HTPC build with new ASUS AT5IONT-I

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Zaxxonite Offline
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Post: #331
I've been running a box built on the AT5IONT-I for a few days now and thought I would share share some lessons. Currently, the system is used as a gaming & developer system. OS is Win7 Ultimate. For now, the case is Lian-Li short tower with a Tornado 300W power supply. Hard drive is a WD Scorpio (7200RPM).

The good:

  1. Performance has exceeded expectations. 3D games run at full 1920x1200 with very acceptable frame rates. Visual studio 2010 Ultimate is very usable.
  2. No active cooling is required in the current case (or table top). Idle temps are in the upper 50s.
  3. Power draw is 34 watts at the desktop and 2 watts in standby.


The bad:

  1. When connecting my Samsung SyncMaster T240HD to HDMI, the monitor is seen as "Generic". This degrades text quality to unacceptable levels. I can't find a workaround. However, when connecting the same monitor with DVI, the monitor model is properly recognized and text is very sharp. Unusable HDMI kills my multi-monitor setup and my audio solution. Serious *ouch* on this one. Anyone else seeing issues with monitor recognition when connecting thru HDMI?
  2. Windows update wants to update the SATA driver with "Accusys Inc. - Storage - ACS-6xxx". Don't do it! This will give you a broken item in Device Manager. Hide this update.
  3. When unprivileged users log in, they are prompted to elevate to run the asloader.exe program. Lame. For a workaround, see the answer by TheEvidence at http://superuser.com/questions/88246/wha...n-elevated

Other thoughts:

The power connector is ATX 2.x. This is 24 pins and is NOT the same as the ATX 1.x 20+4 pin connector. Even though my Tornado is the 20+4 style, I just plugged in the 20-pin connector and it works fine.

Everyone keep your case lessons coming. Active cooling is obviously required in a small case, but that doesn't mean that it can't be effectively inaudible.
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whatnot Offline
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Post: #332
somedood Wrote:Whatnot,

Flash doesn't use hardware acceleration for video in Linux. Flash 10.1 does use hardware acceleration for some OS's, just not Linux and supposedly OSX as well:

Flash video would be all CPU from what I understand, but I haven't tested any flash content on this machine.

Almost every stream from the web is Flash these days I recon, but are you running Linux on your box?

I wonder how Romain gets his flawless 720p Flash video then if there is no HW decoding. I haven't got around to doing the NVIDIA driver update yet and my Flash performance is from hell with a huge stutter even on 320p material from Youtube.

somedood Wrote:My CPU temp under heavy load, with 2 SATA hard drives in the case (software RAID) has reached a max of 36C, GPU 45C and both HDDs are 36C. This was playing BlurRay while compiling. I have a 120mm fan blowing on the CPU at 1000rpm. I would imagine that taking the machine off from the top of the AV receiver would lower the temps since it isn't absorbing that heat along with it's own. IMO having the fan blow onto the heatsink is much more preferable than sucking, since the latter won't foce the air to travel through the heatsink fins where blowing it will.

Yep, I'll move the box away from my amp, I'd just like keeping them stacked to save space. I'll move them once I try to go passive.
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whatnot Offline
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Post: #333
ilcontegis Wrote:So you are telling me that thi mb is crap and is not really passive?
Wow......I will have to look for something else then Sad

Well it's not crap but definately not passive without some tuning, unless I have a bad sample of the board. The fact that it doesn't allow fan speed tuning is really dumb decision for a board that atleast tries to present itself as pretty passive.

But let me know once you find your passive M-ITX board, I might buy that one too if it even exists.
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whatnot Offline
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Post: #334
Zaxxonite Wrote:[*]No active cooling is required in the current case (or table top). Idle temps are in the upper 50s.

What the heck? Mine required a fan on top of the sink even before I stashed it into a case. It was running on the table and hang up after a while of pretty light stuff (linux installation).

I wonder if mine has any thermal goo under the heatsink at all..
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whatnot Offline
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Post: #335
Ok, I'm getting doubtful of succeeding with fluent Flash video playback on Linux using this board. Every bit of googling I've done has proven to be inconclusive. The only way I've got a non stuttering performance is using Lightspark plugin in my Linux Mint but that's such a piece of sh*t that it works only with Youtube (but the controls are fucked up and no fullscreen, progress bar etc) but not with Vimeo, pokercast etc.. no pic at all. But with the little that it did, I have to admit it was smooth and cpu usage was ok.

The only person connected to internet with flawless flash video on linux and this board seems to be Romain.

The key would be to get latest Nvidia drivers that come with Ubuntu 10.10 but running Mint there is no 10.10 until the next Mint release. And I'm scared to upgrade to the latest drivers myself as Linux seems to get screwed up if you take one step to the wrong direction and with my noob skills there is no way to recover except to baseline or spend two weeks on some ubuntu forum.

