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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 11-07-2011, 06:37 PM
CanadianEh CanadianEh is offline
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Need to build new SageTV low-heat client

Hi all,

I am trying to piece together a SageTV client solution that produces low-heat so that it can sit in my living room media cabinet, which doesn't have the best airflow, to say the least. Currently, I have an HD-100 in there which seems to have no overheating issues, as does my stereo.

The purpose of the client PC will be for SageTV playback, or whatever HTPC software I switch to when forced. It needs to be able to SMOOTHLY playback 1080i recordings off an HD-PVR, and ideally, could play blu-ray 1080P content.

Should I go ITX with an external power supply? The reason I am skeptical is that the lowest wattage AMD dual-core CPU I can find is 65w, which tends to be the max size of the power supplies. This way, I could place the power brick behind the media cabinet, where there is open airflow.

Also, I see comments to "go sandy bridge and don't look back". With a Sandy Bridge processor, do I need to be concerned with what on-board video chipset is used?

Lastly, does an SSD typically produce less heat than a mechanical hard drive? Just curious.


Thank you all
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Main Client: Sage STX-HD100 Media extender
Second Client: Athlon XP 4000+, 2GB MB PC3200 DDR, Asus A8N5X MB, 512MB PCI-E ATI HD Radeon 3650, 160 GB SATA - hardware mirrored
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2011, 05:58 AM
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Kirby Kirby is offline
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Just built a new HTPC, Intel DH61AG motherboard, G620 cpu, 8gb ram, and Intel SSD. Runs silent and cool in my case. Plays BD without issues too, using onboard HDMI from motherboard.

I use a 150W HP laptop power adapter for the 19v input. Go Sandybridge.
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HTPC Client:Intel DH61AG, Intel G620 cpu, 8GB ram, Intel 80GB SSD, 4GB RamDisk holding Sage/Java/TMT5
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2011, 06:13 AM
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scoful scoful is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirby View Post
Just built a new HTPC, Intel DH61AG motherboard, G620 cpu, 8gb ram, and Intel SSD. Runs silent and cool in my case. Plays BD without issues too, using onboard HDMI from motherboard.

I use a 150W HP laptop power adapter for the 19v input. Go Sandybridge.
I just built one of these (except I didn't know they had a model with HDMI built in - I wish I had that one instead) and it works great. 4Gb RAM and Kingston 64gb SSD in a tiny inWin case. I have mine in a cabinet and use a USB powered fan to pull air into the cabinet. (It's not silent, but it's pretty quiet)
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  #4  
Old 11-08-2011, 10:03 AM
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xred xred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirby View Post
Just built a new HTPC, Intel DH61AG motherboard, G620 cpu, 8gb ram, and Intel SSD. Runs silent and cool in my case. Plays BD without issues too, using onboard HDMI from motherboard.

I use a 150W HP laptop power adapter for the 19v input. Go Sandybridge.
Agreed, go with an ITX or PicoPSU power supply. Lowers the heat inside the case and is completely silent as well.
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2011, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoful View Post
I just built one of these (except I didn't know they had a model with HDMI built in - I wish I had that one instead) and it works great. 4Gb RAM and Kingston 64gb SSD in a tiny inWin case. I have mine in a cabinet and use a USB powered fan to pull air into the cabinet. (It's not silent, but it's pretty quiet)
Yeah the DH61AG is a HTPC board through and through. Has HTPC header, recording LED, HDMI, etc etc. Nice little board!
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HTPC Client:Intel DH61AG, Intel G620 cpu, 8GB ram, Intel 80GB SSD, 4GB RamDisk holding Sage/Java/TMT5
Sage Client:Sage HD-200 Extender
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2011, 11:04 AM
CanadianEh CanadianEh is offline
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Thank you, all. You convinced me to stray away from AMD for a change. I've ordered an i3-2120T Sandy Bridge 2.6Ghz 35w processor with an Intel DH67CFB3 motherboard. The motherboard you all referenced doesn't seem to be available from Newegg. I'm pairing it with 8GB RAM, the Antec ISK-300-65 mini-ITX case with external 65w power supply, and an OCZ 60GB SATA III SSD.

I think that little setup should perform nicely for a living room HTPC.... at least I hope
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My systems:
Server: AMD Phenom Quad-Core 2.3Ghz, 4GB RAM, ECS A780GM-A MB, 2x HD-PVRs (connected to DirecTV HD STBs using ethernet channel changing), 1x AverMedia A180, OS RAID-1 mirror - 2x250GB 7200rpm SATA, Media RAID-1 mirror - 2x1TB 7200rpm SATA, USB-UIRT (remote control)
Main Client: Sage STX-HD100 Media extender
Second Client: Athlon XP 4000+, 2GB MB PC3200 DDR, Asus A8N5X MB, 512MB PCI-E ATI HD Radeon 3650, 160 GB SATA - hardware mirrored
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2011, 11:35 AM
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Kirby Kirby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianEh View Post
Thank you, all. You convinced me to stray away from AMD for a change. I've ordered an i3-2120T Sandy Bridge 2.6Ghz 35w processor with an Intel DH67CFB3 motherboard. The motherboard you all referenced doesn't seem to be available from Newegg. I'm pairing it with 8GB RAM, the Antec ISK-300-65 mini-ITX case with external 65w power supply, and an OCZ 60GB SATA III SSD.

