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*Official* Intel G45 DG45ID microATX HTPC Motherboard Thread

post #1 of 2570
Thread Starter 
NOTE: There are two Intel G45 motherboards: DG45ID (microATX) and DG45FC (mini-ITX).
Click here to go to the sister thread for the smaller, mini-ITX version of this motherboard.




Finally! The wait is almost over for the Intel DG45ID microATX motherboard. The SKU for the Intel DG45ID showed up in a distributor database this morning, and due to hit retailers as early as 7/24/2008. This is one of the "next gen" HTPC-oriented boards many of us have been waiting for. Why?

√ Full hardware-accelerated decoding of MPEG2, H.264 AVC and VC1 (all three Bluray codecs) thanks to the Intel GMA X4500 HD IGP
√ 8 Channel (aka 7.1) uncompressed LPCM audio over HDMI output (HDMI v1.3a)
√ Integrated HDMI/DVI/PAVP/Display Port
√ Dual memory channel support (8Gb max memory - 4 x 2Gb DIMMs)

As soon as I get my hands on it, a build log with pics will commence, along with a build log for the mini-ITX version. I think this microATX version will be the bigger seller between it and the mini-ITX version. The single PCIe 1x slot of the mini-ITX version will be too expansion-limited for many people.

I expect this board to be "rock solid" just like Intel boards always have been, based on building many systems in the past. With the IGP (integrated graphics processor) handling the brunt of the 1080p video decoding, it means a low-cost CPU (less than $100) can be coupled with this motherboard to set a new standard in cost-to-performance ratio.

Manual: Intel Desktop Board DG45ID Product Guide (PDF)
BIOS/Drivers: Latest DG45ID Motherboard BIOS and driver updates page
More info: Official product page for Intel DG45ID motherboard

post #2 of 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by odditory View Post

Finally! The wait is almost over, because look what new SKU I found in Ingram Micro's database this morning: Intel DG45ID, also known as the uATX (microATX) G45 board. This is the first and only G45 SKU coming up right now with an actual ETA, soonest is 7/24/2008. It's interesting to see the uATX form factor will be the first G45 board out of the gate, as many people are anticipating it to build ultra-small HTPC's to be able to decode and play back 1080p BluRay with no additional discrete graphics card required. For now a screenshot of the specs and availability will have to suffice, and as soon as I get my hands on it, my build log with pics will commence.

Note Ingram Micro is a distribution channel so this is reference information only. online retailers like newegg may have it +/- a few days ahead or after the ETA's noted below in stock status screen shot.

NOTE: As soon as I see the Asus Xonar HDAV hit distribution channel, I will announce it too in a separate thread, since many are anticipating it!



Ingram Micro stock status as of 7/18/2008

There's already a couple of G45 threads dealing with similar issues.

IM UK keep moving the date a week at a time. I even spoke to our account manager on Wednesday who assured me that the FC (not ID) boards were arriving that day, would be booked into the warehouse over the next couple of days and I would most certainly receive my order on Monday 21st. I checked the website the next day and, shock of shocks, the ETA had moved to 30/07/08. This is the third time this has happened since they added the SKU.

Perhaps IM US are more reliable but I wouldn't hold my breath. Looks like August maybe even September is more realistic.

Of course I'd be more than happy to be proved wrong.

Wo0zy

Edit: You just posted in one of the threads I was referring to and my comments regarding ETA's for FC were from IM UK.
post #3 of 2570
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wo0zy View Post

There's already a couple of G45 threads dealing with similar issues.

IM UK keep moving the date a week at a time. I even spoke to our account manager on Wednesday who assured me that the FC (not ID) boards were arriving that day, would be booked into the warehouse over the next couple of days and I would most certainly receive my order on Monday 21st. I checked the website the next day and, shock of shocks, the ETA had moved to 30/07/08. This is the third time this has happened since they added the SKU.

Perhaps IM US are more reliable but I wouldn't hold my breath. Looks like August maybe even September is more realistic.

