Shuttle good low power choice for PVR?

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Have decided to build my own PVR.

Will use either the 250/350 Hauppauge card

I want something LOW POWER since this unit will be on
all the time.

Are the SFF (small form factor) computers such as
Shuttle a good choice for low power and cool running?

Advice?
11 answers Last reply
More about shuttle good power choice
  1. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    > I want something LOW POWER since this unit will be on
    > all the time.

    this completely depends on a whole slew of factors besides the PVR
    board -- CPU, hard drive, graphics, etc. In fact, even if you get a low
    power PVR board, the CPU alone can gobble up to more than 10x the power
    used by the PVR board.

    Thus, if you really, really want low power in a desktop, you'd have
    to look at older CPUs that gobble less than 20watts of power (eg.
    Pentium I, II, III).

    Or a low-power laptop....

    A simple examination of the PDF documentation for the CPUs (P4,
    Athlon 32/64) today show that they're really power hogs, and I'd budget
    at least 150watts for a complete PC system as a minimum.

    For AMD CPUs here's a handy chart:
    http://www.amd-hardware.com/Watts.htm

    another brief chart here:
    http://www.pcsilent.de/en/tips/cpu.asp

    > Are the SFF (small form factor) computers such as
    > Shuttle a good choice for low power and cool running?

    That said, you can easily run a Shuttle XPC 24/7 as many have already
    done (see the Shuttle XPC subsection at http://forums.sudhian.com/).
    Here, a Shuttle XPC SS51G is running 24/7 almost all the time with an
    ATI All-In-Wonder board w/o any problems at all and the box stays
    cool/cool-warm to the touch.

    Simply give it enough space around the box to naturally cool, don't
    block the rear fan, and you'll be fine. If you're running a very hot
    HD, you may want to get those models designed with dual fans and/or
    upgrade the power supply to the 250W Shuttle model that has dual fans
    for additional interior ventilation.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    >That said, you can easily run a Shuttle XPC 24/7 as many have already
    >done (see the Shuttle XPC subsection at http://forums.sudhian.com/).
    >Here, a Shuttle XPC SS51G is running 24/7 almost all the time with an
    >ATI All-In-Wonder board w/o any problems at all and the box stays
    >cool/cool-warm to the touch.

    That's what Im "thinking" of doing.... using a Shuttle

    > Simply give it enough space around the box to naturally cool, don't
    >block the rear fan, and you'll be fine. If you're running a very hot
    >HD, you may want to get those models designed with dual fans and/or
    >upgrade the power supply to the 250W Shuttle model that has dual fans
    >for additional interior ventilation.

    Not sure much worried abt heat.... more worried abt
    energy conservation
  3. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    <me6@privacy.net> wrote in message
    news:0e27i09ttc8psot13difetrkbm8ult4rkl@4ax.com...
    > Have decided to build my own PVR.
    >
    > Will use either the 250/350 Hauppauge card
    >
    > I want something LOW POWER since this unit will be on
    > all the time.
    >
    > Are the SFF (small form factor) computers such as
    > Shuttle a good choice for low power and cool running?
    >
    > Advice?

    VIA makes a PC compatible chipset (VIA ELAN) and motherboards that are low
    power and do not require a fan for cooling. They should be powerful enough
    to encode with a 250. Not sure about the decode capability athough the VIA
    Unchrome VGA chipset on the M/B touts MPEG acceleration. They also include
    Composite and S-video outputs.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    <me6@privacy.net> wrote in message
    news:pjc7i01c1hamd9nv7ah7pbsa14nmeq0rhn@4ax.com...
    > >That said, you can easily run a Shuttle XPC 24/7 as many have already
    > >done (see the Shuttle XPC subsection at http://forums.sudhian.com/).
    > >Here, a Shuttle XPC SS51G is running 24/7 almost all the time with an
    > >ATI All-In-Wonder board w/o any problems at all and the box stays
    > >cool/cool-warm to the touch.
    >
    > That's what Im "thinking" of doing.... using a Shuttle
    >
    > > Simply give it enough space around the box to naturally cool, don't
    > >block the rear fan, and you'll be fine. If you're running a very hot
    > >HD, you may want to get those models designed with dual fans and/or
    > >upgrade the power supply to the 250W Shuttle model that has dual fans
    > >for additional interior ventilation.
    >
    > Not sure much worried abt heat.... more worried abt
    > energy conservation

    The Via C3 Nehmiah chip has most of the P4 block move instructions.
    It's touted as capable of this sort of thing.
    Draws about 7 watts.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    > Not sure much worried abt heat.... more worried abt
    > energy conservation

    Then I'd say for this alone, you'd have to start counting Watts and
    look at CPU choices first -- this is the biggest power consumer in most
    desktops nowadays, and even HDs consumer less power. You really have to
    bring these CPUs down below the typical 80+watts of power draw to cut
    the power draw significantly, esp. since you can easily cut back on the
    other components (eg. use a lower power 2.5" IDE HD in a Shuttle rather
    than a 3.5" HD).

