or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Home Theater Computers › Core 2 Motherboard Complete List - With Hardware Recommendations for a HD HTPC
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Core 2 Motherboard Complete List - With Hardware Recommendations for a HD HTPC - Page 3  

post #61 of 1097
So if the ALC882 and 883 are good, does that make the ALC888DD better, or no big difference?

I noticed on 2 of the GB boards I liked the specs of that seems to be the only difference is 883 vs 888DD

Also what is the Azalia HD Audio Chipset? I see the new eVGA 680i Mobo has this.
post #62 of 1097
Seems to be equivalent, but newer to the ALC883.

See here: http://newsko.blogspot.com/2006/04/r...efinition.html

Ideally we should all wait for the ALC885 to show up in motherboards to go along with our new HDCP video cards. But waiting is always hard, isn't it?

Robert

Edit:
It seems that there is a new contender now that renethx updated the list again. Check out the ECS PX1 (1.0B). Near perfect HTPC board.

3 usable PCI slots
*new* Realtek ALC885 sound chip
heatpipe design for quiet cooling
Firewire
Dual gigabit Ethernet

Since it's a 965 chipset, it doesn't have the ICH7 like the ASUS P5W DH Deluxe, which means the inferior JMB363 PATA controller, but it also cost a heck of a lot less. It's also built for Intel VIIV, so it's not meant to be a mean overclocker.
post #63 of 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valnar View Post

Seems to be equivalent, but newer to the ALC883.

See here: http://newsko.blogspot.com/2006/04/r...efinition.html

Ideally we should all wait for the ALC885 to show up in motherboards to go along with our new HDCP video cards. But waiting is always hard, isn't it?

Robert

Holy crap. I was about to pull the trigger on a motherboard, but this might make me postpone a couple of months to see if this shows up...
post #64 of 1097
All,

I'm looking for a new board that has the following characteristics not discussed on this thread:

- Fast BIOS boot times. I like powering down the HTPC and it is really annoying that the BIOS test/load times is as much as XP on my current machine.

- Reliability for MCE. I have a AMD motherboard and generally it works well but at times I get lockups in MCE. It could be the software but when the mouse stops working its usually a hardware issue. I'm wondering if I should stick to a popular brand Intel chip motherboard instead?

- Getting suspend and sleep to work properly. I definitely get problems with MCE once it goes into suspend, and although it could be the peripherals not waking up properly, the motherboard has a role to play also.

As I'm replacing my machine with a new Intel E6600 so that I can do HD-DVD, the reliability, sleep and boot times are as important as the board features. Any comments or feedback about motherboard reliability & boot speed taking into account the above factors?

Regards,
Dean
post #65 of 1097
Thread Starter 
I made an extensive revision.
  1. Added information on new members of the Core 2 Duo family (FSB 800 and 1333MHz versions) and Pentium E2000 Series
  2. Rewrote the section on Intel 3 Series Chipsets (Bearlake)
  3. Finished the section on NVIDIA nForce 600i Series chipsets and motherboards
  4. Added a bunch of new motherboards and updated the spreadsheets Core_2_MB.pdf and Core_2_MB
  5. Updated the availability of every motherboard in the list
post #66 of 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valnar View Post

...It seems that there is a new contender now that renethx updated the list again. Check out the ECS PX1 (1.0B). Near perfect HTPC board.

3 usable PCI slots
*new* Realtek ALC885 sound chip
heatpipe design for quiet cooling
Firewire
Dual gigabit Ethernet

Since it's a 965 chipset, it doesn't have the ICH7 like the ASUS P5W DH Deluxe, which means the inferior JMB363 PATA controller, but it also cost a heck of a lot less. It's also built for Intel VIIV, so it's not meant to be a mean overclocker.

No SPDIF out though, that's a bummer.
post #67 of 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by dabl View Post

No SPDIF out though, that's a bummer.

Sure it does, through a header on the motherboard. It probably comes with a bracket. The HD audio would be useless without it!

Robert
post #68 of 1097
Thread Starter 
About ECS PX1, I checked the manual and found that no SPDIF bracket was included in the package (Section 1.2 Package Check List, page 6). But you should be able to use a bracket like SPDIF PC Bracket with Digital Optical & Coaxial Outs. Perhaps you need to replace the connector of the bracket with a polarized 3-pin connector commonly used in fan headers.
post #69 of 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

About ECS PX1, I checked the manual and found that no SPDIF bracket was included in the package (Section 1.2 Package Check List, page 6). But you should be able to use a bracket like SPDIF PC Bracket with Digital Optical & Coaxial Outs. Perhaps you need to replace the connector of the bracket with a polarized 3-pin connector commonly used in fan headers.

