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Thread: VIA is no longer king

  1. #11
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    well a couple of things.

    first, the pandora's size is awesome, I have yet to find a pre-made case for a via that has the same (or smaller) dimensions as the AOpen Pandora. Size is important to me as I wanted to install in a very small location (DIN size).

    second, as most of you know, software continues to demand more and more from hardware, and while hardware ABCXYZ may be good today, it may not be good tomorrow or next year. I don't want to be pulling my carPC apart every year or two to upgrade it to better support the newest/coolest stuff. This already turned out to be the case with StreetDeck, which allows you to choose the FPS it should run under. I can turn it up to 60 FPS or even 120 (though the gain in visual affects between 60 and 120 is negligable) where other people (those with VIAs for one) are having to turn this down.

    third, I was going for biggest and best for my situation. My situation being that I wanted to do a stealth glovebox install, maintaining 100% stock looks without heavily modding the car and being able to return it all stock. In other words, biggest and best does not equal a P4 3.2ghz in my trunk.

    fourth, I was/am willing to spend extra for 1.) premade pieces and parts and 2.) higher performance (for reasons listed above). So going "cheapest" was not my intention from day 1- unless it HAPPENED to also be the best for me.

    With all of this taken into considering, VIA was not an option for me. More power to everyone who has them, nothing WRONG with them if they do everything you want and you are happy with them. They just weren't for me.

    As far as comparing VIA to AOpen to Whatever-else, it's really tricky. You have the bit-to-bit comparison of performance, which is easily verifiable with benchmarking, etc. But then you have the application of the product. So while AOpen Pandora may be bit-to-bit faster than a VIA, I don't have the ability to upgrade my video card. Not a problem for me, but someone else may need this. So application is huge, expecially in the carPC environment, so direct comparison will be difficult.

  2. #12
    Maximum Bitrate DeltaFX's Avatar
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    Via C7-based board may change the deal, after all, they are rated (by via) as Vista ready when AMD don't says my 1.4ghz Tbird is not enough.
    Now Galileo is real. Muhahahahaha :p

  3. #13
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    I'm glad I searched so I didn't have to start a thread on this topic. I recently started looking at alternatives to the VIA set up as I've noticed when building and configuring my brother's setup, using the MI10000, it leaves something to be desired in the processing power department.

    I was thinking of going with a an Intel ITX board with a 1.5 mobile Celeron and perhaps buying a Pentium M used when Conroe is released and people using mobile processors in their desktops are looking to upgrade. I stumbled upon some info on the new C7 series that is clocked 1-2 GHz range. Anybody had a hand on experience with these new VIA systems? Are they noticeably better than the last generation of VIA processors?

    They, VIA, still have price in their favor as you can get the board and processor for $200 versus the Intel ITX board which is $245 and around $60 for the processor. I know I could reduce the motherboard cost by going with a matx set up, but I have space constraints and an ITX board fits perfect.

    The more I think about it my brother's system wouldn't be too bad with a PCI video card to help off load the strain from rest of the system.

    I read this thread, but he never responded back on how it was:
    Just picked up my VIA EN15000 C7 motherboard

    Just read this review and it looks like a pretty nice boost compared to the previous Eden processors , but man that memory bandwidth is pathetic. I should say it's pathetic compared to the tradtional Intel/AMD systems.
    http://www.epiacenter.com/modules.ph...&pid=87&page=9

    So your missing some mpeg2 or mpeg4 benchmarks, right? Well under Windows I couldn't get any codec installed that was supporting the CN700, even that good old mpeg2 codec that comes with PowerDVD 4.0 and supported the CLE266 and CN400 wasn't supporting the hardware acceleration in that chipset. CPU load under Windows and epiOS was around 25% for mpeg2 and mpeg4 but it was all done be the C7 cpu!......Performance:Well, compared to the C3 the C7 is a big step forward for VIA. You can immediatly feel the performance increase on your desktop and of course you can easily check it with some benchmarks. Even though it is only offering the performance of the Pentium III @ 800Mhz the EPIA EN15000 is twice as fast as the EPIA M10000!......Just to give you an impression the consumption of the EN board is way below the M10000 and it's twice as fast.
    Sounds pretty cool, look forward to seeing the 2.0Ghz benchmarks. What the hell is the VT-310? Ahh it is a dual processor board that is why the CPU benchmarks are better. It had much better CPU scores. I also wish there were more real world testing as opposed to all the synthetic benchmarks, but what can you do....


    This is interesting AMD based ITX board running at 1GHz:
    http://www.epiacenter.com/modules.ph...howpage&pid=88
    I think the results speak for themselves! The DB1500 built around the Geode NX 1500 (with 1GHz) processor beats out each and every competitor from VIA, and most of them by quite a margin. The memory scores show a comfortable 50% lead compared to the latest Mini-ITX boards by VIA (EN15000, SP13000, VT-310). On the CPU side of the equation the DB1500 also has a confortable advantage over the brand-new EN15000 (with the C7 CPU) while also staying in front of the VT-310. Therefore AMD's single 1GHz chip performs better than two 1GHz VIA C3 processors!

