Nvidia Ion

factory81

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Anyone build any micro ITX HTPC PC's with the Zotec motherboard yet?

Nvidia Ion in general....why not an Atom cpu and an Ion GPU?
 

Adidas4275

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I do not believe there are any ions for sale for end users. The one you are talkng about I believe it will be out.

It will be fun to build with one.
 

CrimandEvil

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Newegg has them but they're the shitty single core version and totally not recommended for HTPC use.
 

factory81

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That and I saw the Acer Revo and was thoroughly impressed by its size, and was wondering if anyone was able to shed any light on to how this Atom chip and Ion GPU would perform in a HTPC environment. Doing 1080p or 720p playback, some light video game usage, web browsing, yeah yeah.
 

Vader

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Let's just hope Intel doesn't push a price premium...so this platform will stay competative. I have dreams about Softsled and ION and taking a sledgehammer to my extenders.
 

morgwon

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Nvidia Ion in general....why not an Atom cpu and an Ion GPU?

That is what the ION platform is. An Intel Atom CPU with NVIDIA 9400m chipset. The advantage with this over the other Atom platforms is the superior chipset but like crimandevil said it won't really stand a chance without a dual core atom at least for 1080p playback. And yes I know I know you can encode shit to work on less power but in general you want at least the dual core atom.
 
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w1retap

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As long as you have a good compliant h.264 encode and you use DXVA or CUDA, the single core atom will be fine coupled with the nvidia 9300. In general, it will work great, even with 1080p encodes.. but for things like Blu-ray or HDDVD where you have PiP and full resolution audio in combination with the high peaking bitrates, it may be too much. I haven't had a chance to mess around with the Ion platform yet, but I've been wanting to get my hands on one. I think I might be building one for someone later on this summer.
 

factory81

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Clips on youtube show a lot of promise I think but they were Nvidia demos and they probably paired it up with a decent CPU.

Never owned an Atom chip and was just wondering if anyone ever went out and made the ultimate mini HTPC
 

pre1014

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http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/28/acer-aspirerevo-review/

In that review is an acer revo with a atom 230 processor. In their testing 1080p movies still played fine (so they say). They only complaint is that flash video didn't play well. Which i can see, but if you use something like xbmc, which will play the flv file with mplayer, not an embedded flash player, hopefully everything will be ok. VDPAU acceleration works in xbmc for linux - and the nvidia atom platform will take advantage of that.
If you look at the pics you see that the external BD player is larger than the entire acer box - effin crazy.
 

factory81

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I know the attention is elsewhere, but I think the "future" is here...Nvidia and Intel really playing ball in the ultra small computing environment with limited power consumption. If you look at the roadmap for Intel's Atom chip, it seems like by 2010 we will have plenty of CPU head room.

This Ion GPU is a serious win for Nvidia. Intel has nothing on them here.
 

CrimandEvil

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http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/28/acer-aspirerevo-review/

In that review is an acer revo with a atom 230 processor. In their testing 1080p movies still played fine (so they say). They only complaint is that flash video didn't play well. Which i can see, but if you use something like xbmc, which will play the flv file with mplayer, not an embedded flash player, hopefully everything will be ok. VDPAU acceleration works in xbmc for linux - and the nvidia atom platform will take advantage of that.
If you look at the pics you see that the external BD player is larger than the entire acer box - effin crazy.
Nvidia has been sending out their review units with Blu Ray movies ripped to the HDD with no copy protection (AACS) so there's much less CPU overhead since no decryption needs to be run in the background. Once you actually put a drive in a system you'll see that a dual core Atom is what you really needed for playback.

(Several previews/reviews had issues playing back a retail Blu Ray disc, they all used a single core Atom. Another thing that will kill performance is going with one memory stick You need dual channel memory enabled for Blu Ray playback.)
 

w1retap

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You don't need dual channel memory.. my nvidia 8200 based ITX setup has single channel and it does just fine.
 

JonDoms

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Didn't Anand say that the USB sleep wake up function doesn't work?
Either way that's a real bummer. Although it shouldn't cost tooo much to leave it on running all the time.
 

Verge

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Another thing that will kill performance is going with one memory stick You need dual channel memory enabled for Blu Ray playback.)

Is this a joke ?



This is incorrect, also incorrect, is the assumption that you need tons of memory in your htpc... Mine has 1g, and plays everything i can find in windows 7.
 

Trepidati0n

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CPU is 8w i think... surely its not that low, some of the test systems are 40+ watts during use.

Unfortunately most of the time when they test low power systems, they make a fatal flaw. They don't get an appropriately sized PSU to ensure that the supply is operating in the 80%+ range. Most of the time when you see they measured 40W, a large chunk in the supply itself :(
 

CrimandEvil

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Is this a joke ?



This is incorrect, also incorrect, is the assumption that you need tons of memory in your htpc... Mine has 1g, and plays everything i can find in windows 7.

Last I checked that is exactly what Nvidia said of it's reference Ion design. That stuttering happens here and there (with disc playback) because of the single channel DDR3 memory configuration.
 

