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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The last piece I needed for my HTPC was a CPU/Motherboard. I was putting alot of thought into it and had a tough time deciding. When I heard about the issues with the VIA chipset and M-Audio cards, I got a bit worried and wanted to go the Intel route, but couldn't decide on CPU speed. I knew I needed something pretty quick because I want to run my laserdisc player and DirecTivo through DTV and know that a faster CPU yields better results. Well, today, my company offered a deal on an Athlon CPU that I couldn't pass up. I was able to order an Athlon T-bird 1.33 GHz/266 for $160, limit 1 per employee. I just couldn't pass this deal up and was having a tough time finding any Intel CPU around 1 GHz for less than $200. I also ordered an Asus ATA266 motherboard. This has the new ALi M1647 chipset. Has anyone had any experience with this board? It is the new brother to the ATM266 but will accept both DDR RAM and PC133 memory and has 6 USB ports.


Once I receive everything, I will assemble everything and see how it works out. I'm hoping that since it isn't a VIA chipset, maybe there won't be the issues that it had with the M-Audio soundcards. If anyone has a similar configuration, I'd like to hear how things have been working and if you've had any problems. I'll keep you posted if you like.
 

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I'm sorry, but an Ali chipset would not have been my choice.


I think that in your decision to avoid some problems, you will have others.



[This message has been edited by e vey (edited 05-16-2001).]
 

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I don't know about anyone else, but I have a VIA KT133 chipset and don't have any problems at all with the M-Audio card. Maybe it's the later versions of the chipset.


Mike
 

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I have to agree with e vay.

There are many posts you can search on regarding wierd behaviour with Ali and Via chipsets when used with these cutting edge HTPC devices.


Look at the trouble Scott was having with his Via based system and acccessDTV.


If I were you, I would spend the extra $40 and get the Intel processor and an Intel 815E based Mboard.


I was having 'flakiness' even with my Abit BE6 Intel BX chipset Mboard with the Hipix and replaced it with a PIII 866E and an 815E based ASUS CUSL2-C. Stable as a rock.


My IBM laptop is Ali based and there is NO support for Windows 2000.


just my 2 cents.


Joe
 

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I have the Asus A7V133 and have no poroblems though I use the SB Live but was thinking of ordering the MAudio
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, It's worth a shot since everything is on it's way. There are a few pwople saying they didn't have any issues with the VIA chipset so maybe I'll get lucky. I don't mind being the guinea pig. I can let everyone know if there are issues and see if there's a work around. I always have an Abit BX6 2.0 that I can switch over to if I need to. that can support up to a 700 MHz P3 I believe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, it's great to see alot of Athlon users coming forward and sharing their experiences. DanielD, you basically have the same config as me except I will be using an M-Audio soundcard. I do have an SB Live in another PC so I can always swap them if I need to. It's good to see someone using the same motherboard I got. I know it's fairly new so it's not as common.
 

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The DDR-using AMD760/761 (as opposed to VIA) chipset motherboards are probably safe for Athlons intended for HTPC use (i.e., with the Audiophile 2496 card.) The ASUS A7M266 and the MSI K7 Master MS-6341 are examples of boards with this chipset. Tom at www.tomshardware.com seems to favor these motherboards over the ALI ones, in terms of compatibility and speed. I'm about to build an Athlon Thunderbird system with the K7 Master motherboard, and some here have built systems with the A7M266.


Today's www.crucial.com price on DDR memory: $79.19 for 256 MB - so going DDR is now cost effective.


-Abdul
 

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I'm running a dedicated HTPC consisting of an Aopen MK33 mATX board, Duron 750 and Fortissimo soundcard.


This PC is rock solid it runs 24/7 cracking cancer. In fact just to prove you don't need GHZ of processing power it runs the cancer cracker in the background while playing DVD's with no problems whatsoever. Which is more than I can say for my PIII450 which BSODs at least twice a day http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif for no apparent reason.


Its not about AMD or Intel is all about chipsets, peripherals and software. Both AMD and Intel produce rock solid processors it's just the bits we attach to them that let the side down.


Ian
 

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I have run two HTPC's with Athalon Processors (Slot 1 and Slot A) in them using VIA chipset motherboards (Abit and Gigabyte). I haven't had problems at all with getting things working or having problems because of the CPU or MB. I haven't used ALI chipset boards.


I used to have negative opinions of non-Intel CPUs. Quite a few years ago, I built a system using a Cyrix Pentium "Compatible". It was NOT stable and wouldn't run a few windows applications/games.


I pre-judged the Athalons when I started building systems with Pentium 2/3s. The Athalon chip is every bit as stable and is MUCH faster. Why someone would want to spend more for less is beyond me. The P4 is not even an issue when you can build an Athalon system that is as fast/faster for much less. Remeber, all of these things must run Windows for what we are using them for http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif


Darren A. Schmidt
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I wasn't really planing on getting a 1.33 GHz processor but I just happened to get a great deal on one and couldn't pass it up. I definitely did want something pretty quick though because I hear that DScalar is pretty CPU intensive.
 

