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MCE Upgrade Mobo reccomendations pls.

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by u9dbg, May 17, 2005.

  1. u9dbg

    u9dbg
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    I built a MCE as a bit of a test and have been running it for about 3 months now and I am very please with the results.

    Current systems specs

    Silverstone LC04 HTPC Case
    Abit KV8 Pro
    AMD 64 3000
    512 Mb RAM
    320 Gig HDD (IDE)
    128MB GeForce FX5200
    Hauppage Nova-T PCI Digital TV Tuner
    Sony DVD-ROM

    My reasons for upgrade are the greater need for dual tuners. Hauppage have finally release stable drivers with dual tuner support for the Nova-T

    However the LC04 only supports 2 risers 1 AGP and 1 PCI. My plans are to go to the LC11 case by silverstone which supports 2 PCI and 1 AGP allowing me to fit in another TV card.

    Here is my problem. The KV8-Pro is a full size ATX motherboard so I need to find a mATX motherboard for the LC11 case.

    I can either continue to use the AMD 64 3000+ processor (Socket 754) or I can us my P4 3.0 Ghz (LGA775), I understand the P4 generates a greater amount of heat and needs more power than the AMD so I would like to stick with that one.

    But I dont know which motherboard to go for. My wish list would be for the following on the motherboard

    Back Panel SPDIF Out and possibly IN
    Onboard gigabit LAN
    Onboard TV-Out

    However that is kinda pie in the sky as many hours of research has yet to come across this or even just SPDIF (optical)

    The other problem is that the mobo has to have 3 pci slots on it for the riser carrd to fit correctly, some of the modern mobo's with PCI-Express ditch the first PCI slot in favor of a the small PCI express slots, and the PCI-Express 16X or what ever it is sits where the AGP port would be.

    This configuration wont work with the LC11 case.

    So does anyone know of any mATX socket 754 mobo's with SPDIF in the back panel?

    Budget is short and I can't afford to buy all new kit as I was considering moving to pentium 4 - M chips but they are well out of budget.

    Thanks in advance

    U9DBG
     
  2. Skunkpipe

    Skunkpipe
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    I spent 18months looking for the sort of boards your after for our products.
    I can recommend boards with TV-out and SDPIF out, but no-gigabit lan - trouble is they're socket 478, 775 or 939 only. And I don't know of any 754 boards that offer TV-out....
    The is a PCI-Express riser for the LC11 - however your mATX board needs the PCI slots in a specific place (next to the PCI16x slot) for the supplied riser to be physically compatible. Again I know of no boards that support what you require and have this correct config.
    You can get flexi pci risers which may allow you to use one of these boards in an LC11 - I haven't been able to try this one out yet (should be able to do so soon when I get the next shipment of LC11's in)
     
  3. u9dbg

    u9dbg
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    Can you point me in the direction of any 775 and 478 boards.

    I currently have a PCI riser with a ribbon cable for my LC04 board as the PCI slots dont sit in the correct position, but this only supports 1 pci device.

    As I mentioned I do have a P4 LGA775 chip, my concerns with using this are heat and noise though.

    TV-Out is not essential, but I would like SPDIF, I can also do without gigabit LAN, but I do need onboard 10/100.

    Cheers

    David
     
  4. Skunkpipe

    Skunkpipe
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    For socket 478 then EQSM45M8-MLF http://www.eqscomputers.com/products/mobo/motherboard.php?model=M45P8-MLF

    for Socket 775 then EQS M55P9-MLF http://www.eqscomputers.com/products/mobo/motherboard.php?model=M55P9-MLF

    Both have oboard Radeon (9200 and X300 respectively) with TV-Out. The 775 board isn't in due in the country for another 2 weeks, and is PCI express with the wrong board layout for a LC11. I use the M45-P8 in my LC11 based applications (it has the added bonus of having firewire also)

    If you've not heard of EQS, their motherboards come off the same production line as Sapphire boards - the main difference between the 2 is that it's difficult to source teh fully loaded sapphire branded version of the boards in the UK
     
  5. Dunkwho

    Dunkwho
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    non-case-changing-alternative ... how about an external usb2 dvb-t tuner? something like the novat-usb2 ??
     
  6. u9dbg

    u9dbg
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    Dunkwho,

    Thanks for the suggestion, I had already considered this however this box sits in my lounge under my TV, I dont want any further boxes under my TV so external options are out.

    Since previouse posts about the EQS motheboards which up until now I have been unaware of, I am now considering keeping the LC04 case and using the socket 478 motherboard with 2 pci risers (which my case supports providing I dont use AGP) and mounting the TV out brackets on the back somewhere. This will require a drill but I think it is going to be my cheapest option.

    Currently looking on ebay for a cheap second hand socket 478 CPU, 2.6Ghz should be enough, I hope.
     
  7. Skunkpipe

    Skunkpipe
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    I've put a few 2.4 celeron machines together with the EQS board - these run perfectly fine
     
  8. u9dbg

    u9dbg
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    Which celeron chips were they the new 533FSB ones or the older 400FSB ones?
     
  9. Skunkpipe

    Skunkpipe
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    I've used both
     
  10. Skunkpipe

    Skunkpipe
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    *UPDATE* Re Socket 754; I've just got off the phone to EQS, and they mentioned that there is a socket 754 version of this board planned; they placed an order yesterday and so should be in the country in about 2 weeks time. I'll let you know the full specs when I have them if you are still interested in a Skt 754 board.
     
  11. u9dbg

    u9dbg
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    Yes socket 754 would be great, I reckon a decent 754 board would save me a case change if it has onboard TV out and spdif
     

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