Of course I'd be more than happy to be proved wrong.

Wo0zy

Ingram, in general, is pretty reliable with ETA's because when they put in an exact date, it's usually based on a conversation between Ingram and Intel directly. Case in point I had back-ordered a Q9450 CPU (ETA was a few months out) and they got the part in on the exact date that had been set the months prior. Obviously anything can happen, but fingers crossed!
post #4 of 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by odditory View Post

Ingram, in general, is pretty reliable with ETA's because when they put in an exact date, it's usually based on a conversation between Ingram and Intel directly. Case in point I had back-ordered a Q9450 CPU (ETA was a few months out) and they got the part in on the exact date that had been set the months prior. Obviously anything can happen, but fingers crossed!

Great news!!

IM UK are terrible. They always miss quoted ETA's for this sort of thing

I'll cross my fingers as well although the FC situation doesn't fill me with confidence (see edit)

Wo0zy
post #5 of 2570
Here in Israel one of the ASUS distributors have an ASUS G43 motherboard (full size ATX though) in stock.

I hope the G45 motherboards will come shortly.
post #6 of 2570
Sparco.com has a shipping date of July 22nd for the DG45ID. I spoke to the sales department yesterday and was told they are expecting to ship on that date (even though the website also lists 8/11 as a ship date for some of the west coast warehouses). I guess I'll find out in a couple of days.
post #7 of 2570
Deleted.
post #8 of 2570
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryBumkin View Post

Sparco.com has a shipping date of July 22nd for the DG45ID. I spoke to the sales department yesterday and was told they are expecting to ship on that date (even though the website also lists 8/11 as a ship date for some of the west coast warehouses). I guess I'll find out in a couple of days.

A lot of times the sales dopes in these companies only repeat what their computer states; it's common that nobody bothers to continually check up on ETA until days after the product has missed it's last known ETA and still hasn't shown up.

The joys of online shopping (some companies are worse than others) when they take your money and say something's in stock and then weeks start rolling by ...

Hope you get it though!
post #9 of 2570
Wow. I was going to skip this because of the delay and because of how well my system is running now, but at only $100 I'm picking one up for sure. I'm sure I'll be able to sell my P5K-E and 2600XT for more than the price of this MB.

Now I'll be able to get my tuner card away from my PSU and get rid of the minor hum bars I see with NTSC. The 2600XT heatsink just takes up too much space.
post #10 of 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsb View Post

Fox haters are ignorant. People who approve of DNR are more ignorant. People not moving to HDM are the most ignorant.

Not sure which Fox you are referring to, but if it's the one I think, I don't need to even consider your next two statements.
post #11 of 2570
Whats the lowest power c2d you can get away with on these boards for all HD playback needs?

Also, will there be any deinterlacing issues (similar to 780G/8200 and different AMD CPUs)?
post #12 of 2570
As low a CPU as you want. All decoding is done in the Intel 4500 gfx chipset even for VC1 and H.264. I'm personally thinking of pairing it with a Celeron 420 or 430. If you wanted to get fancy, you could waste ten bucks and put an E1200 (Dual-Core Celeron) in there. All those parts are low-power 65nm parts btw.

I see a placeholder on Buy.com for this board. The price looks about right. I also saw a press release stating that Cyberlink Live is being bundled with the retail version of this motherboard. That will bring "Slingbox" functionality to it.


This is what I'm contemplating for a build. All parts Newegg except for the mobo...

>Intel DG45ID iG45 "Icedale" motherboard

>Intel Celeron 430 Conroe 1.8 Box

>OCZ 2GB DDR2 800 kit

>WD Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 SATA OEM

>LITE-ON Black SATA Blu-ray DH-4O1S-11 OEM

>Antec Aluminum Veris Fusion Black 430 HTPC Case with IR receiver - Retail


All of this comes in shy of the mid 5s.




