Asus P5E-(V and VM)-HDMI, The basis of all future HTPC builds? Examples Enclosed!

Zarch

Well-known Member
Are Asusteks P5E-V-HDMI (with spdif/toslink output) and P5E-VM-HDMI (with coax output) the new first choice for all HTPC builds?

Based on intels G35 chipset, this mATX board comes with onboard HD audio, onboard VGA and HDMI video (dual screen) and supporting upto 1333 fsb Core 2 Duo/Quad chips with the usual high standard of Asus overclocking ability.

The HDMI output is powered by Intels X3500 chipset which is on the PowerDVD compatability list, so no problems with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray playback.

Silent PC's review is very positive too.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article785-page1.html

Granted its a little on the pricey side at £100. But to buy a cheap motherboard and ATI 2400XT or 2600Pro graphics card for example will cost you around £80 to £100.


Couple the board with the following components and i think you've got a HTPC ready to play any HD material you can throw at it with ease.

CPU - £53.00 - Intel Pentium Dual Core E2180 2GHz Socket 775 800MHz FSB L2 1MB Cache Retail Box Processor
Memory - £28.00 - Corsair 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 675MHz/PC2-5400 XMS Memory Non-ECC Unbuffered CL4(4-4-4-12) Heat Spreader Lifetime Warranty
Hard Disk - £60.00 - Samsung SpinPoint HD501LJ 500GB SATAII Hard Drive 16MB Cache - OEM
Case - £110.00 - Antec Black Fusion V2 MATX MediaCenter Case - Aluminium Front Bezel with 430W PSU
CD/DVD Writer - £18.00 - Whatever you decide to do here!!!
Keyboard & Mouse - £24.00 - KeySonic 2.4Ghz Wireless Compact Keyboard with Integrated TouchPad
HDMI Cable - £5.00 - Ebuyer Extra Value HDMI to DVI Cable (Black) 2M
Optical Audio Cable - £5.00 - Toslink
Operating System - £65.00 - Vista Home

So that comes to £468 to my reckoning(with the motherboard) for a fully functional HTPC capable of playing all HD file based material. Although we might want a copy of CoreAVC codec for playing back h264 encodes (in mkv), but thats only $15, so £7.50

If you want to add HD-DVD or Blu-Ray then you've got the following cost considerations.

Power DVD Ultra - £50.00
HD-DVD / Blu-Ray Combo Drive - £136.00
Blu-Ray Only Drive - £90.00
HD-DVD Only Drive - £70.00


What do people think of that spec? Is it something that we could recommend to people enquiring about a minimum HTPC spec? I don't think it its too far away.

I know that if i was doing mine from scratch, then its the way i'd go rather than the seperate graphics card route i did go down.

I suppose the above build could also be the basis for a gaming machine too.

I would love to hear from anyone with the Asus P5E-(V and VM)-HDMI boards, especially telling us what CPU you've got in there and what performance (CPU and GPU) you are seeing when playing the variety of HD content (both disc and file based).

Any thoughts?
 

davidegee

Well-known Member
i'm in the process of my build with this board, just waiting for delivery of my processor. My decisions were based on information on this forum, and in fact mainly you Mick, so i will more than happily update this thread with some performance figures when i've had some time to install and test.

Thanks for all your work on this subject Mick, it's helped me hugely!
 
G

GoldCoast

Guest
I myself have read very good reviews about this motherboard. If I'm to build another HTPC thats the exact mobo I'll go for and its overclocking ability makes it even more attractive.

For less than £500 your spec is quite affordable even though I'll choose a cheaper case.
 

Zarch

Well-known Member
I myself have read very good reviews about this motherboard. If I'm to build another HTPC thats the exact mobo I'll go for and its overclocking ability makes it even more attractive.

For less than £500 your spec is quite affordable even though I'll choose a cheaper case.
Granted, the case along with the hard disk sizing is all subjective and down to personal choice.

If you want to save fitfy-odd quid you could easily go for the Antec Fusions little brother, the NSK2480 at around £65.

