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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:42 pm 
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ilovejedd wrote:
Uhh... The Atom 330 is incapable of playing 1080p H264 movies (at least the Blu-ray rips I've tried) without hardware acceleration. renethx from AVS Forums did a test and with the videos he tried, the minimum processor for smooth 1080p with CoreAVC was a 2.4GHz Core 2-based CPU (Pentium E2220?).


x264 1080p playback on page 4:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1007-page4.html

Smooth, 65% CPU usage using CoreAVC + MPC-HC (no GPU acceleration) playing a blu-ray rip encoded at 14mbps.

Also played fine on the D945GCLF2 in the HFX Micro S13.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:57 am 
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Lawrence Lee wrote:
x264 1080p playback on page 4:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1007-page4.html

Smooth, 65% CPU usage using CoreAVC + MPC-HC (no GPU acceleration) playing a blu-ray rip encoded at 14mbps.

Also played fine on the D945GCLF2 in the HFX Micro S13.

Ah, but those have been re-encoded to 14mbps. I reckon the videos used fairly simple encoding options, too. Full Blu-ray bitrate is around 20mbps+ (spec, I think is 40 max, but most of the movies I've seen clock around 20~30) and is a bit harder for the processor to decode purely in software.

I'd be interested to see how this fares with the following videos from this page using both hardware acceleration and brute-force decoding:
AIR OP - Tori no Uta
Planet Earth: From Pole to Pole


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:32 am 
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ilovejedd wrote:
Ah, but those have been re-encoded to 14mbps. I reckon the videos used fairly simple encoding options, too. Full Blu-ray bitrate is around 20mbps+ (spec, I think is 40 max, but most of the movies I've seen clock around 20~30) and is a bit harder for the processor to decode purely in software.


Well I agree that 20~30mbps definitely won't be playable without GPU acceleration but most rips, e.g. warez releases are almost always less than 10mbps. When most people ask can it do 720p or 1080p, that's usually what they're referring to and that's the only reason we test these types of files.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:18 am 
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Lawrence Lee wrote:
Well I agree that 20~30mbps definitely won't be playable without GPU acceleration but most rips, e.g. warez releases are almost always less than 10mbps. When most people ask can it do 720p or 1080p, that's usually what they're referring to and that's the only reason we test these types of files.

I've never tried any warez releases (for US movies) but the 1080p anime fansubs I have tried don't play very nice with the Atom 330. That may be due in part to needing to render subtitles, but barring Quicktime trailers, I've haven't had any 1080p H.264 videos play silky smooth on an Atom 330 without hardware acceleration.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:53 am 
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I just ordered one of these today, and for some reason came to find opinions here after ordering rather then before. I was ready to kick myself when I saw a review up, fearing it will be a big pile of poo, but nice to see you liked it. :D

I should have it in a few days, will install Linux and XBMC. I'll let you know how it feels (and open it up).


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:26 pm 
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MikeC

I just bought this PC and have a few questions. So far I love the little machine, except I am getting a slight stutter every few seconds on Hulu. It runs almost completely smooth, but I get a little split second hicup about every 8-10 seconds. It is ever so slight, but enough to screw with your eyes and make it an unpleasant viewing experience.

Do you have any suggestions?

I have it on a good cable connection, and the buffer is full. I have tried it through both Hulu Desktop and Chrome and they both have the same stutter. Also, I have the latest Flash Beta 2 and Nvidia 195.81 driver installed.

Any help would be appreciated. It is almost exactly the box I have been wanting, but this flash stuttering problem could be a deal breaker if I can not get it to run smoothly. Other than that, I really love it.

The strange thing is that I can play HD content from YouTube fine. Maybe it is a Hulu specific thing.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:10 am 
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AlexNC, you would'nt happen to have the chance to pop it open and see if a thicker (3mm thicker then standard) drive would fit inside?

Hopefully I get mine on Monday or Tuesday and would like to get a bigger drive right away...

edit: opened and confirmed, only standard thickness will fit. There is a video on youtube documenting the opening and showing the inside of the box.


Last edited by kamina on Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:07 am 
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update -

I noticed I am getting this stutter on the low and medium video setting too on Hulu, not just the High setting. Also, the stutter is noticable in the small screen, not just the full screen. The weird part is that I am able to stream 1080p YouTube smoothly through YouTube with the latest Adobe Flash 10.1 Beta 2 + Nvidias latest ION Beta drivers. Why can I stream YouTubes HD videos at full screen, but not Hulu's Low videos in a small window? This just does not make sense.