Good catch. I'll have to remember to buy it. At the moment, I don't see the motherboard for sale yet.

Robert
post #70 of 1097
this post confirms the Evga 680i sli has the Realteck ALC885. This motherboard definitely has an onboard spdif connector.
post #71 of 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valnar View Post

...At the moment, I don't see the motherboard for sale yet.

Robert

Looks like a couple of vendors have it. If anybody ends up ordering one with the spdif bracket, please post about that (where/how etc.)

eWiz

Compumusic

EDIT: now at Newegg too
post #72 of 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valnar View Post

Sure it does, through a header on the motherboard. It probably comes with a bracket. The HD audio would be useless without it!

Robert

Turns out the spdif audio connector has nothing to do with the hd audio capability, which makes sense since the spdif spec preceded the hd audio spec by many years. I'd be pretty happy with 5.1 24 bit 96k over spdif but even that's probably too much to ask. Sounds like actual functioning high def audio playback from high def sources is quite a ways away, simply having the capability on the chip means nothing without all the other pieces......

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post9169914
post #73 of 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by dabl View Post

Looks like this is NOT how things work, which explains why I can't find any information on the spdif bracket......

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post9169914

Yah, I saw that post too. So getting a S/PDIF bracket is fine and dandy for all our DVD's, but we'll need the HD header on the motherboard (tied to the ALC885) so HD audio can be transferred encrypted via HDMI/HDCP. So the real question is, does this motherboard, or any board with the ALC885, have that header? Or does it even need it? Would it just transfer via the PCI bus? If so, would that mean specific drivers with HDCP encryption? Too many questions....

Robert

PS. If it does become a matter of special Realtek drivers to enable HDCP functionality in Windows (XP/Vista), then we can probably kiss HDCP capability in Linux goodbye. Wouldn't Microsoft love that.
post #74 of 1097
This was the thread I wanted...

Now I'm having second thoughts about the motherboard I decided on..... Does a motherboard have to be expensive and new in order to be good? I got my current one for I beleive around $175's a year ago, and I would like to spend the same amount.

I need it to be compatible with a Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M sharing L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor. I would like it to have DDR 800 memory options. I definetly want Optical In and Sata on the back. One PCI-E 16, Two PCI-E X1, and the rest standard.

Can I get this board for around the same price? I don't need SLI, I don't need crossfire. I just need a reliable board that works, good reviews, and can last at least 4 years .,

Thanks!
post #75 of 1097
Thread Starter 
It is hard to find a motherboard that has both optical-in and eSATA on the back panel. I checked the spreadsheet. Only three motherboards satisfy the condition:

abit AW9D-MAX, $210
abit AB9 Pro, $146
abit IN9 32X-MAX, not available yet

abit AB9 Pro is the only choice in your price range. (But if you use a two-slot video card, only one PCIe x1 is available.) It received favorable reviews at many review sites.
post #76 of 1097
Thread Starter 
Finally I added the new section at the beginning of op!

_______________________________________________________
0. Hardware Recommendations for Building a High-Definition HTPC
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

Table of Contents

  1. CPU and CPU Cooler
  2. Memory
  3. Motherboard - AMD Platform
  4. Motherboard - Intel Platform
  5. Video Card
  6. PSU
  7. Case

PSU and case recommendations are not finished yet, though.
post #77 of 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Finally I added the new section at the beginning of op!

_______________________________________________________
0. Hardware Recommendations for Building a High-Definition HTPC
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

Now we're getting somewhere, THANK YOU!
post #78 of 1097
PS for those considering the XFX GeForce 7950 GT I found this post to be illuminating.
post #79 of 1097
Thread Starter 
Certainly it is illuminating. However note that the power consumption of GeForce 7950 GT in the above post is completely wrong. The actual power consumption of GeForce 9750 GT at load is about 61W (or more if overclocked). The power consumption of GeForce 8800 GTX under max load is 145.5W according to NVIDIA. GeForce 8800 GTS is modest (?) 120W. Please read the X-bit labs articles cited in Hardware Recommendations for Building a High-Definition HTPC > PSU > References of the op.

