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Sony VGX-XL3 - Page 110

post #3271 of 3845
As I previously alluded to, I do indeed have some brandy-new, brandy-name (PNY) XL memory for sale cheap: four 2 GB modules (total 8GB) for $90 shipped. Or if you want me to throw in a brand-new ATI 4550, make it $120 shipped.

Why? Because the company that sold me the defective 4GB module tried to screw me over on the return, first by charging me shipping on returning a defect (and insisting that I return and pay for both modules even though only one was bad), then refusing to refund me after agreeing to, and sending me against my explicit instructions another pair of 4GBs. At this point Amazon customer service stepped in and graciously refunded me (minus the shipping, which I have paid for twice) and told me to just keep the replacement for my troubles - I'm guessing I'm not the first person to have an issue with this particular Amazon sub-vendor. While my dreams of 10GB or 12GB continue to be dashed - no bootup in any combination by combining two 4GB modules with two 1GB or two 2GB - the two replacement 4GBs in the first bank of slots work just fine, so I now have nothing to do with the four 2GBs I had bought in the meantime. I figure I'll sell those and keep the 4GB cards in the XL3 (total 8GB either way) in case a future computer is able to handle more than 8GB.

U.S. only, check or money order only (yes I know I'm behind the times Paypal-wise). PM if interested.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, I of course also still have the original 3x1GB and 1xhalf a GB. If you have some use for those, I'll throw those in for any reasonable offer.
post #3272 of 3845
Hey Jeff!!!!

Is THIS the one you wanted?


Synology DS212J Diskless System DiskStation Budget-friendly 2-bay NAS Server for Small Office and Home Use
Was $249.99
Your Price: $184.99 and Free Shipping, With Promo Code EMCNENG58
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...22108095-L011A

Sale ends Wednesday, 5/9.

Cheers!
Robert.
post #3273 of 3845
Yep...but I have to pay sales tax on it, and coincidentally - or maybe not so coincidentally - Amazon just dropped the price:



and it is on order as we speak!
post #3274 of 3845
The moral of this story is probably familiar to most here but it bears repeating so you remember to try this in case of a similar problem. The details, however, are bizarre to the point of practically supernatural.

As some of you may know, I lost AMC ("Mad Men") about a year ago. First I couldn't record it, then I flat out couldn't watch it. About three weeks ago, I lost ABC.

Now a cable channel is one thing, but I'm pretty sure that even Cablevision doesn't have the cojones to block one of the country's biggest over-the-air stations of one of the four main networks*, so I started experimenting. I began by disconnecting a splitter that used to tie in an analog tuner on my Hush PC. Well, this caused all of my HD channels to disappear, and reconnecting didn't help.

(*well, maybe I shouldn't say that so quickly, some of you may recall how Cablevision made national news when they shut off NBC right in the middle of the Olympics during a very public fight over sharing of ad revenues.)

I called Cablevision to ask them to ping my cablecard. That caused me to lose the rest of my digital channels. We started going through my settings and I noticed that the cablecard's status was "Awaiting CP [cable provider's] authorization." The tech asked me to read off my Host ID, which I did.

The tech then told me something amazing: that was not the number they had in the system for me! Did I change my hardware? No, but I did install Windows 7. A minute of asking around and the tech came back on: okay, I checked with our PC guy and yes, installing Windows 7 would change the Host ID.

Okay, maybe; but how on earth did my PC continue to work with cable during the five months since I upgraded? What I think happened was that when I disconnected my splitter and reconnected the line, there must have been some sort of communication between the ATI box and Cablevision, at which time one or the other noticed that the Host IDs did not match and shut me down. I wonder if the same thing would have happened if the PC and the ATI box had been switched off; I'm guessing not.

Anyway, we then had a little fun because the tech was convinced that when they rebind the tuner and send a new ping everything should work instantly (I knew better from experience), but once Media Center reported "CP Authorization Received" to the new Host ID ping, I told the tech that no, I did not want somebody to come out and I would try it in the morning. And sure enough, the next morning, I had TV back.

Including ABC, and even AMC.

