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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:21 pm 
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JayT wrote:
the thought behind Maui is that if you have a nice AVR but want to integrate an HTPC into your entertainment stack without sacraficing audio quality, Maui + 7.1 pre amp card will do that.

But why would you go that route rather than NVIDIA's 8X00/9X00 IGP or AMD HD4XXX series video cards that pass 7.1LPCM over HDMI? Not to mention that the only source of 7.1 content is Blu-Ray and all the decent standalone Blu-Ray players have 8-channel analog output, so they work fine if your AVR is not HDMI compliant. So you're saying Maui is for people who can't stand the thought of a relatively tiny standalone BD player but don't mind the relatively gigantic AVR . . ? It doesn't make sense. Either this platform replaces the need for an AVR or it is a gimmick.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:03 am 
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jessekopelman wrote:
JayT wrote:
the thought behind Maui is that if you have a nice AVR but want to integrate an HTPC into your entertainment stack without sacraficing audio quality, Maui + 7.1 pre amp card will do that.

But why would you go that route rather than NVIDIA's 8X00/9X00 IGP or AMD HD4XXX series video cards that pass 7.1LPCM over HDMI? Not to mention that the only source of 7.1 content is Blu-Ray and all the decent standalone Blu-Ray players have 8-channel analog output, so they work fine if your AVR is not HDMI compliant. So you're saying Maui is for people who can't stand the thought of a relatively tiny standalone BD player but don't mind the relatively gigantic AVR . . ? It doesn't make sense. Either this platform replaces the need for an AVR or it is a gimmick.


Maui is much more than just a stand along BD player. It provides all the functions of an HTPC (Video storage/playback, photos, music, TV/DVR, etc.). With the D2 part, it can add more functions/features since it is programmable. Therefore, as D2Audio releases f/w updates, the audio functions of the platform can be enhanced.



If you already have a platform, then a discrete GPU card may be the way to go. However, if you don't, then it is a pretty good starting point.

As for alternative chipsets, those are fine as well if they meet your needs, but not everyone may want that as a solution.

I am not saying that Maui is the only solution or the perfect solution, there are other solutions and a discrete GPU card or alternative chipset is certainly an option.

It is about providing choice to the customers.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:50 pm 
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Thanks for taking the time to answer all of these questions Jay T!

The I've been following the Maui platform for quite a while now and I have been really intrigued by it.

Right now, the only function it would give me is the D2 audio amp card on top of my existing setup, since I specifically found a motherboard with a sound solution that mixed 5.1 into DTS for me and found a good deal on a home theater in a box.

I will, however, be looking into upgrading to a 7.1 setup and I would have loved the Maui platform to be a part of it because it is very cost effective for my needs. (Decent audio without all sorts of switching, inputs, etc.)

I don't suppose "Maui 2" (Maldives?) will have support for a 7.1 setup? Perhaps card placement in which a dual slot video card is possible? (Lots of gamers, myself included, would like nothing better than to use their big screen and home theater speakers for total immersion). Although then again, I suppose people who spend x amount on gaming plus y on expensive tvs, etc. can probably afford a nice soundcard and a very nice stand alone receiver.

I don't suppose you're allowed to disclose the timeframe for the next HTPC platform? Maui has been out for a while, after all.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:56 pm 
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A quick question for JayT - Are you the poster otherwise known as Java Jack?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:17 pm 
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JayT wrote:
I am not saying that Maui is the only solution or the perfect solution, there are other solutions and a discrete GPU card or alternative chipset is certainly an option.

You misunderstand my comment. I am not questioning the utility of the Maui platform. I am questioning the utility of the 7.1 pre-amp option. The only reason to need 7.1 is to play Blu-Ray content. But what is the point of replacing a standalone Blu-Ray player with an HTPC and dealing with the headaches of software if you still need an AVR (a much larger external box)? I am suggesting that people who really want their HTPC to be their BD player also would really like it to be their AVR, while those who don't need it to be their AVR would also be perfectly happy with a standalone BD player and thus have no need of their HTPC being a pre-amp.

