I finally pulled the trigger and ordered up all my parts for this build, I've spent the past several nights working late trying to get this sucker up and running flawlessly. I've had fairly good luck in most regards.
I'm still having difficulty with playing mkv's...TMT says .113 supports mkv's, but the mkv I have causes my machine to BSOD with a atikmdag.sys error. I tried tinkering with ffdshow and coreavc, but all it did was cause other media players on the machine to stutter. So I had to start over from scratch avoiding going buck wild with all the various codecs.
Currently I am running nothing but Vista Ultimate x86 w/8.4 ATI drivers and 1.92 Realtek HDMI...However, I had to take a pass on HDMI because I couldn't get the SPDIF passthrough to work properly through HDMI...So I decided to go optical and I couldn't be happier with the audio quality in BD and VMC.
Although I've got an xvid of I am Legend on my machine and the sounds seems to be missing some volume and brightness, and the surround doesn't appear to be working in it either. I was thinking I may have to do some homework and find a decent codec that will work for that but won't jack up my TMT like before.
With regards to cooling. I opted to keep the stock cooler on the CPU due to size issues that would prevent me from using the Extreme Spirit on my NB. Rather, I decided to install the Extreme Spirit...I used Arctic Silver 5 as my thermal grease, and I used Arctic Silver Remover to remove the old gunk from the NB. Since clearly there is an issue with the NB temp sensors I have no way of knowing if its any better or worse than stock, but my case is extremely silent and nothing but cool air is coming out of those massive fans on the side.
One other small thing of note concerning the mobo and my choice of RAM...The RAM is supposed to have native timings of 4-4-4-15, but rather comes up in the bios as 5-5-5-15...It's rather annoying. However, I am afraid to tinker with the voltage for fear of improper bootups, and having to play games with clearing the cmos just to get back to basics so I can boot the thing just to put it back to AUTO settings.
Everything is just working right out of the box, I've had no major issues at all...This motherboard has been great thusfar...clearly many of my problems to date and most likely in the future will strictly be software related. There's a learning curve involved in find the best codecs and software to use to get the best rig possible for HD/BD video.
The wife and I just completed watching The Golden Compass on BD and it ran flawlessly...If it looks this good without HDHQV Post Processing from a Phenom...I can't wait to see it with a Phenom!!
Parts List:Antec Aluminum Veris Fusion Black 430 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case with IR receiver - Retail $169.99GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $89.99AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5GHz Socket AM2 45W Dual-Core Processor Model ADH4850DOBOX - Retail $89.99OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P800R22GK - Retail $47.99Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $99.99LITE-ON Black SATA Blu-ray DVD-ROM Drive Model DH-4O1S-11 - OEM $129.99Thermaltake Extreme Spirit II Northbridge Cooler, for All NorthBridge Chipsets, w/ LED Fan, CL-C0034$16.99HDHomeRun Networked Digital TV Tuner$168.99Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM $5.99Arctic Silver ACN-60ML (2-PC-SET) Thermal material Remover & Surface Purifier - OEM $5.99Total$825.90