Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 7th Aug 2011 22:46 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems And yes, another item, right away. I'm on the hunt for a mini-ITX motherboard for use in a living room HTPC, and considering there's so much choice out there, I'm a little confused. Then I realised I have you people to help me out, and, well, one thing led to another.
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"First, the cost of the mainboard and llano is likely to be nowhere near the "cheap" cost the OP had requested.

That really depends on how/where you buy it. Barebones systems are almost invariably cheaper than buying piece by piece.
The Llano alone will cost over $100USD. When you add up everything else for a complete Llano system, you are easily out of the realm of "cheap". New hardware has never come out at an unbloated price point.

"Then you also factor in a video card.

Llano are APUs, id est CPU/GPU combinations. Please do your homework.
The Llano is underpowered for 1080i using advanced deinterlacers and other video post-processing. Not to mention Nvidia still holds the title for the best deinterlacers. So, when you factor in a video card that is capable of what you want.................

"Second, although the pci-e slot accepts 16x cards, does it actually have a _full_ 16 lanes?

That would depend on the specific motherboard byt APU most definitely supports it.
I'm not aware of one that does actually support the full 16 lanes. The problem is supplying the power needed to do so.

"many use port multipliers which trash the bandwidth and slow your sata devices to a crawl.

Again, that's board specific.
See previous comment regarding 16x PCIe.

"I would go Intel Atom/Nvidia ION/ION2. I haven't paid more then the $120-$140 range out the door for any of my systems in this configuration, and I don't plan to.

Is that for a full system build?
Yes, for complete systems. It's worth mentioning that I haven't paid full price however. All of my htpc hardware has been purchased while on sale and/or with MIR.

Also note that none of these systems have a storage drive since I use a lan fileserver, and just 2GB ram (which is plenty for an htpc with hardware decoding). The OSes are installed on cheap USB flash drives or SDHC.

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