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*Official* Asus P5N7A-VM uATX HTPC Motherboard Thread

post #1 of 1124
Thread Starter 
Finally took delivery of the new P5N7A-VM this afternoon.

Looking forward to putting this board through its paces, and seeing if it really lives up to all the positive reviews around it.

My build is based on an E8400 'Wolfdale' chip, paired to 2x2gb Corsair XMS PC6400 5-5-5-15 DIMMS. Not a beast, but very capable for my intended use.







In its final setup, this board will be tied to a Pioneer Elite VSX-91THX AVR, which repeats to a Pioneer Elite 1150HD display.

My primary goal is playback of bluray dumps off either locally attached storage, or possibly NAS, depending on which case this build ends up in.

As all reviews mention, this board is evolutionary more then revolutionary so I'm expecting marginal performance increases over the 8200 chipset...but much less nuances/bugs and increased stability/reliability/driver support, all crucial for HTPC builds, when compared to ATI and Intels offerings.
post #2 of 1124
After reading through WAY too many posts on the DG45ID, I came to a disappointing conclusion that it was lacking the "just works" factor. I need something that
- reliably goes to sleep and wakes up without problem
- can connect to a TV, (though not through a receiver at the current time) with ease
- plays ripped DVDs without problems
- plays Blu-ray discs easily without changing obscure settings
- In general, I need something that just works, out of the box!

Here's hoping that this is the board! I'm looking forward to early adopter's reviews...
post #3 of 1124
Hello !

I hope someone already got the board. Where have you got it ?

I had a 8200 board but i had major problems with it. Mainly it could not handle high bitrate content properly. Several times i had audio/video sync problems. The EVR renderer showed slower framerates than it should have been (with 50% cpu usage). I think it did not have the horsepower for the postprocessing/color space conversion/frame rate conversion.

I hope this new board will work propperly.
post #4 of 1124
Thanks for starting this thread. I posted this elsewhere, but will place here also.

I have a system running that I built from a board I got from a friend. Runs great so far.

I spent time with getting the right drivers, so here is what I'm using and where I got them:
Chipset drivers: NF 20.08
http://www.nvidia.com/object/nforce_vista_20.08.html

GF drivers: GF 180.43 (beta)
http://www.nvidia.com/object/winvist...0.43_beta.html

HDMI audio driver: NF 1.00.0.37
http://www.nvidia.com/object/nforce_...1.00.0.37.html

BIOS: P5N7A-VM BIOS 0404
http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1...79&modelmenu=1
Go to download link on LHS to get the right BIOS for your OS flavor.

System I built:
2x2GB Corsair DDR2-800
Vista 32
C2D E7200
Silverstone HTPC chassis
Hiper HFA-10828-C2 CPU Cooler
Sony/NEC Optiarc BC5500A Bluray Drive
Cyberlink PowerDVD 8.0.2021.50

Connects to 7.1 with Denon AVR-2309C and HK speakers. HDMI to my Panasonic 42" HDTV.

I don't overclock, so I have no advice on this.
post #5 of 1124
Quote:
Originally Posted by alanwww1 View Post

Hello !

I hope someone already got the board. Where have you got it ?

you can buy it on newegg for $120. In stock. Ordered one today.
post #6 of 1124
edit: oops wrong thread. I'm very tempted by this board but there are no small microatx cases.. so I'll probably wait for mini-itx
post #7 of 1124
Ordered mine yesterday (Nice first review on Newegg editorman). It will be here today. I'll create a build thread when I get the time.
post #8 of 1124
Quote:
Originally Posted by James5mith View Post

Ordered mine yesterday (Nice first review on Newegg editorman). It will be here today. I'll create a build thread when I get the time.

Cool. I'm building a second one this weekend for a relative ... pressure is really on now!
post #9 of 1124
Order this board yesterday and it arrives today. Newegg rocks!

The one thing I am concerned about are the BIOS updates. Can someone who has already updated their board explain how they did it, and does this board make it easy to update the BIOS using a flash drive?

Thanks,

Steven
post #10 of 1124
Few questions for owners only. I only expect simple answers.

1) What are your Vista 3d/aero scores?
2) Does it sleep & resume without problems? (must wake up only when requested)
3) Does evr/aero work with tmt when playing blu-ray/hd dvd?
4) Do custom resolutions work? Can you force resolutions without the proper EDID on the other side?
5) Can you output dd/dts/lpcm at the same time in vmc/tmt without choosing one or the other in control panel?
6) Do you get mlpcm through the receiver fine?
7) Is 24p smooth for both hd & sd content (IVT)?
8) Is there any noise from the board when minimizing/maximizing/scrolling/etc. even from very close distance?
9) Does the resolution stick at all times or does it revert to 800x600 after using remote desktop for example?
10) Does it post with 4 sticks at 4-4-4-12?
11) Is tmt stutter free through MM/VMC?
12) Does it have all the possible options for overclocking? Any problems with mild 30% overclock without touching the voltages (except vdimm)?

