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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:55 pm 
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Location: /dev/null
# Video type: HDTV or SDTV
# Type of system: MBE/FE
# Noise level: Nearly silent - I can't hear it sitting on the couch with TV off.
# Video type: HDTV or SDTV
# Type of system: MBE/FE
# CASE: Silverstone GD04
# PSU: 300W that came with another case. Rated as an active PFC/80+ efficiency.
# MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte EG45M-UD2H - Link to a hardwareguru review
# CPU: C2D E5200 (see note below)
# RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline (2 x 1GB) @ 800 MHz 4-4-4-12
# CPU HEATSINK: The stock Intel one
# NORTHBRIDGE HEATSINK: (the one that came with the MB)
# CD/DVD-RW: None, I don't want one
# HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB
# GRAPHICS CARD: Geforce 6200 PCI
# SOUNDCARD: (Onboard)
# TUNER CARD: PVR-250
# REMOTE CONTROL: PVR-250's remote

MB notes:
A little more than twice the price of the G41-M-ES2L but you're getting a much higher quality MB with more features, notable an ICH10R south bridge (with fake RAID) which is a bit faster than the ICH7 that comes on the G41-M-ES2L. Also, this board has a much beefier HS on the north bridge as well as a sensor there and else where that actually works. Better audio too and layout. See the review I posted above.

General notes: I didn't actually install R6 from the CD. I had R6 installed on my HDD that I used in my old AMD/Athlon box. I followed this howto to transfer the system to the new blank HDD. I did an R6 install on a very similar system P45 motherboard/E6500 chip and had no issues.

Costs:
Chip was $64
MB was $128
RAM was $56
Case was $99
HDD was $85

PSU was a spare that came with an old case I never used so $0
PVR-250 was purchased a long time ago
6200 was a pull but I think I paid $40 or 50 for it way back when.

Note on the CPU: it's running at the stock 12.5x200=2.5 GHz but this board allows users to adjust the voltages lower than the stock VID which is way WAY overkill. In other words, the stock VID is set SKY HIGH to allow for stability across 99.9 % of the processors. In fact, many 45 nm FAB C2D chips like the E5200 can run stable WAY lower than the factory VID of 1.2875 V. For example, I am running this one stable (24 h of prime95 large FFTs and 200 iterations of Linpack) at 0.9750 V which is 312.5 mV less. That is a huge number. The full loads temps running at this Vcore never exceeded 45 C during the stress testing/the Intel HSF never throttled up (trigger is 50 C) so it always runs more or less silently @ 800 RPM.

MB voltages I found to be stable and that are minimized (note these are FYI only and every chip is different so don't just plug my numbers into your system):

Code:
CPU Vcore = 0.97500 V
CPU Termination = 1.10000 V
CPU Reference = 0.753 V
MCH Core = 1.100 V
DRAM Voltage = 1.800 V


FYI, according to processorfinder dot com, the CPU Vcore range for this series of chip is 0.85 V - 1.3625 V so 0.9750 V is totally within Intel specs.

Gigabyte boards mislabel the GTL Ref voltage as "CPU Reference" and they also display it as an absolute voltage rather than a dynamic percent of the CPU Termination (VTT). The default value should be 0.67x the VTT. In this case the VTT is 1.1 V and 1.1 times 0.66667 = 0.733 V. Just as an FYI.

I can post more about stress testing/minimizing vcore if someone wants.

I will post the power consumption soon.

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Last edited by graysky on Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:21 am 
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MB, HDD, CPU 12.5x200), Intel HSF, 2x 1 Gig DDR2 @ 800 MHz, PVR-250, Geforce 6200 (PCI). 2x 120mm case fans. The power supply has one fan in it that can't be shut off.

Power consumption:

Powered off: 1 W
Idle: 51 W
Playback*: 55 W
Load (mprime2511/small FFTs): 66 W
Load (mprime2511/large FFTs): 71 W

Interestingly, there is no measurable change in power consumption going from the 12.5 multiplier (2.5 GHz) down to the 6.0 multiplier (1.2 GHz).

