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Asus M2A-VM HDMI in house - testing requests?  

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, we got in our M2A-VM HDMI for validation and have high hopes for this product. It should allow us to bring dual-tuner digital cable systems below 2K with respectable image quality and versatile audio/video output. I'm putting together a test system right now that I'll be bringing home. What would you guys like to see testing wise?

I have a Panasonic digital amplifier with HDMI in and a Sony KDF-E42A10 with HDMI that I'll be testing. I'll have a Lite-on Blu-ray drive as well but do not yet have our OCUR BIOS for this board so digital cable tuning is probably a week off.
post #2 of 55
Find the nastiest H264 (>25Mbps, CABAC, 1080p) clip you can. I'll bet even a top-of-the-line CPU drops frames, unfortunately. That's my second biggest fear with investing lots of money in a new HTPC, behind only the OCUR insanity.
post #3 of 55
Thread Starter 
Roger, I'll be testing with an X2 3800+ at home and I'll try to find some high bitrate H.264 clips...

FYI, the 690G does support AVIVO for partial CPU off-load...
post #4 of 55
http://www.ocworkbench.com/2007/asus/M2A-VM-HDMI/g1.htm
http://www.ocworkbench.com/2007/asus/M2A-VM-HDMI/g2.htm

Seems like a damn good HTPC mobo, I'd like to see the HD performance out of the HDMI addon card though.

- Josh
post #5 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2007/asus/M2A-VM-HDMI/g1.htm
http://www.ocworkbench.com/2007/asus/M2A-VM-HDMI/g2.htm

Seems like a damn good HTPC mobo, I'd like to see the HD performance out of the HDMI addon card though.

- Josh

That's exactly what I'm curious about - HDMI performance in a true home theater environment, including audio...
post #6 of 55
Does it do combined Audio and Video on a single HDMI connection to the display? If so, what audio formats will it output via HDMI?
post #7 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

Does it do combined Audio and Video on a single HDMI connection to the display? If so, what audio formats will it output via HDMI?

The answer to your first question is yes, the answer to your second is what I hope to find out in the next week...
post #8 of 55
I'm looking forward to your report, Chris. This chipset could pave a whole new way for the home media market. In many ways, I wish Asus could have incorporated the rear I/O panel connectors like Albatron did with their KI690-AM2 board. By chance is that X2 3800 a Brisbane core?
post #9 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bshelkey View Post

I'm looking forward to your report, Chris. This chipset could pave a whole new way for the home media market. In many ways, I wish Asus could have incorporated the rear I/O panel connectors like Albatron did with their KI690-AM2 board. By chance is that X2 3800 a Brisbane core?

To be honest, I'm not sure where our inventory levels are on 90nm parts vs. getting the new 65nm parts in or if we already have when it comes to the 3800+ - I guess I'll find out when I get kit box for this test system...

And yeah, we've already had a conference call with AMD about features we felt were left out or "punted" with this board. We were told that AMD will be driving feature sets on the next round and we were invited to voice our opinions.
post #10 of 55
The preliminary reports on this chipset aren't too exciting. HD performance seems to be a bit lacking as it's a bit of a CPU hog:

http://techreport.com/reviews/2007q1.../index.x?pg=10

Maybe updated drivers will improve the CPU usage?

The following review claims that HDMI 1.3 is supported on this chipset, which conflicts with what some of the other reviews have stated:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/690_Chipset/2

Hopefully ChrisM can give us the real skinny on this.
post #11 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Micromain View Post

The preliminary reports on this chipset aren't too exciting. HD performance seems to be a bit lacking as it's a bit of a CPU hog:

http://techreport.com/reviews/2007q1.../index.x?pg=10

Maybe updated drivers will improve the CPU usage?

The following review claims that HDMI 1.3 is supported on this chipset, which conflicts with what some of the other reviews have stated:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/690_Chipset/2

Hopefully ChrisM can give us the real skinny on this.

