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Dell Zino HD - New mini HTPC - Page 5

post #121 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorona76 View Post

$369 + $39 shipping.

That shipping sucks...second thoughts...

Call them to cancel your order. They'll offer you $25 off the system.
post #122 of 5041
Does anyone know if I could get the upgraded model without the ATI card and add an Nvidia card myself? Does ordering the system without the graphics card mean they use a board without the slot available? I would really to have something like coreavc for the h264 stuff.
post #123 of 5041
Does the Zino use 3.5" hard drives?
post #124 of 5041
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

my question was more is it likely to be hard to add later, given the Zino's form factor?
...
But are you saying the 3200 should handle anything video, and only upgrade to the 4330 for hardcore gaming? Ditto for the CPU.

The first question is a good one. This may be above and beyond the usual blog/review requirements, but I wonder if Java Jack would be willing to take his Zino apart and maybe post some internal pics. I'd like to know what's built into the MB and what isn't. Is the CPU replacable? How many ram sockets and what kind? Fully integrated GPU or mPCIe? Any spare internal USB headers that might be used to mod in an internal IR receiver? Inquiring minds want to know.

The 3200 should have no problem with GPU accelerated h.264 decoding. The only difference from an HTPC standpoint is that the 4330 can do 7.1 LPCM audio over HDMI.
post #125 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by klas View Post

they are including Windows Vista now with base system.

Yeah, this afternoon when I looked it was Win7 Home Premium....should have jumped on it then...it's not so hot anymore with a lot more nickel & diming going on.
post #126 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorona76 View Post

Yeah, this afternoon when I looked it was Win7 Home Premium....should have jumped on it then...it's not so hot anymore with a lot more nickel & diming going on.

Yea, especially with the $40 shipping.

You can get the Revo for $169+tax:


http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthr...readid=1658709
post #127 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliftonite View Post

Does anyone know if I could get the upgraded model without the ATI card and add an Nvidia card myself? Does ordering the system without the graphics card mean they use a board without the slot available? I would really to have something like coreavc for the h264 stuff.

No. The discrete graphics option is using an MXM card designed into the platform aroudn the Radeon 4330. No plug in card option available.
post #128 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorona76 View Post

Yeah, this afternoon when I looked it was Win7 Home Premium....should have jumped on it then...it's not so hot anymore with a lot more nickel & diming going on.

Keep in mind, this is just day 1. As Acer responds to this by adjusting their own system offering, Dell is likely to respond in kind.

The platform is squarely aimed at the Revo box as the primary competition. It was not long ago that the Revo box was a Vista based solution. Now that they have defaulted to Win 7, Dell will see that and probably end up doing something similar.

This is a game of specmanship between Dell and Acer.
post #129 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan4081 View Post

Yea, especially with the $40 shipping.

You can get the Revo for $169+tax:


http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthr...readid=1658709

True but that is the single core atom play, not sure how robust that is going to be and no optical, smaller HDD, slower memory, etc.

The standard Dell Zino (non HD) has similar specs, though lower end graphics than the acer box.

The base Zino HD is similar in specs but a little more feature rich, but then it is 60 more + shipping.
post #130 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

True but that is the single core atom play, not sure how robust that is going to be and no optical, smaller HDD, slower memory, etc.

The standard Dell Zino (non HD) has similar specs, though lower end graphics than the acer box.

The base Zino HD is similar in specs but a little more feature rich, but then it is 60 more + shipping.

Yea, you would have to weigh what is important to you.

Zino Pros:
Faster Processor
Faster, Larger HD
DVD Rom Drive

Revo Pros:
Nvidia Graphics
$95 cheaper
post #131 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

...my question was more is it likely to be hard to add later, given the Zino's form factor?

I don't plan on gaming on this PC, just VOD and streaming. I want best resolution available from the source. I don't know what Fancast, Hulu, Netflix, etc. will do, but if they'll do 720p for example...I don't want to settle for 480p because my GPU won't handle it. But are you saying the 3200 should handle anything video, and only upgrade to the 4330 for hardcore gaming? Ditto for the CPU.

Thanks,
CD

Not sure if you read the blog I posted today, but I address some of this with the blog.

http://links.amd.com/ZinoHD

However, here is a little more for you to review. Very few sites are streaming HD today, but I think it is safe to say they are all headed that direction.

Now, I will have a better feel for this when I do more testing tomorrow. However, all the flash content I threw at it up till now has played back fine with the integrated graphics. I am going to try the HD stuff on the Hulu site tomorrow and will post back then.

