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*Official* Ivy Bridge for HTPCs Thread

post #1 of 261
Thread Starter 
Intel's 22nm Ivy Bridge is here, and brings with it a much better GPU compared to Sandy Bridge. Here are some HTPC-oriented reviews to get you started:

MissingRemote

AnandTech

Let us use this thread to discuss Ivy Bridge-based HTPCs
post #2 of 261
My questions are two.

First, when will we be able to actually buy one of these things? I was interested in a i5-3550S, but don't seem to be able to find one listed at any of the usual places. How long is it likely to be for them to actually hit the retail shelves?

Second, what are Intell SIPP, Intel vPro Technology, Intel VT-d, and Intel TXT, and should I care about any of them? I notice that the 3550S has these four technologies and the 3450S doesn't.
post #3 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

My questions are two.

First, when will we be able to actually buy one of these things? I was interested in a i5-3550S, but don't seem to be able to find one listed at any of the usual places. How long is it likely to be for them to actually hit the retail shelves?

Second, what are Intell SIPP, Intel vPro Technology, Intel VT-d, and Intel TXT, and should I care about any of them? I notice that the 3550S has these four technologies and the 3450S doesn't.

ARK lists availability as 4/29/12, but I'm not aware of anything official.

SIPP
vPro
VT-d
TXT

For the most part these feature are really only interesting to enterprise. VT-d is the exception to that as it enables better virtual machine support, which is important now if you want to use it to host systems using something like Hyper-V, and will be more important when Windows 8 launches because Hyper-V will be available in a non-server OS.
post #4 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by babgvant View Post

ARK lists availability as 4/29/12, but I'm not aware of anything official.

SIPP
vPro
VT-d
TXT

For the most part these feature are really only interesting to enterprise. VT-d is the exception to that as it enables better virtual machine support, which is important now if you want to use it to host systems using something like Hyper-V, and will be more important when Windows 8 launches because Hyper-V will be available in a non-server OS.

Thanks. I read those before I asked, and didn't really see why I would care, but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. Apparently with VT-d I was. For the expected price difference of around $20, it looks like the 3550S might be worth it for that and the small speed increase.
post #5 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Thanks. I read those before I asked, and didn't really see why I would care, but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. Apparently with VT-d I was. For the expected price difference of around $20, it looks like the 3550S might be worth it for that and the small speed increase.

FWIW, I think that's a good idea. Virtualization is important, and will become more important in the coming years. My HTPC chips often end up doing things that they weren't originally intended for after they age out, better to have more options than less when that happens.
post #6 of 261
"Compared to other GPU solutions Intel has struggled with refresh rate accuracy, and with values measured on Ivy Bridge mostly consistent with those we observed with Sandy Bridge this continues to be a slight competitive gap with the platform with other solutions closer to the mark"

Does this mean that they still don't have 24p correct, thats just hard to believe
post #7 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopar_Mudder View Post

"Compared to other GPU solutions Intel has struggled with refresh rate accuracy, and with values measured on Ivy Bridge mostly consistent with those we observed with Sandy Bridge this continues to be a slight competitive gap with the platform with other solutions closer to the mark"

Does this mean that they still don't have 24p correct, thats just hard to believe

Sounds like it.
post #8 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopar_Mudder View Post

"Compared to other GPU solutions Intel has struggled with refresh rate accuracy, and with values measured on Ivy Bridge mostly consistent with those we observed with Sandy Bridge this continues to be a slight competitive gap with the platform with other solutions closer to the mark"

Does this mean that they still don't have 24p correct, thats just hard to believe

Yes, but you shouldn't be surprised. We've known since IDF that it wasn't getting fixed.
post #9 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopar_Mudder View Post

"Compared to other GPU solutions Intel has struggled with refresh rate accuracy, and with values measured on Ivy Bridge mostly consistent with those we observed with Sandy Bridge this continues to be a slight competitive gap with the platform with other solutions closer to the mark"

