OEMs get good deals on the MXM / mobile CPUs.

If you want an Intel mobile processor based HTPC with a small form factor and good thermal characteristics, go for something like the ASRock Vision 3D or CoreHT series.

If you want an AMD mobile processor based HTPC with small form factor and good thermal characteristics, go for the Zino HD series. Hopefully, Dell decides to continue with the Zino HD series and use Llano in the next generation.
rogo's Avatar rogo 06:16 PM 06-25-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

Only OEMs get good deals on the MXM / mobile CPUs.

I get that. I am just musing about what it would take to become an OEM.
jakmal's Avatar jakmal 07:06 PM 06-25-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

I get that. I am just musing about what it would take to become an OEM.

An order of at least a 1000 chips each of the chipset and the main processor , and a good manufacturing house to take the notebook motherboard reference design and tweak it appropriately to the specifications you want.
rogo's Avatar rogo 01:49 AM 06-26-2011
That sounds prohibitive tbh, but I wonder if it's really necessary at this point. I guess we'll have to find out once the stuff is really on the market.

Honestly, the Intel ULV parts are also coming very soon and I doubt very much this theoretical HTPC would benefit from one over the other much. The magic is in the 20 watt power budget.
zicoz's Avatar zicoz 06:12 AM 06-26-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

Zicoz, I tend to agree with you. Those could be awfully nice; the quesiton is would there be some way to source boards and chips that isn't stupidly expensive or wasteful like buying laptops.

I picked up the motherboard and CPU in that photo on Ebay, but like I said the problems started turning up when I found out that alot of the things were not on the motherboard, like the connection for the power, so the best thing would be for Asus or other OEMs to start building computers with their laptop parts.

Another alternative is to get tour hands on used laptops where the screens are broken.
renethx's Avatar renethx 06:40 PM 06-26-2011
- Asus introduces the AMD Llano-supporting F1A75 Series motherboards by TechConnect Magazine
- ASUS Announces New F1A75 Series Motherboards by TechPowerUp
- ASUS Announces New F1A75 Series Motherboards with DIP2, DIGI+ VRM and UEFI BIOS ASUS News

An ASUS A75 chipset motherboard, with UEFI and dual PCI Express 2.0 x8 slot + a PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot:

(ASRock A75 Extreme6 also supports dual PCIe x8.) The motherboard below has a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot and a PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot.

F1A75-V PRO previews:

- Hardware Zone (1 page)
- TweakTown (6 pages)
LL
LL
renethx's Avatar renethx 06:48 PM 06-26-2011
jakmal's Avatar jakmal 08:22 PM 06-26-2011

I don't think CrossFire is going to improve things much for HTPC activities. Currently, it looks like all video post processing can be done on one of the two GPUs only.
renethx's Avatar renethx 11:03 PM 06-26-2011

But A-Series APU is not launched yet (available on June 4 at retail stores).
LL
LL
ilovejedd's Avatar ilovejedd 07:34 AM 06-27-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post


Cool, I see at least two Mini-ITX boards:
ASRock A75M / ITX
Gigabyte GA-A75N-USB3

There might be one from Asus (M4A97 LE) but I'm not all that familiar with their nomenclature. No idea about the other manufacturers.
renethx's Avatar renethx 01:52 PM 06-27-2011
Foxconn

A: ATX
M: microATX
S: Mini-ITX
vkristof's Avatar vkristof 04:06 PM 06-27-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

I don't think CrossFire is going to improve things much for HTPC activities. Currently, it looks like all video post processing can be done on one of the two GPUs only.


Yeah, for HTPC apps, most of the ATX motherboards introduced seem to be don't cares.

The mATX MBs that have a second physical PCIe x16 slot (electrical x4) might be useful for some high-bandwidth plug in card. Or for apps that require a few PCIex1 tuners. If you're really going to add a discrete 5570-class video card, why not just buy a SB Pentium & H61 motherboard,,,

Otherwise, the presence of all those slots )and PCIe switches) in these released A75 MBs for a medium performance CPU doesn't seem to make much sense. To me.

PS: Still haven't seen a price for the A75 MBs.
renethx's Avatar renethx 05:37 PM 06-27-2011
A75 mb were uploaded in the ASUS website (no mini-ITX mb), the GIGABYTE website, and the ASRock website.
vkristof's Avatar vkristof 07:51 PM 06-27-2011
At least two e-tailers list the Asus F1A75-M PRO.

At least one has it in stock for $115

http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?...088b3b5d3225c#

I hope this is just a high price at introduction, because it seems to be high relative to H67 mATX MBs with USB3. Newegg has these staring at $85...

Here's a write-up of unpacking this motherboard:

http://techgage.com/news/unboxing_as...m1_motherboard
renethx's Avatar renethx 08:01 PM 06-27-2011
"ASUS" microATX "PRO" mb normally costs ~$120. (ASUS P8H67-M PRO is still $115 at Newegg.) If you are looking for a mb < $100 of the ASUS brand, then it's "ASUS" "LE" (no HDMI port on the rear panel, only DVI-D).

ASRock A75 Pro4-M ~$115, A75M ~$90, A75M-HVS ~$75.

GIGABYTE GA-A75M-UD2H ~$115, GA-A75M-D2H ~$95.
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