    Looking at benchmark results is one thing, testing a system to check it's real-life performance another. I used my DB1500 extensively for several weeks to see how it would fare against other Mini-ITX solutions I've used in the past. I didn't experience any significant slow-downs when using the DB1500 in what I consider to be a normal work-environment (Firefox with several tabs, OpenOffice Writer, Trillian and Winamp5). When the system did feel slow it appeared to be mainly due to the limited about of RAM (I'm using the 256MB stick that came pre-installed with the board, minus 32MB for the integrated video) and not because of the processor. We all know WindowsXP likes a fair amount of RAM for itself so I guess everything would be a smooth ride with a 512MB stick.

    One of the buzz-words these days is "high-definition" content so I did a quick check to see how the board performs with different types of content. I headed over to Microsoft's WMV HD Content Showcase where I downloaded two short videoclips and watched them on this system. The content was available in a resolution of 1280 x 720 (720p) or 1920 x 1080 (1080p) @ 24fps and I used WMP9 for my testing.

    Speed_720.wmv: The task-manager showed around 95% CPU usage throughout the clip which turned out to be smooth most of the time. Some stutters were observed in very high-speed scenes and at the very beginning while the video is still being loaded.
    Speed_1080.wmv: Content like this video encoded at 1080p was absolutely unwatchable and I was indeed reminded of the much quoted slide-show.

    Based on this limited experience I would say that the DB1500 system is probably quite capable of handling 720p content. With the NX1500 CPU increasing the amount of RAM available to the system should help to smooth out the slight stutters, some software optimisations might achieve that same thing. The NX1750 processor (running at 1.4GHz) shouldn't suffer from any of these limitations. With regards to 1080p materials it is quite safe to say that one would need a significantly more potent processor (not available for this platform) or different platform altogether (Pentium-M / CoreDuo comes to mind) to handle it.

  4. #14
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amthar
    well a couple of things.

    first, the pandora's size is awesome, I have yet to find a pre-made case for a via that has the same (or smaller) dimensions as the AOpen Pandora. Size is important to me as I wanted to install in a very small location (DIN size).

    second, as most of you know, software continues to demand more and more from hardware, and while hardware ABCXYZ may be good today, it may not be good tomorrow or next year. I don't want to be pulling my carPC apart every year or two to upgrade it to better support the newest/coolest stuff. This already turned out to be the case with StreetDeck, which allows you to choose the FPS it should run under. I can turn it up to 60 FPS or even 120 (though the gain in visual affects between 60 and 120 is negligable) where other people (those with VIAs for one) are having to turn this down.

    third, I was going for biggest and best for my situation. My situation being that I wanted to do a stealth glovebox install, maintaining 100% stock looks without heavily modding the car and being able to return it all stock. In other words, biggest and best does not equal a P4 3.2ghz in my trunk.

    fourth, I was/am willing to spend extra for 1.) premade pieces and parts and 2.) higher performance (for reasons listed above). So going "cheapest" was not my intention from day 1- unless it HAPPENED to also be the best for me.

    With all of this taken into considering, VIA was not an option for me. More power to everyone who has them, nothing WRONG with them if they do everything you want and you are happy with them. They just weren't for me.

    As far as comparing VIA to AOpen to Whatever-else, it's really tricky. You have the bit-to-bit comparison of performance, which is easily verifiable with benchmarking, etc. But then you have the application of the product. So while AOpen Pandora may be bit-to-bit faster than a VIA, I don't have the ability to upgrade my video card. Not a problem for me, but someone else may need this. So application is huge, expecially in the carPC environment, so direct comparison will be difficult.

    well put.
    New System in progress:
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    Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
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    My Car Pc Install
    My Boat Pc worklog

  5. #15
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  6. #16
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    Sound's on track to me i have 2 Non intel/amd computers and both are just good for lite computing ! mATx is the way to go if u have the room if not, one should be looking at a pandora, even knowing i couldn't add a pci card, the intel inside would be the deal sealer for me!
    Underconstruction for 2007 !!!!

  7. #17
    Maximum Bitrate JimmyFitz's Avatar
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    My VIA uses about 22Watts to run everything on board (not the monitor). That is measured on a bench with a multimeter. I have yet to see any performance issues and I am using the fanless (underclocked) VIA SP-8000. It is a matter of what you plan to use it for. Most of my usage is music and navigation.
    ~Jimmy

  8. #18
    The Lavender Tie Just
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    As far as I can see, the only reason not to get a P4M or Turion based car pc set up, is because of price...

    Don't those run kind of expensive, while the EPIA boards are round $130-$180?

    Peace,

    Rafster

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