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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:05 pm 
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derekva wrote:
My first response would be to say "If it ain't tubes, it ain't shit!" but then I'm a throwback who likes to listen to vinyl (while playing Left 4 Dead, w00t!). I did find it interesting that a firmware update results in a 6dB increase in gain - glad you didn't fry your amp or speakers due to clipping.

I was more interested to see that the board supports OCUR tuners when built by an approved OEM. Now if I just knew an OEM that does OCUR and uses these boards...Mike?

-D

Jay promised to get me a list of system vendors using this package.

Offtopic: I had a homebrew tube preamp in my main audio system for a few months. Have to admit it sounded very good, compared well to the Linn Kairn I normally use. Lack of a remote made it a bit less convenient, but I think I might even have preferred the overall sound. Hard to say, cus I like the way the system sounds either way.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:25 pm 
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derekva -- Here you go, the only vendor who has a page on the product... limited tho it is: http://www.maingear.com/mediacenter/axess/

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:13 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
derekva -- Here you go, the only vendor who has a page on the product... limited tho it is: http://www.maingear.com/mediacenter/axess/


Cool! Thanks!

-D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:09 pm 
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Wife is hooked on all those TLC Home Decorating/Designing shows. She was watching Designing Spaces the other day when a Home Automation bit kicked off and told me about it. Did some research and found this.


http://aspenmediaproducts.com/Products/ ... fault.aspx


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 Post subject: Heat of the amp?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:50 am 
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Anyone know if the heat of the amp offsets the value of having a 65w CPU + no dedicated GFX? My HTPC is doing well at the moment with low fans and a Radeon 3450, but I'd be leery of adding an amp in there, digital or not.

Also, it would be another component that's "Only working when not idle" - like the CPU, GFX, and HD, so it's yet another component that'll get pretty hot when watching movies, etc..

Anyone?

-Dan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:05 pm 
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The heat from the amp shouldn't be muchl. It's rated for "100W" -- but I'd say that's a peak value. Almost all audio/music programming is dynamic; it ranges at least 10 db even in the most compressed program material. If you have say 30 dB range, and 100W is the peak, then the average power draw will probably be no more than a couple watts. These are D class amps which are supposed to reach >90% efficiency. So call it 120W extra heat in the case when you're watching a movie. Your system should be able to handle that with little or no increase in airflow.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:31 pm 
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derekva wrote:
MikeC wrote:
derekva -- Here you go, the only vendor who has a page on the product... limited tho it is: http://www.maingear.com/mediacenter/axess/


Cool! Thanks!

-D


I went to their site and then went "!?!". Too rich for my blood.

If only OEMs could sell motherboard + OCUR combos...damn the blackened souls of Cable Labs!

-D

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HTPC: OrigenAE X11|Intel DG45ID|Intel E8400|2x2048MB PC6400|Scythe Big Shuriken|ATI HD4550|2xATI DCT|80mm Nexus|2TB WD 3.5" SATA + 100GB Seagate 2.5" SATA|NeoHE 430


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:06 am 
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MikeC, while you are on the subject of HTPCs, you should check out the HP s3600t. Nvidia 9300 for DXVA and an E5200 processor. I would expect it is as quiet as a computer built from SPCR recommended parts without special tweaking and modding. About $550.
I mention it because the ideal HTPC is a silenced version of this. Maybe when SSDs take off we'll have OEM SFF computers like this that are very quiet.

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopp ... 00t_series


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:02 pm 
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I'm in the market to buy an HTPC and this is a very attractive option to me. My reciever is fine but it's 10 years old. It cannot be controlled via RS-232 and I don't have a lot of faith in IR solutions. Not to mention clutter reduction.

My main concerns are:
1)Is it quiet? Any chance for a quick early read Mike? What if I spring for smallish SSD for the OS only and use iSCSI NAS for media? (So I can hide the noisey hard drives in another room)

2) What are the case options? Anything better from a noise perspetive? Expandability perspective?

3) Recommended Blu-Ray drive for a quiet machine? My google skills must be lacking here....

4) How many *inputs* can this thing take? Any way to expand that? Note: buy/use a new reciever is not an option!

5) (slightly off topic for this forum) Will my HTPC be able to "upconvert" standard DVDs? My wife was impressed at her sister's house with this feature. File under cost justification.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:44 pm 
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NoSpareTime wrote:
4) How many *inputs* can this thing take? Any way to expand that? Note: buy/use a new reciever is not an option!

5) (slightly off topic for this forum) Will my HTPC be able to "upconvert" standard DVDs? My wife was impressed at her sister's house with this feature. File under cost justification.

