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Media Live Diva 5.1

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August 3, 2009 12:07:16 AM

I came across the MSI Media Live Diva 5.1 review a few weeks back and thought it looked almost perfect for my needs as I am after a decently powered all-in-one unit without blasting a hole in my pocket. I've been an Intel user for the last 7 or so years so I'm not too sure what to go for as far as a decent CPU when it comes to AMD these days (And I haven't found a motherboard like this with Intel CPU support) so was wanting some opinions on a CPU/GPU configuration to go with this.

Basically it must be:
-Quiet (Very Important)
-Play blu-ray discs/rips and H264 HD content smoothly (Either on GPU or CPU without needing to run it in a separate application like Nvidia PureVideo)

Also any recommendation on a video card that will fit in a single PCI-E slot with a quiet or no fan would be good as the types that I currently use are the over sized noisy gaming ones.

More about : media live diva

August 19, 2009 4:53:39 PM

Search HTPC for a couple articles on the Maui HTPC build. They will answer all your questions.
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August 19, 2009 5:34:37 PM

Personally i think that MSI makes trash. I would just go with a nice Core2 setup if u want things tobe quiet. AMD runs hotter than the Intel chips. So u wont have to really need aftermarket fans and crazy stuff like that.

looking at the reviews on that Media Live Diva on Egg its looks like its not that stellar of a product ne ways.
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September 1, 2009 3:05:03 PM

I personally think MGDJoker's post is trash, as its groundless hateboi accusations. AMD doesn't run hotter than Intel - i7s run hotter than anything AMD has at the moment (fractionally warmer than a X4-965BE), the "good" 65W C2Qs are rare and expensive (Q9550s is a sweet chip, but too scarce and overpriced) and they have no 45W CPUs either. AMD has cheap 65W tri- and quad-core CPUs running at a perfectly reasonable 2.5GHz and will soon have cheap low-cache 45W 2.3GHz tri- and quad-cores out too. As for aftermarket cooling? I've never seen a heatpipe on an Intel stock HSF, that's for sure! Even when the CPU in question needed it! At least AMD try to provide stock coolers suitable for their CPUs - i7s need aftermarket cooling practically as a matter of life and death!

And I've never had a problem with an MSI anything. Unlike Asus and especially Gigabyte!

Back to the original topic: The HD3200 on the DIVA will handle 99% of what's out there. The other 1% is typically incompatible with provided codecs and won't run on anyone's GPU, which is why sticking in a 65W Phenom2 is often a good defensive move if you have the cash. If they launch soon and launch cheap then the 405e or 605e could be alternatives... only 2.3GHz and no L3 cache but three and four cores respectively and just 45W of heat output at absolute max. And if you ever think you'll need an aftermarket cooler due to noise issues (which aren't so common on AMD CPUs, especially 65W and lower) then think Scythe. You don't need to break the bank, for example a Shruiken is grand for most sub-95W builds, is near-silent and fits in low-profile systems while being cheap to boot.

And why would you need a graphics card if you're not gaming? The DIVA's onboard HD3200 is fine for HD acceleration purposes. If you are gaming then there are still single-slot HD4850s out there, although they tend to be hot customers. Sadly I can't think of any single-slot HD4830s or HD4770s... so the logical step down is a HD4670 if you need cooler-running.
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September 1, 2009 9:30:19 PM

Hooray for a post being worthwhile!!! Thanks for the good info Solitaire!!
Now all I want to know is a regular someones opinion of the Diva as the reviews seem to rave about it (Aside from the protected audio path problem at present) but to be honest, going from stereo built into a TV to even downsampled 5.1 will be a massive change for me! My only other concern was that it may not be loud enough. The only review I saw out there that showed a sound level said that the audio level (Once it started to reach a level where it didn't sound as nice) was at 95db @ 1m, and like most people, I don't own a sound level meter, so I wouldn't have a clue how it compares to my current setup.
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September 2, 2009 4:10:00 PM

Solitaire said:
I personally think MGDJoker's post is trash, as its groundless hateboi accusations. AMD doesn't run hotter than Intel - i7s run hotter than anything AMD has at the moment



I didnt say anything about i7 moron. I said Core2 fool. MSI is junk I've worked with there crap for years and probably delt with and supported more of it then about 90% of people in the industry. Its one step above Jetway and Foxconn when it comes to quality.
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November 29, 2009 11:01:08 AM

If I am right and the Media Live Diva 5.1 is a motherboard and you are looking for a MoBo to build a system with an Intel processor, then check out the Asus P5N7A-VM. It may be what you are looking for. There are reviews of it at silentpcreview and extremetech.
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November 30, 2009 2:19:21 AM

BlueCat57 said:
If I am right and the Media Live Diva 5.1 is a motherboard and you are looking for a MoBo to build a system with an Intel processor, then check out the Asus P5N7A-VM. It may be what you are looking for. There are reviews of it at silentpcreview and extremetech.

