[mythtv-users] first build, $695 - extra eyes, please

Justin The Cynical cynical at penguinness.org
Sun Jun 7 02:23:52 UTC 2009

Troy Goodson wrote:
> I'm looking to build my first rig.  I want HDMI audio/video and I want 
> to be able to play high-bitrate H.264 movies.  I plan on hooking this up 
> to a 42-inch Panasonic Plasma TV.
> I'd really appreciate any extra eyes to give feedback on what I've 
> listed, below, particularly because I've never built a PC before and may 
> have missed something obvious.  I plan on installing MythDora and find 
> out just how easy it is :)

Coming in a bit late, I know, but here is my commentary:

Motherboard & CPU: I have this same CPU on an Intel board (DP35DPM) and 
it's massive overkill.  Of course at the time I bought it, VDPAU didn't 
exist and no one knew it was coming.

As others have said, I would go with a board that uses an Intel chipset 
and get a standalone video card, one that supports VDPAU and HDMI (I'm 
assuming you want HDMI since you will be driving a plasma panel).

CPU cooler:  One comment- Wow, that looks almost exactly like the stock 
cooler from the retail CPU!

Personally, I'd not bother with it yet.  The drive in my old Ultra 10 
(house SQL server) make more noise than the stock CPU fan.  The only 
advantage I can see over the stock cooler per the reviews on newegg is 
that one is a bit shorter than the stock setup (which is about 1/3 to 
1/2 as tall as the old Pentium D heatsinks and doesn't have the copper 
core).  Still hate the pin mounting that Intel uses.

Tuner:  As others have said, go for the HDHR.  I moved to one from a 
pair of PCI cards, and I have never regretted it.  The icing on the cake 
is the IR receiver built into it.

Hard drives:  The more the better.  You will probably be shocked at how 
fast digital broadcasts can fill up a drive.  Also agree with other 
suggestions:  Find a smaller drive for the base OS and database.  I 
realized a noticeable overall performance increase when I moved the DB 
off the machine with the only slowdown being when I access the watch 
recordings menu.

Case: Hrm...  I'm guessing you are going for the small approach.  While 
there are advantages to a smaller case such as this, personally, I find 
the disadvantages not worth it.  Namely, look at that power supply.  A 
voltage switch?  That's a sign of an older design.  As many others can 
testify to, never skimp on the power supply.  Sadly with smaller cases, 
your options are limited.  My opinion, find a larger case that can take 
an ATX supply and get a Seasonic, Silverstone or Corsair supply and not 
have to worry about it potentially going bad the frying components.

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