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Mussels Media PC/HTPC setup

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Mussels, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    took me a while to decide where to put this. do i make a thread on GN and have it filled with cardboard box PC's? Do i do a worklog? what about the case mod gallery and omit the pictures of the lounge setup?

    In the end i decided a worklog to be best - i did work hard for this, so here it is!

    Edit: system specs updated.
    With the new hardware, the power usage is as follows:

    Idle: 48W
    350MB H264 movie: 59W
    Linpack x64 Load: 81W (23C load in ~18C ambient)


    Using my snazzy power meter, i learned that the PC uses 1.25 KW/h over a 24 hour period.
    Judge the cost from your own electricity bill, but that means for me, that PC costs something like 20 cents (au) for every 24 hours i leave it running. (say, $1 a week, or $50 a year) (thats based on my peak electricity rate, since i cant be stuffed mathing it out :p)

    System specs:
    Athlon 64 x2 4000+ stock @ 1.1v Athlon II x2 240 ( 2.8Ghz 1.08v)
    4x1GB 1110MHz samsung ram @ 800MHz 6GB DDR2 1066Mhz ram (@ 800Mhz 1.8v)
    320GB Seagate IDE HDD (7200.11)
    Radeon 3200 IGP Radeon 4200 IGP :) (dx10.1!)
    Gigabyte mATX 780G board (HDMI + TOSLINK) GA-MA785GPM-UD2H Motherboard - Dolby encoding, 128MB sideport ram, HDMI 1.3
    Samsung 40" HDTV (1360x768)
    Nexus 'silent' Caterpillar case
    Antec Basiq 500W (fan modded)
    Nintendo Wii? (what, its there)
    Logitech Z-5500 (was on warranty, therefore not in pics)
    Windows 7 professional x64

    The system (not including screen or peripherals) uses about 45W at idle/low use, and 60-90W when watching 1080P videos (higher in software mode than DXVA)

    i use a mix of windows 7's built in codecs in DXVA mode, and coreAVC in software mode for the few incompatible movies i run into.

    Pics don't show it, but the system is completely inaudible. all fans are replaced with "silent" models which i then ran at 7v or 5V for even less noise. the lone seagate HDD sits loose on a foam pad that came with the case. even at the quietest hours of the night (4-5am) you can lie on the ground in front of it and not hear a thing despite 2x120mm fans, an 80mm PSU fan, and a 320GB HDD.

    As for the TV, some people seem to think "a low resolution! ahahaha it sucks lol" and so on.
    Well i hate to break it to you, but this screen has an awesome VA panel in it that makes TN film LCD's look like garbage. its got 178 degree viewing angles horizontally and vertically - you know why its not 180? cause that means you're side on to the TV. ZERO color distortion or brightness changes no matter the angle you look at it from.


    And now, the images!
    [​IMG]

    TV (with an amusing default windows 7 background), PC, Wii, "spank" the monkey, printer and UPS.

    Screen aside, the system can keep running for about 30 minutes with no power thanks to the UPS, and low wattage design


    [​IMG]

    DVD collection, wiimote location, etc. Its handy to see what you want BEFORE getting off the couch :D
    (no idea what that white spot is. my camera is 'snowing' in some images)

    [​IMG]

    the couch. the control center - where it all happens. Also, the dinovo edge that i control everything from. that keyboard is more awesome than the PC itself. Stupidly long range, battery life of months, and so on.

    Also, you can see the empty speaker stands where the Z5500 rears usually go.


    [​IMG]

    Internal shot - not the tidiest, but its certainly does the job. having lots of clear space around the components is what helps keep it all cooled in our 45C summer heat.
    A few random cables (USB headers) are unplugged in the shot, but due to my camera screwing up i cant retake it with them plugged in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2009
    10 Year Member at TPU
  2. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX

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    DiNovo rocks! I love mine... coupled with my Freespace mouse makes for a perfect HTPC setup.