In fact, all the components are up for discussion and change, i was just trying to show a typical/minumum build cost for the average HTPC.

Agreed, this is definatley the board i'd go for at the moment.
 

davidegee

Well-known Member
i have gone for the cheaper case and no HD optical drive yet as I have a PS3 and i'm not sure on the future of HD-DVD. I will just use it to play internet sourced HD content for now and make my decision in the future.

I have also gone for the e2160 processor as i hope this will be powerful enough for my requirements, and if it isn't the board has good overclocking options.
 

Wo0zy

Novice Member
Are Asusteks P5E-V-HDMI (with spdif/toslink output) and P5E-VM-HDMI (with coax output) the new first choice for all HTPC builds?

Based on intels G35 chipset, this mATX board comes with onboard HD audio, onboard VGA and HDMI video (dual screen) and supporting upto 1333 fsb Core 2 Duo/Quad chips with the usual high standard of Asus overclocking ability.

The HDMI output is powered by Intels X3500 chipset which is on the PowerDVD compatability list, so no problems with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray playback.

Silent PC's review is very positive too.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article785-page1.html

Granted its a little on the pricey side at £100. But to buy a cheap motherboard and ATI 2400XT or 2600Pro graphics card for example will cost you around £80 to £100.


Couple the board with the following components and i think you've got a HTPC ready to play any HD material you can throw at it with ease.

CPU - £53.00 - Intel Pentium Dual Core E2180 2GHz Socket 775 800MHz FSB L2 1MB Cache Retail Box Processor
Memory - £28.00 - Corsair 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 675MHz/PC2-5400 XMS Memory Non-ECC Unbuffered CL4(4-4-4-12) Heat Spreader Lifetime Warranty
Hard Disk - £60.00 - Samsung SpinPoint HD501LJ 500GB SATAII Hard Drive 16MB Cache - OEM
Case - £110.00 - Antec Black Fusion V2 MATX MediaCenter Case - Aluminium Front Bezel with 430W PSU
CD/DVD Writer - £18.00 - Whatever you decide to do here!!!
Keyboard & Mouse - £24.00 - KeySonic 2.4Ghz Wireless Compact Keyboard with Integrated TouchPad
HDMI Cable - £5.00 - Ebuyer Extra Value HDMI to DVI Cable (Black) 2M
Optical Audio Cable - £5.00 - Toslink
Operating System - £65.00 - Vista Home

So that comes to £468 to my reckoning(with the motherboard) for a fully functional HTPC capable of playing all HD file based material. Although we might want a copy of CoreAVC codec for playing back h264 encodes (in mkv), but thats only $15, so £7.50

If you want to add HD-DVD or Blu-Ray then you've got the following cost considerations.

Power DVD Ultra - £50.00
HD-DVD / Blu-Ray Combo Drive - £136.00
Blu-Ray Only Drive - £90.00
HD-DVD Only Drive - £70.00


What do people think of that spec? Is it something that we could recommend to people enquiring about a minimum HTPC spec? I don't think it its too far away.

I know that if i was doing mine from scratch, then its the way i'd go rather than the seperate graphics card route i did go down.

I suppose the above build could also be the basis for a gaming machine too.

I would love to hear from anyone with the Asus P5E-(V and VM)-HDMI boards, especially telling us what CPU you've got in there and what performance (CPU and GPU) you are seeing when playing the variety of HD content (both disc and file based).

Any thoughts?
I've done a lot of work with these boards since they were released. Overall they are excellent choices for SFF HTPC's.

However, some things to keep in mind.

