[Mplayer-users] DVR box - how much CPU

Felix Bünemann Felix.Buenemann at gmx.de
Mon Apr 30 16:53:20 CEST 2001

Hello Emma,

Monday, April 30, 2001, 4:17:25 PM, you wrote:

>> But with all this I don't want a box which needs heaps of whirring fans to
>> keep it running.  Looks like could easily end up with PSU and case fan,
>> chipset, processor and graphics chip fans... !  Be a shame if the movie
>> was drowned out by the noise of the box playing it.
>> Can I underclock and lower cpu voltages to reduce heat and eliminate fans?
>> Sources of quiet fans?

ET> Try overclockers' fan sources- in the UK there's the overclocking store at
ET> http://www.theoverclockerstore.co.uk or something along those lines... or
ET> www.extremeoverclocking.com apparently has some links. To be frank I've
ET> found the biggest problem in terms of sound is a) computer case chassis
ET> vibration, which you can address by padding and so on and b) hard disks.
ET> It's hard to find a large, fast /quiet/ hard disk.

>> Which chipset/processor puts out least heat for the performance?

ET> I'm an ignoramus but I would have thought AMD was the better idea, since
ET> Pentiums have a nasty habit of being one step away from actually burning
ET> holes through the motherboard.

Athlon CPUs get about twice as hot as PIIIs because they consume more
power, so probably best choice would be a fast PIII coppermine (dunno
bout PIV but they are really expensive), but
this CPUs won't ever work without proper cooling.
BTW. dvd decoding at 30-40% should be possible with an 800MHz machine
if I'm not mistaken, but if it comes to MPEG4 (like DivX ;-)) you can
never have enough CPU power (so I would recommend something around

>> Should I rather drop back the CPU power drastically and include a
>> hardware mpeg2 decoder?  (But then, what about non-mpeg2 video output?)

ET> Pass: I have no idea if hardware mpeg2 can even be driven by linux...
Hardware mpeg2 decoders usually offer image quality worse then
software decoding, but if you display to TV you probably won't even
notice, but a hardware decoder doesn't help you with DivX ;-) and stuff
like that (guess some hardware mpeg2 decoders can also play mpeg1).

>> All these questions - you can tell I'm rather overwhelmed.  I this stuff
>> discussed somewhere already?

ET> Dunno. But if it isn't, it ought to be. Much like the Wearable PC HOWTO: A
ET> DVR box HOWTO would be a desirable thing. Care to compile one? I'd host
ET> it...

Best regards,
 Felix                            mailto:Felix.Buenemann at gmx.de

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