Moral: if you have channels disappearing, it's almost certainly your greedy cable provider messing with you and treating cablecard customers as second-class citizens - there are still lots of HD channels my girlfriend gets on her STB rented from Cablevision that my cablecard cannot receive. But it is also possible that you just need to have them rebind your connection and verify they have the correct Host ID entered.
post #3275 of 3845
Quote:
Originally Posted by REnninga View Post

UPDATE: Well, I had a feeling that if I waited long enough Sapphire would offer a rebate on the coveted HD6670 low profile video graphics card. And today they did!!! I have just ordered mine from Newegg, ... which means that Darran had better get busy digging his XL systems out of storage or I may just get my HD6670 card installed before he does! (How's THAT for a cross-pond Yank:Brit challenge, Darran?) HA!

If anyone else is interested in acquiring one, here's the Newegg link:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102958

Was $99.99. Final price: $74.99 after mail-in rebate. Free shipping, plus free gift "Dirt 3" game (a $49.99 value)

Cheers!
Robert.

FOLLOWUP: The new Sapphire HD6670 low-profile card arrived yesterday afternoon, and I installed it this morning!

THE VERDICT?

(.... drum roll.......)

SUPER!!!! Absolutely fan-dam-tastic! My 720p, and 1080p and Blu-ray media has never looked better. And the colors look richer, the blacks deeper and the on-screen text such as web browsing, and DVD and Blu-ray menus and subtitles are noticeably crisper Of course when you look at the specs for this card, this shouldn't come as a surprise.

Now, ....does anyone know how to test and determine the wattage load? If you can clue me in to how to do that, I'll report back to you all on the Power supply draw for this puppy (to see if it's actually as low as some of the reviews suggest).

This one looks like a winner, and once again we can raise the bar a bit higher on our proven upgrades.

Oh, and by the way, I cannot hear the fan at all. It's quiter than the very quiet fans in the XL case.

And just by way of reminder, my system is a XL2A with a Pentium D 2.8GHz dual core. Those of you running newer XL3, XL301 and XL302 systems with Core2 Duo processors will get even better results from this card's CPU-GPU sharing HyperMemory technology!

Cheers!
Robert.
post #3276 of 3845
Well, the DS212j was a cute little unit but not my cup of tea. You have to install an installation program on one of your PCs, which then formats your NAS drive and installs Linux and a proprietary Linux-based supervisory program on that drive. Because the O/S is on the same drive (or drives, if RAID) as your data, this has a very dark underbelly: specifically, if the Synology unit goes bad, you're left with drives whose partitions cannot be easily read from. Long timers here will remember my misadventures with the Netgear SC101, which went bad and I had to buy another SC101 just to get my files back...even though they were stored in RAID-1! External drives can be formatted FAT or NTFS but only through USB 2.0 (i.e. slow as hell compared to the internal); I did not bother checking out if you can RAID across the USB-attached drives. I set up a single simple volume on a single simple drive, transferred it to my PC, and after an hour of tinkering and installing several freeware viewers I had managed to mount the Linux volume but not read a single file.

At least you don't have to install a program on every PC that accesses the Synology, which was the situation with the Netgear. Once set up, you access from any web browser.

They'd really have something if the Linux and application were installed to a separate flash card or small SSD, leaving the main data drives to be formatted with whatever system you wanted. But I won't set myself up for a repeat of the SC101 situation, so I continue to hold out for hitting the lottery and buying a complete Windows Home Server setup - assuming any are still for sale by that time.
post #3277 of 3845
WANTED - DEAD or ALIVE

I wish to acquire a VAIO VGX-XL unit, any model US or UK spec. It does not need to be functional ("Dead or Alive"), just so long as the case is in cosmetically pristine to very good condition (i.e., no cosmetic blemishes on the front surface finishes of the face of the unit).

If you have one to part with, or if you have a solid lead to someone who has an available unit, please send me a 'PM' with the details.

Thank you in advance for the assistance.

Cheers!
Robert.
post #3278 of 3845
Hi Robert

The AMD web site has a feature matrix for all Radeon models which gives power consumption for the 6670 1GB low profile:
Min (Idle) 12 W
Max 66 W
although the system requirements for all their cards says "minimum 400W PSU" for some reason.

I'm glad to learn that the GPU fan is nice and quiet. I stuck with 5450 for the sake of silent passive cooling.

