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Thread: What hardware are you using for OM?

  1. #61
    Newbie jpmack's Avatar
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    jmullan99 - the Zotac board you mention above is the exact board I use, it is an awesome board. Right now i am using the onboard video runing multi zone. I have the onboard HDMI output as my Zone 1 (driver) display and the onboard VGA output as Zone 2 (rear monitors). I have had no performance issues, i am capable of playing video zones independently with out a hitch! I to have considered adding an addon video card for more zones, i beleive there is an adapter you can get to convert PCI-Express x1 to PCI-Express x16. I'll look for the link and post when i find it. Also here is a link to PCI-Express x1 video cards I had look at once before:


    http://www.nextag.com/pci-express-x1-graphics-card/shop-html


    Hope this will help you!

  2. #62
    Newbie jpmack's Avatar
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    Found it, i haven't personally used it but thought about getting it at one point to try out:

    PCI Express x1 to PCI Express x16

    it seems to be getting good reviews!

  3. #63
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    My understanding is that you can use a PCIe x1, x4, x8, and x16 with a x16 slot. You can not though go from a x16 slot down to a x1 slot, especially if you are using a graphics card. You can potentially damage the Mobo and or graphics card.

    The good news is that you can safetly go from PCIe x1 to PCI. I know this to be true because I was looking for a way to use my PCI based soundcard usable in a PCIe slot. I spent quite a bit of money and just didnt want to replace it. I found this:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-165-_-Product


    You can use that adapter and I can send you the PCI card I have if you need another display or two for a third and or fourth zone. Only issue is that it is made for low profile form factor cards, so if you use a normal height card, you will have to make a custom slot to hold it. Unless you buy a low profile PCI graphic card.
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  4. #64
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Jmullan99...... You are right, you could go that route. Only thing is that USB graphics cards run better on a beefier processor. I remember on my ATOM, it ran so bad, but in defense, I was only using the Single Core ATOM. The Dual COre ATOM may run way better. If I were you, buy the MoBo, then buy a USB graphics card to test. If it runs slow, then return it and get the PCIe to PCI adapter. I honestly wouldnt trust the PCIe x1 to PCIe x16 adapters. The x16 slot is designed to process higher bandwidths in the GB range. The PCIe x1 slot is made only to handle 250mb. How can you honestly make a graphics card designed to run in the GB range, suddenly work in a MB range? Doesnt sound logical at all. Now a PCIe to PCI makes sense because you are putting a 133mb slot onto a 250mb slot.
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  5. #65
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    Well, you actually CAN use a full x16 graphics card, in an x1 slot - it will just be hindered by the limited bandwith... Also, the slot itself needs to be dremelled out to allot the card to fit. I, at one point, had an x4 SATA card in an x1 slot, and it too worked just fine (though obviously, bandwidth limited).

    Some boards DO have open ended x1 slots, to allot this to work without modification. Some do not.
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  6. #66
    Maximum Bitrate jmullan99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
    My understanding is that you can use a PCIe x1, x4, x8, and x16 with a x16 slot. You can not though go from a x16 slot down to a x1 slot.......

    You can use that adapter and I can send you the PCI card I have if you need another display or two for a third and or fourth zone. Only issue is that it is made for low profile form factor cards, so if you use a normal height card, you will have to make a custom slot to hold it. Unless you buy a low profile PCI graphic card.
    All good to know! I am going to order the board and CPU today unless you manage to stop me in my tracks before I do! My box will fit a low profile (of course with the bracket removed) as my current board has a Wifi card in the PCI slot. Since the board comes with miniPCI Wifi I now have a free slot. Just not sure if the adapter + low profile will fit. But I could possibly mod my homemade case or make another later.

    Quote Originally Posted by HiJackZX1
    If I were you, buy the MoBo, then buy a USB graphics card to test. If it runs slow, then return it and get the PCIe to PCI adapter. I honestly wouldnt trust the PCIe x1 to PCIe x16 adapters. The x16 slot is designed to process higher bandwidths in the GB range. The PCIe x1 slot is made only to handle 250mb. How can you honestly make a graphics card designed to run in the GB range, suddenly work in a MB range? Doesnt sound logical at all. Now a PCIe to PCI makes sense because you are putting a 133mb slot onto a 250mb slot.
    Actually I am taking your advice. Getting the miniITX and dual-core chip. OM multi-zone should work quite well with that. I suppose I will get the monitors next, so I don't waste "return time" if I don't like the USB VGA thingys or can use your card.

