PCI vs PCI Express

Discussion in 'Windows Media Center' started by kevinterry, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. kevinterry

    kevinterry Guest

    I recently purchased a Media Center PC and am in the process of finding a
    graphics (video) card. I purchased the HP Media Center PC (m1264n) and
    discovered I had no way of connecting the computer to my TV. After working
    with HP support it was determined I needed a graphics card with a S-video Out
    so that I can connect to the S-video in on my TV (Sony 52" rear projection).

    I went to Microsoft website to to get the recommended list of graphics
    cards. I also looked at my system to determine if I needed PCI or AGP. I
    determined my computer is PCI but I don't know if it's just PCI or PCI
    Express. Since most of the cards I've found of the recommended list are PCI
    Express I wasn't sure if they would work.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks
     
    kevinterry, Aug 18, 2005
    #1
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  2. kevinterry

    Jaime Guest

    I take it HP determined the S-video was the best connection for your Sony TV
    (no component or VGA/D-Sub15 connectors on the TV)?

    The PCI-E slot looks different than the standard PCI, so if you have one
    slot on the motherboard (beside an AGP) that looks oddball, you may have a
    PCI-E slot. However, when I did a quick perusal of the specs at HP site, it
    doesn't seems that your system has either AGP or PCI-E. I'm not sure what
    standard PCI card is recommended for a MCE systems thought.

    Maybe someone else has some thoughts
     
    Jaime, Aug 18, 2005
    #2
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  3. kevinterry

    kevinterry Guest

    It was determined I needed either S-video or Composite since these were the
    only options I have for inputs to the TV.

    I'm not much of a computer person and wouldn't know what the motherboard is.
    Is there any other way to determine if my computer is PCI or PCI Express?
     
    kevinterry, Aug 18, 2005
    #3
  4. kevinterry

    NoNoBadDog! Guest

    Here's a thought....

    Check the manual that came with your computer; If you can no longer locate
    it, why not go to the HP website and locate the information you need
    there...

    Bobby
     
    NoNoBadDog!, Aug 19, 2005
    #4
  5. kevinterry

    kevinterry Guest

    I have checked the manual and HP support website. I have been unable to
    determine if my computer is PCI or PCI Express. I also ran the msinfo32
    function to see detailed specifications of my machine and still was unable to
    determine.

    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks
     
    kevinterry, Aug 19, 2005
    #5
  6. kevinterry

    Noozer Guest

    Why not take your current card out and take it with you to the computer
    shop.

    You want a card that matches, that does DX9 in hardware - a Radeon 9550 or
    better or an NVidia 5200 or better.

    I assume you don't have any SVideo jack on the back of the PC? Not very
    modern if so. Most cards have this for TV out - even if it isn't a Media PC.

    I also assume that you purchased it long enough ago that you couldn't return
    it to the place you purchased it? Maybe upgrade to the next model?
     
    Noozer, Aug 19, 2005
    #6
  7. kevinterry

    kevinterry Guest

    The computer doesn't have a video card as far as I know. It does have a
    S-video in slot and a VGA slot for the monitor, just nothing I can use to
    hookup to my TV.

    I purchased the computer at Fry's Electronics a few weeks ago and was told
    it was top-of-the line. Here are the specs:

    Intel P4 Processor 530J
    1GB PC2-3200 DDR2 SDRAM Memory
    200GB 7200RPM Serial ATA hard drive
    Double Layer 16x DVD+/- RW drive with CD writer capabilities
    DVD-ROM drive 16x
    56k modem
    USB 2.0 and FireWire (IEEE 1394) ports
    PVR with high performance hardware encoder 140 hrs
     
    kevinterry, Aug 19, 2005
    #7
  8. kevinterry

    Pete Delgado Guest

    Your particular computer appears to have an integrated video board on the
    motherboard. You apparently do not have a graphics adapter slot on the
    board if the specs at designtechnica are correct:
    http://reviews.designtechnica.com/review2996_specs14989.html

    Your computer (sorry to say) was misrepresented. It certainly is *not* top
    of the line. While it is a good performer for the price (around $700 before
    rebates) it is not a top of the line system. From looking at the CompUSA
    web site
    http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=320291&pfp=cat3
    it appears that you have a Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
    integrated onto your motherboard. A good chipset, but far from the best.

    Your only option is to find a straight PCI card that gives you the outputs
    that you need. Sadly, your choices will be limited and it will be difficult
    to find a supported card that gives you the outputs you desire. Your best
    hope is to return the system and purchase a system that meets your needs.

    Don't get me wrog, the HP has some nice features such as 1GB RAM and a
    lightscribe DVD recorder, the problem is that it is a media center "light"
    system and not really designed as a home theatre PC (HTPC).

    -Pete
     
    Pete Delgado, Aug 19, 2005
    #8
  9. kevinterry

    Noozer Guest

    Noozer, Aug 19, 2005
    #9
  10. kevinterry

    kevinterry Guest

    Thanks very much for your help. I am going to return the computer for one
    that better suits my needs. Any suggestions? The primary things I'm looking
    for is using the computer for the PVR function and the ability to record
    shows to the hard drive. I don't care anything about gaming, just want the
    computer to be the hub of my living room home theater.
     
    kevinterry, Aug 19, 2005
    #10
  11. kevinterry

    Pete Delgado Guest

    Take a look at some of the PowerSpec systems at http://www.microcenter.com
    or possibly some of the other HP or Dell systems. Alternatively, you may
    just want to consider building your own system or purchasing one from a
    third-party builder such as myself. ;)

    -Pete
     
    Pete Delgado, Aug 19, 2005
    #11
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