[mythtv-users] Initial Machine Parts

Scott catfather at donpoo.net
Tue Aug 2 01:35:56 UTC 2005

On Aug 1, 2005, at 9:02 PM, Quentin Whitmyer wrote:
> Ok, I am starting to put together a initial list of items I am  
> going to buy for my MythTV box. At moment I plan on going with the  
> all in one solution, however in the future I might get a second  
> little box for the front end.
> So far I have:
> 2 Hauppage PVR 350
> Maybe 1 pcHDTV HD-3000 for Future
> CPU: AMD Athlon 64 Dual Core 4400 or 4800
> A8N-SLI Premium Motherboard, I like the AI-Cool Pipe option and it  
> supports the AMD Cool 'n' Quiet Tech. for fans

I think the  only reason you would need this much CPU is to handle  
software decoding of HDTV streams. Since you have the HD3000 board  
chances are in the future you'll want a card that can do HDTV output.  
For that I would look at the some of the Gigabyte or eVGA cards found  
here: http://www.pcalchemy.com/index.php If you don't have any HDTV  
sources now (OTA by chance?) consider skipping on the HD-3000 and  
video card to save money. Chances are in 6-12mo new HDTV tuners will  
be on the market with better quality. Worse case, you pick up a used  
HD3000 off ebay on the cheap :)

Smart move on the AMD cool'n'quiet choice. Make sure you setup your  
Linux distro of choice to take advantage of it.

> I am defiantly open to some suggestions on changes?
> I still need to pick out the Case, Power Supply and a few fans. I  
> am thinking about going with a Fan-less Power Supply for noise  
> reduction and I could use some suggestions on which fans to look into.
> Do any of you suggest a case. I have found several built for noise  
> reduction and looks since this is going in the living room.

In addition to pcalchemy.com, check out http:// 
www.silentpcreview.com. Based on reviews from that site and elsewhere  
I'm going with the Seasonic S12-330 which I expect to handle my basic  
setup. You may want to consider a larger PSU than this depending on  
how many hard drives you plan to put in the case.

I also was thinking about a fanless PSU but decided against it after  
reading information on SPCR. The key thing that sticks in my head is  
that with a silent PSU you need quality case ventilation to move the  
heat out that the PSU fans would normally be moving out for you.  
Having looked at several HTPC cases from Ahanix, Silverstone, and  
Uneed none of the full sized ATX cases score well on airflow when  
compared midtower cases.

In the end I've decided that having fans isn't such a bad thing as  
long as they are controlled. The case I'm designing will end up  
having voltage controlled 5 fans (1 CPU, 1 GPU, 2 Case, 1 PSU)  
however I still expect it to be nearly silent. The plan here is to  
use the special fan connections on the Seasonic along with simple  
inline voltage controls and temperature monitoring to only spin the  
fans as fast as needed. Apple did it on the dual G5 2GHz systems, how  
hard can it be? ;)

Hope it helps.

Scott <catfather at donpoo.net>
AIM: BlueCame1

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