[mythtv-users] Zotac Zbox frontend
jaw1959 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 4 01:42:19 UTC 2010
On Oct 3, 2010, at 8:56 PM, Chris Finley <debenbain at gmail.com> wrote:
On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 7:58 AM, Kawayanan <kawayanan at gmail.com> wrote:
> A while ago, my Asus Pundit based frontend/backend died. I'm now getting
> around to replacing it, and a few things have changed. I have another TV
> that I am thinking about connecting, and have now pulled ethernet wires
> through my house. I have also decided that I don't want as big and noisy of
> a box by my tv (the pundit wasn't bad, but the hd was the loudest, hottest
> part). I've decided to set up a separate backend to be placed in a closet
> and have a smaller and hopefully quieter/cooler frontend. Right now, I have
> a PVR-500, so all my recording would be SD, but I would like the ability to
> move to HD later.
> For the frontend, I was thinking of using a Zontac Zbox. I was planning on
> running it diskless, with a flash card for mythbuntu. I was looking at two
> models, but can't decide between them. The ZBOX HD-ID11-U (
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856173005) and
> the ZBOX HD-ND02-U (
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856173004). The
> HD-ID11-U looks like it has a newer ION GPU, and dedicated video RAM, along
> with a slightly faster processor. Is it enough to actually make a
> difference as a frontend though? Looking through the archives, people seem
> to be happy with the Zbox and it seems that they can handle HD, but I'd be
> interested in any specific thoughts or suggestions. If I decided to in the
> future, would it have enough power to run MythGame and emulators?
> For the backend, I am not yet sure what I want. I have a couple cases
> around that I could use since looks don't matter in a closet, but I would
> like something that is efficient and doesn't waste power. Any suggestions
> for a good, cheap, energy efficient CPU choice that would be sufficient for
> a backend?
Anand does a great job with the review of the ID11
I bought the ID11 for a frontend. It seems to be running well with minimyth,
but I haven't tested it with a lot of media yet.
The concerns seem to be regarding the zbox's noise and flash performance.
The fan does spin up into quite a buzz. I need to look at the bios version
and perhaps alter the CPU frequency scaling governor.
Better cooling might be possible using the Zotac motherboard and a larger
case where you can configure the fans; although, not as "pretty".
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I have an ID11, and the fan was quite noisy when I first started it up.
There's a Bios update that takes care of it. Since then, it's been
essentially silent (it's in my bedroom, and I can't hear it from my bed).
Flash performance isn't great on my 1080p screen when set to full screen,
but as far as I know, the version of flash I'm using has no GPU acceleration
so who knows what the future will bring in that respect.
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