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AMD Zacate - the next great HTPC chip? - Page 3

post #61 of 940
Worth also noting that Asus is already showing off Sandy Bridge motherboards in all sizes, shapes, configs. I look very forward to January.
post #62 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

Worth also noting that Asus is already showing off Sandy Bridge motherboards in all sizes, shapes, configs. I look very forward to January.

It is indeed worth noting, I think sandybridge might have a very good system idle draw. I think some people have built current core i3 systems with a 25w idle. I am hoping for very good idle numbers on zacate, as I still think sandybridge is overkill for HTPC.
post #63 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Perhaps zero possibility. Zacate in microATX is like Atom in microATX (no such a mb). The southbridge "Hudson"-M1 FCH has only 4 PCIe lanes (one of them will be used for Gb LAN and one likely used for USB3) and zero PCI. It can't supply as many as 4 slots (with one exception: 1 x PCIe x4 [from Zacate], and 3 x PCIe x1). Moreover it is unlikely that a mb manufacturer adds a PCIe-to-PCI bridge in such a low-cost platform.

Thanks for the bad news. I guess that means one pcie slot that will be filled by my avermedia duet and no room for anything else. I guess I might make do with that.
post #64 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post
It is indeed worth noting, I think sandybridge might have a very good system idle draw. I think some people have built current core i3 systems with a 25w idle. I am hoping for very good idle numbers on zacate, as I still think sandybridge is overkill for HTPC.
I am confident that Zacate will come in with good numbers -- unless AMD has been way overhyping. I just like competition.
post #65 of 940
Well the (p)reviews are now out, and the overall power looks ok. It's an Atom-killer all right, beating the basic Atom, and competing heavily with a CULV/Ion-combo in all the benchmarks. Considdering that they also have the lower power consumption both on idle and during Cinebench it looks like a great product. As for gaming it seems to be pulling less power then the CULV/Ion, but as expected it pulls more power then the pure Atom-computer for this.

Looking at these numbers anyone actually who buys an Atom computer must be crazy.

http://pcper.com/article.php?aid=1039&type=expert&pid=8
post #66 of 940
post #67 of 940
Link is to the engadget item, which links to 5 benchmarks:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/16/a...-is-at-an-end/

If you are looking for a net-top style HTPC, it's going to be tough to beat this. I was hoping to hear some news about OEM systems already, but we'll see them soon I guess.
post #68 of 940
post #69 of 940
Idle power consumption
15W - andandtech.com
11W - hothardware.com
11.3W legitreviews.com
9.3W - pcper.com

33% cpu utilization for blue ray playback 60% for 264 playback, said it should improve with optimized drivers - hothardware.com

Its all starting to look pretty good, oh sample had usb3 nec chip on the board.

I think this is definitely the new winner, that does it after reading this stuff I'm first inline. Its nice to see AMD make something that is not just good because its cheaper again. My current system idles at over 60W with the avermedia duet. I think the duet must pull 5-10W at idle so this is going to be a huge improvement. Plus it will free up my athlon II X2 for more intensive applications, say gaming with a gts 450 card. I'm going to feel pretty stupid hooking up my 400W corsair psu to a 30W max system.
post #70 of 940
*sigh* there's always something just around the corner that keeps me from making my next HTPC. lol

The PC that I have hooked up to the plasma in my basement is SO loud and uses a ton of power. I was going to wait for Sandy Bridge to replace it, but this looks like it might be a better, or at least as good solution.
post #71 of 940
Hmm, looks like I'll be giving Zacate a skip. My personal minimum for a CPU is Celeron E3200 level and it looks like this is far from that. It's an improvement over the Atom, but it's certainly not leaps and bounds.
post #72 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Hmm, looks like I'll be giving Zacate a skip. My personal minimum for a CPU is Celeron E3200 level and it looks like this is far from that. It's an improvement over the Atom, but it's certainly not leaps and bounds.

What do you need all the cpu power for? Even an atom ion2 platform is suppose to play/record HD video and blue ray. I just think of HTPCs as an unlocked super duper apple TV type box(record/play/ and stream video). These systems are not meant to compete with full blown desktop or laptop hardware. Sandybridge core i3 will destroy this thing in cpu power, but again for HTPC who cares. I'm going down from athlon II X2 3.0ghz to this, which is a major drop in cpu performance. Of course I would never trade my core i3 laptop for a zacate equipped one.
post #73 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

What do you need all the cpu power for? Even an atom ion2 platform is suppose to play/record HD video and blue ray.

