[mythtv-users] recommendation for new combined frontend+backend?

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Mon Oct 31 21:52:21 UTC 2011

On 10/31/2011 03:41 PM, Frank Hartmann wrote:
> "Michael T. Dean" writes:
>> Note, also, that even if you go with the Tom's design, assuming you can
>> fit a discrete nvidia video card into it, it will not significantly
>> raise the idle mode power draw.  A good GT430 tends to have an idle
>> power draw around 7-9W (though this can vary from card to card depending
>> on vendor, etc.) and a good GT220 has an idle power draw around 9-12W or so.
>> Generally, 12W run 24/7/52 (24 hours/day, 7 days/week, 52
>> weeks/year--yeah, I'm trying to change the "broken" saying of 24/7/365)
>> will cost about $12.50 for the year assuming a US national average price
>> for electricity of about $0.12/kWh.  Best way to save electricity/money,
>> though, is to shut off whatever system you get when you're not using it.
>> And, if you get a passively-cooled video card, it's not going to add
>> additional noise (unless you have insufficient airflow in your case and
>> it causes the case/CPU fan to run faster or something).
> Mike, many thanks! Passive video cards look indeed interesting. I will
> look into the models you mentioned. Do you prefer any special vendor,
> there seem to be a lot of different boards available?

Not so much that I would recommend any.  I generally buy based on cost 
and GPU.  I do recommend going with an nvidia GT220 or GT430 or newer.  
The VDPAU support will also likely be very useful at helping keep the 
electricity usage down (a little) as the GPU's application-specific 
circuits can likely decode much more efficiently than the 
general-purpose CPU.

Unfortunately, no one really publishes power-usage numbers for specific 
models of video cards in specific tasks.  I would love to see some 
numbers for them--numbers for idle, VDPAU-decode of various content 
(different CODECs and bitrates), and, if they wanted, while performing 
3D rendering/gaming.

> In the past I did not let my system run always on, but let it manage
> power-up and down itself by setting a bios timer. This way it runs only
> for 2-3 hours a day. This was somewhat difficult to configure, but
> worked quite ok for the past years.
> Average price for electricity is $0.33/kWh (0.24€/kWh) here in
> germany. This way I can spend more money to reduce noise and power :)

Yeah, and at those prices, you /definitely/ want to save electricity.  I 
highly recommend doing like you did before--shut down the system when 
not in use.  But buying a good low-power-usage system, too, will be useful.


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