Thanks. More to come later.
post #11 of 1124
Mine arrives tomorrow.

Will house it in OrigenAE S10V, with slot drive and E4850 CPU, 2 Gigs RAM, and 64 Gig Samsung 2.5" RAMdrive. Basically just lifting all my components out of my current G35 machine.

Will run Vista 32 and Total Media Theater - will use my 30 Terabyte server as media source, as well as central iTunes, photos, video, etc library.

Building it to primarily to run cool, so don't figure I need a huge CPU, thanks to the NV 9300.

I'm drooling already Will build over weekend.
post #12 of 1124
does anyone know if I could use the video card slot for 1 of my 2 AverTV combo cards (M780). Or would this idea just cause headaches.
post #13 of 1124
Just a quick heads up to help anyone else who is as dumb as I am:

When looking for drivers, look for NForce, 7 Series, 730i.

I was looking for nForcce 9 series, which obviously doesn't exist.

Btw.... 180MB for chipset drivers?!? That is huge!
post #14 of 1124
ASUS P5N7A-VM Motherboard Review
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...2333126,00.asp

I just bought mine.
post #15 of 1124
Quote:
Originally Posted by James5mith View Post

Just a quick heads up to help anyone else who is as dumb as I am:

When looking for drivers, look for NForce, 7 Series, 730i.

I was looking for nForcce 9 series, which obviously doesn't exist.

Btw.... 180MB for chipset drivers?!? That is huge!

The chipset driver package includes the video drivers, uncheck that tab when loading the platform drivers, download the 180.43 GPU betas, they are much better than the 178s in the package.
post #16 of 1124
Really interested to know if you get this working reliably with 7.1 and 5.1 sound. I have so far been put off all my other potential choices by flaky support for audio. Also has anyone had any chance to do some power tests and to test whether it sleeps / wakes up properly?

Cheers
post #17 of 1124
Well,

I finished my setup last night/this morning. Motherboard from Newegg came with the 0404 BIOS already installed.

Installation and setup was painless using HDMI out into a Onkyo TX-SR606 receiver, then to my TV. No issues with HDMI sync, or screwy resolutions.

I also did my first boot with my Q6600 and 4x2GB G.Skill DIMM's.

It just worked. No issues, no having to boot with 2 DIMM's first and then go back and populate the others. No issues with the video not displaying, etc.

I'm currently using all of the latest drivers, except for video. (I downloaded the 178.24's instead of the 180.43's. I'll update those later.

My only problem with my build now has nothing to do with the motherboard. I have the Antec Fusion Black case, and I put an aftermarket PSU in it. Now I can't power the internal IR receiver, as it takes that proprietary little attachment from the Antec PSU.

As of right now (Since I don't have time to do more testing until this weekend) I'm ecstatic with this board/setup.


Asus P5N7A-VM motherboard w/ 0404 BIOS
Q6600 2.4GHz Quad Core CPU
Zalman 8700NT CPU HSF
8GB (4x2GB) G.Skill DDR2-800 RAM (5-5-5-15)
2x 1TB hdd's (AHCI)
LG BD/HDDVD/DVD-RW drive (AHCI)
Hauppauge HVR-2250 (Beta drivers with QAM working)
Vista Home Premium x64 w/ SP1 and TV Pack
Antec Fusion 430 Black case w/ Enermax Enlobal fans
Enermax 535w Whisper PSU

post #18 of 1124
Questions:

Could you please report on whether the computer is going to sleep and staying asleep? Is there any funky half-asleep mode, where the fans are running, but it won't boot up?

Are there any limits on what kind of Ram you can use?

The Asus website it says it comes with an IDE to SATA power adapter... is that correct?
post #19 of 1124
Quote:
Originally Posted by editorman View Post


Connects to 7.1 with Denon AVR-2309C and HK speakers. HDMI to my Panasonic 42" HDTV.

I don't overclock, so I have no advice on this.

Just to be clear can you confirm multichannel sound through HDMI to the Denon?

I have a 1909 and 790gx (I know ati vs nvidia) and ccc sees my receiver as dvi.

I know they are 2 different animals I just want to confirm the 9300 works before making the switch.

Thanks
post #20 of 1124
Quote:
Originally Posted by makryger View Post

Questions:

Could you please report on whether the computer is going to sleep and staying asleep? Is there any funky half-asleep mode, where the fans are running, but it won't boot up?

Are there any limits on what kind of Ram you can use?

The Asus website it says it comes with an IDE to SATA power adapter... is that correct?

That part I haven't tested yet. I am so used to my old HTPC being on all the time because it wouldn't sleep that I haven't tested sleep on the new one.

