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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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

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

"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.

Reply Parent Score: 1

garyd Member since:
2008-10-22

The Llano is underpowered for 1080i using advanced deinterlacers and other video post-processing.

I looked up the Anandtech article on AMD A8-3850 for HTPC (http://www.anandtech.com/print/4479) and it does mention problems with 1080p. So I must have been thinking of something else... though now I'm curious whether that can be fixed in software.

I'm not aware of one that does actually support the full 16 lanes. The problem is supplying the power needed to do so.

The FM1 socket boards from Gigabyte do: http://www.gigabyte.com/products/list.aspx?s=42&jid=10&p=2&v=27

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.

That's usually the best way to buy complete bare bones systems as well.

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.

There's been some confusion on the thread about this. If Thom's looking to replace his motherboard, why not just by a media extender? That's certainly possible but it sounds like he wants to keep as much of his existing hardware as possible. If he's got DDR3 RAM at compatible speeds then that will help toward that goal... (which seems unlikely given the age of the system mentioned in his post)

re SATA port multipliers, I've heard a lot about this on the OpenIndiana mailing list but haven't encountered it yet myself. I had just written it off as someone trying to build a storage system with cheap desktop hardware that wasn't designed with that goal in mind.

-Gary

Edited 2011-08-09 00:41 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

grat Member since:
2006-02-02

Apex MI-008 case
Asus E351M motherboard/CPU
Seagate 1.5TB "green" sata 6.0 drive
4GB DDR3/1066 memory (1x4gb)
SATA 24x dvd burner

Total cost: $263 USD

Reply Parent Score: 2