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Author Topic: Things to know before building a Mega 651 (and other things you should know afte  (Read 10604 times)

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StuTopic starter

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Okay, following hot on the heels of the "things to know" series on Mega 180 and 865, I thought I'd just chip in with this short post on what you should know before splashing out on a nice budget Mega 651


PROCESSOR SUPPORT:

The official list of supported CPUs can be found here:
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/slim_pc/slm/pro_slm_cpu_support_detail.php?UID=431&kind=4

Basically the ageing SiS651 chipset does not support Celeron / P4 cpus above 533mhz, and does NOT support the newer "Prescott" core cpus

Celeron > 400Mhz FSB
P4 Northwood > 533mhz FSB (512kb L2 cache)



MEMORY:

Basically to add to what is listed in the 865 "things to know"; from my own experience of using MSI motherboards in the past, ALWAYS use good quality branded memory, as using cheaper "generic" types inevitably leads to major problems. I know for a fact that Crucial, Kingston and Samsung types work well in MSI motherboards, and you should be okay with other high-end brands like Corsair and Geil.


DRIVERS:

DON'T bother using MSI LiveUpdate! The drivers provided on the cd supplied will work, but if you wish to download the latest drivers, you will find them here:
http://download.sis.com/

Download and install the:
Chipset Software > SiS AGP (Gart) Driver
IGP Graphics Drivers > SiS650 and 740 series

http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/dlac97-2.aspx?lineid=5&famid=12&series=8&Software=True
for Realtek AC97 Audio drivers

http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/downloads1-3.aspx?lineid=1&famid=3&series=16&Software=True
For Realtek Onboard Network interface

The modem drivers supplied on the CD should work, I really don't know much about them as I have never used them (sorry). Failing that, if you are connected to the internet, Windows Update should be able to find them for you.


OPERATING SYSTEM SUPPORT

MSI state that only Windows XP is supported on Mega 651 (and other Mega barebones). Other versions of Windows (98, ME, 2000) will work provided you have drivers for hardware devices, all of which are provided on the install CD or from the links supplied above.

You'll find that earlier versions of Windows won't have the drivers for the built-in card reader, so you may have to do a "google" search to get them. On my Mega 651, they are listed in Device Manager as "OEI-USB" devices.

If you haven't already got Windows XP then I suggest you consider upgrading at the earliest opportunity; Microsoft themselves no longer support Win 98 / ME and most new software is being designed to work only with Windows XP

Please note that MSI do NOT supply or support drivers for Linux; if you wish to attempt to install Linux on a Mega 651 (or other Mega PC model) you will need to obtain drivers yourself. The remote and LCD display functions will also not be available under Linux, unless some clever bod has developed drivers to do so.



MEGA RADIO AND LCD DISPLAY:

Download the Mega LiveUpdate for Mega 651 from here:
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/support/software/swr/spt_swr_detail.php?UID=431&kind=4

This will update your MEGA Radio program, update the BlueBird HIFi module firmware and allow you to set a "greeting" displayed on the LCD display when you switch on HiFi mode. Apart from that the LCD display serves NO other purpose in PC mode.

After updating the firmware, you should power off your Mega 651, unplug the mains power cord for a few seconds then reconnect and restart for changes to take place.


OTHER MSI SOFTWARE:

If you REALLY must try out MSI Media Center III, it does work on the Mega 651, but I don't think the remote will work correctly.

Although PCAlert 4 has been reported to work on the Mega 651 - having read the numerous problems most users have, I don't advise installing it. If you do get it to work correctly, unlike on the Mega 180 and 865, it will not display temps or fan speeds on the LCD display, as this feature only works on the 180 and 865, as they use diferent LCD displays.


EXPANSION CARDS:

Same as with other Megas, you get 1 AGP and 1 PCI slot.

The AGP slot only supports up to 4x cards; a faster card will work, but only at 4x.

Space is limited, if you decide to fit a PCI TV tuner card, you will be limited as to which AGP card you can fit. A full length card is probably not recommended, and a model with a slimline (or even passive) heatsink would be best.