Yup, from a typical PC review perspective this is just more of the same - but what I'm really interested in is its performance in an HTPC - issues like HDMI 1.3 or not, stuff like that. Just looking at the board the audio passthrough comes from a S/PDIF header on the motherboard, so I'm wondering if it supports Dolby Digital True HD, etc...
post #12 of 55
As far as I know S/PDIF won't support TrueHD at full bitrate. If you're getting sound from a TrueHD soundtrack be sure to verify if it is being downsampled.
post #13 of 55
Anand just posted a technology overview of this chipset and usually his technical information is pretty accurate:

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets...oc.aspx?i=2938

Quote:


As for output features, the video hardware supports S-Video, YPbPr, HDMI 1.3, and DVI.

Quote:


As for HDMI, the audio support is enabled through an interface in the RS690 Northbridge while the SB600 Southbridge handles the HD audio controller interface. The standard HD audio codec will come from Realtek who has developed a driver package that allows the user to control both the HDMI and HD audio interfaces from a single application. Having the HDMI audio hardware on-board means we aren't simply using a pass-through on the graphics card as we have seen in most implementations. This enables the user to have better control over audio adjustments through the integrated software package. We are still waiting for the full specifications of the HDMI audio capabilities but have tested our 5.1 setup with output set to 24-bits at 48,000MHz.
post #14 of 55
Looks intresting, this means I may have a board for when I upgrade to HD content on my HTPC.

Question still remains about the audio support, but even video support for HDMI 1.3 with HDCP is a huge plus.
post #15 of 55
Supports a TMDS interface enabling DVI or HDMI 1.2
1650 Mbps/channel with 165 MHz pixel clock rate per link
HDCP 1.11 support on data stream with on-chip key storage
Supports HDMI audio together with Realtek's driver providing single control for user on all audio adjustments
Supports HDMI audio enhancements, such as equalizer, 5.1 channel, surround sound effect, karaoke and head phone virtualization

http://www.motherboards.org/reviews/...ds/1697_3.html

Will you guys test and verify the specifications listed above? Thanks.

http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/...&GetDown=false

The latest drivers for ATI HDMI Audio Device should be version R1.59


post #16 of 55
where to buy it?
post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

The answer to your first question is yes, the answer to your second is what I hope to find out in the next week...

Hi Chris,

Do you have a HDDVD drive, like the xbox360 drive? The most important question a bunch of us wants to get answered is if the HDMI out can output 5.1/7.1 LPCM. All the video card/MB solution so far only offer SPDIF out, compressed DD, or only 2 ch LPCM via HDMI. None of them supports 5.1/7.1 uncompressed LPCM. This motherboard looks very promising to offer this feature from the information so far. It would help if you can verify this for us.

See this thread

Thanks.
post #18 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tszfung View Post

Hi Chris,

Do you have a HDDVD drive, like the xbox360 drive? The most important question a bunch of us wants to get answered is if the HDMI out can output 5.1/7.1 LPCM. All the video card/MB solution so far only offer SPDIF out, compressed DD, or only 2 ch LPCM via HDMI. None of them supports 5.1/7.1 uncompressed LPCM. This motherboard looks very promising to offer this feature from the information so far. It would help if you can verify this for us.

See this thread

Thanks.

I'll be putting a Lite-on Blu-ray drive in it...I'll see what I can do...
post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

I'll be putting a Lite-on Blu-ray drive in it...I'll see what I can do...

Good, that would work. Thanks a lot.
post #20 of 55
I will REALLY be following this thread, as this could end up being the holy grail... I wouldn't mind spending a bit more for a very fast CPU if I could get a one stop shop.

I really want to find one like this that has 2 PCI-E ( one for Vboxx dual HD OTA) and 1 for future growth (or a 7x/8x series video card) and 2 -4 PCI slots minimum ( one for a Xmeridian if this doesnt do full HD audio decoding, and one for a nvidia dual SD card and 2 spares for the DirecTV cards when/if they ever come out)
post #21 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgreenpc View Post

I will REALLY be following this thread, as this could end up being the holy grail... I wouldn't mind spending a bit more for a very fast CPU if I could get a one stop shop.