I've tried the Atom/ION route and it doesn't work for me. I watch a lot of videos with subtitles and I've encountered several that it won't play well since VobSub tends to break hardware acceleration (using ffdshow w/DXVA seems buggy at the moment). I've also found the Atom/ION choking on some Silverlight HD videos (e.g. Netflix - Legend of the Seeker episode 1 opening).

Going bare minimum on the CPU sounds nice in theory but having some CPU power to fall back on in case hardware acceleration doesn't work makes for a more hassle-free experience.
post #74 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

What do you need all the cpu power for?

If you have a large media library having a more capable CPU makes a big difference browsing the UI.
post #75 of 940
I don't see the Zacate as being a really awesome alternative to current HTPC favorites outside of the nettop/mini-ITX market. Frankly, the price of current desktop chips, motherboards and discrete GPU's is so low that the price differential between the Zacate and a much much more powerful system will be too small to justify NOT getting the full system. I mean, compare an athlon II 240 with 2GB of ram and a desktop 5450 with the zacate/Brazos combo. Price-wise, we're talking about $50-60 tops for MB/CPU each, plus $30 max for the GPU. Power savings aside, I just don't see it, even the atom doesn't have a good enough price/performance ratio to justify home-building one unless you want a super tiny system.

Mini-ITX builds are a bit different, since the design goal is different. I do see this being a huge boon for people stuck relying on underpowered Atom designs in really small clients. Ultimately, I think Zacate is a lot more exciting as a netbook chip than as an HTPC chip. Only time will tell.
post #76 of 940
Zacate is nothing special. The CPU is as slow as an Atom and the VIA NANO dual-core, which will be shipping as 40nm CPUs(current samples are 65nm) beats the pants off it in almost every CPU centric benchmark.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4023/t...-benchmarked/3

GPU wise, if you have a lot of interlaced videos you might want to think again, since 5450 can't pass Cheese Slices test and since Zacate's GPU is also 80SP only like the 5450, it's gonna fail miserably.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2931/4

http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/...450/CS5450.jpg

Maybe revisit this again in 2012 though, when the Krishna 28nm replacement of Zacate is available, it has better enhanced Bobcat CPU cores.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...3&postcount=57
post #77 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by owan View Post

I don't see the Zacate as being a really awesome alternative to current HTPC favorites outside of the nettop/mini-ITX market.

Mini-ITX builds are a bit different, since the design goal is different.

Even with Mini-ITX, the lines are getting blurred. More and more M-ITX cases are being released with sufficient cooling to handle low-power desktop parts without sounding like a jet engine. This past year we saw the likes of ASUS (M4A88T-I Deluxe) and GIGABYTE (GA-H55N-USB3) testing the waters with both boards arguably becoming the de facto standards for their respective platforms. ASUS has already announced their LGA-1155 M-ITX board and with the popularity of the GA-H55N-USB3, I'm sure GIGABYTE will release a M-ITX LGA-1155 eventually. I also recall seeing a M-ITX LGA-1155 prototype from MSI earlier this year. Back in 2009 when its only competition was the Atom/ION, Zacate would have been a huge hit. Now? The landscape has changed and there's just a lot of competition in the HTPC desktop space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by owan View Post

Ultimately, I think Zacate is a lot more exciting as a netbook chip than as an HTPC chip.

I heartily agree. Still, having more options to choose from is good.
post #78 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by owan View Post

I don't see the Zacate as being a really awesome alternative to current HTPC favorites outside of the nettop/mini-ITX market. Frankly, the price of current desktop chips, motherboards and discrete GPU's is so low that the price differential between the Zacate and a much much more powerful system will be too small to justify NOT getting the full system. I mean, compare an athlon II 240 with 2GB of ram and a desktop 5450 with the zacate/Brazos combo. Price-wise, we're talking about $50-60 tops for MB/CPU each, plus $30 max for the GPU. Power savings aside, I just don't see it, even the atom doesn't have a good enough price/performance ratio to justify home-building one unless you want a super tiny system.

Mini-ITX builds are a bit different, since the design goal is different. I do see this being a huge boon for people stuck relying on underpowered Atom designs in really small clients. Ultimately, I think Zacate is a lot more exciting as a netbook chip than as an HTPC chip. Only time will tell.