I think that little setup should perform nicely for a living room HTPC.... at least I hope
The motherboard isnt available at newegg, but it is at amazon. That is where I got mine from. Also, if you arent going to be doing comskip processing, or encoding on that box, your CPU is overkill, and the T processors are a waste of money. Get a G620 and save your money. It also doesnt run anywhere near the 65W spec, usually much closer to 35W.
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HTPC Client:Intel DH61AG, Intel G620 cpu, 8GB ram, Intel 80GB SSD, 4GB RamDisk holding Sage/Java/TMT5
Sage Client:Sage HD-200 Extender
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2011, 12:31 PM
CanadianEh CanadianEh is offline
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I thought about dropping to just the G620 proc, but I still don't fully know what I'm going to do with this box yet. I may also integrate GameEx for some emulated games and also play some actual decent games on it as well. I just didn't want to be disappointed I couldn't do something with it right out of the box.
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My systems:
Server: AMD Phenom Quad-Core 2.3Ghz, 4GB RAM, ECS A780GM-A MB, 2x HD-PVRs (connected to DirecTV HD STBs using ethernet channel changing), 1x AverMedia A180, OS RAID-1 mirror - 2x250GB 7200rpm SATA, Media RAID-1 mirror - 2x1TB 7200rpm SATA, USB-UIRT (remote control)
Main Client: Sage STX-HD100 Media extender
Second Client: Athlon XP 4000+, 2GB MB PC3200 DDR, Asus A8N5X MB, 512MB PCI-E ATI HD Radeon 3650, 160 GB SATA - hardware mirrored
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2011, 01:18 PM
jchiso jchiso is offline
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I'm not sure why people on these forums dislike AMD- and ATI-based systems so much, but I just bought a Foxconn nt-a3500 barebones from Newegg for $155. It's an AMD E-350 system, that takes up to 4GB of RAM and has Radeon HD6310 graphics.

I stuck 4GB of 1066 DDR3, a 250GB 2.5" SATA drive, installed Windows XP and it works perfectly as a Client. Plays 1080p, GB LAN, HDMI, DVI and optical out all work flawlessly. It's tiny, quiet and uses very little power. I had previously struggled with a Giada N3 Cube (Atom 330 with nVidia ION), so the Foxconn was like a dream.

The next thing I'd like to do (and I should probably start a separate thread for this) is get people's input for Best Practices for configuring a (relatively) Windows-unobtrusive Client ...

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  #10  
Old 11-08-2011, 02:36 PM
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gplasky gplasky is offline
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I've settled on this one:
Zotac ZBOX Nano AD10 Plus U Mini SFF PC Review




Barebones are available for around $210. Read the review. Playback is impressive. I'll let you know how it goes once I get this received and setup.

Gerry
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  #11  
Old 11-08-2011, 07:39 PM
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tvmaster2 tvmaster2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchiso View Post
I'm not sure why people on these forums dislike AMD- and ATI-based systems so much, but I just bought a Foxconn nt-a3500 barebones from Newegg for $155. It's an AMD E-350 system, that takes up to 4GB of RAM and has Radeon HD6310 graphics.

I stuck 4GB of 1066 DDR3, a 250GB 2.5" SATA drive, installed Windows XP and it works perfectly as a Client. Plays 1080p, GB LAN, HDMI, DVI and optical out all work flawlessly. It's tiny, quiet and uses very little power. I had previously struggled with a Giada N3 Cube (Atom 330 with nVidia ION), so the Foxconn was like a dream.

The next thing I'd like to do (and I should probably start a separate thread for this) is get people's input for Best Practices for configuring a (relatively) Windows-unobtrusive Client ...

ditto - using two Gigabyte MB's with built in ATI 4200/4250 Radeon chips. No worries, runs quite and cool with 2GB ram and a low-powered AMD proc. I suppose if you were using the computer for some intense graphics/gaming applications and were concerned with Intel-compliance paranoia, then that may be something. So far, as a HTPC Sage server, the AMD all in one has been great.
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2011, 07:43 PM
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tvmaster2 tvmaster2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gplasky View Post
I've settled on this one:
Zotac ZBOX Nano AD10 Plus U Mini SFF PC Review




Barebones are available for around $210. Read the review. Playback is impressive. I'll let you know how it goes once I get this received and setup.

Gerry
sweet - looking forward to the full report. 65w power supply?
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2011, 10:58 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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I wouldn't say the forum is particularly anti-amd around here. in fact, just about every computer I've built for the last 6 years or so has been AMD based, UNTIL i built my new sage client a year and a half ago. At the time, the i3 was by far the best HTPC processor. AMD had nothing to compare. The e350 is decent, now that it is available, but at the time, that wasn't an option. Frankly, i don't think many here have been building new HTPC's in the last year or so since the e350 hit the market.

