Shuttle XS35GT-V2 - for info only (1 Viewer)

JimCatMP

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  • April 1, 2010
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    Following change in room layout, needed a smaller set up.

    Shuttle Barebones with ION graphics, 64G SSD & 4G RAM. Windows 7 (not bothered to SP it) Pro for testing, from USB (no optical drive installed).

    Installed MP 1.1.3 (have TV server and existing build on 1.1.3) & CCCP 2011-11-11, with PureVision HD 1.1.0.0 skin (best skin I've found and tried lots, including later PureVision).

    Changed sound setting to HDMI with audio, changed BIOS to wake from S3 on USB (for remote), set to auto login, hacked in termserv.dll to allow me concurrent RDP for management via another account and bingo - works.

    1080p from USB disk (old slow 2.5" in a cheap caddy), 1080p from 10/100 network (disabled WiFi), both work fine. Some short term tearing on video if I skip ahead a long way (2hrs), but pick up is prompt.

    Via shared drives, navigation of large movie collection is sluggish - so not for the impatient but perfectly usable.

    Audio is via TV and I'm no audiophile so can't comment other than it's perfectly good for normal operation.

    Low power, silent (with SSD), D255mmxW38mmxH188mm (including stand), very simple mechanical built, apart from OS, drivers& MP, all I've added is CCCP. Adding AV and updates soon.

    Only problem I have - can't seem to get MP to exit via remote, power button puts system to sleep - must be something simple.

    So, can recommend the Shuttle with dual core atom (wanted AMD350 but supplier sold out) and ION graphics.

    Now, need to repackage existing system as very small room friendly NAS - oh hum.;)
     

    JimCatMP

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    Update.

    Bit the bullet partially - update to MP 1.2.1 Final.

    Upgrade, smooth. Change to Avalon skin (BBC Weather plugin support), added info service, all still 100%.

    Not upgraded TV server (still running 1.1.3 as my main client) so cannot confirm TV client, but no reason to assume any problems.
     

    JimCatMP

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    Hi

    Not running actively MediaPortal for test (connecting to machine via LogMeIn and then RDP from my log host) but is is loaded, as is MS Security Essentials, which I added recently.

    So, downloed and tested boxy with DPC. It reports machine as fully capable of running streams without problem.

    Peak latency I've recorded is 1200 microseconds blip with typical sitting south of 200 microseconds, and CPU load at 5%. As said, running over RDP, so not playing media.

    All media is now on Freecomm Dual Drive Network Centre (for money, excellent unit), on 2 x 2T (not raided) drives.

    Still not made full switch to the V2, so not tested TV service from dedicated TV server unit (which feeds SD Freeview via main ethernet to my current 1.1.3 set up without problem), but all testing still indicates the V2 meets my needs.

    From looking at specs side by side, seems only big diffs are 510 vs 525 Atom and DDR2 vs DDR3 RAM.

    Win 7 performance specs run out as

    Proc - 3.5
    Ram - 4.9
    Graphics - 3.3
    Gaming - 4.7
    Disk - 6.8

    Hope this info is of some use to you and good luck finding a way around the stuttering problem.

    J.
     

    logifuse

    Portal Pro
    January 19, 2011
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    Thanks for that. Mine is all yellow & red & it's down to the graphics card/drivers. If I uninstall the video drivers & leave standard VGA, it's back to green bars, but obviously that's useless for actual use.

    I've been very frustrated by the lack of support from Shuttle. So much so, that I pretty much gave up last week & got an Arctic MC001, & now I'm dealing with problems on that. I love the idea of fanless PCs for secondary HTPCs (extenders if you like), but my experience has been a bit of a disaster.

    Oh well, at least I like nutting things out.
     

    JimCatMP

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    Hi

    Sorry to hear your problems persist.:(

    Never had call to use Shuttle support - even though my MP setup was initially a Shuttle XPC (and it's still my TV server - being rescued from garage, coaxed back into life and runs fairly quietly just behind me:)

    Hope you have better luck with the Arctic - while fanless wasn't a prime objective of my change (it's never that quiet where I live), it is nice.

    Once Christmas is over and I have time to make changes, will move to full 1.1.3 setup, running the XS as main host, keeping the Shuttle as TV server (would really like something still smaller here, but TV card is limitation, not keen on USB tuners;)

    TTFN
     

    logifuse

    Portal Pro
    January 19, 2011
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    Well I have had a major breakthrough with the Shuttle! I've fixed the DPC latency thanks to a thread on the Nvidia forums about the same problem in notebooks/laptops. Basically if the adjust 3D settings with preview screen screen in the Nvidia CP is open, the latency disappears, so one guy on the thread came up with a registry entry that replicates that (basically puts the GPU in to high performance mode). I did that & also used an app called Powermizer to eliminate speed changes in the GPU.

    I also learnt that if you want updated Nvidia drivers for the XS35GT/V2, you need to get the ION notebook ones, not the desktop ones, as their hardware IDs have been added to that stream for some reason.

    However I still have a problem with it - MPEG2 over the LAN stutters (AVIs & H.264 are fine). I'm going to try a USB>LAN adapter to see if that fixes it, but I suspect that it might actually be the Nvidia NIC in my server, so I might throw a PCI one in that too. Previously I've had Nvidia NICs all round (ASRock ION gen 1 clients) & hadn't seen any issues, so it may just be comparability between the 2 NICs.

