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HTPC MOBO ATI vs nVidia

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gap g j

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Hi all

I have finalised two motherboards for HTPC with HDMI, they are

Asus m3n78em (nVidia 8600 chipset)
&
Asus m3a78em (ATi radeon chipset)

nVidia vs ATi, which will be better also I have noted a Gigabyte MA78GS
mobo

will Asus be better than Gigabyte or vice versa

Kindly help

Thanks
Gap G J
 

Rem

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I can't speak for the nVidia chipset, but I own a M3A78-EM. It has been running basically 24x7 for the last 9 months in a download/media center/surfing rig, and the mobo is rock-solid stable. It does have a few niggling issues with memory installation, but once that is sorted out it runs like a dream. I use it with a Corsair VX450, 2GB of memory, a Phenom 9950 and three hard disks. I really can't ask more from it, it drives my Dell 3008WFP at 2560x1600 flawlessly through the Displayport or DVI output, which no other mobo till date could do without throwing a hissy fit. It is not as fast as a system with discrete graphics, but for what it is meant to do do it flies.


How much did you pay for it cranky the mobo ie and for the corsair mem.

As far as stability and durability is concerned Cranky is spot on Asus motherboards are awesome I got a 440BX chipset based Asus P3B-F motherboard with 256MB Ram been using it for the past 11years without a hitch.
 

suprateep

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with gaming ATI> NVIDIA
with video playback NVIDIA>ATI

added benefits of NVIDIA
  1. 8 channel lpcm via hdmi
  2. drivers let you change timings in case of connecting inbuilt or nvidia addon graphics card - so overcoming the problem of over/underscanning that happens via plasma /lcd displays.
  3. better USB performance, addition of firewire, esata port
    HMDI handshake not there with chipset drivers 15.26 (i.e. display does nto get lost when source switching in display)

Benefits of ATI
  1. lower power consumption
  2. better gaming
  3. slightly better encoding (just like 10-15 seconds for a 2 hr movie encoding)


i had initially wanted the ATI M3A78EM but with the LPCM factor I opted for the M3N78EM
 

suprateep

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Very quickly, the 780G chipset has USB performance at par with nvidia and Intel chipsets. The older SB600 has some performance issues over USB, but it is now obsolete.

Also, the source switching issue never existed with ATI chipsets in the first place. Even my 690G board flawlessly detects my TV if it is switched on after the PC, and it is hooked up through the DVI, not the HDMI output.

Lastly, for integrated chipsets, neither encoding nor gaming are of any importance, as they can do neither of the two efficiently due to the fact that they are terribly underpowered for these kind of things. You need to look at decoding support and CPU utilisation, power consumption (therefore, heat and noise) and connectivity. Performance is usually secondary to convenience and heat and noise output.

The one thing that nVidia has is 8 channel support over HDMI, but then again the boards have fully capable digital audio outputs, and the really serious guys would put in a dedicated card anyway, so it can be (at best) considered a feature that will hold you over till you get to the really good hardware.

Having said that, the differences are marginal, and it's just a question of which color you happen to like better.

bring in the HDMI and see the difference bro. Check the net and see how many people face issues with HDMI handshake. Most TVs have aHDMI not a DVI port. And if HTPC is just for movies only any of the two mobos with digital out through coaxial or optical or even HDMI (for 8 channel LPCM only NVIDIA will do).

ANd yes i use my HTPC for ripping dvds (30-40 mins for 1.6 GB AC3 mkv h.264 copies) - so underpowered is not an issue. The PC is silent while watching 720p movies with FFDshow with deinterlacing, post processing, sharpening and image filters thrown in. Only time the noise is higher when I rip dvds and the default fan of 7750BE is the culprit.

PS: I am saying this because this is a forum where people come for help and questions - i got a lot of tips from the gusy and i would not want a person to gte the wrong answer from us and spend his hard earned money aise hi:rolleyes:
 

suprateep

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Umm, ever hear of a DVI-HDMI cable? Works perfectly for me, and all mobos have a DVI port anyway, whether or not they have HDMI out does not even matter.