You mentioned that you are working on Version 2 and what I suggest is that you focus on improving the functionality of this platform as an AVR replacement, because that is where it shines. Pretending otherwise just detracts needed attention from where the strengths of the platform actually lie. It is all well and good to claim to be about maximizing choice, but not all features are equally in demand and these products only get made available to the public on an ongoing basis if they are profitable. Something that stays a half-baked jack of all trades will never be as actually useful (or as viable a consumer product) as something that does fewer things but does them very well.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:35 am 
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JayT: Will there be any WXP driver support for this board? I have only found Vista drivers on the MSI webpage...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:10 am 
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jessekopelman wrote:
JayT wrote:
I am not saying that Maui is the only solution or the perfect solution, there are other solutions and a discrete GPU card or alternative chipset is certainly an option.

You misunderstand my comment. I am not questioning the utility of the Maui platform. I am questioning the utility of the 7.1 pre-amp option. The only reason to need 7.1 is to play Blu-Ray content. But what is the point of replacing a standalone Blu-Ray player with an HTPC and dealing with the headaches of software if you still need an AVR (a much larger external box)? I am suggesting that people who really want their HTPC to be their BD player also would really like it to be their AVR, while those who don't need it to be their AVR would also be perfectly happy with a standalone BD player and thus have no need of their HTPC being a pre-amp.

You mentioned that you are working on Version 2 and what I suggest is that you focus on improving the functionality of this platform as an AVR replacement, because that is where it shines. Pretending otherwise just detracts needed attention from where the strengths of the platform actually lie. It is all well and good to claim to be about maximizing choice, but not all features are equally in demand and these products only get made available to the public on an ongoing basis if they are profitable. Something that stays a half-baked jack of all trades will never be as actually useful (or as viable a consumer product) as something that does fewer things but does them very well.

I agree with you here the 7.1 preamp board seems a bit useless to me. There are some who may find a use for it. Those who are convinced normal motherboard analog out is shit quality. The evidence I've seen though suggests with quite a number of recent mobos it's good enough that most people are probably not going to notice the difference. And of course there's always the option of a PCI or PCIe sound card although that may not necessarily be cheaper (particularly if you're after something insane like greater then 48khz/16bit Bluray audio output)


Last edited by Nil Einne on Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:16 am 
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Tobias wrote:
Quote:
Is quad core a good choice for a HTPC? The most demanding function for a media PC is probably to record and playback video/audio at the same time, so in our view, a quad core is not the best choice... unless recorded content is encoded on the fly with a threaded application that can utilize the potential of all four cores. One point AMD makes is that the use of a Phenom allows for HT3.0 speeds, which offers better de-interlacing performance for broadcast and other interlaced content. We never did spend any time with the tuner, so no comment there.


Why would HT3.0 make any difference on a board barely able to keep up with HT2.0? (According to MSI the board only supports HT@1GHz, which is one (the lowest) of the speeds in the HT2.0 Specification)


As far as I'm aware no normal AMD CPUs ever used HT2.0 higher then 1ghz hence why most or all boards only support 1ghz for HT2.0

Also I'm resonably sure the board does support HT3.0 as it's needed if you want full deinterlacing from the 780G (from what I gather in AVSForum this applies to the MSI Live Diva). This is one reason why a Phenom is a good idea for the board. Unfortunately Phenoms are also rather power hungry at idle. The alternative is just to skip the IGP and use a discrete GPU


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 Post subject: Critique of the review
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:31 am 
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Mike from a brief look thorough of the review there are two critiques.

Firstly you failed to emphasise sufficiently that a Phenom (well more specifically HT3.0 or rather at least 1.6ghz) is necessary for full deinterlacing options (possibly other post processing options but I'm not certain of that) with the IGP. Since this was apparently one reason a Phenom was choosen in the test platform (before I noticed your hidden away comment in the review I guessed it may be and it seems from your contact with AMD it was) it's IMHO a bit silly to critique the processor choice all over the place and then only mention one of the key reasons in one paragraph in the middle of the review. (I didn't even notice you mentioned it the first time I skimmed thorough the review but noticed in at least two places your critique of the processor choice). Remember this is supposed to be a HTPC, if all you're watching is Blurays I see little point of it personally (just buy a standalone). (Although I've seen from elsewhere that some do, perhaps it's just the nature of TV in the US)

Sadly Phenoms are rather power hungry even at idle but the alternative is to add a discrete graphics card which of course adds to the cost. Technically the Sideport memory may be able to make up for lack of HT3.0/1.6ghz but if this is possible (this is pure speculation on my part from what I've read) it hasn't yet been implemented in the drivers AFAIK. Admitedly even with the HT3.0 the post processing (particularly of SD content) is somewhat weak compared to a good standalone (e.g. HD4650) and you possibly need to disable Aero so perhaps a discrete GPU would have been better but I can guess why AMD didn't want that.

