It is currently Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:20 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 25 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: how create silent workspace byhousing PC in closet 35ft away
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:58 am
Posts: 5
Location: California
Hi,

I'm a newcomer and not particularly savvy in the world of computers so am looking for some assistance.

Background...

I enjoy using a Windows XP desktop PC in our family room but I can no longer tolerate its constant hum. I leave the machine on 24/7 because I use it on and off for a better part of each day, but the noise it generates is driving me nuts.

Coincidentally, I'm in the market to upgrade this desktop as it is several years old and I want something faster. But before I blow my budget (ideally less than $1200) all on the PC, maybe I should be saving some of that budget to put towards my dream of silent computing.

To create a much quieter (silent?) and less crowded workspace in the family room, I'm thinking I should plan to set up my new machine in an air-conditioned closet at the other end of the house about 35 feet away yet figure out a way to still operate it from the family room. (The previous home-owner stored wine in that closet and had an air-conditioner installed in the closet wall, so that seems like a logical place to tuck a noisy toasty PC.)

In the family room, I'm going to want a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, audio input, webcam, and some manner of plugging in (currently by USB) my digital camera and palm centro phone for synchronization.

If it matters, I use the machine primarily to concurrently run Outlook, Word, Excel, Photoshop, Firefox, and iTunes and I like to watch TV programs online (so video quality is of interest to me).

So here's where the questions start...

What are my options for creating this kind of setup where I control my new PC from 35 feet away?

Which of them is the most economical solution to support this?

Are there inexpensive products designed for this? Or maybe products not designed for this but that would solve it anyway?

I see things online called "netcomputers" and "network computer terminals" and "thin clients" and "zero clients" and "KVM console extenders" and I don't comprehend what most of it really is. Some of the companies that I've been browsing online include Wyse, Raybow, and NComputing. My impression is that most of that stuff is overkill for my situation and designed more for enterprise customers rather than home users.

What about extension cables... would it be smart and economical to just run really long cables in the crawl space under the house from the family room to the closet? Do such long cables exist and if so, is 35 feet too far to support the quality and speed I'd likely want? If so, what kind of cables should I be looking for?

My husband suggested I get a second inexpensive computer for the family room and strictly run only VNC on it, reserving all the real work for the machine in the closet, but I'm thinking I'm still gonna hear the local machine. Also, I'm thinking that solution doesn't allow me to sync my camera and phone locally anymore.

Thanks in advance for your advice,
cynthia


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:53 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Plymouth, MI
I had a reply typed up earlier but SPCR went down for a bit--will come back later and try again, gotta go to work now.

WELCOME TO SPCR! :D

_________________
R.I.P. Felger Carbon & cpemma


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:29 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:14 am
Posts: 1235
Location: Finland
I've a similar setup, but much less distance: My cables are just 5 meters long (16.4 feet) and the computer is in a walk-in closet right next to my study where my display, keyboard and mouse are.

There's absolutely no point to build 2 machines to achieve what you want.

There are basically 2 kinds of extension cables:

- passive, ie. just plain normal cables. The USB specification gives a maximum length for usb cables at 5 meters = 16.4 feet. For display, no maximum is given, but you need a good quality cable. My local electronics store has a passive DVI-D Dual Link cable of 10 meters = 32.8 feet but nothing longer. This cable has 10 years guarantee and says that it works up to 2560x1600 resolution, and costs 42 euros = 63 dollars. Do you think 32.8 feet would cut it for the display cable? If the display cable is not of good enough quality and that long, it would make random wrong color pixels appear all over. You should notice this easily if you try it.

- active, ie. has some electronics inside it. Basically you will need to use something like this for USB. I'm not familiar with anything specific, but there are products for this.

So one long passive DVI cable for display and one active USB cable for everything else, then you need an USB HUB at the family room to connect mouse, keyboard, camera, maybe you want an external optical drive too, etc. They can all be connected to one powered USB hub at the family room.

You should measure the required length of the cables very carefully. Put some wire to where exactly you want the cables to go and measure how long it is. It might be hard to get much longer display cables that are passive. Of course there are then active ones too, but they are probably much more expensive.