Well, look at it this way: what can you do with your Athlon II+5450 system that the Zocate system can't do? I can't think of one thing? Sure if you move up to the 5650 so that you can watch you 1080i content aswell and have full post processing, but compared to a 5450 setup, or even an IGP-setup this looks to be a great product. With this platform you can get a HTPC that can do whatever the Athlon II+5450 can do, but in a much smaller form factor with less power and hence less heat and noise.

Personally I'd love to see a small tablet running on Zacate with Windows 7 and a sexy little HDMI dock. Put it in the dock and you can bitstream Avatar in your home theatre. If you're watching sport and need to go make some food, pick it up and head to the kitchen.
post #79 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by zicoz View Post

Well, look at it this way: what can you do with your Athlon II+5450 system that the Zocate system can't do? I can't think of one thing?

Netflix HD (for the few shows that are actually available in HD for the PC), high bitrate 1080p VC-1 playback with the default WMV-DO decoder, high bitrate 1080p playback in Linux...
post #80 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

Even with Mini-ITX, the lines are getting blurred. More and more M-ITX cases are being released with sufficient cooling to handle low-power desktop parts without sounding like a jet engine. This past year we saw the likes of ASUS (M4A88T-I Deluxe) and GIGABYTE (GA-H55N-USB3) testing the waters with both boards arguably becoming the de facto standards for their respective platforms. ASUS has already announced their LGA-1155 M-ITX board and with the popularity of the GA-H55N-USB3, I'm sure GIGABYTE will release a M-ITX LGA-1155 eventually. I also recall seeing a M-ITX LGA-1155 prototype from MSI earlier this year. Back in 2009 when its only competition was the Atom/ION, Zacate would have been a huge hit. Now? The landscape has changed and there's just a lot of competition in the HTPC desktop space.


I heartily agree. Still, having more options to choose from is good.

True, there are a lot more mini-itx options, but it may be the case where fully-fledged mini-itx + CPU combos are substantially more expensive than a Brazos platform setup. Consider that a good ITX board will usually run you about $100, give or take. Add in an i3, or the equivalent Sandy Bridge, which is not a cheap chip, and you're well above what a Zacate will likely cost (based on the cost of an Atom platform) as an integrated platform. Thats ignoring that the integrated GPU on Zacate will outperform Clarkdale parts. So from a price standpoint the ITX market still seems like a possible win for Zacate, if only because AMD doesn't have the integrated GPU performance and features out of its desktop parts. The desktop AMD's are really cheap, but without a more powerful, bitstreaming IGP, its not a great option. If size isn't a big deal and you're spec-ing out a Brazos rig vs. a mATX rig, I think the desktop parts are a no-brainer.
post #81 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by owan View Post

I don't see the Zacate as being a really awesome alternative to current HTPC favorites outside of the nettop/mini-ITX market. Frankly, the price of current desktop chips, motherboards and discrete GPU's is so low that the price differential between the Zacate and a much much more powerful system will be too small to justify NOT getting the full system. I mean, compare an athlon II 240 with 2GB of ram and a desktop 5450 with the zacate/Brazos combo. Price-wise, we're talking about $50-60 tops for MB/CPU each, plus $30 max for the GPU. Power savings aside, I just don't see it, even the atom doesn't have a good enough price/performance ratio to justify home-building one unless you want a super tiny system.

Mini-ITX builds are a bit different, since the design goal is different. I do see this being a huge boon for people stuck relying on underpowered Atom designs in really small clients. Ultimately, I think Zacate is a lot more exciting as a netbook chip than as an HTPC chip. Only time will tell.

