From Slickdeals: Acer Desktop (Refurbished): Celeron J1900 Quad Core $159 good deal? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
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From Slickdeals: Acer Desktop (Refurbished): Celeron J1900 Quad Core $159 good deal?

Is this a good deal?

Acer Desktop (Refurbished): Celeron J1900 Quad Core, 4GB DDR3, 500GB HDD, HDMI $159.99 AR + Free Shipping

http://slickdeals.net/f/7078230-acer...e-shipping?v=1
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post #2 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 08:14 AM
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Considering a J1900 board will run you ~$75 alone, I think it's a good deal.
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post #3 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 12:02 PM
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J1900 board already contains CPU and GPU. So, consider the costs of 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, a case + software. That's all you need to spend. I'd say it's an ok or so so deal consider it is (1) from Acer (2) refurbished.
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post #4 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 12:24 PM
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If you need WMC it is not really that good a deal. I have an older Atom/Ion with Win 7 it just needs an Asrock J1900 ITX and some memory to be comparable. .. The problem is this ACER MB Firmware is locked to Win 8 so you have to either buy Win 8.1 Pro PowerPack and WMC for about $100 or load an older firmware version and do some other things to get Win 7 on it. So I think it is an okay deal but it is debatable.. If it had Win 7 on it they would sell like wildfire at the price.

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post #5 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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From Slickdeals: Acer Desktop (Refurbished): Celeron J1900 Quad Core $159 goo...

I have bulk license from work so I will be loading the win7 pro on it.

I guess the win8 will not be used.

I've already bought it.
$170 after taxes is really cheap and if it's not good, I can use as a second HTPC down the line so whatever.
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post #6 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shnxx View Post
I have bulk license from work so I will be loading the win7 pro on it.

I guess the win8 will not be used.

I've already bought it.
$170 after taxes is really cheap and if it's not good, I can use as a second HTPC down the line so whatever.
Hope you can get the drivers you need for Win7...
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post #7 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post
Hope you can get the drivers you need for Win7...
Do you know if the drivers for this computer are difficult to get for the Windows 7?
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post #8 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 08:27 PM
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Acer BIOS tends to be proprietary. If it was written for W8 things might not work the same in W7. For $170 you can afford to upgrade to W8Pro if you want to use Windows Media Center (and W7 doesn't work).
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post #9 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by shnxx View Post
Do you know if the drivers for this computer are difficult to get for the Windows 7?
It's listed on their driver download site as the "Aspire XC-603G"

The only have drivers listed for Win8.1 (64bit) but those typically work with the 64 bit versions of Win7.

Even if the versions listed on their site don't work with 7, the hardware doesn't look very crazy... Stock Intel drivers should handle chipset/video with no problem, Realtek audio and LAN are pretty common so shouldn't have trouble tracking down Win7 drivers for those. Atheros Wifi and Bluetooth shouldn't be too tough either, and probably not necessary if push comes to shove.

But like I said, I'd stick with the Win8.1 drivers on their website and you should be fine.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #10 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post
Acer BIOS tends to be proprietary. If it was written for W8 things might not work the same in W7. For $170 you can afford to upgrade to W8Pro if you want to use Windows Media Center (and W7 doesn't work).
I know that OEMs include SLIC information in the BIOS for SLP Activation purposes, and that Slic 2.1 (Win7) and Slic 2.2 (Win8) aren't compatible so you'll have trouble trying to use an Acer branded Win7 install that is looking for a Slic 2.1 key in the ACPI tables but AFAIK a standard version of Win 7 should install on a system with Slic 2.2 (and vice versa) provided you have a valid key.

I've also heard about people having trouble downgrading from Win8 to Win7 but most of those problems turned out to be UEFI related and people just didn't know how to install and boot on a UEFI system.

Not saying it's impossible for a manufacturer to lock out a particular OS, but it seems a little odd for Acer to be doing it, especially on normal retail machines. (I could see a few scenarios where it might be useful in an Enterprise)

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #11 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 08:42 PM
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Not a problem. Links to the Win 7 compatible bios and full suite of Win 7 drivers are already posted in the subject thread.

If you keep Win 8 and upgrade to Pro, non-Xbox extenders won't work well. With 4 Echoes, in my house, I have to stick with Win 7. Like the OP, I have several Win 7 Pro licenses anyway.

