Asus Pundit or Other mini system??? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-16-2006, 05:47 AM - Thread Starter
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After an upgrade to another computer, I have an extra Socket 939 Athlon 64 3500 and 1GB of RAM. I was going to build a very small system with the parts. I prefer a skinny system, not a shoebox like the typical Shuttle. I don't need it silent, but definitely want it quiet, even very quiet.

The best I've found is the Asus Pundit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16856110050

The 6150 integrated graphics are okay, but I'm a little worried since there isn't a PCIe slot for later upgrades. I don't see the 6150 doing 1080p, which is something this system might need to do in a year or two. I'm also not sure how quiet the Pundit would be.

The Antec Minuet is another option:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129013

It is a little bigger, but would be about the same price as the Pundit after buying a mATX motherboard like the Asus A8N-VM CSM:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...2E16813131570R
The Minuet is expandable with low profile cards, which is a big plus. I'm not sure if it is quiet.

Any comments or other suggestions?
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-16-2006, 10:45 AM
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I have a Pundit P1AH1 and it works well. Mine has an Athlon64 3200 + 2x512 + Samsung P 256GB HD. I can hear some HD whine and fan noise at idle with more fan noise at moderate load. Under heavy loads the fan is loud. The system has one fan which is mounted to the cpu heat sink. If you get the Pundit you can save some $ and use an OEM processor since the system comes with a heat sink.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-09-2007, 07:08 PM
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I just got a P1-AH1 as well for SageTV, running as a server/client. Overall it works for 720p sources (like ABC), but I'm having issues with 1080i streams from my HDHomeRun box, the CPU is usually pegged at 95% or more (even for saved 1080i shows). This is using the Nvidia PureVideo decoder. Though I've got a ton of decoders installed at the moment (Cyberink, Intervideo, DScaler, etc.) trying to find what works the best. Currently, the (Hauppauge) Intervideo surprisingly seems to push the CPU the least. So I'm testing that out.

I was thinking of buying a trio of these Pundits to replace my ReplayTV's, but now I'm thinking I'll build the last 2 boxes with microATX cases that can handle full height cards in case I need to install a video card. I'm also rethinking my whole strategy of having combo server client boxes and going strictly one server, multiple clients and building the boxes to their purpose.

I do love the Pundit, it's quiet and during the BCS football game last night, the fan speed never rose even though the CPU was pegged for 4.5 hours.

I'd be curious as to what others find with their systems. I keep reading about some people with 6150 based graphics saying they can run 1080p "just fine." uh, really? Maybe it's just me.

[SageTV client/server config: Asus Pundit P1-AH1, 4000+ AMD 64, 1 GB RAM, 250 GB SATA drive]
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-10-2007, 12:04 AM
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I got an old Pundit-R with an 3,2GHz P4, 768MB RAM and 40GB HDD but I think the physical size is exactly the same as the newer booksized Pundits. I am running dual display (DVD-D to TFT screen and VGA to plasma screen) in cloned mode. It's working really nice and the only drawback I've found so far is that due to the small size of the box it cannot hold anything but small PCI-cards. If the cards are too high they will just not fit the box. I had that problem with my M-Audio Revo card, it was just 10th of an inch too high but still I could not fit the card inside the box. The solution was harsh but efficient - I cut out the bottom of the box with my grinder to accomodate the PCI card
However, any longer PCI-cards than small/below-normal size cards will not fit because the CPU with it's cooler is located just behind the PCI slots. I tried to fit a normalsized DVB card which unfortenately touched the CPU fan without me seing it resulting in a melted P4 CPU. So if You need to use additional PCI-cards - really make sure they fit.


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post #5 of 9 Old 01-10-2007, 07:18 AM
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I have a Pundit P1-AH1 (socket 939) and I'm quite happy with it.
I capture HD content with the OnAir GT USB capture device and the processor cruises at around 35% during recording of 720p or 1080i content. The system fan is almost silent because of the low CPU load and I put a very quiet 250GB STA HD in it. You can't hear the computer from more than a couple of feet away. I use a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse and even have a Nexus-S satellite card in it.
Setup was a bit tricky- to get the S3 & S4 power modes working correctly and I made the mistake of using the included Nvidia SATA drivers for the hard drive which pegged CPU usage at 95% after resume from sleep mode, but I did some internet research which recommended rolling back to the default Microsoft WIN XP SATA drivers which cured the high CPU usage after resume from sleep problem.

The only minor things I don't really like on the P1-AH1:
1) Only 2 USB ports on the rear of the case- the other two are on the front which means you have to have the front panel opened to use the third/fourth USB port. Workaround for this is to buy a USB backplane from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...6-20/ref=nosim) or your local computer builder and connect it to the extra USB port header on the MB, this way all your USB connections are still in the rear.
2) The only firewire port on the computer is on the front panel too- like the #3 & #4 USB ports mentioned above.
3) It seems that the P1-AH1 is designed to pretty much stand up vertically on edge, no factory options to lay it down flat for use in a entertainment system stand like your regular audio/video components- DVD player, amp, etc... Workaround: Remove the Factory base mount and buy 4 rubber 1/2" self stick pads at local hardware store- put them on the bottom of the case. Now you can use the P1-AH1 mounted horizontally.

All in all, I'm very satisfied with the P1-AH1. No stuttering issues with HD content playback. System is rock solid stable, after working out the initial installation bugs- I never miss a scheduled recording now, and my system spend 99.9% of it's day in S4 hibernation mode (1 Watt power consumption ). With it's small size, wireless KB & mouse and being black... everyone thinks it's just another AV component on my HT shelf- nobody has guessed it's a computer yet

"I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...."

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post #6 of 9 Old 01-10-2007, 07:39 AM
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I built an ASUS Pundit P1-AH1 for my Mom for Christmas, its small quiet and was a great replacement for my Moms laptop gone badbut it has limited upgradeability. The on board video is great for playing back SD DVDs and onboard sound is adequate for music playbackfor my Mom. I have 3 Shuttle boxes and I have no complaints, they are small and quiet too, but I cannot recommend those either. I would pay a little more and get a HTPC case and a decent Socket 939 MB and you will be miles a head come upgrade time.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-10-2007, 02:50 PM
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Well, I think I solved my 1080i issue. Removed all my decoders, ffsdshow etc. and reinstalled PureVideo and the CPU load is in the 40% range now. Plus the silly PureVideo taskbar icon, which would never show, now works. Cool.

To add to another minor negative of the Pundit AH1 series, the audio digital out is on the front, not in back.

FYI. I noticed there is now a Pundit A1-PH2, which uses the AM2 platform. Just a few bucks more on NewEgg than the 939 based AH1. Tempting. But I think getting a separate microATX board & slim case with room for at least PCI-E expansion on a riser might be a better way to go.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-11-2007, 09:24 AM
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FYI. someone mentioned this article on another thread which is a recent review of built-in graphics chipsets. Good read.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/chi...65-gf6150.html
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-25-2007, 09:18 AM
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yeah that spdif in the front is a major turnoff
guess an additional pci sound card is the solution
what about H.264 decoding on 720p/1080p

I'm thinking about putting in a X2 4600+
are any of the stock fans replaceble?
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