As you can see I'm getting pissed off and would be desperate for step-by-step on how to get this sorted.

I'm quite IT literate with 20 years under my belt, but now that I've started my trials with linux I'm like a newborn. And ppl wonder why linux isn't more widespread and everyone is using windows. We'll that's because linux won't work worth sh*t unless you're a magician of it. Just trying to understand the the jungle of GNOME, KDE, XORG, XYZ, million distros and the works will grow pimples on your back. And the interesting bit is that stuff not working is acceptable to a lot of people and they just give up. I don't care if my system is up 4932804938 hours in a row or I get a blue screen once a week. It needs to do the stuff I want it to do without me spending days on end trying to wonder how to get it to work.

There seems to be a new piece of sw or a derivate after another trying to fill in the gaps of the core and we end up with a vicious cycle of half-functional torsos that can't live up to their commercial counterparts.

I'll end my off-topic linux rant here. I was really hopeful with my switch to the open source environment but I'll soon be running back scared to windows as this linux is just too much. I can see it as functional and relatively smooth for a very basic user (but ẃith good IT skills). But in my case with custom build and since I want more than browse the net and write a random office doc every now and then it's just now working out.

Angry
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ilcontegis Offline
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Post: #336
Up

1. When the ASUS AT5IONT-I Deluxe will go out? (I want the remote and the passive psu)
2. I am planning to buy a 3tb hd (to add to the 2tb hd I have now). Unfortunately this m/b has only 2 sata port. Did you guys tried to add a pci sata card? I was thinking to keep the 2 hd on the original sata ports and use the mini pci to add a sata card and connect the dvd reader.
Do you think I can do that? If so, which sata pci card would you suggest me to buy?

Thank you for your time
Regards
Teo
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whatnot Offline
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Post: #337
ilcontegis Wrote:Up

1. When the ASUS AT5IONT-I Deluxe will go out? (I want the remote and the passive psu)

I have an external pico-PSU and a remote, you can get those bits without the deluxe, just purchase them separately.
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whatnot Offline
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Post: #338
Romain Wrote:Hello,

MB: AT5IONT-I
OS: Ubuntu 10.10 x86_64
Nvidia driver 260.19.06

to make the sound work over HDMI with Ubuntu, just do the following:

1) Activate/Install the "Additional drivers" from NVIDIA in the Administration menu -> Additional drivers. Reboot

2) Select the right sound output interface:
- in Sound preferences menu -> Hardware: Select "High Definition Audio Controler" (HDMI).
- in Sound preferences menu -> Output: Select "High Definition Audio Controler" (HDMI).

Hi Romain,

I've been spending quite a bit of time trying to get the Flash video playback to work properly. As the only missing thing I came up with was the NVIDIA drivers I took out to install them manually and I managed to do that.

So I'm now running 260.19.12 version and they work like a charm with nice desktop performance. I also have the 10.1 Flash version, but the playback is still horrible.

But as that was a disappointment I was planning on focusing on something else to get atleast something accomplished during the weekend. My target next is the HDMI sound and I took a look at your instructions and hit the wall with the first step:

I have no 'Additional Drivers' selection in my administration. What I do have however is 'Hardware Drivers'.. I wonder if that's the same thing. When I start that, it runs for a while with a progress bar and afterwards it tells me that 'Proprietary are being used to make this computer work properly' and lists NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver.

In my Sound options there is nothing listed but 'Analog stereo duplex' and same story for output.

I wonder if the 'additional drivers' thing that I don't have is what I'm missing at the moment? Could it be something coming with 10.10?

Thanks in advance!
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ilcontegis Offline
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Post: #339
whatnot Wrote:I have an external pico-PSU and a remote, you can get those bits without the deluxe, just purchase them separately.

I would like to connect 2 hd and 1 dvd reader. Which pico PSU would you suggest me? 90W is sufficient?
Do you know something about the possibility of using the pci slot to add more sata connectors?

Thank you for your answer
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Romain Offline
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Post: #340
Hello Whatnot,

if you want, give me an msn or a gmail so we can tchit tchat...
Also, could you please give me an example of Flash content you want to play so I can try on my own box ?
I don't know if I installed flash, I'll check. However, I played a trailer in YOUTUBE 720p and the playback was ok.

The "additional drivers" of the last Ubuntu version corresponds to the last NVIDIA drivers that works on Ubuntu.
Now that you ve installed the last nvidia drivers, you should get the sound and the video playback straight.

