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

Gordon McCrae gordon-mccrae at bluebottle.com
Mon Jun 9 17:32:26 UTC 2008

Damian wrote:
> Gordon McCrae wrote:
>> Damian wrote:
>>> 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)
>>> Motherboard
>>> 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.
>>> Funds:
>>> 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.
>>> Notes:
>>> -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!
>>> Damian
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> mythtv-users mailing list
>>> mythtv-users at mythtv.org
>>> http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
>> You could do worse than checking out Novatech 
>> (http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/barebones.html), for 150 you'll get 
>> Core2 Duo E2180 / 2Gb built and tested, all you need to do is add 
>> optical and storage drives. Alternatively for 200, you could get a Dual 
>> Core E4600 / 2Gb. You can get cheaper again from overclockers, but then 
>> the onus is more on you to ensure you've matched components etc., and 
>> you've already said it's been a while .....
>> Gordon
> Thanks for that Gordon,
> I'll take a look.
> The main thing I think when I look at those is that within the 150/200 
> I'm buying a case and PSU that I don't need. Surely I would get more for 
> my money just buying the CPU, motherboard and memory?
> However, the page you sent me does give me a good quick glance look at 
> the 'rank' of new systems, so I could buy the bits I need from 
> Overclockers. I used them last time I built a machine.
> Thanks for your help!
Novatech also do pre-built motherboards with CPU and RAM, I suggested 
the full version as you seemed to suggest it had been a while since you 
built a system. 105 will get you decent MB with RAM and CPU ready to 
pop into a case all tested.


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