HTPC based on new MSI Media Live Diva mobo

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HTPC based on new MSI Media Live Diva mobo

Postposted on Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:08 am

So, I noticed that MSI has come out with a new motherboard based on AMD's Live platform - the strangely named MSI Media Live Diva, with a 780M (mobile version of 780G) chipset. It's an AM2+ board with a midrange receiver class audio chip (D2Audio). Not many reviews out, but there is a great thread at AVSForum.com.

Gerbils, what do you think about this HTPC build? Just watching, no gaming at all. Maybe some transcoding, but that can be done overnight.

Case: Antec Fusion Remote Black $150
Mobo: MSI Media Live Diva $190
CPU: AMD Athlon X2 4850e $60
Memory: Crucial 2x2GB DDR2 800 kit $55
HD: WD Caviar Green 1TB $110
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium $100

Question: Blu-Ray drive ($99) or no? If not, then a cheap DVD burner ($25)

Total: $690 or $755 at Newegg

Comments? Thanks!
mentaldrano
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Re: HTPC based on new MSI Media Live Diva mobo

Postposted on Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:56 am

Eh? Why not just go with a everyday motherboard and use a optical link to a stand alone receiver?
Skrying
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Re: HTPC based on new MSI Media Live Diva mobo

Postposted on Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:15 am

Because I don't have a receiver, and from the way this sounds, I won't need one.
mentaldrano
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Re: HTPC based on new MSI Media Live Diva mobo

Postposted on Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:07 am

Two thing about Blu-ray.
* Will that CPU decode 1080p on the fly as you don't have a GFX to off load it on?
* Is everything trusted? HDCP protection, etc... Blu-ray is a pain in the ass if your not careful. Make sure the Drive include playback software.
"What luck for rulers, that men do not think"
Pax-UX
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Re: HTPC based on new MSI Media Live Diva mobo

Postposted on Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:28 am

Pax-UX wrote:Two thing about Blu-ray.
* Will that CPU decode 1080p on the fly as you don't have a GFX to off load it on?
* Is everything trusted? HDCP protection, etc... Blu-ray is a pain in the ass if your not careful. Make sure the Drive include playback software.


The integrated should handle the video decode.

mentaldrano wrote:Because I don't have a receiver, and from the way this sounds, I won't need one.


But on the topic of a receiver, for the the cost difference of this motherboard ($120 greater than a otherwise superior Foxconn) you could start looking at a decent low end receiver. That also means if you ever want to upgrade you won't be stuck going with another similar motherboard (if another is ever made) or having to buy a receiver then. Additionally, if you use other devices (such as a gaming console, etc) you would have the nice benefits of a receiver with that regard.
Skrying
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Re: HTPC based on new MSI Media Live Diva mobo

Postposted on Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:11 am

Pax-UX wrote:Two thing about Blu-ray.
* Will that CPU decode 1080p on the fly as you don't have a GFX to off load it on?
* Is everything trusted? HDCP protection, etc... Blu-ray is a pain in the ass if your not careful. Make sure the Drive include playback software.


The 780G (or 780M, or 790GX) should handle the video decode with AMD's UVD - see the TR chipset review here (thanks Geoff!). Even with hardware assist, it still takes about 40% CPU, so I'm kind of lowballing here.


Skrying wrote:But on the topic of a receiver, for the the cost difference of this motherboard ($120 greater than a otherwise superior Foxconn) you could start looking at a decent low end receiver. That also means if you ever want to upgrade you won't be stuck going with another similar motherboard (if another is ever made) or having to buy a receiver then. Additionally, if you use other devices (such as a gaming console, etc) you would have the nice benefits of a receiver with that regard.


One can buy a decent receiver for $120? I don't mean to be too skeptical, but could you make a recommendation? If I could knock that much off the mobo, I'd spring for a power-efficient Phenom 9350e. I do have a PS2 and a Wii, but no speakers yet other than those attached to my Sony Bravia LCD. The HTPC was going to be the foundation, followed by decent speakers.
mentaldrano
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Re: HTPC based on new MSI Media Live Diva mobo

Postposted on Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:38 pm

Been rather busy so I haven't been able to do a lot of searching. But my receiver, a fairly basic but wonderful for my usage, a Pioneer model was $150 and has been replaced since with a model with HDMI. Onkyo has their TX-SR506 model with HDMI and some nice features and it is currently listed at $200 on Amazon. I think with a bit more searching some better deals could possibly be had, so I was a bit quick (and slightly to optimistic maybe) but you certainly can get towards a good receiver in the $150 to $200 range.
Skrying
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