    Nice work on the low power draw. My HTPC draws much much more.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  3. skylamer

    skylamer

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    gj
     
  4. rampage

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    i like to see the most important feature of any good HTPC ... a UPS :p

    just to stop those anoying power flickers restarting your pc
     
  5. Reventon

    Reventon New Member

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    Wish I had $120 to spend on a diNovo Edge >.>
     
  6. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    hey, hey... didn't you tell me the battery life was about 2 weeks if you heavily play games? Or, was it something else? I was so thinking of getting that keyboard! Grrr..

    I think we need to do this as TPU'ers... Fund Raiser... So Mussles can get rid of that god forsaken couch! :rockout: :D I don't even want to re read what you put as the caption for it.... Thoughts went threw my head! :)

    Now, after the question, and joking is done... Very good man. Nice little system.

    :toast:
     
  7. LittleLizard

    LittleLizard

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    doesnt look pretty with that case but if you are watching a movie, WHO CARES ;)
     
  8. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    yeah but then i stopped playing games on it :p

    couch was free lol.

    cant see it, cant hear it - what more do you need from a HTPC? (its ugly inside, but not that bad outside)
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  9. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    :roll: best things in life are free! I still feel we need to set up a fund raiser.. :laugh:

    good stuff man!
     
  10. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    we went to buy a 2nd hand couch, and the guys said "if you carry it out, its yours" so we got it free. it also had $5 of coins and a bottle opener inside.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  11. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    Treasure!!!!

    Nice man. :toast:
     
  12. Bundy

    Bundy

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    I recognise that couch.

    [​IMG]

    Image obtained from http://www.simpsoncrazy.com/
     
  13. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    10 Year Member at TPU
  14. EnergyFX

    EnergyFX

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    I can vouch for the DiNovo battery lasting months with normal usage.

    Even when I was playing Dead Space and Fallout 3 on my HTPC it lasted weeks.

    Charges fast too.
     
  15. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    that is a good point i tend to forget - 5 minutes on the charger can give you an hour of gaming, and maybe 4 hours gives you that month of usage.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  16. Cold Storm

    Cold Storm Battosai

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    Hmmm, almost makes me want to buy one... Even though I just got Logitech's Luminated keyboard and love it!
     
  17. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891

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    Any plans to include a TV tuner card? What about your movies... Are you going to be storing them on the PC or just watch off the DVD themselves?
     
  18. mudkip

    mudkip

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    nice setup.
     
  19. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    its a TV, no need for a card. i can just watch it on the one built in.


    I watch the stuff mostly over the network from the PC in my room - housemates do similar. They share the files under their user accounts or use hidden system shares, and just login to their drives remotely and watch their stuff.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  20. SkyKast

    SkyKast

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    im jeleous...of you TV holy balls I want that as my monitor!

    nice media center too, thats my next project :)
     
  21. DrunkenMafia

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    Hey Mussels, nice setup man. I might have to put some pix of mine up as well.

    I bought that same cooler you have from pccg when it was on sale a while back. I found it noisey as hell. :( yours is obviously quiet, I musta got a dud. I ended up swapping it out for a zalman 7700cu.


    ditto on the TV as well. i have a full HD 32in NEC but I have also plugged it into a 42in HD lcd and unless you are really close (why??) then you can't really tell the diff, even when on the desk top.

    I had a play with win 7 the other day and the media centre on it looks pretty sweet, a big step up from the vista version.

    Nice job
     
  22. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    really? mines completely inaudible even at 100%
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  23. DrunkenMafia

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    yeah, I could hear mine from another room @ 100% so I gave it the ass. I actually chopped it up to make the mounts so my zalman would fit AM2. :)
     
  24. HammerON

    HammerON The Watchful Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice job :toast:
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  25. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891

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    No Need? I was just asking only because most Media Center PCs have one. It's nice to be able to record TV series, a useful guide, etc ...
     

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