As for right and wrong, there are many right answers and very few wrong ones. The issues that you pointed out can be easily skirted with a bit of research, and all I'm trying to do is point to alternatives.

sirjee thats what i am saying - i have done my research and hence putting in my advice to my fellow forum member. I am not a rich kid who would throw away money - i did my research and hence telling you.

ATI motherboards and graphics cards till 4770 are plagued by overscan/underscan with plasma/lcds - its a known fact - do a google on it. So is nvidia but the recent chipset drivers 15.26 has fixed it.

Why would i bother getting an DVI cable if HDMI itself can work right (and I am handling computers from a HW perspective since the last 12-13 years, setting it up for friends and sometimes for money and so I guess from that perspective I think I can give my WORD for it.

Since its a HTPC - hence i suggested the M3N78EM - you have a HTPC - least you want is 8 channel lpcm to a receiver (i guess someone who is setting up a HTPC will have a basic receiver at least) - so in these days of HD DVDs and Bluerays - 2 channel LPCM simply wont do right?

And about research ..........anyone can do the research (like i did....i even talked to a couple of guys in AVS forums for my HTPC setup) -but the entire point of these forums is to help people with the right advice.

GAP G asked for a answer - and based on my experience I gave him an answer.

PS: When you go to a doctor - he gives you medicine or advice based on experience - next time you or someone in your family is sick - please google and find about what to do. I guess this can be done by a bit of research as suggested by you.
 

suprateep

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There is a reason I don't need to google some things, and that's because I have personal experience of the same.There is no underscan issue with my 690G or 780G on either my 3008WFP or my Philips LCD TV. I get 1:1 pixel mapping to my Philips LCD using the scan controls. Yes some adjustment is required (only when connecting to the TV) but after setting it to 10% overscan I get a pixel-perfect picture.

As for LPCM over HDMI, anybody who is setting up an HTPC of some mettle will need a proper audio interface anyway, as onboard outputs suck for any kind of audio use, through either digital or analog outputs. Since you are such an experienced person, you would already know that, wouldn't you? I of course assume you are using LPCM over HDMI out of the box, do compare it with the SQ of a dedicated sound card (even using a digital output, the difference is pretty startling).

I see you're pretty worked up about this whole thing. Without undermining your experience or your advice, Google is just a helpful tool. Checking back on your doctor by using google is not advisable, safe nor recommended. Please be careful when handing out dangerous advice, as these kind of things can kill people. I would suggest sticking to audio, electronics and PCs, as a starting point. And even there, Google is not the end of the world. They change their algorithm every 6 months, and even then they get it wrong sometimes. So don't place too much faith in what Google tells you. Try it yourself. I'm not about to bandy my years of experience and all the things I have done, as that is poor etiquette and in generally in bad taste. Suffice it to say that it does not entitle me to expect people to take my word for things I say, and neither should you or anybody else.

And like I will continue to say, do not assume your advice is 'right' and immediately everybody else is 'wrong'. There is no point in having a discussion forum if there can be no discussion, and if people start insisting on using words like 'right advice'. Such a thing does not exist, for your experience and others' can be very different, such is human life. Of course, since you seem to find such a thing offensive, I see no reason to continue this discussion.

Have a nice day.

dude get a life.......
get your facts straight........
.........over and out from my side
 

moserw

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Well to get back to the main topic of discussion...

Stick with Asus, they are more robust. I've used Gigabyte in the past and and they are good, but Asus is definitely better.

Coming to GFX, well I confess I'm an NVIDIA fanboy having used their cards a lot (and I'm a hardcore PC gamer especially for FPS/TPS). I've never really used ATI or AMD so I will not comment from the experience/performance perspective.