You can check if your sound drivers are properly installed running: 'aplay -l'
You should see below lines, if you don't, it means the drivers are not properly installed:

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: ALC887 Analog [ALC887 Analog]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 1: ALC887 Digital [ALC887 Digital]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 3: NVIDIA HDMI [NVIDIA HDMI]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 7: NVIDIA HDMI [NVIDIA HDMI]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 8: NVIDIA HDMI [NVIDIA HDMI]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 9: NVIDIA HDMI [NVIDIA HDMI]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0


So, there are two sound cards: an Intel and a Nvidia
Card 0/0 is the INTEL analog/spdif (green connector at the back of the computer)
Card 0/1 is the INTEL digital/optical/spdif (green connector + optical connector)

Card 1 is the NVIDIA HDMI sound output.

---How to decode 1080p on AT5IONT-I

After installing the NVIDIA drivers, I tried to play HD 720p mkv files and it was ok but 1080p was very slow. I digged into the net to find a way to play 1080p and I found this french tutorial: http://doc.ubuntu-fr.org/smplayer_mplaye...idia_vdpau

To use your hardware to decode 1080p, you should install VDPAU using the command:
sudo apt-get install libvdpau1

I now can play a 1080p MKV with DTS sound without any lag using the VDPAU nvidia drivers. I have to admit that it's not easy to get everything working! Because I don't have an HDMI connector on my Bose amplifier, I now use the optical out to send the sound to my amplifier.

I use below Mplayer command to use the hardware decoder:

mplayer -vc ffmpeg12vdpau,ffh264vdpau -ac hwdts -ao alsa:device=hw=0.1 the-movie-file

"-vc ffmpeg12vdpau,ffh264vdpau": force the use of VDPAU drivers to process HD video content
"-ac hwdts": force DTS sound format (5.1)
"-ao alsa:device=hw=0.1": force the use of Card0, Device1 (optical out to my amplifier):
Card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 1: ALC887 Digital [ALC887 Digital]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

Hope this can help!
(This post was last modified: 2010-10-24 19:12 by Romain.)
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whatnot Offline
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Post: #341
ilcontegis Wrote:I would like to connect 2 hd and 1 dvd reader. Which pico PSU would you suggest me? 90W is sufficient?
Do you know something about the possibility of using the pci slot to add more sata connectors?

Try this a PSU Calculator. And then add some overhead to be on the safe side.

I don't have nothing but the board and an ssd disk, but I went for the 120W version. Can be a bit of an overkill, but wanted to have some room for possible slot-load BR drive.
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whatnot Offline
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Post: #342
Romain Wrote:Hello Whatnot,
if you want, give me an msn or a gmail so we can tchit tchat...

Thank you for your contribution and help so far. Let me give these instructions a go and I'll PM you to get more interactive if I can't get the things sorted out.

Romain Wrote:Also, could you please give me an example of Flash content you want to play so I can try on my own box ?
I don't know if I installed flash, I'll check. However, I played a trailer in YOUTUBE 720p and the playback was ok.

It's basically any Youtube stuff I play that gets all my cores running almost maxed out already at 480p. I've been using this clip mostly for testing. 480p is stuttering already, going over to 720p or 1080p is just a slideshow.


Romain Wrote:The "additional drivers" of the last Ubuntu version corresponds to the last NVIDIA drivers that works on Ubuntu.
Now that you ve installed the last nvidia drivers, you should get the sound and the video playback straight.

Will check the aplay part next. I specifically downloaded the NVIDIA drivers for ION and they installed ok, except for the part that it said it wasn't able to run the pre-upgrade script succesfully despite the fact that I killed my X (GDM) and logged as root before running. It installed ok, I restarted and X Server config reports the latest driver version being used.

Romain Wrote:---How to decode 1080p on AT5IONT-I

After installing the NVIDIA drivers, I tried to play HD 720p mkv files and it was ok but 1080p was very slow. I digged into the net to find a way to play 1080p and I found this french tutorial: http://doc.ubuntu-fr.org/smplayer_mplaye...idia_vdpau


I can run 1080p mkv's without problems in XBMC and 8Mbit stream on VLC so my VDPAU part seems to be ok. It's the flash video that's killing me.
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Romain Offline
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Post: #343
XMBC is using VDPAU to playback 1080p content.
I have to see if it's possible to use VDPAU (hardware accel) with Flash. As far as I read, it should be possible now or, if not, it will be very soon!
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ion_man Offline
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Post: #344
Romain Wrote:XBMC is using VDPAU to playback 1080p content.
I have to see if it's possible to use VDPAU (hardware accel) with Flash. As far as I read, it should be possible now or, if not, it will be very soon!

VDPAU is not supported by Flash for Linux yet, but it looks like Adobe is finally looking into it:
http://www.linuxtech.net/news/VDPAU_Supp...lugin.html
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Romain Offline
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Post: #345
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=ne...&px=NzU5OA

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/

i ll try flash 10.1 and see if vdpau support has been implemented Smile
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