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post #1 of 41 Old 10-23-2006, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there any perforamnce difference between the full size atx and mirco atx motherboards in a htpc setup?

I saw a htpc case I really like but it only accept mirco atx board and I been trying to research to see if there an difference other than mirco atx have less pci slots than then full size but couldn't find anything more than that.


Thank you
Bill
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post #2 of 41 Old 10-23-2006, 06:52 PM
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absolutely not. MicroATX mobo's are perfectly fine. I am currently running an AMD 64 4400+ X2 with an Asus A8N-VM CSM which has the Nvidia 6150 chipset and runs awesome.

- Josh
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post #3 of 41 Old 10-23-2006, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your input!

Look like I will be going with MircoATX then .. now I need to research and pick a good brand for core 2 duo intel cpu. Any recommandation is appreciated!

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post #4 of 41 Old 10-23-2006, 09:10 PM
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post #5 of 41 Old 10-24-2006, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Nice selection of mobo there.

I am looking for one with S/P DIP In/Out on it.

Something like this board http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813127009 and I haven't found anything like this board for Core 2 Duo yet in micro atx yet but I found several nices mobo in Full ATX for it.

Does anyone know board with simlar feature for Core 2 Duo in micro atx becasue I really want to stick with micro due to the case I wanted only accept micro atx size mobos.

If I couldn't find anything like this for Core 2 Duo then I might be tempted to go with P4 instead since the mobo is avaiable with the features I wanted.

Thank you for your inputs!
Bill
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post #6 of 41 Old 10-24-2006, 01:31 PM
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I use an Intel D945GPMLKR mATX board in one of my HTPCs. It is one of the Intel Media Series boards that are particularly suited to HTPC usage.

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post #7 of 41 Old 10-24-2006, 01:34 PM
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post #8 of 41 Old 10-24-2006, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx
here's a good list of Core 2 duo mobo's: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=710828

- Josh

Nice list. That help a bunch to narrow down my choices quickly! Thank you for pointing out the list to me!

But one thing that puzzles me is that I though Core 2 Duo need the 775 socket mobos and on that Core 2 list is the board I wanted "ABIT IL-90MV Socket 478 Intel 945GT " which I linked to earlier in my reply above.


A Core 2 Duo will work in a 478 socket mobos?


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post #9 of 41 Old 10-24-2006, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZESUIT
Nice list. That help a bunch to narrow down my choices quickly! Thank you for pointing out the list to me!

But one thing that puzzles me is that I though Core 2 Duo need the 775 socket mobos and on that Core 2 list is the board I wanted "ABIT IL-90MV Socket 478 Intel 945GT " which I linked to earlier in my reply above.


A Core 2 Duo will work in a 478 socket mobos?


Bill
There are a few types, Desktop based and Mobile base CPU's.

For example the Merom based chips: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...k=&srchInDesc=

Meroms are socket M based.

The conroe:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...k=&srchInDesc=

Socket T 775

then you've got the Yohna:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...k=&srchInDesc=

which is also Socket M

That mobo you linked can take the following cpu's:
http://www.abit.com.tw/test-report/il-90mv.htm?1

Which I belive are all mobile versions of the Core duo's and core 2 duo's

- Josh
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post #10 of 41 Old 10-24-2006, 05:38 PM
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I am using a Gigabyte mATX socket 939 mobo with AMD4400+ X2, MSI 7600GT Diamond Plus w/HDMI/HDCP , 2GB Corsair RAM, 750GB Seagate HDD and all the onboard peripherals (audio, spdif, firewire, usb, gigabit LAN, etc) and it works like a charm.

Now, there is no way I can fit anything else inside the thing and the case forced me into 2 external ATSC HD tuners, but oh well-what can you do. Constraints, constraints.
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post #11 of 41 Old 10-24-2006, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZESUIT
Is there any perforamnce difference between the full size atx and mirco atx motherboards in a htpc setup?

I saw a htpc case I really like but it only accept mirco atx board and I been trying to research to see if there an difference other than mirco atx have less pci slots than then full size but couldn't find anything more than that.


