Nvidia 6150 motherboards and htpc build questions/help - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 1188 Old 11-09-2005, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I am building my first htpc and have been reading this board and other boards for a couple months now. My main uses for this htpc will be PVR/DVDLibrary/Jukebox. I am not too worried about HDTV/Upconverting DVd's because I have a SDTV and probably wont be buying a HDTV for a couple years. I will be running MCE with Nvidia DVD decoder. So far I have these parts:

A64 Venice 3000
Seagate 300gb harddrive
Corsair 1gb value ram
NEC 3540 DVD Burner
Antec SLK3000B case
MCE remote

I would like to go with Nvidia 6150 onboard video and am seriously considering this board when it becomes available:
The ASUS A8N-VM CSM. It can be found on NewEgg - I am not allowed to post links yet.
And I am also pretty sure that I am going to get a Hauppauge PVR 500 to complete my htpc - although I think that I might wait to see what new tuner Nvidia is supposedly coming out with soon.

Now a couple of questions. First off, does anyone have any experience with a 6150 MB, and if so do you like it? Also, I would like to connect the htpc to my SDTV with component cables. What sort of connecter do I need to buy to do that with this motherboard or does it come with what I need? I see that the PVR 500 requires a sound card; I assume that the onboard sound on the MB will be sufficient to handle this - correct? Or do you need a sound card. Also with the onboard sound, I planned to run a line to the tv with plain old audio cables so I can just listen to the sound through my TV and a line to my stereo with a digital/optical sound line - is that doable with this board? And one final question, the DVD burner I bought was OEM and did not come with any cables. Do motherboards usually come with cables to connect it? If not, can someone please point out one that I should buy?

Thanks for being patient with a newb. This will be my first computer build of any kind (I should have a friend coming over who has built computers before to help me) so any other tips will be greatly appreciated. Thanks once again.
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post #2 of 1188 Old 11-09-2005, 11:49 AM
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Mobo's do usually have at least one IDE cable which would support two deviced (one HD and one optical drive), most usually come with two IDE cables (the asus manual says it only has 1).

I don't think anyone really has a 6150 yet they are just available now, and not yet form most retailers.

The 6150 does sound like a sweet board for HTPC use.

In order to get digital audio out of the board you'll need to buy asus's spdif adapter, there is header on the board to transmit it, but no physical connection on the backplate.
http://www.computerhq.com/ASUS_SPDIF...-id-15320.html

It seems to be the same thing for the TV out.
http://www.computerhq.com/ASUS_Compo...-id-98345.html

Alsot there doesn't appear to be away to use component output so you are stuck with svideo or composite.

Once you buy this it's only a matter of time till you'll be dying for an HDMI/DVI equipped HDTV to get the most out of your HTPC.

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post #3 of 1188 Old 11-09-2005, 01:03 PM
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The 6150 is what I'm waiting for as well to build my next system. The 6150 is an excellent choice - especially if you want to build a media server, since it has a very good RAID-5 controller and dual gigabit ethernet ports built in!
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post #4 of 1188 Old 11-09-2005, 04:40 PM
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<<
Once you buy this it's only a matter of time till you'll be dying for an HDMI/DVI equipped HDTV to get the most out of your HTPC.
>>

I though this card has on board video with DVI and VGA out. Am I wrong?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowIm...%20Motherboard

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post #5 of 1188 Old 11-09-2005, 05:32 PM
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This mb does show both dvi and vga. I plan to run the dvi to my Optoma H27 fp and either using my tablet pc as a front end thin client or hookup a touch screen lcd via the vga. This board is perfect for dvd and some ota hd viewing. Im still deciding on a front end...xlobby is what im leaning towards.
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post #6 of 1188 Old 11-09-2005, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti View Post

Once you buy this it's only a matter of time till you'll be dying for an HDMI/DVI equipped HDTV to get the most out of your HTPC.

LOL. You are actually wrong - I am already dying for one. I just dont have the money right now and I have a pretty nice SDTV that I still can get a couple of years out of. And thanks for all the help.

