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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to build a HTPC that will be able to handle hulu, blue ray, antenna based HD, HD dvr functions, and HDMI output. I plan on leaving the system on 24/7 so that it can do scheduled recording like a dvr/vcr. I know there are currently problem with hd audio outputs in current systems but this isn't really an issue with me, I'm still ok with dolby 5.1. Since this will be always on I want it to be a low power system. Intels ultra low watt mobil cpu's would be my first option but as I understand they and their mobos are not available to system builders. So my next hope is that intel's upcoming pineview/pinetrail system will be able to handle what I want it to. I heard intel is going to offer a super low power hd video chip to mobo makers so it should handle HD output. So anyone have any idea on what these systems will be able to handle? I have heard that the current dual core atom systems can in no way handle Hulu video.
 

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Don't wait for pinetrail. The platform is meant to reduce cost, heat and power usage below current Atom setups, not increase processing power. There probably will be some increase in processing power due to the newer Atom cores, but it's not going to be a huge jump.


Oh, and the integrated graphics core in Pinetrail is made by Intel, so it's going to be garbage. If you really want low power and good graphical performance, ION will still win hands down. Since ION struggles with HULU, there is about zero chance that Pinetrail will play HD Hulu without issues.


You also listed a lot of other things that you want your HTPC to do. Atom/ION/Pinetrail chips are (mostly) good enough to decode HD video, but not if you're doing other stuff at the same time. Watching 1080p video while recording HD OTA broadcasts ain't going to happen. You're really much better off with a low-power, dual-core desktop chip like the E5200. The ability of the system to actually do what you want it to do will more than make up for the extra 20-30 watts used by the CPU.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro /forum/post/16984863


Yes, actually being able to watch hulu is a pretty big deal for me so it sounds like a need to go low power desktop.

really, just switch out to some lower wattage lightbulbs to offset.
 

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there is a Zotak ITX motherboard for Core2's and the 9300. I think with a cheap Core2 it wouldn't cost all that much more than their ITX Ion board.


It looks to me like Pinetrail is just a way to move Ion to the 1156 platform. Granted it won't be socket 1156 but I think it still uses Ibexpeak (P55).
 

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Nope. Pinetrail uses Tiger Point, not Ibexpeak.


Pinetrail involves moving to more integration to keep costs down by reducing platform complexity and moving the chipset functionality to a smaller node.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well if I go for a desktop pc instead of the pinetrail, I was just thinking of going micro atx.


This one actually


GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard


Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz


80 PLUS BRONZE - PSU


cheap and low watt for a desktop and plenty of power I think. If only the mac mini had blue ray and HDMI out, its suppose to use less then 15 watts.
 

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From Goto's article on August 6:


HD video playback depends on what "Video Accelerator" it will have. Single channel memory controller is not good. Definitely not for Hulu. (No PCI Express x16 controller, BTW.) Overall, Atom + ION looks much better.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx /forum/post/16991400


HD video playback depends on what video accelerator it will have.

It's fairly safe to assume it will be an Intel GPU core, which is bad news no matter what. This platform is really meant more for low-end netbooks and such, not high quality media devices. It's great if you want a cheaper netbook with longer battery life, but don't expect to use it in a HTPC.
 

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Actually, while the GPU core will be "Intel" pretty much by definition, I'm fairly certain that like the Atom MID graphics core it's a different architecture from the 945... 965... G35... G45... etc. series. I could be wrong, though-- perhaps they saved that for the Morrestown platform only.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by archibael /forum/post/16991645


Actually, while the GPU core will be "Intel" pretty much by definition, I'm fairly certain that like the Atom MID graphics core it's a different architecture from the 945... 965... G35... G45... etc. series. I could be wrong, though-- perhaps they saved that for the Morrestown platform only.

Yeah, exactly I thought that (I could be wrong of course). Here is a block diagram of Clarkdale (the next Pentium/Core i3/Core i5):


This is similar to Pineview, but 'Video Accelerator' is integrated in GPU (a derivative of GMA X4500HD).
 

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The current Atom MID platform's video acceleration is limited to 1080i30 maximum, though within that limitation it is full hardware decode for all MPEG2, VC1, WMV9, and H.264. It's not entirely implausible that Pinetrail will improve on this (1080p?), but I haven't seen details anywhere which give me that impression.


I am in the odd position where I know too much about Clarkdale to comment.
 

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Yup, the video accelerator in SCH in the Menlow platform (Intel MID) is Imagination's limited to 1080i. So no wonder if Pineview uses a third party video accelerator.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by archibael /forum/post/16991645


Actually, while the GPU core will be "Intel" pretty much by definition, I'm fairly certain that like the Atom MID graphics core it's a different architecture from the 945... 965... G35... G45... etc. series. I could be wrong, though-- perhaps they saved that for the Morrestown platform only.

Even Intel's best GPU is still garbage compared to an entry-level Nvidia or ATI core. Whatever they stick in there will be vastly inferior to the competition, to the point of being unworthy of consideration for a HTPC. Again, great for netbooks but bad for us.
 
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