*I don't have an HD set nor do I have a VDPAU compatible setup. 55 W was measured using both a 720x480 MPEG-2 @ 6,000 kbps or a 720x480 x264 2,200 kbps.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:30 am 
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In a PM, gatorback wrote:
EG45M-UD2H Motherboard vs Gigabyte G41-M-ES2L

I am interested in purchasing a micro-ATX motherboard to create a KM system. That being said, it would be nice to have something that is:

* feature rich (HDMI port, S-Video, ????)
* inexpensive: initial cost and operating cost (energy)
* reliable

Given that the latter is almost double the cost, is there a compelling reasoning to purchase the former for use as a HTPC?


To your 1st point, neither board has on board s-video. If you're planning to use this system for SDTV via s-video, you MUST purchase an add on video card. I'd recommend a PCI version of an nvidia 6200. Be forewarned that if you use an 8xxxx or 9xxxx series nvidia card, the s-video out is not perfect at scaling to your SDTV. Mine had some really annoying overscan that I couldn't correct totally, see this thread for more. If you want HD, or plan to use it for HD in the future you might consider an 8800GS or another VDPAU card to offload the video decoding from the CPU to the GPU. See this thread for more.

To your 2nd point, yeah, the G41 board is about half the cost of the EG45 board (like $128 vs. $55 as I recall). Both are similar in their power consumption figures.

To your 3rd point, I think either is a good choice. That said, the EG45 seems more substantial than the G41 to me. You definitely get what you pay for parts/components-wise. I honestly don't think it matters though. If you wanna save $70-80 on the cost of your system, go for the cheaper one. If your budget allows for the EG45, I'd go for it instead which I did :)

Beyond those comments, I summarized the differences I noted in the thread in bold text below. Others are in standard text, also have a look at the comparison tool on Gigabyte's website for more differences.

Differences between the EG45M-UD2H and G41-M-ES2L
-More intelligent layout of onboard components
-Higher quality components
--Newer/better southbridge (ICH10R vs. ICH7)
---RAID support
--Better audio system with more outputs
--Much more substantial HS on the North Bridge
--A functional North Bridge temp sensor
-Faster memory support
-16 G max v. 8 G max
-6 SATA ports vs. 4
-eSATAII
-More USB2
-COM support

The last few options might not matter to a KM system. Putting more than 2 gigs on a KM box is a waste really since LH is only i686 and as such can only use 3.2ish gigs anyway. Also, using faster than DDR2-800 is a waste of power in my opinion. You might want the eSATAII and COM support that the EG45 supports.

What are the hardware details you're considering beyond the MB and do you want HDTV abilities on the system?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:29 pm 
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@Graysky: Thank you for the gracious response: spurred many thoughts and questions. I appreciate the prompt reply and providing really insightful comments.

Because many of my TVs are old I wanted to have legacy capability for display. The reality is that I have SD cable and have no plans to move (this year) on to broadcast HDTV (cable or OTA) because I really only watch the news or a few TV shows. That being said, I would like enough power to display .mkv files and I do see a day (maybe in 2-3 years) when I will be recording from a HD source.

The initial reason that this board \ post caught my eye was that it was a known quantity (Tier 1 Hardware) and that it had HDMI out built in. In an ideal world this motherboard would have the S-Video Built in and along with a VDPAU compliant video GPU

Per guidance, I searched for a nvidia 6200 and found one on Amazon with very poor (Windows) ratings. It is unclear if the problem is specific to Windows or the card itself. Question: Do you have a specific mfg \ model number and vendor or your nvidia 6200?

