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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"Best" is in the eye of the beholder
by chithanh on Mon 8th Aug 2011 02:18 UTC
chithanh
Member since:
2006-06-18

If you are sensitive to the 23.976 Hz refresh rate issue, then avoid Intel graphics.

Post-processing is usually done in GPU shaders, and the lowest end graphics often lack the punch to offer you all post-processing options. So if that is important to you, you might rather want to aim for more mainstream graphics.

ASUS F1A75-I (Socket FM1) would be an option here. However, it lacks a VGA port so you need a DisplayPort->VGA adapter which costs around 30€/$.

Reply Score: 1

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Post-processing is usually done in GPU shaders, and the lowest end graphics often lack the punch to offer you all post-processing options. So if that is important to you, you might rather want to aim for more mainstream graphics.

ASUS F1A75-I (Socket FM1) would be an option here. However, it lacks a VGA port so you need a DisplayPort->VGA adapter which costs around 30€/$.

Two problems with this suggestion.. First, the cost of the mainboard and llano is likely to be nowhere near the "cheap" cost the OP had requested. Then you also factor in a video card.

Second, although the pci-e slot accepts 16x cards, does it actually have a _full_ 16 lanes? These days you have to pay close attention to details like this because not every 16x slot is a true 16x, the same as not every sata connector is full bandwidth -- many use port multipliers which trash the bandwidth and slow your sata devices to a crawl.

I look forward to giving the F1A75-I/Llano combo a spin once the price is reasonable.. But if I were to buy another htpc system today that needed to be solid, stable, cheap, low power, and be able to double as a file server, there's no question 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.

Reply Parent Score: 1

chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

With "mainstream" I was actually referring to the Llano integrated graphics, which offer about Radeon 5570 equivalent performance. A discrete card does not fit into his case anyway.

And he specifically asked for the "Best" HTPC board. The Atom+Ion, Clarkdale and AM3+ IGP boards are all lacking in one or more departments. The cheapest solution that remains and will fit into the R10-D3 case is Llano.

Reply Parent Score: 1

garyd Member since:
2008-10-22

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.

Then you also factor in a video card.

Llano are APUs, id est CPU/GPU combinations. Please do your homework.

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.

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

Again, that's board specific.

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?

Reply Parent Score: 1