Also be aware that this box has no PCIe slots at all. So no internal tuner cards or video cards should you wish up upgrade in the future. So it's a good box if you plan to use an external tuner (or no tuner at all).

You can even score one of these for $140 AR if you use bitcoin at checkout with code BITCOIN, according to one poster.

I may pull the trigger on one of these myself.

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post #12 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 09:04 PM
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While the Win7 issues do appear to be UEFI related, after reading that thread, I stand corrected... looks like Acer is trying to lock people into Win8. You learn something new every day

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #13 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay.
I guess I will stick with Windows 8.1 but use Pro instead.

I don't actually need the WMC.
I just need the East Asian Language support and the stupid non-pro is USELESS because it cannot display apps in certain languages out of the box (it's a windows-specific issue... there is no such issue with Macs but I can't complain given the price of this computer)

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post #14 of 54 Old 07-22-2014, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by shnxx View Post
Okay.
I guess I will stick with Windows 8.1 but use Pro instead.

I don't actually need the WMC.
I just need the East Asian Language support and the stupid non-pro is USELESS because it cannot display apps in certain languages out of the box (it's a windows-specific issue... there is no such issue with Macs but I can't complain given the price of this computer)

Are you talking about Windows 7? Then the problem does not apply to Windows 8(.1). There is no difference between Win 8 Pro and non-Pro in language support. Just add the language pack you want in Control Panel, move it at the top of the language list, sign out and sign in. That's it. From wiki:


Quote:
All mentioned editions have the ability to use language packs, enabling multiple user interface languages.[5] (This functionality was previously only available in Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise.)

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post #15 of 54 Old 07-23-2014, 01:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
Are you talking about Windows 7? Then the problem does not apply to Windows 8(.1). There is no difference between Win 8 Pro and non-Pro in language support. Just add the language pack you want in Control Panel, move it at the top of the language list, sign out and sign in. That's it. From wiki:
I will check.
I don't think you could add all the language support with non-Pro windows.
It only lets you type in other languages but won't display applications correctly without changing the base language of the OS (which is stupid; OSX doesn't work this way).
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post #16 of 54 Old 07-23-2014, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by shnxx View Post
I will check.
I don't think you could add all the language support with non-Pro windows.
It only lets you type in other languages but won't display applications correctly without changing the base language of the OS (which is stupid; OSX doesn't work this way).
Yes, you can. That's a marked difference between Win 7 and 8.

Perhaps it depends on each application. I installed a couple of native Japanese applications in Win 8.1 English with Japanese language pack. All of them are working just fine. Actually part of installation dialog boxes of some of them were not displayed correctly (perhaps using archaic Shift-JIS instead of Unicode?, in such a case even Pro is of no use, only localized version of Windows will work), otherwise installation went well.
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post #17 of 54 Old 07-23-2014, 02:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
Yes, you can. That's a marked difference between Win 7 and 8.

Perhaps it depends on each application. I installed a couple of native Japanese applications in Win 8.1 English with Japanese language pack. All of them are working just fine. Actually part of installation dialog boxes of some of them were not displayed correctly (perhaps using archaic Shift-JIS instead of Unicode?, in such a case even Pro is of no use, only localized version of Windows will work), otherwise installation went well.
That sounds amazing.
Maybe Win8.1 is worth keeping.

So why buy Pro then?
For the WMC?

Who needs WMC when you have XBMC?

On a side note, I really hate how Plex requires that you follow folder and their proprietary nomenclature... which means it won't pick up many of my non-indexable files
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post #18 of 54 Old 07-23-2014, 02:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh by the way, those of you who were thinking about buying this computer --- the price is now back up to 250 so you'd better wait for the next deal.
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post #19 of 54 Old 07-23-2014, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by shnxx View Post
So why buy Pro then?
For the WMC?

