[mythtv-users] Best latest Ion Boards?

Jarod Wilson jarod at wilsonet.com
Mon Nov 30 04:31:23 UTC 2009

On Nov 29, 2009, at 10:40 PM, Tom Lichti wrote:

> On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 3:34 PM, Brad Fuller <bradallenfuller at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 10:35 AM, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:
>>> On Saturday 28 November 2009 11:19:15 am John Drescher wrote:
>>>>> Is ION still the best?
>>>> To me I have not totally been sold on this. I mean a near bottom of
>>>> the line dual core2 or AM3 system would be faster than the ION for
>>>> about the same price but use around 10W more than the ION at idle. But
>>>> then when you are looking for a box that can sit in the living room
>>>> good looking HTPC cases cost more than the rest of the system. To me
>>>> this is a big frustration since the $30 walmart special DVD player
>>>> includes a remote and LCD and has a descent enough looking case to be
>>>> able to sit in the living room.
>>> It's not a case of "faster", the ION allows you to use the hardware decoding
>>> of VDPAU, and, not counting decoding, a frontend does not need significant
>>> CPU horsepower. ION is not a CPU, it's a chipset that includes HD-capable
>>> graphics. The Atom CPUs usually paired with the ION chipset are slower than
>>> low-end C2Ds or AMD units, but who cares?
>> Right, it seems to be an idle combo. Just wondered if there were any
>> recent ideas for a living room FE.
>> I'm surprised that there are not more that have chimed in, yea or nay,
>> regarding the IONs.
>> Let me ask a more focused question: Which ION board (the mfr, that is)
>> are people happy with that fits their HD needs?
> I haven't really heard anyone complain about their ION based
> frontends. I have one, and just ordered another. The only mfr. that I
> am aware of that sells a bare board is Zotac, at least in volume.

I have a Zotac board myself, only complaint is that it has no expansion slots beyond the mini-pci-e slot that came populated with a wifi card that is of no use to me. I could use that slot for a Broadcom Crystal HD decoder card, but given that the system is vdpau-capable, its not particularly helpful.

I've been considering replacing it with either the new addition to the Zotac line that includes a pci-e x16 slot, or the Asus ION board that has a plain old pci slot on it. Either of those slots would give me back firewire on my frontend box, so I can talk to my cable box over firewire again (currently just living without it, because I don't really need it, but its nice to have and useful to be able to play with firewire support w/o having to hook up one of my laptops or another system or something.

Jarod Wilson
jarod at wilsonet.com

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