DFI's NF590 and RD580 AM2 Motherboards

With 95% of DFI's shipments being AMD platforms, it's not surprising that the two motherboards we are taking a look at are both AM2 platforms

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DFI's nForce 590 SLI and CrossFire 3200 motherboards are both what you would expect from DFI, the most unique feature being the digital VRM design used on both motherboards. The digital VRM cleans up the layout around the CPU socket and eliminates the possibility of leaky capacitors. The added peace of mind comes at a higher total motherboard cost of course.

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Note the lack of any conventional electrolytic capacitors around the CPU socket.

ASUS' 1S Workstation Motherboards ASRock
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  • shabby - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    Yes i have one, i just dont see the point of sending audio to the tv, and then back out to the reciever when you can do just send it directly from the hddvd/bluray to the reciever instead of from the hddvd to tv then back to reciever.
    Sending audio to one more spot might degrade quality, i said might, so why not send it directly to the reciever?
    Reply
  • ShapeGSX - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    I have an HDTV, and I never use the TV's speakers. Why have HDTV but crap 2 channel audio? Instead, I connect the digital audio to my receiver for 5.1 surround. Reply
  • epsilonparadox - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    If you have an HDTV with more than one HDMI port and a SPDIF out, you can connect multiple HDMI sources to the TV and you can take an optical cable from the TV to your receiver since HDMI carries 5.1 channel audio. Reply
  • TauRusIL - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    Guys, the HDMI cable will go to your receiver carrying both video and audio, then the receiver will send the video out to your HDTV. That's the setup that makes sense to me. No point in sending audio to the HDTV directly. Most newer generation receivers include HDMI switching already. Reply
  • namechamps - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    Lots of people will want to run the HDMI to their HDTV. Just because you dont understand it doesn't mean there isn't a very good reason.

    Here is my setup. I have a cable connection connected directly to the HDTV (cable card slot), and my xbox360 hooked to HDMI. My next project is too add a HD-DVD player and when HDMI video cards become common I will have an HTPC hooked by HDMI also. So I got 4 inputs (cable internal and xbox360, HD-DVD players, HTPC on HDMI) hooked to HDTV. With me so far. Now my TV can play the audio directly (yeah it's 2.1) but there are times when I dont want/need the loudness of my receiver. Late at night or when listening to the news dolby digital 5.1 is just overkill.

    NOW here is the part you dont understand (and therefore quick to bash others). Most HDTV (mine inclded) have SPDIF OUTPUT. If I hit monitor mute on my remote then the TV speakers shutoff and any digital audio goes directly to the SPDIF. So regardless if I am watching terresterial HDTV, HDTV cable, regular cables, HD-DVD, xbox360 or eventially anything from my HTPC the TV bypasses it directly to the SPDIF output.

    So with 1 HDMI cable per source plus only 1 toslink optical cable to my receiver I have hooked up ALL my audio & video gear.

    If I listened to "experts" like yourself then I would have three limitations
    1) much more cables
    2) can't use TV speakers when I just want quiet simple 2.1
    3) no high quality way to handle digital cable, and OTA HDTV without 2 more set top boxes.

    Now the largest advantage to a setup like this is simplicity. Remember you may be an audio/video expert but 90% of consumers are not. With HDMI they can connect EVERYTHING to their TV. If they dont have a home theater system no problem, if they do then they connect 1 cable from TV to receiver and they are done. Compare that to the rats nest of cables behind most entertainment centers and you can see why the industry is pushing HDMI.
    Reply
  • CKDragon - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    OK, legitimate questions here; please don't feel the urge to own me. :P

    1) Let me make sure I understand you, first: With the setup that you describe, it seems that you would have one less HDMI cable and only 1 total SPDIF cable, correct?

    2) Are HDTVs with 4+ HDMI ports common/reasonably priced? I haven't made the HD plunge, but it seems as though most of the ones I browse at have 2.

    3) The method you describe sounds very efficient and I believe I understand the benefits for HDMI components. How do older components that only have analog cables fit into the equation? I'm certain that you could route those through your receiver, but I'd imagine that takes away from the fluidity of your setup. Will the HDTV pass even analog audio signals out to the receiver? In your post, you mentioned digital audio specifically being passed, so I was hoping you could clarify.

    4) The digital audio being passed through the HDTV, does it degrade sound quality at all? I remember years ago when I bought my receiver I had to look for a certain quality specification regarding component video cable switching to make sure that the receiver wouldn't degrade the video signal upon pass through. I was wondering if this was a similar situation.

    Sorry for the length, but if you or anyone else could answer this I'd be appreciative.

    Thanks,
    CK
    Reply
  • namechamps - Thursday, June 8, 2006 - link

    Will try not to own anyone...

    1) Not sure if I understand the question but the total # of HDMI cables = # of HDMI sources. They all connect to the HDTV. There is only 1 SPDIF (optical/toslink) and it runs from HDTV to receiver.

    2) No very expensive. However there are some with 2-3 HDMI that are more reasonably priced. Expect this to change. All future models of HDTV seems to be including more & more HDMI while eliminating DVI, and other ports. I would expect soon most HDTV made will be 3-4 HDMI plus 1 or 2 of each "legacy" port (composite, s-video, component).

    3) My TV will digitize analog audio and route is over the spdif out however I havent ever used that feature. The digital cable from cablecard slot does need to be converted and passed to spdif I assume however I havent experienced any audio issues. Best way to find this out is stay away from Bestbuy and goto a real home theater store. Those AV experts can help you sort through all the options.

    One side not HDMI 1.2 (current version) only supports "single link" and up to 5.1 audio. The newer HDMI 1.3 (being developed) will support "dual link" and more advanced audio like DolbyDigital TrueHD, and a couple others. I dont find this to be a limitation but some users may.

    4) There is no degrading because the signal is digital and the HDTV simply allows it to pass through unchanged. Now if you have analog audio sources there may be more of an issues but I dont know about that.
    Reply
  • ChronoReverse - Monday, June 5, 2006 - link

    If it turns out the low-end Conroes will overclock very well (I suspect they might), an Intel purchase might in the horizon for me (my last Intel chip was a Tualatin).

    I've just sold my Athlon64 mobo and CPU while I can still get a reasonable price for them. If I can't get Conroe for a good price, then I'll pick up the used X2's that should be flooding the For Sale forums =)
    Reply
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