    Other than that, look at CPU throttling settings in the OS, and maybe
    even turning down! the frequency of the CPU in the BIOS! (frequency is
    directly related to watt usage by the CPU - faster = more power drawn)
  6. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    >Then I'd say for this alone, you'd have to start counting Watts and
    >look at CPU choices first -- this is the biggest power consumer in most
    >desktops nowadays, and even HDs consumer less power.

    Wow I didn't know that..... that the CPU was the
    biggest power using component.

    Is that really the case?

    I always would have thought the had drive to be the
    biggest

    Thanks for the heads up!
  7. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    > Wow I didn't know that..... that the CPU was the
    > biggest power using component.
    >
    > Is that really the case?
    >
    > I always would have thought the had drive to be the
    > biggest

    Yep, HD's typically take about 10-15 watts max, so nowadays, those
    3+Ghz P4 processors gobbling 80+ watts of power really gobble up most of
    the computer's power.

    Now, the only exception to this is for the hard-core gamer who is
    spending $400+ for a GeForce 6800 Ultra (a very fast, but very expensive
    video card) and other 'specialty' cards designed specifically to play
    games fast at high resolutions, where the graphics card can consume 110+
    watts.

    (Most buyers will not be spending more money on a graphics card than
    their base PC! and will be buying lower-power consumption card or using
    the on-board graphics. Also, most users who don't play games and/or are
    not hard-core about high-resolution 3D gaming/graphics will never, ever
    need such. Limited subset of 3D graphics artists and so forth may, but
    usually nothiing that fast is ever required even for real-time pre-renders.)

    ....and why would anyone spend $400+ on a graphics card just for games
    rather than a nice Hawaii trip is beyond me....
  8. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    David Chien wrote:

    > > Wow I didn't know that..... that the CPU was the
    > > biggest power using component.
    > >
    > > Is that really the case?
    > >
    > > I always would have thought the had drive to be the
    > > biggest
    >
    > Yep, HD's typically take about 10-15 watts max, so nowadays, those
    > 3+Ghz P4 processors gobbling 80+ watts of power really gobble up most of
    > the computer's power.
    >

    Depends. They consume power according to the load. At work whenever we have to
    do thermal or airflow testing on a system, we always run a utility that will
    make the CPU run at 100% for days on end because that's the only way to get a
    true picture of the power consumption or heat-load of the system. (I work on
    compact-PCI and ATCA "blade server" systems).

    So for a DVR box doing hardware encoding (PVR-250) and a software decoder using
    low CPU resources (I typically see less than 30% CPU utilization on the 2.4 Ghz
    Celeron in my DVR), then your power consumption isn't as big of a concern as it
    would be if you were doing DivX or software mpeg-2 encoding for days (my desktop
    system at times converts 120 GB of mpeg-2 files to Xvid in batches - needless to
    say that system has much better cooling than the DVR box.


    >
    > Now, the only exception to this is for the hard-core gamer who is
    > spending $400+ for a GeForce 6800 Ultra (a very fast, but very expensive
    > video card) and other 'specialty' cards designed specifically to play
    > games fast at high resolutions, where the graphics card can consume 110+
    > watts.
    >
    > (Most buyers will not be spending more money on a graphics card than
    > their base PC! and will be buying lower-power consumption card or using
    > the on-board graphics. Also, most users who don't play games and/or are
    > not hard-core about high-resolution 3D gaming/graphics will never, ever
    > need such. Limited subset of 3D graphics artists and so forth may, but
    > usually nothiing that fast is ever required even for real-time pre-renders.)
    >
    > ...and why would anyone spend $400+ on a graphics card just for games
    > rather than a nice Hawaii trip is beyond me....

    How can you have a "nice" Hawaii vacation for $400??? ;-> That won't even cover
    airfare, much less hotel costs, will it?
  9. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    > How can you have a "nice" Hawaii vacation for $400??? ;-> That won't even cover
    > airfare, much less hotel costs, will it?

    Those usual last-minute package prices for 2-3 days just to fill up
    the airplane. Hard to find, but they're out there and you have to be
    willing to go at the last minute. Maybe better to have said nice
    flight to Hawaii for $400..
  10. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    In article <cgdgs5$c02$1@news.service.uci.edu>, chiendh@uci.edu says...
    > > How can you have a "nice" Hawaii vacation for $400??? ;-> That won't even cover
    > > airfare, much less hotel costs, will it?
    >
    > Those usual last-minute package prices for 2-3 days just to fill up
    > the airplane. Hard to find, but they're out there and you have to be
    > willing to go at the last minute. Maybe better to have said nice
    > flight to Hawaii for $400..
    >
    >

    These days you should be able to get a ticket for $60 and have the whole
    plane to yourself, you just have to get back before the airline folds.
    --
    _________________________
    Chris Phillipo - Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
    http://www.ramsays-online.com
  11. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

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