[mythtv-users] New system spec -- seeking comments.

Allen Edwards allen.edwards at oldpaloalto.com
Mon Jun 9 21:29:06 UTC 2008

I posted a system spec some time ago.  I got lots of good feedback
that convinced me not to buy it..  There were also good ideas for how
to get what I needed.  I have since spent considerable time
researching a new spec that I think will meet my needs.  However,
there are several line items I can't nail down and some questions on
others.  As always, there is the fear I have missed an elephant, as
they say.

Presently, I am using a P4-2.4GHz and it just doesn't have the power I
need.  For example, when mythcomflag is running, the video stutters
(even though max jobs is set to 1 and CPU set to low).  It has,
however, allowed me to run tests that help clarify what I need.

I posted the results of my research below along with the options for
each line item where I am still undecided.  Comments, opinions, and in
general all feedback is appreciated both on individual line items and
on things I may have missed overall.

To get S-Video, I decided I needed a video card so on-board video was
undesirable.  To get S/PDIF, the most economical solution was to get a
higher end MB with it built in.  That also gave me a better MB than a
cheap MB with an external sound card.  I have a VGA to S-Video
converter that I tried, but the quality isn't there.

My 5.1 sound system is comprised of a Pre-Processor by Outlaw Audio, a
Classe main amp, a 3 channel Adcom amp, and Thiel speakers.  Most of
these components are large so I decided a full size ATX case would fit
in better than a micro case.

The system goal is an ATSC system that will fit on a 17.5 x 17.5 x
6.75 shelf.  The unit needs to drive either a Proscan TV (S-Video and
L+R) or a Panasonic 720p projector (DVI and S/PDIF).

Back to the questions, I am particularly unsure on the issue of memory
speed.  These MBs seem to be spec'ed for some fast memory but will the
rest of the system benefit? Can the CPUs keep up?  I have no idea.

This list is posted at
 I will update it as the choices become clear.  Ultimately this list
could serve as a starting point for others with similar requirements.

Processor:  I picked AMD after years of Intel as they seemed more
powerful for the money.  Question is, do I go for low power or a
little more speed (2.5GHz @ 45w vs. 2.6GHz @ 65w).  I am leaning
toward low power if I am am correct that these are the same in other
ways.  Are they?  Is this enough speed to be able to run all the
features in myth?
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core
Processor Model ADO5000DOBOX - Retail $87.00
AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5GHz Socket AM2 45W Dual-Core Processor Model
ADH4850DOBOX  $87.00

Power Supply.  The cheap popular supply, or the more expensive high
efficiency supply?  ATX vs. ATX12V -- does that matter?
Antec earthwatts EA380 380W ATX12V v2.0 Power Supply - Retail $59.99
Rosewill RV350 ATX 1.3 350W Power Supply $23.99

VGA.  I want Nvidia with the option of XvMC, and I need S-Video and
DVI outputs.  The Nvidia 6200 gets good reviews for MythTV so that is
my choice.  The Asus spec looks good but has no customer reviews.
EVGA 256-P2-N297-LX GeForce 6200LE TC 512MB (256MB on board) 64-bit
GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Video Card $27.99
ASUS EN6200LE TC1G/TD/512M GeForce 6200LE 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI
Express x16 Video Card $31.99

Case: As I said, I don't want a micro case.  This was the only black
ATX one I could find.
hec 7106BB Black Steel ATX Desktop Computer Case $34.99

Hard Disk.  This is highly rated, fast, and low noise.  Seems like a
clear choice.  The 750G one seems to have issues.
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
Hard Drive     $109.99

Motherboard.  I need S/PDIF out and no video.  Here were my choices.
I have no idea which to pick.
ASUS M3A AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard     $89.99
GIGABYTE GA-MA770-S3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $79.99

RAM.  The MB says it can support 1066 RAM.  Can't find specs on
processor.  Is it worth it and will it matter given the rest of the
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) $59.99
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) $44.99

REMOTE.  I have a MX-500 that I need to program.  I have no clue what
to do here but assume I can figure it out when the time comes.


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