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Which Ion based system should I buy? - Printable Version

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- grajea - 2009-05-27 08:29

althekiller Wrote:I'd replace that useless wifi card with a pci-e SSD. Wink
Or a dvb-t video receiver ....

With this option and wake from usb, it could be perfect for an htpc with xbmc+mythtv
Rofl


- medicineuk - 2009-05-28 23:06

The ASRock ION 330 came out today http://www.asrock.com/nettop/spec/ION%20330.asp and I couldn't resist ordering it. I'm not sure how much it is else where but in the UK it retails at about £300 inc VAT give or take £10. I ended up ordering it from here http://www.zonetronics.com/ but it is slightly cheaper from this site http://wcs-hosting.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=21

Hopefully I will get my hands of the little bugger in the next couple of days Big Grin. It doesn't come with an OS installed but I'm going to install windows 7 as it looks like some progress has been made on DXVA http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=33323&page=12 and I would rather install an OS that I'm familiar with.

The only thing that might be worth noting is from what I have read it looks like the machine does not come WiFi. This isn't a huge issue for me as I have a couple of wireless USB sticks hanging around but it might be an extra cost for others.

I will report back after I have had a proper play with it.


- >>X<< - 2009-06-02 15:26

medicineuk Wrote:The ASRock ION 330 came out today http://www.asrock.com/nettop/spec/ION%20330.asp and I couldn't resist ordering it. I'm not sure how much it is else where but in the UK it retails at about £300 inc VAT give or take £10. I ended up ordering it from here http://www.zonetronics.com/ but it is slightly cheaper from this site http://wcs-hosting.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=21

Hopefully I will get my hands of the little bugger in the next couple of days Big Grin. It doesn't come with an OS installed but I'm going to install windows 7 as it looks like some progress has been made on DXVA http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=33323&page=12 and I would rather install an OS that I'm familiar with.

The only thing that might be worth noting is from what I have read it looks like the machine does not come WiFi. This isn't a huge issue for me as I have a couple of wireless USB sticks hanging around but it might be an extra cost for others.

I will report back after I have had a proper play with it.

Do you have your Asrock yet because I'm very interested to here how it performs with 1080p not just with XBMC but obviously that as well

Be nice if you could try XBMC live see how it does with VDPAU acceleration, would have been nice to know how well it performed using CoreAVC and CUDA on 1080p but as your using win 7 I doubt it would work as CoreAVC doesn't officially support win 7

Any feedback in general would be great


- Starstream - 2009-06-02 15:34

I've ordered an Asrock Ion 330 unit from here so I should have it hopefully in 2-3 days.

I'll post my impressions of it with XBMC Live once I get it.


- >>X<< - 2009-06-02 15:52

Starstream Wrote:I've ordered an Asrock Ion 330 unit from here so I should have it hopefully in 2-3 days.

I'll post my impressions of it with XBMC Live once I get it.

If they go out of stock now I'll blame you Laugh

Nice company they have 100% rating on ebay from 11359 customers Shocked

Look forward to hearing how it performs especially with Aeon


- xbmcjb - 2009-06-02 15:56

You can blame me too ! I've ordered mine from the same website.
Yesterday, my status was awaiting despatch...


- >>X<< - 2009-06-02 16:08

xbmcjb Wrote:You can blame me too ! I've ordered mine from the same website.
Yesterday, my status was awaiting despatch...

The more the merrier Wink

The more people testing them the better AFAIC


- joebrady - 2009-06-02 19:01

http://gizmodo.com/5275640/pc+in+a+vase-was-created-by-a-real-company-not-a-dodgy-hacker


ASRock IONSTAR 330 - theonwtwo3 - 2009-06-03 07:27

Thanks guys for your comments about IONSTAR 330. I finally bought the black model from http://www.zonetronics.com, they seem to be the cheapest at £298.97 inc vat and I also included in my order a copy of Win Vista 32bit for £94 inc vat. I called their customer service to enquiry about delivery and I ended up getting a promo code for £5 off my order (PROMO5). They only do next day delivery.

I'm quite happy with the performance and video quality of this little machine. I really recommend it and Zonetronics.com were very friendly and speedy delivery.


- medicineuk - 2009-06-03 12:47

&gt;&gt;X&lt;&lt; Wrote:Do you have your Asrock yet because I'm very interested to here how it performs with 1080p not just with XBMC but obviously that as well

Be nice if you could try XBMC live see how it does with VDPAU acceleration, would have been nice to know how well it performed using CoreAVC and CUDA on 1080p but as your using win 7 I doubt it would work as CoreAVC doesn't officially support win 7

Any feedback in general would be great

Got the IONSTAR on Monday and have been playing with it for the last couple of days.

Video playback
I have installed windows 7 so can't really comment on the VDPAU performance. DVXA under windows is brilliant I can play full 1080p movies without dropping a frame at the moment I'm using Windows Media Center which works with DVXA out the box. I'm going to install XBMC and set it up to open videos in an external player but haven't got round to that yet.

Without DXVA you basically can't play 720 or over it's really close to being able to play 720 the video is completely watchable. Only problem is every now and again it drops a frame which means the audio goes out of sync. Maybe 720 will be possible on a less demanding OS like linux

Windows 7
Using windows 7 for general browsing is pretty nippy every now and again you might have to wait for something to load but I was surprised about how fast it is.

