[mythtv-users] MythTV backend running on NVIDIA Ka-el, 35W replaced by

Raymond Wagner raymond at wagnerrp.com
Tue Mar 8 23:22:36 UTC 2011

On 3/8/2011 18:07, mythtv wrote:
> On Tue, 08 Mar 2011 17:00:16 -0500, Raymond Wagner<raymond at wagnerrp.com>
> wrote:
>> On 3/8/2011 15:40, mythtv wrote:
>>> I was surprised that I couldn't find any discussion of the backend
>>> running
>>> on ARM but then again ARM CPUs have never had this kind of horsepower
>>> before.
>> There have been, but they've all come to the same conclusion that ARM is
>> not sufficient high performance to recommend for a backend.  Individual
>> users claimed it was 'good enough', but they had limited channel count,
>> with one or few tuners, and were willing to put up with the minute or
>> longer scheduler runs.
> [insert sound of my bubble popping] :(
> Thanks for the detailed response.  I guess I got carried away with the
> hype because I didn't delve into that much detail.
> I'll go back to working on reducing the temp and power footprint of my
> current system.

There's nothing wrong with striving or low power consumption.  There is 
something wrong with taking it to an excess.  As mentioned, with average 
utility rates in North America, you're looking at 1W of sustained 
consumption being roughly equivalent to $1/yr.  Once you understand 
that, figure out how much you're willing to pay in power costs, and then 
you can start looking at what hardware you can purchase to fit under 
that budget.

When you're doing this, remember that TDP is a worst case scenario.  
Most processors (not including desktop Atoms) run at much reduced power 
consumption when idle.  Several years back, Toms Hardware did an article 
where they built a desktop Core 2 system running at 2.53GHz and 4GB of 
memory, and got it idling under 40W at the wall.  Last year, they 
followed up with a 3.33GHz i5 and were idling under 25W at the wall.  
Several MythTV users are running Mac Mini's with a 2GHz+ Core 2, that 
idle under 10W.

The other alternative is to simply not run the machine all the time.  
MythTV has the capability of setting up timers to go into standby or 
shutdown, and automatically come back online when requested by a 
frontend, or needed for a recording.  Low duty cycle will beat out a low 
power system every time.


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