******
Massive thanks to the gurus on this thread for saving my sanity over the last four years that I have been proud owner of an XL302. Perhaps I'll get the BluRay drive working properly one day!
post #3279 of 3845
Hi Zoodle,

I would not put any card into my machine that calls for a 400W PSU (including the ATI 5XXX and 6XXX lines, fan or no fan) with the OEM 250GB hard drives, especially in the stock RAID0. But if you're running an SSD as primary with perhaps one or two internal low-power magnetic drives like the Spinpoints or the WD Greens, you're probably okay. We now have enough experience published here to say there's a good margin of safety. Just forego that USB-powered toaster!
post #3280 of 3845
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjeffb View Post

Hi Zoodle,

I would not put any card into my machine that calls for a 400W PSU (including the ATI 5XXX and 6XXX lines, fan or no fan) with the OEM 250GB hard drives, especially in the stock RAID0. But if you're running an SSD as primary with perhaps one or two internal low-power magnetic drives like the Spinpoints or the WD Greens, you're probably okay. We now have enough experience published here to say there's a good margin of safety. Just forego that USB-powered toaster!

REPLY: I second, and 100% agree with Jeff's advice. With Jeff's helpful and knowledgeable recommendations over the past two years what he has described above nearly exactly describes my present VGX-XL2A system setup (a SSD for the Boot / OS / Programs / Applications drive and three low-power-use 5400 rpm Samsung SpinPoint EcoGreen HDD's in the drive rack for all data and media storage; ....and no USB-powered toaster)

The goal is to keep the "total system" power draw (for all devices and the cpu) comfortably within the 300 watt (297 watt) envelope of the OEM power supply, under load.

Those of you with VGX-XL3, 301, 302 systems with Core2 Duo processors are further advantaged as you upgrade your systems (as compared to the earlier models like my VGX-XL2A with a Pentium D processor). In contrast to all 90 and 65 nm Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors the Core 2 Duo processor family requires considerably less power. All Core 2 Duo processors are rated at 65 W maximum power draw (75 w for the Core 2 Extreme X6800), whereas the Pentium D family draws 95 W to 130 W.

It's also worth remembering that RAM Dimms draw power; a very small amount, in the grand scheme of things (DDR2 memory Dimms draw about .5 watts/GB per second at 1.8 volt) ... but is a continuous (always available) load on the power supply. Our systems shipped with only two memory slots populated, but many of us have added two additional Dimms.

As Jeff has suggested above, I am doubtful I could successfully run my Sapphire RADEON HD6670 video/graphics card in my older XL2A system, were it not for the SSD / HDD drives I chose, to replace the power hog OEM Seagate 7200 rpm drives.

Cheers!
Robert.
post #3281 of 3845
Nah, go ahead and add the toaster too. :-) (Courtesy of The Onion)
LL
post #3282 of 3845
Seeking direction and enlightenment in my digital life ...

A recent series of spikes and outages from my local electric power utility has me both contemplating my navel, as well as rethinking and seeking direction and enlightenment in my digital life.

I have been lucky, so far. I have my VGX-XL system on a very good surge suppressor which got me through the power spikes without damage. And I have so far survived the outage-caused computer crashes without loss of data (as far as I can tell). However, good luck can be viewed as a "second chance" for getting ones life in order, and getting properly prepared for the future. An Interruptible Power Supply (UPS) seems to me the obvious, pressing 'disaster preparedness' need, given recent history.

So, ...my query to the discussion thread is: Do any of you presently use UPS devices with your XL* systems, and if so can you offer recommendations? (e.g. : manufacturers; models; minimum volt/amps needed; important features to look for; must have features; etc.)

Thank you in advance to any in our thread with experience in this area (and willing to share your knowledge). Hopefully others who are also running naked (no UPS) can also benefit from your sharing here.

Cheers!
Robert.
post #3283 of 3845
I have a little TrippLite LS606M that is very compact, not much bigger than a surge protector. I've been happy withit (no buzzing sounds or blinking lights) but in truth I haven;t actually tried it under fire, as it were. A direct lightning strike literally fried my beloved Hush PC, requiring a shipment to Germany for repairs ($300 just for the shipping) and I still haven't learned my lesson, because while the TrippLite presumably protects the AC in, the Hush got zapped through the cable input (my DirecTV dish took the strike) and I continue to have no protection from inputs other than AC. I guess the day my XL3 gets zapped is the day I move to a newer PC, abandon cable, and embrace Netflix.