Another option, as you are building a new computer, is to make it silent. Today there are components that make this very easy. You could get a Seasonic X series PSU that only turns the fan on when the system is under heavy load. You could get a SSD instead of spinning hard drives. Get a passively cooled GPU, you don't need anything expensive on that front so it should be really easy. Then get a large CPU cooler (something from thermalright) with a slow spinning Scythe fan on it, and same fans for case exhaust.

Basically you don't seem to need a very power hungry computer so you should easily make it almost silent.

_________________
my general purpose desktop system: HP LP3065 30" LCD 2560x1600 pixels, Q9450, 8GB DDR2 ECC 800MHz, EVGA 460GTX 1GB SC (OC@800MHz/2000MHz), WD Velociraptor 300GB, Samsung 2TB, Gigabyte EX38-DS4, Antec P182b, Corsair VX450, Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, Scythe S-Flex fan, <90W AC idle, 200W AC gaming


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:30 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11851
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
lm wrote:
Another option, as you are building a new computer, is to make it silent. Today there are components that make this very easy. You could get a Seasonic X series PSU that only turns the fan on when the system is under heavy load. You could get a SSD instead of spinning hard drives. Get a passively cooled GPU, you don't need anything expensive on that front so it should be really easy. Then get a large CPU cooler (something from thermalright) with a slow spinning Scythe fan on it, and same fans for case exhaust.

Basically you don't seem to need a very power hungry computer so you should easily make it almost silent.

I agree w/ this option -- way easier than the remote thing -- cheaper, more user friendly, easier to maintain, etc. For super-simplicity, an all-in-one is unbeatable these days -- esp. w/ wireless ethernet, keyboard & mouse. Ready-mades using a processor more powerful than an Atom will not be that quiet (except for the iMacs) but you can make your own: Make or get a mini-itx (or similar size) system that can be hung off the back of a 24" monitor. Something like a Zotac FG9300 board w/ mid-level Intel C2D, 4gb ram, SSD, win7 can go into a small enough case and yet be cooled quietly enough. W/ the monitor, you should be able to do this for well under $1000. But it will require some research, knowledge and work...

Simpler would be a very quiet, more conventional desktop system w/ mATX board. (I put together a desktop using an SSD for someone recently -- it measured like 12 dBA right in front of it.) This might be cheaper to pull together than the smaller system simply because you tend to pay a bit of a premium for the small stuff. You could have $ left over for a wireless network system using your old system as a file/media server in that closet.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:58 am
Posts: 5
Location: California
Thanks, lm and Mike, for the advice.

The all-in-one solution sounds great but building my own silent computer is way too advanced for me (and with 2 babies, I don't have the time to invest in the learning curve). I'm in the market for a ready-made solution.

So per your advice, after I select a new desktop, I'll start shopping for a long passive DVI cable, a long active USB cable, and a USB hub.

grateful for your expertise,
cynthia


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:13 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11851
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
cromer wrote:
Thanks, lm and Mike, for the advice.

The all-in-one solution sounds great but building my own silent computer is way too advanced for me (and with 2 babies, I don't have the time to invest in the learning curve). I'm in the market for a ready-made solution.

So per your advice, after I select a new desktop, I'll start shopping for a long passive DVI cable, a long active USB cable, and a USB hub.

grateful for your expertise,
cynthia

Before you go the remote route, have a look at this review of a tiny PC by Asus: http://www.silentpcreview.com/Asus_EeeBox_B202 It's very quiet and can hang off the back of a big monitor to be even quieter. The model reviewed was the least capable; the B204 handles HD video but may be hard to find.

Similarly quiet tiny items from Lenovo -- Q100, Q110, Q100. Lenovo also offers some new all-in-ones using components similar to that found in the above little systems, but inside 20" monitors -- Lenovo C300 - 30122DU would be the best bet -- $550!

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:58 am
Posts: 5
Location: California
Wow, those Asus and Lenovo products are really intriguing. I didn't know anything like that existed. Thanks, Mike.

My primary reason for wanting to upgrade my current machine is how slow it is. Every time I switch between applications, I have to wait and wait. (I am running XP Home on an AMD Turion 64 ML-34 (1.8GHz/1MB L2 Cache) with 1.0GB DDR SDRAM (2x512MB) and an 80 GB 4200 RPM Hard Drive.)