Personally I prefer eVGA 7950 GT Superclocked with Zalman cooler. Although it occupies two slots, controlling heat dissipation is much easier and it's QUIET.
post #80 of 1097
and for intel d925xecv2 with i925xe chipset??? it isn't compatible??
post #81 of 1097
Thread Starter 
Intel Desktop Board D925XECV2

This one does not support Core 2 Duo.
post #82 of 1097
thank you for reply
post #83 of 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by dabl View Post

Looks like a couple of vendors have it. If anybody ends up ordering one with the spdif bracket, please post about that (where/how etc.)

eWiz

Compumusic

PS ECS confirmed to me they neither manufacture nor supply a spdif connector/bracket nor could/would they confirm the vidabox item would work.
post #84 of 1097
Thread Starter 
In case that the Vidabox item does not work (I am pretty sure it works), building a coaxial S/PDIF bracket yourself is easy. What you need (except for tools) to build a coaxial S/PDIF bracket are: Drill holes on the PCI bracket and attach the RCA panel mount jack to it with the supplied two screws.

If you want optical out, then use a coaxial to optical converter such as Cables to Go COAXIAL TO OPTICAL DIGITAL AUDIO CONVERTER.

Some useful sites:
post #85 of 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

About ECS PX1, I checked the manual and found that no SPDIF bracket was included in the package (Section 1.2 Package Check List, page 6). But you should be able to use a bracket like SPDIF PC Bracket with Digital Optical & Coaxial Outs. Perhaps you need to replace the connector of the bracket with a polarized 3-pin connector commonly used in fan headers.

There are only few stores selling these brackets... But there is a person selling these brackets on eBay. Searh under:
ASUS SPDIF Digital Audio Out Connector Optical Coaxial
post #86 of 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreyZH View Post

There are only few stores selling these brackets... But there is a person selling these brackets on eBay. Searh under:
ASUS SPDIF Digital Audio Out Connector Optical Coaxial

Thanks. Clearly there's no standard for the wiring of these things, the connector on that one won't work as is on the ECS board.

As renethx mentioned it may be fairly trivial to re-wire but in the case of ECS I find it highly annoying they neither supply nor can advise on getting an appropriate connector for the board they hype with the fancy ALC885 audio.

Then on top of that it seems the implementation of the ALC885 doesn't allow for anything other than the hope the high def audio could eventually be delivered via the (no doubt) substandard quality analog outs......
post #87 of 1097
I guess we should have expected as much from ECS. Oh well, back to waiting again. My three usable PCI slot requirement won't go away in the future anytime soon, so as new ones come out with more (useless) PCI-E slots at the expense of PCI, it'll get harder to find one.

Robert
post #88 of 1097
Fantastic thread! Thanks for all the work to keep it updated. I think this may just be my next big project.
post #89 of 1097
Thank you so much for this wealth of information. It's very helpful.

I'm looking to build a system that will hook into my living room AV setup. One thing that I don't see specifically discussed (and it's probably my fault for not understanding, so I apologize for stupidity up front!) is building a HTPC for use both as a 'traditional' HTPC (hi def video and audio uses) as well as a 'gaming' PC (I typically play games like Elder Scrolls and Revolution Studios' 'adventure' or 'interactive-fiction' games; sometimes sports games).

What motherboard should I look at - I like ASUS very much - should I look at the 975X like the P5W DH Deluxe, or the NVIDIA 680i ... I like the idea of SLI; but do you give up anything going with 680i over the P5WDHdlx? Or vice versa?

Thanks much.. long time reader of the site and actually looking to start putting some good stuff together in '07.
post #90 of 1097
Thread Starter 
Well, the SATA corruption issues seems to have been fixed with the latest BIOS. So I have no objection to nForce 680i. There are many threads on this issue, for example, Nvidia confirms 680i problems.

A possible combination is

GeForce 8800 GTX + ASUS P5N32-E SLI (or any 680i board)

There are several benchmark results on GeForce 8800. AnandTech - Oblivion Performance and X-bit labs - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion HDR show that a single 8800 GTX card surpasses all the existing configurations of graphics cards (SLI or CrossFire). So SLI makes sense only when you go with 8800 GTX + (another GeForce card).
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Home Theater Computers
This thread is locked  
AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Home Theater Computers › Core 2 Motherboard Complete List - With Hardware Recommendations for a HD HTPC