Actually, that may happen sooner rather than later. I don't know if this is related to my other recent cablecard issues, but I now get "weak TV signal" errors on nearly all channels. Extensive research revealed that this is a RAMPANT problem with Windows 7 64 (I restored Vista and the problem vanished). I show an unacceptable -12 or -13 db signal, but adding a dual port (+6db) or single port (+15db) booster did not move that a bit...and then I read that the signal reported by ATI tuners have nothing to do with actual values. I've also tried reflashing the ATI firmware and restoring the original Windows 7 install. This is CLEARLY a Windows 7 bug - whether or not the signal really is too weak is actually beside the point, as the picture (in the ten seconds or so before MC decides I shouldn't be watching it) is crystal clear. Nobody can figure out where in what registry the critical signal value is stored and Microsoft seems to be ignorant of the problem - their web site only talks about analog signal issues.

While Windows 7 did bring some benefits - more copy-free channels, and the ability to instantly switch to my gym's monitor using Win-P. But right now I cannot watch or record nearly any channel. I'll be downgrading back to Vista and kissing my $89 bucks for Win 7 goodbye if I cannot resolve this soon. Needless to say Cablevision hasn't a clue.
post #3284 of 3845
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjeffb View Post

No, because I am an idiot. A direct lightning strike literally fried my beloved Hush PC, requiring a shipment to Germany for repairs ($300 just for the shipping) and I still haven't learned my lesson. I guess the day my XL3 gets zapped is the day I move to a newer PC, abandon cable, and embrace Netflix*.

I personally hate UPS units with their lead acid batteries that wind up going bad a week before you really need them.

Oh wait - did you say there's newer technology I should check out?

*Actually, that may happen sooner rather than later. I don't know if this is related to my other recent cablecard issues, but I now get "weak TV signal" errors on nearly all channels. Extensive research revealed that this is a RAMPANT problem with Windows 7 64 (I restored Vista and the problem vanished). I show an unacceptable -12 or -13 db signal, but adding a dual port (+6db) or single port (+15db) booster did not move that a bit...and then I read that the signal reported by ATI tuners have nothing to do with actual values. I've also tried reflashing the ATI firmware and restoring the original Windows 7 install. This is CLEARLY a Windows 7 bug - whether or not the signal really is too weak is actually beside the point, as the picture (in the ten seconds or so before MC decides I shouldn't be watching it) is crystal clear. Nobody can figure out where in what registry the critical signal value is stored and Microsoft seems to be ignorant of the problem - their web site only talks about analog signal issues.

While Windows 7 did bring some benefits - more copy-free channels, and the ability to instantly switch to my gym's monitor using Win-P. But right now I cannot watch or record nearly any channel. I'll be downgrading back to Vista and kissing my $89 bucks for Win 7 goodbye if I cannot resolve this soon. Needless to say Cablevision hasn't a clue.

REPLY: So what's your present configuration and strategy, Jeff? If I remember correctly you only have the 64-bit version on DVD, is that correct?
Do you want to try installing 32-bit Windows 7 (I could send you a DVD copy and you can use your existing license key#): or are you going back to Vista 32-bit?
Have you downloaded the pre-release beta of Windows 8 (I have read that you can test it in "virtual machine" mode, or dual-boot or run from a DVD ... but I can't personally vouch for any of this.


http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download



Oh, if you do fry the heart of your "beloved" XL3 with a lighting strike, be sure to offer your case to me! How's that for compassion? ( I crack myself up )

Cheers!
Robert.
post #3285 of 3845
Experimenting with Netflix free 30 day trial right now. Horrible stuttery picture largely fixed by uninstalling Windows 7 stock Silverlight and installing latest version (5).

Any comments from the gang on Amazon streaming (included with Prime, $79 a year) versus Netflix ($8 a month)? I am trying out the Netflix app on my Fire to see how that goes; Amazon video seems very smooth and seamless on the Fire. I'm guessing that Netflix has way more shows atleast right now, while Amazon is better integrated. And of course Amazon includes free two-day shipping on stuff in the price.


