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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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Old 11-01-2008, 12:46 PM
jcato jcato is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 95
HD HTPC Build

Hi all,

I've used SageTV for a long time, although I'm not using it now because we switched to DirectTV. I'm tired of their DVR and want my Sage back! I also want to watch Blu-Ray movies and be able to play games. I'm trying to build a powerful, quiet and cost effective HTPC. Starting with suggestions over at AVS Forum, I've come up with the following:
  • CPU: Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz Socket 775
  • CPU Cooler: Scythe NINJA MINI SCMNJ-1000
  • Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P Intel P45 chipset ATX
  • Memory: A-DATA ADQVE1B16K DDR2-800 2x2GB Kit
  • Graphics Card: Asus EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850
  • HDD: WD SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB for OS
  • HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB for recordings
  • PSU: SeaSonic S12 SS-550HT 550W
  • Case: nMediaPC 2000B ATX HTPC Case
  • OS: Windows Vista Business SP1 32-bit
  • Blu-Ray: Lite-On DH-4O1S-08 4x BR/DVD/CD ROM
  • Tuner: Silicondust HDHomerun
  • Tuner: Hauppauge HD PVR

Some reasons for some of the choices:
HDD: I don't think SSD is ready yet. Am I wrong? Should I look at SSD?

OS: After a bit of research Business seems to be the best choice, plus it's $50 cheaper than Ultimate. Should I consider 64bit?

Blu-Ray: Seems like a good one and cheaper than the LG GGC-H20L. Will I wish I had the speedier LG?

Because of deals that ended yesterday, I went ahead and bought the case, power supply, motherboard and video card.

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:41 PM
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Razillian Razillian is offline
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Posts: 289
If you are looking at SSD for OS, then it is ready if you don't mind the price. You can get a 32GB SSD SATA-II drive off newegg for under $150. Current SSD drives are rated at 2,000,000 hours which comes out to be about 228+ years of use. If you are still alive and using a 32GB drive in 228 years you have earned a few spots in the Guiness Book of World Records

I plan on upgrading the drive layout in my current Sage box to a 32GB SSD for OS & 2x500GB WD SATA-II drives in Raid 0 config.

Edit: One thing to consider is given the motherboard you are getting has built in raid support is to go with a raid configuration for video storage.
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:22 PM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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Posts: 2,550
Quote:
Originally Posted by Razillian View Post

Edit: One thing to consider is given the motherboard you are getting has built in raid support is to go with a raid configuration for video storage.

I disagree completely. Raid is not necessary for Sage. In fact raid 0 might even hinder the ability to record multiple streams! Why? The main issue with recordings is NOT the thoroughput of a hard drive but the amount of reads/writes at anyone time. If you have 2 hard drives and you Raid 0 them, then EVERY stream has to be recorded to EACH hard drive, so if you have 4 shows recording they are being recorded to both hard drives. If you have two hard drives as seperate recording drives then when you have 4 shows recording "normally" that means that each hard drive is only getting 2 shows recording to it. Thus you have dropped your read/writes to each hard drive in half! Also because you are recording all 4 shows to each hard drive at the same time, you are severly fragmenting your shows. Instead of a span of a hard drive sharing between 2 shows, that span on the hard drive is sharing between 4!!

This is NOT even taking into consideration that RAID 0 doubles your chance of losing your recordings. So if a hard drive fails, you don't lose half your recordings, you lose them ALL.

A modern hard drive is capable of data thoroughput of about 70MB/s, this is equal to 28 1080i MPEG2 Streams.....BUT if you tried to play that many HD Streams they would fail as the hard drive can not do that may Reads at any one time.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:42 AM
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DFranch DFranch is offline
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Posts: 332
Paulbeers:

While I agree with you that raid is not necessary for a sage build I think you are mistaken about raid 0. Raid 0 writes half of the data to disk 1 and half to disk 2. You are correct that if one drive fails all drives are corrupt. Raid 1 would do 2 writes for every 1 write being done.
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