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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone running an Athlon64 cpu for their HTPC care to comment on performance and motherboard recommendations? Windows XP vs. Windows XP 64-bit Edition? So many options, and with all this new hardware and software out I'd appreciate to hear from anyone using these with a HTPC application, especially with HDTV in mind.


Its time to retire my P4 1.8Ghz SS51G, as it wont playback the HD Coral Reef Adventure DVD very well. Need more Horsepower! I was waiting for a Dell rebate deal on an 8300 3Ghz, but I'm very tempted to make the 64-bit jump with AMD this time around. I like the fact they are now using a built in heat spreader like the P4 does, after having bad experiences with the tiny core of an Athlon XP and heat issues. With these issues resolved, I'm ready to give them a chance to redeem themselves!


Thanx,

Dr V
 

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If you the problem is you can't play back a dvd, then you might also want to consider a video card that suppoorts dirct x 9.x ( assuming your using windows) Directx 9.x has hooks to hardware mpexg support. The radeon 9600 and 98000 series support this. You can get a radieon 9600 from newegg for ~ 118
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replys..


I do not have problems playing back normal standard definition DVDs, just the new HIGH definition IMAX Coral Reef Adventure DVD. MS recommends a 2.4Ghz cpu for the 720p version and a 3 Ghz cpu for the 1080p version. My next videocard will be a 9800 for sure!


The motherboard reviews were interesting, however I think they gave awards out to more motherboards than they reviewed! What i really wanted was the opinion of someone actually using an Athlon64 cpu for hometheater type work. So far from what I've been reading it seems the P4 is keeping up just fine for video encoding, and Windows XP 64-bit edition is still buggy as can be and requires (?) 64-bit drivers. I'm starting to get the perception that the 64-bit world isn't mature enough just yet, and perhaps a P4 would be the best bang for the buck.. this week! It should be interesting when Intel's new core comes out. Also its almost the end of Dell's quarter (on Feb 12th I believe) and they usually lower prices shortly thereafter. A Dell 8300 is my path unless I can convince myself that the Athlon64 is the way to go!


Dr V
 

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The MSI K8T has been reviewed as the best so far. I just got one for my Athlon 64 3000+ and its worked flawless.


I'd either go with The MSI, Asus, or Gigabyte. Just stay away from any Nforce 3 boards!
 

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I just built an asus k8v system for a friend of mine after reading a shootout on the various boards available - the feature set and benchmark results led me to recommend it and it was a sweet deal too. I didn't get to play with it much as I had to come home (2000 miles), but it worked extremely well and there were no driver problems or stability issues. if i were building an athlon 64 system for myself i'd use it with no hesitation.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mastahkaz
The MSI K8T has been reviewed as the best so far. I just got one for my Athlon 64 3000+ and its worked flawless.


I'd either go with The MSI, Asus, or Gigabyte. Just stay away from any Nforce 3 boards!


the SiS chipset has been proved better than the via chipset. I can post many links if you want.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rack
http://www.ocworkbench.com/2004/ecs/755a2/755a2-1.htm

I'd wait until the A2 revision of the SiS chipset board is in wide circulation to pick up a board. The A revision had some trouble running RAM at 200MHz/DDR400 speeds.


yup, I agree


get the new revision of the ECS SiS chipset board



Vinculum,


for HDTV this will work very well...


try to get a 3400+


its a new stepping (if you know what that is)


and just use regular XP Pro for now
 

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The performance from all 3 platforms are all still awesome compared to the old Nforce2. And with my lowly NF2 w/Athlon 2.2ghz, it plays WM9-HD T2 perfectly start to finish.


The K8T800 and SIS are pretty close in performance, with both on top over the NF3 150. I doubt there is a tangible difference between via and sis. All 3 will play WM9-HD well.


That said, the Albatron K8T800 Athlon64 board has Via Envy 7.1 Audio built-in. The audio for this board has gotten some good reviews. They said it compared favorably to Soundstorm and Audigy.


It has a bracket with both optical and coax in/out.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Pestilence
I can't help but be very wary of SIS chipsets - they've made so many HORRIBLE products in the past that it's very difficult for me to trust them now.



this is NOT true anymore. for about 2 years they have been coming out with awesome chipsets.


they came out with a dual channel board before Intel and was better than intel's own (the legendary 655 chipset)


of course now intel's 875 chipset is now the best intel chipset. But sis has a 655FX that ties it.


sis' southbridge is so sweet with its integrated SATA raid-0. Its as good as intel's ICH5R raid-0


the same southbridge is used on the intel and amd64 boards
 

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I am currently using an Athlon 64, on an Asus K8V Deluxe board. I'm very happy with it, it has 6 USB ports, 2 Firewire ports, Serial and Parallel ATA, RAID 0 & 1, 3Com Gigabit Ethernet, etc..


It has good BIOS functionality, including a good fan speed control system, to keep the system quiet. It supports the Athlon 64's "Cool n Quiet" feature, to slow down the processor when it's not under load (many motherboards do not support this). It fully supports S3 Sleep state (Suspend to RAM) -- I'm surprised at how many boards sold today do not support this.



But, the biggest question for those wanting an Athlon 64 system is, "Buy now, or Wait?".


AMD is in the process of changing sockets for this CPU. The current A64 uses a 754 pin socket, the A64 FX-51 uses a 940 pin socket like the Opteron. The pin difference is because the FX/Opterons use a 128 bit memory bus.


AMD is dropping socket 754, and is going to a new Socket 939 for all Athlon 64's. I think the Opterons will remain on Socket 940. So, there will only be one or two speed bumps for the Socket754 processors before they are abandoned in favor of Socket 939. Although, AMD is reported to be moving the Athlon XP's (32 bit) to Socket754 as the low-end processor for the future.


What I have read is that the 939 boards/chips should appear in the April time frame.
 

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if you want socket 939, you got to wait till April


April is also when ATI will be releasing new video cards, WIndows XP 64 will come, and DOOM III will also come.


but honestly, if you need a new system, just buy A64 now.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Pestilence
I just built an asus k8v system for a friend of mine after reading a shootout on the various boards available - the feature set and benchmark results led me to recommend it and it was a sweet deal too. I didn't get to play with it much as I had to come home (2000 miles), but it worked extremely well and there were no driver problems or stability issues. if i were building an athlon 64 system for myself i'd use it with no hesitation.
Same. Built a Media PC with a Philips Remote with this board. Now my primary PC. I do like the Asus products. Now my primary HTPC.


Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Waiting always gets you something faster and cheaper! I do agree that its hard to buy into something "new" thats already being abandoned shortly (socket 754) I must admit the lack of dual channel on 754 seems to be the only thing holding the Athlon64 back (hardware wise) from some of the benchmarks against the P4 Extremely OVerpriced Edition. Thanx for the great feedbacks. I'm still doing my homework on this!


Dr V
 

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 http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NTc1

Even though this article is headed about the 3400 it has the 3000 and 3200 for comparison


Bang for your buck in A64's goes to the 3000+. Even at half the casche it comes close to keeping up with its big brothers. :)
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...=BROWSE&depa=1



Input on motherboards from me, I've only dealt with the Asus SK8N board for the FX51 chip and had no problems with it.


I don't remember reading any terrible reviews on any A64 boards.

http://www.hardocp.com/reviews.html?cat=MiwsLCws

scroll down the hardocp for a few A64 reviews

http://www20.tomshardware.com/mother...105/index.html


I haven't read all of this article yet about memory problems
http://www20.tomshardware.com/mother...112/index.html
 
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