4) No external video inputs other than Firewire (camcorder). One coaxial S/PDIF for audio. Audio and video inputs can be expanded through the use of TV capture cards for video and sound cards for audio, as well as USB version of such devices. Unfortunately, the cost of multiple HD video capture devices will be greater than that of just adding an A/V receiver and getting a bunch of add-in cards to work as seamlessly as a receiver will be complicated. This Maui platform is a good setup for when you just want a single box HTPC, not as a starting point to build your own A/V receiver.

5) Yes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:09 pm 
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Looking forward to the review Mike. It is great to see someone (AMD and its partners) take the initiative and converge home theater audio amplification and the PC.


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 Post subject: For the record...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:47 am 
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I've been using the realtek 889 audio on my new gigabyte board since 'first light' on the board. I have to say, I'm not unhappy with it. I'd say audio quality is at least approaching the level of my m-audio revolution 7.1, which is based on a via envy 24 chipset. It sounds quite good to my admittedly non-audiophile hearing.

Only game I've played with it so far is Warhammer Online... no problems there, nor with the anime/movies I consume in great quantities.

No crackling, hissing, popping that I can detect, and the klipsch speakers seem to get along with it just fine.

It's not full on directional gaming audio, but for anything else, I'd bet it can hold its own. Dolby certs don't necessarily come easily.

And, oh yeah. It has 64 bit drivers available. The m-audio doesn't, yet. They've been incredibly slow coming out with 64bit drivers so far. I believe internal beta testing is 'around the corner'.

Ugh. It's a great card, though.

Atomic


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:05 pm 
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Anyone know what the Audio amp requires from the PSU?

Would I have to upgrade my current power supply to run this board? Thanx. Running 200w ST30NF & 4850e.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:18 pm 
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CIRCLES wrote:
Anyone know what the Audio amp requires from the PSU?

Would I have to upgrade my current power supply to run this board? Thanx. Running 200w ST30NF & 4850e.

Very little power demand -- it's dynamic, varies with volume. Even at max peak I would be surprised if it wanted more than 20~30W. You should be perfectly safe with the ST30NF -- it's a 300w psu anyway.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:04 pm 
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Anyone know how this platform works for Blu-ray playback, from the standpoint of high definition audio codecs, including DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD? Are there software decoders that can decode DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD? Are the analog (amplified) audio outputs capable of outputting audio from those HD audio sources?

I've been thinking of replacing my aging receiver, which is an expensive option. Currently, all of my audio goes out of my HTPC via SPDIF into the receiver. If the HTPC can BE the receiver and if I can get the full high definition audio (and video) experience, without having to buy a new receiver, then I'm very interested.

I'm just unclear about the state of drivers, codecs, and how all that is shaking out for high definition audio.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:21 am 
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It works great for Blu Ray playback.

The audio does sound great IMO. I did replace my AVR with it and am very satisfied. However, I am not sure on the True HD stuff nor how I would really be able to tell. In fact, I wonder how much different True HD would be from DD or DTS.

From what I have read online, the True HD and DTS Master stuff is more dependent on the s/w players than the h/w. It seems it is all about the DRM control of the content and when it should/should not be downsampled.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:34 pm 
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I just gotta ask if there is a review incomming on this board and if so, if there is an approximate timeframe for it (which can be revealed)? I'm tempted to build something around this board :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:06 pm 
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I am looking forward to the review. The device as it is currently configured has two negative aspects for me. First I wish there were inputs for legacy devices so that maybe someday I could get around to transferring my Laserdisks and S-VHS to DVD. Also it is too bad (for me) that the amp does not support my 6.1 speaker system. Are there any suggestions for a reasonably priced 6.1 or 7.1 amp that could be used to drive my speaker config? I am currently using a Panny SA-XR55.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:46 am 
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schellter wrote:
I am looking forward to the review. The device as it is currently configured has two negative aspects for me. First I wish there were inputs for legacy devices so that maybe someday I could get around to transferring my Laserdisks and S-VHS to DVD. Also it is too bad (for me) that the amp does not support my 6.1 speaker system. Are there any suggestions for a reasonably priced 6.1 or 7.1 amp that could be used to drive my speaker config? I am currently using a Panny SA-XR55.

Are you sure it can't? Most 7.1 amps support 6.1 speaker configurations (typically the single rear surround speaker is hooked up to the left rear surround output). Anyway, why not just buy an additional speaker to upgrade to 7.1?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:38 am 
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jessekopelman wrote:
schellter wrote:
I am looking forward to the review. The device as it is currently configured has two negative aspects for me. First I wish there were inputs for legacy devices so that maybe someday I could get around to transferring my Laserdisks and S-VHS to DVD. Also it is too bad (for me) that the amp does not support my 6.1 speaker system. Are there any suggestions for a reasonably priced 6.1 or 7.1 amp that could be used to drive my speaker config? I am currently using a Panny SA-XR55.