Verge

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Last I checked that is exactly what Nvidia said of it's reference Ion design. That stuttering happens here and there (with disc playback) because of the single channel DDR3 memory configuration.


DDR3 ?
 

pre1014

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Nvidia has been sending out their review units with Blu Ray movies ripped to the HDD with no copy protection (AACS) so there's much less CPU overhead since no decryption needs to be run in the background. Once you actually put a drive in a system you'll see that a dual core Atom is what you really needed for playback.

(Several previews/reviews had issues playing back a retail Blu Ray disc, they all used a single core Atom. Another thing that will kill performance is going with one memory stick You need dual channel memory enabled for Blu Ray playback.)

Ahh, do you have a linky? I just assumed they were using optical media in their review since the first pic shows an external drive hooked to the unit. I guess right now I don't have a 1080p display and would store everything on my media server anyways. But yeah, why even have a question in your mind if the system can handle certain content.
 

CrimandEvil

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Ahh, do you have a linky? I just assumed they were using optical media in their review since the first pic shows an external drive hooked to the unit. I guess right now I don't have a 1080p display and would store everything on my media server anyways. But yeah, why even have a question in your mind if the system can handle certain content.

This is from a ways back, I have read a review that connected a Blu ray drive over USB to it and got stuttering here and there even though the CPU usage was around 50%. Can't think of where that was from but it was recent as of... at least a month ago I think. From the Anand article:
I tried enabling both cores on the Atom processor (NVIDIA shipped the Ion reference with a dual-core Atom 330, but with one core disabled) to see if that could alleviate the CPU utilization concerns. Unfortunately I seemed to have run into an NVIDIA or Cyberlink software issue because I couldn’t get smooth Blu-ray playback on Ion with both cores enabled on the Atom 330.
The site I read that from ran into the same issue and asked Nvidia about it and their response was that it was due to the single channel of DDR3 used in the reference system.

Anyways:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3509&p=2

We took our Casino Royale Blu-ray disc and ran it through AnyDVD HD. We ripped the disc and copied the resulting ~46GB ISO to the Ion’s hard drive. We didn’t have an external Blu-ray drive so this was the best method of being able to watch a Blu-ray on the machine.

As expected, hardware acceleration worked. Casino Royale was encoded in H.264 and the Ion platform decoded it flawlessly. CPU utilization was high averaging between 40 - 50% on a single-core Atom machine with Hyper-Threading enabled:

There were some scenes where the CPU utilization peaked to over 90%. While we didn’t see any dropped frames, keep in mind that we’ve already decrypted the disc; the CPU is actually doing less here than if we were playing a Blu-ray disc directly from a drive. I suspect that playing back encrypted content it is possible for the Ion platform to drop frames if CPU utilization jumps out of its comfortable 40 - 50% average.
So yes, based on that I'm very willing to say that if you want to connect a SATA Blu Ray drive to it you'll need a 330 for disc based playback. Anand also mentioned that Nvidia has been sending out review units with a scene from The Dark Knight ripped to it and from all the newer Ion reviews it seems they're still doing this.
 
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CrimandEvil

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The reference design... something you cannot purchase... is applicable to the end consumer like me in what way ?

:rolleyes: Because it's still an indicator of performance. Seriously? You think Ion performance exists in a vacuum? It's going to be pretty much the exact same hardware (Ion supports both DDR2 and DDR3 so it's up to the OEM to implement it). I said there were some issues with the reference system that NV has been handing out, a handful of performance issues that have also been noticed in retail systems.

What's your point? :rolleyes:
 

Trepidati0n

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:rolleyes: Because it's still an indicator of performance. Seriously? You think Ion performance exists in a vacuum? It's going to be pretty much the exact same hardware (Ion supports both DDR2 and DDR3 so it's up to the OEM to implement it). I said there were some issues with the reference system that NV has been handing out, a handful of performance issues that have also been noticed in retail systems.

What's your point? :rolleyes:

I was going to post the same thing, but them I remembered your title and figured you would do it. :D
 

CrimandEvil

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I was going to post the same thing, but them I remembered your title and figured you would do it. :D

lol Me and Wiretap it seems. :D

I think it makes plenty sense that he can run his single channel while Ion needs dual to properly work, he's using a much fast CPU that can pick up any "slack" while Atom needs all the help it can get.
 

Verge

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:rolleyes: Because it's still an indicator of performance. Seriously? You think Ion performance exists in a vacuum? It's going to be pretty much the exact same hardware (Ion supports both DDR2 and DDR3 so it's up to the OEM to implement it). I said there were some issues with the reference system that NV has been handing out, a handful of performance issues that have also been noticed in retail systems.

What's your point? :rolleyes:


I'm not making a point, it's a forum, where people discuss things. Why do you think an oem would go for ddr3 if there are problems with the reference design ? Isn't ddr3 a bit more expensive than 2... not sure why you need it for an atom.
 
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