[mythtv-users] Motherboard / case suggestions for early 2022 backend

Stephen Worthington stephen_agent at jsw.gen.nz
Sat Dec 11 15:00:29 UTC 2021

On Sat, 11 Dec 2021 07:59:12 -0600, you wrote:

>>>> Of course, I'm deciding that I might want to build a modern system as
>>>> the old combo  front/backend was limited in speed and memory.
>>>> As I peruse possible holiday sales, I wanted to pick yer brains.
>>>> - Will be a backend only, probably using Shield/Chromecast as frontend
>>>> - most of the budget will be for at least a couple of 12+ TB NAS
>>>> drives for recordings/video library
>>>> - AMD? Intel? Speed? Cores?
>>>> - motherboard suggestions? Perhaps an NVME for OS/database, but enough
>>>> SATA connections for possible expansion past two storage drives.
>>>> - case: current case is just over a foot tall. Limited bays. Would
>>>> like a case that can hold at least four 3.5 inch drives.
>>>> If anyone has built a backend lately, I'd love to hear your choices.
>>> I built a BE/FE a few months ago. I cared about wake-on-lan and
>>> luckily the Gigabyte
>>> B550M DS3H that I got supports it. I got an AMD quad core Ryzen 3 pro 4350g
>>> with integrated graphics. All seems to work fine. My only regret is that I
>>> got a non-stock CPU fan that turned out both larger, and louder, than the
>>> original. The stock AMD fan cannot be replaced after removal, so don't put
>>> it on until you're really sure!
>Based on limited personal experience and what a friend says who is ran a 
>private repair business the stock AMD CPU heat sink/fan combos are meant 
>to be meant to be tossed: they barely cool a lightly working CPU.  With 
>the AMD FX-9320 CPU/heatsink combo my 'workhorse' computer (not the 
>Backend) was idling at about 130°F and eventually was overheating and 
>shutting down while doing overnight backups.  Not good.  Replaced the 
>heatsink and fan with a CoolerMaster EVO 212 and I've gotten down to the 
>upper 80's.
>As for the sound level, I've got a couple of CoolerMasters around the 
>house and essentially silent.  I think the case fans are noisier.  Check 
>the dB ratings: lower number is quieter.  New fans can be a lot quieter 
>than the ones you are using now: engineered with less turbulence while 
>increasing air flow (oh yeah: for the cfm value  higher is better).
>Be sure to remove the heat!  A single case fan might not be enough.
>You might also wish to monitor your temperatures: here I use a utility 
>called 'psensor'.

When I got my new AMD Ryzen 7 3700X CPU, the cooler that came with
that (a Wraith Prism) was fine for the job.  I believe it is a
rebadged Cooler Master product.  It even has RGB lighting.

A CPU at Ryzen 7 level is overkill for MythTV.  I put an AMD Ryzen 3
3100 into my mother's MythTV box when it was upgraded, and that is way
more than enough, when coupled with 16 Gibytes of RAM and a fast PCIe
v3 NVMe SSD.  The cooler that came with that is fine as well, but
nothing fancy like the Wraith Prism.  I was really impressed with just
how fast the Ryzen 3 3100 is.  But when I got my Ryzen 7 3700X, it
turns out that it is literally "blink and you miss it" fast - if you
blink while the screen is updating, you can miss that anything has
changed because it has all happened before your eyes open again.

For a new MythTV box these days, a Ryzen 3 is fine.  I would put more
money into getting a better NVMe SSD than into a faster CPU.  And 8
Gibytes of RAM is getting to be necessary if your database is growing.
MythTV does a lot of things by putting big lists in RAM, such as the
list of all your recordings or all your videos.  My database is
massive (> 50,000 recordings), so with only 8 Gibytes of RAM in my
main MythTV box (AMD FX-4100, Asus M5A97 Evo motherboard), it does
swap unused parts of mythfrontend out to disk.  But that is not
impacting performance (yet).  The old motherboard with only 4 Gibytes
of RAM that it replaced was really struggling, with the then much
smaller database.

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