So my concern with those Asus and Lenovo products is whether or not they're going to run slowly when I'm using Photoshop or when I'm multitasking. By multitasking, I'm referring to my desire to concurrently run Outlook, Word, Excel, Photoshop, iTunes, Internet Explorer, and about 20 open tabs in Firefox. And occasionally I like to watch TV programs online. I'm also running McAfee Security which seems to slow things down as well.

Do you think these Asus and Lenovo products would be powerful and speedy enough for me to do all that on a regular basis? (To be honest, even if I were to buy a regular desktop PC, I'm not sure what kinds of specs I'm looking for. I see machines advertised for gamers, which I am not, but perhaps those machines have the processing power, speed, and memory that would significantly improve my experience with Photoshop and heavy multitasking.)

Thanks for all your guidance,
cynthia


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:45 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11851
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
hmmmm... maybe those asus and lenovos won't be fast enough for you. They mostly use Atom, dual-core 330s on the faster ones, and better graphics on the best ones -- but those are not faster than the Turion you have. The big bottleneck on your setup is that 4200rpm drive. Very slow.

Ideally you want a full-power AMD A64-dualcore or Intel Core2Duo at close to 3GHz, with 4gb ram and Windows 7. quadcore might be better -- but only if it's at the same clock speed, and you'll pay a lot more for that. The combination of a small SSD for the OS (cheap enough but very fast) and a large hard 5400rpm hard drive (very cheap and quiet) for storage would be good. Onboard video would be good enough, especially with AMD785, Intel G45 or nVida9300 chip. Something like this would run rings around your PC -- or the new small/cute pcs I suggested earlier.

A very cost effective, full featured, quiet system could be built around the 45W AMD Athlon II X2 240e 2.8 GHz -- (prices from newegg)

45W AMD Athlon II X2 240e $60
MSI 785GTM-E45 AMD 785G mATX Motherboard $70
4GB DDR2 RAM decent quality - $80
Corsair CMFSSD-32D1 32GB Solid state disk - $150
1~1.5 tb 5400 or 5900rpm drive, Samsung, Seagate or WD - $100~120

Add case, psu, optical drive, heatsink, a fan or 2 -- plus OS. You can probably have it all for maybe $600~700. But these final choices are critical for low noise & effective cooling.

But if you don't want to sweat the details, an iMac is tough to beat, tho pricey, with http://www.silentpcreview.com/Lenovo_IdeaCentre_A600 a cheaper, slightly noisier alternative. Haven't reviewed any of the other all-in-ones yet, but they are coming -- from HP, Asus, etc. The main question w/ these is whether they're quiet enough. If it's not, it's hard do do anything about it, so you're stuck...

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:51 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11851
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
cromer wrote:
So my concern with those Asus and Lenovo products is whether or not they're going to run slowly when I'm using Photoshop or when I'm multitasking. By multitasking, I'm referring to my desire to concurrently run Outlook, Word, Excel, Photoshop, iTunes, Internet Explorer, and about 20 open tabs in Firefox. And occasionally I like to watch TV programs online. I'm also running McAfee Security which seems to slow things down as well.

btw, you can't possibly use all those programs at the same time, can you? I mean we all do this sometimes, but sooner or later, I find some programs just sitting, wasting resources. Shutting down some of them would really help speed the active programs. Photoshop is often a memory hog depending on how you've set it up. And why 2 browsers? :?:

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:16 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:14 am
Posts: 1235
Location: Finland
When you run a bunch of programs at the same time, you need a lot of RAM.

My system has 8GB and I can throw anything at it, works like a charm.

No wonder that you feel your machine being slow when it only has 1GB of RAM.

However you can only get 4GB to a 32bit system. If you get a 64bit Win7, there is no upper limit (although there might still be a limit on differently priced versions).

MikeC: The computer should adapt to the way you work, and not the other way around. My build follows this philosophy.

_________________
my general purpose desktop system: HP LP3065 30" LCD 2560x1600 pixels, Q9450, 8GB DDR2 ECC 800MHz, EVGA 460GTX 1GB SC (OC@800MHz/2000MHz), WD Velociraptor 300GB, Samsung 2TB, Gigabyte EX38-DS4, Antec P182b, Corsair VX450, Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, Scythe S-Flex fan, <90W AC idle, 200W AC gaming


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:25 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11851
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
lm wrote:
MikeC: The computer should adapt to the way you work, and not the other way around. My build follows this philosophy.

