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Bottom Line: Both are fine for HTPC use. Both have their pros and cons.


Personally I was expecting more from the Llano. IMO it was over-hyped here on AVS to be the end all solution for HTPC. I don't think it is the "perfect" HTPC by any means.
 

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Sandy Bridge with Nvidia GT 440 or better is probably the best platform out there right now. It does madVR and LAV CUVID quite well which make jRiver a standout compared to everything else.


This makes jRiver Red October viable. jRiver is a work in progress and can be frustrating but it gets major updates constantly and is the epicenter of where best of HTPC image quality work is being realized in a practical application. jRiver was already by far the most comprehensive Audio app.


jRiver MC16 doesn't support the Ceton or other cable tuner, but ATSC is something very special in jRiver. WMC is just a dedicated Ceton app for me now.
 

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I'm wondering if you actually read that Bjorn3d article. I don't think it supports your claims of clear superiority for Llano. It certainly doesn't say anything about better picture quality.


But it does say that Sandy Bridge uses less power and is much faster in transcoding and the like.


And it says neither one does 23.976 perfectly, and was evidently written before the most recent Sandy Bridge drivers were released.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 /forum/post/20776412


I'm wondering if you actually read that Bjorn3d article. I don't think it supports your claims of clear superiority for Llano. It certainly doesn't say anything about better picture quality.


But it does say that Sandy Bridge uses less power and is much faster in transcoding and the like.


And it says neither one does 23.976 perfectly, and was evidently written before the most recent Sandy Bridge drivers were released.

Yes, intel cpu cores are much better and will outperform Llano in anything cpu intensive. We are talking HTPC here though, where gpu tends to dominate.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro /forum/post/20776436


Yes, intel cpu cores are much better and will outperform Llano in anything cpu intensive. We are talking HTPC here though, where gpu tends to dominate.

So transcoding video files isn't an HTPC function? And lower power isn't generally considered a virtue in HTPCs?


Yes, Llano is better at gaming, but we're talking HTPC here.


I'm still waiting for evidence that Llano has "better picture quality."


I expect Assassin has it right when he says "both are fine for HTPC."
 

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Imho, for a mid-range microATX/ATX HTPC, Llano wins. Even if neither can do 23.976 perfectly, Llano has more balanced performance out the gate and is better supported by freeware and open-source software. It's true that I was expecting better performance and lower power consumption from Llano but what it delivers right now isn't so bad.


Unfortunately, in the Mini-ITX space, for now it's hampered by the high load power consumption of currently available models, not to mention the lack of FM1 Mini-ITX motherboards.


Another issue with Llano, it currently doesn't have any offerings priced to compete with Pentium Sandy Bridge. Assuming you don't need Llano's graphics performance, you can save a few bucks by going with a Pentium G620.


Bottomline:

Llano's entire value is in the inclusion of HD 5550-level integrated graphics. As long as your usage can be met by the integrated graphics in Llano (and you require better integrated graphics than the competition offers, e.g. MadVR + std def), it's a pretty great choice. Once you start playing in the realm where better GPU performance is required (e.g. MadVR + 1080p60), then Sandy Bridge + discrete GPU is a better option. On the other hand, if you don't need the graphics performance of Llano and you don't mind the lack of freeware/open-source DXVA support for Intel, then you can save money by going with lower-end Sandy Bridge and using just the Intel HD integrated graphics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020
So transcoding video files isn't an HTPC function? And lower power isn't generally considered a virtue in HTPCs?


Yes, Llano is better at gaming, but we're talking HTPC here.


I'm still waiting for evidence that Llano has "better picture quality."


I expect Assassin has it right when he says "both are fine for HTPC."
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...u,2959-21.html


Right there you go a very reputable site. So llano has better picture quality and hits 23.xxx better. So its better for video playback, why wouldn't you buy llano?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...u,2959-21.html


Right there you go a very reputable site. So llano has better picture quality and hits 23.xxx better. So its better for video playback, why wouldn't you buy llano?
From that review:
Quote:
This benchmark is not perfect in that it's largely subjective.
Frankly, aside from VA de-interlacing, I usually have driver-level post processing off.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro
Yes, intel cpu cores are much better and will outperform Llano in anything cpu intensive. We are talking HTPC here though, where gpu tends to dominate.
I wouldn't even say that the GPU tends to dominate for HTPCs. As long as you can do 1080p video playback well, extra GPU horsepower doesn't matter very much. Those doing 3D gaming have a whole different set of requirements than dedicated HTPC guys.


For the ATSC 1080i content that I watch, de-interlacing works better with Sandy Bridge integrated graphics than when using a discrete ATI 5770 or 5870 graphics card. It is very obvious when watching the news ticker scroll across the bottom of the screen. Intel always stays locked on, but the ATI frequently loses it and de-interlaces the wrong frames for a few seconds. I haven't tried it on a Llano, but I expect similar results to my 5770 and 5870 GPUs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorthocar
I wouldn't even say that the GPU tends to dominate for HTPCs. As long as you can do 1080p video playback well, extra GPU horsepower doesn't matter very much. Those doing 3D gaming have a whole different set of requirements than dedicated HTPC guys.
I totally agree with this statement.
 

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I am not an intel fan boy, I actually was an ATI guy ( always easier to root for the underdog) for a long time.. solid Nvidia drivers and madVR plus the very attactive idle of intel Sandy Bridge CPUs are very compelling.


I am seeing 35 watt idles with my i3 2100 and GT 545, 75 watts at full tilt boogie with high bit rate video and audio... does 1080i 60 and madVR wihtout frame drops


I had a couple of tear jerking complete OS reinstalls over ATI drivers in the last year... that will kind of sour one on your favorite techology... core duo vs x2 wasn't so compelling Sandy Bridge on the other hand is cheap fast and efficent. I could probably have similar performance with a G620T and a GT 440 as the video work is all being done on the GPU and the power envelope would be smaller for both. Probably get to 25 watt idles with mid 50s doing fat videos.


The solid drivers are worth their wait in gold. AMD has you waiting and hoping for a new driver release every month...you get one step forward and two back.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtgray
I am seeing 35 watt idles with my i3 2100 and GT 545, 75 watts at full tilt boogie with high bit rate video and audio... does 1080i 60 and madVR wihtout frame drops
I think Llano's 100W TDP rating causes some assumptions to be made about the power consumption of Llano in an HTPC scenario. From what I have seen, Llano is around 35w idle, and 57w during BR playback. Those are pretty decent numbers, and although a person can do better, the difference in a person's electric bill will not be substantial between Llano, your build, or an i3 2100t with IGP. IMO it really comes down to features versus build cost, because the energy cost is probably within a $1/month.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020
And it says neither one does 23.976 perfectly, and was evidently written before the most recent Sandy Bridge drivers were released.
I haven't been following, so are you saying the most recent SB drivers fixed the 23.976 issue?
 
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