Observation: It would seem that the holy grail (from a video standpoint) would be to find a Tier 1 motherboard or video card that had S-Video coupled with VDPAU HDMI output capability. Does such a mobo or card exist? It would seem that if the 8400GS Scan Issue were resolved, then this becomes a "no brainer" (easy is good!) Not sure if it makes a difference which mfg is chosen: found an inexpensive 8400GS here. Which 8400GS mfg do you use /recommend? [Update] MFG = Sparkle

Question: if I purchase the nvidia 6200 for the S-video, what is involved to toggle between this video card and the built in video of the motherboard or a second video card? Maybe I do not need to toggle between video units and can use both simultaneously? I have never considered having more than one video device in a computer before and would appreciate any constructive suggestions and experience (lessons learned).

My apologies if this is digressing from motherboard discussion, however, from my point of view, it would be best if I understood the deeper implications and reverberations before purchaseing. Specifically, it would be good to understand the limitations and "gotachas" along with future upgrade path (cost). This is where I am thankful and defer to the experience of those who have been there and are generous to share the experience. Thank you!

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R7.3: 0.22.20091023-1, Hauppauge PVR-500 (Philips FQ1236A MK4), Gigabyte Gigabyte EG45M-UD2H, E5200 2.4Ghz, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA GEFORCE 256MB


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:24 pm 
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Glad to help/give back to the community. I don't think you'll find a modern MB that has both a VDPAU compat. chipset and svideo simply because VDPAU isn't required for SD playback and svideo is only good for just that. Any PCI 6200 will be fine for you in my opinion. You don't need all the power of the 6200 for SD playback by the way... if you can find something as old as an 440MX it will work just fine. If you want a silent one, get one without a fan/passively cooled. I recently bought this one and it works just fine albeit is a bit pricey.

I don't see a resolution to the overscan issue on the 8400 GS. Stay away from the sparkle series of cards with svideo! They do not work with Linux via svideo out. All the sparkle cards I've seen have a funky 9-pin s-video out which is something you want to avoid in my experience. Make sure the one you get has a 5-pin (standard) svideo out. See the following threads for more details:

http://knoppmyth.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=20627
http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=85896

Toggling between onboard video and addon video is trivial. There is a setting the BIOS to select a first boot video device. Most motherboards detect that something is attached automatically anyway. Theoretically you can use multiple devices at once. I have done this years ago under Windows but never under Linux. Why would you want a LH box to output to a monitor and an SDTV? Also what CPU are you planning to use? I think most C2D chips can handle decoding HD content so you might not even need VDPAU card when you do finally wanna go HD. BTW, the EG45M-UD2H has the more powerful GMA X4500HD video chipset. Dunno if that alone justifies the increase in price over the G41 but if you're on the fence, that might push you over.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:29 pm 
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@ Graysky

The reason that I wanted to be able use multiple video card simulataneously is that if the machine is moved (by any family member) from SD to HD, I would like to avoid the need to perform any setting configuration changes.

OK, I think that I will go with the EG45M-UD2H and transfer my Hauppauge dual tuner into it. I should be able to find 2GB of reliable (Crucial) DDR2-667/PC2-5300 memory. Question: Does memory need to be installed in pairs? [UPDATE: NO IT DOES NOT]. I ask because I found a source that can provide 2GB sticks albeit at 240-PIN DDR2 PC2-4200. Not sure if 4200 will do the job. Given that it does not make sense to install more than 2GB, then the questions to be answered are can the DDR2-4200 RAM be used and can a single 2GB stick be used? Otherwise I'll have to play it safe and order 2 x 1GB DDR2 PC2-5300 RAM sticks. If there is a better choice, I would be interested.

That being said, I do not know the process that would have me arrive at a decision for the CPU: specifically the number of cores and CPU speed. Which CPU did you use and was able to handle playing HD media?

I am thinking about this dual core CPU that is priced well. Any constructive thoughts on this decision would be appreciated.

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R7.3: 0.22.20091023-1, Hauppauge PVR-500 (Philips FQ1236A MK4), Gigabyte Gigabyte EG45M-UD2H, E5200 2.4Ghz, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA GEFORCE 256MB


Last edited by gatorback on Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:07 pm 
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I dunno about the moving from SD to HD... do you in-vision setting-up SD then moving it to HD, then back to SD or did you mean one day move to HD?

