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need micro-atx mobo & advice plz

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January 17, 2005 11:38:58 PM

Hi,
I am searching for a micro-atx mobo with a few specifications. The mobo is aimed for a rather simple HTPC.
It needs to be a micro-atx cause I am interested in keeping minimal case size. The mobo needs a number of key elements -
1. spdif out (so i can output digital sound from dvds)
2. at least one pci slot
3. onboard graphics no need for an agp slot (not aimed for any type of gaming)
4.onboard lan (optional)
5.as cheap as possible :) 

I would also want to ask if anyone knows if there is a way to make my main display a tv or projector without getting a graphic card with a tv-out (s-video/composite), but rather convert the onboard vga connecter to s-video/composite.
The system has no need to use a tv as a secondary display, it will always remain the primary display, so perhaps some kind of converter will allow me to do without an additional graphic card.

if anyone can also suggest a satisfactory cpu for this type of use that would be nice as well. The rigg will be mainly for viewing dvds,divx/xvid,mp3 and cd playback. In addition I intend to add a PVR card to allow me to record tv shows.
thanks for any suggestion.


Asus P4800 Deluxe - 3.0C - 4X256MB corsair twinx - 6800GT 256mb - sata w/8mb 160gb - 120gb w/8mb - Thermaltake purepower 480w - Thermaltake XaserIII
a b V Motherboard
January 18, 2005 2:17:55 AM

Most good Micro ATX boards have 3 PCI and 1 AGP slot. Asus offers a TV-Out card for some of their onboard video, it fits in the AGP slot but contains no processor. It cost nearly as much as a cheap video card!

Having said that, <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Here's a good motherboard with onboard TV-Out</A>, but it doesn't have S/P-DIF, so you'll be left hunting down a $30 soundcard to get that feature.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
January 19, 2005 3:56:46 PM

thanks...
you know of any other mobos like that which include an spdif out? if not... do you have any suggestions for a card to fill the position? :) 
on to other things...
what cpu and ram would you go for?
thanks again.

Asus P4800 Deluxe - 3.0C - 4X256MB corsair twinx - 6800GT 256mb - sata w/8mb 160gb - 120gb w/8mb - Thermaltake purepower 480w - Thermaltake XaserIII
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a b V Motherboard
January 19, 2005 11:36:29 PM

I think Biostar might have had a board with both TV-Out and S/P-DIF, but I couldn't find it.

I'd go with an Athlon XP processor because of the good performance, reasonable heat output, low price, and wider availability of motherboards. Also the nForce2 integrated video is fairly good.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
January 19, 2005 11:43:12 PM

would an athlon xp 1700+ be sufficent?
i just saw someone selling a used one for a good deal.
what about ram? 128 or 256?
thanks.

Asus P4800 Deluxe - 3.0C - 4X256MB corsair twinx - 6800GT 256mb - sata w/8mb 160gb - 120gb w/8mb - Thermaltake purepower 480w - Thermaltake XaserIII
a b V Motherboard
January 19, 2005 11:50:48 PM

A 1700+ would be pleanty, but I'd rather have a .13 micron version and I don't think there were any .13 micron 1700+'s.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
January 19, 2005 11:53:48 PM

what about ram? :-)

Asus P4800 Deluxe - 3.0C - 4X256MB corsair twinx - 6800GT 256mb - sata w/8mb 160gb - 120gb w/8mb - Thermaltake purepower 480w - Thermaltake XaserIII<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by kopykat on 01/19/05 09:18 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
a b V Motherboard
January 20, 2005 2:19:11 AM

PC3200 or PC2700, whichever's cheaper.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
January 20, 2005 2:21:45 AM

128mb or 256mb?

Asus P4800 Deluxe - 3.0C - 4X256MB corsair twinx - 6800GT 256mb - sata w/8mb 160gb - 120gb w/8mb - Thermaltake purepower 480w - Thermaltake XaserIII
a b V Motherboard
January 20, 2005 4:23:10 AM

What OS? 98SE runs fine one 128MB, XP needs at least 256MB to run "right", but 512MB is much better for XP.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
January 20, 2005 11:14:52 PM

in that case... 512mb it is
thanks for all your help crashman, i really appreciate it!

Asus P4800 Deluxe - 3.0C - 4X256MB corsair twinx - 6800GT 256mb - sata w/8mb 160gb - 120gb w/8mb - Thermaltake purepower 480w - Thermaltake XaserIII
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