Or let me put it another way: has anybody tried Amazon streaming on their XL? As I said Netflix works very smoothly (well, on CAT5 anyway) but Silverlight has no way to directly adjust colors and Netflix shows seem to be very dark and muddy, so you have to kludge it by either changing color settings before starting Netflix on the XL3 (both within Media Center or standaline Media Player) or else have a special preset selection on your monitor (my Sharp had a "movie" setting so I went ahead and adjusted it to optimize the Netflix playback but of course that's another remote control I have to keep handy). Comments and firstand experience of Amazon on an XL?

Yes, I'll be sending you a slightly singed case if and when I blow it up...
post #3286 of 3845
Here's my latest tale of woe.

So this time Cablevision said "guess you have a bad cablecard. Bring it to the store and we'll swap it."

"Really?" I said, "because last time Cablevision said I had to be home and pay for a visit, and the tech didn't even bring the S-card I needed. My tuner won't work with an M-card"

Thus assured, I brought my (possibly, but not definitely, defective S-card - there's still the whole "weak signal" on the incoming cable line that could, and frustratingly probably IS, the actual problem) to the local Cablevision store. I told the woman at the counter I was there to exchange cablecards. Her response did not strike an encouraging note: she said (I kid you not) "that's a strange request."

She brings over a card. I said, "that's an S-card, right?" She says "we only have one kind." "That's not what customer service told me." "Whatever, take it or leave it."

Supervisor. "We don't stock S-cards anymore, we only have M-cards." I cancel my Cablevision on the spot and call customer suppot who tells me "well, we do have S-cards but you have to find a store that has one." "Can you tell me which store?" "Well, you might try Dover, that's a pretty big store." "Can't you just check your inventory and tell me which store has one?" "Nope. Thanks for calling Cablevision. Please hold for a brief automated survey."

So while I ponder ordering a $200 Ceton M-card-compatible DCT, or ditching cable permanently and just watching Netflix (although my impressions of Netflix over the past few days have been pretty negative, not just because of the spotty selections, and not just because of no surround sound, but because of continuous "network problem" errors within Media Center even though it plays fine in an Internet browser) one thing is pretty clear: I won't be needing my single channel USB ATI TV Wonder digital tuner anymore. Any takers?
post #3287 of 3845
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjeffb View Post

Here's my latest tale of woe.

So this time Cablevision said "guess you have a bad cablecard. Bring it to the store and we'll swap it."

"Really?" I said, "because last time Cablevision said I had to be home and pay for a visit, and the tech didn't even bring the S-card I needed. My tuner won't work with an M-card"

Thus assured, I brought my (possibly, but not definitely, defective S-card - there's still the whole "weak signal" on the incoming cable line that could, and frustratingly probably IS, the actual problem) to the local Cablevision store. I told the woman at the counter I was there to exchange cablecards. Her response did not strike an encouraging note: she said (I kid you not) "that's a strange request."

She brings over a card. I said, "that's an S-card, right?" She says "we only have one kind." "That's not what customer service told me." "Whatever, take it or leave it."

Supervisor. "We don't stock S-cards anymore, we only have M-cards." I cancel my Cablevision on the spot and call customer suppot who tells me "well, we do have S-cards but you have to find a store that has one." "Can you tell me which store?" "Well, you might try Dover, that's a pretty big store." "Can't you just check your inventory and tell me which store has one?" "Nope. Thanks for calling Cablevision. Please hold for a brief automated survey."

So while I ponder ordering a $200 Ceton M-card-compatible DCT, or ditching cable permanently and just watching Netflix (although my impressions of Netflix over the past few days have been pretty negative, not just because of the spotty selections, and not just because of no surround sound, but because of continuous "network problem" errors within Media Center even though it plays fine in an Internet browser) one thing is pretty clear: I won't be needing my single channel USB ATI TV Wonder digital tuner anymore. Any takers?

REPLY: I'm sorry for laughing here, Jeff, but the way you put that in words is priceless. Do you sometimes feel "This could only happen to me?" Thanks for the chuckle.

Well, in the grand scheme of things it could have been worse. You could have spent two to three hours on the telephone with "Bill", in Bangalore, and still not have your problem resolved.

