[mythtv-users] System upgrade - 150 (200) to spend

Damian damian at gingermagic.co.uk
Sun Jun 8 20:30:32 UTC 2008

Hello all,

It's a LONG time since I built a machine and I'm completely out of touch 
with recent technology so I'd really appreciate some advice on upgrading 
my Myth system.

Current system:
1.2 Gig Athlon CPU
512 mb memory
Abit KT7-raid motherboard
Nvidia 5200 graphics card with DVI out
300Gb IDE hard drive
A nice powerful PSU (due to old one needing replacing earlier in the year)
A BenQ W100 projector (native 16:9 resolution - 854x480 - I feed it a 
1280x720 signal)

Reason for upgrade:
Computer can't cope with the latest version of Ubuntu and I want to 
stick with Ubuntu/Mythbuntu to provide me with an easy(ish) path to 
keeping up to date with MythTV.

What needs upgrading:
CPU (+fan)
Memory (2 gig?)
Graphics card? (I understand many motherboards come with graphics on 
board these days .. not sure if that's what I want)
Hard drive? (I'd rather not change hard drives unless I have to, but 
I've been told that many motherboards these days don't have IDE so maybe 
it's time to change?)

System use:
-Main network server for the house which lives in the garage (so it 
doesn't have to be 'silent')
-Main FE/BE for mythtv. Several frontends are on the network, but not 
used much when this system is working well.
-Connected to a projector via DVI.
-The projector has native res of 854x480 so HD is not an issue at the 
moment. I'm not sure when I will get around to upgrading my projector. 
It would be good to have a system capable of HD when I get the projector 
for it, but I don't really want to pay extra for a feature that I don't 
need for the foreseeable future.

As ever, I'd like to spend as little as possible. I'm hoping that 150 
will get me a decent upgrade, but can stretch to 200 if needed.

-Setting up the correct resolution with my projector was a nightmare, 
however I did get there in the end with this nvidia card (before the 
ubuntu update broke everything). So, if I buy a motherboard with 
graphics on board, I feel like sticking with nvidia unless someone has a 
really good reason not to.
-As I'm spending on an upgrade, I'd like to really feel the benefit if 
possible. Compis spinny cubes don't mean much, but I like them. Those 
effects are lovely on my laptop. They worked on this current system, but 
it was a struggle so I turned them off.
-The machine is generally left on all of the time, but I'd like the 
option of setting turn on and turn off times and letting Myth control 
this sometimes. Does that narrow down my motherboard choices significantly?
-I used to be a big gamer. I'm not any more, but I like to at least look 
at games from time to time to see how pretty things look these days. 
Don't want to be spending extra money for that though.
-I don't know what Linux/Ubuntu is like when upgrading hardware, but if 
possible, I'd like to not have to reinstall the entire OS from scratch 
if I can avoid it. I'm not sure if that's possible or not or if it just 
means avoid x64.
-I have an old ATX (I think that's what they were called) called which 
is a brick but fine for something hidden away. I'd like to avoid the 
expense of buying a new case if I can but I don't know if standards have 
moved on and that would not be possible.
-I'm based in the UK if that makes any difference to anything.

I think that's about everything. Hope I've not put everyone off by 
writing too much. Just wanted to give as full a picture as I could.

Thanks for your time!

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