1. HD Playback is only supported under Vista (not XP)
2. There is not HW Acceleration for H.264 and only parital for VC-1 so a good CPU is required (Min E6750 or heavily OC'd lesser chip).
3. MPEG-2 HW Acceleration currently only works under XP. It will work under Vista once SP1 arrives.
4.While the deinterlacing capabilities are very good you have no control over the settings either through the drivers or direct registry tweaks so if you don't like the results you're stuck.
5. No exposed support for custom resolutions (although this can be achieved using a third party tool for manipulating DTD's).
6. Drivers can be fussy about what audio and video capabilities you can use as they will only expose features advertised by the TV/Receivers EDID. For instance there have been problems with "malformed" EDID's on Denon receivers limiting the audio output to 2-channel only when in fact the receiver supports multichannel LPCM.

Having said all that, it is the only solution that can currently deliver multi-channel LPCM over HDMI (G33 can as well but this only has basic deinterlacing capabilities making it a poor choice for TV playback). It cannot do HD Audio as bitstream as it is not HDMI 1.3 so if you do build around this board you will never get the feature. G45 should rectify this.

Overall PQ is very good and I struggle to see a different between this solution and systems with discrete cards from either ATi or NVIDIA (others may disagree with that).

The board is very stable considering it's from Asus and they usually take a couple of BIOS releases to iron out minor issues.

One final consideration. Because HD playback is so CPU intensive this isn't a great solution for people wanting to use extenders at the same time as viewing content on the HTPC.

Hope this is helpful.

Wo0zy
 

Zarch

Well-known Member
Wonderful analysis Wo0zy, i'm sure everyone appreciates that.

Sounds like its a new piece of kit trying to find its feet then? The lack of full hardware acceleration is a slight worry. But from reading the silent PC review i was hopeful the lesser CPU would be ok.

I suppose we need some real world CPU stats from a low end CPU based system playing back hd-dvd and blu-ray!! Anyone??? ;)

We already know that a E2180/E4400 will play all file based stuff: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=666171
Its just the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray that we could do with!! ;)
 

Wo0zy

Novice Member
I've only tried HD playback with an E6550 and E6750 so far.
MPEG-2 HD and VC-1 are perfectly smooth on both (I'll see if I dig up my notes when I get home but from memory the E6550 was at less than 60%) but H.264/AVC is the real challenge. On the E6550 the CPU peaked at 100% quite often resulting in some frame drops. The E6750 was OK.

I have had feedback from other users claiming that they were only really satisfied by the performace of the system with a quad core CPU (Q6600) but personally I don't think it's necessary although if you can afford it I guess it wouldn't hurt :)

Cheers,

Wo0zy
 

ColinB_NI

Active Member
I don't think there's any plans to change the situation either. :(
Hi, must admit i'm a bit confused about this... What HD content cannot be played?

Just that I have downloaded quite a few HD Demo files from the likes of Microsoft's own HD showcase and also HD trailers for various films from various sources..... all of them work fine on both my own PC and even in my work PC which would not be considered 'hi-spek' by any stretch!! Also both PC's are running XP

The other reason I ask is that a lot of video editing software nowdays can edit and create HD content including burning it to disk (providing you have a HD or Blu-Ray Burner in your system)... none of them (and that includes the burners themselves) require Vista to do this?:confused:

BTW (and totally unrelated...) this is my 100th post.... weeeeee!!:clap::clap:
 

Wo0zy

Novice Member
Hi, must admit i'm a bit confused about this... What HD content cannot be played?

Just that I have downloaded quite a few HD Demo files from the likes of Microsoft's own HD showcase and also HD trailers for various films from various sources..... all of them work fine on both my own PC and even in my work PC which would not be considered 'hi-spek' by any stretch!! Also both PC's are running XP

The other reason I ask is that a lot of video editing software nowdays can edit and create HD content including burning it to disk (providing you have a HD or Blu-Ray Burner in your system)... none of them (and that includes the burners themselves) require Vista to do this?:confused:

BTW (and totally unrelated...) this is my 100th post.... weeeeee!!:clap::clap:
The problem is limited to playing back AACS protected content found on commercially available HD DVD's and Blu-Ray movie disks. As XP doesn't support PvP Intel are limiting the capability to Vista (at least that's the reason being given).

