[mythtv-users] Experience with Shuttle PC's?
Rich.West at wesmo.com
Sat Jan 5 16:20:42 UTC 2008
One thing to keep in mind is that My setup consists of 3 Shuttle
front-end systems (heat-pipe) and one MicroATX dual-core backend with 3
PVR-150's and an HDHomeRun (2 tuners).
When I first started looking in to the whole silent/quiet arena, I
quickly learned that the closer you get to a silent machine, the price
for it goes up nearly exponentially (see:
I wasn't willing to drop $1k on a completely silent and small frontend,
but I wanted to get as close to silent as possible while keeping the
costs low and the size small enough to fit in an entertainment center
(without looking like a total hack job). I experimented with a few
cases (Antec & others) which either were not quiet enough or just too
large and bulky (the Antec was a beautiful box, but had 4 fans in it and
enough space to hold many drives).
Keep in mind that the more drives you have in the system, the louder it
will be. Same goes with the number of fans. Your processor fan will
probably be the nosiest. Definitely make sure you have a fan less
motherboard (no little bun fan on the south bridge!) and definitely go
for a fan less video card (those little bun fans are very noisy!).
After having learned via trial and error, I came across the Shuttle
boxes. I really didn't want to like them because the are a custom
motherboard (difficult if impossible to truly upgrade - sure you can
upgrade the processor, memory and other components, but not the actual
socket type). But after picking up one, I was rather impressed with the
ease of assembling it, and the entire use of the heat pipe technology.
They call it "SilentX", but don't let the name fool you; it is not
silent. It is about as quiet as you can get, but it is not silent. The
main thing I was not happy with was the fact that their custom power
supply has a little bun fan on it which I could hear. But, it wasn't
something that I felt could interfere with watching a movie.
I subsequently bought a total of three of them and used them as
front-ends. I have also since put laptop drives in the front ends to
reduce the noise (I've had a couple of failed attempts at getting disk
less running, but that's another issue).
Oh.. and the last thing.. placement is an issue. I placed mine in
entertainment centers (from a full sized one, to samall cabinet under
the tv) which definitely concealed the system and the noise, but I had
to still provide a way for the system to breathe which required having
some form of airflow vent in to the entertainment center (I didn't want
the systems frying themselves). Not enough air flow will force the
system to speed up the fan (slowest speed of the main fan is about
980RPM or so, and slower is quieter).
Since then (fingers crossed, knocking on wood, etc, etc), I have had no
troubles with the systems.
Having a shuttle as a backend/frontend combo will definitely be noisier
than just having it act as a frontend system since it will be working a
lot harder most of the time.
Hope this helps..
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