So, it is not a 'horsepower' issue. It seems to be an issue on Hulu's side. I sent their support team an email. No telling what is wrong. Why is technology still so damn difficult?! It's 2010 for gods sake


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:27 am 
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FYI

I would just like to report to the community that, while this is an amazing product, it is not a good option for a HTPC. While it played YouTubeHD 1080p flash flawlessly, it had a lot of trouble with Hulu. While it was almost perfect with Hulu, it would have split second pauses every 10 seconds. Just enough to drive you crazy. It also had a difficult time handling the Hulu Desktop software. Navigation was a bit slow and jerky. Also, the Windows Media Center 7 TV guide was slow and jerky. All other navigation through WMC7 was fine though. I was using a Haumpaugh 950Q tuner.

Sadly, I had to return it today. I tried every combination of Bios, Graphics, Chipset, and Flash drivers (release and betas). All were the same. This is a great little box. Small and very capable. Like I mentioned, YouTube 1080p flash streams perfectly smooth. Fox and other networks run perfectly smooth. It is just Hulu's content that will not. Conspiracy? maybe. Pain in my ass, definitely. It is just the fact that most software today is not designed for these low power, no frills boxes. Too bad Google does not make a HTPC suite. I can dream, right?

It ran the newest XBMC/confluence fine though. Boxee beta ran smooth too, but locked up from time to time (software issue I am sure).

I hope this helps others looking into this option.
Why is it so hard to find a capable low power, small form HTPC? All I want is a CULV SU9300 with an ION chip and built in TV tuner. Is that too much to ask for?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:17 pm 
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AlexNC wrote:
I hope this helps others looking into this option.
Why is it so hard to find a capable low power, small form HTPC? All I want is a CULV SU9300 with an ION chip and built in TV tuner. Is that too much to ask for?

Iirc, that SU9300 is $262 by itself. I don't think you'll be able to get a full PC for the same price as the EEE Box. A Celeron SU2300 or Pentium SU4100, probably.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:54 pm 
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ilovejedd wrote:
AlexNC wrote:
I hope this helps others looking into this option.
Why is it so hard to find a capable low power, small form HTPC? All I want is a CULV SU9300 with an ION chip and built in TV tuner. Is that too much to ask for?

Iirc, that SU9300 is $262 by itself. I don't think you'll be able to get a full PC for the same price as the EEE Box. A Celeron SU2300 or Pentium SU4100, probably.
Honestly, I do not care about price. I just want something that is small, quiet, efficient, and capable. Unlike most of the market out there today, I am very willing to pay the extra money for these benefits. Sadly, there is simply no one making them. The first company to do so is going to make a killing I am sure. There is a huge market for these HTPC's.

Also, I don't think cost will be too bad. I have a Asus UL30 that has a SU7300/Intel4500 and it plays HD video and full screen Hulu fine. And it was only $650 with a LCD screen. Give me the same setup with an ION and no LCD and I would be very happy.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:43 pm 
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AlexNC wrote:
Also, I don't think cost will be too bad. I have a Asus UL30 that has a SU7300/Intel4500 and it plays HD video and full screen Hulu fine. And it was only $650 with a LCD screen. Give me the same setup with an ION and no LCD and I would be very happy.

Yeah, I agree, it won't be too bad, at least for us. Unfortunately, I can't say I agree with the huge market comment. A lot of people just want cheap and are willing to sacrifice quiet if they can save a couple hundred bucks.

However, Acer can sell the Celeron SU2300-based AS1410-2285 for just $400 so I reckon they can make something similar in Aspire Revo form factor for $50 cheaper. Now that, I'd love to get my hands on and a model like that is bound to sell like hotcakes. We already see the Zino HD getting a lot of buzz (too bad Dell had to mess up availability and shipping). If Acer can release what is basically an Intel equivalent to the Zino, they can make a killing. Alas, it would probably cannibalize sales of the Revo AR3610

I've got the same laptop as you (well, maybe not exactly the same model - UL30A-X5) and I found the price to be very reasonable. I especially love how quiet and cool running it is compared to my older Toshiba laptop. I plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt (w/o battery) and power consumption was just 7~8W while surfing the internet. No wonder the fan doesn't need to run. Even when the fan kicks in, the system is still very quiet.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:54 am 
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Oooh... Looks like Zotac heard the plea. :D
TechReport wrote:
A MAG system is also coming with Intel's Pine Trail platform inside. Zotac is going with discrete graphics for that rig, tapping a GeForce GT218 to enable smooth 1080p HD video playback. A CULV-based MAG with a Pentium SU4100 and GS45 chipset was on display, as well. Next to that, we saw a Congo-based model with an Athlon Neo X2 L325 processor and 780G chipset. Expect these to arrive around CeBit and cost in the neighborhood of $300.


No idea whether any of them will be fanless.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:29 am 
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kamina wrote:
AlexNC, you would'nt happen to have the chance to pop it open and see if a thicker (3mm thicker then standard) drive would fit inside?


are you speaking of the WD VelociRaptor? Trying to understand why you'd want a Veloci in a nettop...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:24 pm 
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Chris Chan wrote:
kamina wrote:
AlexNC, you would'nt happen to have the chance to pop it open and see if a thicker (3mm thicker then standard) drive would fit inside?


are you speaking of the WD VelociRaptor? Trying to understand why you'd want a Veloci in a nettop...


