*Official* Gigabyte GA-EG45M-DS2H Thread (mATX Intel G45 + 8 Channel LPCM) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Gigabyte GA-EG45M-DS2H: Will it be the first bitstreaming audio solution?
The Official Product Page at Gigabyte

Welcome to the official Gigabyte GA-EG45M-DS2H microATX motherboard thread. Many of us have been waiting for the Intel G45 based motherboard offerings to arrive for our next HTPC build. Some of us have been waiting for the Intel-branded offerings (DG45ID and DG45FC) due mid-August. Two days ago Gigabyte made it first to market with a microATX form factor Intel G45 motherboard. Pending reviews, this may just be "thee" next-gen HTPC board for anyone interested in an Intel CPU based microATX board with full hardware-accelerated 1080p Bluray playback alongside an inexpensive CPU, and 8 Channel LPCM audio with planned bitstreaming audio support through the Protected Audio Path (PAP).

To recap some other threads, the main selling point of the Intel G45 chipset is the Intel X4500 HD IGP (integrated graphics processor - Intel's most powerful to date), which HA (hardware accelerates) playback of all three Bluray codecs (MPEG2, H.264 and VC-1) and DVD codec (MPEG2). Intel calls their HA technology "Clear Video", similar in concept to Nvidia's "Purevideo" and ATI's "Universal Video Decoder" aka "UVD" aka "Avivo" - all three give software player companies hooks to enable HA functionality of the IGP in their applications (PowerDVD, Arcsoft TMT, Nero Showtime). At the moment PowerDVD is the only player that supports Intel's X4500 HD IGP, though that could change any day since Arcsoft TMT has planned support.
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post #2 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 04:54 AM - Thread Starter
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As soon as I receive this board from Newegg, today or tomorrow, I'll immediately verify and posts results for:

- Hardware accelerated Bluray playback of all three BD codecs (H.264, VC-1 and MPEG2) with PowerDVD 8 and Arcsoft TMT.
- 8 channel LPCM over HDMI support, just as Gigabyte claims it supports (2-channel-only LPCM like the Gigabyte 780G would be unacceptable!)

Ofcourse if someone gets this board sooner and can test the above then post your results in this thread!
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post #3 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 05:51 AM
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Hi and thanks for the update.

I am thinking of getting this board but have two questions:

1. If possible, could you test if putting an x4 PCIe card into the x16 slot would disable the onboard graphics? I got well bitten by this with an ASUS G35 board recently.

2. I'm a little unsure of the terminology but I wish to be able to send TrueHD etc straight from the disc down the HDMI to a modern receiver and have it decoded in all its glory there - is this what you mean by 7.1 LCPM or should i be asking a different question? (sorry to be thick but I'm not well-versed in this area).

Regards
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post #4 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil__C View Post

Hi and thanks for the update.
2. I'm a little unsure of the terminology but I wish to be able to send TrueHD etc straight from the disc down the HDMI to a modern receiver and have it decoded in all its glory there - is this what you mean by 7.1 LCPM or should i be asking a different question? (sorry to be thick but I'm not well-versed in this area).

Regards

Yah, I would ask the same question like Neil, Will this mb provide us to transfer next generation audio formats (like DTS HD, Master DD) directly to a modern AVR (like Onkyo 805, 875 vs..) so that we can decode that audio through the AVR?

Much appreciate If some of you who will probably test this mb could answer this most expected question

AVR: Onkyo TX-SR 707

Speaker: Pure Acoustics SlimDream

NMT: Popcorn Hour C-200

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post #5 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 06:32 AM
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It looks like Dospara has these in stock, which would warrant a car ride up to Niigata, were it not for the layout of the expansion slots, which rule out use of my Vid Card.

Too bad, it looks like a really nice board.
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post #6 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 07:16 AM
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Thanks for the info, odditory!

I'll definitely take this board now into consideration, even in favor of the DG45ID, as I have a feeling I'll be able to get this one faster (I mean in Detroit, where I'm going for the next two weeks, for a business trip...)

Please keep us updated with the performance of that board as soon as you get it...
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post #7 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalupacabra View Post

It looks like Dospara has these in stock, which would warrant a car ride up to Niigata, were it not for the layout of the expansion slots, which rule out use of my Vid Card.

Too bad, it looks like a really nice board.

Isn't the point of getting this board to NOT use another video card? Having it built in is a big plus. If I were going to use another video card I wouldn't even bother with the board.

