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ASRock P4VM890. Socket 478 + PCI-E x16?

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February 24, 2007 10:41:31 PM

This motherboard should work with my old Prescott 2.4 socket 478 from my gf's Dell Dimension, which doesn't even have an AGP slot and uses only slow PC2700. It has a PCI-E x16 slot, sata, plenty of PCI slots, and I think it's perfect for my HTPC. Seeking opinions...

A) Worth $50?
B) Worth getting 2gigs value ram for about $150
C) Worth dropping a 7600GT into?
D) Will this work with newer Core2Duo processors? I've seen some listed (I think they're mobile procs) for socket 478...
February 25, 2007 5:31:53 AM

No, it will not work with anything other than Desktop Intel Pentium 4, northwood, prescott and the corresponding Celerons of those type. The old Mobile Celeron and Pentium 4 might also work as they are pin compatible with the desktop series, but ever since Intel went to the Pentium M, the mobile chips do not work on the desktop motherboard, unless it is a mobo specifically made to run these types of mobile chips (which the board in question is not).

If you want to get more life out of the old socket 478, then I guess it's not a terrible buy, but saddling new highend PCIe cards with an old P4 is just asking for poor performance, as the CPU will seriously hold you back (although with a decent cooler you could probably pinmod that Prescott to 3.6GHz/800fsb, which should provide decent power for most graphcis cards). If you were looking at entery level and slightly above graphics cards for PCIe, then it would probably be enough CPU to get the job done, but that level of GPU performance can also easily be had on an AGP mobo.

If you're going to need to add a better GPU than the onboard graphics on that Dell, and it has to be something better than a PCI Geforce 6200 can handle, and if you can't afford to or simply do not want to spend more money than that to perform a more complete upgrade to a newer socket and cpu (and possibly ram), then it might make sense to buy. At least, it makes more sense to buy that board than an AGP board, but either way you're still stuck with outdated technology (ie socket 478).
February 25, 2007 5:36:17 AM

Yeah I know. Only considering it for an HTPC or server system. Always wonder though what kind of gaming performance I might get out of a system, regardless. :-) LAN party anyone? Soon I hope to have a few decent systems up and running that can all play today's games well. Cept for real real high end ones maybe. Like Oblivion. Those might lag a lil on my lower end systems.
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February 25, 2007 5:57:06 AM

For a general file server, I usually run them without monitors. :p 

For an HTPC, I guess it depends on whether you want an HD connection from the PC to the TV, or if you can settle for a standard TV-out resolution of 640x480 (that's the TV's natural resolution, most TV-outs on graphics cards "display" up to 1024x768, but I've found that setting the GPU to output 640x480, while admittedly making everything HUGE, it offers much better readability of the texts displayed).

That being said, for a super-cheap HTPC, I would recommend a PCI Geforce 6200 or an older FX5200 with a TV out connection; DVI output and passive cooling would also be a plus (look on Ebay for them, should be able to snag one for $35-$75)). Plug one of these into the current Dell, add in a Leadtek Winfast TV2000 XP Expert video capture card (far and away the best software card) for less than $50, and you sir, have one hell of an HTPC. The best thing about using the Winfast card is you can directly record into .wmv format (as well as many other different codecs) to save tons of hard drive space, something those mpeg-2 hardware capture cards cannot boast about. Your current CPU will have enough power to record 1400kbps .wmv easily as well, and as long as that Dell has 512MB ram, you'll be good to go (the Winfast capture card can actually get by with only 256MB system ram, but that's cutting it close--the capture program uses about 100MB ram when capturing). Speaking of the software, it will wake itself up out of standby or hibernation to record your programs, and will go back to sleep when finished, and it works seemlessly with Titan TV's online TV guide (one click record scheduling). The included remote can also turn off the computer. And the best thing about using that Dell is that it's quiet, and it has a functional S3 standby mode (something I know the Asrock board does not).

If your GF doesn't plan on hooking up the HTPC to a TV or to a monitor that needs a DVI connection, there's nothing wrong with using the integrated graphics.