Thank you
Bill
FWIW, I gave up on my mAtx setup. The main (and really only reason) was the limited number of PCI slots.

If you find a mAtx board where you are happy with the onboard sound and graphics then you probably won't have a problem. However if you use a different graphics card you may sacrifice a PCI slot for cooling the gfx card. In addition the newer PCI-Express boards have even fewer normal PCI slots because they insert the extremely useful PCI-Expressx1 slot. If you're lucky the X1 slot will be next to the video card slot. If you're not lucky the x1 slot will be at the bottom of the board giving you the possibility that your fancy gfx card's cooling system will take up one of the precious PCI slots.

Count the number of items you'd like onboard the computer:
-at least one tuner
-soundcard
-gfx card
-space

Why space? Because you may not be happy with the little furnace you'll create with PCI boards right next to each other.

For mAtx I recommend Asus because they usually have a +5vsb jumper that you can enable. This is nice when you want to come out of S4 standby (hibernate mode) with a USB device (i.e. remote).
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post #12 of 41 Old 10-24-2006, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx
There are a few types, Desktop based and Mobile base CPU's.

For example the Merom based chips: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...k=&srchInDesc=

Meroms are socket M based.

The conroe:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...k=&srchInDesc=

Socket T 775

then you've got the Yohna:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...k=&srchInDesc=

which is also Socket M

That mobo you linked can take the following cpu's:
http://www.abit.com.tw/test-report/il-90mv.htm?1

Which I belive are all mobile versions of the Core duo's and core 2 duo's

- Josh

Thank you so much for the detailed explaination. Now I understand there more than just one type of Core 2 Duo.

I am leaning more toward using linux distro with MythTV rather than XP and a Windows PVR/DVR software so I am researching heavy on this to make sure I purchase a mobo that will have less issue setting up in linux driver-wise and MythTV etc.


I am still considering that Abit board and finding a Core 2 Duo that would work in that board and with HDMI output ( I was told in MythTV irc channel that onboard video chipset should handle SD and HDTV just fine and no need to purchase a video card.) and also the S/P DIP in/out and gig lan etc that the remaining pci slot will be freed up for the tuner card etc.





Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd
I am using a Gigabyte mATX socket 939 mobo with AMD4400+ X2, MSI 7600GT Diamond Plus w/HDMI/HDCP , 2GB Corsair RAM, 750GB Seagate HDD and all the onboard peripherals (audio, spdif, firewire, usb, gigabit LAN, etc) and it works like a charm.

Now, there is no way I can fit anything else inside the thing and the case forced me into 2 external ATSC HD tuners, but oh well-what can you do. Constraints, constraints.

Curious what do you have in your pci slot that you couldn't fit anything inside else? I thought all I would need is 2 PCI slot avaiable one for the standard analog tuner card with rca video and s-video and another for the hdtv tuner card. And I firgue for the remote lird I would either need to use a usb or serial port for that.



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post #13 of 41 Old 10-24-2006, 07:48 PM
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"Curious what do you have in your pci slot that you couldn't fit anything inside else? I thought all I would need is 2 PCI slot avaiable one for the standard analog tuner card with rca video and s-video and another for the hdtv tuner card. And I firgue for the remote lird I would either need to use a usb or serial port for that."

Its a Hiper case which as you can see is the regular 17 inch form factor common to CE devices. Since it is only about 50 mm in height, the video card uses a riser card to turn it horizontal, therefore precluding any other pci/pci-e devices. This is why I have 2 external dvico fusionhdtv5 atsc hd usb tuners instead of an internal tuner card. See http://www.hipergroup.com/English/index.html Its tight inside but blends in perfectly with my system and sits at the base of the Sharp LCD and you would think its just a DVD player unless you looked closely enough! All too many htpc cases look just like that (pc cases) and dont fit well with the CE form factor (in my opinion).

I'm tempted to upgrade to 4 GB RAM but dang the prices have actually risen since I bought the first 2 GB. (I always max out the RAM)

You can never have enough storage space or RAM. Gotta go check out newegg and order a second Infrant ReadyNAS (need to add another 2 TB storage). Those darn hd movies take up tons of storage space. Kinda wish i had a cheaper hobby.

