How to take HDMI output from old CPU which has only VGA

Hi All

My first post :

Will be buying a new HD monitor, but I do not have HDMI out or DVI-D out from my CPU so what do I do .Right now I only have VGA output.

I was thinking in terms of AGP or PCI Graphics card , I have an old Pentium 4 , 2.80 GHz.
My mother board intel 845G. So this board does not have PCIe slots it has only PCI and AGP slots, putting me in a fix.

So now I can either hunt for an AGP based card with DVI output like this

Or PCI based card with DVI out like this

or I could go for a new processor new mother board with PCIe expansion slots. Please Suggest best way for me.

Thank You.


Posts: 3,108   +1,500
Obviously the best thing would to be getting a new motherboard (AND CPU) with pcie expansion ports. it seems to me that your PC is in need of a dire upgrade. but in terms of a AGP pr PCI graphics card, someone else will have to help you, thats before my time...xD

Thank you can you suggest a processor and a mother board . I am not into gaming but I do want to watch HD Television in my monitor. Also will I be able to use the same DDR RAM and SATA hard drive if I get a new mother board.
Thank you can you suggest what kind of processor and Mother Board should I upgrade to, so that I am able to take DVI or HDMI out of monitor


Posts: 3,108   +1,500
Do you have a budget? any recent CPU and motherboard is able to do so, but if you give us a maximum budget we should be able to help you better.
You would be able to use the same hard drive, but you would need new ram (DDR3 is MUCH, MUCH cheaper than DDR though.)

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,178   +758
I hope you are not planning on 1080p with a P4 2.8GHz. Judging by what I have seen, 720p is playable but not 1080p.

720/1080p h.264.mkv playback with P4 3.0ghz possible?
Some of the comments seem to suggest that 1080p is possible depending on the GPU used. Can someone clarify this?

Still yet I agree with ikesmasher, it's time for an upgrade in platforms.
With hardware decoding on the GPU, 1080p is fine but you need the right codecs installed that support it. And of course the right GPU!
Thanks guys

About the Budjet why dont we start low to High, I am not a gamer , but I would want a better picture on my display.
All I want for now is to be able to take HDMI/DVI out of monitor so that I have digital signal and not an analog one


Posts: 1,703   +172
If you're on a low budget I would look for used parts on ebay or similar sites, you can get some decent deals on Phenom II or first generation i3/i5 processors.


Posts: 867   +13
You won't be able to reuse your DDR memory, and you'll probably have to purchase a new operating system too, (a new copy of windows 7 or 8) or you'll more than likely have driver issues. Your hard drive will have to be wiped clean and the new operating system installed. You'll need a good GPU designed to decode HD content and display it at 1080P resolution.

If you bought a TV with a VGA connection instead of a computer monitor, you might not have to do all of this stuff, of course I'm not sure your current computer will actually put out a 1080P signal through a VGA port.
Thank you all


I really feel outdated. but my old system is running fabulously, with no problem so I never felt the need to upgrade it , until now.
That too only for HD, all I want is to be able to take Digital signal out of motherboard rather than analog VGA.

I was thinking get a New mother Board , with PCIe expansion slots , fit my old p4 processor in it , buy a good Graphics card which will have DVI and HDMi out also I may need DDR3 RAM . bang that's it .

Now what I am not sure is this , will my old p4 fit in the new mother board?

Has the processor got to do anything with HD display? So even if it fits I may need a new one ?

And what is this processor with inbuilt graphics ? if someone could kindly explain what I am missing I could certainly become up to date.

If any one would kindly explain starting from ABC , I would forever be Thankful. usually I am quite techy , but for this issue I am missing some basics.


Posts: 3,108   +1,500
You wont really be able to get a pentium 4 with PCIe, I would think.
The processor has plenty to do with HD movies/TV, it decodes video alongside the GPU- im not sure a P4 could handle it well.
Your best bet mightbe to get a APU-its a CPU and a graphics chip on the CPU. If your not playing many games, it would actually be a perfect fit for you-$100 for the chip, $~75 for a motherboard. 20 dollars for ram.