A better alternative would be to go for a VGA card with built in TV tuner, such as MSI TV5200-VTDF128 or an ATI Radeon All-In-Wonder card (ATI AIW is supported in WinXP MCE05)


ON-BOARD VGA

The SiS651 chipset is pretty old now, and the on-board SiS650 VGA is not up to playing any of the latest games, as it is only DirectX 7.0 compliant and does not support Hardware Texture & Lighting. However, it is adequate for playing back DVDs as it supports hardware acceleration (in PowerDVD for example), and general video output is decent. The maximum shared video memory size is 64mb.

The Mega 651 does NOT feature TV-out as standard. You can however either buy an AGP video card which includes TV-out feature, or the Mega TV-out card (availble in UK from www.dabs.com). Please note, this card is ONLY for Mega 651, and does NOT work with the 865 model. (The 180 does however, thanks to nforce2 chipset, support TV-out as standard)


ON-BOARD AUDIO

The Realtek ALC650 AC97 audio codec offers 5.1 surround sound (with suitable speakers of course  ;-))) as well as SP-DIF for digital output.

The sound quality is quite reasonable; i'm currently listening to MP3s through a set of Creative Inspire 5.1 speakers, and its certainly good enough for me.

There are three audio connectors on the rear, they default to:

GREEN - Front speakers
BLUE - Line In
PINK - Mic

To connect surround sound speakers correctly, you need to use the Realtek audio configuration tool (located in the Taskbar by the clock). Set the speaker config to 4 or 6 channel (5.1) and then click on the boxes to the right to configure the rear ports correctly

GREEN - Front speakers
BLUE - Rear Speakers
PINK - Subwoofer / Centre Speaker

NOTE: If you do decide you want to install a PCI soundcard, be aware that you will lose the Radio function in PC mode, and for audio output in Hi-Fi mode you will need to reconnect audio plugs from your soundcard to onboard sockets. The Hi-Fi mode and Radio only work with the onboard audio.


POWER SUPPLY

All the Mega series barebones come with a 200w PSU. Don't even think about upgrading to a higher output type, as the Mega PSU is a non-standard type. A standard ATX PSU will NOT physically fit inside the Mega case. Besides which, the Mega series have a special connector which powers the Bluebird hi-fi module and on-board sound when the PC is off. And there is a special Molex power connector for the CD/DVD drive, also for that to be used when PC is off.


WINDOWS XP MCE 2005

Media Center 2005 requires a DirectX 8.1 / 9.0 compliant video card with a minimum of 64mb RAM, 128mb RAM is recommended, however, for best performance. So you will need an AGP card, because SiS do not provide any MCE-compatible drivers. The TV@anywhere TV tuner (MS8606-10) and Mega TV Tuner (MS8606-40) are not supported by MCE05, because MCE2005 requires a TV card that will provide a direct MPEG2 stream, which a PVR card such as the Hauppage PVR MCE series can do (as a hardware card, MSIs card are software only and rely on drivers to do MPEG encoding), or a dedicated DVB-T card which receives an MPEG2 signal over the air.


MEGA 651 REMOTE

If you fit an MSI TV@anywhere card to your Mega 651, the Mega remote can be used to control the MSIPVS software, providing you use the remote receiver supplied with the TV@nywhere card. The Mega remote is designed to work natively with the MSI Media Center, and MSI Mega Radio programs only.

If you wish to program the remote to operate other programs within windows, then you will need a program called Girder, and the accompanying MSI plugin, kindly provided by nathan. please see his sticky thread for more info, about his plugin, and how to obtain Girder.


BROKEN HEATSINK MOUNTING CLIPS

https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=96148.0



Phew, thats about it. If any other Mega 651 users think I've missed anything out, please feel free to tell me.

For other general hints and tips, look through the "things to know" posts regarding the 865 and 180.



