Quiet media server

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Quiet media server

Post by Balthazar_B » Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:52 pm

Looking for advice on hardware for a media server that will be cool, quiet, compact, and energy-efficient. The main question is on choice of processor/motherboard. Here's the scoop:
  • - The first application I want to run is Slimserver under Linux. I have a very large (and growing) music library.
    - Down the line I'll want to enhance the system to support PVR and perhaps video distribution functions. It's unclear at this point which product(s) I'll want to use for video. I can even foresee the possibility of running VM slices to support different OS/app combos.
    - I'm inclined to use a case like the Antec NSK2400 (or smaller).
    - 1-2GB RAM.
    - I have a NAS already which serves as the repository for my media library (therefore not much onboard storage required).
I've read countless threads here and elsewhere, and maybe it's just information overload, but if anything I'm less clear on what I should get for this application. For instance:
  • - Am I better off with a C2D or X2 CPU for low power and headroom?
    - Should the CPU decision be driven by choice of mATX motherboard (e.g., low power draw, compatibility with Linux, etc.)?
    - I don't need anything but onboard video for the present, but how will my choice of case/CPU/motherboard affect my options for HD video in the future?
I'll keep on reading the threads, but I'll be very interested in any advice you can offer. And of course, thank you in advance!

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Post by MikeC » Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:00 pm

A64x2 has significantly lower idle power, esp if you go with a 65W or lower TDP part. Idle power is really the key to energy efficiency. With most apps, the max power will not be that different between comparable C2D and A64x2 CPUs.

A large enough case like the NSK2400 gives you future vidcard options. There are more and more passively coold mid-range vidcards coming.

mATX boards for AMD processors have better integrated video. There's also a bit more choice.

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Post by ronrem » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:13 pm

TDP is somewhat misleading as a 3600 X2 Brisbane obviously eats less electric-makes less heat...by a LOT than a X2 5000 in 90nm. If it was purely low power/low noise then the bottom tier Semprons rule. If you are getting beyond basic Vid stuff or multitasking- you probably need at least that 3600 Brisbane. Core 2,or the more powerful X2's cost more,are hotter,use more juice....and 98% of the time would be pure overkill.

There are a LOT of MOBOS that are Linux friendly. MSI,Asus,Gigabyte have some in the AM2's. Read the reviews at New Egg-looking for happy Linux users

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