Does this mean that they still don't have 24p correct, thats just hard to believe

Note the phrase "other solutions closer to the mark" which, if I'm reading it correctly, highlights that if you are expecting perfection, the others aren't "correct" either, just "closer". It's just a matter of degree of by how much they miss the mark.
post #10 of 261
Are all of the Ivy Bridge motherboards out now? I'm getting ready to upgrade my main PC & I think I'll just get an i3-2100 for now to go with an Ivy Bridge motherboard. I used the Intel DH67GD mobo in the last few HTPCs I've built & have been pretty happy with it.

Would the Intel DH77EB be pretty similar to that? Are there any other motherboards I should be looking at?
post #11 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by tawd1992 View Post

Are all of the Ivy Bridge motherboards out now? I'm getting ready to upgrade my main PC & I think I'll just get an i3-2100 for now to go with an Ivy Bridge motherboard. I used the Intel DH67GD mobo in the last few HTPCs I've built & have been pretty happy with it.

Would the Intel DH77EB be pretty similar to that? Are there any other motherboards I should be looking at?

If you want mini-ITX, the Intel DH77DF looks really nice and is available at both Newegg and Amazon.
post #12 of 261
It's sad that this new ivy bridge gpu performance is still slower than amd's llamo, yet given so much praise. Secondly, it's bundled with the CPU, whether you want it or not. I think when Amd's trinity comes out, you will see impressive graphics performance, more than likely, 50% over llamo's.

However, you are better off building a sandy bridge setup then going ivy bridge. Price and heat are pretty good reasons... If you dont have a sandy bridge system now, it may be worth wild to go ivy bridge.
post #13 of 261
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

It's sad that this new ivy bridge gpu performance is still slower than amd's llamo, yet given so much praise.

Well, let us see it this way:

1. Video post processing algorithms on the driver side are working for all videos (tested upto 1080p60) out of the box, unlike the case with Llano where ESVP forced turn off of video processing for 1080p60 videos and also was heavily dependent on the amount of DRAM allocated to the integrated GPU. [Edit: In fact, ESVP wasn't working at all, and the post processing options had to be manually turned off for 1080p60 to work]

2. There is more open source software support for Intel's GPU (talking about QuickSync Decoder here) at launch compared to the Llano

3. 4K decode acceleration is working with the Intel GPU at launch (confirmed by Andrew @ MissingRemote) unlike even the recent 7750 (though, admittedly, the Intel system is unable to output it over HDMI, but the 7750 can)

4. Importantly, Intel's driver quality has improved (wrt Flash acceleration support, more knobs for post processing etc.) over Sandy Bridge at launch, while, in the case of AMD, the driver quality has only taken a nosedive with every successive release (for every performance improvement they put in for the gamers, one of the HTPC aspects seems to get broken).

I am no Intel fan-boy (you can clearly see that I have been very caustic on Intel in many of my reviews -- including that of the ASRock CoreHT 252B), but given the above points, I can't but appreciate Intel for taking care of the HTPC community much better than what AMD has done.

Obviously, I hope Trinity can turn things around for AMD. But, given the recent history with AMD, my hopes aren't as I high as it was when Llano was launched.
post #14 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

Well, let us see it this way:

1. Video post processing algorithms on the driver side are working for all videos (tested upto 1080p60) out of the box, unlike the case with Llano where ESVP forced turn off of video processing for 1080p60 videos and also was heavily dependent on the amount of DRAM allocated to the integrated GPU. [Edit: In fact, ESVP wasn't working at all, and the post processing options had to be manually turned off for 1080p60 to work]

2. There is more open source software support for Intel's GPU (talking about QuickSync Decoder here) at launch compared to the Llano

3. 4K decode acceleration is working with the Intel GPU at launch (confirmed by Andrew @ MissingRemote) unlike even the recent 7750 (though, admittedly, the Intel system is unable to output it over HDMI, but the 7750 can)

4. Importantly, Intel's driver quality has improved (wrt Flash acceleration support, more knobs for post processing etc.) over Sandy Bridge at launch, while, in the case of AMD, the driver quality has only taken a nosedive with every successive release (for every performance improvement they put in for the gamers, one of the HTPC aspects seems to get broken).

