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 Post subject: Please help with two-computer setup
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2003 1:02 pm
Posts: 63
First, the background:

I'd like to have a machine at my apartment that I can leave on all the time, running IMs and a few school-related servers, and that I can Remote Desktop to in order to access all my email, documents, source code, etc. But my current machine runs WAY too hot to leave on all day during the hot Florida summer (which I believe is 11 months a year) without keeping the AC really low (which neither my g/f nor roommate could stand). Plus, I do record financial information in Quicken, and keep passwords and such, so I'm not sure I want my main machine to be public. Finally, I have an AIW and like to record and encode shows at night, but my machine is loud and it's nearly impossible to sleep with it going.

So, I figured I would build a second machine to be a dedicated, low(er) power, cool and quiet server. And here's where I could use some help with the following questions:

1- Is there a full-ATX desktop-style case that looks nice (HTPC-ish) that can fit 3 or 4 internal 3.5" drives? Since it's going to be my central storage for all TV shows, music, documents, and source code, it needs to hold several HDs (2 or 3 Samsungs, with space between). Larger should also mean better airflow. The Silverstone LC01 and LC03 look pretty nice, but could be cramped. And something closer to $100 would be better.

Or, since my main goal for this server is quietness, is it foolish to look for a desktop case?

2- I originally thought that this would be a VIA C3 machine, but now I'm doubting if that would be enough power for all the applications of a server (especially the realtime MPEG2 encoding for TV recording/compressing/networking). Would a Mobile Athlon (XP or 64) or P-M be better? What about the next-generation VIA (if that's even going to be out anytime soon) x86 CPU?

3- Taking #2 into consideration, any mobo recommendations? Passively cooled NB (if applicable), onboard gigabit ethernet, undervolting support, and lots of SATA connections would be nice.

4- PSU recommendations? I figure 200 or 250W should be enough for the above system, with a (passively cooled) AIW 9200, DVD-ROM, and cheap sound card (since this machine may part-time as a HTPC).

---

One possible complication to my plan is that I will give my current machine to my parents if their flakey computer continues acting up. Then I'd build another one for myself, still quite powerful but with more thought to quiet operation ([Mobile] Athlon 64 instead of P4, WD drive instead of 15K SCSIs, etc.). Then the occasional late-night recording or encoding on it would be acceptable, and I wouldn't need as much computing power on the server.

---

I'd really appreciate any answers from you insightful folks here. Other comments and suggestions about the systems or the plan in general would be welcome.

---

Edit: VIA C3, not Epia.


Last edited by Nice Marmot on Sun Jun 27, 2004 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 2:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 6:05 am
Posts: 278
Location: Tennessee
I would recommend you build a cheap Socket A system. It will offer the power you need, you can cool it fairly easily and quietly, and it will be cheap.

Desktop cases are much more difficult to get quiet, so a traditional tower would probably be a better choice, from a noise perspective.

Case: Evercase 4252 or Compucase LX-6A19.
PSU: Fortron FSP-300 (mod the fan for 5V. It will be nearly inaudible and you can still get by with this as your only case exhuast and no intake fan, necessary.)
CPU: Athlon XP Barton or Mobile Athlon XP Barton (mobile's run cooler)
Heatsink: Zalman CNPS7000AlCu
Hard Drives: Samsung's new drives are the best low noise drives I've ever used.

I have some links in my sig to instructions on modding the FSP-300 (my favorite PSU) and the Compucase LX-6A19 (my favorite case.)

I have a computer I built for TIVO operation and it runs an XP1600, 256 MB RAM, and a 160 GB Samsung drive. It is nearly inaudible and does a fantastic job. The only weak point of the system is that I'm using a desktop case, so it is more difficult to get good airflow and low noise.

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 Post subject: Re: Please help with two-computer setup
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 10:42 pm
Posts: 216
Location: Canada
Nice Marmot wrote:
1- Is there a full-ATX desktop-style case that looks nice (HTPC-ish) that can fit 3 or 4 internal 3.5" drives? Since it's going to be my central storage for all TV shows, music, documents, and source code, it needs to hold several HDs (2 or 3 Samsungs, with space between). Larger should also mean better airflow. The Silverstone LC01 and LC03 look pretty nice, but could be cramped. And something closer to $100 would be better.

http://yycase.com/products/yy0221.htm


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 10:33 am
Posts: 330
Location: Keene, New Hampshire, USA
There are some "bad eggs" from samsung, mainly the 160gig spinpoints from newegg with motors that are made by JVC that "whine" louder than the drives with the motors made by NIDEC. Just FYI i guess, I recently (about a month ago) bought a 120gig spinpoint from them and got one with a NIDEC motor and it's much nicer than my old whiny 120gig WD caviar. Maybe if you order the drives from somewhere else you will get one with a nidec motor.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 4:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 6:05 am
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Location: Tennessee
For what its worth, I've ordered two 160 GB Samsung drives, from Newegg, over the past two months and both have been just as quiet as the 120 GB Samsung drives I have.

Just my two cents...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:45 am
Posts: 58
http://www.convertingvideo.com/mymachines.htm

My second machine's specs would be perfect for what you are considering, and it is damn close to silent. The IV Seagates are definately less noisy than the 7200.7s, but the 160GB 7200.7s I have are still pretty good. The case is more than classy enough to achieve "HTPC" status. ;-)
Save money on the case and put it into storage capacity and RAM.

Plus, I live in Florida too so these are site tested, lol. Neither one of them overheats (ie - becomes unstable) and I run them 24/7.

Best of Luck,
-Evan-


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