That's the basic foundation of my own HTPC, and honestly, it's awsome what it can do. Add in a cheap $30 DVD burner, and you won't be disappointed in the least. For a total cost of $100-$150 it is without a doubt the most economical HTPC upgade route. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or want any more suggestion on building an effective and incredibly economical HTPC.
February 25, 2007 7:01:38 AM

Quote:
For a general file server, I usually run them without monitors. :p 

Planned on using the VGA port on one of my screens, or else my old CRT. Can't wait to get a new house. Soon. Very soon.
Also, I don't care if it's on 24-7 as long as it's low efficiency. I was gonna try to figure out "wake on lan" and see if I could get it to work.
Quote:
For an HTPC, I guess it depends on whether you want an HD connection from the PC to the TV, or if you can settle for a standard TV-out resolution of 640x480 (that's the TV's natural resolution, most TV-outs on graphics cards "display" up to 1024x768, but I've found that setting the GPU to output 640x480, while admittedly making everything HUGE, it offers much better readability of the texts displayed).

On my 55" it better damn well be HD. :-P
Quote:
That being said, for a super-cheap HTPC, I would recommend a PCI Geforce 6200 or an older FX5200 with a TV out connection; DVI output and passive cooling would also be a plus (look on Ebay for them, should be able to snag one for $35-$75)). Plug one of these into the current Dell, add in a Leadtek Winfast TV2000 XP Expert video capture card (far and away the best software card) for less than $50, and you sir, have one hell of an HTPC. The best thing about using the Winfast card is you can directly record into .wmv format (as well as many other different codecs) to save tons of hard drive space, something those mpeg-2 hardware capture cards cannot boast about. Your current CPU will have enough power to record 1400kbps .wmv easily as well, and as long as that Dell has 512MB ram, you'll be good to go (the Winfast capture card can actually get by with only 256MB system ram, but that's cutting it close--the capture program uses about 100MB ram when capturing)

Encoding isn't really a problem since I have both an FX-60 939 computer with 2 gigs of ram and an FX-55 mATX system, also with two gigs. The mATX mobo has a 6150 onboard and the other is getting an 8800 soon I think. I was just looking at rackmount cabinets, I was thinking about getting a 12U for about $500 and tossing in 3 4U's. That'd give me a nice platform for hosting LAN parties, don't you think? Money IS an object for me, but my GF is pumping out some good cash (80K last year) and I'm in business college, almost 1/4th of the way through with a lazy 3.0. I imagine we'll be ok on finances. I only need 1 power PC, the rest are all going to be a bit behind the times but it should be great fun at my house. Eventually I want my print/file server to be able to host virus scans and play HD DVD's to a projector in the theater room. Talk about your spoiled techy American. I love to research, and buy more than I should I'm sure. We inherited about 40K in stocks and we're hoping it'll go back up to 50K, although our rent here is about 9K a year...so it might be better to cash out soon and buy a freakin house. I also know about the WinFast cards with hardware encoding. I plan on getting two HD tv tuners and two analog ones so I can record while viewing in my theater room. Both tuners are cheap luckily. Around 100 a pop. This X1900 AIW card I have now is supposed to go in my mATX system for a bit of TV viewing. I plan on giving this to my GF's brother in a couple years. (GF of 3 years, brother is a frosh in college)

Quote:
Speaking of the software, it will wake itself up out of standby or hibernation to record your programs, and will go back to sleep when finished, and it works seemlessly with Titan TV's online TV guide (one click record scheduling). The included remote can also turn off the computer. And the best thing about using that Dell is that it's quiet, and it has a functional S3 standby mode (something I know the Asrock board does not).

F Dell. I build from scratch. Wake on LAN is incorporated into (I think) both of my Asus boards (all three if I get this one RMA'd) and I could always use my A8N32-SLI Deluxe board for a server board if I have to. (it's already outdated) :-P I just want to know if I can hibernate my server until it's needed for print jobs or the file storage gets accessed. That way it can stay "off" and I don't have to turn it on just to print or start up a movie. A short boot (wake on lan) time isn't so bad to deal with while you're grabbing some popcorn and drinks.

Quote:

If your GF doesn't plan on hooking up the HTPC to a TV or to a monitor that needs a DVI connection, there's nothing wrong with using the integrated graphics.

Umm, we live together. She doesn't "plan" anything, but she does like cooking shows. I promised to record them for her so she can watch them at will. :-P More food for me!

Quote:
That's the basic foundation of my own HTPC, and honestly, it's awsome what it can do. Add in a cheap $30 DVD burner, and you won't be disappointed in the least. For a total cost of $100-$150 it is without a doubt the most economical HTPC upgade route. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or want any more suggestion on building an effective and incredibly economical HTPC.