I am no Intel fan-boy (you can clearly see that I have been very caustic on Intel in many of my reviews -- including that of the ASRock CoreHT 252B), but given the above points, I can't but appreciate Intel for taking care of the HTPC community much better than what AMD has done.

Obviously, I hope Trinity can turn things around for AMD. But, given the recent history with AMD, my hopes aren't as I high as it was when Llano was launched.

+1

I would add that the more important question isn't who has the most powerful GPU (which of course is obvious), but which offers the best overall solution when it comes to system performance-per-watt, cost and driver quality. As long as the GPU is good enough for everything you want to do with it; then the faster solution is academic - and this is the reason why HD4000 is "given so much praise". We finally see a GPU which can satisfy the majority of HTPC use cases, and for those that it can't a dGPU + SNB (or IVB) might be a better choice than Llano anyway.

I also hope that Trinity offers a legitimate competitor, we are best served by a vibrate, flexible set of options that can provide the "right" answer to everyone's set of use cases.
post #15 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

Well, let us see it this way:

1. Video post processing algorithms on the driver side are working for all videos (tested upto 1080p60) out of the box, unlike the case with Llano where ESVP forced turn off of video processing for 1080p60 videos and also was heavily dependent on the amount of DRAM allocated to the integrated GPU. [Edit: In fact, ESVP wasn't working at all, and the post processing options had to be manually turned off for 1080p60 to work]

2. There is more open source software support for Intel's GPU (talking about QuickSync Decoder here) at launch compared to the Llano

3. 4K decode acceleration is working with the Intel GPU at launch (confirmed by Andrew @ MissingRemote) unlike even the recent 7750 (though, admittedly, the Intel system is unable to output it over HDMI, but the 7750 can)

4. Importantly, Intel's driver quality has improved (wrt Flash acceleration support, more knobs for post processing etc.) over Sandy Bridge at launch, while, in the case of AMD, the driver quality has only taken a nosedive with every successive release (for every performance improvement they put in for the gamers, one of the HTPC aspects seems to get broken).

I am no Intel fan-boy (you can clearly see that I have been very caustic on Intel in many of my reviews -- including that of the ASRock CoreHT 252B), but given the above points, I can't but appreciate Intel for taking care of the HTPC community much better than what AMD has done.

Obviously, I hope Trinity can turn things around for AMD. But, given the recent history with AMD, my hopes aren't as I high as it was when Llano was launched.

Pretty solid. Refreshing.

BTW the bolded is especially true. I get heat sometimes for ripping on AMD/ATI's drivers for HTPC but unfortunately its deserved.
post #16 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by babgvant View Post


ARK lists availability as 4/29/12, but I'm not aware of anything official.

SIPP
vPro
VT-d
TXT

For the most part these feature are really only interesting to enterprise. VT-d is the exception to that as it enables better virtual machine support, which is important now if you want to use it to host systems using something like Hyper-V, and will be more important when Windows 8 launches because Hyper-V will be available in a non-server OS.

I doubt we'd be able to buy these on the 29th...4 days away, and no major seller is talking about anything. There is not even pre-orders...which is actually frustrating since the CPU is my last piece in my machine and I have been delaying a 2500k for some time now...
post #17 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopar_Mudder View Post

"Compared to other GPU solutions Intel has struggled with refresh rate accuracy, and with values measured on Ivy Bridge mostly consistent with those we observed with Sandy Bridge this continues to be a slight competitive gap with the platform with other solutions closer to the mark"

Does this mean that they still don't have 24p correct, thats just hard to believe

Actually, according to Intel themself (as mentioned in the AnandTech HTPC-focused review), it should be improved ("fixed") in the next BIOS update.
We'll just have to wait and see - and hope non-Intel boards update their BIOS accordingly.
post #18 of 261
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post

Actually, according to Intel themself (as mentioned in the AnandTech HTPC-focused review), it should be improved ("fixed") in the next BIOS update.
We'll just have to wait and see - and hope non-Intel boards update their BIOS accordingly.