I really want to find one like this that has 2 PCI-E ( one for Vboxx dual HD OTA) and 1 for future growth (or a 7x/8x series video card) and 2 -4 PCI slots minimum ( one for a Xmeridian if this doesnt do full HD audio decoding, and one for a nvidia dual SD card and 2 spares for the DirecTV cards when/if they ever come out)

I do believe there will be full ATX variants on the 690G chipset...
post #22 of 55
Chris -

How is the testing going?

What kind of setup do you see yourselves offering with it?
post #23 of 55
Thread Starter 
OK, finally got to building this thing.

rgreenpc - there are a lot of possibilities - it could be the backbone of a very inexpensive dual-tuner DCT system if it performs right, I'd definitely like to see that happen.

First off, I had to set the SATA controller to RAID to detect the Lite-on Blu-ray drive - it wouldn't detect with the SATA controller set to AHCI or IDE - so I have to install drivers in order to install Vista - bummer.
post #24 of 55
Very keen to know how you getting on with LPCM

thanks for your efforts
post #25 of 55
Chris - good to know about the Blue-ray drive...

What kind of testbed did you build (other than the Motherboard (which we already know))?
post #26 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgreenpc View Post

Chris - good to know about the Blue-ray drive...

What kind of testbed did you build (other than the Motherboard (which we already know))?

It's a CineMagix Pro Cinema that we sell on our website, but instead of the M2N SLI Deluxe I'm of course using this board. I am using the slowest X2 processor we sell, the 3800+, just to see how power the X1250 integrated graphics are when it comes to Blu-ray playback. I have 2GB of Corsair DDR2-667 memory, a Lite-on 2x Blu-ray drive, a 400GB Seagate 7200.10 HDD, and two Digital Cable Tuners, which unfortunately I do not have a custom BIOS for so DCT is probably 2 weeks off at a conservative guestimate. I hope to have the system home and at least tested with Blu-ray before my wife is scheduled to give birth this Friday.
post #27 of 55
Chris -

Great to hear.... I fear the 1250 won't be able to cut it.

I would suggest you try XMEN3 for one...

My other suggestion would be to capture two streams while watching a BRay disc.... that was one of my major questions.

Chris here is a purly hypothetical question... but as a vendor who would probably know more than most...

If I was to pick up one of your systems that has a bios that handles OCUR, would it stand to reason that it should also be able to handle the DirecTV cards if/when they arrive.

I can't see them having any stronger security than OCUR.
post #28 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgreenpc View Post

Chris -

Great to hear.... I fear the 1250 won't be able to cut it.

I would suggest you try XMEN3 for one...

My other suggestion would be to capture two streams while watching a BRay disc.... that was one of my major questions.

Chris here is a purly hypothetical question... but as a vendor who would probably know more than most...

If I was to pick up one of your systems that has a bios that handles OCUR, would it stand to reason that it should also be able to handle the DirecTV cards if/when they arrive.

I can't see them having any stronger security than OCUR.

I would think we could make sure they are compliant. They may have to come back in the shop under our "lifetime upgrade plan" to get the work done...

I have Superman Returns on Blu-ray, do you think that will stress it? I've read it's the same VC1 encoding as the HD-DVD version - but I think that the X1250 accelrates only MPEG-2 and WMV (I presume VC1 as well) but read that H.264 is in software...I should know soon.
post #29 of 55
Chris-I want this now!!

So, if you start testing now, how long before it becomes something you can sell? put this in a tower case and its mine-and I don't have to pay for a high powered vide card that'll never get used!!!
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

I have Superman Returns on Blu-ray, do you think that will stress it? I've read it's the same VC1 encoding as the HD-DVD version - but I think that the X1250 accelrates only MPEG-2 and WMV (I presume VC1 as well) but read that H.264 is in software...I should know soon.

Hmm I checked out the AMD/ATI site, it lists that Avivo supports any of the x1k CPUs, which the x1250 should qualify, but only lists the x1300 and above on the products page.

Anyway ATI claims that it can accelerate H.264 playback when used with Nero.

http://ati.amd.com/technology/Avivo/h264.html

Might as well give it a try. Any idea of when this board will be available? I don't see it in any of the distribution channels.
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