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 Post subject: Albatron KI690-AM2: A Mini-ITX Motherboard For The Masses
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:08 pm 
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Albatron KI690-AM2: A Mini-ITX Motherboard For The Masses

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:11 pm 
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Interesting read, thanks.

Yow, $260-$350. It sounded intriguing 'til then. Comparable micro-ATX AM2 690g boards with HDMI can be had for $70 or less, so they're charging a LOT for the form factor.

What kid of case would you put this in?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:34 pm 
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A price of $150 would be a better price point. People are willing to pay for small, but not an extra $100-$200 for just the board!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:10 pm 
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I'm reading this board is designed for Vista.....and works with XP only by accident? What other XP issues will pop up with no solution. :(

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:30 pm 
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I could uses this for a nice little audio box... now they need to lower the price.

Looks promising.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:15 pm 
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Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses of people with enough disposable income that they could blow server board money on an extra-pc for their water ski boat...


All kidding aside, I didn't quite extract why this board is "for the masses" from the article. What exactly makes it a mass market board?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 1:30 am 
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If this stays in production long enough it should be interesting. In about two years you'd be able to get this board for ~ $100, a used AM2 CPU for < $30, and a gig or two of what will be considered hopelessly slow RAM will be free. Of course, by then there will probably a better version of the Apple TV for $300 that does everything most people would do with this board without the need for DIY.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:05 am 
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fri2219 wrote:
All kidding aside, I didn't quite extract why this board is "for the masses" from the article. What exactly makes it a mass market board?


I believe it's because it is a mini-itx with decent power, which tends to be a rare combo. Most mini-itx boards are/were VIA powered, which the articles states will only appeal to a small market. There have been mini-itx boards with modern CPU support in the past (usually PM or P4), but this is the first AM2 one that I know of. Still not sure it appeals to the masses, mostly because of price, but I kinda like it. Thanks for the review, Mike.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:07 am 
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wow i'd love to have mini-itx but there are some problems:
1. albatron is not available in germany:((at least i found nothing)
2. quite expensive
3. no PCI-E otherwise it could replace my PC

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:05 am 
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I would agree on the PCI-E. Would love to have something with normal dimms and a pci-e 16 slot.

I'm wondering when/if the Asus DTX board is coming out?


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 Post subject: HSF
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 4:26 am 
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Any recommended HSF for a HTPC based on this MB?

Is the Scythe Kama Cross a good low-noise HSF? will it fit this MB?

TY


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:06 am 
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In about 10 days, we'll add a PS on how big aftermarket HS fit on this board -- with whatever HS we have on hand. Mostly photos.

re -- the PCIe slot: There are no MITX boards with dedicated vidcard slots. There never have been.

As for the price, we're mostly just guesstimating as market availability was nil at time of article posting. We'll report again on pricing in a couple weeks if things change. But be aware that specialized MITX boards (such as the AOpen mentioned/linked in the review) have always been pricey.

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 Post subject: Mini-ITX w/ PCIe x16
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:53 am 
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There are several newer mini-ITX boards with PCIe x16. Most of them are labeled as Industrial Mini-ITX, SBC (Single Board Computer), or Embedded PC boards. Specs vary, but here some examples

Total Control Solutions
TCS-001-01557 -- Mini-ITX PCIe x16 P4

Advantech
AIMB-253L -- Mini-ITX PCIe x16, PCI Core 2 Duo

Acrosser
AR-B1892 -- Mini-ITX PCIe x16, PCI Core 2 Duo

Commell
LV-677 -- Mini-ITX PCIe x16, 2x mini-pci Core Duo

IEIWorld
KINO-9654G4 -- Mini-ITX PCIe x16 Intel Quad Core

There's also lot's of links to Intel dual and quad mini-itx (quad on second page) at Mp3Car.com http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/general ... oards.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:03 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Mini-ITX w/ PCIe x16
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:48 am 
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Zinj wrote:
There are several newer mini-ITX boards with PCIe x16. Most of them are labeled as Industrial Mini-ITX, SBC (Single Board Computer), or Embedded PC boards. Specs vary, but here some examples

Total Control Solutions
TCS-001-01557 -- Mini-ITX PCIe x16 P4

Advantech
AIMB-253L -- Mini-ITX PCIe x16, PCI Core 2 Duo

Acrosser
AR-B1892 -- Mini-ITX PCIe x16, PCI Core 2 Duo

Commell
LV-677 -- Mini-ITX PCIe x16, 2x mini-pci Core Duo

IEIWorld
KINO-9654G4 -- Mini-ITX PCIe x16 Intel Quad Core

There's also lot's of links to Intel dual and quad mini-itx (quad on second page) at Mp3Car.com http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/general ... oards.html

:oops:
Obviously you're proving me wrong. :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:36 am 
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Hello,

Available in France here for 175€ (~245$). Unfortunately, they only deliver in France and Belgium. But if someone is really interested in buying this, fell free to ask me, I'd be glad to help.


AiZ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:14 am 
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Thanks for the review, Mike. It's too bad about the missing BIOS options. Lower power can be had with a mATX board due to that oversight. :(

I'm curious about this remark about the 690G:
Quote:
which include the best integrated graphics performance yet to be offered on any platform.