Hi all

I have finalised two motherboards for HTPC with HDMI, they are

Asus m3n78em (nVidia 8600 chipset)
&
Asus m3a78em (ATi radeon chipset)

nVidia vs ATi, which will be better also I have noted a Gigabyte MA78GS
mobo

will Asus be better than Gigabyte or vice versa

Kindly help

Thanks
Gap G J
 

spirovious

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Well Giga are ruling now days & are better for gaming & stability too.
Asus is better for HTPC.
 

gap g j

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Thanks Cranky, Suprateep and Moserw for your Reply.

I welcome a healthy discussion to continue, by the way there what about
DD, dts over HDMi

S/PDIF will not support DD trueHD & dts HD when connected to AVR, What is the solution for audio over HDMi

thanks
Gap G J
 
Last edited:

moserw

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Well Giga are ruling now days & are better for gaming & stability too.
Asus is better for HTPC.

Says who? Gaming has nothing to do with the mobo. It's all handled by the GFX and only 2 companies who do it are NVIDIA and ATI. In all my years of using and assembling PCs the only one instance I've had of a mobo burning out was of Gigabyte and it was mine.

I use Intel now though for mobo and processor. Ever since they went Core they've produced the best. NVIDIA all the way for gaming.
 

moserw

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Thanks Cranky, Suprateep and Moserw for your Reply.

I welcome a healthy discussion to continue, by the way there what about
DD, dts over HDMi

S/PDIF will not support DD trueHD & dts HD when connected to AVR, What is the solution for audio over HDMi

thanks
Gap G J

The Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe does output HD Audio over HDMI. At least that's what the specs say.
 

spirovious

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Says who? Gaming has nothing to do with the mobo. It's all handled by the GFX and only 2 companies who do it are NVIDIA and ATI. In all my years of using and assembling PCs the only one instance I've had of a mobo burning out was of Gigabyte and it was mine.

I use Intel now though for mobo and processor. Ever since they went Core they've produced the best. NVIDIA all the way for gaming.

I meen they overclock better(with GC).
 

suprateep

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Here is the comparision of both

ASUS

Which one is better, future proof

bhai i was all gung ho about the ATI M3A78EM but luckily I did not buy it since i was searching for cabinets a month back. It helped me focus better on the LPCM part (8channel for nvidia vs 2 channel in ATI plsu 24p playbak in nvidia is supported) and other features.

Between the two I would suggest the M3N78EM for a AMD processor.

For a Intel processor I would suggest the Gigabyte 9300/9400 based board that supports 8 channel LPCM with a decent package of onboard graphics that will let you play aroudn too (albeit under lower resolutions).

But the entire point of an HTPC is try to do without additional graphics and fans and do more with less. The ATI is a better board when gaming is concerned but somehow the nvidia edges it out (by a little bit and extra feature set).
 

moserw

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Here is the comparision of both

ASUS

Which one is better, future proof

Have to agree with cranky here. Both are identical. One thing you should look for is the expansion allowed in terms of availability of slots since that makes the difference long term and both are identical here. Looking to the mobo for anything long term is useless. External is the way to go, be it LAN card, soundcard, graphics card, etc. Onboard soundcards and graphics cards are never good enough, the onboard LAN will fry the mobo if there is an electrical surge. This happened to me personally and since then I've always gone with an external LAN card costing Rs. 100-150 and that's kept the mobo safe.

Here is my take. There is no HD Audio in Blu-Ray discs these day. I know since I've personally bought quite a few from Amazon and while their PQ is just terrific they are still with Dolby Digital, no DTS and no HD Audio. Even if you are looking to d/l HD rips, even they are with 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS at the most. You will be using 5.1 only for a while yet. Since you need a digital out to the AVR any Rs. 1000-1500 soundcard will do. Later on when 7.1 audio becomes common in Blu-Ray discs and HD rips and soundcards will carry 7.1 in both digital and analog and become cheap you can go for one then. For that you need a PCI or a PCI-E slot which both mobos have.