Who needs WMC when you have XBMC?
Yes, the only reason to choose Pro is WMC and only WMC supports CableCARD tuners in US, there is no other choice.
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post #20 of 54 Old 07-23-2014, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by shnxx View Post
I will check.
I don't think you could add all the language support with non-Pro windows.
It only lets you type in other languages but won't display applications correctly without changing the base language of the OS (which is stupid; OSX doesn't work this way).
You mixed up a few things here. 3rd party applications can indeed display whatever language they wish to display. But a lot of them are designed as non-Unicode app (legacy code) which relies on OS language setting to display in that specific language correctly. Unicode based apps should work just fine without it. Since Vista, Microsoft added an OS setting for non-Unicode app language in language settings to help easy the issue. This is app problem, not really an OS problem. Windows OS always supports app written in either fashion. For most apps intended working in western language only, use of Unicode is a waste of space and hassle. Hence a lot of legacy applications are non-Unicode apps.

Also, in Windows OS, there is also a MUI pack to change OS UI/tools display language to any language you want. Such MUI pack is freely downloadable in XP but limited to Ultimate version in Win7. I believe Win8 brought this back without paying for higher version of the OS.
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post #21 of 54 Old 07-23-2014, 06:32 AM
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Also, keep in mind currently, Intel driver for J1900 does not support bitstreaming DTS-HD or Dobly TrueHD yet.
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post #22 of 54 Old 07-23-2014, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Also, keep in mind currently, Intel driver for J1900 does not support bitstreaming DTS-HD or Dobly TrueHD yet.
Yes I read that.

It's a shame but I will have to deal with that until there is a firmware update or something like that.
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post #23 of 54 Old 07-24-2014, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I got the computer.

Newegg was in my local area so I got the shipment in a day.

The performance is definitely acceptable and good enough to play all the video files I have thrown at them (ranging from 500MB to 30 GB).
Video output quality is I think okay although the color and brightness seem kind of off.
I had to unload a lot of crap bloatware.
Lots of windows update errors and so on and difficulties with MacDrive reminded me of why I do not use a Windows computer for day-to-day mundane activities.
But XBMC is really great and although I was having some difficulties with the Korean subtitles not showing up correctly, I got around it by just installing the XBMC korean version.

All in all, it's an amazing deal for the computer.
$199 (not counting the $40 MIR) and some accessories like wireless keyboard ($19+ remote ($15) for total net cost of $200 with taxes ... definitely outperforms the combo of Roku 3 ($99), Apple TV ($75-99), 3D Bluray player ($70 at the time), which are the the devices I had connected to the AV/projector.

I'm still tinkering with XBMC with add-ons and shuffling around hard drives so that I could use the 4TB that was formatted in Journaled MACOSX format but other than that, everything is running smoothly.

I hope that one day the HD Audio issue gets worked out.
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post #24 of 54 Old 07-24-2014, 04:00 PM
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3D Bluray player ($70 at the time)
I am wondering if it really supports Frame Packing 3D (my J1900 board has not arrived yet). Can you test that?
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post #25 of 54 Old 07-24-2014, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I am wondering if it really supports Frame Packing 3D (my J1900 board has not arrived yet). Can you test that?
I don't have any way of testing that.
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post #26 of 54 Old 07-24-2014, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Also, keep in mind currently, Intel driver for J1900 does not support bitstreaming DTS-HD or Dobly TrueHD yet.
Where did you learn about this?
I couldn't find much information on this matter and am not sure how it affects audio streams from BluRays and such.
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post #27 of 54 Old 07-24-2014, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by shnxx View Post
Where did you learn about this?
I couldn't find much information on this matter and am not sure how it affects audio streams from BluRays and such.

There was a J1900 thread here a while back. Someone posted this information. The guess is that there is no Intel Management Engine driver for this chip. So, no HD audio. You will not see DTS-HD or True HD listed in the supported audio format list. Without it, you can't send those audio formats over HDMI. I have not tested it myself as I use mine as headless WMC server only.
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post #28 of 54 Old 07-26-2014, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I see DTS-HD as supported format.
I am able to test 5.1 and it seems to be working?
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post #29 of 54 Old 07-26-2014, 07:25 AM
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Is that bitstream or decoded PCM? Win7 or Win8?
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post #30 of 54 Old 07-26-2014, 07:34 AM
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I see DTS-HD as supported format.
I am able to test 5.1 and it seems to be working?
If "DTS HD Master Audio 5.1" lights up in your AVR's display, yes, it is working. If only "DTS" lights up, then no, it's not working, your AVR gets only the core DTS.
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