AMD Phenom Motherboard for HTPC? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-13-2007, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I am considering building a new HTPC around the AMD Phenom architecture. As the Phenoms are really expensive and have some issues at the moment, I thought I would buy a new Phenom motherboard and use an X2 until the better Phenoms come out later in the Spring.

The question is, what is the best Phenom motherboard for a HTPC? All I can find are high-end 790FX boards and low-end 770 boards. I would like more than 4 SATA slots, SPDIF out, overclocking options, 1394, and eSATA. I could care less about Crossfire and multiple PCI-X slots. Is anything around that fits my needs or anything coming out really soon?

Chris
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-13-2007, 01:40 PM
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you would have to wait till january when R780 is out. that will bring directx10 IGP
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-13-2007, 01:57 PM
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The current boards cost not much less than the Phenom's themselves, so you are better off just using an AM2 board for now, and building another phenom computer when you are ready and AM2+ motherboards have gone down in price.

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post #4 of 7 Old 12-13-2007, 02:18 PM
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The current southbridge SB600 is limited to 4 SATA. You have to wait a few months for the new southbridge SB700/SB750 or NVIDIA 780a chipset.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-13-2007, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacquer View Post

I am considering building a new HTPC around the AMD Phenom architecture. As the Phenoms are really expensive and have some issues at the moment, I thought I would buy a new Phenom motherboard and use an X2 until the better Phenoms come out later in the Spring.

The question is, what is the best Phenom motherboard for a HTPC? All I can find are high-end 790FX boards and low-end 770 boards. I would like more than 4 SATA slots, SPDIF out, overclocking options, 1394, and eSATA. I could care less about Crossfire and multiple PCI-X slots. Is anything around that fits my needs or anything coming out really soon?

Chris

While a motherboard choice is of course up to the individual, you should take another look at why/what do you "really" need in an "HTPC".

- Overclocking - while nice to have, a lot of motherboards can overclock a CPU, just by raising the FSB. You really don't need a boatload of overclocking options for an HTPC, for a gaming machine, yes, but not for a machine that's dedicated to media functions.

- 4 SATA slots - should be way more than enough. If you need more than that, you are cramming way too many drives into your media PC. Try and isolate them to network storage/external storage. It will have a side benefit of keeping it cooler and quieter.

SPDIF out - a must have. And most modern motherboards have it.

1394 - although not a "must have" it is becoming pretty essential, and a large number of modern motherboards have it.

eSATA - Yes, this is a good thing to have. But even if you don't have it on the motherboard, a simle PCI/PCI-e card can give you 2, if not more ports. These cards aint even that expensive. ~$30-35.

And back to the original point. There is no practical reason for a Phenom for a media playback machine. Hell, a 5000+ with a half decent GPU will play anything you throw at it. Of course if you gotta have one, you gotta have one.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-13-2007, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I encode/recode a lot of media files, and a quad core processor will really speed up those times. So while I appreciate your thoughts about media playback, there are a lot of us who do a whole lot more with an HTPC than just playback movies.

Yes I need more than 4 SATA slots. Two SATA optical drives, currently three hard drives with a fourth to come. No problem in my 4U rackmount server case and I have no problems with noise. Why spend all the extra money on another case?

So, yes, there is a very practical reason for a Phenom in an HTPC. Media ENCODING; I guess you don't do this with your machine or you like super long times while your machine encoes media.

Chris
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-13-2007, 04:05 PM
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"Media ENCODING; I guess you don't do this with your machine or you like super long times while your machine encoes media."

Oh..I do it..on my dual Xeon machine sitting in the garage. or my home office machine which is not a quad core, but a core 2. If I'm working, I delegate my encodes to the server, if not, I do it on the home office machine. The HTPCs simply play. But of course, not everybody has multiple machines lying around, so you have a valid point.
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