[mythtv-users] Best Hardware

Gary Dezern gary at garyndenise.org
Tue May 9 22:08:33 EDT 2006

MythBox wrote:
> I am wanting to know what would be the best hardware setup for a NEW 
> mythtv box. It would be connected to an HDTV via DVI. I would like to 
> have it with 5.1 or 7.1 digital sound using a standalone sound system, 
> but unsure what to use! (suggestions please)
Sometimes the best isn't the most expensive, fastest or newest.  Dual 
Xeon's are costly, but short of some very specific tasks, will offer no 
better performance than two much less expensive processors.  For that 
matter, save on both the processors AND the motherboard by getting a 
dual core processor...  (At my work, they wasted money on dual Xeon's 
for my programming box.  It's actually SLOWER than my home machine which 
uses a single Athlon 4200 X2.  (On the other hand, the Xeon box makes a 
great space heater.)

SATA HDDs - good choice, but make sure whatever SATA controller is 
supported in your preferred linux kernel.  Not all of them are.

SATA optical - may or may not be a good choice.  Again, check to see if 
there is kernel support.  If not, don't spend the extra money for the 
SATA interface that you can't use.

Tuner cards - I'd suggest getting AT LEAST one non-HD tuner that has 
hardware MPEG encoding - unless your 100% sure that you'll never record 
anything analog...  If so, then all MPEG compression will be done in 
hardware (or come into the card already compressed in the case of 
ATSC/HD.)  That translates into few recording problems if your CPU(s) 
get overloaded.

Actually, take the money you'll save NOT getting Xeon processors, and 
get a _real_ hardware RAID card for those SATA drives.  Again, make sure 
your kernel supports it.  (Most "raid" controllers are software RAID..)

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