There is no future proof in PCs. Only slots matter and your money to get the latest soundcard, graphics card, etc. As long as there are enough slots, a strong mobo and a powerful processor will last you a good number of years. Get either mobo or any mobo that will support a good/powerful dual core or quad core processor and have enough expansion slots. Don't scrimp on the processor since that's required to power/run your PC. Go with a dual core and if you can spend more then a quad core since this is more future proof than anything else.

Really nothing much to choose between the mobos based on the specs...
 

Rem

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As Cranky said get a beefy CPU preferably one with the most amount of L2 cache ie one important factor which determines the performance of your system along with mobo bus speed mem speed, amount of Ram etc.

But more the L2 cache the CPU has more costly it wud be so get one with the most L2 cache that you can afford. Do not consider CPU speed as all CPUs at the speeds available now are sufficient for HTPC and most other activities that we do with our comps these days.


In short Best CPU with L2 Cache and a pretty fast stable mobo Asus or Gigabyte but do not go for the cheapest mobo.

Graphics card
SOund card and all you can add later
 

suprateep

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bro the idea of htpc is not always to get the most expensive high end equipment - analogy wise you can buy a Porsche but would you be driving that to work? Likewise you can get a Core i7 proccy with compatible mobo or Phenom II with AM3 mobo that will set you back by 15-20k. Add ram, a OD(Blueray drive since you are getting high end specs), a proper HTPC cabinet (6k-34k) from Antec, Silverstone, good power brick (2-3k), a Asus HDAV 1.3 Deluxe a internal LAN card etc. So at the end you should have set yourself back by 50-60 atleast apart from HDDs (believe me 1tb is not enough and I have almost filled mine with data in the last 1 month) - atleast 3-4TB is essential i.e. 15-20k.

The thing is you should get something that is convenient, quiet, easy on the pocket, plays everything, encodes a lil video i.e. do DVD rips (BD drive is a overkill with lack of titles as of now). HW should be kept at minimum though I do suggest a good Sound Card like Asus Essence for 2 channel stereo. For movies the optical out or HDMI out of most recent mobos (from nvidia as of now and ATI working on the fix for 8 channel LPCM will do). Digital signals are not prone to noise as analog signals - so you should be safe. And if you want to see the decoding of HD audio done by you receiver and see true HD light up on you receiver get the HDAV - or else it can be wholly avoided because of the said performance of true HD audio bit streaming with TMT player only.

I have the 8300 chipset but i would still suggest the nvidia 9300/9400 chipset mobos with AMD X2/X3 processors for the setup. Its a tested solution for most HTPC needs including extra slots for addons, 8 channel LPCM, 24 playback and so on. The ATI card woudl have been a better choice with slightly better performance, lower power usage but lack of 8 LPCM and shaky 24p playback issues amongst others sideline the excellent piece of HW.


Dude save you money and send on interconnects, speakers wires etc - tehy make a whol lot of difference.
 

gap g j

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Thanks all for your valued inputs, Guys

I'm not avid gamer so I have not come across Graphic cards,
Now I have some rips from the Internet and continue to download
So I thought of buying a WD TV, meanwhile my computer which has become very old, needs replacement, so I thought of building a HTPC to connect with my LCD TV.

Once again I thank you all, I will make a purchase in 1 0r 2 days and I will let you know.

Regards
Gap G J:)
 

suprateep

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Thanks all for your valued inputs, Guys

I'm not avid gamer so I have not come across Graphic cards,
Now I have some rips from the Internet and continue to download
So I thought of buying a WD TV, meanwhile my computer which has become very old, needs replacement, so I thought of building a HTPC to connect with my LCD TV.

Once again I thank you all, I will make a purchase in 1 0r 2 days and I will let you know.

Regards
Gap G J:)

sure man - my pc with AMD Athlon 64 3000 is serving me for the last 3 years and I am cool with it for the next 2 years atleast. XP runs well - I do not play games with it - surfing and the works with music playback - has a soundblaster Live Platinum which was decent many years back.

Best of luck with your HTPC endeavor.
 
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