    To recap:

    Motherboard Zotac miniITX not ATOM

    CPU (should have enough horsepower for now) Dual core Celeron 2.5ghz

    Audio adapters (seem to be a good compromise).

    USB-to-VGA adapters (as I still don't know if your card wouldn't work as the recommendation is to not use on-board AND pci together).

    PCI Adapter but it doesn't look like it fits the MoBo slot but I'm not up on the various slot formats and again I shouldn't use on-board + pci.

    VM70 monitors (but seem to be currently out-of stock )

    Cheers, John
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  7. #67
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    Would there be too much of a price increase going to an H55 based board, and a low-end i3 cpu? It would, yes, use a bit more power, but I'm thinking the added gpu capabilities built into the i3 would more than make up for it.

    FWIW, I've got an i3 based HTPC client (running SageTV) that only draws about 55W playing back a BluRay.

    EDIT: Just checked on Newegg, and it would end up costing about $60 more to go with an ECS mini-itx h55 board, and an i3-530.
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  8. #68
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmullan99 View Post
    All good to know! I am going to order the board and CPU today unless you manage to stop me in my tracks before I do! My box will fit a low profile (of course with the bracket removed) as my current board has a Wifi card in the PCI slot. Since the board comes with miniPCI Wifi I now have a free slot. Just not sure if the adapter + low profile will fit. But I could possibly mod my homemade case or make another later.



    Actually I am taking your advice. Getting the miniITX and dual-core chip. OM multi-zone should work quite well with that. I suppose I will get the monitors next, so I don't waste "return time" if I don't like the USB VGA thingys or can use your card.

    To recap:

    Motherboard Zotac miniITX not ATOM

    CPU (should have enough horsepower for now) Dual core Celeron 2.5ghz

    Audio adapters (seem to be a good compromise).

    USB-to-VGA adapters (as I still don't know if your card wouldn't work as the recommendation is to not use on-board AND pci together).

    PCI Adapter but it doesn't look like it fits the MoBo slot but I'm not up on the various slot formats and again I shouldn't use on-board + pci.

    VM70 monitors (but seem to be currently out-of stock )

    Cheers, John
    From research, it looks like the board will allow you to use DVI and HDMI. So then all you would need is a USB Graphic Card. Problem is you may have to convert the HDMI to VGA, which is pricey.

    How about this, now that you are going with this board, you do not need the PCIe to PCI adapter.

    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16813500042

    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16819116264

    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16814130569

    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...-001-_-Product

    That should do it.
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  9. #69
    Maximum Bitrate jmullan99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
    From research, it looks like the board will allow you to use DVI and HDMI. So then all you would need is a USB Graphic Card. Problem is you may have to convert the HDMI to VGA, which is pricey.
    Agree, the pricey option is what I was trying to avoid.

    Quote Originally Posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
    Well, the card might be nice, but have we determined that I can use on-board and a card at the same time?

    Keep in mind that I am not looking to give rear seat passengers Home Theater experiences. After all, I'm driving LOL. They don't need it. However, it has to work and be tolerable

    John
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  10. #70
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmullan99 View Post
    Agree, the pricey option is what I was trying to avoid.



    Well, the card might be nice, but have we determined that I can use on-board and a card at the same time?

    Keep in mind that I am not looking to give rear seat passengers Home Theater experiences. After all, I'm driving LOL. They don't need it. However, it has to work and be tolerable

    John
    Thats the thing, there is no way to find out unless you can find a user that has the board and has done it. I noticed that with my Zotac 610i, it has the option to use Onboard and PCIe or PCI. When I tried it though I had slowdown and sometimes the PC would freeze. With PCIe and Onboard it would not activate the card fully. Also the Onboard used so much system resources. With Onboard disable my system had 3.25 GB of RAM to use. With Onboard active it went down to 2 GB and the system ran like $h!+.

    Only thing I can suggest is try it out. I guess a lot of times MoBo makers dont expect to use onboard and external graphics, unless you buy a very highend monster power MoBo.
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