That M/b isn't even close to the same. The main reason people but the ML Diva is because it has a built in 5.1 channel amp, or 7.1 channel preamp.
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Best solution

January 14, 2010 2:00:11 PM

acecombat said:
Hooray for a post being worthwhile!!! Thanks for the good info Solitaire!!
Now all I want to know is a regular someones opinion of the Diva as the reviews seem to rave about it (Aside from the protected audio path problem at present) but to be honest, going from stereo built into a TV to even downsampled 5.1 will be a massive change for me! My only other concern was that it may not be loud enough. The only review I saw out there that showed a sound level said that the audio level (Once it started to reach a level where it didn't sound as nice) was at 95db @ 1m, and like most people, I don't own a sound level meter, so I wouldn't have a clue how it compares to my current setup.


I have bought a Media Live diva 5.1 from Newegg and had to return due to not booting. i received a second motherboard with same issue and discovered that the bios didn't support the Phenon II x3 CPU. sent it back to MSI for bios update. upon return from MSI, it booted fine, but during software install, it crashed and refused to boot. i returned the board back to MSI and they replaced 3 power transistors that had blown. still don't know why this happened. i installed win7 and used the vista 64 bit drivers and it worked great. you need about a 1/8th inch spacer between on the amplifier card due to the attach bracket incorrectly spaced at the factory. i hooked a couple of outdoor speakers and the sound quality was fantastic. i couldn't believe that such cheap speakers could sound so good. however, the volume is limited. don't expect an ear blowing level as you can get from a receiver. everything now is working great, but it doesn't use metal cap capacitors as some of the newer MSI boards. the concept for this motherboard was good, but the motherboard is of lower quality.
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January 21, 2010 4:19:25 AM

MAS2000 said:
I have bought a Media Live diva 5.1 from Newegg and had to return due to not booting. i received a second motherboard with same issue and discovered that the bios didn't support the Phenon II x3 CPU. sent it back to MSI for bios update. upon return from MSI, it booted fine, but during software install, it crashed and refused to boot. i returned the board back to MSI and they replaced 3 power transistors that had blown. still don't know why this happened. i installed win7 and used the vista 64 bit drivers and it worked great. you need about a 1/8th inch spacer between on the amplifier card due to the attach bracket incorrectly spaced at the factory. i hooked a couple of outdoor speakers and the sound quality was fantastic. i couldn't believe that such cheap speakers could sound so good. however, the volume is limited. don't expect an ear blowing level as you can get from a receiver. everything now is working great, but it doesn't use metal cap capacitors as some of the newer MSI boards. the concept for this motherboard was good, but the motherboard is of lower quality.


Thanks for a quality user review :) 

I read somewhere else too that the sound wasn't earblowing, which may or may not be a problem as the room isn't huge. I think just due to lack of upgrade options in the future that I'll go for a PC & Receiver instead of a combo unit. It's too bad they don't have a newer version with a little more power 'cause that would have me sold!!! You never know though, by the time I actually get around to making a HTPC they may have something newer!
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January 21, 2010 4:21:28 AM

Best answer selected by acecombat.
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March 6, 2010 11:29:23 AM