Congratulations on your century :thumbsup:

Wo0zy
 

ColinB_NI

Active Member
The problem is limited to playing back AACS protected content found on commercially available HD DVD's and Blu-Ray movie disks. As XP doesn't support PvP Intel are limiting the capability to Vista (at least that's the reason being given).

Congratulations on your century :thumbsup:

Wo0zy
Thanks! LOL

So just so I get this correct... say I was to buy a new Blu Ray Recorder/Player and then install it in my HTPC running Windows XP... if I was then to try to play a Blu Ray film on it would this fail ??

If so that kinda sucks a lot as this is what I had been intending to do in the near future!!:(
 

Wo0zy

Novice Member
Thanks! LOL

So just so I get this correct... say I was to buy a new Blu Ray Recorder/Player and then install it in my HTPC running Windows XP... if I was then to try to play a Blu Ray film on it would this fail ??

If so that kinda sucks a lot as this is what I had been intending to do in the near future!!:(
If your PC has Intel Graphics then yes. ATi and NVIDIA cards don't make the same restriction (but that's another topic altogether) ;)

Vista time? Or are you from the "when hell freezes over" school of thought on that one :)

Wo0zy
 
1. HD Playback is only supported under Vista (not XP)
Is it supported through hardware acceleration via the graphics card in XP or MCE, or will HD DVDs not play at all through any other OS other than Vista. If so, do you know the reasons why?
 

Wo0zy

Novice Member
Is it supported through hardware acceleration via the graphics card in XP or MCE, or will HD DVDs not play at all through any other OS other than Vista. If so, do you know the reasons why?
G35 doesn't offer HW acceleration for HD other than VC-1 acceleration for motion compensation and in-loop filtering (the variable-length decode and IDCT occurs in software). All H.264 decoding is also software based (thanks Archibael :)).

The problem (deliberate or otherwise) is at driver level and it completely disables playback under XP.

Reason's could be technical (although I suspect political).

I have no other insight into the problem.

Cheers,

Wo0zy
 

Croatoan

Novice Member
Anyone have any suggestions for this motherboard.
On my sony W2000. If the PC is on and I change from say the PC HDMI input to SKy HD then back again.

The PC resolution reverts to 720x480p and have to change it back to 1080p? Not occasionally............every time.

If I turn the pc off to standby then switch the TV inputs over, switch it back then resume the pc screen retains 1080p.

Tried some newer drivers today, same issue.

A real ball ache...............


Going to try my laptop on the tv to see if its the tv.

Intel driver reports the only resolutions the monitor supports are 720x480p or 1080p. Can select intermediate resolutions but these are with borders.
 

Wo0zy

Novice Member
Anyone have any suggestions for this motherboard.
On my sony W2000. If the PC is on and I change from say the PC HDMI input to SKy HD then back again.

The PC resolution reverts to 720x480p and have to change it back to 1080p? Not occasionally............every time.

If I turn the pc off to standby then switch the TV inputs over, switch it back then resume the pc screen retains 1080p.

Tried some newer drivers today, same issue.

A real ball ache...............


Going to try my laptop on the tv to see if its the tv.

Intel driver reports the only resolutions the monitor supports are 720x480p or 1080p. Can select intermediate resolutions but these are with borders.
Post the report from the Intel Graphics Tray (including the EDID) and I'll tell you what the TV is reporting as supported. There must be something odd as it's a big jump between 480p and 1080p.

Switching away from the PC while it's on and losing resolution when returning is being reported by several users. Hopefully there'll be a driver fix soon.

Not having the problem when resuming from standby (when the TV is on the correct input for PC) is normal as the PC can "see" the screen and read the EDID.

We're dealing with this a lot over on AVS ATM.

Wo0zy.
 