Oh, this is interesting too if you have been following Centrino 2...

http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS4098690460.html
post #13 of 2570
I noticed while going thru the manual for this board a header for a Microsoft capable IR receiver and repeater. Is this just a substitute for the USB one that Microsoft sells? If so, where does one find one of these?
post #14 of 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by bondisdead View Post

I noticed while going thru the manual for this board a header for a Microsoft capable IR receiver and repeater. Is this just a substitute for the USB one that Microsoft sells? If so, where does one find one of these?

probably so for cases with built in Ir. No need for a USB receiver then.
post #15 of 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by odditory View Post


I have to add, anyone that's been building PC's as long as I have (over 16 years) and has used Intel boards, will know that they're rock solid. Historically they weren't the highest performers since there weren't overclocking abilities compared to Asus and others, but that was an ok tradeoff for boards that didn't crash. Only more recently did Intel start recognizing the enthusiast community when the D975XBX board came out. This Intel G45 board is yet another "blue themed" box and board in Intel's line targeted at enthusiasts. Intel's boards really are "reference" boards, and it's going to be tough or impossible for Asus, Gigabyte and others to use this chipset but set themselves apart with their version of the board. With an HTPC people want a rock-solid "appliance" like experience, with no crashing or overheating because the motherboard company took shortcuts on components or quality of voltage regulators to increase their profit margin. This won't be the case with this Intel G45 board, and it's going to be *my* HTPC reference board!

That's really interesting (whole thread is, actually.) I just assumed I would have to step up and buy a 3GHz or so cpu, thinking I wouldn't have the luxury of oc'ing with a 'reference' board..

Thanks for the thread, it looks like a great board. I was expecting sticker shock, but there is none.

Must of been in the cards when I found a deal for the Antec Mini P180 case for $80 shipped from the 'egg earlier in the week! Wasn't sure what board I was gonna use, now it seems pretty clear. Thanks again.
post #16 of 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by bondisdead View Post

I noticed while going thru the manual for this board a header for a Microsoft capable IR receiver and repeater. Is this just a substitute for the USB one that Microsoft sells? If so, where does one find one of these?

http://www.meritline.com/front-panel...receiver1.html and scroll down.
post #17 of 2570
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bondisdead View Post

I noticed while going thru the manual for this board a header for a Microsoft capable IR receiver and repeater. Is this just a substitute for the USB one that Microsoft sells? If so, where does one find one of these?

Good question. Sounds like what you're asking about is the Philips-developed Microsoft IR module, OVU4130. As a big fan of the Microsoft USB-based IR eye (it works brilliantly), I've noticed that some of the better HTPC case manufacturers are supplying this module as an add-on to their cases. Check out this link. This is OrigenAE's OVU4130 module, which would assumably interface with either the motherboard header or else just a USB header. It's great, because it's a clean installation with the IR eye being inside the case so no external mess.

Here's the description for this module:

The OrigenAE IR221 uses the new Philips developed Microsoft IR module (OVU4130) for total Windows Vista Media Center functionality. This IR Module integrates seamlessly into the Microsoft Vista operating systems and connects via an internal USB cable. This module also supports the IR Blasting feature and includes the external IR transmitters.

- IR transceiver fully dedicated for Microsoft
Windows Vista
- fits S21T, S16T, S16V, S14V, S10V
- Incorporates Microsoft recommended
RC6 IR protocol
- Resume from standby (S1, S3, S4*, S5*
supported)
- Supports 2 independent IR emitters
- Microsoft RLC structure compliant

Check out the wiring diagram to this module HERE



I guess the ultimate question is going to be whether we can buy the OVU4130 module generically by itself, rather than having to pay a markup by getting it from an HTPC case manufacturer!
post #18 of 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUronl View Post

>OCZ 2GB DDR2 800 kit

>WD Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 SATA OEM

Personally, I only trust Crucial. (Micron) For mine I ordered the 4GB CT2KIT25672AA800 ($83)... in two matched 2GB sticks, to get interleaving. Ballistix is a needless expense for such a small speed improvement, IMHO, and it consumes more power. When the economy collapses I may be running this thing on solar panels.