i am responding to several of ya'll . first off the am3 boards , i think just means it supports memory of ddr3 ,but , as well as ddr2 . amd 2 or 2+ does not support ddr3 memory because it had not been invented at the time.i purchased a three core amd also ,but not the II , in otherwords mu cpu does not support ddr3 . but it is the correct cpu, i am frightened to think the caps may melt hee-hee.also ,msi simply does not make garbage ,go to china and see many manufactureres bords coming out the same plant . i think mayby a better argument could be made that a [so n so ] bord uses japaneese caps instead of malaysian . but my real point is this .this is not a gamers board . i listen to music loud , and old rock concerts . at some point ,,between my mp3 file and my speaker it must become analog . a digital speaker could be said a misnomer . anyway , the riser sound card on this kit , look at the caps . caps in practise are used as a type of battery kinda ,largar caps can have a reserve of power if a particularly loud bass sound is needed. you cant draw that demand in real time without a cap ,, look at the caps on the diva sound card .it is a work of art .i am hooking to an vintage adcom 555 preamp, then a adcom 555 amp.it literally can run a hair drier or a toaster off the speaker side .ok , thats is sensational ,but point made ,it will blow a 150 watt lightbulb .hee-hee. and when it needs signal , it can kinda create a vacuum of needed signal ,in really laymans terms . it cant draw it off melted caps hee-hee. ok finally my spekers are switched to either a set of dalquist/marants dq-10's or acoustic research'es ar9's all above could be called audiophile and possibly the best ever made . so why mp3 , because at 320 bitrate it is better than the wave file kinda , regardless i have 67,000 mp's that people can choose through . also the rca composite connectors are crucial ,both in and out . almost eberything is digatal now ,find a pci-e with analog out for example,imposible .analog pretty much stoped at agp .if toy look at the trend it is all digital at the output side .it shoud be noted here that hdmi is for anti do what you want with signal , rather than quality . in otherwords anti-copyright violations . i apreciate yalls forum , sorry for being long winded
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April 20, 2010 4:47:43 AM

acecombat said:
Thanks for a quality user review :) 

I read somewhere else too that the sound wasn't earblowing, which may or may not be a problem as the room isn't huge. I think just due to lack of upgrade options in the future that I'll go for a PC & Receiver instead of a combo unit. It's too bad they don't have a newer version with a little more power 'cause that would have me sold!!! You never know though, by the time I actually get around to making a HTPC they may have something newer!



I have since then built a slightly better HTPC and am very excited about googles upcoming entry . I can not not get around the high definition handshake on either unit , but for now , it doesnt matter , as netflix or any of the other look better on a 22' sceen . I agree that it is not ready . But my sound is great . I am using agp , it can handle 780 i think and that is the limitation of dvd . when i try to get more than that it actually looks worse . So (i am on 45'") and a 780 . so my quality is low . But it is still more than that is available , via internet . In the past i have looked to doom 9 for help . But for now , no one seams to know a mechaniclal or software approach of avoiding the handshake issue .
I am not giving up though . The analog agp cards would work ,. The express digital cards will not . But untill we have better wire sevice it doesn't matter .
Untill they can charge us proper it is never gonna happen .
Anyway , i feel confident that i could go back to xp with direct x 9 and make it work with the old g-force n-videa software . But then ,, i have just had an idea . xp media center edition without the updates from direct x .
Will post next , ok.
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September 15, 2010 10:49:10 PM

MAS2000 said:
I have bought a Media Live diva 5.1 from Newegg and had to return due to not booting. i received a second motherboard with same issue and discovered that the bios didn't support the Phenon II x3 CPU. sent it back to MSI for bios update. upon return from MSI, it booted fine, but during software install, it crashed and refused to boot. i returned the board back to MSI and they replaced 3 power transistors that had blown. still don't know why this happened. i installed win7 and used the vista 64 bit drivers and it worked great. you need about a 1/8th inch spacer between on the amplifier card due to the attach bracket incorrectly spaced at the factory. i hooked a couple of outdoor speakers and the sound quality was fantastic. i couldn't believe that such cheap speakers could sound so good. however, the volume is limited. don't expect an ear blowing level as you can get from a receiver. everything now is working great, but it doesn't use metal cap capacitors as some of the newer MSI boards. the concept for this motherboard was good, but the motherboard is of lower quality.


hello I have the same system, everthing is great but sound is stereo not 5.1

I could not understand that spacer issue, how did you solved it please?
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October 21, 2010 6:58:39 PM

I've had this board for almost two years and when it works it's amazing. Like others have said, the concept was good but the quality sucks.

I'm working on returning my third board from Newegg. All over the net are comments about this board dying. My first one went up in smoke, the second one lasted two weeks and my third one for over a year. At the AVS forums they call it Diva Death. 113 pages filled with a lot of bad stuff about the board.

High def 1080p video and 5.1 surround worked perfect. I loved it while it lasted but the quality is pitiful. The dimensions of the motherboard are also off a little bit and can be a serious pain to mount. Many people remove the padding off of the backplate to help. The bracket for the soundcard is also to long. I just used a couple plastic washers to fill the gap.

So in the end I would not touch this motherboard due to the quality. Never know if it will die.
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