Flash Content
SD Flash plays without any problems and you can get pretty close to HD, maybe one day we will see DXVA or VDPAU in flash Big Grin

Instant Boot
This sounds amazing but after trying it out, not so much. When you shutdown your machine instant boot will basically turn it back on again and then put it to sleep just before it get to the login screen. Next time you press the on button instant boot just turns the PC back on from where it was before, so to some people this looks like it's taken 4 seconds to boot up. Frown

The main issue that people may have with the IONSTAR is the fan, although you can change it to silent in the BOIS you can still hear it. It's by no means loud and maybe I'm just being to picky but in a completely silent room at the dead of night you can hear the fan spinning Nerd

On the whole so far so good, I'm really happy with the machine it's pretty quick works well and when DXVA is enabled it preforms like a power house. The BOIS is really easy to use and you can overclock the machine at a touch of a button.

I'm going to try out xbmc live in the next couple of days will let you know how it goes.


- koscica - 2009-06-03 13:02

medicineuk Wrote:Got the IONSTAR on Monday and have been playing with it for the last couple of days.


I'm going to try out xbmc live in the next couple of days will let you know how it goes.

So you haven't tryed installing XBMC in windows 7?
Preformance with AEON skin is my biggest doubt.


- TREX6662k5 - 2009-06-03 13:30

koscica Wrote:So you haven't tryed installing XBMC in windows 7?
Preformance with AEON skin is my biggest doubt.

Whats the point. XBMC can't hardware accelerate in Windows7. If it would be any OS it would have to be Linux.


- medicineuk - 2009-06-03 14:37

TREX6662k5 Wrote:Whats the point. XBMC can't hardware accelerate in Windows7. If it would be any OS it would have to be Linux.

Yer without hardware accelerate it kinda takes the shine off XBMC. Having said that I have installed XBMC with Aeon and it run smoothly. The only problem is at the moment I can't get fan art and cover art to load http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=52109

Maybe with the extra over head of loading in the fanart it will cause problems? I will let you know when I have everything fixed.

I would imagine that Aeon would run fine under linux as I it's not struggling under Windows7.


- >>X<< - 2009-06-03 14:51

medicineuk Wrote:Got the IONSTAR on Monday and have been playing with it for the last couple of days.

Video playback
I have installed windows 7 so can't really comment on the VDPAU performance. DVXA under windows is brilliant I can play full 1080p movies without dropping a frame at the moment I'm using Windows Media Center which works with DVXA out the box. I'm going to install XBMC and set it up to open videos in an external player but haven't got round to that yet.

Without DXVA you basically can't play 720 or over it's really close to being able to play 720 the video is completely watchable. Only problem is every now and again it drops a frame which means the audio goes out of sync. Maybe 720 will be possible on a less demanding OS like linux

Windows 7
Using windows 7 for general browsing is pretty nippy every now and again you might have to wait for something to load but I was surprised about how fast it is.

Flash Content
SD Flash plays without any problems and you can get pretty close to HD, maybe one day we will see DXVA or VDPAU in flash Big Grin

Instant Boot
This sounds amazing but after trying it out, not so much. When you shutdown your machine instant boot will basically turn it back on again and then put it to sleep just before it get to the login screen. Next time you press the on button instant boot just turns the PC back on from where it was before, so to some people this looks like it's taken 4 seconds to boot up. Frown

The main issue that people may have with the IONSTAR is the fan, although you can change it to silent in the BOIS you can still hear it. It's by no means loud and maybe I'm just being to picky but in a completely silent room at the dead of night you can hear the fan spinning Nerd

On the whole so far so good, I'm really happy with the machine it's pretty quick works well and when DXVA is enabled it preforms like a power house. The BOIS is really easy to use and you can overclock the machine at a touch of a button.

I'm going to try out xbmc live in the next couple of days will let you know how it goes.

Thanks for the detailed reply, the problem with DXVA is unless x264/mkv are encoded correctly it cant be used so its hit or miss whether you get hardware acceleration or not unless your encoding your own

Where if you use CoreAVC and CUDA it can hardware accelerate all x264/mkv, someone told me they could play 1080p using CoreAVC without CUDA enabled with CPU at around 50% - 55% (but they where using win7 and that's not supported by CoreAVC, when they enabled CUDA it made no difference so its possible it was actually using it) it really needs XP or Vista for CoreAVC to function correctly

I believe VDPAU also accelerates everything ?

Is hyper threading turned on in the bios by default might be worth checking its on Laugh


- medicineuk - 2009-06-03 15:09

&gt;&gt;X&lt;&lt; Wrote:Thanks for the detailed reply, the problem with DXVA is unless x264/mkv are encoded correctly it cant be used so its hit or miss whether you get hardware acceleration or not unless your encoding your own

Where if you use CoreAVC and CUDA it can hardware accelerate all x264/mkv, someone told me they could play 1080p using CoreAVC without CUDA enabled with CPU at around 50% - 55% (but they where using win7 and that's not supported by CoreAVC, when they enabled CUDA it made no difference so its possible it was actually using it) it really needs XP or Vista for CoreAVC to function correctly

I believe VDPAU also accelerates everything ?

Is hyper threading turned on in the bios by default might be worth checking its on Laugh

Thanks for the info, I noticed one of two of my files are not playing correctly maybe this is the issue.

In an ideal world I would be running linux but it just looks to hard to setup drivers etc. I come from a mac background so even the windows world is a little to complex. Maybe if one of you guys get linux install you can post info on how easy/ hard it was to get everything working correctly.

My only really problem with linux is that at the moment I'm using uTorrent to automate all my downloading, it pulls shows off RSS and the places them in the correct folder, which is really nice. Is there anything that can do this on linux the main linux torrent client is transmission isn't it?