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Old 02-16-2009, 03:22 PM   #1
v@ny@
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Building an energy efficient Desktop


Hi! I'm trying to put together a system to run as a media center using Mythbuntu. I did a test run on Mythbuntu in my laptop and I must say I was impressed. The idea is to build a desktop computer which will take the least energy possible and run quiet. I'm pretty sure the video card built into the motherboard would be the way to go but let me know what you think, processor, how much RAM, any particular brands, AMD, Intel?

I think being energy efficient today is very important and not many people tend to worry about this one.

Thanks!
 
Old 02-16-2009, 03:54 PM   #2
MS3FGX
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Well if you are looking for the best possible energy efficiency your best bet would be with a Mini-ITX board, preferably one of the new Atom based ones. Combined with flash storage (you could use a CF card adapted to IDE/SATA rather than having the expense of a full on SSD), you are going to get pretty much the lowest energy consumption possible on modern hardware.

Shouldn't be a problem to get the whole thing fully operational on 30 - 40 watts, which is less than the CPU alone uses on some newer machines.

Last edited by MS3FGX; 02-16-2009 at 03:55 PM.
 
Old 02-16-2009, 04:00 PM   #3
BassKozz
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Wait for Nvidia ION platforms to be released...
  • Great Energy Efficiency (only 18W)
  • Can handle 1080p HD video output w/ VDPAU enabled (AFAIK other Atom or VIA based platforms can't handle full 1080p video)

Hopefully we'll start to see OEM's rolling these bad boys out Q3~Q4 of this year

Last edited by BassKozz; 02-16-2009 at 04:16 PM.
 
Old 02-16-2009, 04:55 PM   #4
v@ny@
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Interesting to hear your thoughts. I like the mini ITX idea but for a mythbuntu home entertainment the flash memory is way not enough... You would want to have at least 250-500 Gb HDD, I was thinking of getting a 1Tb HDD as to have all movies, TV recordings, photos, etc, in one place... I'll read on this NVIDIA ION, first time I hear about it !
 
Old 02-16-2009, 05:27 PM   #5
BassKozz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v@ny@ View Post
I'll read on this NVIDIA ION, first time I hear about it !
Do some googling I think you'll like what you see (especially the reviews)
 
Old 02-17-2009, 08:48 AM   #6
MS3FGX
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Quote:
I like the mini ITX idea but for a mythbuntu home entertainment the flash memory is way not enough... You would want to have at least 250-500 Gb HDD, I was thinking of getting a 1Tb HDD
I was assuming that this would be a client streaming content from a server somewhere on the network.

In that case, add ~10 watts to your total energy consumption with a traditional disc drive (most will be less than that, but assume 10 as a maximum). You could go with a more energy efficient laptop HDD, but the trade off there is going to be with speed and capacity.

If you are going to have a large drive in there, I would still install the OS onto say a 4 GB flash drive, then use the HDD simply as media storage. This way you can power down the HDD when it isn't being actively used. If you intend to run this media center 24/7 it is going to save energy in the long run to just spin up the drive whenever you request a file off of it and run out of flash the rest of the time.
 
  


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