Andrew told me that he had the 'production BIOS', and he even linked me to one image where he captured the '23.976' refresh rate:


(Full credit goes to Andrew (babgvant) @ MissingRemote)

Unfortunately, it is not that stable apparently as the locking to 23.973 fps playback rate indicates. (I am yet to get Asus's version of the 'fixed BIOS' for my testbed).

As I wrote in a response to one of the comments on my review, if they get it between 23.974 and 23.978 and average out to 23.976, it will just end up like most of the other AMD and NVIDIA cards.
post #19 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

It's sad that this new ivy bridge gpu performance is still slower than amd's llamo, yet given so much praise. Secondly, it's bundled with the CPU, whether you want it or not. I think when Amd's trinity comes out, you will see impressive graphics performance, more than likely, 50% over llamo's.

However, you are better off building a sandy bridge setup then going ivy bridge. Price and heat are pretty good reasons... If you dont have a sandy bridge system now, it may be worth wild to go ivy bridge.

I think trinity is going to make an awesome APU for laptops. It should allow for decent gaming which ivy bridge won't. Gaming is about the only computer intensive thing I do so its an obvious choice. As for htpc almost everything on the market can do a decent job, I keep hearing llano is no good on here but it does everything htpc related that I have tried. I see no reason for an upgrade to Trinity or ivy for my htpc.
post #20 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post


Actually, according to Intel themself (as mentioned in the AnandTech HTPC-focused review), it should be improved ("fixed") in the next BIOS update.
We'll just have to wait and see - and hope non-Intel boards update their BIOS accordingly.

Counting eggs before hatching or something.
post #21 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Counting eggs before hatching or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

I think trinity is going to make an awesome APU for laptops.

Hmmmmm
post #22 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by kanone View Post

I doubt we'd be able to buy these on the 29th...4 days away, and no major seller is talking about anything. There is not even pre-orders...which is actually frustrating since the CPU is my last piece in my machine and I have been delaying a 2500k for some time now...

I bet they will be widely available on the 30th. I think Intel has some bizarre secrecy policy and all the stores are afraid to take pre-orders for fear of violating some draconian Intel NDA.

From what I hear, the embargo expires late on the 29th (Sunday night), so I expect the online stores will be listing them and selling them on the 30th. Probably Microcenter and Fry's will also have them for sale on the 30th.
post #23 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by babgvant View Post

we are best served by a vibrate, flexible set of options....

Sounds like the selling points printed on a sex toy box...
post #24 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim2100 View Post

Sounds like the selling points printed on a sex toy box...

doh
post #25 of 261
Oh Hai,

I see what you did there.









<------------------In
post #26 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

Well, let us see it this way:

1. Video post processing algorithms on the driver side are working for all videos (tested upto 1080p60) out of the box, unlike the case with Llano where ESVP forced turn off of video processing for 1080p60 videos and also was heavily dependent on the amount of DRAM allocated to the integrated GPU. [Edit: In fact, ESVP wasn't working at all, and the post processing options had to be manually turned off for 1080p60 to work]

2. There is more open source software support for Intel's GPU (talking about QuickSync Decoder here) at launch compared to the Llano

3. 4K decode acceleration is working with the Intel GPU at launch (confirmed by Andrew @ MissingRemote) unlike even the recent 7750 (though, admittedly, the Intel system is unable to output it over HDMI, but the 7750 can)

4. Importantly, Intel's driver quality has improved (wrt Flash acceleration support, more knobs for post processing etc.) over Sandy Bridge at launch, while, in the case of AMD, the driver quality has only taken a nosedive with every successive release (for every performance improvement they put in for the gamers, one of the HTPC aspects seems to get broken).

