[mythtv-users] MB fried - suggestions to replace or upgrade?

F Peeters (MythTV) francesco at fampeeters.com
Thu Mar 8 19:30:59 UTC 2007

On Thu, March 8, 2007 20:05, Shane Hickey wrote:
> Hello all.  I've been running a frontend/backend system using an Epia
> M10000 motherboard in a Casetronic C138 case
> (http://www.shentech.com/cac1blcomica2.html).  The case was _just_ big
> enough for my slim DVD, laptop hard drive and PVR350 capture card.  I
> was also using the PVR350 for display.
> Last night, 3/4 of the way through Lost, the machine rebooted and it's
> never come back.  I can't get any video via the onboard video card either,
> so something tells me the motherboard has bit the dust.  So, that's why
> I'm here.
> I could just replace the M10000 board and be done with it.  But, I expect
> it to die again.  It just gets so blasted hot in that tiny case.  Also,
> some things have been nagging me and I think that now is the time to
> upgrade.  Here are my likes/dislikes with my old setup
> Likes:
> 1) Quiet and small, no need for a backend system.
> 2) Hrm... that might be it?
> Dislikes:
> 1) Case gets insanely hot
> 2) I really want to have at least 2 capture cards so I can watch liveTV
> while recording.  If I get another, should I get another 350 or is there
> something better?
> 3) Ideally I'd like to have my video out using another card.  I would get
> lock-ups when I would FF at 3X while recording another show.  Also, the
> display of the PVR350 is pretty crappy.
> 4) Room for more drives would be nice
> 5) More CPU would rule.  I've been running mythfrontend on my dual-opteron
> workstation to archive shows to DVD because the conversion kills the tiny
> processor in the M10000
> So, I guess I'm saying that I want more, MORE, MORE!  But, my concern is
> that more will mean bigger and louder.  Bigger I can probably deal with,
> but louder I can't.  So, maybe it's time to split my frontend away from
> the backend?  So, if that's the case, what's the tiniest frontend I can
> make that will still play DVDs without stuttering?
> I realize that I'm sort of all over the place here.  But, I just want to
> see if anyone has some general guidance.

Looking at the specs, I'd suggest splitting in to separate FE and BE
machines. Make the FE net booting.

For the FE use a small board with XvMC accelerated graphics (newer
Epia's?), sufficient memory and the DVD player. No extra boards in the FE.

For the BE get a normal size ATX board with a relatively beefy processor,
put in some good sized drives. Put in the PVR350 and an extra PVR150 (or
even better a PVR500, for relatively little more you get 2 extra tuners!)

Not having a disk in the FE will make a lot of difference heat wise, but
hardly any for boot and playback

OTOH, I built a system in an old Panasonic VHS/DVD combo device case using
a PCchips Geode MoBo, a 90˚ 2 slot PCI riser, NVidia MX440 and PVR250
(built in IR! Yeah!)
I replaced the built in CPU fan with a 8 cm case fan mounted in the top of
the case right above the CPU sink to reduce noise.
Also this system does not have a built in harddisk, but I *did* manage to
get a DVD DL rewriter in the position of the original DVD player, so the
original DVD tray cover and slot are still functional.
I wired the original DVD eject button to the DVD rewriter eject, and the
original power button to the MoBo power...
The front panel Video and Audio cinch busses are connected to the PVR250

(Next step in the project is a LCD or LED panel to put behind the original
transparent window in the case... But first I need a budget!)  ;-)

F Peeters
  PC-Chips M863G Geode - NVidia 440 - Hauppauge PVR250
  Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) - XFCE - MythTV 0.20 - Xine
  Panasonic NV-VHD1 VCR/DVD player case modded to fit it all in...

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