I recently finished building my htpc using this mobo. I was able to avoid a bunch of pitfall thanks to this thread. Most things seem to be working pretty well. My specs:
mobo : GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H
memory : G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
processor : AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Brisbane
hard drive: SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB 7200 RPM
case : Antec nsk2480
I am using the stock cpu cooler for right now. I plan to eventually replace the cpu (when the K10 dual core Kuma comes out, to get the 1.6 Ghz HT link)
and use a scythe ninja mini with it.
I am also using a pos sony dvd writer (very noisy) and plan to eventually get a blu ray drive.
video is connected via hdmi to a 1366x768 , 60 Hz lcd. Catalyst is forcing me to either choose 1280*720 or 1920*1080. I have not tried using powerstrip to see if I can force custom resolution, timing over hdmi. Do people think this is possible? The VGA port allows me to get 1360X768.
audio is connected to a denon 5.1 receiver via spdif and works pretty well. I am not going to buy a 7.1 receiver anytime soon, so hd audio was never a requirement.
I get the usual
80C reading on the northbridge, hopefully the board won't fail in 6 mos. I haven't tried to cool the nB seperately, so any opinions are welcome.
using powerdvd 7.3 build 3319, avc 4.1 decode of a ~18 mbps mp4 stream takes about 5% cpu, I am having a hard time believing this number. 18~20 mbps 720p and 1080i mpeg-2 decoding is again in this range. deinterlacing is not too impressive though, hopefully 1.6 GHz HT link in the dual core K10 will improve this in the future. with 1920*1080 setting and aero turned off I get weave, bob and adaptive in CCC. interestingly, if I drop down to 1280*720 I get motion adaptive and pixel adaptive, but powerdvd cannot seem to use these deinterlacing modes, so it reverts back to BOB. Oh well.