    If it is the NIC on the Shuttle, yours has a different model (gigabit), so you should be fine. MPEG2 via RTSP is fine (strangely), so MP should be OK anyway (I'm trying to use 4TR non-RTSP).

    The Arctic on the other hand... Their support people have emailed me, so we're getting in to a back & forth of testing, but I suspect they've got a major issue. With Nvidia they have tweaked their drivers to have the ION work well (enough) at PCIE x1 speeds (the limit of the 2nd gen Atom platform), but this Arctic is the only ATI/Atom combo I have seen & I don't think ATI have given it any consideration.
     

    logifuse

    Portal Pro
    January 19, 2011
    118
    11
    Sydney
    It was the NIC in my server. Tried a few different driver versions for it & got it working pretty well, but I think I'll replace it anyway.

    That helped my Arctic function a bit better too, but it's still far from perfect.
     

    JimCatMP

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    Update

    Now replaced failing (stock cooler fan issue) 1.1.3 in home made AMD solution with XS35GT-V2.

    Updated TV server from 1.1.3 to 1.2.2 (problem with it wanting WMP 11, just skip that step) which was then 100% clean.

    Did break the codec setup at one point (teach me not to fiddle) - installed SAF, resulted in sound drop out/sync or no video on jump forward (now this could simply be down to my setting - not pointing fingers). Re-installed CCCP and set codecs as follows:

    Video.

    MPEG-2 LAV Video Decoder
    H.264 - ffdshow DXVA Video Decoder
    MPEG/AC3 audio decoder - LAV Audio Decoder
    ACC audio decoder - ffdshow A dui Decoder
    Audio renderer - Default Direct Sound Device (set to HDMI)

    TV

    MPEG-2 - MPC-MPRG-2 Video Decoder (Gabtest)
    H.264 - ffdshow DXVA Video Decoder
    MPEG/AC3 audio decoder - ffdshow Audio Decoder
    LATM ADD+ audio decoder - Microsoft DVT-DVD Audio Decoder
    ACC audio decoder - MONOGRAM AAC Decoder
    Audio renderer - Default Direct Sound Device (set to HDMI)

    DVD - not installed a DVD in unit, so left as default.

    Tested video on

    1) Large (30G) MKV (so very little compression).
    2) Small (4G) MKV at 1080p (so very high compression).
    3) My own MKV files (HDContertToXvid) creations.
    4) mp4 files.

    All work well, some tearing if I scan a long way into file, but otherwise AOK.

    Plugins - ONLY BBC Weather.

    Skin - Avalon (latest) - as this supports BBC weather nicely.

    Performance - scrolling and screen updates in menu's is a lot slower than my AMD rig (but as whole unit, with external NAS now consumes less power than the CPU alone [45 watt unit] in previous unit, it's acceptable).

    Problem in 1.1.3 (and 1.2.0 I think) that folder.jpg not displayed for network shares is fixed (Cord.dll was released but not require).

    Music - playing now, no problems with it (did think there was problem when it reported a MP3 with 3 times its actual duration, but that's the MP3 that's broken - windows thinks it's got weird bit rate, then cock's up duration).

    TV - given it's SD over main ethernet (and not even the fast stuff), seems fine - possible could of video lags this morning but that could have been the source, will monitor.


    Running taskmgr via RDP, playback on video runs the CPU's to between 40 % 60%, RAM never goes over 1.2G (have 4 installed).

    Tested sleep & recover from remote - works well, does not seem to need the 'restart MP on system wake' setting.

    Overall, very satisfied for the moment - would recommend this system for anyone wanting 'simple' front end - would not suggesting running a full fat (fan art, moving pictures, etc etc) MP set up however.

    Hope this is some use.

    J
     

    logifuse

    Portal Pro
    January 19, 2011
    118
    11
    Sydney
    Mine (V1) is running well. I'm running 1.2.1 with Avalon & 4TR 1.6.0.1. TV operates via UNC over the LAN & channel change is very quick.

    I suggest you try the MS DTV-DVD decoder for MPEG2 as it offers hardware acceleration on the ION (MPC doesn't).

    Fortunately you don't need to worry about HD MPEG2 - our HDTV is MPEG2 & the only reliable decoder is the MS one (because of the hardware decoder). I'd prefer to use LAV, but the ION can't handle the HQ settings.

    I don't use MP TV Server, but 4TR has problems with MP 1.2.2 - it might be worth looking at the alternative TS Readers in the experimental TS Reader thread.

    I also had problems with more recent Nvidia drivers. Some live TV channels would struggle to start displaying. I'm now using 261.28 Quadro notebook drivers with a modified inf (so that it will install with my GPU hardware ID) & everything is smooth. These have the DPC Latency PowerMizer Fix registry entry included, which you don't need for the V2, otherwise the Shuttle supplied 257.30 drivers work fine for me.

    I don't find menu navigation that much slower than my main machine, but with video playing, overlays cause stuttering. As I understand it, that's a limitation of the ION2 being connected to the CPU by PCIe x1.
     

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