MiniPC to replace Zotac ZBOX AD02 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-15-2012, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I purchased a Zotac ZBOX AD02 awhile back to put behind my TV in my bedroom to work with my Ceton setup. I've had nothing but issues with playing 1080p videos (local and networked) even with updated drivers and what not. I even have a 30GB SSD and 4GB of RAM in it. I was reading on the forums there is no way to manually add more memory for the integrated video and it uses around 384MB.

I'm looking at replacing it with something around the same size or can be a little bit bigger (but not much). Anyone have any recommendations? Is the E-450 that much better than the 350?
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-15-2012, 07:24 PM
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are you running it wireless? if so that is the issue.
Wireless just cant handle 1080p yet.

Nm just noticed the Local playback statement. What software are you using to playback?
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-15-2012, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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No, I have a gig wired connection and I'm using VLC (v2)
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-15-2012, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breakingcustom View Post

I purchased a Zotac ZBOX AD02... I've had nothing but issues with playing 1080p videos (local and networked)

Must....resist.....snide.....comment.

On the other hand --- are you wanting off the shelf or DIY? What is your budget?
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-15-2012, 07:54 PM
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The difference between the E-350 and E-450 is negligable at best. You'll likely get the same behavior, which is more dependent on the software you are using than anything.

 

 

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post #6 of 21 Old 04-15-2012, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I can do either. I just want to make sure it fits behind my TV.

My budget wouldn't be too high since I already have RAM and the hard drive. So I'd say $200-400.
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-15-2012, 08:04 PM
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Have you tried Splash! or Splash! Lite? Both are really low impact players that handle HD pretty well.
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-15-2012, 08:13 PM
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You might want to take a look at the Antec ISK-110 VESA case.

 

 

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post #9 of 21 Old 04-15-2012, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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What will I really gain with that case? I'd still be limited to using onboard GPU graphics or does this give me the ability to increase the video memory unlike my Zotac?

You know of a slimline case that allows for an expansion slot?
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 07:47 AM
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Zotac E-350, Ceton, 384MB video RAM.... should I assume you're running WMC for the Ceton CableCard tuner? Is the video allocation not selectible in BIOS as with my Foxconn at-3500 where I set it to 512MB? I've had very good luck with WMC although I am connected to a 720p display... as a test try changing your rez down and see how the Z performs - it's probably right there on the edge.
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post #11 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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You are unable to change the video memory settings in the BIOS for the Zotac. I read on their forums and people were complaining about the same thing. Not sure if this is a Zotac issue or AMD.

I use WMC for the Ceton and VLC for videos. I haven't setup WMC yet to work with .mkv files yet.
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post #12 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 08:31 AM
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Grab a copy of MPC-HC -- it works for most every container & format. Even if you don't like it for a front-end it's an excellent tool! I consider it my baseline whenever I'm playing with my system 'cause I never get any CPU usage lower than when I'm running MPC-HC for playback. BTW, .264 playback is a BREEZE with my E-350, it's HD MPEG2 playback that's the difficult format - apparently it's not fully supported by the HD6310.

I'd say it's a Z thing, more specifically, a limitation of whoever they're using for their BIOS -- have you checked for an update on their site?
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post #13 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breakingcustom View Post

You are unable to change the video memory settings in the BIOS for the Zotac. I read on their forums and people were complaining about the same thing. Not sure if this is a Zotac issue or AMD.

I use WMC for the Ceton and VLC for videos. I haven't setup WMC yet to work with .mkv files yet.

I mentioned a locked or stripped bios as a big con in these systems (many of the mass produced off the shelf systems actually) and some people shrugged it off. It stinks when they do this to you.
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post #14 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breakingcustom View Post

What will I really gain with that case? I'd still be limited to using onboard GPU graphics or does this give me the ability to increase the video memory unlike my Zotac?

You know of a slimline case that allows for an expansion slot?

It seemed your number one priority was mounting behind your TV. I don't know of a case with an expansion slot that can be mounted behind a TV/monitor.

 

 

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post #15 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I could always put a little shelf below the TV and set the box on there. I would then just put a pull-through outlet behind it so the cables route inside the wall.

Yeah I was just in a hurry when I bought the Zotac, plus NewEggBusiness had a free SSD drive with a $200 purchase. So I got the box, a SSD, and 4GB of RAM for like $220. I can easily sell this to a customer of mine so I wouldn't be loosing out too much on it.

I just don't want something that sounds like a jet engine. I'm looking at replacing my main HTPC with something with a smaller form factor. Right now I have the Thermaltake DH-202 case. It's a beaut, but it's big.
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post #16 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 09:27 AM
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Because VLC is kinda crappy when it comes to GPU decoding. Use Media Player Classic Home CInema and you should be ok.
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post #17 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 09:29 AM
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If you were to build your own, what components would you put in it? ODD? 2.5" SSD? 2.5" or 3.5" HDD? That makes a big difference with case choices.

 

 

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post #18 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenEyez View Post

Because VLC is kinda crappy when it comes to GPU decoding. Use Media Player Classic Home CInema and you should be ok.

I'll give that a shot when I get home and see what it does. I just installed the latest drivers for AMD for the 6310 and it was causing issues with flickering. Luckily changing two settings fixed the issue.
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post #19 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

If you were to build your own, what components would you put in it? ODD? 2.5" SSD? 2.5" or 3.5" HDD? That makes a big difference with case choices.

I'd put in a 2.5" SSD. I have a file server so need for storage on the local device.
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post #20 of 21 Old 04-16-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breakingcustom View Post

I'll give that a shot when I get home and see what it does. I just installed the latest drivers for AMD for the 6310 and it was causing issues with flickering. Luckily changing two settings fixed the issue.

Flickering? What two settings 'fixed' this for you?
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post #21 of 21 Old 04-20-2012, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Flickering? What two settings 'fixed' this for you?

For ATI graphics, go to ATI Catalyst Control Center -> Video -> All Settings and disabled "dynamic contrast" setting. That is from Ceton's website.
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