Cheers
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post #14 of 41 Old 10-24-2006, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd
"Curious what do you have in your pci slot that you couldn't fit anything inside else? I thought all I would need is 2 PCI slot avaiable one for the standard analog tuner card with rca video and s-video and another for the hdtv tuner card. And I firgue for the remote lird I would either need to use a usb or serial port for that."

Its a Hiper case which as you can see is the regular 17 inch form factor common to CE devices. Since it is only about 50 mm in height, the video card uses a riser card to turn it horizontal, therefore precluding any other pci/pci-e devices. This is why I have 2 external dvico fusionhdtv5 atsc hd usb tuners instead of an internal tuner card. See http://www.hipergroup.com/English/index.html Its tight inside but blends in perfectly with my system and sits at the base of the Sharp LCD and you would think its just a DVD player unless you looked closely enough! All too many htpc cases look just like that (pc cases) and dont fit well with the CE form factor (in my opinion).

I'm tempted to upgrade to 4 GB RAM but dang the prices have actually risen since I bought the first 2 GB. (I always max out the RAM)

You can never have enough storage space or RAM. Gotta go check out newegg and order a second Infrant ReadyNAS (need to add another 2 TB storage). Those darn hd movies take up tons of storage space. Kinda wish i had a cheaper hobby.

Cheers


I googled the name and looked at it. I would have to admit that a real nice looking system/case you got there.






I think I will be going with Antec New Solution 2400 myself - http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=92400

However I really like the Antec Fusion - http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=15738
but I don't really want to spend that much money on a "case" which is just a empty metal box.

I wish they had offered VFD as a optional then the cost would be lower and I would had gone for the fusion case itself.


Bill
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post #15 of 41 Old 10-25-2006, 06:13 AM
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I personally can go without the VDF, volume knob, ect... How often are you going to use it? I control everything from my couch via remote no need for all that fancy crap.

- Josh
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post #16 of 41 Old 10-25-2006, 04:18 PM
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I could also do without the VDF, volume knob, ect….. but I really like the design of hidden optical drive door. It just matches my other components better and doesn’t look like PC. Just this one future was worth extra $80 over the NSK2400 which was my 2nd choice. Unlike some cases which use flimsy aluminum drive door covers the Antec Fusion drive door is very solid.
I did some modifications to the Fusion. The white LED’s for the power and hard drive activity LED lights were painted dark blue (to change the color and reduce intensity)
and I added blue VFD Filter.
I’m very happy with this case.

Ralph P.

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m...PC/Fusion2.jpg

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m.../PC/Fusion.jpg
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post #17 of 41 Old 10-25-2006, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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[quote=Snootch]I could also do without the VDF, volume knob, ect….. but I really like the design of hidden optical drive door. It just matches my other components better and doesn’t look like PC. Just this one future was worth extra $80 over the NSK2400 which was my 2nd choice. Unlike some cases which use flimsy aluminum drive door covers the Antec Fusion drive door is very solid.
I did some modifications to the Fusion. The white LED’s for the power and hard drive activity LED lights were painted dark blue (to change the color and reduce intensity)
and I added blue VFD Filter.
I’m very happy with this case.

Ralph P.
{/QUOTE]

Nice looking case!

Now your making me drool and I am having thoughts about buying a fusion case hehehe.

Thanks for sharing photos of your case!


Bill
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post #18 of 41 Old 10-25-2006, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the motherboard I think I will go with if I could find a spdip in/out adapter for it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128024

I need the spdip in/out becasue my sat reciever box support dobly digital out audio and I would like to be able to use it with my surround sound A/V reciever. I love room shaking movies!




I am having trouble locating the spdip adapter in USA and can anyone point out where I might be able to purchase such adapter from in USA?

