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Old September 30, 2011, 09:48 PM
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So I have been out of the loop for a bit with most of the AMD chips otherwise I could probably figure this out for myself. I'm looking at doing a new HTPC build, moving from what is basically a full size machine to something smaller, quieter, and overall fits better into the TV stand and everything else there.

What I am really trying to figure out is whether or not the low end of the new AMD or Intel chips are good enough to handle the video without a discrete card. Something like the A4-3400 or i3-2100. The type of video they need to handle is blurays and high quality mkvs. We are talking about 35Mbps bit rates, so very demanding video. So really I need to be sure that it can play anything I can throw at it. It also has to be able to pull off HD audio, such as passing through DTS-MA and TrueHD audio.

So really do people have any suggestions with regards to those requirements? Cost is very much a factor and that is the reason I am sort of leaning towards the AMD. Well that and from my understanding they have a better integrated video solution.

What are thoughts on this bundle, if indeed it can do what I ask.
AMD A4-3400 APU Bundle w/ Gigabyte GA-A75M-UD2H Motherboard at Memory Express Computers

I guess I should also mention I am only looking at microATX or smaller boards. I haven't really decided what case yet, thinking of Antec Fusion Remote among others, but I do have pretty much everything else to build the machine. So only trying to decide what board and chip to go with.

Thanks for any and all input.
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Old October 1, 2011, 12:30 AM
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I would wait for real reviews of the 3400 before getting one, it's basically a 3850 cut in half and overclocked. It would be enough performance if the architecture scaled linearly, but there isn't much confirmation on that.

If you want to build the system now, I'd go for a i3 2105 and a H67 itx/matx board. (depending on whether or not you need the expansion slots) Then undervolt the chip to 2100T levels of heat/consumption. (from what I've seen at SPCR, most SB chips can undervolt fairly well as long as the board supports it)
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Old October 1, 2011, 06:38 AM
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I've been looking at this thing for the past couple days to replace my current htpc due to the fact its smaller, claims to play most kind of hd file formats at 1080p such as mkv and is only about 90$

NCIX.com - Buy Pivos Aios Network Media Player 3.5IN HDD HDMI LAN SDHC USB3 UPnP P2P MKV Blu-Ray ISO Support - Pivos Technology Group, Inc. - PTGMCART35-US - in Canada
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Old October 1, 2011, 12:33 PM
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Heya ipaine
between onboard or oncpu video amd apu vs intell the amd is much nicer to use
i recently built 2 amd apu systems for a customer 1 low/mid gamming and 1 htpc
we used the memory express combo AMD A8-3850 APU Bundle w/ Asus F1A75-M PRO Motherboard at Memory Express Computers
w/ ddr3 1600 in the htpc and ddr3 1866 in the gaming ( the higher memory uped the fps )
the amd onboard / apu video (direct x 11) is much nicer then the intel
we ran divx / nero encoding and burning very well with the apu
and then we loaded up StarCrfat2,WoT,WoW & BFBC2 which also ran well for games (bfbc2 lowered settings)
if you can i would suggest buying the Asus F1A75-M PRO and AMD A8-3850 APU 2.9GHz w/ 4MB Cache
and if in the near future you wana try the amd apu crossfire (6670) or just a better video card the asus board will give you that upgradability
both systems ran really well and handled everything quite nicely i would def. suggest the amd apu over the lower end intel stuff ( intel set up will need a discrete video card in the long run)
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Old October 1, 2011, 02:45 PM
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I've been eying that Pivos unit myself. It's a hell of a deal for what it can do. I would seriously take a look into it.
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Old October 1, 2011, 03:38 PM
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Just so people know I will not be playing games on it, well at least I doubt it, certainly nothing recent or demanding.

As for the Pivos, I didn't see DTS-MA listed as supported so that along would make it a no go, but really more than that I have my mediaportal setup and really like the way everything is software wise. In other words I'm not a big fan of the stand alone units like Pivos.

Really I'm just hoping someone out there has built a new HTPC with one of these AMD or Intel chips and uses it for very high bitrate videos. I just want the lowest that can pull off what I need it too. Sure I could go with something like the A8-3850 bundle but that is $90 more than the 3400 bundle, so really is the $90 extra worth it considering what I want to do?

Of course like mentioned I could also go with something alone the lines of the i3-2100, but again only if the integrated solution can pull off what I want it too.
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Old October 7, 2011, 06:21 PM
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integrated video solution from Intel will not match the AMD one in the near future. The only advantage it has is for transcoding videos with the Quicksync option. But if you don't transcode and use it only for multimedia watching/streaming you can go on the AMD part. What is wrong with just spdif digital output?
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Old October 7, 2011, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARSTG View Post
integrated video solution from Intel will not match the AMD one in the near future. The only advantage it has is for transcoding videos with the Quicksync option. But if you don't transcode and use it only for multimedia watching/streaming you can go on the AMD part. What is wrong with just spdif digital output?
Nothing is really wrong with spdif output but from my understanding it is not capable of pushing TrueHD and DTSMA signals. Plus doing everything over HDMI means one less cable.
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Old October 7, 2011, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipaine View Post
Nothing is really wrong with spdif output but from my understanding it is not capable of pushing TrueHD and DTSMA signals. Plus doing everything over HDMI means one less cable.
Yep, exactly why my own htpc goes via hdmi, one cable, more bandwidth and no hassle.
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Old October 8, 2011, 02:21 PM
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I agree, but is the Receiver that needs to decode the audio streams, that means a Receiver with true HDMI audio processing not just bypass. And not all receivers can do that, my guess you need a pretty recent one for that. that is why I was proposing spdif out. Toms Hardware have an Onkyo in their reviews that can do that.
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