Croatoan

Novice Member
Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator Driver Report

Report Date: 01/10/2008
Report Time[hr:mm:ss]: 17:56:28
Driver Version: 6.14.10.4869
Operating System: Windows XP* Professional, Service Pack 2 (5.1.2600)
Default Language: English
DirectX* Version: 9.0
Physical Memory: 2039 MB
Minimum Graphics Memory: 8 MB
Maximum Graphics Memory: 256 MB
Graphics Memory in Use: 14 MB
Processor: x86 family 6 Model 15 Stepping 11
Processor Speed: 2671 MHZ
Vendor ID: 8086
Device ID: 2982
Device Revision: 03

* Accelerator Information *
Accelerator in Use: Intel(R) G35 Express Chipset Family
Video BIOS: 1508.0
Current Graphics Mode: 1920 by 1080 True Color (60 Hz)

* Devices Connected to the Graphics Accelerator *

Active Digital Televisions: 1

* Digital Television *
Monitor Name:
Display Type: Digital
Gamma Value: 2.20
DDC2 Protocol: Supported
Maximum Image Size: Horizontal: 27.0 inches
Vertical: 15.0 inches
Monitor Supported Modes:
720 by 480 (60 Hz)
1920 by 1080 (50 Hz)
Display Power Management Support:
Standby Mode: Not Supported
Suspend Mode: Not Supported
Active Off Mode: Not Supported
Raw EDID:
00 ff ff ff ff ff ff 00 4d d9 00 84 01 01 01 01
32 0f 01 03 80 46 28 78 0a ee 91 a3 54 4c 99 26
0f 50 54 00 00 00 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01
01 01 01 01 01 01 02 3a 80 d0 72 38 2d 40 10 2c
45 80 df a4 21 00 00 1e 8c 0a d0 8a 20 e0 2d 10
10 3e 96 00 df a4 21 00 00 18 00 00 00 fc 00 53
4f 4e 59 20 54 56 0a 20 20 20 20 20 00 00 00 fd
00 30 3e 0e 46 0f 00 0a 20 20 20 20 20 20 01 da
02 03 22 77 4e 14 03 04 12 13 05 01 07 16 9f 10
15 11 06 23 09 07 07 83 01 00 00 66 03 0c 00 10
00 80 01 1d 00 72 51 d0 1e 20 6e 28 55 00 df a4
21 00 00 1e 8c 0a d0 90 20 40 31 20 0c 40 55 00
df a4 21 00 00 18 01 1d 00 bc 52 d0 1e 20 b8 28
55 40 df a4 21 00 00 1e 01 1d 80 18 71 1c 16 20
58 2c 25 00 df a4 21 00 00 9e 01 1d 80 d0 72 1c
16 20 10 2c 25 80 df a4 21 00 00 9e 00 00 00 49

* SDVO Encoder Report *
** Encoder 1 **
Vendor ID: Silicon Image
Device ID: 174
Device Revision: 0
Major Version: 1
Minor Version: 2
 

Wo0zy

Novice Member
Hi Croatoan,

I'll get back to you shortly. The report has added more weight to a theory which points to a potential bug in the Intel drivers. Just need to check a couple more examples which I'm waiting for over on AVS then I'll let you know.

Cheers,

Wo0zy
 

Croatoan

Novice Member
Cheers mate, in the meantime I have contacted intel support.

Whilst eyeing up the ati 3850 and wondering if I can get away with it in my antec fusion with a 430W psu.

I do think the drivers are indeed the issue, but I also would be surprised if a bios update is on the cards.

Its monitor / HDTV detection seems somewhat flawed, peticulary at installation point for vista. Had read numerous posts on forums relating to the G35 seemingly inability to display anything other than a black screen.

I was lucky as borrowed an old CRT monitor for installation as I do not have a dedicated monitor in the house.

You will notice a discrepancy in the monitor supported resolutions 1920x1080 50hz / 60hz. Have used both but same issue.
 

Wo0zy

Novice Member
There's def something going on.