As for the power adapter, I didn't see one, but I wasn't really paying attention, sorry.
post #21 of 1124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooch View Post

Just to be clear can you confirm multichannel sound through HDMI to the Denon?

I have a 1909 and 790gx (I know ati vs nvidia) and ccc sees my receiver as dvi.

I know they are 2 different animals I just want to confirm the 9300 works before making the switch.

Thanks

Confirmed! Full 7.1. Sounds great.
post #22 of 1124
Quote:
Originally Posted by makryger View Post

Questions:

Could you please report on whether the computer is going to sleep and staying asleep? Is there any funky half-asleep mode, where the fans are running, but it won't boot up?

Are there any limits on what kind of Ram you can use?

The Asus website it says it comes with an IDE to SATA power adapter... is that correct?

Completed my build last night and the computer goes to sleep and stays asleep. I can even wake it up with a usb keyboard which I couldn't do with aprevious XFX board.

Not sure about RAM limitations, the two strips of Kingston DDR2-667 I was using worked fine.

My board did not come with a IDE to SATA power adaptor.

Love this board so far.
post #23 of 1124
Quote:
Originally Posted by editorman View Post

Confirmed! Full 7.1. Sounds great.

Thanks this 790gx has been a nightmare. Not just the boards fault the POS Omaura case had something to do with it.

Can't wait to dump it but I need FW so I'm going to wait for the Gigabyte.

Anyone want to buy a DFI Lanparty Jr. 790gx-m2rs I have 2 1 brand new in the box
post #24 of 1124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier View Post

ASUS P5N7A-VM Motherboard Review
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...2333126,00.asp

I just bought mine.

Just snagged one from eBay. What do you guys think about the statement that fast CPU does not matter with this board? Between E7200 for $110 and E8400 for $160, which would you choose?

Quote:


This is a budget microATX motherboard made for budget systemsin fact Nvidia suggests that spending more on the GPU or RAM and less on the CPU would produce a faster overall machine. So we're going to test it that way, using a 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo E6550 just as we did in testing the DG45ID from Intel. The graphics processor and memory bandwidth is the limiting factor here anyway. We used the latest drivers from Nvidia together with the latest version of PowerDVD 8 Ultra for hi-def video testing.
post #25 of 1124
Got mine up last night (lol) Was the easiest HTPC setup ever. I'm still waiting for the -66 Liteon BR drive to arrive. Using the hdmi to my sammie 56" dlp. The 730i auto-detected my dlp and set refresh rate to 59hz. I only had to adjust the screen size a little bit smaller. 720p DVD played at 1% cpu load and looked great. Had DD5.1 with the fiber optic connection. Very happy so far, will update with BD cpu load asap.

Asus P5n7a-vm
E6300 not OC'ing
2 gig of g-skill pc800
post #26 of 1124
Quote:
Originally Posted by James5mith View Post



Installation and setup was painless using HDMI out into a Onkyo TX-SR606 receiver, then to my TV. No issues with HDMI sync, or screwy resolutions.

I connect this MB to Onkyo SR705 and then to a 720p TV.
The desktop is blurry and does not fit the screen even it says 1280x720@60.

The color also seems way off, had a strong red push.


Everything was fine under VGA to the same 720p TV.
Directly connect HDMI to TV has the same symptom.

The strange thing is when I play bluray using HDMI connection, the picture fit the screen right unlike desktop.


Last, the 730i chipset gets too hot and hangs my machine every time until I put a 120mm fan on top of it.
post #27 of 1124
Is everyone here experiencing heat issues like lymzy? This is a big issue for me, since i've bought a slim case...
post #28 of 1124
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlmc View Post

Is everyone here experiencing heat issues like lymzy? This is a big issue for me, since i've bought a slim case...

No heat issues here. I have a matx case that allow for full height cards. Also have a mini ninja on my cpu and the fan is over the chipset heatsink but not blowing down on it. Temp per Speedfan is 32 under load. Barely warm when I touch it.
post #29 of 1124
Ok, ok, I've caved in. Will buy one of these boards on Ebay. It seems like there are minimal issues with builds so far.

Plan:
- Apex DM387 uATX case (really sleak case, fits perfectly with my setup)
- P5N7A-VM motherboard
- 250 GB Seagate HDD (i find that I don't need that much space. I'm actually getting by fine with 120 gb right now)
- intel e7200 CPU
- Samsung SH-S223Q DVD Burner (not ready to pay for blu-ray+software... yet.)
- 2x2GB 800 MHz Crucial Ballistix Ram
- Vista Home Premium 32 bit

And all that for less than $400.

Will report back when everything gets put together...
post #30 of 1124
No heat issue here either.. antec fusion case. Probably one of the quickest/easiest builds I ever did with a new motherboard.
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