Here the link to the adapter, it the first audio adapter in that page and S/N:12CR1-1SPINO-11

http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Products...ssoryList.aspx



I am leaning toward getting a Core 2 Duo 775 1.86Ghz Intel CPU for the mobo and can anyone tell me if that will be enough for a dual analog tuner (PVR500) with hdtv tuner (not sure which hdtv tuner but need to find one with closed caption support) and closed caption overlay running in MythTV setup.

I am not sure what video card to get yet but probably a Nvida 6600 /w 256megs since I want to be able to do OTA hdtv and 1 gig of memory for the mobo.



Any advices or inputs are welcome!


Bill
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post #19 of 41 Old 10-26-2006, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Welp, I spent all night trying to locate a dealer for the gigabyte spdif in and out audio adapter in USA with no luck.

So if anyone know where I can purchase that adapter in USA or Canada mail order please let me know where!

Attached is a photo of the Gigabyte SPDIF in and out audio adapter part number 12CR1-1SPINO-11


Bill
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post #20 of 41 Old 10-26-2006, 05:27 AM
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post #21 of 41 Old 10-26-2006, 07:58 AM
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The 6600 is old technology. The 7600s run much cooler and are better supported by PureVideo.

In particular, Gigabyte makes a silent heatpipe-cooled 7600GT. You can find it at Newegg - I think it is about $130 after a $30 rebate. I have two of these exact cards at home and highly recommend them.
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post #22 of 41 Old 10-26-2006, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I have contacted Gigabyte but have not heard back from them and I been doing some thinking that I might just get a board with coax and optial out only since that adapter seem to be widely avaiable and just use the rca L/R audio analog out from my sat receiver becasue there very few shows that does digital anyhow and I am not really missing out anything.

So back to hunting for a board I am all ear to any recommandtion on what board but I still want to stick with Core 2 Duo and Intel Chipset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StanF
The 6600 is old technology. The 7600s run much cooler and are better supported by PureVideo.

In particular, Gigabyte makes a silent heatpipe-cooled 7600GT. You can find it at Newegg - I think it is about $130 after a $30 rebate. I have two of these exact cards at home and highly recommend them.
I wasn't aware that newer nvidia run cooler now and I will have to check that out. Thanks for sharing that information with me!



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post #23 of 41 Old 10-26-2006, 10:58 AM
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In case you can't get the optional GIGABYTE S/PDIF bracket, you can use SPDIF PC Bracket with Digital Optical & Coaxial Outs $14.99 (at VidaBox). Just use pin 1 (Power), pin 3 (SPDIF Out signal) and pin 5 (Ground) of the onboard header.
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post #24 of 41 Old 10-26-2006, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZESUIT
I have contacted Gigabyte but have not heard back from them and I been doing some thinking that I might just get a board with coax and optial out only since that adapter seem to be widely avaiable and just use the rca L/R audio analog out from my sat receiver becasue there very few shows that does digital anyhow and I am not really missing out anything.

So back to hunting for a board I am all ear to any recommandtion on what board but I still want to stick with Core 2 Duo and Intel Chipset.



I wasn't aware that newer nvidia run cooler now and I will have to check that out. Thanks for sharing that information with me!



Bill


I finally heard back from Gigabyte on that spdif in / out adapter and they said it not avaiable in the USA until late Nov.

I probably just worry about getting a motherboard with digital out only now instead of both in/out or mofitiy an out only adapter to work on that gigiabyte board and use just the digital out.

I have narrow down to several selections of motherboard to choose from.

ASUS P5B-VM

GIGABYTE GA-965GM-S2

INTEL DG965OT

MSI Q965MDO


I am leaning toward to INTEL DG965OT motherboard now since it already have a optial audio digital out in the rear and I wouldn't need to find an adapter for it or waste a slot for the adapter on the case.


I just realized that gigabyte motherboard I wanted have a odd way of putting in thier pci-express slot which the x16 is on top and x1 is on bottom and the 2 pci is in between it which I think is not good at all if the pci express graphic card with it oversize heatsink or fan needing the extra room and I am already planning on using up the 2 standard pci slots for 2 different tuners one is a analog and second is a hdtv tuner. and I would need the empty slot to put in the spdif out adpater as well too.