MEGA 651 = :biggthumbsup:
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rkoppen

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RE: Things to know before building a Mega 651
« Reply #1 on: 28-October-04, 14:06:47 »

I vote Sticky !

Ray  :frankie:
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MSI Mega 865 Deluxe
Prescott 3Ghz P4 Mobo-bios 1.3
Kingston 1024Mb (2x 512 DDR400)
WD Sata 200GB HD - Windows XP Home SP2
LG GSA 4040B DVD+-R Writer
Club3D Radeon AIW 9800 PRO
 :angryfire:CPU temp :62oC under load / 54oC idle :angryfire:

Myrthain

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« Reply #2 on: 03-November-04, 19:08:21 »

Why do you write that: ?
>>Do NOT even attempt to install PCAlert4; apart from being a complete waste of time, it does NOT work on Mega 651.

I own a running 651 for a few days and my "PC Alert 4" tells me that the cpu got 39°c and the board got 41°c!
I think this is believable, so I don't understand what problems you had. I got the newest BIOS version and the newest file version.
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StuTopic starter

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« Reply #3 on: 10-December-04, 07:03:17 »

well my friend, you must have been lucky, cos i tried it and PC Alert kept trying to close my system down because it was reporting the CPU temp as 239° C  :angryfire:
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StuTopic starter

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« Reply #4 on: 17-December-04, 18:35:06 »

which version of pc alert did you run? if you let me know, i'll try it myself, and see what happens, there does seem to be several versions available on MSI's website for download, maybe i downloaded wrong one for the mega 651.

however i am using speedfan at the moment as recommended by normunds, on both my systems, and that appears to be working correctly.

speedfan also seems to have fixed the mega 651 bug, whereby after resuming from S3 standby state, the CPU fan remains at a constant speed, and was not adjusted by motherboard as CPU temp increased/decreased under load
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AnitaPeterson

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Hello everybody,

I signed up for this board especially for being able to exchange some information with you guys... and resurrecting this thread from the dead.

We're a group of Canadian users, currently buying and building the MSI 651. Here's a link to our thread:

http://forums.redflagdeals.com/showthread.php?t=153013&page=12&pp=15

As you see, we've added some additional info on compatible drives. However, one of us reports "killing" his machine with one of the MSI updates.

So, I was wondering what are your experiences with various add-ons, operating systems and the like. Cheers!
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StuTopic starter

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hi anita, welcome to the forum! nice to see that my sticky gets some appreciation!

if you need any help or want to ask questions or share info, you are welcome to start a new topic!
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gazztortoise12345

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Hi , i am a newbie and u all seem so nice so i was wondering if you could help me , i bought a msi 651 barbone ,  i was assured that all my components would work , but they dont , i dont know which of them it is , i think it may be the memory or the porcesser , please could someone help me . Thanks.

i have :
Intel celeron d 2.4 ghz 256k chache , 533 MHz , SL7JV
256mb ddr400 memory

thanks again
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StuTopic starter

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Quote
PROCESSOR SUPPORT:

The official list of supported CPUs can be found here:
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/slim_pc/slm/pro_slm_cpu_support_detail.php?UID=431&kind=4

Basically the ageing SiS651 chipset does not support Celeron / P4 cpus above 533mhz, and does NOT support the newer "Prescott" core cpus

Celeron > 400Mhz FSB
P4 Northwood > 533mhz FSB (512kb L2 cache)

your processor is not supported. please start a new thread if you need help
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jadenguy

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hey, i think the first and most imporant thing you should do on your new megapc is upgrade the thermal paste.  i can't begin to tell you how much better the heatsink worked after doing that.  something nice and silver.  so it matches the system.
someone said you have to do something else to new heatsinks with sandpaper, but i don't want to suggest doing anything i don't fully understand.
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bluefront

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Let me add this about thermal paste......I've removed the NB heatsink/fan on four MEGAS, and replaced them with Passive heatsinks.  The paste under the stock setup was terrible....didn't cover anything. Replace the paste with something better by all means.
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