I already have an nMedia case, a chip and a motherboard (well the motherboard is being RMA'd and I broke the chip, still mad at myself for such a stupid thing...and I remember insulting some newb for doing it once LOL) I have a dual sided DVD burner, and a PSU. Was thinking of putting the X1900 AIW in there too but it's too damn loud as it is. Maybe if I can find an aftermarket cooler to silence it, but they don't seem to have any that fit well on the AIW's.
February 25, 2007 7:06:47 AM

Quote:
No, it will not work with anything other than Desktop Intel Pentium 4, northwood, prescott and the corresponding Celerons of those type. The old Mobile Celeron and Pentium 4 might also work as they are pin compatible with the desktop series, but ever since Intel went to the Pentium M, the mobile chips do not work on the desktop motherboard, unless it is a mobo specifically made to run these types of mobile chips (which the board in question is not).

If you want to get more life out of the old socket 478, then I guess it's not a terrible buy, but saddling new highend PCIe cards with an old P4 is just asking for poor performance, as the CPU will seriously hold you back (although with a decent cooler you could probably pinmod that Prescott to 3.6GHz/800fsb, which should provide decent power for most graphcis cards). If you were looking at entery level and slightly above graphics cards for PCIe, then it would probably be enough CPU to get the job done, but that level of GPU performance can also easily be had on an AGP mobo.

If you're going to need to add a better GPU than the onboard graphics on that Dell, and it has to be something better than a PCI Geforce 6200 can handle, and if you can't afford to or simply do not want to spend more money than that to perform a more complete upgrade to a newer socket and cpu (and possibly ram), then it might make sense to buy. At least, it makes more sense to buy that board than an AGP board, but either way you're still stuck with outdated technology (ie socket 478).
No pin-mod necessary.(well, that board probably won't supply the voltage needed) That's what i'm running @3726. The problem with using it in an HTPC, is the heat. You need pretty decent air to cool it above 3.6, which will require noisy fans, or water.
February 25, 2007 7:14:37 AM

So you guys think that @ stock this P4 can supply enough to a 7600GT or no? :-P I was thinking about getting one for my mATX system and then putting it there a bit later on for another light gaming machine. 7900GS might be ok too, no? I'd rather have that.
February 25, 2007 7:17:16 AM

If I can find one cheap enough, I'll just buy a 3.4ghz P4 or something. This proc has seen some use and I imagine it got a bit warmish in that old Dell. They have one case fan that vents over the CPU heatsink. That's it. No heatsink fan, no other case fans. Just a crappy mobo with a crappy case. The only thing good in it was the HDD (Seagate-80 gig) and the processor (and free Intel VGA graphics, if you can call that a good thing). I'll give away the two PC2700-256mb ram sticks for good advice. :-P
February 25, 2007 7:21:26 AM

When you say "decent"...

Ultra X Wind?
Came with my FX-60 deal from TD. Sock478 mount.
Had it on my 3000+ with the 939 mount and I was tired and frustrated. I don't get how my monitors (all 3) would sense the video card, but not display anything. I tried several sources and even reset (including monitors) and reseated everything. I'm pretty sure it's a faulty board. Newegg kids seemed to mention similar issues.
Anonymous
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a b K Overclocking
February 25, 2007 7:33:49 AM

My cooler for my FX-60 gets here Monday! (can't wait) It's the Zalman CNPS9700. I love how it directs airflow out of my case instead of blowing it downward. Cooler case temps, even if it's not top of the market, and it's pretty too. :lol:  I have a Thermaltake Kandalf with all the fans blowing towards the back. My flow-thru is strong and still pretty quiet (even without a fan controller). The loudest parts of my system are the stupid 92mm fans, my X1900 AIW card (loudest), and my 150gig raptor (have one in my mATX system too). That system is nice and quiet. I can hear the Raptor X ticking over every thing. I also dropped an Antazone AS-N1000 onto the Northbridge because that 6150 GPU is HOT. Pretty sure I was getting crashes from it, and this system runs like it's on dry ice now. HDD and CPU temps are 31 celsius, when it was breaking in my FX-55 was pushing 45 though.
February 25, 2007 7:36:20 AM

Weird. Look at my last post. "Anonymous Guest" it says.
February 25, 2007 7:42:08 AM

Quote:
When you say "decent"...