Streaming Devices: Nvidia Shield, 2x Roku 3's, 1st/2nd gen chromecast, ATV4k, Apple TV 4, xbox 360/one
Displays: Vizio M602i-B3, LG OLED65B6, panasonic ax100u on a 145" S-I-L-V-E-R painted screen, 40" Samsung
Receivers: Denon X3300, Yamaha RX-V663. Bluray/UHD player: Oppo UDP-203
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post #8 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalupacabra View Post

It looks like Dospara has these in stock, which would warrant a car ride up to Niigata, were it not for the layout of the expansion slots, which rule out use of my Vid Card.

Too bad, it looks like a really nice board.

a definitely agree that those expansion slots are completely ridiculous, luckily the Intel board got it perferct

well almost at least, getting rid of the PCI slot and adding a PCI-E x4 slot would be perfect.

PCI-E x1 (x2)
PCI_E x4 (x1)
PCI-E x16 (x1)

that would be ideal IMO

there's absolutely no need for a PCI slot or an IDE socket in 2008
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post #9 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 07:39 AM
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Thanks for the update. I'll get this once you have confirmed 8-channel LPCM. DG45FC had kept me waiting for weeks, I don't even know if it'll still launch this month
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post #10 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsb View Post

there's absolutely no need for a PCI slot or an IDE socket in 2008

(Don't agree here. There are almost no pro sound cards that are PCI express. In 2009 the situation may be different.)
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post #11 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 08:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMR View Post

(Don't agree here. There are almost no pro sound cards that are PCI express. In 2009 the situation may be different.)

Agreed. My tuner card is PCI. It definately does not need the extra bandwidth provided by PCIe.

Eventually they will go away, but not yet.
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post #12 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsb View Post

PCI-E x1 (x2)
PCI_E x4 (x1)
PCI-E x16 (x1)

This confuguration is simply impossible unless you are content with a PCI Gb LAN.

- G45: 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes
- ICH10(R): 6 PCIe 1.1 lanes

BTW the GIGABYTE board wastes 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes by permanently attaching the PCIe x16 slot to ICH10R. What a stupid design! Yup, most HTPC users won't care about it as they never use a discrete graphics card.


To be fair, x16 or x4 does not actually matter for BD playback.

- GEN1 x4: 1GB/s = 8000Mb/s in each direction
- BD movies: 50Mb/s

The caution is meaningful to only those who may use the mb as a gaming machine.
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post #13 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 08:18 AM
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so featurewise the intel and gigabyte boards are the same except for the pci slots?

hmmm, to wait or not to wait for the intel board...
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post #14 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odditory View Post

Of note with this motherboard is the exclusive Realtek ALC889a audio chip, for which Gigabyte/Realtek and Cyberlink have reportedly been working on PAP support on for the past 10 months.

This is the same audio chip as in the GA-MA78GM-S2H. Why would bitstreaming be capable here and not there?
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post #15 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneakerx View Post

This is the same audio chip as in the GA-MA78GM-S2H. Why would bitstreaming be capable here and not there?

ALC889A is strictly analog. Bistreaming has nothing to do with ALC889A. The point is if a software player can send full-resolution LPCM to ALC889A (then ALC889A converts it to analog).
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post #16 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

This confuguration is simply impossible unless you are content with a PCI Gb LAN.

- G45: 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes
- ICH10(R): 6 PCIe 1.1 lanes

BTW the GIGABYTE board wastes 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes by permanently attaching the PCIe x16 slot to ICH10R. What a stupid design! Yup, most HTPC users won't care about it as they never use a discrete graphics card.

then (3x) PCI-E X1 would be acceptable as long as a 4x card in the x16 slot didn't disable the G45 decoding and HDMI output


I take it the Intel board doesn't permanently attach the x16 slot to the ICH10?

I'll probably never use it like you state, but better safe than sorry.
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post #17 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

ALC889A is strictly analog. Bistreaming has nothing to do with ALC889A. The point is if a software player can send full-resolution LPCM to ALC889A (then ALC889A converts it to analog).

So in the end we'd get full resolution audio out of the analog ports? I thought this was already a feature. What about 7.1 LPCM over HDMI with this board?
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post #18 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneakerx View Post

I thought this was already a feature.

Yes, this has been a "feature" since ALC889A first appeared in GIGABYTE motherboards, but has never been realized.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneakerx View Post

What about 7.1 LPCM over HDMI with this board?

7.1 LPCM over HDMI has been implemented since Intel G965 chipset in 2006 (maybe 945G in 2005?). Our concern here is if 7.1 LPCM is full-resolution or not.
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post #19 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsb View Post

then (3x) PCI-E X1 would be acceptable as long as a 4x card in the x16 slot didn't disable the G45 decoding and HDMI output

Sorry, if you insert a card (graphics or not) in the PCIe x16 slot (GEN2 x16), then the onboard graphics is disabled automatically. This is the chipset's limitation. From Intel 4 Series Chipset Family Datasheet:

Quote:


For the 82G45, 82G43 GMCHs, the PCI Express Interface is mulitplexed with the SDVO and HDMI/DVI interfaces.

