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

R. G. Newbury newbury at mandamus.org
Thu Mar 8 22:47:17 UTC 2007

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.

Quickest route would be to put an SP13000 motherboard in it, and switch 
to using the Sp's video instead of the PVR350's video out. You still get 
an S-video output for the TV.
The via driver is pretty good already, and the openchrome guys have got 
xvmc figured out pretty well.
I can fastforward a program being played at 3x, 5x, 10x or 20x while 
recording three other streams (PVR500 + HD3000).
Rewind is still weird and jumpy but it works.

Power requirement is down a little too. I have no heat problems in a 
SilverStoneTek LC11M case, using the minimal sized heatsink+ 40mm CPU 
fan and an 80mm side fan for heat extraction. That combo is aided by a 
folded cardboard channel which pulls air from the area of the PCI slot, 
across the southbridge, and CPU to the side extraction fan.

Are you sure that the heat problem is actually caused by the 
motherboard? Maybe your power supply is the problem? Try an external 
brick to power things? The slight whisper I hear from my box now is the 
sound of the P.S. fan, now that the blades are dirty from 18 months of 

You could/should change the PVR350 for a PVR500. That will give you 2 
tuners in the space of one. And the SP has onboard handling for digital 
streams if you attach an HDHomeRun.

Can't do anything about space for more drives unless you want to change 
your case. I recommend the SilverstoneTek LC line. Or just get a bigger 
drive. With 250G SATA no available at not much over $100, it seems silly 
to stint on it. (The Silverstone LC11 will take 2 3.5" drives easily and 
there actually is space for a third, but really hard to reach and 
install to.

The newer EX line of boards uses the CN700 series chipset and as far as 
I can see, the opnechrome driver does not, yet, have the bugs worked out.


              R. Geoffrey Newbury			
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       Suite 106, 150 Lakeshore Road West
          Mississauga, Ontario, L5H 3R2

         o905-271-9600 f905-271-1638
           newbury at mandamus.org

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