Ultra X Wind?
Came with my FX-60 deal from TD. Sock478 mount.
Had it on my 3000+ with the 939 mount and I was tired and frustrated. I don't get how my monitors (all 3) would sense the video card, but not display anything. I tried several sources and even reset (including monitors) and reseated everything. I'm pretty sure it's a faulty board. Newegg kids seemed to mention similar issues.
The stock Prescott HS/F is fine, if you're gonna leave it @ stock speed. I have an XP-120 w/108 CFM 120mm fan(This One). Runs ~44-46C idle, 58-60C load.
February 25, 2007 7:43:55 AM

Now you have me confused with what your goals are. You need to make up your mind what you want to build: a file server, a frontend HTPC, and a secondary gaming system. I suppose you could build something to do everything, but a gaming rig and an HTPC are usually at odds with each other b/c of the heat issues, as I'm sure you're aware.

With all of the other hardware you seem to have around the house, why not choose a better candidate for your HTPC parts? A K8 AMD rig would be much more fitting.

Getting back to the original post of the Asrock mobo, if you're looking to buy a new cpu along with a mobo, it makes little sense to continue to harness yourself to socket 478. Just sell the Dell as it is and use that money to help fund your build. Also, as I already pointed out, that Asrock mobo WILL NOT enter S3 standby.
February 26, 2007 1:14:25 AM

Quote:
Now you have me confused with what your goals are. You need to make up your mind what you want to build: a file server, a frontend HTPC, and a secondary gaming system. I suppose you could build something to do everything, but a gaming rig and an HTPC are usually at odds with each other b/c of the heat issues, as I'm sure you're aware.


My goal is to have triary light gaming systems, one powerful system, AND an HTPC.

Quote:
With all of the other hardware you seem to have around the house, why not choose a better candidate for your HTPC parts? A K8 AMD rig would be much more fitting.


Right now I've got two 939 systems. BOTH are for gaming. One is for power gaming, the other is a medium-high end mATX system for LAN parties. I hope to use the X1900 AIW card in the mATX system for a lil while yet and sell it as a complete system. If I can find a good quiet cooler for it (like those on Sapphire's Blizzard that vent to the outside) I might drop the card into my HTPC. I have SOME hardware. Parts. I can't just go out and blow $2K but I can buy a part every now and then. Otherwise the GF gets pissed. :-P

Quote:
Getting back to the original post of the Asrock mobo, if you're looking to buy a new cpu along with a mobo, it makes little sense to continue to harness yourself to socket 478. Just sell the Dell as it is and use that money to help fund your build. Also, as I already pointed out, that Asrock mobo WILL NOT enter S3 standby.


That's what I was thinking too. My plan is to drop a low-end card in there and use it as a third gaming system for older games for friends. I wanted a mobo that had PCI-E because AGP sucks, is expensive, and isn't compatible with future boards. I thought that MAYBE a 3.0 green-friendly would give me significant performance for the same amount of energy. It's a 90nm chip compared to the 130nm processor I have already. $80 is a lot, would it be a worthwhile buy at $40?
March 3, 2007 5:03:56 AM

I just received in my P4VM890 this morning and have it in the system live and running. I mounted the P4EE 3.4 that I have had sitting in a dead board in the closet. I had tried the expensive Asus P4GD1, but it was flaky with the P4EE and had to return it way back. ASRock doesn't show the Extreme Editions being compatible, but mine works great. The bracket is at 90 degrees to most S478 boards so you may encounter some issues with heatsinks. I have the setup live with CentOS and SageTV. You can find the board at mwave.com and ewiz.com. I paid $39 plus shipping from mwave.com. Everything else I had was sitting on the shelf from old projects, etc. If I didn't have all the parts waiting to be resurrected, I would not have purchased the board.
March 3, 2007 6:30:19 AM

WOW. Sometimes I really hate building computers. I got my motherboard this morning as well, let me fill you in on what happened. It's quite a lil story.

Ok, so I break out the motherboard and pull out my nMedia (MinMaw) HTPC400 case.