Of course from a cost perspective a better option is probably the Phenom X3 8450e but it's going to be lower performing in most apps and from all I've seen power consumption isn't going to improve that much (at load obviously but performance per watt the X4 is likely to come out better most of the time). And since this is a reviewer platform, they wouldn't have cared so much about cost. The cheapest option is probably the 7750 and from what I've seen it should compete (in fact generally be better then) a E5200 but that has high power draw likely higher then the X4 you had and is not currently supported by the MSI Live DIVA bios.

So yeah while I agree with you you don't usually need a quad core for a HTPC unfortunately there's currently no great option on the CPU side given the limitations. Hopefully the Phenom II will help allieviate that (particularly the Athlon based Phenom IIs). Besides certain other review sites *cough* Anandtech *cough* seem convinced a quad core is necessary for transcoding (personally I've never seen the point but then again MPEG2 is common in your HDTV in the US)


Secondly you compared the audio output to a $4000 amp and nothing else. For example when you say:

Quote:
Our general reaction to the Maui PC amp was.... Wow! With the volume set at a fairly nominal living room level (peaks measured 80~85 dBA 1m from the center point between the two speakers), the change in the sound from the Linn preamp/amp was subtle. As with the Linn amps, the sound was lively, dynamic, detailed, clear, transparent. There were no obvious losses or degradations such as thinner bass or harsher sibilants. Mostly, the music came through much like before. It was quite impressive for a modest little $100 board inside a computer to come even close to matching $4,000 worth of discrete high quality audio amplifiers.


Perhaps all you are telling us is there is no reason why you needed a $4000 amp. This wouldn't surprise me since IMHO there are a lot of people paying for stuff in the audio world that makes little or no difference (e.g. 96khz/24bit). If you compared it to a say $300 amp (preferably double blind) and the Diva sounded a lot better then you can say something useful. Otherwise, it's easily possible all you're saying is that most people pay way too much for amps since they can't really tell the difference except at insane output levels they never use. Obviously if you didn't have a $300 amp this is a rather difficult proposition (borrow one perhaps?) but IMHO you should at least be careful with your conclusions. It's a bit like playing Quake 2 on an IGP and a 4870 which runs at 200++ FPS and saying 'wow the performance of a expensive GPU on a cheap motherboard' when in reality all your saying is no one can tell the difference between 200 FPS and 1000 FPS and Quake 2 is so old it's fine on any modern GPU.


Last edited by Nil Einne on Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:19 am, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:34 am 
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JoeWPgh wrote:
A quick question for JayT - Are you the poster otherwise known as Java Jack?


I don't think so. I've seen JavaJack all over the place including of course here and he always goes by the JavaJack or similar name. (Usually in relation to the MSI Live DIVA but he always discloses his involvement and it's always in reply so it seems fine to me)


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 Post subject: Re: Critique of the review
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:40 am 
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Nil Einne wrote:
Mike from a brief look thorough of the review there are two critiques.

Firstly you failed to emphasise sufficiently that a Phenom (well more specifically HT3.0 or rather at least 1.6ghz) is necessary for full deinterlacing options (possibly other post processing options but I'm not certain of that) with the IGP....

Some good points here, but not being a real htpc user, I have no clear sense of just how important full deinterlacing options are.

Nil Einne wrote:
Secondly you compared the audio output to a $4000 amp and nothing else. Perhaps all you are telling us is there is no reason why you needed a $4000 amp.

