View Full Version : Heat and the Asus A7N8X
09-12-2003, 12:41 PM
I've read alot of good things about this board at this site and others. I'm seriously considering purchasing it as the MB in my new SageTV based HTPC. My one concern is heat and the noise that follows when you try to reduce the temp. I've always been a AMD fan, but I find they tend to run hotter than an equavaliant Intel CPU.
I plan on having at least two(maybe 3) PVR250s, a Matrox G400, and either an Xcard or maybe a 350. This definitely eliminates any of the smaller form factor MBs in my opinion. However I would consider an Intel MB maybe an Abit ICT-G Max II. Can anyone comment on the general heat issue on these two boards and Intel versus AMD in general.
I plan on mounting the whole thing in one of the larger desktop style cases, since it will set in my AV rack.
This will be my first dedicated HTPC so....Any advice/links on HTPCs would be great.
09-26-2003, 07:30 AM
The Athlon XP chips with the Barton and Thoroughbred B core are running significantly cooler than the Thorougbred A and Palamino core based Athlon XP chips did.
In my main PC the difference amounted to 7 C just replacing the Athlon XP 1600+ (Palamino) with a Athlong XP 2500+ chip (Barton). The Thorougbred B and Bartons are .13 micron like the Northwood P4s, so they run at very similar temperatures. The Bartons have the higher amount of cache like the Northwood chips as well. A Barton 2500+ will cost you $80 - $100 less than a HT P4 2.4 GHz.
If you want to ensure your CPU heat sink doesn't generate a lot of noise, look into offerings that allow large diameter fans (at least 80mm) since these can spin slower while moving equal or greater amounts of air than smaller diameter fans. Swiftech, Thermalright, and Zalman would be good brands to look into for quiet heat sinks for you HTPC.
I have build several systems with the A7N8X Deluxe, and one with the new inexpensive A7N8X - X. They are wonderful motherboards. Due to some still unexplained reason nVidia removed the Deluxe from its Soundstorm certified list. Why it met the requirements before, but not now confuses me. It does send AC-3 digital information out, so its still a great board. You can get this board with great audio out for less than the M Audio soundcard/Creative Audigy alone.
If the multi channel digital sound out is your primary reason for looking into the ASUS board, Via now his the inexpensive VIA ENVY 24HT-S version on its Envy "vinyl audio" 7.1 24/192 chipset. This chipset has the quality of the more expensive version of the chipset for HT use, but doesn't have the acceleration of the higher end version (for games). This makes it ideal for HTPCs IMO. Most people will use their "main" PC for games, and the HTPC needs to be able to play media @ the highest quality. Chaintech is offering that chipset on a soundcard that NewEgg sells for $27.
Hope this helps,
09-26-2003, 01:35 PM
I appreciate hearing directly from someone who has used these boards. You are correct that Dolby Digital output to my rack's 5.1 amp is one of the main reasons for going with this board. I have already looked at the Zalman's and have heard good things, but some have commented on the capacitors being very close to CPU mount on the A7N8X. I saw this comment about a Deluxe. Have you ever personally put a Zalman on a Deluxe? Did you have any problems?
I appreciate the advice about the Via boards. I have to admit I have used Via for my last two systems. It's just that I had the issue with SoundBlaster cards causing PCI latency. The patch "fixed" that but, I've found that I have still have more PCI latency issues. I've even pulled the SB and just used the PVR250, my Nic, and my GeForce4 card for a while. I still got latency issues relating to the PVR. Yet the same PVR card put into my neighbor's Nforce board worked great. So long story short, I'm a little wary of Via right now. I know they have since moved on to many other chipsets yet... But I will definitely check out the new Via's.
Thanks for the tips and especially your knowledge.:)
09-29-2003, 07:23 AM
Have you thought about watercooling? Quieter than HSF systems and can be very effective.
The major problem is that they take up more space. In some cases, a LOT more space.
09-30-2003, 04:08 PM
Thanks for the advice.:)
Yes, I have very much considered water cooling. It's just that since the PC will set in my AV rack, there is even more than my computer to worry about. If it was just the PC, I would go water. But I don't dare risk exposing $1,000+ of AV equipment to that risk. I know that the risk is actually very minimal, but the wife would kill me if anything happened. She's already upset that our 5.1 amp died of old age over the weekend and we needed to buy a new one. On the bright side the new one has component I/0 as well as DTS(old just had DD) decoding. Oh and lots more SVHS I/O than my old amp.;)
10-01-2003, 07:06 AM
Oh, hey, then you just don't use water. There's this stuff called "fluorinert" which doesn't conduct electricity, so you can actually submerge electronics in it harmlessly.
Trouble is, it costs something like $1000 per gallon ;-)
10-01-2003, 10:57 AM
Very cool stuff. That's what they used in the old Cray90. Besides cost the only bad side is I've heard that if burnt it forms a "mustard like" gas. This may be an erban/net legend though.
Either way it looks like I'll be using a mixture of N2, O2, Ar, and other trace impurities to cool my system. ;)
10-01-2003, 11:32 AM
A 5.1 amp dying of old age? What brand was it? I expect an amp to last at least 10 years. I hope it was cheap.
10-01-2003, 01:23 PM
It was a Sony. I bought it about 4 years ago, maybe more. It was a floor model so I got it for a good price. I run my amp 24/7. It is either playing TV/music at day or playing relaxation music while I sleep. As for it's death, I blame 2 things...
the local power grid: The local grid is always running at 120% of design spec(I have a former power company worker as a neighbor). We have a 5 second outage every monday around 8AM. We usually have a morning outage on two other random days of the week as well. My PC is on a UPC but the amp draws too much power to use one on it. I'm thinking of investing in a Monster brand power condition for the AV system.
hurricane Isabel: Isable took off my porch roof. While replacing it they tore down what was left of the old roof. This released this very fine gray metallic type dust everywhere. I found that a larger piece of it measured ~2K ohm on my volt meter.
Since the amp died I went thru the house unpluging and cleaning all my electronics. Luckily most already had filters over their air intakes.
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