[mythtv-users] Looking for your experience

match at ece.utah.edu match at ece.utah.edu
Fri Sep 3 22:43:16 EDT 2004

These are nothing but my opinions...

On 3 Sep 2004 at 13:31, Aaron Griffin wrote:

> Anyway, I'm looking for some advice on the *BEST* hardware setup...
> the cost isn't that much of an issue....
> Current Plan->
> TV-in: PVR-250

There's nothing better for standard definition.

> TV-out: No clue...I have an All-in-wonder so I need to buy a new one

Any nVidia GeForce 4 MX440 or greater based card from one of the better 
manufacturers, like PNY. The FX 5200 cards are a good value. You can spend 
more, but I don't see where you need it today. 

> Processor: Most likely AMD 2000-3000 or something

I like AMD, faster is better. go for a 3000 or 3200 if cost is no option or you think you 
might want try to run HDTV later, otherwise 2000 is fine. The Barton 2500 or 2600 is 
probably the most bang-for-the-buck.

> Case/Mobo/Form Factor: Anyone research this and find something really
> cool that's not a Shuttle (too expensive for what you get)?

Hmm... You'll have to decide on the case yourself. Lots of guys like the little cubes, 
like the Shuttle... I don't. Go to http://www.avsforum.com, click on the HTPC forum 
and do a search for cases.

I really like the nVidia nForce 2 MOBO chipsets. For standard ATX form factor I 
really like the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe, because it has on-board 1394. The -E version 
has gigbit ethernet as well. I've used the MSI K7N2 Delta as well, and like it about as 

> Hard Drives: How much, how snappy? I'll probably be recording about
> 1-2hours a day and deleting it after I watch

Faster is better, bigger is better. 200 GB will keep you happy for a while. Raw 
throughput is not important, but access time and latency is. I like the current 
Seagates because they're quiet. The S-ATA interfaces are potentially faster, 
although I'm not sure they are faster in the areas that count.

> Sound Card: I'm assuming Audigy 2 Platinum, anything better?

Hmm... better in what way? If I were you, I'd get the cheapest solution that has 
SPDIF output and feed it to a Home-Theater reciever. Even a cheap HT reciever 
beats the best soundcard solution.

Some MOBOs have SPDIF on them (ASUS A7N8X-Deluxe) in which case you don't 
need a sound card at all.

> DVD-ROM: How fast to emulate a store bought DVD player?

1X   :-)    You'll want a faster one only if you want to rip DVDs to your harddrive. 
Otherwise, no matter. I don't think you can buy one now that is too slow just to play 
DVD videos.
> As far as the distro goes, I'll be using ArchLinux (www.archlinux.org)
> because it's the best distro ever 8)... although if I end up settling
> for a less powerful machine, I may try gentoo for the little
> performance boosts....

I tell people that the best distro is the one that you are most familiar with. If you are 
not familiar with any, then either use Fedora Core 1 and follow Jarod's guide, or run 

I played around with Gentoo, but in the final analysis it was just too much bother. I 
also tried Fedora Core 2 when it first came out, which was WAAAY too early... Now 
that I've done a few more installations I think I could get MythTV working on Core 2, 
but why bother? Core 1 works. I mikght try Core 2 if Jarod ever gets around to 
updating his guide, and I'd try Gentoo again if I had a better understanding of what 
configuration choices actually benefits MythTV. 

Now that I've written all this drivel, I must advise you that your money is better spent 
on things that make the system quiet, rather than on the greatest horsepower. 
Consider the Athlon Mobile CPUs because they run cooler, hence need less fan. 
Choose a video card with no fan at all (most of the MX440's and a few of the FX 
5200's.) Get a quiet power supply... etc.


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