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75 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 94895 21-Dec-2011 09:17 Send private message

are these fusion systems really up to the htpc task, or are they "just good enough"?

any thoughts or experience?

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Reply # 563398 1-Jan-2012 07:37 Send private message

Hey did you go ahead with one of these.  Wondering the same thing myself




HTPC AMD A4-5300 cpu, Gigabyte ga2fa75m-d3h motherboard, , 4GB DDR3 ram, onboard  graphics. Hauppuage HVR 3300 tuner,  Antec 2480B case, Windows 7 home premium 64 bit using media center

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  Reply # 563406 1-Jan-2012 08:54 Send private message

Depends entirely what you're wanting to do. If it's primararily video playback then CPU performance makes very little difference as the GPU's support hardware acceleration which does all the hard work.

On the other hand there are still ongoing issues with hardware acceleration of H.264 content with ATI hardware, and issue that's been ongoing ever since H.264 broadcasts began. I actually spent close to en entire day the other day testing a number of ATI onboard cards and various codecs trying to get perfect playback of Freeview|HD H.264 content, with the goal of getting an M1 botherboard myself for my PVR if I could get satisfactory results. At the day nothing I did would deliver performance as good as a cheap as an old nVidia 8400.


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  Reply # 563431 1-Jan-2012 10:38 Send private message

sbiddle: Depends entirely what you're wanting to do. If it's primarily video playback then CPU performance makes very little difference as the GPU's support hardware acceleration which does all the hard work.

On the other hand there are still ongoing issues with hardware acceleration of H.264 content with ATI hardware, and issue that's been ongoing ever since H.264 broadcasts began. I actually spent close to en entire day the other day testing a number of ATI onboard cards and various codecs trying to get perfect playback of Freeview|HD H.264 content, with the goal of getting an M1 motherboard myself for my PVR if I could get satisfactory results. At the day nothing I did would deliver performance as good as a cheap as an old nVidia 8400.


What front end are you using?

The boys and girls over on the XBMC forums swear by ATI cards under Windows, some nonsense about micro tearing with Nvidia cards. (I'm more a Nvidia + Linux kinda guy personally)

I have the  E35M1-M PRO, and it seems like a great little board, however I'm not using it for HTPC purposes.

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  Reply # 563432 1-Jan-2012 10:43 Send private message

It doesn't matter what app or codec you use - picture breakup of H.264 content has been, and still is an ongoing issue with ATI hardware when you use hardware acceleration.

I personally think some of it is to do with the H.264 profiles used on DVB-T networks. There are huge numbers of threads online from people around the world complaining about ATI H.264 performance, but Americans seem to think things are fine.




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Master Geek


  Reply # 563698 2-Jan-2012 11:41 Send private message

Gilco2: Hey did you go ahead with one of these


i decided not to.

i usually use ASUS boards, but there were too many conflicting reports about these boards in htpc systems.

i have no doubt that they are good boards, but this is my first htpc build so i decided to go for something more conventional.

in defense of ATI, i am using an ASUS M5A88 board in my new set up, and surprisingly the on board graphics (a meagre HD 4250) handles HD quite well. but it's early days - yet to test it's limits.

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  Reply # 564026 3-Jan-2012 14:56 Send private message

It doesn't matter what app or codec you use - picture breakup of H.264 content has been, and still is an ongoing issue with ATI hardware when you use hardware acceleration.


Is this when the picture goes dj-remix like for a few seconds?



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  Reply # 564150 3-Jan-2012 22:47 Send private message

I get that all the time and tearing on youtube with the ATI card and onboard, slap an nvidia in and the 2 problems go away, only issue is only 2 outputs on the nvidia and it will not coexist with the junky ati onboard for the third screen.

Laptop with intel plays youtube and DVB perfectly, junkbox core2duo machine with some antique 8500 nvidia is also perfect for both.

I dont trust other people saying that it works fine, because some people just seem to not be able to see tearing and skipped or doubleups of frames.

All I can say is, AMD could release a machine and say it was the best htpc ever with all sorts of stuff, and I will still walk straight past it for an nvidia/intel combo that will actually drive the screen at the resolutuion I choose, not some strange butchered image with a massive black border around it.




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  Reply # 564323 4-Jan-2012 13:12 Send private message

Yeah, I don't get the tearing, but every so often there is bit of pixelation, and then the picture half-freezes / moves back & forwards. I thought it was my dodgy freeview reception, it's not a lot of the time, but still there.

This is an old P4 NPVR client in the bedroom with an AGP HD2600, so it's not a critical issue, the Nvidia 9400 silent works fine on the main HTPC.

I was looking at one of these fusion boards to replace, but would an ION be a better idea?

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  Reply # 564325 4-Jan-2012 13:17 Send private message

Hi,

I have a e35m1-deluxe and am very satisfied with it. 
Great HW acceleartion and can play pretty much anything.
I have tried 1080 MKV's as well as BluRay's and there is no issue.
It even does HD Audio bitstreaming to my AVR which is pretty cool for that price range.

Only problem I could see is that sometimes you can tell the CPU is a bit slow and this makes for less than ideal navigation (using 7MC and MediaBrowser).

Cheers,

Guillaume 



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  Reply # 564334 4-Jan-2012 13:35 Send private message

@Guillaume

thanks, good info

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  Reply # 564352 4-Jan-2012 14:44 Send private message

JonnyCam: Yeah, I don't get the tearing, but every so often there is bit of pixelation, and then the picture half-freezes / moves back & forwards. I thought it was my dodgy freeview reception, it's not a lot of the time, but still there.

This is an old P4 NPVR client in the bedroom with an AGP HD2600, so it's not a critical issue, the Nvidia 9400 silent works fine on the main HTPC.

I was looking at one of these fusion boards to replace, but would an ION be a better idea?


Ion boards work well. It's a shame there is nothing out there to compete with the ATI's performance wise. 

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