NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

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NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby Apoptosis » Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:16 am

NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Building a mini-ITX computer system is a popular topic these days and for good reason. The form factor is very small, a wide selection of platforms is available and the component pricing is fairly decent. This build guide will quickly go through the steps of building a mini-ITX build from out of the box to completion.

Image

The goal of this article was to show how to build a mini-ITX HTPC system capable of playing Blu-Rays for under $600 in hardware. The end result is a system that can easily play Blu-Ray and other high-definition content with no stutters at all. The mini-ITX form factor is very sleek and the fact that you can cram a system like this into a chassis this small is awesome. Once I got past the size of the form factor, the highlight of the build has to be the power consumption numbers. The highest power consumption that I saw on this mini-ITX system was just 36 Watts at the wall during gaming. It looks like that 60W power supply brick that comes with the Travla C287 mini-ITX chassis will be able to offer plenty of power for the time being.


Article Title: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1057/1/
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby hnzw_rui » Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:58 pm

Would just like to point out, YouTube HD and Hulu HD are not a definitive yes on the ION. The videos tested may have worked out well, but there are several that still come out choppy due to the lack of processing power. By the way, I do believe one HTPC player favorite for hardware-assisted playback is Media Player Classic - Home Cinema. It has its own filters for H.264 and VC-1 and the latest version even supports H.264 using the Intel G45 chipset.

Other than that, nice article. :)
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby Major_A » Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:07 pm

Some cheaper and somewhat cooler cases.
http://www.mini-box.com/s.nl/sc.8/category.87/.f
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby Skippman » Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:51 pm

Dang, now you guys have me thinking about building another carputer. Where the heck am I supposed to fit that in my Jeep?
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby Apoptosis » Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:56 pm

hnzw_rui wrote:By the way, I do believe one HTPC player favorite for hardware-assisted playback is Media Player Classic - Home Cinema. It has its own filters for H.264 and VC-1 and the latest version even supports H.264 using the Intel G45 chipset.

Other than that, nice article. :)


Check out the page on Matroska (MKV) Video Playback as I added MPC-HC testing results... You and everyone else that e-mailed me are right... It's the best player for this platform.
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby wuzy » Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:43 pm

Wow, talk about clueless in the article (as in 0%) when it comes to video playback of .mkv and CPU usage.

First you should have included info about the codec used, bitrate of video (very important), resolution, encoding parameter (e.g. ref frames and cabac) and which decoder was used. Just mentioning the player used and assuming default/bundled decoder being utilised and source of the video is information-less.
DxVA is a standard not a 'technology'. It is very easy to get DxVA working for H.264 and VC-1 with the right decoder when using MCP7A.
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:49 pm

wuzy wrote:Wow, talk about clueless in the article (as in 0%) when it comes to video playback of .mkv and CPU usage.


Actually I've never downloaded and used .mkv files before, so I am clueless. You have to start learning sometime though right?

In VLC under options this was shown:

The Avatar trailer was:
Codec: AVC1
Resolution: 1280x544
Frame Rate: 23.976215

The Wolfman trailer was:
Codec: AVC1
Resolution: 1280x720
Frame Rate: 23.970628
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby Major_A » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:21 pm

I know that K-Lite Codec Pack has a MKV codec in it, which one I'm not sure. It also comes bundled with MP Classic. Maybe the combo there would fix the issues?
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby pwcmed » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:04 pm

wuzy wrote:Wow, talk about clueless in the article (as in 0%) when it comes to video playback of .mkv and CPU usage.


Wow, that's not nice. I looked up some of your old post and I saw somewhat of a trend.
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby 3rugger » Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:12 am

i would have liked to have seen the MKV playback tested with the DivX MKV preview. IMHO it is a much more elegant solution than loading other codecs or players in Windows 7, plus it allows playback of MKVs directly in Media Center. Any chance you could test that out and report on its performance?
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:10 pm

3rugger wrote:i would have liked to have seen the MKV playback tested with the DivX MKV preview. IMHO it is a much more elegant solution than loading other codecs or players in Windows 7, plus it allows playback of MKVs directly in Media Center. Any chance you could test that out and report on its performance?


Got a link to download it and any suggestions on how to set it up and run it? If i get some free time this weekend I'll take a look.
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby Major_A » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:12 pm

It's included in the DivX bundle and has the settings in its Programs folder.
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby pwcmed » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:28 pm

Skippman wrote:Dang, now you guys have me thinking about building another carputer. Where the heck am I supposed to fit that in my Jeep?



Oh snap Skip you carputer too. I had one in my 98 cutlass before I gave that car away four years ago. I'm in the process of putting that in my 06 Reno. I was an active member at mp3car.com. They still might have my front end somwhere that I made for Roadrunner.
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby Skippman » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:51 pm

I used to Moderate on MP3CAR.COM back in the day, like 2001-2002. I used a PC Chips Book PC and an Alpine IVA-C800 head unit to make my first carputer. Got out before things like DC/DC power supplies became affordable. Had a sweet 7" Xenarc touch screen 800x480 LCD I was going to use on my next build but I ended up selling it for what I had in it ($500 at the time).
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby p3ngwin » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:05 pm

actually the reason you didn't see any acceleration for CUDA enabled TMPGenc is that it only uses GPU's for FILTERS only.

NO ENCODING is done on the GPU, just filters.

see here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvi ... 299-8.html
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby 3rugger » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:55 pm

Here is a link to the DivX MKV preview: http://labs.divx.com/mkvwin7preview

I didn't install the full divx bundle, just that program. I try to stay away from installing unnecessary codecs on my media center. If you have installed any codec packs, you may need to remove them from Windows 7 to get the best performance. The only other codec I installed was the AC3 filter to handle audio from the MKVs. If you find you aren't getting any sound you can get get that here: http://ac3filter.net/

With those installed I have yet to run across a file I couldn't play in media center. Also, the video playback was far smoother than with any other codec I had previously tried. Good luck!
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby 3rugger » Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:51 pm

Any chance you had some time to try the divx preview to see its performance? I'm weighing my optins for a homebuild vs the Lenovo Ideacenter for a WIN7 HTPC and the Nano performance is the one thing that has me iffy on building an ION based system.
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:32 pm

3rugger wrote:Any chance you had some time to try the divx preview to see its performance? I'm weighing my optins for a homebuild vs the Lenovo Ideacenter for a WIN7 HTPC and the Nano performance is the one thing that has me iffy on building an ION based system.


Sorry, I've not had time as I've been traveling... In San Francisco this week for IDF and next week I'll be in San Jose.... No sleep for the wicked!
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Re: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide

Postby Major_A » Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:49 pm

Sounds like my old job, there were points where I forgot how comfortable my own bed was. Good luck in Cali, eat an In-N-Out Burger for me. We don't have them in Texas :( .
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