What about something like this for ATI cards that convert DVI to component for Nvidia?
[Once again it wont let me link. Can search for DVI to Component adapter on google and it comes up at monoprice]
Is it worth it to get something like that or would I just be better off buying the TV out card/adapter and using S-Video.
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post #7 of 1188 Old 11-10-2005, 03:53 AM
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The Asus A8N-VM CSM is definitely a very nice board.
My brother will get the board next week, with a X2 3800+, 2 GB RAM and a WD RE2.
He only use Linux (no gaming), so all the onboard components are fine. With the board, he won't be using any expansion cards.
It's impressive that from the time of his old computer, to his new, everything is now onboard in a much better version, than the seperate cards of his old one.
The DVI output was a major selling point too. I haven't tried a recent implementation of ADIs HD audio, but have read comments on it being a little better than the RealTek ALC880 CODEC.
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post #8 of 1188 Old 11-10-2005, 08:29 AM
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Just ordered the mb and the spdif accessory card from Excaliburpc...should get 'em in by friday. I will post my initial impressions. Now for a proc and some memory...
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post #9 of 1188 Old 11-10-2005, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinTI View Post

LOL. You are actually wrong - I am already dying for one. I just dont have the money right now and I have a pretty nice SDTV that I still can get a couple of years out of. And thanks for all the help.

What about something like this for ATI cards that convert DVI to component for Nvidia?
[Once again it wont let me link. Can search for DVI to Component adapter on google and it comes up at monoprice]
Is it worth it to get something like that or would I just be better off buying the TV out card/adapter and using S-Video.

You can't use the ATI dongle on nvidia video.

You could slap an entirely new video card in, but it is not possible to get the motherboard to output component video.

And yes the image quality will be MUCH better with component over svideo

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post #10 of 1188 Old 11-15-2005, 04:41 AM
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I've been keeping my eye on the 6150 motherboards.

As of yet, I still haven't found one that supports component video out, even though that is one of the features of the 6150.

Does anybody now of a mfg who is planning on offering component out on their 6150 based MB?
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post #11 of 1188 Old 11-15-2005, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkristof View Post

I've been keeping my eye on the 6150 motherboards.

As of yet, I still haven't found one that supports component video out, even though that is one of the features of the 6150.

Does anybody now of a mfg who is planning on offering component out on their 6150 based MB?

I need component out also. The Gigabyte GA-K8N51PVMT-9 will have it via a dongle that attaches to the d-sub port (just like the one that comes with their 6600GT card). The link below doesn't show the dongle but I've read 2 different reviews stating it will be included. Unfortunately I can't find the links to those reviews at the moment.

http://www.giga-byte.com/Motherboard...8N51PVMT-9.htm
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post #12 of 1188 Old 11-15-2005, 08:12 AM
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The Gigabyte board does not appear to have a DVI output.
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post #13 of 1188 Old 11-15-2005, 12:54 PM
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Though it's not using the 6150, and though I haven't tested it, my mobo (MSI RS482M4-ILD) has onboard VGA, DVI, and component out. I reused a S/PDIF cable from another mobo and the S/PDIF out works fine. There's even a S/PDIF in jack if I can dig up another bracket. The one hitch I noticed was the pins on my MSI board was different from the MSI board I used right before. One has it SPDIF/GND/VCC and the other VCC/SPDIF/GND or something.
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post #14 of 1188 Old 11-15-2005, 01:42 PM
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I too was looking at the ASUS A8N-VM CSM motherboard, but I came across another board, the AOpen Pentium M i915GMm-HFS.

Does anyone have experience of the Intel based board. The spec is pretty good and allows use of Pentium M proc. You can see this board here http://www.mediacomputers.co.uk/shop...herboards.html

The spec is:
CPU Intel Pentium M processor
Chipsets Intel 915GM / ICH6-M
FSB 400/533 MHz
Graphics Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900
PCI Express 16X supported
Memory DDR 333 or Dual Channel DDR-II 400/533
Serial ATA Ports YES - 2 ports
Serial ATA-II Ports YES - 2 ports
IDE ATA100 Connectors YES - 1 connector USB 2.0 Connectors YES - 8 connectors
IEEE 1394 Connectors YES - 2 connectors on board
RAID Levels Silicon Image SATA-II RAID 0 & 1
LAN Marvell Dual Gigabit PCI Express LAN
Audio Azalia CODEC supports 7.1 Channel and above
Digital Audio S/PDIF IN/OUT
Video connector D-Tub, DVI, S-Video, YPbPr

It's about twice as much as the Asus but is it worth it?

I want it for the usual HTPC uses, DVD, music, PVR and for HDTV in the future.

Thanks
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post #15 of 1188 Old 11-15-2005, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmwhooper View Post

I too was looking at the ASUS A8N-VM CSM motherboard, but I came across another board, the AOpen Pentium M i915GMm-HFS.