I vote for "the Ceton solution"; or give DISH Network a try (a LOT cheaper than cable and tons of HD content).
Life is short, but can be longer if you remove some of the unnecessary frustrations. Good luck! (and let us know what you decide upon).

Cheers!
Robert.
post #3288 of 3845
>You could have spent two to three hours on the telephone with "Bill", in Bangalore, and still not have your problem resolved.

Oh yes? I presumed you had read the entire XL3 thread through. Check out this gem, it'll really give you a chuckle:

I just called Cablevision and countermanded my order to cancel, and I'm going to try the Ceton. I just know I'm making a mistake - the reported problem was weak signal and the expensive and painful fix I'm implementing is to buy a different tuner! It's like a slow-motion dream where I know a car crash is about to happen but I'm powerless to stop it. Kharma must have its way. Or maybe it's Dharma, I get them confused. I know one of them is spicy and the other one has cardomom seeds.

BTW I used to have DirecTV but had to cancel due to neighbor's trees growing into line of sight, so Dish is probably out as well - I only have clear line of sight straight up vertically.
post #3289 of 3845
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjeffb View Post

> BTW I used to have DirecTV but had to cancel due to neighbor's trees growing into line of sight, so Dish is probably out as well - I only have clear line of sight straight up vertically. <</b>

REPLY: Ah, yes, a common but easily solved problem. Acquire the following:

*a black jumpsuit and balaclava,
*a moonless night, and
*a couple of gallons of Roundup Tree & Stump Killer.

Allow about 3-4 weeks for your satellite reception to improve. Repeat as necessary. VoilÃ* !!! ( Shhhhhhhh; you didn't hear it from me )

Cheers!
Robert.


PS. On a more serious note, just for fun you may want to try the locator calculator (before considering botanical genocide) :
http://satcalculator.net/
post #3290 of 3845
Hello all

First off I have to say hats off to all of the legends on this forums, the names I saw in 2007 are still around and doing excellent. Of course, this unit is a legend, no doubt, but made better by the 'support' here. Thanks.

I have a fairly noob question though.... My 2007 model XL 301 (UK) has had 4 gig of RAM since day 1. I understand that due to motherboard restrictions i'm unable to run more than this, even if I install a 64 bit OS. I this the case?

Thanks in advance.
post #3291 of 3845
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4. View Post

>>>Hello all

First off I have to say hats off to all of the legends on this forums, the names I saw in 2007 are still around and doing excellent. Of course, this unit is a legend, no doubt, but made better by the 'support' here. Thanks.

I have a fairly noob question though.... My 2007 model XL 301 (UK) has had 4 gig of RAM since day 1. I understand that due to motherboard restrictions i'm unable to run more than this, even if I install a 64 bit OS. I this the case?

Thanks in advance.

<<<<br />
REPLY: Hello h4',

That was true of the earlier US & UK spec. motherboards, but your system will support 8 GB, if certain parameters are met:
*Intel P965+ICH8DH chipset on the motherboard
*64-bit OS ( Windows 7 or Windows Vista)
*Correct memory configuration, correctly installed

Several among our fold are running 8GB on their US spec. XL3 and UK spec. XL301/302 systems (with 64-bit).


The Intel literature about the P965+ICH8DH chipset (the chipset in your XL301) states it supports 8GB maximum of RAM on two channels (i.e., 4GB per channel, or 2GB DIMMS in all four slots).

For best system response and performance use four (4) matched DDR2 533 2GB DIMMS populating all four slots. That also provides the best system-clock cycles pairing recommended for your XL301. Here's a good whitepaper on the P965 chipset. Note that although it will support 8GB maximum using DDR2 533 or DDR2 667 DIMMS, it will only support 4GB maximum memory if you install DDR2 800 DIMMS (see: 3.1 "Memory Technology Supported"):

http://www.intel.com/Assets/PDF/whitepaper/313207.pdf


Cheers!
Robert.

