[mythtv-users] Upgrade Options for $150

Rod Smith mythtv at rodsbooks.com
Wed Jan 24 03:25:52 UTC 2007

On Tuesday 23 January 2007 19:19, Nate Crosno wrote:
> So, to make a long story longer, it looks like my only option is to
> upgrade the MB.  Unfortunately, options are limited for a socket 478.
> I could not find any with built-in DVI or Component out.

I recently ran across this little oddity:


It plugs into an AGP slot and provides S-Video and DVI-D outputs. There's no 
mention in the ad of any drivers, so my hunch is that it doesn't need any; 
however, I've never used this item so I don't know for sure. I also don't 
know if there are any hidden "gotchas." It costs almost as much as an nVidia 
card with these outputs, but if you're desperate to shave a few dollars off 
the price, it might be worth investigating further.

Also, a more general comment: Always pay attention to motherboards' RAM 
requirements and their supported CPU lists. You might or might not be able to 
get away with re-using whatever you've got now. Newer motherboards have an 
annoying tendency to not work with last year's RAM and CPUs. I haven't delved 
into this detail for the boards to which you've linked.

> Option 1. Reuse the P4 with this MB and Video card ($104 shipped)
>     BIOSTAR P4M80-M4 Socket 478 VIA P4M800 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
>     $47 http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813138262
>     Leadtek A6200TDH-128MB GeForce 6200 DDR AGP 4X/8X
>     $43 http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16814122222

I note that this motherboard uses an S3 Unichrome graphics chipset, which is 
supposed to support XvMC. If that would be fast enough for your output, you 
could save $13 (minus shipping, assuming no extra to ship the GeForce board 
from Newegg) by using the adapter. That might be enough to give you budget 
for a RAM or CPU upgrade, if that became necessary. I have no idea if the 
motherboard's video chipset would be adequate for your needs, though, so that 
would give option 1B a lot of question marks.

> Option 2. Forgo the P4 altogether and go AMD:
>     ($133 shipped)
>     AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 2.0GHz Socket 939
>     $59 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16819103535
>     JetWay J939GT3-PTD Socket 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX AMD
>     $60 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16813153047

You obviously wouldn't need the widget I mentioned with this option, and I 
doubt if you'd save enough with another motherboard to make it worth buying 
it in addition to the board, since you'd need a sub-$30 motherboard. This 
option won't provide much, if any, of a speed boost, although the motherboard 
might support more or better CPUs down the road, which could save money on 
future upgrades.

> Option 3.  Suggestions, anyone?

Nothing specific, I'm afraid.

Rod Smith

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