[mythtv-users] Comments sought on combined FE/BE box spec

Michael PARKER michael.parker at st.com
Tue Feb 2 15:47:39 UTC 2010


Wow.... wasn't quite ready for that many responses. Thanks.

1) As far as the Wifi goes, I'm not seriously considering streaming video over it, rather using it
for streaming music (1-2 (Soft)Squeeze clients) and to provide a web connection for browsing/email,
remote admin/MythWeb etc. 

I've got the card already and have it working in the P3 500Mhz system running Fedora 11. It's
working fine at 54Mbps (indicated, not achieved!) over a WPA2(IIRC) encypted connection. It *should*
support SuperG 108Mbps (compatible Atheros chipsets at both ends) but I haven't really invested much
time looking at the ath_pci driver yet.

2) Forgive my ignorance, but what advantage would a separate 80GB OS disk give over a partitioned
2TB disk? At 3Gb/s and with 32MB of disk cache, I'm assuming the usual advantage of idependent drive
accesses is no longer significant. Another disk is possible in the case, but I'm keen not to
increase power consumption and noise further. I did think a solid state disk for the OS would be
nice, provided frequently accessed stuff, swap etc. was put on the 2TB.

3) My originally spec'ed mainboard was a Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H. After much agonising over ATI vs
Nvidia GPUs, I decided to go for a VDPAU-capable onboard Nvidia GPU. Since the Gigabyte board had
onboard ATI graphics and a passively cooled PCIex16 would almost certainly not fit alongside two
populated PCI slots, I decided to go for the ASUS board and do without DDR3 support. A fan-cooled
graphics card is a possibility but the additional power and fan noise don't appeal much.

Please feel free to rip^D^D comment on any of the above.

Thanks again,


> -----Original Message-----
> From: mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org 
> [mailto:mythtv-users-bounces at mythtv.org] On Behalf Of Brian Wood
> Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 2:40 PM
> To: Discussion about mythtv
> Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] Comments sought on combined FE/BE box spec
> On Tuesday 02 February 2010 07:15:58 am bhaskins at chartermi.net wrote:
> > ---- Michael PARKER <michael.parker at st.com> wrote:
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > I'm a newbie to Myth and, having developed an idea of the 
> functionality
> > > available using an old 500MHz P3, I'm trying to spec out 
> a combined FE/BE
> > > HTPC.
> > >
> > > I'm aiming for something quiet and relatively low power, 
> but with enough
> > > horsepower for HD decode/BluRay playback. As far as is 
> possible, I'm
> > > looking for something that won't require significant 
> upgrades for a good
> > > few years.
> > >
> > > Having trawled around the net for similar spec HTPCs, 
> I've settled on the
> > > following spec.
> > >
> > > The uATX form factor dictates a max of 2 PCI slots - needed for a
> > > wireless card and the HVR-4000 tuner card.
> > >
> > > MB: 		ASUS M3N78-EM
> > > CPU:		AMD Athlon II X4 605e Energy Efficient 
> Quad Core, S AM3, 2.3GHz,
> > > 2MB Cache, 45W RAM:		Crucial DDR2-1066/PC2-8500 2x2GB
> > > PCI1:		D-Link AirPlus Xtreme G DWL G520
> > 
> > ///
> > What is the chipset in this card?
> > --- mini-rant
> > It pays to be careful here, very few wireless chipsets will 
> "just work"
> >  under Linux, across most distros and across kernel 
> updates. I agree that
> >  many can be "made" to work but really how silly is that? 
> The only!!! one
> >  that I know of is a 2200BG (Intel ) which can be used in a 
> mainframe with
> >  an adapter or directly into a pci-e  laptop ). I really 
> wish that someone
> >  would prove me wrong here but here is the test: 1. 
> install, turn on), NM
> >  comes up,  enter WPA-PSK (at least )... up. 2. On any 
> major distro, no
> >  need to recompile, use a special kmod, ndiswrapper, etc I 
> still have not
> >  found any USB adapter that will do the above... I have 
> bought three. ---
> >  end mini
> Good point, though most of the problems are with encryption, 
> most WiFi cards 
> will at least connect, though not necessarily to encrypted systems.
> We don't know what the OP's intention is for WiFi, a 
> standalone combo FE/BE 
> would not need it, unless it's being used for the main 
> internet connection, 
> which I would not suggest.
> Also, the on-board 8300 is not the best choice for video 
> (won't do the best 
> de-interlacers), though it should work. I'd consider a 
> standalone full VDPAU-
> capable video card, or even think about the B'Com Crystal HD 
> in a PCIeX1 
> adapter, though I don't think that module is ready for Prime 
> Time, yet. 
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