PS. This is what Crucial recommends for your XL301 system. At current prices you should be able to purchase four, matched 2GB DIMMS of name brand memory for less than $100 US.

http://www.crucial.com/store/listpar...-XL301&Cat=RAM

PPS. Bear in mind there are some operational and hardware hiccups to overcome if you install a 64-bit OS (at least one, the optical drive eject button software driver hiccup hasn't been resolved). So, if you do not intend to use your system for gaming (it's not really well suited for it anyway) you might be better served for your purposes to stick with a 32-bit OS and 4GB of RAM, but upgrade your CPU (the Core2 Duo E6700 or even the more power-hungry Core2 Extreme X6800 processors have been recommended) and also upgrade your video/graphics card (more on-board GPU memory / less power draw) ... instead of trying to maximize RAM which really isn't needed.
4GB installed RAM (3.25GB-3.33GB usable) should be quite adequate for a HTPC use with a fast CPU and video/graphics card; especially if you also install a Solid State Drive (SSD) for your OS/Boot drive. Don't forget that the .67 -.75 of "unusable" installed RAM is still used for background system support; it's just not addressable for applications and command directed purposes. So for all intents and purposes, 4GB installed is 4GB used.
post #3292 of 3845
REnninga

Thanks you for your prompt and thorough response. This is absolutely excellent.

I have "decommissioned" my XL301 as I no longer have use for its HTPC capabilities. I'm currently using the Apple TV2 and streaming from WHS. I want to use this as a "lab" machine now and if it can handle it, maybe ESXi\\VM's. I know this is somewhat bizarre but I don't see why its not feasible. If it could handle 16G this would be excellent, but as you point out the processor may not handle it.

I'm not really a "hands on" hardware person, I managed to change the GPU to the 8500GT sometime ago. The CD eject button may well present an issue, but i'll need to do some further investigation. I may be able to remove this and use it elsewhere, buying another for the XL301.

I will be looking into the possiblities of processor upgrades and confirming to see which processor I have.

Thanks
post #3293 of 3845
Quote:
Originally Posted by h4. View Post

REnninga

Thanks you for your prompt and thorough response. This is absolutely excellent.

I have "decommissioned" my XL301 as I no longer have use for its HTPC capabilities. I'm currently using the Apple TV2 and streaming from WHS. I want to use this as a "lab" machine now and if it can handle it, maybe ESXi\\VM's. I know this is somewhat bizarre but I don't see why its not feasible. If it could handle 16G this would be excellent, but as you point out the processor may not handle it <<<<br />
REPLY: It will not. It's not the "processor" but the Intel "chipset" on the motherboard which limits that motherboard to 8 GB maximum RAM. The chipset is fixed; not upgradeable. As noted a 64-bit OS (operating system) will support 8 GB of the correct RAM DIMMS, but will not support more than 8 GB with your chipset, which is part of your motherboard.



I'm not really a "hands on" hardware person, I managed to change the GPU to the 8500GT sometime ago.

REPLY: If I am not mistaken, the Nvidia 8500GT series video/graphics cards are 512MB DDR2 cards. Your system will support the later model AMD/ATi 5000 series 1GB DDR3 and even 6000 series 1GB DDR5 low profile cards. The diference in video quality and stability is striking, and the price is moderate, considering the improvement. This subject is pretty well covered in this discussion thread.

The CD eject button may well present an issue, but i'll need to do some further investigation. I may be able to remove this and use it elsewhere, buying another for the XL301.

REPLY: No, the optical drive button on the faceplate of the XL301 is not physically attached to the slimline slot-in drive. It is directly wired to the motherboard. So changing the drive won't address the issue. Sony did not write a 64-bit software fix for ejecting disks.

As a consequence, if you go to a 64-bit OS you will have two options: Eject the disc using your mouse, or cut the wired connections at the motherboard and hard wire (solder) the front panel eject button leads to the eject input connections on the optical drive itself (covered in this discussion thread). It's not a task I recommend for a novice
.


I will be looking into the possiblities of processor upgrades and confirming to see which processor I have.

Thanks

REPLY: If you have not already upgraded your processor you will have the OEM Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.87 GHz (1 processor, 2 cores)

The Core2 Duo E6700 2.66 GHz (1 processor, 2 cores) can be found in healthy numbers (used/system pulls) on eBay UK for as little as GBP 20. (Note: Do not buy a Pentium E6700, you need a Core2 Duo processor).