Or look at the block diagram:


The GIGABYTE board does not suffer from this limitation because the PCIe x16 is not attached to G45! BTW AMD and NVIDIA IGP never suffer from this problem so that we can use their IGP in a server.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsb View Post

I take it the Intel board doesn't permanently attach the x16 slot to the ICH10?

Perhaps this is a unique feature of the GIGABYTE board. I bet the PCIe x16 is attached to NB in all the G45 mb except GIGABYTE.
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post #20 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

The GIGABYTE board does not suffer from this limitation because the PCIe x16 is not attached to G45!

I guess you mean the PCIe x4 slot?

Quote:


Expansion Slots

1. 1 x PCI Express x4 slot (Refer to the VGA device support list.)
2. 1 x PCI Express x1 slot
3. 2 x PCI slots

I wonder why Gigabyte has not made it a x16 slot (maybe chipset limitation for use with G45??)
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post #21 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

7.1 LPCM over HDMI has been implemented since Intel G965 chipset in 2006 (maybe 945G in 2005?). Our concern here is if 7.1 LPCM is full-resolution or not.

Yep. 945G, though the number of motherboards which took advantage of it is either 0 or 1 (I am still uncertain since I never had the Aopen board).

It's in the hands of the software vendors at this point (and whatever leverage our ISV partnerships have brought to bear).

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Intel Corp., Technology Manufacturing Group
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post #22 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzzozzzo View Post

I guess you mean the PCIe x4 slot?

I mean the PCI Express slot physically x16, but electrically GEN1 x4.
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post #23 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzzozzzo View Post

I wonder why Gigabyte has not made it a x16 slot (maybe chipset limitation for use with G45??)

No it's not a chipset limitation. I guess GIGABYTE assumed that a user never use a discrete graphics card, so thought that attaching PCIe x16 to ICH10R is better because by doing so, the user can use, for example, a RAID controller PCIe x4 card along with the onboard video.

As I said earlier, you can't use a RAID controller card in the PCIe x16 (GEN2 x16) slot that would automatically disable the onboard graphics.
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post #24 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 10:11 AM
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The gigabyte manual makes this statement " Please note the HDMI audio output only supports AC3, DTS and 2-channel-LPCM formats."
This doesn't sound good to me.
Am I missing something here? Is this of concern?
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post #25 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryBumkin View Post

The gigabyte manual makes this statement " Please note the HDMI audio output only supports AC3, DTS and 2-channel-LPCM formats."
This doesn't sound good to me.
Am I missing something here? Is this of concern?

I guess the writer of the manual is stupid enough to cut and paste carelessly from other mbs' manual?
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post #26 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 10:43 AM
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While I tend to make this assumption (because it's happened with Gigabyte in the past), I want to be cautious. Everything I've seen implies 7.1 HDMI audio, but there's zero documentation the HDMI audio codec even exists, let alone what its capabilities are.

I do not speak officially in any sense for
Intel Corp., Technology Manufacturing Group
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post #27 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 10:55 AM
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All I really care about is if it has bitstreaming. My receiver can handle the rest.

Streaming Devices: Nvidia Shield, 2x Roku 3's, 1st/2nd gen chromecast, ATV4k, Apple TV 4, xbox 360/one
Displays: Vizio M602i-B3, LG OLED65B6, panasonic ax100u on a 145" S-I-L-V-E-R painted screen, 40" Samsung
Receivers: Denon X3300, Yamaha RX-V663. Bluray/UHD player: Oppo UDP-203
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post #28 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

All I really care about is if it has bitstreaming. My receiver can handle the rest.

I remember archibael predicted no.
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post #29 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

All I really care about is if it has bitstreaming. My receiver can handle the rest.


full rez LPCM like the PS3 would be acceptable to me

I haven't gotten a new receiver capable of bitstreaming yet though, so the need to see the lights come on hasn't hit me yet
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post #30 of 896 Old 08-01-2008, 11:11 AM
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Is LCPM going to work if I don't use a player program? I use the PowerDVD codecs for HA but I don't use the app itself. All my content is ripped to the hard drive. AC3filter is used to pass the audio currently as i'm using spidf at the moment.

Streaming Devices: Nvidia Shield, 2x Roku 3's, 1st/2nd gen chromecast, ATV4k, Apple TV 4, xbox 360/one
Displays: Vizio M602i-B3, LG OLED65B6, panasonic ax100u on a 145" S-I-L-V-E-R painted screen, 40" Samsung
Receivers: Denon X3300, Yamaha RX-V663. Bluray/UHD player: Oppo UDP-203
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