microATX mobo reccomendations?


Active Member

Just been reading this article over at denguru (tomshardware) http://www.denguru.com/2006/02/28/diy_hd_htpc_extravaganza_part2/ which is kind of useful as I am putting together plans for a HTPC for DVD/Dvix/XVid playback (MP3 is 2ndary).

Just wondered if anyone has any microATX mobo reccomendations? Looking for the following features:

-PCI Express
-A64 + A64 X2 support
-Half way decent on-board sound critically :- WITH digital out (optical preferred)

Was thinking of this one:
but I'm not seeing any sort of digital out.

And last of all... anyone get any recos on where to buy microATX boards in the uk?



Active Member
Cheers Dan, yeah house moving does put a stop to everything. I only moved in 8-9 months ago and now I am ready to start re-doing the lounge/dining room completely. Using the opportunity to get everything right :)


Active Member
meansizzler... interesting you recomend the intel processor as I have seen in repeated CPU tests that they always beat the Athlon 64's on video encoding (just losing out on everything else ;)) so I was wondering if they would be preferred for FFDShow shenanigans.

I haven't read up much on this Intel ViiV tech, I am not sure if it is geared towards what I want to do. My thoughts currently are buy a vanilla nVidia 6600 (with passive cooling) and use nVidia purevideo initially to do all the fancy video stuff (de-interlacing, scaling what have you) and then later on when everything is settled try out FFDshow for scaling and cleaning DVD etc and DScaler for de-interlacing sky.

Do you think this ViiV tech enabled mobo would cater to my graphical output needs for the moment? in the same way as purevideo will?

Thanks for the replies guys/gals.

Son of Shaft

Standard Member
I'm planning on building a htpc for my dad and I will most likely use a mATX board with a Geforce 6150 chipset. MSI K8NGM2-FID is on the top of my list. Add some memory and a decent CPU (I'm going for at least an Athlon64 3200+) and you're good to go. Then you have slots left for some tuners if needed. And when VGA cards with HDCP support come out you can use them instead of the onboard when you want to use upcoming gen. HD media (HD-DVD/BluRay).


Active Member
I recently put together an NAS type server using an matx motherboard.

Initially I used a Gigabyte K8N51GMF-9 but had too many system crashes despite updated drivers etc. I can only think it didn't like the ram I was using :confused:

Currently using an Asus A8N-VM which so far hasn't crashed once - touchwood ! This is similar to the MSI, only thing is that you would need to purchase separately an spdif/optical output thingy.




Active Member
Son of shaft: the gefroce 6150 chipset.. is that the onboard graphics? and is it capable of purevideo?

Mikec : I'll perhaps steer clear of that model then for the moment.


Active Member
deksawyer that looks like a bargain and I've had no trouble with msi boards in the past. My only hang up is that's it's not 7.1 as I'd like to drive my 6.1 proc/amp with the analogues but it's no killer.

Will probably move to either the audigy2 ZS from my PC or some new card or other not too far down the line.

good find shaft... I'm kinda taken by the MSI board (K8NGM2-FID) down at the bottom, quite interesting. Also has this 6150 chipset that you sent the link through.. am I getting it right that these boards support purevideo... on-board?

That would be cracking, save me a few pennies for the moment. Leaves me with both audio and video options open for the moment... also means heat is less of an issue.

Thanks again people.


Active Member
I've recently built a HTPC, and went for the A8N VM CSM (6150) based on the Pure Video capability..

But to be honest, after trying all the conventional options for Video Decoding, I've found that the good old ffdshow with resizing/filtering offers the best PQ, although I am using this to drive my 108" screened PJ so you do notice these things..

As for onboard audio, I really think if you want good analogue, go for something well known for it's HiFi, e.g. Audigy... or like me, I use a terratec 7.1 PCI, which has NForce Soundstorm style DD5.1 encoding, so everything can be output via the digital out, although you can get FFDSHOW to encode non ac-3 multichannel streams in software, but this uses CPU power..


Active Member
Thanks again for the further info. I am defo going to go with the 6150 based mobo's now and having read all those links it's still looking like the.

Alfie : I may well have to go down the DIY route with the SPDIF output board, I am however going to wimp out and at least initially attempt to find the add-on board accessory. Cracking links by the way, they'll keep me busy :)

Demon : interesting re: the pq of the 6150 + PV as oppposed to FFDShow. I will certainly be having a go with FFDShow once up and running and will respond with my views. My screen will only be 80" so it might not be so prevalent.

As to the terratec card... I've heard about them before but I wasn't aware they were still purchasable. This getting them (all ouputs) to work with ffdshow (ouput over optical) sounds very interesting.

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