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

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by Zarch, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Zarch

    Zarch
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    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?
     
  2. davidegee

    davidegee
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    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!
     
  3. GoldCoast

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    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.
     
  4. Zarch

    Zarch
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    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.
     
  5. davidegee

    davidegee
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    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.
     
  6. Wo0zy

    Wo0zy
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    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
     
  7. Zarch

    Zarch
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    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!! ;)
     
  8. davidegee

    davidegee
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    I didn't know that.. Potential spanner..
     
  9. Wo0zy

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    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
     
  10. Wo0zy

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    I don't think there's any plans to change the situation either. :(
     
  11. ColinB_NI

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    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:
     
  12. Wo0zy

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    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
     
  13. ColinB_NI

    ColinB_NI
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    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!!:(
     
  14. Wo0zy

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    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
     
  15. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois
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    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?
     
  16. Wo0zy

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    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
     
  17. Croatoan

    Croatoan
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    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.
     
  18. Wo0zy

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    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.
     
  19. Croatoan

    Croatoan
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    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
     
  20. Wo0zy

    Wo0zy
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    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
     
  21. Croatoan

    Croatoan
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    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.
     
  22. Wo0zy

    Wo0zy
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    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
     
  23. Croatoan

    Croatoan
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    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.
     
  24. Wo0zy

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    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 :(.
     
  25. Croatoan

    Croatoan
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    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
     
  26. Wo0zy

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    I've not heard of anyone doing it recently (successfully or otherwise) but http://www.geocities.com/jgeneedid/ is a good starting point.

    I still think new drivers are the best bet but if you can't wait then the ATi card is a good buy.

    Don't expect much from Intel. They will usually just fob you off to the motherboard vendor (and yes I know it's their chipset but they don't see it that way :mad:).

    Cheers,

    Wo0zy
     
  27. Croatoan

    Croatoan
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    Hello Graham,
    Thank you for contacting Intel(R) Technical Support.
    We have not heard of any issues similar to the one you are reporting. We have tested this in our lab and we were not able to reproduce the issue.
    Please visit your motherboard manufacturer or system vendor's webpage and download the latest BIOS update. Installing this will update your VBIOS as well and should facilitate interaction between the graphics controller hardware and the latest drivers. After this is done, please install the latest drivers for your graphics controller, which can be found at this webpage:
    http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Product_Filter.aspx?ProductID=2876
    Are you using any type of converter or adapter by any chance?
    If you feel the issue has been solved, we would really appreciate if you would let us know.


    As useful as ever, marginally better than asus when the last board failed ( as in dead ) they advised me to update the bios.

    On the plus side, decided to err on the side of caution and invest in a rather sedate 3850 pro.

    At £103 cant see a better card on the market.
     
  28. Wo0zy

    Wo0zy
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    That's a far better response than a lot of other people are getting (even in the US).

    Think I might have a hunt around the ASUS site (if it's actually responding today).

    Good luck with the 3850.

    All the best mate.:thumbsup:

    Wo0zy
     
  29. jimwhite

    jimwhite
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    Hi Wo0zy... I've been following your stuff on AVSForums and decided to check out the UK scene since the board I bought (Asus P5E-V HDMI) isn't yet available in the states and I bought it from a UK supplier... I have two major problems with it... (BTW, E4300, 4gb DDR2-800, Vista32 Ult, 157bb drivers for 1440x900 vga and 720p HDMI, Bios 3.07)

    1) Playback of SD DVD's and SD and HD captured TV from VMC play beautifully, very fluid and crystal clear. I installed an LG dual format reader and Nero-8 with Showtime-4 and the HD plugin. Trying to play back HDDVD or Bluray yields a black&white image with splotches of color, mostly blue, here and there (applies to both VGA and HDMI outputs). Note that I inserted an nVidia 8500GT and it works perfectly :( Might you have any ideas???

    2) The same processor and RAM, inserted in an Asus P5Bdeluxe runs at 9x333 for 3 ghz with everything set at AUTO in the bios !! In this board, it won't boot into windows with those settings. There are a LOT more options in this bios and many I'm not familiar with. Can you point me to any resources that might discuss these bios options and/or some overclocking info pertaining to this board or the mATX version?

    I appreciate all you've posted so far and I look forward to your response.:lease:

    :cool:

    Jim White
    Treasure Island, FL, USA
     
  30. Wo0zy

    Wo0zy
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    Hi Jim,

    Welcome to the UK forums :)

    Firstly, thanks for your kind words. I try to help out as HTPC's are not only my hobby but my job and I hate to see people having a bad experience.

    Any knowledge or insite I may have comes from hours of reseaching and testing in my official capacity and from our man Archibael offering his help and advice.

    Anyway, I have to wonder if your first issue is actually more player related than hardware. I'm sure I've read that Showtime doesn't fully suuport Intel IGP's. You could prove this by downloading the Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra trial and seeing how that performs. If it works then we have our answer and I would suggest contacting Nero asking when/if G35 will be supported.

    Failing that, I have to say I'm not a Nero expert but I wonder if there are any HW acceleration options you can play with?

    Regarding your second question, I've only played with the M-ATX board so far and while it seems to have more overclocking capabilities than many M-ATX boards I have to say my results were fairly modest

    http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=543949 gives some examples of people getting far better results than me and even includes a few screenshots of the BIOS settings used. This may be helpful although I can't see anything they've done that I didn't so maybe we've both just been unlucky :(

    Sorry if this isn't massively helpful. Trying PDVD will at least narrow down the search a bit. Once you've done it post back with your findings and we can see what needs to be done next.

    I'm away on business at the moment and only have limited Internet access but will be back up to speed on Wednesday.

    Cheers,

    Wo0zy
     

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