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

William Powers wepprop at gmail.com
Tue Aug 23 13:48:48 UTC 2011

On Aug 20, 2011, at 2:10 AM, Epinephrine Junky <epinephrine_junky at beadon.ca> 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. 
> 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 - $112 @ HTTP://WWW.ORBITMICRO.COM/GLOBAL/PEMINI2X1-S-F--BASE-P-8247.HTML?REF=BASE
> 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?
My backend is similar to your system, although the front end is separate so the GPU is smaller. Quad core Q8200. 5x 2T drives. A total of 5x 120mm fans. Idles around 80 watts. It's not 'silent' but I have to get my head within a foot to hear it. The trick is identifying the right components and being willing to spend a little more for them because if one component is noisy, the whole system is noisy.

For cases, I usually find Antec to be a good value with quiet features. I like cases with fans blowing over the hard drives and I always leave an empty bay between drives for better airflow. The Cooler Master gizmo that turns two 5-1/4" bays into 4 3-1/2" bays with a fan can be useful.

My current power supply is a SeaSonic SS-400FL 400 watt fanless, but I have also had good luck with the SeaSonic S12 series (120mm fan).

Not all fans are created equal. I prefer Scythe fans with fluid dynamic bearings at 1200 rpm or so. For a lower cost option, try Yate Loon D12SL-12's underfunded to 7 volts or less. The 5 volt Molex trick usually works although occasionally you get a unit that won't start at 5 volts.

For a heatsink, I use a Scythe Ninja 2 with a 1200 RPM 120mm fans attached. You can run a dual core 45mm CPU without a fan on a Ninja but quad cores need a fan when loaded.

For GPU, go fanless if at all possible. It's just too much of a crapshoot trying to find a graphics card with a fan that is quiet under load and that stays quiet as it gets older.

The best place for info on quiet PC components is silentpcreview.com.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://www.mythtv.org/pipermail/mythtv-users/attachments/20110823/a16dae47/attachment.html 

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list