Well my current athlon II 250 idles 60-65W with duet tv card, if i were to toss in the cheap version of the radeon 6XXX card when it comes out I would probably idle at 80-85W. When you leave the puppy on 24-7 you are talking about a pretty large yearly electrical bill. I definitely need 24-7 because sleep is just not reliable enough and I want to do the z-wave home automation stuff. I figure with zacate and my duet I can idle at about 20W.
post #82 of 940
Maybe revisit this again in 2012 though, when the Krishna 28nm replacement of Zacate is available, it has better enhanced Bobcat CPU cores.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...3&postcount=57[/quote]


Have to adopt a wait and see stance I guess. It looks like it should work well to me but I guess I will avoid being an early adopter. It seems like we find out the flaws in any of this stuff on here about three months after they are released.
post #83 of 940
Apple plans to launch Fusion notebooks, Krishna (the successor to Zacate), and maybe Trinity (the successor to Llano), in 2012
post #84 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Well my current athlon II 250 idles 60-65W with duet tv card, if i were to toss in the cheap version of the radeon 6XXX card when it comes out I would probably idle at 80-85W. When you leave the puppy on 24-7 you are talking about a pretty large yearly electrical bill. I definitely need 24-7 because sleep is just not reliable enough and I want to do the z-wave home automation stuff. I figure with zacate and my duet I can idle at about 20W.

20W seems optimistic. between the duet at idle, the CPU at 10-15W, and PSU inefficiency, you're probably looking at a 30W idle. True, its half, but you're seeing diminishing returns in real world terms on your power bill. I'm not saying its nothing, but when its a couple dollars vs the other things in your house that pull a lot more power, it feels like nit-picking. Also, why are you talking about a 6xxx card when the only one out on the market is the 68xx series? power consumption on a 54xx or 55xx is more relevant to your Athlon II system
post #85 of 940


LL
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post #86 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by owan View Post
20W seems optimistic. between the duet at idle, the CPU at 10-15W, and PSU inefficiency, you're probably looking at a 30W idle. True, its half, but you're seeing diminishing returns in real world terms on your power bill. I'm not saying its nothing, but when its a couple dollars vs the other things in your house that pull a lot more power, it feels like nit-picking. Also, why are you talking about a 6xxx card when the only one out on the market is the 68xx series? power consumption on a 54xx or 55xx is more relevant to your Athlon II system
My i3-540 + H55 mATX + Duet system idles at ~25w with a PicoPSU so I would be shocked if a Zacate system can't beat that. If it can't idle below 25w I don't see much reason to wait for one.
post #87 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by user4avsforum View Post

My i3-540 + H55 mATX + Duet system idles at ~25w with a PicoPSU so I would be shocked if a Zacate system can't beat that. If it can't idle below 25w I don't see much reason to wait for one.

25w is damned good and I definitely would stay with that if that is what I had. But like I said I idle around 65W, but 5-10w of that is my duet tv card. Hell with that number I wonder if the dual core sandybridge might idle a tad under 20w.
post #88 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by owan View Post

20W seems optimistic. between the duet at idle, the CPU at 10-15W, and PSU inefficiency, you're probably looking at a 30W idle. True, its half, but you're seeing diminishing returns in real world terms on your power bill. I'm not saying its nothing, but when its a couple dollars vs the other things in your house that pull a lot more power, it feels like nit-picking. Also, why are you talking about a 6xxx card when the only one out on the market is the 68xx series? power consumption on a 54xx or 55xx is more relevant to your Athlon II system

The cheapo radeon 6XXX series cards will be coming out in january-february. This would be the way to get my current system up to the newest standards if I felt the need.
post #89 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by user4avsforum View Post

My i3-540 + H55 mATX + Duet system idles at ~25w with a PicoPSU so I would be shocked if a Zacate system can't beat that. If it can't idle below 25w I don't see much reason to wait for one.

my 530 with a duet and using an Earthwatts 350 80 plus power supply is more like 62 watts at idle. Are you running only an SSD? I have an SSD and a 1.5 TB green seagate and frankly don't understand how you are getting those numbers.
post #90 of 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtgray View Post

my 530 with a duet and using an Earthwatts 350 80 plus power supply is more like 62 watts at idle. Are you running only an SSD? I have an SSD and a 1.5 TB green seagate and frankly don't understand how you are getting those numbers.

Actually, I'm more surprised with your numbers. My Clarkdale build uses ~30W idle.

The following build actually uses 55W idle:
  • Silverstone SG05B w/300W PSU
  • Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3
  • Intel Core i5-760 2.80 GHz
  • EVGA GTS 450 1GB
  • Kingston 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333
  • G.SKILL Phoenix Pro 120GB
  • Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB

And this one's 70W idle:
  • Antec EA-380D
  • Biostar TH55B HD
  • Intel Core i7-860 2.80 GHz
  • MSI GT 240 1GB
  • Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333
  • Kingston SSDNow V+ 40GB x2
  • Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB x2
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