[mythtv-users] Backend Hardware Choices: MB; Capture Card; U-ATA

Jeff Walther trag at io.com
Thu Jun 26 02:48:18 UTC 2008

I've numbered the actual questions so they're easy to pick out.

Any experience or thoughts on the following motherboards?  (I 
need/want 5 PCI slots.)   Also, I would appreciate any enlightenment 
about the relative benefits of the chipsets involved.

1)  MSI P45 Neo3-FR, LGA 775,  Intel P45 Northbridge.  $100   Seems 
fairly modern to my ignorant mind but has only 4 PCI slots and one 

2)  GIGABYTE GA-P35-S3G, LGA 775, Intel P35 Northbridge.  $75    Also 
appears fairly up to date.  Has one more PCI slot than the above so 
suits needs nicely, mostly.   Also $25 cheaper than above, but is P45 
better than P35 in any measurable way?

3)  SUPERMICRO MBD-PDSMA+-O, LGA 775, Intel 3000 Northbridge, $181 
It has a PCI-X slot (64 bits X 133MHz), which is useful for the Acard 
6897 ATA card.   It also has 5 other PCI slots and Wake-on-LAN.   Is 
it based on older technology?  It slower DDR2 memory and slower 
frontside bus speeds available.   There are two gigabit LAN chips, 
although I'm not sure what use I'd make of a second one.

4)  ASRock Penryn1600SLI-110dB, LGA 775, NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI 
Northbridge $100
Only 3 PCI slots (but sort of 3 PCIe X16 slots), so I would 
absolutely have to find one (and preferably two) PCIe based tuner 
cards in order to use this board.   It has two built-in PATA 
channels, so I might dispense with the AEC-6897 or switch to 6880.

I plan to use four ATSC tuner cards, although one analog capable card 
would be nice for converting old VHS material.   I have my eye on the 
KWorld ATSC 115, which is a PCI card.  The Wiki says it works (all 
our local stations are available in OTA DT) and it is only $35 at 

But using one or more PCIe cards (in place of ATSC 115s) would open 
up my motherboard options.   It appears that I could get one or more 
Hauppauge HVR-1800 ($100) or HVR-1250 ($50), but as long as I'm 
spending more than for the KWorld, it would be nice to have a card 
which supports analog capture and mpeg2 conversion ability.

5)  Is the Wiki info that the analog portion of the HVR-1800 is not 
yet supported still current?

6)  Is there any support for the ATI PCIe TV Wonder 650-based cards?

There seem to be half a dozen different makes of card based on that 
chipset, but while I could find discussion of the PCI TV Wonder 
cards, I didn't see any mention of the newer PCIe based TV Wonder 

For example, this one ( MSI Video Device Theater 650PRO):
looks interesting.

I have a bunch of PATA drives (5 Seagate 750 GB, 2 Seagate 650 GB) 
already on hand but most motherboards only come with one PATA channel 
these days.   I also have some Acard 6897 and 6880 cards on hand. 
The 6897 has four U-ATA channels and the 6880 has two.   Also, the 
6897 supports PCI-X (66 MHz, 64 bit wide PCI slot, which was quickly 
supplanted by PCIe).

7)  Acard lists Redhat support for the 6897.    Is it likely to work 
under Ubuntu as well?  Anyone tried one?

8)  Will the additional bandwidth of a PCI-X slot versus a regular 
PCI (32b X 33MHz) slot make any difference to a MythTV backend?

9)  Is it true that it is best to stick to one drive per ATA channel 
under Linux?

I would like to use Ubuntu on my back end because I'm planning to use 
an Apple TV as my first Front End, so I'll be installing Ubuntu 
there, because of the nice instructions.    Therefore it seems like a 
good idea to also use Ubuntu on my backend.

Thank you for any helpful or humorous information.  And if you've 
read this far, thank you for your patience.  :-)

Jeff Walther

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