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Motherboards and expansion devices

Discussion in 'AMD Thunderbird' started by Barry, Aug 21, 2004.

  1. Barry

    Barry Guest

    I am involved in a project where in need to convert 30 or so VHS tapes
    to Digital. I have an AMD Athlon 1.1GZ, could find out more if I have
    to but that is what I know about it. The Mother board is a Socket "A"
    M810 with a bunch of on board stuff , some usable, some not and only 2
    PCI slots. The first two things I did when I got the system about 3
    years ago was to install a PCI Scsi card for my Film scanner and a
    sound card because the on board was pretty horrible, now the PCI sound
    card is also horrible, I bought a SoundBlaster USB sound thingme,
    should be here any day because the PCI sound card has gone south and I
    needed the slot for a USB 2.0 card that I bought so I can run an
    external DVD writer and a USB 2.0 video capture box. At the time it
    sounded like a reasonable way to get around the limited PCI slots. Of
    course I really wanted a PCI video capture board and I hate the USB
    capture device, I am sending it back. With that as background I have
    a bunch of questions.

    1. Would I have been better off just buying another motherboard with
    more PCI slots, if so how do I insure it is going to work with what I
    have. I have found a couple very reasonable on Ebay, but they seem to
    have a different ram, mine is SDram and the ones I have found are
    DDR(I think), in any event they use a different memory, and I just
    upgraded the memory which cost me $150, so I really want to use what
    I have.

    2. Since I did all of this I have learned that there are a couple of
    AGP cards that have video and a video capture system, ATI all in
    wonder is one that looks good to me. This gets me a badly needed
    video card and a nice video capture system and I don't need a PCI slot
    and I wouldn't have a crappy USB video capture device. As I look at
    what I need to do to install this I am a little confused. The bios
    has a shared memory setting the smallest shared setting is 16mb(I
    think it may be 8mb), if I use a real 64mb video card do I even need
    to share any memory? If not how do I set that to 0. There are two
    setting for video in the bios, PCI (and the documentation says this
    will also let you use the on board for two monitors one attached to
    each port at the same time, not sure why someone would want to do
    this) and the other setting is On board AGP. I don't think I want
    either, I want to get back all the resources I now use for video as in
    processor and memory steals for the video, how do I do that? A guy
    that is selling the card I am thinking of buying also said I need to
    tell my system it is a 64MB video card, I don't know how to do that.

    3. If I do option 2 above I will have a my Scsi PCI card, a 6 port
    USB 2.0 PCI card, a soundblaster USB device and a USB 2.0 DVD writer.
    The DVD writer isn't mine but is being purchased by the person I am
    doing the video editing for (the theory is we could share it) at this
    point I am not so crazy about USB devices although I do love my Flash
    disk. Does this sound like a reasonable approach or would I really be
    better off going with option #1 and try to find a motherboard with
    more PCI slots and put in an internal DVD writer (eventually I am
    going to want my own but I don't have another IDE cable, is that just
    a matter of buying another cable that has the ability to put more IDE
    devices on it?

    4. Is there a way to extend the number of PCI slots other than an
    expansion box(which cost more than buying a new computer with more
    card slots). I haven't been able to find anything, I doubt it is a
    practical solution, but just asking.

    5. I am not unhappy with the system other than it really would have
    been a lot better if it had more like 5 PCI slots. Is it feasible to
    just replace the mother board including the processor and memory with
    a better and faster processor and memory. If so could I sell this
    motherboard with a 1.1 Althon and a Gig of memory. What is your
    thought on what it is worth and what would I have to spend to upgrade
    to a similar but better system with a bunch of I/O slots and get what
    every you get in performance that I didn’t get 3 years ago. Of
    course if I do all of that, I might find the power supply is not
    adequate, oh what a web we weave.

    You may have a better solution that makes all this chasing my tail
    needless, if so please let me know. Other wise pick an option and let
    me know what I can do to get out of this and not spend a fortune
    because frankly, I don't have all that much to spend and this whole
    project is not something I am getting cash for, just trading work for
    legal help.

    Thanks for any help that you may be able to be.

    Barry, Aug 21, 2004
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  2. Barry

    Netguy Guest

    Check out the manual for your mb and see if you can't just put in a
    faster Athlon. Don't have the manual? Google for it.
    The all in wonder will come with on board memory and you don't need to
    play with the bios at all.
    I am not an expert on this, but I think you should buy an internal dvd
    writer - they are cheap enough if you go the rebate route. I just got
    one for $39.95 after rebate - haven't installed it yet though. Don't
    forget to make sure that the one you buy can do both -r and +r unless
    you already know which variant your dvd player can handle.
    To find out what it is worth, check eBay.
    Netguy, Aug 21, 2004
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