New HTPC/MCE Platform - P4/s775 w/AGP and 2GB DDR400

By Agent1999
Jul 11, 2009
  1. I'm back to having some big fun building/modding/rebuilding a home-brew PC for as much bang for the buck as I can get.

    I cannibalized an old Dell E310 "Media Center Edition" PC with DDR2 memory but a zero-fun Intel built-in Graphics Processor and no PCI-e 16X expansion. I don't think the Intel 945 chipset even supported the SATA-300 disk interface, but I've been told that 300 is rarely achieved and that 150 will work just fine for video manipulation - mainly Direct to Disk recording of ATSC/DTV signals.

    I picked up a super el-cheapo Mobo - the Foxconn 648FX7, popped in the socket 775 P4/2.8GHz and since the mobo can't handle DDR2, put in some Samsung stock DDR400 DRAM.

    The odd thing other than the memory of this Mobo is that it provides an AGP slot instead of a PCI-e 16X slot - which is probably fine.

    Except - I am not happy with the frame rates I am seeing running YouTube video off the web, although Live ATSC TV through the Hop-Hawg WinTV HVR 1600 seems to be crisp and snappy enough. I haven't tried doing any real recording to disk yet - still tweaking the overall system. There is this little 2X20 LCD panel for the front of the nMedia 1000 box that isn;t cooperating either - no relation to the other issue I'm sure.

    The AGP card I installed is another one cannibalized from a different PC that was collecting dust. It's a 256MB FX5500 GeForce (generic brand - why not? - they are all mostly reference designs anyway...)

    I can't really tweak the system proc any (well, not practically without big expense), and I can't boost the DRAM anymore, so that leaves the AGP for getting more throughput.

    Any thoughts on what I would need to upgrade that to in order to get better streaming video off the web?

    Oh yeah - it's a 100M Ethernet through a switch and a DSL at 6Meg - which is about all I can get out here in the sticks.

    Would anyone suggest a different Socket 775 Pentium rather than the AGP route?

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