:lol: Good thing I didn't spend $4000, eh? Fair enough... except for the desire to enjoy the music at whatever volume I want. (It's not insanely loud, btw -- just a bit closer to unamplified live for smallish jazz bands. Great for parties. ;) ) Here's a simple fact: A modestly powered / priced little hifi integrated amp perhaps 30~50w/ch and ~$500 will probably closely match the Linn amps with relatively easy to drive speakers like the NHT 2.9 -- within loudness limits. The few AV receivers I've played around with -- up to $1000 price -- don't. They generally sound hashier, coarser. Not as good as the DIVA.

To tell the truth, good audio reviews are difficult. They require a base of lots of other audio gear for comparison's sake -- and lots of time messing about. Time I don't have, and gear I don't want around! (I have enough trouble with all the computer gear already.) I've spent >30 years around audio gear, ran a hi-fi store for >5 years, spent years in front of speakers/audio system (like in front of the monitor!), gone through dozens of high-end & not-so high end components. I know what I hear, and you probably do too, but how I get across what I hear to you, who cannot be here listening with me?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:49 pm 
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Nil Einne wrote:
I agree with you here the 7.1 preamp board seems a bit useless to me. There are some who may find a use for it. Those who are convinced normal motherboard analog out is shit quality.

What I'm saying is who needs 7.1 analog output at all? The only source for 7.1 audio is Blu-Ray and thanks to DRM-induced software headaches you are better doing Blu-Ray via a standalone player. If you are going to have a standalone player, you might as well have a standalone AVR and connect your HTPC to it via either HDMI (if supported) or S/PDIF (if not). If you absolutely must have your Blu-Ray inside your HTPC, you might as well have your AVR inside of it as well. So, there is no rational reason to go with Maui + Analog-out combination.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:09 pm 
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Nil Einne wrote:
As far as I'm aware no normal AMD CPUs ever used HT2.0 higher then 1ghz hence why most or all boards only support 1ghz for HT2.0

Also I'm resonably sure the board does support HT3.0 as it's needed if you want full deinterlacing from the 780G (from what I gather in AVSForum this applies to the MSI Live Diva). This is one reason why a Phenom is a good idea for the board. Unfortunately Phenoms are also rather power hungry at idle. The alternative is just to skip the IGP and use a discrete GPU


It's good to know there is a reason, although I have to admitt that I am not knowledgable enough to understand what you are saying. As I have this board and am trying to figure out if I want to keep my old dual core CPU or get a 4850e, it would be great to know why I should perhaps even concider a quad?

I have to ask, though, isn't HT3.0 one of the big selling points of the PhenomIIs? Doesn't Phenoms use HT2.0?


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 Post subject: amplifier card heatsink
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:49 am 
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I'm surprised you were not curious enough to peek under that "amplifier" card heatsink :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:59 am 
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Nil Einne wrote:
I agree with you here the 7.1 preamp board seems a bit useless to me.


I actually find this an extremely useful option even though my short term plans are to just run 5.1. You can get some excellent active speakers now which are great compromises between quality and size.

My plan this summer is to create the living room system with just a 7.1 Maui platform and three sets of Audioengine A2 speakers (and a subwoofer that I have already). This will allow me to run the rear speakers using an excellent wireless link from the same company, something not possible with passive speakers. This will allow me a really simple system with just the Maui PC and the dreaded cable box (plus a Wii) which will make the living room a lot less cluttered. Going to 7.1 will then be a simple $350 expension with another set of A2s and wireless link.

The wife is thrilled with the idea of getting rid of the huge AVR and loved the size and the glossy black finish of the speakers. She almost fainted when she saw the jewelry quality soft bags they come in to avoid scratching.

I wish that I could get Cablecard tuner in the HTPC, but I can at least hope that Windows 7 will allow me to get the digital output from the cablebox to the HTPC easily.

On the CPU issue, I will simply get a 5050e for now. Once they make 45W Phenoms I will think about upgrading.

On the subject of amps, yes there is a huge difference once you really bother to investigate. I am running Pass Labs in my music rig using Quad 2805s and the difference between that and even expensive AVRs is huge. So I realize that the Audioengine setup is compromised (I have two of them already), but it is a lot better than an AVR with inexpensive (and small) speakers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:36 am 
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JoeWPgh wrote:
A quick question for JayT - Are you the poster otherwise known as Java Jack?