I went over to gigabyte website and checked out that silent 7600GT someone posted earlier and the spec on it is real nice but it take up 2 slots which something I cannot give up a slot for since I am doing this in micro atx and I need all the slots so I did some searching and found one other card that seem promising is the ASUS EN7600GS which is also silent fan-less card and only use one slot.

Have anyone experienced the ASUS EN7600GS graphic card and can tell me if that heatsink thickness on the card is not too thick that it stay within it own slot space?

I know that it shouldn't be a problem becasue on some motherboard the x16 and x1 are next to each other that the video card would only takeover one or the other slot which wouldn't be used and like I said earlier that gigabyte had a odd way of building one of thier board and putting thier express pci slots apart from each other with 2 pci in between and I was planning on using the x1 slot space for that optial / coax out adapter as well too.

Oh boy it not easy picking out a motherboard ... decision decision decision! beside it's my first time doing micro atx size too.

Bill
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post #25 of 41 Old 10-26-2006, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Welp!

After chatting with someone today in irc channel about motherboard and mythtv and htpc. I may have set my standard too high and can lower the bar a lot that I still can get great performance from mythtv if I am only using it for htpc is all.

So after discussing about varies of motherboard and I narrow it down to this motherboard so far which seem to be a great htpc board with all the features I needed and I wouldn't even need to get a video card after all with this board the Aopen i945GTm-VHL .

http://global.aopen.com.tw/products/mb/i945GTm-VHL.htm

and the cpu I would choose will either be a Yonah T2300 or a T2400 and total of alittle over a gig of memory onboard.

I was told that system setup should be plenty for analog and hdtv both with lots of room to spare in Mythtv.

And taking that path will allow me to even choose a smaller enclosement with a riser card for 2 tuner card I wanted to add making it look more like a enteriment center rather than a "PC" looking case.


What you all think? Any inputs?

Thanks for your replies!
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post #26 of 41 Old 10-27-2006, 01:14 AM
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The performance of Yonah T2400 ($245) is considerably inferior to desktop Core 2 Duo, even inferior to AMD Athlon X2 3800+ ($116). Moreover SO-DIMM DDR2 cannot be used for future upgrade. But then why not buy an AM2 mATX board?

ABIT NF-M2 nView ($98)

with Athlon 64 X2 3800+ ($169) or 4200+ ($182) is perhaps a much better choice. GeForce 6150 with PureVideo can handle 1080p easily according to the article nVIDIA PureVideo and High Definition Content at PCSTATS. The only possible drawback is the lack of analog TV out.

AOpen and Intel chose mobile processors for SFF systems because of crappy desktop processors (Pentium 4). But the situation has changed dramatically with the release of Core 2 Duo and IMO there seems to be no more need of MoDT (mobile on desktop). What's still missing is a proper chipset with integrated graphics specifically intended for HTPC. Bearlake-G+ (Q3 2007) could be a candidate, but the future of HTPC chipset is still unclear.
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post #27 of 41 Old 10-27-2006, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx
The performance of Yonah T2400 ($245) is considerably inferior to desktop Core 2 Duo, even inferior to AMD Athlon X2 3800+ ($116). Moreover SO-DIMM DDR2 cannot be used for future upgrade. But then why not buy an AM2 mATX board?

ABIT NF-M2 nView ($98)

with Athlon 64 X2 3800+ ($116) or 4200+ ($182) is perhaps a much better choice. GeForce 6150 with PureVideo can handle 1080p easily according to the article nVIDIA PureVideo and High Definition Content at PCSTATS. The only possible drawback is the lack of analog TV out.

AOpen and Intel chose mobile processors for SFF systems because of crappy desktop processors (Pentium 4). But the situation has changed dramatically with the release of Core 2 Duo and IMO there seems to be no more need of MoDT (mobile on desktop). What's still missing is a proper chipset with integrated graphics specifically intended for HTPC. Bearlake-G+ (Q3 2007) could be a candidate, but the future of HTPC chipset is still unclear.