I am no Intel fan-boy (you can clearly see that I have been very caustic on Intel in many of my reviews -- including that of the ASRock CoreHT 252B), but given the above points, I can't but appreciate Intel for taking care of the HTPC community much better than what AMD has done.

Obviously, I hope Trinity can turn things around for AMD. But, given the recent history with AMD, my hopes aren't as I high as it was when Llano was launched.

You make some very good valid points, but like anything in intels past with graphics, things seem to change a bit once it's in the hands of the consumer. I'm hoping for the sake of a one shot investment of only a CPU, it lives up to all of the hype it's received and performs the way it was designed. I too would like to have a very small form factor htpc that has muscle, with low heat, and obviously low cost. I'm not to tripped up over 4k since I don't think there is going to be any content for it for quite a while.

This brings me to a spooking reminder of 1998 when S3 released the Savage S4 Pro with 32mb of memory, built in tuner and stellar DVD performance, along with a AGP 4x slot... Working silicone demos showed it to be impressive and it was supposed to shake up the ATi Rage 128 and the nvidia riva tnt2. Even review samples showed power... Then along came the pre-orders and final shipping cards from diamond and creative... No tuner, subpar DVD acceleration and piss slow performance in OpenGL and direct3d.
post #27 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim2100 View Post

I bet they will be widely available on the 30th. I think Intel has some bizarre secrecy policy and all the stores are afraid to take pre-orders for fear of violating some draconian Intel NDA.

From what I hear, the embargo expires late on the 29th (Sunday night), so I expect the online stores will be listing them and selling them on the 30th. Probably Microcenter and Fry's will also have them for sale on the 30th.

This is common for intel. They ship ahead of release day so the chips are available. Unlike video card manf's, intel has inventory on their release day, aside from extreme edition cpu's which are generally in low quanity.
post #28 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

You make some very good valid points, but like anything in intels past with graphics, things seem to change a bit once it's in the hands of the consumer.

How so? Unless I'm missing something the end-user experience w/ previous generations of Intel GPUs has been very similar to what was documented in reviews WRT the +/- of each platform. Do you have a specific e.g. in mind where this was not true at a macro level?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

This brings me to a spooking reminder of 1998 when S3 released the Savage S4 Pro with 32mb of memory, built in tuner and stellar DVD performance, along with a AGP 4x slot... Working silicone demos showed it to be impressive and it was supposed to shake up the ATi Rage 128 and the nvidia riva tnt2. Even review samples showed power... Then along came the pre-orders and final shipping cards from diamond and creative... No tuner, subpar DVD acceleration and piss slow performance in OpenGL and direct3d.

I'm not convinced that the behavior of some random company over a decade ago where some random product was over-hyped/under-delivered is in anyway material to the subject at hand.
post #29 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

This brings me to a spooking reminder of 1998 when S3 released the Savage S4 Pro with 32mb of memory, built in tuner and stellar DVD performance, along with a AGP 4x slot... Working silicone demos showed it to be impressive and it was supposed to shake up the ATi Rage 128 and the nvidia riva tnt2. Even review samples showed power... Then along came the pre-orders and final shipping cards from diamond and creative... No tuner, subpar DVD acceleration and piss slow performance in OpenGL and direct3d.

I remember this. S3 was going to charge back onto the scene and become a titan that would once again offer competitive products vs. ATi, Nvidia, and 3Dfx.

They were not a random company and I feel that this "over hyped, over promised, over performed" before launch scenario is completely appropriate for not only this situation but myriads of product releases where the sales team runs wild publishing numbers from the lab that have no chance of being reproduced in the real world.

Great example Venomous.
post #30 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Hmmmmm

Made me laugh.
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