The AMD 7025/7050 is more bandwidth limited, but at lower resolutions absolutely blows 690G away. It also offloads more of the video decoding with some of the more demanding CODECs.

An added advantage of the single-chip nVIDIA "chipset" is that it seems to consume less power and (at least for the moment) is better supported for linux users.

If the board under review was based on that chipset, included BIOS options, and had an PCI express slot instead of PCI, i'd be willing to pay the $150 premium. As it is...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:53 am 
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Mike C,

Via also just released a 1.8ghz board with x16 PCI-e. Read about it here. The cpu may be too slow for HD mpeg2 though.

I always thought that all that was required for mpeg2 HD with DxVA acceleration was a 1ghz cpu ( I did HD mpeg2 with a 1ghz AthlonXP and 9600XT with good results), but the graphics card makers continue to add functionality to their video cards for advanced deinterlacing that seems to take both GPU cycles, and extra CPU cycles. My current HTPC, a S754 3200+ and 2600pro video card, takes 60-75% of my cpu just for 1080i mpeg2. It is kinda weird to turn around and use 5% cpu for 720p h264. ATI's universal decoder is not really universal it seems. The Via board would choke on 1080i mpeg2, while it would sail through BD/HD DVD. This situation is a huge problem IMO. Graphics card makers should allow you to pick how much deinterlacing is being done on the graphics card without ruining the automatic deinterlacing feature. Yes, you can pick Bob or Weave, but you can't pick automatic Bob and weave without also getting the more CPU intensive Vector Adaptive Deinterlacing. It works fine on my 3200+, but this Via board would not be suitable. according to a xbit labs article, the 7600GT has the least cpu use for 1080i mpeg2, so it might be possible to use that card with the Via board for mpeg2 HD, but you will never be able to play h264. You never get a perfect world do you?

Anyways, sorry to ninja the thread, but I wanted to let Mike C know, that he might be able to put together a nice SPCR designed HTPC with this board and sell it through endpcnoise. It would be a really unique system that is really not available anywhere else, and would be a really fun system to build for you. Some complain about the lack of PCI slots for tuners? But there are plenty of analog and digital USB tuners and a great ethernet based tuner out there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:19 am 
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autoboy wrote:
Via also just released a 1.8ghz board with x16 PCI-e. Read about it here. The cpu may be too slow for HD mpeg2 though.

You're assuming that this board will be less expensive enough compared to something like the Albatron this thread is about to be worth considering, but I'm not sure that is true. The fastest C7 Epia Newegg has right now is the EN15000G and they want $234 for it -- that is not much less than street prices some are seeing for the Albatron.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:02 pm 
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jessekopelman wrote:
You're assuming that this board will be less expensive enough compared to something like the Albatron this thread is about to be worth considering, but I'm not sure that is true. The fastest C7 Epia Newegg has right now is the EN15000G and they want $234 for it -- that is not much less than street prices some are seeing for the Albatron.


No, I am assuming the Via board is the only consumer oriented board with PCI-e, which is the thing that makes it attractive for HTPC people. A 2400pro on the Via board could make it a viable HD media playback machine. My question though, is whether or not the CPU will be able to handle the load from 1080i Mpeg2 even with acceleration. The HD2400pro only does partial acceleration of mpeg2, while it does full acceleration of VC-1 and H.264. This partial acceleration of mpeg2 leaves my 3200+ at 60% load, which might overwhelm the slow Via CPU.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:34 pm 
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autoboy wrote:
No, I am assuming the Via board is the only consumer oriented board with PCI-e, which is the thing that makes it attractive for HTPC people.

But the Albatron board that this thread is about is a consumer oriented mini-ITX board with PCI-e and it can use AM2 CPUs, so it should be easy to get the right combo of CPU and GPU to play 1080i. So, unless the Via was considerably less expensive than the Albatron, why would you choose it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:18 am 
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The Albatron only has PCI, no PCIexpress.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:09 pm 
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klankymen wrote:
The Albatron only has PCI, no PCIexpress.

:oops: Oh, you are right. Sorry. I figured that with such a modern chipset it would surely have PCI-e.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:17 am 
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I was wondering why the board in question used the stock AMD cooler instead of an aftermarket low-profile design, and also, why 2 different brands of memory were used for the test. Also wondering if the 65 Watt amd processors all use the same amount of power reguardless of clock speed?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:07 pm 
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I'd say the most important question of all is how well does this board work under linux(any distro) with either VDR or MythTV.... because I'd love to get 720p or even 1080p working on this through either the DVI or HDMI port. I'd also absolutely love to beable to get a 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio signal sent from the coaxial or optical spdif port of this motherboard to my 5.1 Receiver! Then toss in a USB wifi adapter, along with a PCI DVB-s receiver and man I would be the happiest man in the world.... Then I'd toss this motherboard into a Nexus Psile Black Mini-ITX case! OMG I want this to work, somebody tell me they got such a setup to work!

Everybody also should know AMD has been really starting to bump up its Open Source support on its drivers lately too so this setup may really be possible very shortly.... I just don't want to jump in and find out it doesn't work though so its scary when NOBODY has tried it yet!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:07 pm 
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This looks really cool, except, as said, it's a bit too expensive. It'd be great for a tiny PC though!

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