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Old August 21st 04, 11:40 PM
B&B Musmon
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Default New Video Card AGP

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 reading this and thanks for any help, it will be