Does anyone have experience of the Intel based board. The spec is pretty good and allows use of Pentium M proc. You can see this board here http://www.mediacomputers.co.uk/shop...herboards.html

The spec is:
CPU Intel Pentium M processor
Chipsets Intel 915GM / ICH6-M
FSB 400/533 MHz
Graphics Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900
PCI Express 16X supported
Memory DDR 333 or Dual Channel DDR-II 400/533
Serial ATA Ports YES - 2 ports
Serial ATA-II Ports YES - 2 ports
IDE ATA100 Connectors YES - 1 connector USB 2.0 Connectors YES - 8 connectors
IEEE 1394 Connectors YES - 2 connectors on board
RAID Levels Silicon Image SATA-II RAID 0 & 1
LAN Marvell Dual Gigabit PCI Express LAN
Audio Azalia CODEC supports 7.1 Channel and above
Digital Audio S/PDIF IN/OUT
Video connector D-Tub, DVI, S-Video, YPbPr

It's about twice as much as the Asus but is it worth it?

I want it for the usual HTPC uses, DVD, music, PVR and for HDTV in the future.

Thanks


jm, i think the attraction of the asus is the integrated "pure video" chipset, on board raid 5 doesn't hurt either, and all for under $100

Unfortunately intel's integrated graphics are just plain awful, so add in the cost of a dedicated graphic card to an already pricey motherboard.
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post #16 of 1188 Old 11-15-2005, 07:14 PM
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Pavlov70,
WRT the Gigabyte motherboard, I rememebre seeing some preview articles that showed somebody's 6150 MB with a dongle that ouput component video.

Unfortunately, the manual for the MB just describes S-video or RGB (VGA) as the selectable output...

Have you been able to find the rveiews that mentioned a component dongle for this MB?

Thanks!
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post #17 of 1188 Old 11-16-2005, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkristof View Post

WRT the Gigabyte motherboard, I rememebre seeing some preview articles that showed somebody's 6150 MB with a dongle that ouput component video.

Unfortunately, the manual for the MB just describes S-video or RGB (VGA) as the selectable output...

Have you been able to find the rveiews that mentioned a component dongle for this MB?

I'm sure we both saw the same preview article. Additionally I found a review in Chinese, who's link I can't find now, that seemed to indicate it was included. It was a full hands-on review, not a preview. The manual certainly makes no mention of it however. I guess we'll find out once it's released.
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post #18 of 1188 Old 11-16-2005, 04:12 PM
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Actually, I found the article I was thinking of:

http://www.amdzone.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=printpage&artid=180[/url]

The picture near the bottom shows a Gigabyte motherboard with a dongle connected to the mini-din "TV out" connector.

If you look at the manual (and beleive it's ACCURATE) this mini-DIN will mate with a 7-pin ccable, which is NOT a S-Video cable (4-pins).

So it is conceivable that this Gigabyte MB could support component thru the 7-conductor rear panel min-DIN and a dongle.

The reason I'm interested in the Nvidia 6150 component out is that I have a couple of inexpensive 6200 video cards (with 9-conductor mini-DIN to component out octopus cable). They were VERY easy to connect to my old RP HDTV AND get a VERY easily adjusted 720p picture via the nVidia software.

Incidentally, the Gigabyte webiste now has a listing for the GA-K8N51PVMT-9 MB with the tag-line "coming soon".
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post #19 of 1188 Old 11-16-2005, 05:13 PM
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I got the Asus A8N-VM CSM this week and got it set up for HTPC use. I am using an Athlon 64 3200. It was pretty hard to find in stock, eventually got it at mwave.
I was using a GeForce 6200 before on a 2.8 P4 system and with the latest nvidia drivers, HD playback (1080i downscaled to 720p) became quite bad, very jerky. The problem seem to be related to deinterlacing and performance.
Interestingly, it was fine with older drivers, so not sure what Nvidia did recently to prevent the 6200 to deinterlace HD properly, maybe it's intentional as that board is not supposed to handle HD playback.
Anyway, I had some other reasons to upgrade and was quite interested in this new chipset.
Since the 6150 is close to a 6200, I was a bit concerned about HD performance though. But according to NVidia, HD playback should be fine with the 6150, so I wanted to give it a try (and get a 6600 in case it didn't work).
I first installed the display drivers that came with the mb. I noticed some weird blinking dithering that I had never seen before and looked quite bad. But fortunately after I upgraded the display drivers to the latest, that got fixed.
Then I installed the latest nvidia decoders and tried to play some HD in media player and I was getting the same jerkiness that I was getting with the 6200, cpu utilization was high too, tried couple settings to no avail.
Then I got media center setup and tried some HD from there, and, to my big relief, it was a lot better. It is smooth and cpu utilization is low, in the 30%. So for an HTPC it should be a fine board, it's got a DVI output too which the other ones I looked at lacked (Gigabyte, Foxconn).
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post #20 of 1188 Old 11-16-2005, 05:31 PM
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Chayto,

I assume you're using the DVI output to drive your HDTV?

