[mythtv-users] The elusive silent myth BE/FE box [in search of]

Mike Perkins mikep at randomtraveller.org.uk
Sat Aug 20 10:00:51 UTC 2011

On 20/08/11 08:10, Epinephrine Junky wrote:
> For a variety of reasons my backend sits behind my TV and bugs the crap
> out of me because I can't get it to be silent. It seems that no matter how
> many times I change the fan configuration in hopes of a cheap/easy fix
> there's just too much heat with my Core E6600 CPU and GeForce GT220. I
> measure 85W for the whole system with my kill-a-watt. That's better than
> the 130W I started with 2yrs ago (got better 80+ PSU and traded 3.5" drives
> for 2.5") but it's not enough to get a silent BE/FE.
> Here's what I've
> found that makes me think it may be possible.
> 0 ON Newegg
> That plus a 25W mobile Sandy Bridge CPU cuts system power to
> pretty low levels. Something like 30W at TDP and considerably less at
> typical and idle. Next the GPU, it looks like the NVIDIA GT 520 (using Asus
> silent model) can handle the VDPAU playback with another 29W TDP and less
> for typical operation.
> So far I'm looking at a system with one x16 slot
> for a GPU and one mini PCIE slot. To add my TV tuner (hauppage hvr-2250) I
> need:
> PCI Express Mini to PCI E X1 adapter with flexible cable and extra
> PE-X1 straddle - 2 @
> I
> use 4 drives in my system: 1 for the OS, 1 for the media, and 2 in Raid 1
> as my NAS. 3 of my drives are 2.5" to save space and cut power while my
> media sits on the 3.5" for lowest cost/GB. I'm willing to give up the
> optical drive I almost never use but the JetWay has 5 SATA ports so I'm
> covered either way. This system seems ideal for a 130W Pico PSU sold by
> ELECTRODACUS on ebay (no fans).
> I've cut my PSU fan and GPU fan and I'm
> hoping to rig a passive cooler for the CPU and have one big (120mm?) quiet
> fan to cool the whole system.
> So I have two remaining problems:
> 1) I
> can't find any CPU coolers for the G2 socket mobile Sandy Bridge so I may
> have to McGyver something. At 25W I'm not too worried but would prefer to
> reserve my glue and duct tape for other projects.
> 2) I need a case that
> can take three 2.5" drives, one 3.5" drive (prefer soft mounted to mute
> vibrations) and possibly an optical drive along with the aforementioned
> mini ITX motherboard and the biggest fan I can cram in there.
> Any
> suggestions on a case or CPU cooler? Am I spending too much time and money
> on this? (hint the answer is yes)
> Anything I might have
> overlooked?
> thanks, as always, to the devs who enable my obsessive
> tendencies, and anyone else who's read this far without thinking I'm a
> total nut job. :)
My main server is now a JNC92-330-LF, similar to your board. It has a single 
320Gb SATA disk and runs at a total 42W, of which 8 is the 40mm fan keeping the 
box cool, and some must be the 200W flex-atx PSU itself, but there's no way I 
can deduce that.

(i) Fans can consume significant watts at those overall power levels. Try 
swapping your fans around and you may be surprised.

(ii) Don't ignore the consumption of the PSU itself. I swapped out the 250 
flex-atx PSU that came with my kit and saved 20W.

(iii) Your pico-PSU may sound a good idea but remember you'll get losses in the 
power brick as well, say 7 to 10W.

(iv) I'd say you would be mad to try and run this without anything but a case 
fan. It can be done, but the internal temperatures may be higher than optimal 
and shorten component life. My box described above has CPU core temps of ~30C. 
As delivered, with the original fan, it ran 36C-38C (and pulled ~70W).


Mike Perkins

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