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Very interesting... I tried to bring up the pictures but the links were not working. What is the form factor of this board?


How many PCI/AGP slots? (In case the the integrated hardware isn't up to par)


Obsidience
 

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Obsidience,


At the top of the anandtech article:

Quote:
New VIA Apollo CLE266 Enables Stunning DVD Performance and Digital Video Streaming in Fanless, Small Form Factor PC and Home Entertainment Devices
Looks like it's Small Form Factor ;)


I don't see any mention of AGP or PCI slots. However, this is just a chipset announcement and there doesn't seem to be a reference board yet. However, I hope there will be room for 2 PCI slots but I doubt we'll see an AGP slot on this.


The orginal news announcement with working links can be found here .


Unfortunately, this doesn't look like it will make the cut as an "HTPC" solution by the regulars here...

1) it's VIA

2) no M-Audio sound

3) no Radeon video


However, it might make an excellent basis as a "MediaPC" for the rest of us.
 

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"6 Channel Surround Sound AC'97 audio interface" - er no SPDIF?


"and an integrated 128-bit 2D ... graphics engine " - 4 time a radeon?


"In addition, there is support for CRT, LCD or TV dual display technology, two Video Capture ports and Picture in Picture functionality for multi-channel capability. "


When in doubt - got to the source

Press Release
More Information
Images
 

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It looks like a watered down version of what we can build ourselves with top shelf parts. ie. I doubt the video, audio, NIC, etc. will be as good as a Radeon, M-Audio, 3C905, etc.... but it may be a nice price point for those who don't want to build. And of course, VIA chipset. Need I say more.


But having USB 2.0 and firewire built in certainly would be cool.



See here for more info:
http://www.via.com.tw/en/Digital%20L.../pr_thinpc.jsp




-Robert
 

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thanks bdogg, so much for my speed reading abilities ;-)


Passive cooling = good

Integrated bottom dollar components with no chance for an upgrade = bad


Obsidience
 

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Wayne,


Don't you think that is a little harsh? Looks like it has a decent amount of features in the hardware assist area, and the 6 channel sound definitely means they could have digital out. With Via's move towards more quality parts like the $1000 soundcard, this could definitely have promise. Pretty rough to say it is junk before we even know anything about it :)
 

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Hi Cal:


___“6 Channel Surround Sound AC'97 audio interfaceâ€. This is not close to today’s “Best in Class†equipment.


___“The VIA Apollo CLE266 chipset combined with the power-efficient VIA C3â€. Have you seen the FP and ALU of the C3 processors? DScaler would knock their fastest to the floor in the first sports show you were to watch.


___“MPEG-2 decoding and video scaling for high quality DVD acceleration and an integrated 128-bit 2D and 128-bit 3D graphics engine with internal AGP 8X and Alpha Blending for multimedia and gaming applications. Supplied with 2.1GB per second of bandwidth from an ultra-fast DDR memory subsystem, the VIA Apollo CLE266 enables real world performance in key applications like video streaming or DVD playback that equals that of the most powerful PC systems in production todayâ€. VIA is a design house with literally 0 experience against the latest scaling engines available from ATI let alone Nvidia. VIA cannot even get their own chipsets right let alone a full blown HTPC display card to surpass what ATI, Nvidia, and hopefully what Matrox is about to unleash upon us all ;)


___Kind of like an ATI chipset for the P4. I wouldn’t own one myself given ATI’s driver history but that is just me.


___Good Luck


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 

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The AC97 simply means it is AC97 compatible. Past that, they don't give any data.


They advertise it obviously with their C3 processor, since they want to bundle the two. Since a C3 can be interchanged with a PIII one way, why can't you drop a PIII in this unless they hardcode the incompatibility (which is possible, but not definite.) Limiting it to only the low supply of C3 processors seems rather dumb.


As for their lack of design experience, I don't think you can qualify that statement. They own graphics card companies who could churn out a decent reference implemenation of hardware assist and IDCT. They are also quite large themselves. Nvidia was not known for making motherboard chipsets or audio cards, and look what they were able to make.


As for making a scaling engine, that is also something not overly complicated compared to making a GPU. If they claimed they had something that would beat Nvidia in 3d performance (who already has a chip that is more complicated than a Pentium + Athlon combined) I would be highly, Bitboys Oy style skeptical. On the other hand, making a quality video card for good video playback is more a task of targeting the market then coming up with a huge innovation.
 

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Hi Cal:


___Passive cooling is the key to the C3 use … The C3 is the only CPU besides the Transmeta chips to have this capability while attempting to pump out enough HP to run today’s SW properly. Unfortunately, they don’t.


___Nvidia has had at least 7 years from the Riva 128 to today to perfect not only their graphics chipsets but market as well. Nvidia is a design house that works in the gaming world and decently in the HTPC arena as well with the nForce chipset on their first shot out of the box. VIA is a design house that doesn’t work properly in the HTPC arena given the many incompatibilities and they have had more years than Nvidia. If you want to see VIA’s up close and personal, go buy an M-Audio card and than tweak it to your hearts delight. You could also go purchase an older KT266 with the 686B to find out for yourself all about compatibility testing ;) As we both know, the DVD display realm is currently owned by the Radeon cores and ATI is both a design and manufacturing house … The Matrox will probably change all this but I can bet real dollars that VIA is heading for the mass market that doesn’t have a clue as they always have.


___Do you really believe a company like VIA can make a better audio/video solution than what we have available to us today? Although I have eaten my words more than once in our forum, in this case, I don’t think so.


___Good Luck


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 

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I have no illusions that this will be good. What I think it has the _possibility_ to be is a pretty decent solution that serves people who don't want to spend a bunch and can settle for not having an M-Audio/ Radeon 8500 / etc. I don't believe that they are going to knock our socks off, but I think it would be extremely pathetic if they announced they are making a chipset targeted at DVD playback and the performance wasn't at least decent.
 

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i would never again buy a via chipset board, i've had problems with sound and video with no solution in sight on 4 different via chipset boards(694d, kt133, 266, apolo). gave up and went with intel chipset 815e, put in a underclocked tualitin celeron and you have a great, low noise system.
 

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How have you underclocked your Celeron? (reduced voltage, etc.) Does it run passive? When I remember correctly a Celeron requires around 30 W, the Via 7W.


Somehow I'm still dreaming of a 100% silent PC. The only missing part so far is the hard disk.


Wykat
 

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The cool 1GHz processors from VIA have approx the same performance as a PentiumII 450MHz. That's good enough for decoding DivX (Why anyone should want to do that!). Does the DScaler demand more juice than that!?



IMO, from what I've read about the AOpen card, the best feature of it is the signal shielding they've gifted it with.

So even if the tube amp sucks, it will still be nicely shielded from EMF interference... and you don't HAVE to replace the tube when it burns out after 6-18 months...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Wykat
How have you underclocked your Celeron? (reduced voltage, etc.) Does it run passive? When I remember correctly a Celeron requires around 30 W, the Via 7W.


Somehow I'm still dreaming of a 100% silent PC. The only missing part so far is the hard disk.


Wykat
my celeron 1.3 runs at 858mhz underclocked with a zalman fanless heatsink, 5400rpm hard drive is wrapped in foam, i have a radion 8500 with a vga-component video adapter hooked to my hdtv, running 540p resolutions. Enermax PSU external with custom heatsink and no fans.COMPLETE FANLESS SYSTEM
 
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