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Media Center PC - Nvidia ION

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 15, 2010 7:00:46 PM

I'm looking to setup a Media PC and thought about getting a motherboard with the Nvidia ION chipset for my video. This is to keep costs down and to stream 1080p. I'm looking for solid advice and tips for the best way to set this up and should I place storage in the media center, or share out a server? I plan on using Xbox Media Center. Does anyone have experience with the Nvidia ION?
April 15, 2010 8:48:04 PM

ION is for laptops i believe.

Just get an Intel I3 setup and use the onboard VGA chipset, that does the trick for 1080. You just need to make sure your network is good enough to handle bandwidth requirements.
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a b Î Nvidia
April 16, 2010 8:20:35 PM

No. Not all onboard video chipsets can handle 1080p. I'm not sure about the Intel GMAX4500 chipset. If you want to make sure your system can handle 1080p playback, stick with the Intel Core I3/H55 setup that Griffolion suggests, your original NVidia ION setup (they do make Mini-ITX motherboards for desktop solutions - Search "NVidia ION" on Newegg), or the AMD 785G/890GX chipsets.

My personal recommendation would be the 785G AM3 motherboard paired with an Athlon II X2 processor or this Mobo/CPU/GPU combo as a base. Either will come in between $40 and $60 cheaper than the Core I3/H55 setup.

-Wolf sends
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April 16, 2010 11:55:00 PM

Yeah the AMD setup will be cheaper so go with that, 785G is best as its micro ATX and powerful.
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April 23, 2010 7:16:41 PM

Thank you both for the great advice. That Mobo/CPU/GPU seems like the best option at this point.
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April 23, 2010 7:38:59 PM

Best answer selected by jakersg.
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April 23, 2010 7:39:40 PM

Wolfshadw said:
No. Not all onboard video chipsets can handle 1080p. I'm not sure about the Intel GMAX4500 chipset. If you want to make sure your system can handle 1080p playback, stick with the Intel Core I3/H55 setup that Griffolion suggests, your original NVidia ION setup (they do make Mini-ITX motherboards for desktop solutions - Search "NVidia ION" on Newegg), or the AMD 785G/890GX chipsets.

My personal recommendation would be the 785G AM3 motherboard paired with an Athlon II X2 processor or this Mobo/CPU/GPU combo as a base. Either will come in between $40 and $60 cheaper than the Core I3/H55 setup.

-Wolf sends


Also, Wolfshadow, it is my understanding that sound will output through the HDMI to the TV. There were some customer reviews that stated you would need a good pci-e sound card. Do i need to worry about this?

Thanks man.
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a b Î Nvidia
April 23, 2010 7:52:14 PM

I know this seems backward - but have you picked out your case yet?
HTPCs and Media PCs often have different casing objectives than a desktop or gaming PC.

Right now that ZOTAC Atom 330 is Mini-ITX form factor and the AMD 785G (Biostar G3 MB and Athlon II X2 240) micro-ATX form factor are about equal in cost, just different size.
I think you do want some local storage in the Media PC but you probably don't need multi-terabyte storage.
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a b Î Nvidia
April 24, 2010 4:12:47 PM

jakersg said:
Also, Wolfshadow, it is my understanding that sound will output through the HDMI to the TV. There were some customer reviews that stated you would need a good pci-e sound card. Do i need to worry about this?

Thanks man.



No, you don't need to worry about it. The NVidia ION is capable of 8 channel (7.1) LPCM. Check out this Tom's Hardware review of the ION.

-Wolf sends
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