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Gigabyte Vs Asus for HTPC Foundation

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January 3, 2011 12:06:20 AM

I "think" I have my search for a mobo down to the final two choices. I don't know enough to move ahead comfortably and would love some advise in steering me to the correct one or an even better one if you have a suggestion.

There are just enough differences between the two to have me vexed, like DDR2 Vs DDR 3, Radeon 3000 Vs Raedon 4200. Like I say, I don't have the smarts to know how big a difference these things make.

I intend for this to be a combination PC and HTPC. Gaming is not a desire, nice quality audio and video to my 42" Visio HD TV is the real goal. Overclocking not so much, but I do like to play around sometimes.

If you can offer advice on either board and maybe offer up suggestions on a solid CPU in the $50-$85 range that would be great too.

Here are my two candidate boards with the details I thought might be the "difference makers":

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H $64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DDR2 1200 (OC) / 1066 /800 / 667
Onboard Video Chipset
ATI Radeon HD 4200
Audio Chipset
Realtek ALC889A
Audio Channels
8 Channels

Rear Panel Ports
PS/2
1
Video Ports
D-Sub + DVI
HDMI
1 x HDMI
USB 1.1/2.0
6 x USB 2.0
IEEE 1394
1 x IEEE 1394a
eSATA
1 x eSATA 3Gb/s
S/PDIF Out
1 x Optical
Audio Ports
6 Ports
Audio Channels
8 Channels





ASUS M4A78LT-M
$69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DDR3 1800(O.C.)/1600(O.C.)/1333/1066
Onboard Video Chipset
ATI Radeon 3000
Audio Chipset
VIA VT1708S
Audio Channels
8 Channels

Rear Panel Ports
PS/2
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
Video Ports
D-Sub + DVI
HDMI
1 x HDMI
USB 1.1/2.0
6 x USB 2.0

Audio Ports
6 Ports
Onboard USB
Onboard USB
6 x USB 2.0

Thanks in advance for any help/advice!






January 4, 2011 4:24:32 PM

Both motherboards are a bit dated. You'd be better off getting a newer 880G chipset motherboard with DDR3.

That said, I run both Asus and Gigabyte motherboards in my systems, with the ATX version of your Gigabyte board in my HTPC (GA-MA785G-UD3H). It has been a very good HTPC board with one small niggle: it boots slow for some reason. By slow, I mean there is a 25 sec delay after the "Starting Windows" screen where it just sits. This is only when running AHCI mode not IDE, but it is only a small problem since my HTPC is in S3 sleep when not fully on and wakes up in like 2 sec. It makes my total cold boot time ~40 sec with an SSD. I don't know if the US2H version of the board has the same problem, but it's worth mentioning and looking into if others have had similar experiences.
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January 15, 2011 2:42:58 PM

Best answer selected by dougf4.
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