I set about removing the heatsink mounting brackets from the motherboard. Then I installed the heatsink brackets for the Ultra cooler. Well, I pulled the 2.2ghz P4 out of my gf's old Dell, I cleaned it off, popped it in, and put a bb sized amount of fresh AS5 on. Then I put the heatsink on. Ok, ram time. I've only got 2 modules of 256mb's - DDR333 ram (PC2700) because I wanted a 512 once when I was at BestBuy and they only had 256 in PC2700. Why PC2700? Because her dimension isn't compatible with faster. That's right. Dell sucks and the bios won't let it revert to slower speeds. So...

The ram wouldn't fit. Easy fix. I popped the heatsink back off (2 easily accessible screws) without cleaning up the proc (the AS5 was perfect and it hadn't been warmed yet), and after setting the ram sticks in, I realized one ram stick wouldn't fit. Well crap.

So I pulled the whole heatsink off and looked for another solution. I don't want to buy more ram for a measily little HTPC, 512's enough for MCE I think. I might change it out later for some faster, larger ram. So my heatsink takes up a slot. That won't do, I've only got 2.

Other solutions: I pulled the crappy, no AGP or PCI-E - motherboard out of the old Dell, removed the heatsink (which has no fan or way to attach one) and then used the little splitter holders from the new motherboard's mounting bracket with the old bracket from the Dell. Took me a bit to figure out a solution.

Needless to say, it's installed, without a fan, however, there is the 120mm PSU fan, and a 92mm fan both pulling air directly over the giant heatsink and out of the case. It's dead silent, and at idle in bios it's at about 45C.
My motherboard temp is about 10C less. I tried dropping an 80mm fan in above the CPU installed on the case (it's got a Pentium vent for it), and it worked ok, but the 80mm is far too loud. I've got to splice some wires or something and install an adjustment knob. I'll figure something out.

Then I found out my ATI X1900 AIW card is freakin' enormous and won't fit. So I'm using the integrated video for now. Obviously it's no good for use with my 55" projection tv...but I plan on getting a lil 7300GS or something with HDCP. Any help on finding the cheapest around would be fantastic.

I'm probably going to be setting the HTPC aside for a bit, as I have a huge lan party coming up and want to install this Windows MCE on my mATX game system. I'll be tossing in one of my two X19++'s for the lan party I guess. My FX-60 SLI system's new cooler gets here Monday. It's tough juggling 3 systems when your money's drying up. That's expected to change here shortly.
March 14, 2007 11:22:02 PM

i have an old pc lying around with:

cpu: p4(northwood) 2.8c @ 3.4ghz
cpu cooler: zalmans 7000
mobo: gigabyte titan
ram: ocz gold pc3200 2gb
vid: ATI 9700 128mb

and i will have an extra pci-e ATI x1950xt 256mb

if i get the P4VM890, run the cpu @3.4ghz+ with the x1950xt, do you guys think it will severely limit the videocard? or do you think the performance will be similar to running an agp x1950pro?
March 15, 2007 12:37:11 AM

It could be hindered by CPU, but I think they're matched pretty good.
July 24, 2007 9:46:33 AM

Hey Jonny did you realize that the board doesnt run on Dual Channel Memory? Got the board almost same time as you...for gaming purposes, thats a little pain in the but, dont ya think? I feel that my old X800GT has to wait the Prescott... :fou: 
October 12, 2007 12:55:08 AM

joefriday said:
Now you have me confused with what your goals are. You need to make up your mind what you want to build: a file server, a frontend HTPC, and a secondary gaming system. I suppose you could build something to do everything, but a gaming rig and an HTPC are usually at odds with each other b/c of the heat issues, as I'm sure you're aware.

With all of the other hardware you seem to have around the house, why not choose a better candidate for your HTPC parts? A K8 AMD rig would be much more fitting.

Getting back to the original post of the Asrock mobo, if you're looking to buy a new cpu along with a mobo, it makes little sense to continue to harness yourself to socket 478. Just sell the Dell as it is and use that money to help fund your build. Also, as I already pointed out, that Asrock mobo WILL NOT enter S3 standby.

October 12, 2007 1:05:14 AM

Sorry about the above post. Seems I can't edit or delete it.

What I wanted to say was:

I've asked Asrock whether the VM890 properly supports S3 standby and they replied:

"This motherboard can support S3 mode. Please set the “Suspend to RAM” to [Auto] in the BIOS>Advanced>ACPI Configuration."

so I was wondering if there's been a BIOS update or something since your original post, that's fixed it.
!