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WoW.


I sure didn't mean to crank this up so high. I have used Intel, Via, Ali and (now you are really going think I am nuts) SiS. As well as P3, Duron and Athlon.


Ali chipsets caused me the most trouble. Weird problems with drivers.


The easiest to deal with? In Order:

Intel

SiS

Via

Ali


I currently have two systems running. An Asus A7V Via running and Athlon 1.0 and a PC Chips SiS Duron 900. Both run Win2k Pro.


Of these, the Asus was the biggest PIA to get setup and running to it's full potential. I had to use a hacked AMI BIOS for the PC Chips board, but once I did, I could get the Crucial CAS2 RAM working right.


For capturing and compressing, they are about the same even though the Asus has 256MB RAM and the PC Chips machine has only 128.


It was not my intention to say: "ONLY INTEL!" Just that Ali, even from Asus has some problems that exceed getting a sound card to act right.
 

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Add me to the list of happy AMD users. I've been running an Athlon Slot A 900/Asus K7V Mobo since December and truly couldn't be happier. As for the other particulars:


CL GeForce2 GTS

Audiophile 24/96

SMC Fast Ethernet NIC

256MB PC133 SDRAM

Pinnacle PCTV capture card

Pioneer Slot Load DVD Drive

6GB HDD (Old and noisy)

WinME


The system runs truly well with no sound issues or DVD playback stuttering problem. The only downside as far as I'm concerned is noise level--it's hard to find quiet yet effective cpu coolers for AMD's.


Regards -- Steve


------------------

STOP DFAST, BOYCOTT JVC, LONG LIVE HDTV


[This message has been edited by SteveV (edited 05-17-2001).]
 

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Another happy Athlon user.


I have a 500Mhz Athlon o/c to 750Mhz on a Asus K7M (AMD/VIA chipset) and a 1Ghz Athlon o/c to 1.1Ghz on an A7V (VIA chipset). Both are using C-Media 8738 sound cards, GeForce cards (one 256 SDR, one 2GTS), and Pioneer DVDROMs. Both are running Win2K Pro.


Couldn't be happier. As others have said, up-to-date drivers and BIOSes are really the key - but everything has been rock solid for almost a year (obviously, I've upgraded to 1Ghz in the meantime).
 

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I've had an Asus A7V/athlon 1gig/Asus Geforce2 GTS combo for a long time now and the drivers have really matured for each product. I used to pull my hair out trying to chase down lil bugs. I run the latest 4in1 drivers and the latest reference drivers from Nvidia and I have glitch free playback 99% of the time. I've had more problems with the SB Live 5.1 platinum than anything else.


------------------

David.. "It must be weird to be normal"
 

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I'm using an A7A266 1.3Ghz Athlon with SB Live and ATI Radeon All-In-Wonder. I did experience a few quirks with the system until I installed the 1005 beta bios yesterday. Now everything is solid... Good board so far.
 

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Stability with Athlons isn't a problem in my experience.


I have one system with an ABIT KT7 MB, Audiophile 24/96, 900 MHz Athlon, and Radeon 32 MB DDR- 4.29 VIA drivers, which will soon be upgraded (this weekend) to 4.31. No problems or issues, using ATI 4.1 player and WINDVD 2.64.


Another sytem with 750 MHz Athlon, ASUS A7V MB (KT133 VIA chipset), SB-Live 5.1


Newest system with 1.2 GHz/266 Athlon, MSI 266 DDR MB using VIA KT266 chipset, 256 MB DDRAM, SB-LIVE 5.1 Platinum, this works quite well, was more stable at initial setup than A7V or KT7 systems. This MB uses 686B southbridge, built in ATA100 support, plus optional Promise ATA100 controller. Has a number of good features, including boot LED diagostics, of course the usual built in AC97 sound and game controller, etc. This will be my MB of choice for near future, due to performance and stability, (includes software overclocking in Windows) including better sleep/power down behavior than the other two.


I do have two PII/III systems; one a dedicated audio test box, using CUBX ASUS, and one I took it into work to supplant my five year old PPRO desktop (700 MHz PIII). It's using an ASUS CUBX MB also. Performance is OK with WIN2K, but my old Athlon 600 is faster with demanding software.


I've got one more test mule, which has an old 600 MHz Athlon; it's running WINXP Beta 2, with SB-Live; DVD playback using MM8 and codec from CoolDVD Soft player demo is quite decent; also uses a Radeon card. For an older system, it works very well, particularly with demanding DTP and CAD apps (Quark Xpress, Ventura Publisher, Protel Design Explorer, AutoCAD).


Got some Geforce Gladiac's back in their boxes, since converting to Radeons. Saving for backup's or to build for friends, if they want a deal.


Regards,


Jon
 
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