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

Damian damian at gingermagic.co.uk
Wed Jun 11 11:21:50 UTC 2008

Gordon McCrae wrote:
> 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
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>> 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.
> Gordon
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Thanks for that Gordon

I'll have a look at what they've got on offer.

I'm happy to build myself, just out of touch with names and specs of things.


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