[mythtv-users] Hardware review before the plunge..

Matthew Geller mgeller at mn.rr.com
Sun Mar 7 01:22:01 EST 2004

Thanks for all the info.. Wow..

I am using the Athlon 2000 XP's because I want to upgrade a couple other
boxes I have to Athlon 2600's.  At this point it isn't worth paying the
extra for 3200's given that I don't have any HDTV yets.

You were right on the WD's.  I figured because they were so new they
supported ATA133.  But after pulling the manual you are right.  Either way
it looks like I am fine at ata/66.

Chaintech does have a MX4000.  See URL below...  I picked it over the MX440
only because it was carried by the same place I was going to get the rest of
my hardware.

Now that I think about it, I might skip the Chaintech MX4000/MX440 and try
the Chaintech 7NIF2 first to decide if I even need something more then
onboard video card.


-----Original Message-----
From: mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org
[mailto:mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org] On Behalf Of Jarod C. Wilson
Sent: Saturday, March 06, 2004 2:54 PM
To: Discussion about mythtv
Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] Hardware review before the plunge..

On Mar 6, 2004, at 11:36, Matthew Geller wrote:

> I have read the forums now for a couple weeks and come up with the 
> following hardware configuration.  Please let me know if you have any 
> concerns.
> I was
> going to run Fedora assuming no huge testing issues.  BTW I do realize 
> the front-end cpu's are a little over powered but I am considering an 
> hdtv option in the future.  Thanks..

Actually, if you're thinking about HDTV, the front-end cpus are actually a
fair amount UNDER-powered. The recommendation for optimal performance is a
3GHz HT P4. My box intended for HDTV playback (if/when I get my pcHDTV
integrated back into my production systems) is an Athlon XP 3200.

> Initial test box (hardware split up as shown below into 
> backend/frontend
> boxes)
> Tyan Tiger-133 Dual P2-400
> 512MB RAM
> Dual Western Digital 120GB ATA133 drives (Board only supports
> UDMA/ATA/66)

Western Digital doesn't make any ATA/133 drives. Only up to ATA/100, then
jump to SATA. ATA/133 is predominantly Maxtor, because they created (and
licensed, I think) the standard. I don't think ATA/66 should be a problem

> Hauppauge WinTV PVR-250
> SoundBlaster Live
> Chaintech Geforce4 MX4000

I assume you mean GeForce 4 MX 440. There is no MX4000. I have an Athlon 800
that plays back full-rez video from a PVR-250, so I *think* you can probably
eke out watchable video...

> Final hardware design assuming testing is ok and WAF is high

Hopefully, cpu power on the text box doesn't sink your ship. ;-)

> Backend
> Tyan Tiger-133 Dual P2-400
> 515MB RAM
> Dual Western Digital 120GB ATA133 drives (Board only supports 
> UDMA/ATA/66, if this become an issue I will upgrade to a Promise 
> FastTrak TX2000)

Whatever for? Their drivers for Linux suck. Just get a plain ATA/100 or
ATA/133 Promise card and use software RAID if it becomes a problem. You
should have ample bandwidth with dual ATA/66 drives RAID striped though, I
believe (just do NOT put them on the same channel). Could be an issue if you
get a bunch of HDTV streams going, so a plain PCI ATA card is probably worth
it (they run like $25, IIRC).

> 2 x Hauppauge WinTV PVR-250
> Frontend (For entertainment room)
> Biostar M7VIF
> Athlon XP 2000+
> 512MB RAM
> Chaintech Geforce4 MX4000
> SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS PCI Card
> Network boot or 20GB drive if I cannot get that working
> Frontend (For bedroom)
> Chaintech 7NIF2
> Athlon XP 2000+
> 512MB RAM
> Onboard TV-Out
> On-board Sound Out
> Network boot or 20GB drive if I cannot get that working

Both frontends look fine, aside from being under-powered, if you really want
to do HDTV. If you don't feel like spending the money right now, go with the
cheapest Athlon XP procs you can find, then replace them later if/when you
go HD. The way cpu prices drop, getting dirt-cheap Athlons now and something
like a 3000 or greater at a later date will probably be the same cost as
just getting a 3000 now...

Jarod C. Wilson, RHCE

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