Sure, but there are always factors that impinge -- like cost, for example -- and adjustments in work habits can often improve productivity.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:58 am
Posts: 5
Location: California
I think I end up leaving all those apps running concurrently because waiting for them to start up and shut down takes ages as well.

(With the kids at my feet, I can compute for about 5 minutes at a time throughout the day and so I'm really impatient about being able to access things quickly.)

I had to attach an external drive and point Photoshop at it to prevent it from hanging for hours at a time even when that's one of the few programs running.

As for 2 browsers, I usually keep them both open so I can proof web-page edits before I push them to my site.

Wow, I so appreciate all the detailed machine spec advice, Mike. I have to digest this. Because I'm so impatient and time-constrained, my gut is still telling me to get the fastest machine I can afford at the expense of noise and then go back to the original solution of locating it in the closet in order to combat the noise.

taking it all in,
cynthia


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:47 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:14 am
Posts: 1235
Location: Finland
Notice, that in this kind of multitasking, the background programs, except the virus scanner, are often idle, so the CPU is not the bottleneck as long as the system has at least two cores so that virus scanner can waste one of them and one is available for productive work.

So basically you just need to make sure the machine does not need to use swap because its out of RAM.

And nowadays RAM is cheap.

_________________
my general purpose desktop system: HP LP3065 30" LCD 2560x1600 pixels, Q9450, 8GB DDR2 ECC 800MHz, EVGA 460GTX 1GB SC (OC@800MHz/2000MHz), WD Velociraptor 300GB, Samsung 2TB, Gigabyte EX38-DS4, Antec P182b, Corsair VX450, Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, Scythe S-Flex fan, <90W AC idle, 200W AC gaming


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:23 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 540
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Honestly, I would advise against the closet idea. I could give you a whole load of reasons why, but I'll leave it at: closets are much better for servers..not for your daily "compute"...(haha get it?)

_________________
The Rig: Asus P5Q, e8400 O.C.'d to 3.6 Ghz w/ Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro, MSI GTX460 768MB, 4x1gb G.Skill@1066Mhz, 320gb WD & 500gb Samsung suspended, Corsair 520W PSU, Windows 7 Professional x64


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:29 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:14 am
Posts: 1235
Location: Finland
Rogue, bleh, what is the point of your comment if you can't give any concrete reasons.

Some reasons why you need physical access, and how to deal with them:

Problem: Need to press power button to turn computer on.

Solutions:

- Just keep it on

- Enable "power on by keyboard"

- Bring the power button to the family room by an extension cord

Problem: Need to access optical drive

Solutions:

- Optical drives are a thing of the past, USB keys are today.

- Put an external optical drive to family room, connected to the usb hub.

Honestly I can't think of more than these 2 that occur more often. Bear in mind that I actively use this kind of setup myself and I think it works really nicely (even though my computer is just 2-3 meters away from where I sit, but nevertheless its inside a closet).

If the system does not work properly, and the box needs to be opened, then that is a situation where you probably want to carry the box to where the keyboard is. But how often do you expect to really do that? I've had my computer in that closet for about one year now, and I've only swapped some hard drives in the case, which did not require taking it out of there.

Which reminds me...

To OP: You need long cables for audio too. OR an external USB sound"card". But the cables are cheaper (however you need to judge by yourself if the perceived audio quality is worsened too much by these long cables).

_________________
my general purpose desktop system: HP LP3065 30" LCD 2560x1600 pixels, Q9450, 8GB DDR2 ECC 800MHz, EVGA 460GTX 1GB SC (OC@800MHz/2000MHz), WD Velociraptor 300GB, Samsung 2TB, Gigabyte EX38-DS4, Antec P182b, Corsair VX450, Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, Scythe S-Flex fan, <90W AC idle, 200W AC gaming


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:58 am
Posts: 5
Location: California
Cute. I get it.

If you have time, RoGuE, I'd love to be educated on why closets are not so good for the daily computer.

In full disclosure, another part of the strong allure to me with hiding it in the closet is that besides enabling me to get a really fast and powerful machine while also solving the noise issue, I'm imagining a much more aesthetically pleasing and less cluttered workspace, since I can completely hide the machine and some of the peripherals like the printer and my 3 external hard drives in the closet.