Are you sure it can't? Most 7.1 amps support 6.1 speaker configurations (typically the single rear surround speaker is hooked up to the left rear surround output). Anyway, why not just buy an additional speaker to upgrade to 7.1?


You are correct a 7.1 amp would work with my 6.1 configuration. The problem is that the Maui platform has two options, a 5.1 ch amp or a 7.1 preamp. The 5.1 amp will not work with my 6.1 setup so I would have to buy the Maui with the 7.1 preamp. I would then need to buy a 6 or 7 channel amp to drive my speakers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:46 am 
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Can anyone comment on the audible difference between 5, 6, and 7 spkr setups? I have to admit I'm something of a dinosaur -- even in my TV room, there are only 2 front spkrs -- very good ones. The cable/gear clutter of 4 or more spkears is just too much of a hassle to bear, especially when -- to my ears -- the improvement is so questionable.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:00 am 
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MikeC wrote:
Can anyone comment on the audible difference between 5, 6, and 7 spkr setups? I have to admit I'm something of a dinosaur -- even in my TV room, there are only 2 front spkrs -- very good ones. The cable/gear clutter of 4 or more spkears is just too much of a hassle to bear, especially when -- to my ears -- the improvement is so questionable.


Last time I remodeled my viewing room I switched from 5.1 to 6.1 and I can't say it made a noticeable difference. There may be a need for 6.1 or 7.1 in a very large viewing room space. My cables are all under, behind or above walls so clutter is not an issue.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:28 am 
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The 'improvement' in going from 2 channels to 5.1 (or more) has everything to do with the sound designer and his finished product. If it's merely a matter of gee whiz effects scattered throughout the room, then the advantage is dubious. If the sound design is well crafted, the effect makes a film more immersive and compelling.

Do not underestimate the importance of aural cues in setting the mood for a movie, or a scene. As an experiment, try this: Find a scene that you consider to be 'pretty good' but not great (or terrible). Watch it and consciously disregard everything you hear but the dialogue. More often than not, the scene becomes ridiculous, and the performances, laughable.

For a football game, or average network fare, I wouldn't bother. For an HD film with a well crafted soundtrack, it's an impressive embellishment.

MikeC wrote:
Can anyone comment on the audible difference between 5, 6, and 7 spkr setups? I have to admit I'm something of a dinosaur -- even in my TV room, there are only 2 front spkrs -- very good ones. The cable/gear clutter of 4 or more spkears is just too much of a hassle to bear, especially when -- to my ears -- the improvement is so questionable.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:21 pm 
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schellter wrote:
jessekopelman wrote:
schellter wrote:
I am looking forward to the review. The device as it is currently configured has two negative aspects for me. First I wish there were inputs for legacy devices so that maybe someday I could get around to transferring my Laserdisks and S-VHS to DVD. Also it is too bad (for me) that the amp does not support my 6.1 speaker system. Are there any suggestions for a reasonably priced 6.1 or 7.1 amp that could be used to drive my speaker config? I am currently using a Panny SA-XR55.

Are you sure it can't? Most 7.1 amps support 6.1 speaker configurations (typically the single rear surround speaker is hooked up to the left rear surround output). Anyway, why not just buy an additional speaker to upgrade to 7.1?


You are correct a 7.1 amp would work with my 6.1 configuration. The problem is that the Maui platform has two options, a 5.1 ch amp or a 7.1 preamp. The 5.1 amp will not work with my 6.1 setup so I would have to buy the Maui with the 7.1 preamp. I would then need to buy a 6 or 7 channel amp to drive my speakers.

Ok, I see the problem now. Since you said you already had an 7.1 AVR, I assumed you could just connect the Maui Preamp to its analog inputs. What I didn't realize is that for some reason the SA-XR55, despite being a 7.1 AVR, only has a 6-channel analog input. My 7.1 AVR has an 8-channel analog input. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised since it had more than double the MSRP (I almost bought the SA-XR55, but decided I might need the extra features of the HK DP1005 -- I never have . . .).