The Radeon 3200 (UMA graphics) has done pretty well with OTA TV content (ATSC), streamed content over wireless network (DVD, music, etc), streamed conetent from the internet. I have not needed the discrete card yet for anything I have tried.

As for adding a BD later. mechanically it is pretty easy. Lid has a quick release button on back (so you can change colors), then there is a metal cover over the top of the chassis (under the colored lid). 1 screw removes that cover, 1 screw to remove the DVD drive, 2 screws to remove the bracket on the DVD drive and move it to BD drive and sata power/data cables.

You do need eyeglass type screw drivers as the screws are pretty small.

The only thing to be concerned with is making sure there are no compatability issues with the drive you are going to use. I only mention this because I did try 1 BD drive (an LG/Hitachi) and it would not recognize a disc. Tried another engineering sample from another vendor and it did work. However playback was suspect and stuttery. However, I don't know if this was an issue with the drive (being an ES) or the s/w I was using.

I think graphics and CPU could handle it as CPU load was around 25-30% and UVD appeared to be working.

I plan on testing this more later to find out the real cause.
post #132 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifyathinkaboutit View Post

Does the Zino use 3.5" hard drives?

Yes, 1 3.5" HDD.
post #133 of 5041
Well...I was trying to wait on some feedback regarding the advantages of higher frequency (1.6 GHz 2650) versus number of cores (the dual-core 3250), but I just pulled the trigger; I went up on the processor (got the 3250, but I'd still be interested in pros and cons versus the "included" 2650) and could not talk 2 different EPP agents into giving me the Win7 upgrade that was included this morning (found out from my 2nd agent, who I ended up ordering from, this just dropped today...and it was earlier than expected...and response has been greater than expected. They were finding a lot of people were just taking the Win7 and not upgrading, so [according to him] they were "losing" money on that config...which is why they had to switch back to only including Vista)...lol.

So...mine, with the 3250 and Win7 came in just under $3-hunee, with free shipping. Just found out not 2 nights ago that my wife was entitled to the EPP. Talk about good timing.

CD
post #134 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 View Post

The first question is a good one. This may be above and beyond the usual blog/review requirements, but I wonder if Java Jack would be willing to take his Zino apart and maybe post some internal pics. I'd like to know what's built into the MB and what isn't. Is the CPU replacable? How many ram sockets and what kind? Fully integrated GPU or mPCIe? Any spare internal USB headers that might be used to mod in an internal IR receiver? Inquiring minds want to know.

The 3200 should have no problem with GPU accelerated h.264 decoding. The only difference from an HTPC standpoint is that the 4330 can do 7.1 LPCM audio over HDMI.

with 4330 can I stick to the default sound card for the 7:1 LPCM or do I need to upgrade the sound card?

Will 4330 can ever do bitstreaming in the future? (I am aware It will need Arcsoft or PDVD to support this)
post #135 of 5041
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SVM View Post

with 4330 can I stick to the default sound card for the 7:1 LPCM or do I need to upgrade the sound card?

Will 4330 can ever do bitstreaming in the future? (I am aware It will need Arcsoft or PDVD to support this)

The 4330 does its own digital sound processing, so you don't need to spring for the soundblaster drivers.

The 4330 is not PAP compliant, so it will never be able to do bitstreaming unless someone comes up with some sort of "workaround".
post #136 of 5041
Crikey this thread exploded in just 12hrs ;-P

A few comments in here seem to suggest that the GPU is substantially faster and there's also an edge with the sound...
http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/12/d...starts-at-229/

I don't care about the greater RAM/HDD space you get for your buck as one can always improve those sort of things with after-market add-ons etc.
In-fact, I personally don't care about any sort of cost benefit analysis...

I just want to know the best all round performer when one compares similarly specced core components* of the two in Windows/Linux.

*CPU
Mem subsystem
PCIe bus
GPU
SATA bus
Audio

The comparisons should centre around general purpose computing and multimedia intensive tasks.
I'm personally not interested in 3d acceleration either, as you don't buy these sort of machines for gaming.

Can't wait to see some detailed comparative reviews!
post #137 of 5041
JJ, Sounds stupid since it should be able to but can you check the BIOS to see if this machine can run w/o the keyboard and mouse?

Thanks,
li
post #138 of 5041
I'd really like to know definitively:
- Which services can it stream fullscreen without jitter? Hulu, YouTube, YouTube "HD", etc?
- What codecs can it play 720p and 1080p without jitter, DivX, H264, etc?
I'll be waiting for proper performance tests and reviews before I buy.
post #139 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 View Post

Could you specifically test this video? Legend of the Seeker 1x01 is often used as a benchmark for HD streaming video...