No, I'm thinking of the new 1TB WD 2.5" WD10TEVT model.

I've already ordered the 640GB WD.

After playing around with the box for a few days:

- It's not really louder then my previous mediaplayer (PlayonHD!), but not silent. The sound frequency is not very annoying - it's a bit of a lower frequency sound then I was expecting so i don't really hear it from the sofa (when it's under the tv stand) even if no sounds are on. Anyway, I think the sound would be clearly audible if sitting very near to the box.

- I've mainly been running Linux on it which works very well apart from the wireless. I've used it with 3 different access points. It works with two of them, but not with an airport extreme.

- All videos I've played back under XBMC (linux) have worked smoothly, 1080p trailers result in about 10% cpu load, some other video's result in ~30% cpu load (probably not using the video card for that).


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:33 pm 
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AlexNC wrote:
So, it is not a 'horsepower' issue. It seems to be an issue on Hulu's side. I sent their support team an email. No telling what is wrong. Why is technology still so damn difficult?! It's 2010 for gods sake


Are you saying it's not a horse power issue because other sites work with higher resolution, or because you have actually been monitoring your system to ensure there are no sudden cpu spikes at the time of the video stuttering?

Looking in google for "hulu atom" I get a lot of complaints that they are a lot more cpu intensive then other flash video sites, but it sounds to me like you are just encountering some bug in the beta flash.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:00 am 
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kamina wrote:
AlexNC wrote:
So, it is not a 'horsepower' issue. It seems to be an issue on Hulu's side. I sent their support team an email. No telling what is wrong. Why is technology still so damn difficult?! It's 2010 for gods sake


Are you saying it's not a horse power issue because other sites work with higher resolution, or because you have actually been monitoring your system to ensure there are no sudden cpu spikes at the time of the video stuttering?

Looking in google for "hulu atom" I get a lot of complaints that they are a lot more cpu intensive then other flash video sites, but it sounds to me like you are just encountering some bug in the beta flash.

I am saying both. No spikes, yet the split second stutter is still there with. The cpu is only using 20-40% during Hulu flash playback. YouTubeHD 1080p plays smoothly every time, and runs at a lower cpu%, sometimes in the teens. Personally, I think Hulu has some background advertising farming going on or something weird. Maybe they just have developers that are not as experienced as YouTubes and have a sub-par flash infrastructure with there servers. But like you said, it may just be a bug that Adobe has not sqwashed yet in their beta drivers. Who knows. I just didn't want to wait it out since I was at my last day before I could no longer return my box.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:19 am 
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kamina wrote:
Chris Chan wrote:
kamina wrote:
AlexNC, you would'nt happen to have the chance to pop it open and see if a thicker (3mm thicker then standard) drive would fit inside?


are you speaking of the WD VelociRaptor? Trying to understand why you'd want a Veloci in a nettop...


No, I'm thinking of the new 1TB WD 2.5" WD10TEVT model.


Aha. I wasn't aware that the 1TB notebook drives were 12.5mm high.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:44 am 
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ill wait to build my own with the zoatc H55-ITX


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:28 am 
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Thanks for this review and the heads up on SpeedFan in particular, it really makes the EB1501 nice for usage and playback where a low noise floor is desired.
I found 45% to be the ideal speed for my needs and increased the value of the EB1501 a lot in my book.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:41 am 
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I ran a small project the other day to endeavour into Blu-ray conversion of an EB1501.
I bought a Sony OptiArc slot in drive, the "5600S" and embarked on replacing the internal DVD drive. All went smooth just that there is a remaning issue with a rattling drive noise at BD playback on Windows 7.
As if there are retries/reseek attempts or similar ongoing, where that odd sound is proportional in speed to the drive speed and the drive led flickers while this occurs. It seems to be an issue on device driver level. I also flashed the driver with its latest fw, no change. Also drive speed whine is not at acceptable level until halfway through a movie. This drive seems to remain in a "x2" mode no matter what control attempts I do. I tried Drive Power Manager but no apparent effect.
The eject button is not in the proper position although sw controlled eject works.
But the BD picture quality is stunning !
I tried three different BD media players, same rattle effect remained on all.

I pulled that OptiArc drive now from the EB1501 and will try it in a ASRock cabinet to see if there's a difference in that grinding noise heard when running Windows 7 there.

Other than this; once a super-compatible slot-in BD drive is out this looks promising for the EB1501 BD capabilities !

BTW: Last night I tried that drive in an ASRock 330HT machine to decrypt BD and play the result back with XBMC on Linux 64-bit. Stunning result but such rip work needs a faster drive than 2x.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:47 am 
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Is the EB1501 capable of using two monitors at the same time? Like 1 LCD via HDMI and 1 LCD via VGA?

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