[mythtv-users] OT: Hardware recommendations or suggestions

Jason Portwood jason at wkrp.com
Wed Jan 16 16:59:31 UTC 2008

I've had some major problems with my MythTV server.  I'm thinking that 
I've just pushed the hardware beyond norm and probably have a buggy SATA 
controller card as well...

Currently I have

Athlon FX41
RADEON 9800 pro video card (left over from another machine)
DVD drive
430 WATT Antec PS
2 Hauppauge PVR-500 cards
1 SYBA SD-SATA2-4IR PCI SATA II Controller Card (4 SATA ports)
4 400GB WD hard drives (3 months old)

Using Ubuntu with mythbuntu - 32bit and I did try 64bit for a long while.

In this setup I get a lot of ATA resets.  I've searched and tried a lot of 
stuff never finding a good fix.  I had 3 of 4 drives fail one right after 
another.  On top of that a brand new one I bought reports errors too. 
I've tried replacing the cables too with no luck.  Sadly the controller 
card doesn't let the cables with the clips click in either.

With the ATA resets that has me thinking it's the card and I could just 
replace that.  It always did seem a little flaky but it never hurt the 
raid till recently - actually when it got near full.  I've also thought 
maybe I'm pushing the power supply too much as well.  Not sure if 430watts 
is enough for all I have in the box.

Another snag I hit on occasion is when the system is really busy one of 
the tuners will drop to mute and only a reboot will fix it.  I've kept 
that to a minimum by setting mythtv to not run commercial marking or doing 
any transcoding during the busy hours of evening and limiting the 
processes to just one at a time.

So with all that I'm trying to get an idea of which direction to head in. 
Is it really worth it to try another SATA PCI controller (4 port) or just 
upgrade the core of the system?

Any recomendations on SATA cards?  PCI or otherwise?

Any motherboard recommendations for a backend?  Looking for something that 
can hold 2 PCI cards at least of course.  4+ SATA ports would be nice to 
get around the need for the SATA PCI card.  The system drive is on an IDE 
right now.

Processor will probably be a dual core.  I'm open to suggestions of either 
AMD or Intel.

Power supply suggestions?  That of course is an easy see if it works fix 
as I can always use it in the next system.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Jason Portwood
jason at wkrp.com

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