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reply to Immer

Re: HTPC Project Build

A self contained CPU water cooling system would be the quietest way to go. They are a lot better now days and require almost no maintenance.

Haven't looked at which ones are good but here is one.

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ··· 35181010

After a quick look though, it seems most people suggest Scythe SHURIKEN and not water cooling.
»www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00700 ··· 070066DI

Evans, GA

1 edit
I have heard great things about the Scythe Shuriken... might have to finally give it a go. Thanks!

edit: but it would also be cool to try out that Corsair H50 cooler. hmmm....

Ukiah, CA
reply to Immer
I'm using an A8-3870K and the same motherboard for my HTPC, with a Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme for the CPU heatsink. The whole system is nearly silent and runs very cool.

reply to Immer
I've been setting up a slightly more elaborate PC, one that will serve as an HTPC, but also a home automation controller, home alarm interface, answering machine, Comcast DVR (via a Silicon Dust device) and a DVR for security cameras.

The boot device is an old Kingston 128 GB SSD drive. Mass storage is to a mechanical 3 TB drive. The case is a 1U rack mount.

Motherboard is an Asus supporting an I7 3770K with 16 GB of RAM.

I've been testing it a bit. Today I overclocked the GPU a bit, and underclocked the CPU. With slightly higher voltage to the GPU.

Then I kicked off World of Warcraft. The result ... frame rates averaging over 40 on relatively low settings and not full 1080 x 1920 resolution. The game wasn't great, but was playable.

Intel has kicked up their integrated GPU's.

Heat was a problem when playing WoW, but isn't for any non-gaming load. Without overclocking the PC will draw a maximum of about 50 watts, averaging about 40 per my Kill a Watt device. With overclocked GPU and playing WoW, power consumption ranged from 80-100 watts.

I don't think this level of GPU is good enough for any serious gamer, but without overclocking it's a fantastic device for surfing, playing videos and what not.

When not playing games, I'm averaging about 35 watts fairly consistently (with no video running, ie video off). 25 watts seems to be the idle floor. I'm going to try underclocking the CPU and GPU cores then lowering voltage to see if I can reliably run the unit without video at about 25 watts. If so, it'll be a capable device and low power.
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman"

Sterling, VA
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to Immer
I tried using the E-350, it worked really well as a stand alone media player, but did not handle live TV. I ended up moving to an A4-3400 which came in at about the same price when couple with a mATX motherboard.

I ended up going with Windows 7 for the HTPC's but keep Ubuntu on a server in the basement. While AMD has made great strides with their linux driver, hardware acceleration for media playback still seemed lacking. I couldn't get smooth HD video playback in either OpenSuSE or Kubuntu even with the proprietary driver.

All of our DVD's and Blu Ray's are ripped to .mp4 or .mkv and are kept on the server. This is done using AnyDVD and Handbrake on my x6 and dumped via samba to the shares on the server. Handbrake shuts the machine down when finished so I generally just leave that running at night. I upgraded the server to an A0-5700 which is 65W and I'm thinking I will start ripping on it. Run AnyDVD to strip the movie from the disk, transfer to server, rip there.

I have 5TB in the server, but so far haven't filled a 2TB, which is kept backed up to an external.

Plex media server runs under ubuntu and the media player runs well on Windows. Plex is based on XBMC and automatically downloads all the information for the movies. Currently it should still be free.

It integrates well with Windows Media Center which we needed for the HD Home Run Prime.

At some point I want to get my hands on a low end Nvidea card to try out Myth TV again.

I voted for Snoopy!