For your reference. The EDID information you supplied translates to

Established Monitor Timings=0

DTD's from 1st Block
02 3a 80 d0 72 38 2d 40 10 2c 45 80 df a4 21 00 00 1e [email protected]

8c 0a d0 8a 20 e0 2d 10 10 3e 96 00 df a4 21 00 00 18 720*[email protected]


DTD's from 2nd Block
01 1d 00 72 51 d0 1e 20 6e 28 55 00 df a4 21 00 00 1e 1280*[email protected]

8c 0a d0 90 20 40 31 20 0c 40 55 00 df a4 21 00 00 18 720*[email protected]

01 1d 00 bc 52 d0 1e 20 b8 28 55 40 df a4 21 00 00 1e 1280*[email protected]

01 1d 80 18 71 1c 16 20 58 2c 25 00 df a4 21 00 00 9e 1920*180i @60

01 1d 80 d0 72 1c 16 20 10 2c 25 80 df a4 21 00 00 9e 1920*1080i @50

SVD's (Short Video Descriptors)

1920x1080i @ 50Hz
720x480p @ 59.94/60Hz
1280x720p @ 59.94/60Hz
720x576p @ 50Hz
1280x720p @ 50Hz
1920x1080i @ 59.94/60Hz
640x480p @ 59.94/60Hz
720x480i @ 59.94/60Hz
720x576i @ 50Hz
1920x1080p @ 59.94/60Hz
1920x1080p @ 50Hz 16:9 (considered native)

So as far as the Intel drivers are concerned any of these should work.

FWIW I think it has something to do with the new "persistence" feature. It appears that turning off (or going to standby) and then back on the drivers say "OK, this is the same screen I had before so I'll use the last settings I had for it" however, switching away and then back while the PC is on makes the drivers think you've "hot plugged" a new screen so they check the EDID and select the lowest supported standard timing in the first block of the EDID. Very frustrating.

I'll post your experience and my theory to someone "in the know" and will get back to you. Not that any of this helps with the "blank screen during installation" problem :mad:

Cheers,

Wo0zy
 

Croatoan

Novice Member
Is there any way to edit the edid, forcing it to use 1920x1080 by removing the lower resolution?

Its liveable with but defeats the object of the board lmao.
 

Wo0zy

Novice Member
Is there any way to edit the edid, forcing it to use 1920x1080 by removing the lower resolution?

Its liveable with but defeats the object of the board lmao.
I have heard of people that try and do this but TBH I don't think you should attempt it and you shouldn't HAVE to.

The Intel solution has a lot going for it (especially in the HDMI audio department) so I'm hopeful that a driver update will fix the problem. The board you've bought is a bit expensive to just say "oh well" and purchase a graphics card. The only reason to buy it in the first place is because of the onboard graphics. I'd badger ASUS like hell. Hopefully they'll become a PITA to Intel and the work will get done soon.

Not that it helps you any but I don't see the behaviour with Vista (I'm canvassing opinion on that one though just in case I'm "lucky").

Having said that, if you have HD aspirations and want to stay with XP then a new card is your only hope anyway.

Good luck my friend :)

Wo0zy

PS Both ATi and NVIDIA have made shocking FUBAR's recently with regard's drivers (so it's not just Intel). I'm an NVIDIA fanboy but recently I've had to admit that the ATi solutions have been better for HTPC :(.
 

Croatoan

Novice Member
I agree 100% however. Just seen a 3870xt at £134 inc vat and delivery and am very tempted.

On the vista front, I do have it and may well install it aswell to see if it cures it.

Will be interesting. Did have it on vista before but my last board crashed in vista and wouldnt reboot.

Gonna have a play, obviously the 3870 is complete overkill but very very tempting.

Have heard nothing from Intel as yet, will send asus a note when I get round to it.

Editing the edid is not ideal but if it fixes things might help, wheres best to do it. I'll do anything once
 

The latest video from AVForums

Panasonic HZ2000 OLED TV Review: The best OLED for movie viewing in 2020

Latest News

McIntosh launches MX100 AV processor and MI347 power amp
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung updates and expands access to Samsung TV Plus
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Disney+ UK introduces GroupWatch co-viewing feature
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
What's new on Netflix UK for November 2020
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Harman Kardon launches Citation Amp
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom