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Old January 22, 2010, 06:05 PM
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Default Need suggestions for a cheepie mATX mobo

I originally posted this over in the CPU and MOBO section but thought I'd post it here since people here are probably more familiar with these types of boards...

I'm looking for a mobo just for light duty stuff and do some HTPC stuff. I was checking out Gigabyte's site (since I like their mobos) and it's a real bugger to find what you want, even using the comparison page of 5 mobo's I had a hard time seeing any difference in features, so I'm asking for suggestions to save myself the aneurysm.

Has to be mATX and onboard video would be nice too though I will probably end up with a HD3450 at some point anyway, digital coax audio out would be a bonus but most appear only to be optical - though it's hard to find out if they can take digital coax through a header. DDR2 capable - since I have some. I don't have a CPU yet but planning on a E5200 or equiv. just because I'm comfortable with Intel or what ever the used market washes up. (hint hint)

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old January 22, 2010, 09:44 PM
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There is almost no reason not to go w/ a Pentium G6950 & Gigabyte H55M-S2H now-a-days. $200 for the combo. Can bitstream over HDMI. And if you don't have an HDMI capable receiver the board also has optical. No need for a soundcard or a videocard.
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Old January 23, 2010, 07:31 AM
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I had an E5200 spare CPU also, and was looking for a *cheap* LGA775 mATX motherboard a few months ago. I went with an MSI G31TM-P21 - I got it for $42 off of newegg.
I didn't use mine for an HTPC, I used it in a larger case for my WHS.

It does fit your need (mostly) and has a PCI Express x16 slot for future vid card upgrades and two PCI slots for sound cards.. although I would have rathered a PCI Express x1 slot extra (or two)
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Old January 23, 2010, 09:09 AM
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If you are going to use ah HD3450 than the HDMI out will also carry the audio.

I can recommend the Gigabyte G41M-ES2H as a very good multipurpose mATX motherboard. I got it bundled with an E5200 for $109 CAD. It also is a half decent overclocker. HDMI is on-board but it is for an HTPC build, Linux Based, so an Nvidia GT220 will be added in the near future.
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