It may be inferior to the Core 2 Duo but the thing if it can do MythTV / HDTV / Analog with room to breath then that all I need and I don't see any reason to upgrade since I won't be using it as a desktop and it will be only a pure htpc system running MythTV and 2 tuner cards one analog tuner and another hdtv tuner and maybe to be able to do some web browsing via remote control or check email but that pretty much. I am not expecting to play any hardcore gaming etc on it.


I am still researching on mATX board and not planning on getting one until at least another month becasue I am waiting for the holiday season sale and I am sure some of those cpus and board will be dropping in price or even better yet some new type of htpc board become avaiable with all the features I am looking for.


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post #28 of 41 Old 10-27-2006, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx
AOpen and Intel chose mobile processors for SFF systems because of crappy desktop processors (Pentium 4). But the situation has changed dramatically with the release of Core 2 Duo and IMO there seems to be no more need of MoDT (mobile on desktop). What's still missing is a proper chipset with integrated graphics specifically intended for HTPC. Bearlake-G+ (Q3 2007) could be a candidate, but the future of HTPC chipset is still unclear.
Well, MoDT can still provide added value due to lower power dissipation (35W vs 65W).

BTW, what about BearLake do you expect to be more "HTPC" than the current G965? The fact that the G965 drivers have not yet enabled the Clear Video functions is a valid criticism, but I'm waiting until the 14.27 drivers show up (early Q1) before I make a final decision.

As far as I know, the major things BearLake will bring to the table are higher FSB and HDCP built-in...

I do not speak officially in any sense for
Intel Corp., Technology Manufacturing Group
but I do work there.
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post #29 of 41 Old 10-27-2006, 01:41 PM
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Yeah, low power consumption is one advantage of mobile chips. If you want to build an extremely small HTPC system (smaller than mATX), then ventilation will be a problem and MoDT may come into a play. I don't know whether the future of HTPC will be an extreme SFF. Right now the majority of HTPC is ATX/mATX and there is no need of mobile chips at this level of form factor.

One missing point in the current Intel chipset (G965) is a built-in DVI or HDMI controller besides the delay of driver for ClearVideo functions. You have to buy an ADD2 DVI card if you want to use a DVI out with this chipset (thouth you can buy it at around $15). Intel is too ahead of the time to omit IDE controller (causing a headache for motherboard manufacturers and linux users) and too behind the time to omit DVI controller (causing a confusion among many users who take DVI out for granted). (Intel engineers seem to lack the ability to make a right decision?) Sources of Bearlake-G+ I read were Daily Tech and HKEPC Hardware:

Quote:
Besides Bearlake-X, Bearlake-G+ is what we are focusing on. It will be releasing together with Bearlake-X in Q3 2007. Bearlake-G+ is the first IGP with DirectX10 hardware supported, where G965 and Bearlake-G would get DirectX 10 supported by software only. It’s designed for home theater. Featuring HDMI output with HDCP supported, and Intel Clear Video technology for Blu-Ray or HD-DVD in H.264/VC-1 HD Video, it would provides a great HD Video processing power. Similar to Bearlake-X, Bearlake-G+ also has build-in DDR2 and DDR3 controller, but a litter bit lower. It supports up to DDR2-800 and DDR3-1066. (HKEPC Hardware)
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post #30 of 41 Old 10-27-2006, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I did more research and compare prices and now I believe I was wrong to stray away from Core 2 Duo setup so I am going back to it and stick with it.

Here my planned system setup so far.

Motherboard (one of those two not sure which yet, the gigabyte board is my first choice but I need to see if I can take a digital audio out adapter from another and mofitied it to work on this gigabyte board)

GIGABYTE GA-965GM-S2
http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Products...ProductID=2382
or
INTEL DG965OT
http://www.intel.com/products/mother...65ot/index.htm



CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz 2M sharing L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor
http://www.intel.com/products/proces...2duo/index.htm


Video Graphic Card
GIGABYTE GV-NX73G256D-RH
http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Products...ProductID=2376


Thank you for all your inputs and feedback on this!
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