Anyway, I don't see the appeal of the Maui platform for you. If you just want a preamp, upgrade to an HDMI AVR and get any motherboard that supports 8-channel LPCM over HDMI (all recent Nvidia chipsets). The only real value of the Maui is if you use the integrated amplifier and that means 5.1 sound (for you that would mean rearranging things a nd wasting a speaker). You will notice it is very hard to buy a Maui board without the 5.1 Amp, at this point.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:00 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
Can anyone comment on the audible difference between 5, 6, and 7 spkr setups? I have to admit I'm something of a dinosaur -- even in my TV room, there are only 2 front spkrs -- very good ones. The cable/gear clutter of 4 or more spkears is just too much of a hassle to bear, especially when -- to my ears -- the improvement is so questionable.


Any chance for a more detailed review soon?

As you probably know, most reviews have been favourable but looking forward to the high quality sort of review SPCR is known for.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:08 pm 
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jessekopelman wrote:
Anyway, I don't see the appeal of the Maui platform for you. If you just want a preamp, upgrade to an HDMI AVR and get any motherboard that supports 8-channel LPCM over HDMI (all recent Nvidia chipsets). The only real value of the Maui is if you use the integrated amplifier and that means 5.1 sound (for you that would mean rearranging things a nd wasting a speaker). You will notice it is very hard to buy a Maui board without the 5.1 Amp, at this point.

I agree the 7.1 pre-amp option seems pointless to me. You're far better of just going HDMI. As you suggested, explains why it's dead/dying. However I've read, think it was Jack say a 7.1 amp daughter board is possible, if there's enough interest.

Not that I am. While I believe 5.1 can be useful, personally I'm far from convinced you're likely to notice 7.1 unless you have a very large room and/or are a cat :-P (Okay perhaps if you're walking around the room listening for the sound.) Personally I'd think you'd probably get a better overall experience by using the money saved from going 5.1 instead of 7.1 to get better speakers. But this is completely theoretical with limited understanding of the subject so I could easily be totally wrong.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:45 pm 
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there are two speaker setups you need to think about: 2 and 5.1.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:31 am 
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Nil Einne wrote:
Personally I'd think you'd probably get a better overall experience by using the money saved from going 5.1 instead of 7.1 to get better speakers.

Depends on room size/configuration and how much you were thinking of spending on speakers in the first place. Still for normal budgets and normal rooms, I agree.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:11 am 
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Java Jack wrote:
The D2 DSP is actually down on the motherboard as well. There are 2 different card options (7.1 Pre Amp) or 5.1 Amp. Both rely on the D2Audio DSP to do all the digital processing then pass those processed signals out to the amp/pre amp card installed. The amp card is not stand alone (neither is pre amp). It requires it to be used in conjunction with the mobo.


OK, this is an important point that I had not seen before. The 5.1 amp card requires the DSP on the motherboard, so you can't use the card on just any motherboard. I had read up on this card on other sites, but either I missed this or it was not mentioned.

I was hoping to get the 5.1 Amp card for my system, but having just finished updating the system (including a new Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard) I was going to just get the card. And yes, there are sites that will sell you just the card (just Google 'MS-4140 Sound Card' and look at the list of vendors that show up).

Thanks Java Jack, you just saved me some frustration.

Chris

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:29 pm 
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BeerParty wrote:
Java Jack wrote:
The D2 DSP is actually down on the motherboard as well. There are 2 different card options (7.1 Pre Amp) or 5.1 Amp. Both rely on the D2Audio DSP to do all the digital processing then pass those processed signals out to the amp/pre amp card installed. The amp card is not stand alone (neither is pre amp). It requires it to be used in conjunction with the mobo.


OK, this is an important point that I had not seen before. The 5.1 amp card requires the DSP on the motherboard, so you can't use the card on just any motherboard. I had read up on this card on other sites, but either I missed this or it was not mentioned.

I was hoping to get the 5.1 Amp card for my system, but having just finished updating the system (including a new Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard) I was going to just get the card. And yes, there are sites that will sell you just the card (just Google 'MS-4140 Sound Card' and look at the list of vendors that show up).

Thanks Java Jack, you just saved me some frustration.

Chris


The card won't even plug into your system. If you look closely at pictures you'll see it uses a PCI-e 1X slot (for power according to what I've read) at the normal position and what is called* a PCI-e 4X slot which is reversed and at the other end.

It kind of makes sense. Why make the chip removable when you use the same chip for each daughter board? (Evidentally even a 7.1 amp card is possible)

A stand alone card would be nice if possible, but I haven't heard of anyone developing one.

*I'm not sure if the PCI-e 4X slot can really function as a 4X slot if you are able to fit a card in but I believe the communication between the card and the chip is proprietry (at least that's what I recall reading somewhere, I think it's necessary due to DRM requirements)


Last edited by Nil Einne on Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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