The Core 2 Extreme X6800 is a better performer, but pulls a fair amount more power from the PSU. In my opinion you would be better served for your purposes with the lower power and much cheaper Core2 Duo E6700

You can get a good sense for the performance increase you can realize by researching the benchmark comparison charts online, which show the results for each processor. Examples:


Core2 Extreme X6800 (Average CPU Mark 1824): http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?...00+%40+2.93GHz
Core2 Duo E6700 (Average CPU Mark 1642): http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?...00+%40+2.66GHz
Core2 Duo E6300 (Average CPU Mark 1107): http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?...00+%40+1.86GHz

Cheers!
Robert.
post #3294 of 3845
h4, as I documented above I can confirm firsthand that the XL won't take anything over 8GB (based on numerous experiments) but as Ren pointed out 8GB works fine when properly configured. You mention you have a UK model but you did not actually say (here or in your profile) that you are in the UK. If by chance you are in the U.S. I have the memory you need for sale, see above. I don't think I could beat a U.K. price with international shipping however.
post #3295 of 3845
rjeff,

Thank you for your comments. I've read your posts over the years and I can only say 'wow'... As such I don't doubt it...I suppose I was just hoping for more I suppose.

In response to your question, I am in the UK...

I will be considering my options and keeing an eye on this amazing thread.
post #3296 of 3845
The Ceton 4-channel USB DCT is in and it is a WOW! Unlike the TV Wonder, the Ceton installs its own drivers and MC7 (only, Vista need not apply) applications including some wonderful diagnostics and flashware/driver update apps. Really nice thing here is they install like any regular Windows driver install routine so you can run them, save them for archive, etc. I did have a problem with the tuner not being found but when I moved it from an add-on card USB port to the original USB port in the back, everything worked perfectly and smoothly. Paired right up (took about an hour before the channels appeared, I think that's a Cablecard thing) and my signal strength showed around +5db as opposed to the -12db that was previously reported. Great picture on all four, yes count them four, channels I can record and watch at the same time.

So the single-channel cablecard was definitely the problem and since Cablevision no longer carries them, I am confirming that I am selling my nearly new TV Wonder.

Go Ceton!
post #3297 of 3845
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjeffb View Post

>>> my signal strength showed around +5db as opposed to the -12db that was previously reported. Great picture on all four, yes count them four, channels I can record and watch at the same time. <<<


REPLY: CONGRATS, Jeff! It's about time something went your way with one of these recent upgrades. I'm pleased for you. That's big, ... as is the significant signal-strength improvement (that's a lot more than I would have expected).

I'm glad you went with your first instinct on this one rather than talking yourself out of trying the different tuners (Ceton) approach in light of the signal-strength issue. And your experience is a good heads-up for all of us, if we should ever begin to encounter difficulty pulling signal.

The natural assumption when that happens is to assume it's a source/service provider issue (especially when the signal strength had not previously been a problem).

Wouldn't it be interesting to be able to dissect and test the components on the TV Wonder card to find out why things changed. I have heard of that problem developing with other tuner cards, and have read about the "oven baking" cure (for both tuner cards AND video/graphics cards. But cooking" an assembly of printed and soldered circuits in the oven in order to "fix" it seems ... well, a bit draconian and risky, to me.

Cheers!
Robert.
post #3298 of 3845
Whether internal (since fried due to my incautiously poking around with the power turned on) or USB external, the ATI TV Wonder design has always been user-hostile. However, I have no reason to believe that my latest problems were tuner related and every reason to think they were cablecard-induced; I have twice before had cablecards go bad on me.

While the ATI very much had the cable company's proprietary mindset, the Ceton is genuinely user-friendly with apps and instructions that explain everything and make all the information very readily available.
post #3299 of 3845
WTF? I came home to the dreaded "Top Gear did not record because no tuner was available." No TV, no tuner. Rebooted XL3, no tuner.

Unplugged power to Ceton, plugged back in...tuner back. Bad behavior in response to a power outage? Stay tuned...(so to speak)...
post #3300 of 3845
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjeffb View Post

WTF? I came home to the dreaded "Top Gear did not record because no tuner was available." No TV, no tuner. Rebooted XL3, no tuner.

Unplugged power to Ceton, plugged back in...tuner back. Bad behavior in response to a power outage? Stay tuned...(so to speak)...

I had this same problem and it kept recurring. What I did ended it all by updating the firmware for the ceton tuner.
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