[mythtv-users] This hardware look ok for HD setup?

R. G. Newbury newbury at mandamus.org
Sun Dec 27 03:25:34 UTC 2009

On 12/26/2009 04:17 PM, steve wrote:
> As indicated in a couple of earlier posts, I am rebuilding my MythTV
> setup to handle HD. This will require a new host box, and the
> MythTV-relevant hardware I’m planning for it is:
> Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (3 gHz)
> Memory: 4 Gb DDR2
> Vid card: GeForce 7900GT 512 MB PCI Express x16
> Disk: Western Digital 1 TB SATA 3.0 Gb/Sec
> Capture device: Hauppauge HD PVR
> If anyone sees that I’ve made any sub-optimal (or otherwise bad)
> decisions here, please let me know.

You should probably be looking at a 9500GT or better for full VDPAU GPU 
useage. The 9500GT will do Advanced2X while higher versions will do the 
full, top of the line Temporal2X.
If myth HD playback is shunted to the GPU, then the E8400 chip is 
actually overkill. I am running a Core2 Duo E6600 which does 2.4G but 
generally runs throttled down to 1.6G on both CPUs even during HD playback.
I am using 2Gig of Ram and I don't think that more is needed. Put the 
extra cash into the Ram on the video card. 512M is nice, I have 1G.
Take a good look into the specs. The new GT220 is ~about~ the same as a 
9500 or 9600 in shaders etc. The 240 is about equal to a 9800. THey may 
run hotter and may not come in fanless. I have looked at the HD output 
carefully on my setup and it's pretty damn amazing!

I don't recall if you posted it, but the HD-PVR is only indicated for 
decrypted SetTopBox output. If that's what you have to work with then 
that's a good choice. If you have input choices, then an HDHomeRun is 
more flexible. You may not have that choiuce.

Storage: You really should consider splitting the setup. Use a smallish 
disk for the OS and dedicate the entire 1TB disk to /video. This 
simplifies a lot of things, including using 20Gig on the big disk as a 
full backup of the working OS. You can upgrade the OS, replace the 
working disk and do all sorts of things, without worrying about killing 
your recordings. Note that all you REALLY need to restore a full mythtv 
setup is the mythconverg database and the recordings themselves. A daily 
cron to the video storage disk makes that possible. Of course, if the 
big disk dies you are deep in it. but the only way around that is to set 
up a raid array... and you really really don't want your working OS on 
that array....so, back to a minimum of 2 disks.

Put /home on its own partition and symlink mysql from whereever it is 
placed ( /var/lib/mysql under fedora etc.) to /home/mysql.
Then if an errant process runs away and fills /tmp or /var it does not 
trash the mysql databases.

And the working disk can be an SSD (with tweaks) or even a USB stick. It 
IS possible to run a full mythtv setup from a USB stick: makes a good 
backup ( see: cron, use of..).

BUT NOTE. you do want the fanless versions (9500GT etc). but these 
really need 2 slots. A large well designed case is really nice to have, 
to keep the airflow working while keeping the noise contained. I am now 
using a Thermaltake Bach Media Center as the power supply on my 
SilverstoneTek LC11M died. (I swapped the iMon IR unit into the new case!).


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          I may wish to offend you again in the future.

          Tux says: "Be regular. Eat cron flakes."

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