And it seems like WD has a bad reputation. I only trust Seagate, and have ordered the Barracuda 7200.11 1TB, which costs little more than the 500 or 750GB. ($153) Very low power consumption (idles at 8w), and perpendicular recording for very fast access.


Quote:
Originally Posted by UUronl View Post

Oh, this is interesting too if you have been following Centrino 2...

http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS4098690460.html

HEY, would this work in the DG45ID? I just bought the E8200 for $150, but it's 64w and the Bentrino 2 is 35w.


And it gives me confidence that odditory endorses the IR221, although I'd rather go with a UHF remote. My system will need IR blasters for the media equipment, but I'd like to control it with a UHF remote of some kind.
post #19 of 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by quantumstate View Post

Personally, I only trust Crucial. (Micron) For mine I ordered the 4GB CT2KIT25672AA800 ($83)... in two matched 2GB sticks, to get interleaving. Ballistix is a needless expense for such a small speed improvement, IMHO, and it consumes more power. When the economy collapses I may be running this thing on solar panels.

And it seems like WD has a bad reputation. I only trust Seagate, and have ordered the Barracuda 7200.11 1TB, which costs little more than the 500 or 750GB. ($153) Very low power consumption (idles at 8w), and perpendicular recording for very fast access.


I have never had any issues with OCZ or with WD. YMMV. I don't need this PC to do much... media playback and some surfing. I think it's too easy to get carried away when building PCs. Keeping the actual requirements in mind can save you a lot of money. Fastest and best isn't always necessary...


Quote:
Originally Posted by quantumstate View Post

HEY, would this work in the DG45ID? I just bought the E8200 for $150, but it's 64w and the Bentrino 2 is 35w.

No, that link specifies not only the new mobile chips, but the mobile version of the G45 chipset - the GM45. I think that MSI and a few others have mobos coming out with GM45 northbridges.
post #20 of 2570
I've tried to demonstrate that balance in the above post.
post #21 of 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUronl View Post

As low a CPU as you want. All decoding is done in the Intel 4500 gfx chipset even for VC1 and H.264. I'm personally thinking of pairing it with a Celeron 420 or 430. If you wanted to get fancy, you could waste ten bucks and put an E1200 (Dual-Core Celeron) in there. All those parts are low-power 65nm parts btw.

I am considering this basic setup, though I was thinking about a Q6600 CPU. I plan to use this HTPC in my living room to serve my bigscreen, but I also want to run some media servers on it like Twonky/TVersity for other TVs in my house which will require some transcoding in the background. I'll need the additional CPU power for that right? The 4500 only handles decoding for what I'm sending to my local display?

Thanks
post #22 of 2570
Careful with that particular CPU. I read somewhere on here (or Intel's website) that there might be some compatibility issues with Q6600. Perhaps the E8400 or Q9xxx if you need that much processing power.

Ah, yes.
Here

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...&postcount=118

and here

http://processormatch.intel.com/Comp...ardname=dg45id
post #23 of 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_Esc View Post

Careful with that particular CPU. I read somewhere on here (or Intel's website) that there might be some compatibility issues with Q6600. Perhaps the E8400 or Q9xxx if you need that much processing power.

Yes, this is true. The Q6600 B3 stepping (SL9UM) is not compatible with the DG45ID motherboard. Only the Q6600 G0 (SLACR) stepping will work.
post #24 of 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_Esc View Post

Careful with that particular CPU. I read somewhere on here (or Intel's website) that there might be some compatibility issues with Q6600. Perhaps the E8400 or Q9xxx if you need that much processing power.

Ah, yes.
Here

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...&postcount=118

and here

http://processormatch.intel.com/Comp...ardname=dg45id

Thanks for the info!