My motives are vain, I realize, but I'm trying to justify locating my "office" in a nicely decorated somewhat-space-constrained family room without hiding it behind computer-armoire-doors so that it's instantly and constantly accessible throughout the day. Even with a quiet machine, the machine still needs a well-ventilated location (correct?) and to me that translates to being "on display".

My true vision (which I admit is perhaps unrealistic, unreasonable, and cost-prohibitive) is that the only thing "on display" is a monitor, a nice-looking ergonomic chair, a wireless keyboard and mouse on a pullout tray, and the minimum of cabling required to support all this. The rest would ideally be hidden behind closed doors, either in neighboring cabinets or in that air-conditioned closet I have available. I'm picturing the USB sync cables for my digital camera, pda-phone, and iPod, along with space for those devices hidden but easily accessible in a drawer under my desk-top. I'm picturing a decently sized flat-screen monitor with a built-in webcam, built-in speakers, and an anti-glare coating (to combat the light that shines in through the large windows behind me).

My vision also includes being able to enjoy peace and silence in this room when we so choose. I would love to be able to, without powering down my machine and without having to compete with its whirring and humming, sit down to read to myself or the kids. And at other times, I'd love to be able to compute while still being able to clearly hear the kids in the next room and hear the birds chirping out the window.

Maybe I'm too sensitive to noise...
Our family room opens up to the dining area and kitchen and even the hum of the refrigerator makes it hard for me to fully relax. And I don't think anything can be done about that one. :)
When I'm craving quiet, I even opt to shut off the house AC on hot summer days if the kids can tolerate the heat, because that noise also really bothers me.

still absorbing all your advice and open to more input,
thank you,
cynthia


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:01 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:14 am
Posts: 1235
Location: Finland
Actually making the room tidier was one of my motives also, besides the one of reducing noise.

And I achieved it. My study is super tidy. No big ugly boxes lying on the floor and no mess with cables either (the ones I need are somewhat hidden by hanging from the backside of a bookshelf in the space between the shelf and the wall.

This was partly necessary to be able to run my robotic vacuum cleaner in this room, so that it would not bump into the PC or get stuck in the cables.

_________________
my general purpose desktop system: HP LP3065 30" LCD 2560x1600 pixels, Q9450, 8GB DDR2 ECC 800MHz, EVGA 460GTX 1GB SC (OC@800MHz/2000MHz), WD Velociraptor 300GB, Samsung 2TB, Gigabyte EX38-DS4, Antec P182b, Corsair VX450, Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, Scythe S-Flex fan, <90W AC idle, 200W AC gaming


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:03 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11851
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Even though RoGuE didn't get into the details, I know where he's coming from. 35 feet is a long way for kvm and USB cables.

I think your requirements are best met with a quiet, relatively compact PC near your kvm, and a file server in that closet, with gigabit LAN if you have the wiring access --or fast wireless ethernet. Your current PC is probably perfectly adequate to be that file server.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 134
Location: California
Cromer,

I'd be interested in how this all comes out. I actually have a similar situation as I am moving into a new home soon and my main workstation will have to be in a much more 'public' part the house. Assuming I could solve the cable routing problem (not simple) then I could hide the main PC chassis about 30 feet away in a well ventilated space next to my file servers.

Making the computer silent is not really an option. It is used for heavy video editing and it is a monster - dual Xeon X5570s, 8 drive raid array, lots of RAM, etc. I've used every technique I know to make it quiet (thanks SPCR!) and its not really all that loud, but its not silent. Its also hot...it can heat a room pretty quickly if ventilation is lacking.

What I'd really love to end up with is just the two monitors, keyboard, mouse, speakers and USB at the worktable and the active part hidden away.

I'll have to make some decisions about what to do in about 30 days - I'd love for you to keep us posted if you follow through on this.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 134
Location: California
Reading this got me thinking and looking around a bit. There are a couple of issues that may creep up:

- DVI-I spec is max 5 meter cables (16ft). A few minutes with google show reports of success up to 50ft, but also notes about video artifacts. With quality cables there seems to be evidence that you are safe up to about 2x spec (32 feet) which is just short of your objective (and perhaps well short when you add in the ups/downs of cable routing).

- HDMI might be an option. Of course you may need to replace your monitor and/or video card to use it. HDMI does not have a length spec, per se, but does have a certification process. HDMI 1.3 cables have been certified up to 45ft, even longer with HDMI 1.2, and non-certified cables up to 75ft are easily found for sale. HDMI cables may be easier to route as they are generally thinner and more flexible than DVI and have smaller connectors - important if you have to penetrate walls or traverse conduit. HDMI can also carry your audio for you - saves another cable, albeit a little & cheap one.

