All About Building An HTPC (MoBo, CPU, Cards, Other Gear, Software) - Page 7 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #91 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-20, 01:36 AM
 
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Why do HTPC cases cost so much.
1. HTPC cases tend to be name brand products, not cheaply made no-name knock-offs. Lower priced desktop cases are available but they are not suitable for HTPC use.

2. It is a specialized market so volume is lower, which keeps prices higher.

3. HTPC cases tend to be higher in quality. Comparable tower cases are expensive as well. Some manufacturers, such as Antec, provide lower priced HTPC cases with quality and prices comparable to their tower cases. nMedia also offers cheaper HTPC cases.

4. Higher priced HTPC cases often offer extras such as VFD displays and remote controls. These items can easily end up costing over $100 to add later.
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post #92 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-24, 05:46 PM
 
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I would caution anyone considering the M2A-VM HDMI for a 1080p panel. For some odd reason, my new rig with this very mobo and a 4200+x2 doesn't play any HD stuff without stutter and artifacts when I set it to 1920x1080 (D-SUB) and apparently I am not the only person with this problem. The results is really quite disappointing so far. I'll research more and hope it is not a hardware limitation.
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post #93 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-24, 06:36 PM
 
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Found this.

It's the beta bios update. Read the section on the integrated graphics. It says the limitation is the HD player???

Panny TC-P60GT50, Vizio SB3651-E6 Soundbar, Harmony One, Android Box
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post #94 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-24, 07:25 PM
 
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The exact wordings are in the manual as well. My BIOS is v.0503

Actually v.1001 is already out :~)
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post #95 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-25, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, PPL4GOLF, I would upgrade to 1001 and then see how it acts.

Also, you need to keep in mind that playing 1080p on this board using the integrated video is always aided by using the more powerful CPUs. And if you look on the active product info page for either of the M2A-VM boards, you will see that ASUS is actively claiming issues with the playback software as the source of the problem.

For reference, I have yet to play an HD video or video clip that studders on my X2 4000+ setup.
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post #96 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-25, 10:10 PM
 
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I yanked out another 2x512MB of DDR2 667s to make it 4x512MB, believe it or not, things are a little smoother, still some horizontal artifact lines when looking really hard. I just find it odd the M2NPV-VM with a much lesser CPU did better. The codecs are the same as well. I might upgrade the BIOS.
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post #97 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-26, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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What OS and codec are you using? If you are using the NV Purvideo codec and are comparing an ATI based board to an NVidia based board, then that is why it is likely doing a lot better.

Also, to the boost in RAM, that is a good idea. Where the onboard video gets its RAM from system ram, I would not run with less than 2 GB so one can go into the BIOS and assign a large amount of RAM to video and still have at least 1 GB for your OS.

And to the experience with a lesser CPU, how much lesser was it? If it was only a couple hundred MHz slower, that is trivial. If it was say X2 3600 vs. X2 5000, well, then I would be confused.
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post #98 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-26, 12:35 PM
 
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Here are the specs :

1. Sempron 2800+ (OC to 2GHz)
M2NPV-VM (6150/430 onboard graphics sharing 128MB)
1GB Kingston Value RAM @ 800MHz X1

2. Athlon64 4200+x2 (OC to 2.4GHz)
M2A-VM HDMI (690G/X1250 onboard graphics sharing 256MB)
512MB Kingston Value RAM @ 800MHz X2 or X4

System 1 isn't even good enough to use Live TV (ATSC) with GBPVR but playback on the recorded HD clips is excellent.

I don't have PureVideo, just MPV and regular Cyberlink
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post #99 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-26, 01:00 PM
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I am running M2A-VM HDMI board using DVI output but at 1920x1080i and I get zero problems with HD OTA.

The manual says for HD playback you need 2x 1GB of DDR2-800 dual channel

I am using 2x DDR2-667mhz
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post #100 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-26, 02:27 PM
 
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Quote:
1. Sempron 2800+ (OC to 2GHz)
M2NPV-VM (6150/430 onboard graphics sharing 128MB)
1GB Kingston Value RAM @ 800MHz X1
Most likely issue is the processor.

Quote:
2. Athlon64 4200+x2 (OC to 2.4GHz)
M2A-VM HDMI (690G/X1250 onboard graphics sharing 256MB)
512MB Kingston Value RAM @ 800MHz X2 or X4
Definitely not enough RAM. As previously suggested, 1GB is probably minimum and 2GB is a good idea. At today's prices for 1GB DDR2 sticks, it's silly to go with anything less than 2GB.

Either of these systems would work well with a moderately priced video card. The built in video is low powered and hampered even further by slow access to motherboard memory. They may work at 1920x1080 with the right configuration and software but will most likely remain marginal and have problems under some circumstances.
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post #101 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-29, 08:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PPL4GOLF View Post
I would caution anyone considering the M2A-VM HDMI for a 1080p panel. For some odd reason, my new rig with this very mobo and a 4200+x2 doesn't play any HD stuff without stutter and artifacts when I set it to 1920x1080 (D-SUB) and apparently I am not the only person with this problem. The results is really quite disappointing so far. I'll research more and hope it is not a hardware limitation.
I'll 2nd that, and that is why yesterday, after all the headache I have had with this board, I decided to change it and get rid of it. I replaced the board with a sapphire matx that has onboard hdmi port and graphics.

As soo as I change dthe board and hooked it up, I got sound from the TV, which I was able to do with the m2a-vm hdmi mobo. The pci e slot on this sapphire can later be used for a 8500/8600 gt vide card.

The asus m2a-vm hdmi pci e slot was taken up by the add on hdmi card. Oh and my aquarium screen saver played for an hour without freezing on this new board.
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post #102 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-29, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Jack, it is sad to hear that you had the trouble you did. BUT...

It is good to hear that you got your issues straightened out. It is a damn good thing there are loads of motherboards to choose from. (Although that is the source of much frustration sometimes. )

I will agree that it was stupid of ASUS to force us to use that expansion card for HDMI and SPDIF. Fortunately, I don't need either for the setup in the bedroom. I would never use this board for a heavy duty main HTPC setup. I'll still go discreete everything for that setup.
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post #103 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-29, 10:41 AM
 
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I probably mentioned that...the only reason I chose the M2A-VM HDMI is the expansion slot configuration. I had the slim Silverstone LC11B case and that is the only configuration that allows me to use the riser card.

I was excited to see the Sapphire Pure Element, but as it turns out, the Sapphire has one less slot the first slot is the PCI-E slot BUT it iis actually Slot #2 :~(
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post #104 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-29, 11:09 AM
 
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The picture from the sapphire is great, and for those wondering, it's the sapphire PE-AM2RS690MH. It has the HD 8 audio channel, and I plan to shop around for a 8500/8600 GT video card. If anyone finds a cheap one anywhere online in canada, please let me know

cheers
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post #105 of 340 (permalink) Old 2007-07-29, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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To add to Jack's discovery, there is also the Sapphire PI-AM2RS690MHD. It picks up where the PE-AM2RS690MH leaves off and has:
  • 3 internal USB connectors (Total of 10 internal and external USB. Two more than the PE)
  • 2 internal firewire connectors (PE has none)

And to PPL4GOLF's issue, the PI-AM2RS690MHD also has the PCI-E x16 slot in the right place for use in cases like the LC11 and the LC04.

You know Jack, this is a sweet find! Thanks! Just too bad you had to buy it second.
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