I have used Java Jack on some sites, however it is not always available when I register. I don't know how common that name might be but about 50% of the time the name is already taken on sites I have gone to. It is the handle I use for Twitter and gaming online so it is the handle I usually try to get first. I try to keep one personna online. However, since Mike mentioned me by name I registered by name to respond to questions that members might have.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:12 am 
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jessekopelman wrote:
JayT wrote:
I am not saying that Maui is the only solution or the perfect solution, there are other solutions and a discrete GPU card or alternative chipset is certainly an option.

You misunderstand my comment. I am not questioning the utility of the Maui platform. I am questioning the utility of the 7.1 pre-amp option. The only reason to need 7.1 is to play Blu-Ray content. But what is the point of replacing a standalone Blu-Ray player with an HTPC and dealing with the headaches of software if you still need an AVR (a much larger external box)? I am suggesting that people who really want their HTPC to be their BD player also would really like it to be their AVR, while those who don't need it to be their AVR would also be perfectly happy with a standalone BD player and thus have no need of their HTPC being a pre-amp.

You mentioned that you are working on Version 2 and what I suggest is that you focus on improving the functionality of this platform as an AVR replacement, because that is where it shines. Pretending otherwise just detracts needed attention from where the strengths of the platform actually lie. It is all well and good to claim to be about maximizing choice, but not all features are equally in demand and these products only get made available to the public on an ongoing basis if they are profitable. Something that stays a half-baked jack of all trades will never be as actually useful (or as viable a consumer product) as something that does fewer things but does them very well.


Part of the unique thing about Maui is that it is scalable. I don't want to force a single usage model on anyone, I want to give them the flexibility and choices so they can build it out how it makes most sense to them.

From a architecture perspective, it is easy and relatively cost effective to make both options availalble and let the market decide what sells best.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:19 pm 
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mozartrules wrote:
Nil Einne wrote:
I agree with you here the 7.1 preamp board seems a bit useless to me.


I actually find this an extremely useful option even though my short term plans are to just run 5.1. You can get some excellent active speakers now which are great compromises between quality and size.

I agree that running active speakers is the one scenario where 7.1 preamp starts to make sense. I suppose I am just prejudiced against active speakers for home theater . . .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:29 pm 
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jessekopelman wrote:
...I am just prejudiced against active speakers for home theater . . .

Yeah, to me it's a bit of a tossup as to which is the lesser of the 2 evils -- speaker cables running back to the center or just a signal cable to the center, but then AC to each pair of speakers and still a cable between the two speakers. If the signal could be passed to the speakers wirelessly... but the complexity of the system keeps going up.

I did try a 5-spkr setup in my TV room for a while but just couldn't stand the mess of cables. Whatever improvement there might have been in the "dramatic" quality of the movie experience wasn't enough to justify the mess. Got the extra speakers out and it's so much more pleasant to be in there.

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 Post subject: heatsink
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:45 am 
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noone is interested what the heatsink is supposed to cool? :o


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:06 pm 
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Will the MSI DIVA LIVE support the Phenom II X3 720 processor? I'm trying to make this into a HTPC part time and other time daily PC. So at times I like to overclock silently and other time...underclock and try to idle with less power.

So question would be if the BIOS would support it...I looked at MSI website no mention. So asking if anyone has already gotten it to work.

Appreciate it if Java Jack (JayT) can respond in terms of using PII X3 720 processor and any extra comments on this processor with this motherboard.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:12 pm 
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A couple of questions, which might have alread been answered :)
Background: I am in the process of planning a new build. As it so happens, I also might swap/extend/... my audio equipment. Therefore, a later incarnation of the Maui might be an option.
  • There is no mention of a headphone jack in the specs. And I could not see one on the pictures in the article. Are there some on the backpanel of the Mainboard?
  • The specs say:
    Quote:
    Implementation Integrates with UAA Software Drive Architecture; No Special Software Needed

    Does that mean the system will work under Linux?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:12 am 
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Is the AMP available as some sort of PCI card or so? I would love to use something like this to replace my old Technics Analog 5.1 Receiver but I dont want to replace my Asus Nforce8200 board...

