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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


I'm finally going to break down and upgrade from a PIII 1GHz HTPC to a higher end P4. My thoughts are as follows:


Intel P4 2.80 GHz 512K cache

Gigabyte GA-SINXP1394 motherboard

512MB PC3200 (DDR400) RAM

30 GB system drive

3x120GB data drive, 2 on the integrated IDE RAID

Pioneer 106S slot load DVDROM drive (region free)


Current video card is an ASUS V8420 Ti4200, 128MB with the DVI out driving one monitor and the VGA out driving the DLP projector. Eventually may move to an ATI 9800 Pro for better gaming performance.


I also use 2 video capture cards (non-HD due to lack of availability in my area): one ATI TV Wonder PCI (full version, not VE) and one Creative Labs DVCR.


My case and power supply are adequate and out of sight, so control is done via a Logitech cordless Freedom Pro keyboard and mouse, and assorted IR repeaters/blasters for the UIRT-2 and DVCR IR blaster.


Here are my concerns:


1) The onboard audio on the mb is Realtek ALC650 - since I plan to send audio to my receiver via SPDIF, is this chipset sufficient? Does it have ASIO support? Would I be better off with the M-Audio Revolution even given its current driver issues?


2) Are there any known issues using an SiS 655 chipset in an HTPC configuration instead of say, an Intel 7205 'Granite Bay' mb like the ASUS P4G8X?


3) Are there any network compatibility issues using the onboard Intel gigabit LAN with my existing 10/100 network?


I understand that noise may be a bit of an issue as well, as the North Bridge chipset is actively cooled with a heat sink and fan, but the machine currently isn't that quiet anyways.


Are there any other concerns I should have? I am assured that this board is using the rev. B0 stepping of the SiS 655 chipset, so hyper-threading support will be a non-issue.


Thanks for any input or alternatives....

Edited to correct my model number typo on the Asus Granite Bay mb...
 

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Here are my thoughts-


Intel CPU- get an Intel chipset.

Although you really don't have to spend the money for a Granite Bay.

Sis is fine and you shouldn't have any problems, but...

An Intel chipset is a no brainer.

I couldn't help you with sound, but you will have no problems with a gigabit nic. You just won't get gigabit speeds because the rest of the network would have to match. It will automatically revert to 100.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Puwaha,


I'm not dead set against an AMD setup, but in all honesty, I just haven't had much good luck with them. I've invariably had motherboard issues, but to be fair, the same problems could have occurred with an Intel setup.


To be sure, I am not an overclocker.... I buy a board/cpu for what it can do for me now, and really don't expect I'll upgrade it unless I run into problems. My real concern in this case is the sound chipset, and the potential for a stable system under the SiS chipset. I will admit to being partial to sticking with Intel chipsets for Intel CPUs, but because of the relatively decent feature set on this board at it's price level, it seemed like a valid option.


Can you give me any specific pointers as to what you feel I would gain from going with an AMD system, and presumably a NForce2 motherboard?


Thanks for the input...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dustin,


Thanks for the input... I too have been partial to mixing Intel cpus with Intel chipsets, so I know where you are coming from. Alas the price just seems too favorable for the SIS board. I can get a similar I7205 board (the 8INXP) for another $50 CDN, but it pushes the funds I have available right now.


My current thought is to give the SINXP1394 a try for a week and push it hard. If it performs well, I'll keep it. Otherwise I'll make the move to the 8INXP or an AMD system.
 

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If you haven't already purchased I highly recommend the following.


Any Nforce2 motherboard. (Epox perhaps) $110

XP Barton 2500 $160

SLK800 heatsink with quiestest 80mm fan you can find. $30


Sell the Geforce card, and with the money you save on the other components you can get an ATI card, which imho is more important.


The Nforce2 motherboard is a solid board and wouldn't recommend anything else for the AMD.


I have used both Intel and AMD extensively and would rather buy the AMD any day of the week because of bang for the buck.



I would also get the Seagate drives due to noise.
 
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