Trying to understand if this means ALL Q6600's are not compatible or if certain (perhaps new) models are? The intel site says something about the compatibility differing per processor revision.
post #25 of 2570
[quote=Equally_Wrong;14332742][quote=Rob_Esc;14332232]Careful with that particular CPU. I read somewhere on here (or Intel's website) that there might be some compatibility issues with Q6600. Perhaps the E8400 or Q9xxx if you need that much processing power.
Quote:



Yes, this is true. The Q6600 B3 stepping (SL9UM) is not compatible with the DG45ID motherboard. Only the Q6600 G0 (SLACR) stepping will work.

Ok so this one should be fine right? I've not purchased anything yet.
post #26 of 2570
[quote=BrianAZ;14332789][quote=Equally_Wrong;14332742]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_Esc View Post

Careful with that particular CPU. I read somewhere on here (or Intel's website) that there might be some compatibility issues with Q6600. Perhaps the E8400 or Q9xxx if you need that much processing power.

Ok so this one should be fine right? I've not purchased anything yet.

Yes, you da man!
post #27 of 2570
I don't quite get what is so inciting about this board. I am planning on building an HTPC soon, and I have seen a lot of people holding out for this board. What makes it any better then say the 8200/8300?
post #28 of 2570
Quote:
Originally Posted by thequinox View Post

I don't quite get what is so inciting about this board. I am planning on building an HTPC soon, and I have seen a lot of people holding out for this board. What makes it any better then say the 8200/8300?

given Intel's complete domination of CPUs, most don't even consider AMD platforms
post #29 of 2570
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thequinox View Post

I don't quite get what is so inciting about this board. I am planning on building an HTPC soon, and I have seen a lot of people holding out for this board. What makes it any better then say the 8200/8300?

The issues and problems with the 8200 and 8300 have been discussed ad-nauseum in this forum, so I won't spend time rehashing. Consider I've actually been an Nvidia/Purevideo junkie for at least the last three years and for my HTPC's have bought nothing BUT Nvidia motherboards and GPU's for the hardware accelerated decoding features. I was aware of the Intel G35 boards but they still didn't compel me. When the G45 was announced and I read all about it, I was convinced it was going to be a "next generation" HTPC chipset. On top of that I have too many Intel CPU's and spare parts laying around to want to move to AMD.

As far as I've read in the official 8200 thread, there are differences in the 8200/8300 boards with regard to multi-channel audio depending on who makes the board (i.e. gigabyte, evga, etc) some don't do 8-channel LPCM over HDMI but rather just stereo, some have garbled sound when resuming from sleep requiring a reboot, etc.

I don't feel like dealing with issues and surprises in my next HTPC build.

Many people that want an Nvidia based microATX HTPC-oriented motherboard are skipping the 8200/8300 and waiting for Nvidia's next gen mobo (i.e. 9300/9400 or whatever).

The G45 is interesting to many of us because of vertical integration: the integrated graphics processor is by Intel (and a very powerful one), and the audio chip is also by Intel, rather than it being a Realtek or some other third party audio chip thrown onto the board. Because of that vertical integration the ability to bitstream audio will have a better chance of happening sooner since Intel didn't have to coordinate PAVP/PAP compliance on the G45 with any third party audio chip supplier, and coordination with a software player company (Arcsoft, Cyberlink, etc) should be easier.

I could go on, but to boil it down to a single reason, it's probably the IGP and it's ability to effortlessly HD decode all three Bluray codecs with only a very cheap $60-$100 CPU on board that's the biggest selling point with the G45.

For as low as a $199 pricepoint including the motherboard, memory and a CPU, you've got smooth Bluray playback and 8-channel LPCM audio over HDMI that actually works - that's why it's a big deal.
post #30 of 2570
  • it'll work straight out of the box with Vista 32/64
  • the drivers will have no glitches
  • all the HDMI handshakes with legacy, current and future HDMI devices will be flawless
  • we'll get HD audio LPCM and bitrate, when playing with PDVD or TMT without having to update, patch or blue screen anything
  • custom resolutions? no problem
  • and a bag of chips



Don't get me wrong. If anywhere offered a pre-order service in the UK, I'd have ordered one already, for all the reasons above (good post btw).
But I'm sure it won't be an easy start.
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