AMD 780G is horrible under Linux, if you want accelerated video decoding, there is no way around nvidia on Linux, IMHO.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:54 am 
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Quote:
Is the AMP available as some sort of PCI card or so?


No, the amplifier board will only work with this board (the D2 chip is on the motherboard).

But don't rule the board out just because you want nVidia graphics. I would think that you could put an 8400 passive board in and simply not run the builtin 780 graphics, but some checking would need to be done to confirm that the video and amp card can coexist in the space available.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:24 am 
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oberbimbo wrote:
AMD 780G is horrible under Linux, if you want accelerated video decoding, there is no way around nvidia on Linux, IMHO.

Has this not yet been solved? As ATI opened up their drivers a coupl e of months ago. And if not, I think it is quite likely that this will change in the forseeable future :)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:30 am 
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K.Murx wrote:
oberbimbo wrote:
AMD 780G is horrible under Linux, if you want accelerated video decoding, there is no way around nvidia on Linux, IMHO.

Has this not yet been solved? As ATI opened up their drivers a coupl e of months ago. And if not, I think it is quite likely that this will change in the forseeable future :)


yeah but downsizing literally ment entire Ati open source deprtment being kicked out.. All 40 personel

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:58 am 
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mozartrules: Except for the facts that I already have the Nvidia board and do not really feel like tearing my HTPC apart just to replace the mother board. Adding a PCI card would be ok, rebuilding the whole thing decidedly is not (mostly I'm too lazy for that).

And once I go rebuilding, the price differential to a decent external HDMI decoder is actually negative, IOW, I can get those for below 200USD and the Technics amp is not actually that bad ;). It would obviously be cheaper than replacing the amp with a decent solid state amp but that I currently do not really plan on doing - due to job related time constraints I only use the setup once or twice a week, anyway...

I stand by my point, if you want to do HTPC on Linux, go Nvidia and install the VDPAU branch of XBMC. Instant, fully hardware accelerated high end interface (minus recording capabilities but where I live, there's only dubbed crap on TV anyway)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:00 pm 
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
After 2 RMA's and a fire, all I can say is that I wouldn't wish this board on Osama bin Laden - let alone my worst enemy. It's a great notion that in implementation is garbage from front to back. If it was designed by a primate, it was by one no higher in social development than a chimpanzee - and apologies to all innocent chimpanzees, not in the employ of MSI.

Do not stay away. Do not walk way. Run for your life from this MSI offering. It's just that bad.


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 Post subject: Using this with amp'ed computer speakers?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:56 am
Posts: 106
Location: Cambridge, MA
All you audiophiles in this thread -- Please don't make fun of this idea (too much)...

I have an old Megaworks 550, which is already amped, so input for that needs to come in from pre-amped source. is that possible with this mobo?

I know these are not super-high quality speakers, but I'm thinking one step at a time.


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 Post subject: Re: Critique of the review
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:00 am
Posts: 17
Location: UK
MikeC wrote:
Nil Einne wrote:
Mike from a brief look thorough of the review there are two critiques.

Firstly you failed to emphasise sufficiently that a Phenom (well more specifically HT3.0 or rather at least 1.6ghz) is necessary for full deinterlacing options (possibly other post processing options but I'm not certain of that) with the IGP....

Some good points here, but not being a real htpc user, I have no clear sense of just how important full deinterlacing options are.



mike,

I am :). This comment is intented with total respect, this is one thing missing from your standard video benchmark set. It would be great if you had some broadcast quality 1080i h.264 content. I can happily supply you with some BBCHD (1080i/50hz) captures, which is widely recognised to be "probably the most demanding 1080i content in the world" to blatantly paraphrase the beer ad. Almost other review sites only test bluray/1080p, and of course gaming which is not a key SPCR feature. 1080i is a killer for a poor setup, so if you can add that - you will rock! The difference between a poor deinterlace (e.g. 780G chipset with an X2 processor, you get a bob or weave de-interlacing with frame drops which is where I started) and a good one (discrete ATI 4550HD, vector adaptive deinterlacing, no frame drops which is where I am now) is clear, and there are numerous sites documenting the typical artifacts of the lower-grade de-interlace modes.

cheers
Ian


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