Posts: 12,740   +6,107
I was thinking get a New mother Board , with PCIe expansion slots , fit my old p4 processor in it.
Upgrading processors is the reason you would need a new motherboard. Which would also mean in your case, you need new memory modules. And unless you have an operating system that is transferable to a new system, would mean you need a new operating system to go with the new PC. I do hope you have an ATX case otherwise you would need another case as well.

It might be simpler to purchase a pre-built PC but if you think you would enjoy building, we can offer upgrade suggestions. I normally suggest higher performance parts but in this instance I cut back to save cash. Since you seem happy with the P4 system, this system is still a major upgrade to your current setup. The graphics integrated in the CPU should provide plenty of power for HDMI playback.

Newegg parts list for upgrade with Intel, you could also find comparable AMD tech around the same price.
Totaling $220

A word of warned though, the motherboard I have selected does not have an HDMI port. However the DVI port is a digital interface but does not carry audio as the HDMI interface does. If you want HDMI capabilities integrated in the motherboard, you will need a different motherboard selection. You could also purchase a dedicated graphics adapter that includes an HDMI port.
Wow thanks @ikesmasher and @cliffordcooley respectively.

I think I am beginning to understand things .Ok now I understand why I need a new mother board, its because I need a better processor , right ?

a) Why do I need a processor with integrated graphics? I can always get a graphics card can't I. I do not even need a DVI or HDMI port embedded in the mother board do I ? Again these I can get in a graphics card too, right?

Why not get the most basic mother board that has PCIe slots then because this mother board will not accommodate my p4 I will get a basic processor which does not have integrated graphics that will fit in the mother board, after that I can get a good PCIe graphics card with DVI and HDMI ports, please tell me why this solution is not optimal or if there is anything I am missing

why is it better to get a processor with integrated graphics. One reason could be that maybe so that I do not need to buy extra card and increase size and power consumption ( Hope I am going right up to now ).

So If I have processor with integrated graphics ( APU) then it is better to get a mother board with embedded DVI and HDMI right? so I do not need to buy any other card for the HDMI and DVI ports.


Posts: 1,703   +172
It would be good to know a rough budget of how much you're willing to spend and where you're located.

Basically you need to forget about your P4 processor, there's no point spending money on upgrading that further. Looking on ebay P4 processors are going for £0-£10.


Posts: 12,740   +6,107
Motherboard's and CPU's including graphics have become a standard over the years. It's not better to have integrated graphics but it doesn't hurt anything to have it. Integrated graphics are disabled when using dedicated graphics cards. Integrated graphics are a starting point and if you need more performance a dedicated card can be used instead.

You mentioned something about getting a basic motherboard. To be honest the motherboard I listed is the most basic of motherboards for an LGA1155 socket design. For only $55, I would say the one slh28 listed would be a basic motherboard as well.


Posts: 867   +13
Since you are mainly focused on the graphics part of your computer, you might want to consider an AMD solution which would have better graphics capabilities than what Intel has to offer. OH I see slh28 has already done that. :)
Hey guys Thanks a ton for your help

I have done some home work and I am more technical today .But not too technical yet !! :)

First question suppose I have IGP( Integrated graphics processor ) of AMD .

let say AMD has two kinds of IGP'S , lets call it X and Y ( sorry don't know their names yet ) can I use one common Mother Board for both X and Y .

Or Do I need different Motherboards for every new kind of processor.


Posts: 3,108   +1,500
IT depends, processors each have "sockets", you have to compare the sockets of the processsor. Many of the AMD apu chips use a "FM1" or "FM2" socket I believe they are called, you just have to look at the item details of the igp and the item details of the motherboard and see if they both share a common socket.

Someone else can explain better than me.
Are AMD's APU compatible with all discrete Gfx cards in case I need one for gaming later on. We all know AMD Apu's are good but only to some extent . for Higher end gaming a D- card may be required.

So if I get an AMD Apu now , will I be limited in any way in choosing a d- Gfx card later.


Posts: 3,108   +1,500
You will not, assuming its a PCIe graphics card (99.999% of current video cards are PCIe). All will be compatible.