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Please recomend a motherboard and cpu

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by northernmunki, May 30, 2005.

  1. northernmunki

    northernmunki
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    Hi

    Can you help me chose a motherboard and CPU to fit in my Silverstone LC02 case. I have ITX at present but will take ATX. Im running media centre 2005 and would like on-board graphics to save PCI slots for capture/dtv cards in the future. Is this worth it? Any tv i have in the future will have VGA interface (lcd or plasma 32-37") so i presume even basic on-board graphics cards will be sufficient? Silent running is preferred but as I found with my fanless Via ME6000 (600MHz) its too slow.

    Please help!

    Cheers
     
  2. stuartmc

    stuartmc
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    Take a look at the MCE FAQ I added a list of onboard video we have tested with MCE. We like Optronix as they have a couple of good boards that also include digital audio out on the back panel. They do either a 478 based with IGP9100 or a socket 939 with X300SE on board. Both offer composite and s-video out on an add-on back-plate. For the ultimate quiet motherboard (also read expensive) you need the new AOpen i915Mm-HFS which uses a Centrino processor. Also has DVI-I, and component video as well as VGA and co-ax and optical audio in/out with intel hi-def audio.
     
  3. northernmunki

    northernmunki
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    cheers,

    what would be the lowest speed recomended for mce2005? My via me6000 600mhz is a bit too slow at the moment even for browsing my music thumbnails.

    Im also wanting to buy a plasma or large lcd, do i really need analogue outputs (rgb / composite) or is standard pc VGA better? DVI is going to future proof but i guess im better to get a pci type card to handle this if needed.
     
  4. stuartmc

    stuartmc
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    Microsoft's spec is pretty low but we wouldn't like to sell a Media Center with less than 2.8GHz although even a Celeron is fine at this speed. The new 3.06 GHz 533FSB Celeron is a great value processor.

    On the output front most displays will have VGA input and that is fine. The thing to look for on displays though is get at least 720 lines of vertical resolution. Most cheaper displays are only 480 lines which just doesn't look good. The extra cost is well worth it. A 1280 x 760 WXGA is just right even though it is actually 15:9 not 16:9.
     
  5. northernmunki

    northernmunki
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    Thanks for the reply, what sort of motherboard would you suggest for this processor? More speed means more heat and more noise!

    If its so easy to use vga for video display why do people have many dilemas and discussions over video cards for htpc's.
     
  6. Skunkpipe

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    Optronix are rebranded EQS boards which are sometimes cheaper. There's a socket 754 and 775 versions of their ATI chipset boards out imminently
     
  7. evolution400

    evolution400
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    My brother has an AMD 1700 XP it runs fine no issues at all I am running an AMD XP mobile overclocked to 2.4Ghz which is approx 3400 in AMD terms.
    More speed doesn't nessesarily mean more noise as my brother has an older CPU and has to have his fan set on nearly max because some of the older AMD's run very hot I have a large heat sink on my CPU with an manual fan controller which I can adjust as I want I then have a pyramid device to control all my case fans automatically by temperature. When I am wathcing TV I honestly cant here any of the fans and no I dont have the volume urnied up to drown them out :)
    If your getting a new system I would either go for the XP mobile because its unlocked and you can overclock it as high as 2.6ghz - 3600 for a reasonable price or go for an AMD socket 939 64 because they run very cool even the standard fan is sufficient !
    motherboard I would use Epox, Abit or DFI lanparty.
    If youw ant a Socket A(AMD XP Mobile chip) then I would recomend an Nforce 2 chipset based board such as DFI LanParty nFII Ultra-B.
    If you want to go for 64 bit CPU
    DFI LanParty UT NF4 Ultra-D (Socket 939) PCI-Express Motherboard
    The above board has exceelnt smart fan contorl built in !
    I sugested both boards as DFI lanparty because I have found them to be best value and have most features.
    www.quietpc.co.uk if for all your silencing needs.
    Hope thats of some help.
     
  8. Maff et1

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    This might be of interest: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/72899/aopen-i915gmmhfs.html

    Takes a pentium M - costs more but runs cool (therefore queit) and uses less power.

    Onboard sockets include VGA, DVI, S-Video and component. There 7.1 sound (or support for 2 optical audio links) and dual gigabit ethernet.

    At micro ATX its not much larger then the mini ITX board you already have.

    Looks to be a seriously funky board, and the perfect choice for MCE.
     
  9. Endeavour

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    I would suggest going for board with a 939 socket and one of the newer 90nm based Athlon64 chips (Venice or Winchester). These run cooler than their predecessors and the Intel equivalents and support Athlon's Cool'n'Quiet functions. The Pentium M is an interesting option and runs faster than the clock speeds suggest. I was quite interested until I saw the chip prices which are plain scary.

    Most 939 based boards will support Cool'n'Quiet and will be compatible with the upcoming dual-core Athlon64x2 chips giving good future proofing. Nforce4 based motherboards are the latest type and support PCI Express. Some support SLI which means you can fit 2 graphics cards which is great for gamers but probably not for HTPC use. Two things to watch out for are:

    a) PCI-E boards are not generous with PCI slots so if you have 2 tuners, a sweetspot, soundcard etc you might want to look at an AGP based NForce3 instead

    b) Some manufacturers fit fans on the board to cool the chipset. I have seen reviews where these have been singled out as sources of noise.
     
  10. pragmatic

    pragmatic
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    Apparently the new Venice (and Santiago as there the same just one has more l2 on board memory) run very cool and the 3.2 and 3.5 both oc to about the same level if thats your stuff. Look at quite pc for quiet coolers, although the artic cooling do a cheapish cooler which is silent and will be more than enough for Venice chip, its only about 16 which is good for such a quiet cooler.

    If you need a dual tuner you can get a few cards which have dual tuners onboard.

    You can get a motherboard chipset heat sink, which when combined with decent ventilation will provide a silent solution to cheap nasty little motherboard fans.

    Some motherboards have gfx cards build onto them with the sound and everything else, so if games (pretty much anything 3d from the last 3 years) you’d need to use a gfx card.

    Sli only works with pci-express motherboards which have SLI, and you have to get two matching cards (exactly the same model manufacturer ect). Probably not worth the bother though, especially if you want a quiet pc.

    I personally would say that the Pentium M solution suggested above would be more than capable for a HTPC. If you don't play games it has everything onboard, including a component and dvi out, which is the first I’ve seen for an integrated motherboard solution.

    If you do play games then it gets even better, put a decent gfx card in there and it will perform better than, well anything else available, as long as you get a decent Pentium m chip or over clock a slower one.

    I wouldn't touch a normal Pentium 4 though as they are hot, noisy (well the fan will be), expensive (probably not as much as the Pentium m though) and there performance at everything but video encoding is pretty poor in comparison to equivalent competitor products and for price range.

    Celeron, well if you want to save money go for either a lower clocked Pentium 4 or a semphron, as they will actually be able to do things (a bit derogatory but it has been a while since Celerons were anywhere near good)


    I'd say, as quiet as possible but have money to spend, go for a petium m.
    Best value for money is probably a Althon 64 Venice 3200, while still possible to make it quite through after market coolers.
     

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