sorry to double post, and i know this is going off my original topic but . . i need to find a mobo to use, all the ones on the wiki wither are discontinued, need flashing before use, or dont support a gfx card - any ideas for one a can buy readily?
Well it depends on many variables... are you looking for a Core or an MD motherboard is the first question i guess. For MD's we have tested many i945G based boards (ie ones with onboard GMA950 graphics) as these will support UI2 + Overlay nicely now. If your looking for an nVidia based graphics capability then currently my advice is stick with either a 6200 or 7300 based card as anything more costly than this will not gain you any performance gain for LinuxMCE usage and almost always causes additional setup issues. Alternatively you can choose an AMD2+ based motherboard with integrated nVidia onboard graphics (look for 6100/6150/7025/7050 based motherboards) - look for DVI & Ideally HDMI outputs. With AMD based Cores I would suggest at least a 4000 or 4200 class processor and at least 2GB RAM for AMD based MD's i would suggest 3000 class processor, if your not looking for anything above SD, or 4200 or above with 1GB Ram for MD's. On both MD's and Core's I would only go with Gigabit NIC's now. All of this a rule of thumb type advice... as we test a lot of hardware but all our own integrated hardware is now based on motherboards that are not available separately.
In general stick with chipsets that are well supported in the Linux world for NIC, Audio, RAID & graphics and you wont go far wrong. Look at what other are using like Fiire and CHT and what experienced users are building into their systems and you wont go far wrong. We install 5+ systems per week and we would not be able to do that if we had to 'fight' each install into submission - stick to known hardware and your going to have few if any problems.
All the best