Smart box from an old CPU

krishG

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Nov 16, 2013
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So, I got a new PC and I have the old one lying around. And we are also getting a new 40 inch full HD LED TV. So, I thought instead of getting a smartbox, could I use my old CPU as a smartbox. At the beginning it seemed an interesting project to work on. But as I dug deeper a lo of issues emerged.

1. A CPU is a old one, at least 8 years old. Its running on a Pentium 4 processor clocked at 3GHz. The motherboard is an ancient Mercury PI915GLM-Express with no video card. Now, the problem. The motherboard only has a VGA out. If were to connect the CPU to the new TV through the CPU-in, what kind of resolution and performance can I expect?

2. My cable box only has AV Out. I can connect this directly to the TV but since I'm trying to build a media center, my plan is to connect this AV Out the my old CPU through a TV tuner. Now, what kind of loss can I expect in the end picture quality?

Are there any other approaches I can take to improve resolution of this media center? Like a VGA to HDMI from my CPU and then connect it to the TV's HDMI port..

NOTE: I wont use this for Gaming! Just for Media Playback from the internet, DVD or the hard drive and to watch normal cable TV.

Is this worth it? Or will I end up losing too much of audio and video quality?


 

DComander1x

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Feb 10, 2012
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A low-end graphics card does help a small bit, but to really get the full effect, a newer CPU would help loads. You could re-use everything but the CPU & Motherboard, as long as it fits on the new board, if you decided on that.
 

DComander1x

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Feb 10, 2012
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Unless you plan to run Linux, I would suggest recycling that computer and getting a newer AMD A4 / A6 or Intel Celeron Dual Core / Pentium Dual Core, as that CPU is wayyyyy too slow to do anything more then simple web-browsing and office work, even streaming media will be a workout for that CPU.
 

krishG

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Nov 16, 2013
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The whole idea is to use the old CPU as it is. I could consider a new processor. But as an alternative, is adding a low end graphics card with an hdmi out plausible?

The thing is if I'm replacing the processor, I would most probably also have to replace the motherboard and the RAM (I really doubt whether this motherboard will support those processor you mentioned). Replacing all this means that, there's not much of recycling happening..isn't it?

 

DComander1x

Honorable
Feb 10, 2012
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0
10,570
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A low-end graphics card does help a small bit, but to really get the full effect, a newer CPU would help loads. You could re-use everything but the CPU & Motherboard, as long as it fits on the new board, if you decided on that.
 
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