Sure. I just got the unit back 10 mins ago. I will start setting everything back up.

So what was the verdict?
post #140 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by lidrummer View Post

JJ, Sounds stupid since it should be able to but can you check the BIOS to see if this machine can run w/o the keyboard and mouse?

Thanks,
li

Not sure what you mean bu run w/o kbd and mouse. This is really no different than any other HTPC.

I operate my main HTPC via remote only putting the unit to sleep instead of powering off. Use remote to wake it back up.

While I did not fully test the sleep functionality via remote, the unit is going to sleep on it's own and waking back up with kbd press. I would expect that the unit could be set to awaken the box with remote power press like any other HTPC.

FYI. the bios was locked so I can't get into it to see/change any settings.
post #141 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Well...I was trying to wait on some feedback regarding the advantages of higher frequency (1.6 GHz 2650) versus number of cores (the dual-core 3250), but I just pulled the trigger; I went up on the processor (got the 3250, but I'd still be interested in pros and cons versus the "included" 2650) ...
CD

According to the only benchmark I can find on this thing right now, the 2650e is not that great. http://www.cpubenchmark.net
Searchable list here http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

Code:
Processor                      Score
Atom 230 (Single Core)          312
Pentium 4 2.93 gig              408
AMD Athlon 2650e                408 
Celeron 440                     579  
Atom 330 (Dual Core)            619
Pentium Dual Core e5200         1634

Until someone can get a review on the base system and see if it is adequate or more bechnmarks show up either confirming or refuting the scores above (because these are submitted by people running the software on their machines, sometimes things can be misreported leading to erroneous results - which the 2650 may well suffer from here) I am staying away from the Base configuration.

Hopefully we can find some becnhmarks of the other Zino Processors so we can relate them to something we know.
post #142 of 5041
Quote:


Not sure what you mean bu run w/o kbd and mouse.

I mean w/o kbd and mouse plugged in. I know that some BIOS allow you to ignore the "no keyboard" error and was wondering if this one did as well.

li
post #143 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by lidrummer View Post

I mean w/o kbd and mouse plugged in. I know that some BIOS allow you to ignore the "no keyboard" error and was wondering if this one did as well.

li

Yes, there is an option to not report keyboard errors according to internal documentation regarding the Inspiron 400 (ZinoHD). It is the last option on the Main page in the BIOS.
post #144 of 5041
I'm desperately trying to figure out if the software upgrade on the sound card enables 5.1 surround. Does anybody have an idea/definitive answer?
post #145 of 5041
And, exactly what is the software upgrade? I couldn't determine that, either.
post #146 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctviggen View Post

And, exactly what is the software upgrade? I couldn't determine that, either.

sounds like BS if the software is needed to enable existing hardware functionality...
post #147 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphkaz View Post

sounds like BS if the software is needed to enable existing hardware functionality...

From what I've been able to find, the Sound Blaster software just offers more audio options, presumably for the analog audio. The system *should* be able to push 5.1 over HDMI without any additional software it seems, but I'd have to leave that to someone with an actual system to test. (*pokes JJ*)
post #148 of 5041
Yeah, we definitely need confirmation on what this box can do... too many open questions right now in order to pull the trigger and order one.

Primarily I want to know what the base box is capable of - will it do 5.1 over HDMI?, can it run Hulu fullscreen? and can it record 2 shows while watching a 3rd for PVR capability (with HDHomerun)? If the answer to any of the above is No - what upgrades would be needed in order to make it happen?
post #149 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by akirhol View Post

From what I've been able to find, the Sound Blaster software just offers more audio options, presumably for the analog audio. The system *should* be able to push 5.1 over HDMI without any additional software it seems, but I'd have to leave that to someone with an actual system to test. (*pokes JJ*)

I did find this on wikipedia

---
X-Fi MB is a software solution that enables basic X-Fi features on computers with integrated audio into an X-Fi device. It requires some degree of driver support from the audio hardware manufacturer. X-Fi MB is commonly bundled with motherboards and computer systems, and is comparable to an X-Fi XtremeAudio.
-----

Its possible that this is the "software enabling"... if so, I'm not sure this bodes well for true 5.1 surround.

Does anybody have any specific info on the chipset used?
post #150 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by klas View Post

Called Dell EPP and they couldn't order one... but I canceled my Home order though, they tried to lure me back

couldn't get one through my EPP either

waiting for reviews, but so long as this thing does well on full screen flash from youtube hd, hulu, espn360, and play nice with xbmc/boxee...I'm in. Well, no reason it can't do any of those, more interested on what the lowest config would be needed for those uses.
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