[mythtv-users] Re: Suggestion for using nforce2 board for MythTV HTPC.

Jason S jms_temp at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 15 23:19:33 EST 2004

I knew somebody out there was going to eventually
write about this topic... I've wasted more hours of my
then I care to recount. I've considered putting up a
web site to help the other guys walking through this
same process... picking out a great board is not easy!
I wanted microAtx to fit in my center, and wanted to
use all 3 PCI slots for 2 tuners and an 802.11g
wireless card. And I wanted it to be cheap and run
cool (i.e., silent!) meaning I didn't want to add a
dedicated video or sound card since it isn't

Hopefully this email will help to clear up some of the

1)The MK79G-N is NOT a uATX, it's ATX. And it doesn't
have the MCP-T chipset, meaning it doesn't support
native AC3 (dolby) decoding. It ALSO doesn't have an
SPDIF cable, meaning you can't output digital audio to
a decoder. Not ideal. (One guy mentioned having the
board, possibly the one he has doesn't match the
current manufacturer's specs, I don't know). 

2) Joseph Caputo's right about the MK79G-1394, it's
not sold in the US anywhere. In fact, if you ask the
manufacturer they told me they don't make it anymore,
despite the fact it's still on their site. 

3) He and others are also right in that it's the ONLY
microATX motherboard with: SPDIF, AC3 decoding, and

If you don't care about the SPDIF, you could buy the
Asus A7N266-VM inexpensively. The new Chaintech 7NIF2
boards also ship with an AC3 compatible decoder, and
they stopped populating the SPDIF. (The older boards
have only 4-channel sound but support SPDIF), see
older posts or the Newegg reviews for more). 

If you don't want built-in TV-out, Shuttle's MN31N or
the old Biostar M7NCG (NOT the 400) would be good

If you don't care about built-in AC3 decoding, you can
choose from plenty of uATX IGP/MCP boards, such as
Biostar M7NCG 400, Albatron KM18G, MSI K7N2GM-L,
Leadtek K7NCR18GM (which was reported on this list to
have ghosting), or Asus A7N8X-VM. One key factor to
consider: if you'd be able to track down the needed
TV-out and SPDIF brackets. I bought the Biostar for
that reason (it ships from Newegg with the TV-out and
I found a useable SPDIF I think) and it's got a solid

One more tip: If you want to pursue one of those
boards, I found out that most vendors will sell you
the necessary bracket directly, usually for $10 or

Also: I believe it's not necessary to HAVE the
built-in AC3... if you use the SPDIF cable to pass the
digital stream to your stereo receiver, you can just
use it's native Dolby decoder. You only need the
decoder if your receiver doesn't support it (and I
can't imagine any reputable one's that don't) or maybe
if you are driving your own speakers. 

Hopefully this will help some people out there, please
feel free to email me if you have any questions on
these motherboards. It would be cool if there was
somewhere on the PVR hardware site that this sort of
information could be made readily available to
people... this sort of stuff ISN'T in the database or
found without a ton of effort on the web. Take care...

- Jason Syversen

Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail - More reliable, more storage, less spam

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list