[mythtv-users] Building another system, hardware questions

Chad masterclc at gmail.com
Tue Mar 7 08:54:13 UTC 2006


I'm in the process of building another frontend.  This time I want
something small and quiet :D  Who doesn't right?  So I'm looking at
using the VGA output from the P4V8X-MX since it has the Via P4M800
that does the hardware mpeg2/4 acceleration.  So...  I assume I won't
need such a beefy CPU, which I figure translates to less heat and in
turn translates to quieter PC (less power for smaller CPU, less heat,
quieter fan to dissipate heat).  But I'm still not sure what to do.  A
Celeron D looks cheap and puts out 2.5Ghz for 50 bucks.  However, I
would think that a 1.9Ghz P4 (533mhz FSB) would put out less heat and
has a 512KB L2 versus the Celly's 256KB, but the P4 costs about 70
bucks (20 bucks more than the Celly).  Any hardware nut out there to
clarify this for me?  More importantly, can anyone tell me if running
a MythTV frontend would enjoy using the extra L2 cache, or if I'm just
being a paranoid delusional freak?

Ok, so onto the other part of all this:
I want, I REALLY want, DVI output.  I don't see it as an option with
any motherboard that has the P4M800 chipset from Via (unichrome Pro). 
So, I looked for CN400 motherboards.  The motherboard I found was a
Commell LV-667D (
).  Another option was the SP series Epia's and get the LVDS to DVI
addon daughterboard (
) But with either of those options, just for the motherboard I'm into
it ~260 bucks.  Add on a decent case and RAM (from caseoutlet.com )
and I'm touching $420.00 bucks.  Why?  Because I want DVI?

Form factor is important, but the P4 is mATX and is still small, AND
has a slew of cases to choose from (some of which are very nice
looking and very nicely priced).  The case choice is limited and cost
is outrageous for an Epia with a CN400 chipset.
Ok, so what am I getting at?  I've recently acquired a decent
projector (an Optoma H27).  The projector is not an HD projector.  Do
I really need the DVI?  Would the average human see a difference in
the DVI versus the VGA output from these 2 different motherboards?

A few trailing questions:
Does anyone think 128 is too little RAM to run a MythTV frontend that
is doing *most* of it's decoding through hardware, and not much else
(no comm flagging, no transcoding, yes deinterlacing).
Does a standalone videocard exist (for us average buyers) that has
mpeg4 acceleration as well as full frame HD mpeg2 hardware decoding? 
I'd just stuff an FX5200 in there and call it good except I would be
cooking my system anytime I watched a transcoded (mpeg4) file.



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