- For me, I don't know of a video card with 2x HDMI... (pointers appreciated) so I would have to go to dual video cards. Might work...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:41 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11851
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
I know DisplayLink USB Network Display monitors can take the video output via USB2... but these seemed to come and go really fast, haven't heard about them in about a year. Samsung & LG had some monitors with this.

HDMI is ok to 50' -- so that's obviously a good option.

Then USB for keyboard, mouse & optical drive and/or mem card reader.

Out of curiosity, I checked wikipedia on USB2:
Quote:
Although a single cable is limited to 5 metres, the USB 2.0 specification permits up to five USB hubs in a long chain of cables and hubs. This allows for a maximum distance of 30 metres (98 ft) between host and device, using six cables 5 metres (16 ft) long and five hubs. In actual use, since some USB devices have built-in cables for connecting to the hub, the maximum achievable distance is 25 metres (82 ft) + the length of the device's cable.

To go 35', you'd have to use two USB hubs and 3 lengths of USB cables.

So this would be doable... but I don't think the cabling would necessarily be tidy. The 2 hubs probably need AC power...

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:39 pm 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:14 am
Posts: 1235
Location: Finland
MikeC: You need just one hub if you use the active USB cables. They use ethernet cabling to keep the signal from degrading (remember that ethernet is good for much longer distances than usb) and then they have some electronics necessary to match the impedances and possibly to amplify the signal.

_________________
my general purpose desktop system: HP LP3065 30" LCD 2560x1600 pixels, Q9450, 8GB DDR2 ECC 800MHz, EVGA 460GTX 1GB SC (OC@800MHz/2000MHz), WD Velociraptor 300GB, Samsung 2TB, Gigabyte EX38-DS4, Antec P182b, Corsair VX450, Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, Scythe S-Flex fan, <90W AC idle, 200W AC gaming


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 134
Location: California
I actually think this could work out really well. Glad I found this thread and got myself thinking!

Here's a couple of ideas to help make it pretty. HDMI wallplates, example here: http://www.mycablemart.com/store/cart.p ... ail&p=1531. This is just from quick google searches - I'm sure it could be done even better with a single plate that has HDMI & USB in the same cover!

Or how about this? Has anybody played with HDMI over Cat5? Looks like you dedicate 2 cat5s to carry the HDMI signal - these claim to be certified for HDMI 1.3b up to 65ft: http://www.mycablemart.com/store/cart.p ... ail&p=1531. Cat5 cable is simple to pull through walls...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:09 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11851
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
I dunno, I still think a wee silent box on the back of a 24" monitor (or under it in a low profile case) is still the best solution. This is self-contained, complete. You could even have it be one cable -- just one shared AC cable to the wall, short video cable tucked behind, wireless ethernet, keybopard and mouse. If you ever have to relocate the PC, or move, the remote solution is not portable, and you have to start all over again.

Obviously the long cables are the only option for your monster, piglover, but for the OP, the wee silent box is a definite possibility.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:29 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:32 am
Posts: 134
Location: California
MikeC wrote:
I dunno, I still think a wee silent box on the back of a 24" monitor (or under it in a low profile case) is still the best solution. This is self-contained, complete. You could even have it be one cable -- just one shared AC cable to the wall, short video cable tucked behind, wireless ethernet, keybopard and mouse. If you ever have to relocate the PC, or move, the remote solution is not portable, and you have to start all over again.

Obviously the long cables are the only option for your monster, piglover, but for the OP, the wee silent box is a definite possibility.

Its tough to edit 60-80 Gb of video content per project, driving 2 24 inch 1080p monitors, doing 3d transforms, etc, on that wee little box...my struggle is that the right compute platform is right noisy any my new home puts the 'office' in quite open living space.

I've done all I can to silence the monster, but it will never be silent enough to make the lady of the house happy...

BTW - I actually own that wee little box, and Atom 330 in a case from mini-box hanging on the back of a monitor. Use it for E-mail, general web surfing and a print server for the kids laptops. It is wonderful - until you get carried away and try to open Photoshop on it. After the move I'll post some pictures.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 25 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group