Even with that said, at this point, I'd much rather build an i3 system than an e350 (or intel g620, for that matter), simply because I much prefer the headroom it provides on the processor side of the house. It does, as was mentioned, provide with a bit extra room to run some other things on it (games, primarily).
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Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
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  #14  
Old 11-09-2011, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
I wouldn't say the forum is particularly anti-amd around here. in fact, just about every computer I've built for the last 6 years or so has been AMD based, UNTIL i built my new sage client a year and a half ago. At the time, the i3 was by far the best HTPC processor. AMD had nothing to compare. The e350 is decent, now that it is available, but at the time, that wasn't an option. Frankly, i don't think many here have been building new HTPC's in the last year or so since the e350 hit the market.

Even with that said, at this point, I'd much rather build an i3 system than an e350 (or intel g620, for that matter), simply because I much prefer the headroom it provides on the processor side of the house. It does, as was mentioned, provide with a bit extra room to run some other things on it (games, primarily).
Agreed. But since I'm not looking for these to do anything but be some sort of client (Sage TV now-whatever in the future) the AMD E-350 is not only good but good enough. Most of the decoding is done in hardware (mpeg 2, h.264, flash, silverlight and blue ray) so this should work well for quite awhile. Plus the AMD chipset keeps the costs lower. If I was comtemplating some gaming, some video editing or other cpu intensive tasks I would definitely have gone the Intel route. To be honest I would have a hard time building a system from scratch cheaper than this Zotac unit. (Normally I build all my computers.) I've built all of my computers over the past 10 years or more.

Gerry
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  #15  
Old 11-09-2011, 08:28 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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My main reason for sticking with intel is the fact that unless you go with one of those cheapo barebones systems the e350 costs within $40 of a sandy bridge system. That is if you want blu-ray playback (internal drive) and all that stuff.
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  #16  
Old 11-09-2011, 02:50 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panteragstk View Post
My main reason for sticking with intel is the fact that unless you go with one of those cheapo barebones systems the e350 costs within $40 of a sandy bridge system. That is if you want blu-ray playback (internal drive) and all that stuff.
What?

Unless you are talking about a Atom system (Useless Crap) there is a lot more than $40 differences. An i3 Intel has a lot more power than a AMD 350 but for an HTPC client it is wasted. Like to see what you can build for just $40 more than the AMD 350.
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  #17  
Old 11-09-2011, 03:48 PM
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For the system I want the only difference would be the motherboard and cpu.

Mother board $79.99

CPU $82.99 not i3, but close.

For the sub i3 total is 162.98

E-350 board/cpu combo $124.99

Difference is $37.99

If I go with the cheapest foxconn board you can get down to 84.99, but I buy brands I trust (not that anything is wrong with foxconn). I could go with a foxconn 1155 board for $54.99 and the difference would only be $52.99

So, with memory and everything else being equal the maximum difference is little more than $50. To me the extra performance is worth the extra money.

Now then. If I were to just buy a barebones e-350 then there is now way anything could touch that price, but I want native blu-ray playback and that makes the price go up considerably.
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Living room: nVidia Shield TV, Sage Mini Client, 65" Panasonic VT60
Bedroom: Xiomi Mi Box, Sage Mini Client, 42" Panasonic PZ800u
Theater: nVidia Shield TV, mini client, Plex for movies, 120" screen. Mitsubishi HC4000. Denon X4300H. 7.4.4 speaker setup.
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  #18  
Old 11-09-2011, 06:10 PM
jchiso jchiso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
... I'd much rather build an i3 system than an e350 (or intel g620, for that matter), simply because I much prefer the headroom it provides on the processor side of the house. It does, as was mentioned, provide with a bit extra room to run some other things on it (games, primarily).
This is to what I was referring. Perhaps it's not an "anti-AMD" stance, but it's that people almost always mention that Intel variants will perform other tasks more capably. I have no problem with that, but there are some of us here who wish to use various systems solely as SageTV devices. That's no knock on the gaming, media-ripping, and content-encoding crowd, but it presumes that a SageTV user is part of one (or more) of those groups ...
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  #19  
Old 11-09-2011, 06:29 PM
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I never said Intel would perform better than AMD. I said an i3 would out-perform an e350. That is true not just for media ripping, etc, but even just sagetvclient usage. My current i3 client is more responsive than any media system i've ever used. I'm certainly not an intel fanboy, as it's the only intel system I've owned since my 12MHz 286 (even ran a non-intel co-processor on that one). But in this case, i3 is far greater than e350... now, if you weree comparing apples to apples, you'd be comparing the i3 to something like the low end a-series apu's... (like the a4-3300)
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Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
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  #20  
Old 11-09-2011, 10:56 PM
stevech stevech is offline
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I just upgraded my mini-ITX windows 7 box from a gen-1 Intel Atom to an AMD E350 based motherboard (Gigabyte) with HDMI/DVI out. Does just fine with Sage's .ts files with the HDMI connected to my Vizio HD TV at 1080i.

More specifics at
http://forums.smallnetbuilder.com/showthread.php?t=6146
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