If so, does nvidia provide any underscan/overscan adjustment capability for the DVI output?
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post #21 of 1188 Old 11-16-2005, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkristof View Post

Chayto,

I assume you're using the DVI output to drive your HDTV?

If so, does nvidia provide any underscan/overscan adjustment capability for the DVI output?

That's right, I am using DVI. I have not used the overscan adjustment before but I checked and yes, it's there and it's quite adjustable.
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post #22 of 1188 Old 11-17-2005, 07:49 AM
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which version of media player? by "media center" do you mean MCE 2005? what about other media players?
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post #23 of 1188 Old 11-17-2005, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethergnome View Post

which version of media player? by "media center" do you mean MCE 2005? what about other media players?

Yes that's right, by media center, I'm talking about the media center app that comes with MCE2005 and by media player, I'm talking about the Windows Media Player that comes with MCE2005 (version 10 I think)
I haven't tried other players yet, I'll try ZoomPlayer later. My understanding is that media center uses VMR9 windowless but not media player, maybe that's why there is a difference in performance.
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post #24 of 1188 Old 11-17-2005, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rchcah View Post

Just ordered the mb and the spdif accessory card from Excaliburpc...should get 'em in by friday. I will post my initial impressions. Now for a proc and some memory...

Funny, I have a brand new AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice Core E6 CPU setting in its box and a pair of Corsair TWINX1024-3200C2 DDR400 DIMMS in their tray just waiting for their new A8N-VM CSM to arrive (still on backorder).
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post #25 of 1188 Old 11-17-2005, 11:56 AM
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Funny but not too funny...turns out it was in stock when I ordered it but made the mistake of paying by Paypal and took till today for the transaction to clear (via echeck)...guess what im now on the waiting list.
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post #26 of 1188 Old 11-17-2005, 12:24 PM
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vkristof

Thanks for the link to the Gigabyte. That looks very promising. Methinks I'll wait for that unless something better comes around sooner.
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post #27 of 1188 Old 11-17-2005, 03:28 PM
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I just checked with Excaliberpc on my order and this is what i was told: It seems there were some issues with the first revision mbs. Asus had halted further shipment of rev1 and are in the process of shipping out the rev2 boards that hopefully have fixed whatever issues they were having.
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post #28 of 1188 Old 11-17-2005, 05:07 PM
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I've had good experiences with the component outputs on the nVidia 6200 series video cards.

I've had BAD experiences with the DVI outputs on older ATI 7500 series video cards.

Same TV connected to DVI and component video outputs.

Courtesy of Chayto's experience, I might try the DVI output from one of my 6200 cards. I'd check how adjustable that is on my few year old CRT RPTV and how it compares with the component video outputs. If I have the time.

WRT rchcah's comments on Asus revving 6150 MBs, it DOES seem like the 6150 MBs are having a difficult time getting off the production lines. The contradictions between Gigabyte's manual and it's web blurb and the (photoshopped?) photo in the AMDzone article are amusing: I'm a technical marketeer and I enjoy analyzing "emerging product".
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post #29 of 1188 Old 11-17-2005, 05:58 PM
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I've always had bad experiences with ATI, including DVI ...

DVI is clean and sharp and all, being digital but it uses RGB (8 bits per color) and DVI doesn't support YCbCr colorspaces like HDMI does. In theory, the DVI output could generate these formats (and you could use a cheap DVI/HDMI adapter) but I haven't found a way to enable that, it's likely not supported since that wouldn't be strictly DVI compliant.
And with only these 8 bits per color, you can sometimes see steps on gradients, like on a sky. For colors, component (analog YCbCr) could be better, depending on what the internal color resolution is.
My new display is arriving in a few days and it supports 10 bits internally and I will experiment with DVI and component to see which one looks better.

Unfortunately there is no HDMI support on PCs yet, it's coming though. We'll get the best of both: digital and 10 or 12 bits YCbCr (well hopefully they will support YCbCr, they wouldn't have to since HDMI also works with RGB)
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post #30 of 1188 Old 11-18-2005, 08:56 AM
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I watched just a bit more HD and I am actually still noticing some jerkiness on a sequence of Ski To The Max IMAX (1080i downscaled to 720p). Otherwise, it looks fine most of the time on that video. I don't know if it's a driver issue, decoder issue or the chipset limitations. I am using the nvidia decoders btw, using 'smart' deinterlacing. I'll watch more material and play with settings more.

On a related note, I noticed that turning on antialiasing affects video performance, even when it is fullscreen, which is a bit strange to me as there is nothing to be antialiased. I have to turn it off completely to get something acceptable.
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