You can run the memory with 1 stick just fine. I did this when trying to figure out which stick was bad on another box a while ago. I think an e5200 is plenty for hd decoding, but I haven't tried since I don't have an HD set to output it to...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:11 pm 
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Yes, I envision performing both SD and HD in a year or two.

Because I am curious and always trying to learn, which CPU did you end up with and what thought process did you use to arrive at the decision.

_________________
R7.3: 0.22.20091023-1, Hauppauge PVR-500 (Philips FQ1236A MK4), Gigabyte Gigabyte EG45M-UD2H, E5200 2.4Ghz, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA GEFORCE 256MB


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:04 pm 
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graysky wrote:
# MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte EG45M-UD2H - Link to a hardwareguru review
# CPU: C2D E5200 (see note below)


Cost was the major factor. I think any C2D is plenty of horsepower since even my old 800 MHz Athlon tbird could playback SD content. I don't have any immediate HD plans for the same reasons you mentioned. Perhaps someone else can verify that a 2.5 GHz C2D is enough to decode HD stuff. I'm very confident that it is.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:54 pm 
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gatorback wrote:
Question: Does memory need to be installed in pairs? [UPDATE: NO IT DOES NOT].


Dunno what to tell you. My workstation has 4x 2 Gb on it and was experiencing memory problems. To figure out which of the 4 DIMMs was causing the problems, I unplugged all of them and tested them one-at-a-time with memtest86+. I found out which was bad. The point is that you can absolutely run a single DIMM (DDR2 at least).

EDIT: confused. The link you posted has this which agrees with what I said:

Quote:
Q: Do I have to install matching pairs?

A: No.

No, you can install modules one at a time, and you can mix different densities of modules in your computer. But if your computer supports dual-channel memory configurations, you should install in identical pairs (preferably in kits) for optimal performance.


???

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:02 pm 
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I was having problems with the LAN and stumbled on upon an article: Persistent and mysterious network connectivity failure. This article provide's Acronce's blacklist procedure. At the time of the posting I am using 5.5 to verify that my Hauppauge PVR500 works. [UPDATE: PVR500 is verified and working]

It seems to be necessary to perform the Acronce blacklist procedure if you have the Realtek RTL811C. I used the ethtool command to determine the driver installed and check with your motherboard documentation to determine the LAN model:
Code:
sysresccd ~ # ethtool -i eth0
driver: r8169
version: 2.2LK
firmware-version:
bus-info: 0000:03:00.0

If the driver is 'r8169' then the the blacklist procedure needs to be performed. Following the procedure and rebooting put the system back on the network. Again, at the time of the posting I am using 5.5.

_________________
R7.3: 0.22.20091023-1, Hauppauge PVR-500 (Philips FQ1236A MK4), Gigabyte Gigabyte EG45M-UD2H, E5200 2.4Ghz, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA GEFORCE 256MB


Last edited by gatorback on Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:00 am 
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Under R6 with no blacklisting:

Code:
# ethtool -i eth0
driver: r8169
version: 2.3LK-NAPI
firmware-version:
bus-info: 0000:03:00.0

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:27 am 
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@graysky: Good call on Jaton Video Card. Your experience and sage counsel is greatly appreciated.

Results:
======
1) With R5.5, dropped Jaton Video card in the system and it seemed to turn off the motherboard video (no mobo boot sequence displayed).
2) Unplugged monitor from mobo video to Jaton video and voila! Video working like a champ.
3) Need S-video cable to test (will update this line when tested). [UPDATE: S-video is working]

Update 2011/9/22: Now that this mobo is out of production hopefully there is a successor that is LinHES compatible. The picture below details components that are 'tier 1' with LinHES 6.02 or later.

Snapshot from EG45M-UD2H owner's manual:
Image

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R7.3: 0.22.20091023-1, Hauppauge PVR-500 (Philips FQ1236A MK4), Gigabyte Gigabyte EG45M-UD2H, E5200 2.4Ghz, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA GEFORCE 256MB


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