Author Topic: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE  (Read 3601 times)

gunsmoke

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New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« on: August 17, 2008, 09:45:56 pm »
Hello,

I have been installing some test systems with LMC 7.10b4, I now want to build a Core for my setup. After som reading in the wiki and forum post, I have selected these components:


Chassis:          Lian Li Minitower, Aluminium, Mini Cube, Sort
CPU:               Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300
Cooler for CPU: NorthQ NQ-3580 Siberian Tiger
Memory:          OCZ Gold XTC 4096 MB DDR2 PC6400
HDD:               Samsung Spinpoint F1 1 TB
Power supply:   Seasonic S12-II 380W
Mainboard:       XFX nForce 630i+GF7150 or Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2H, nForce-630i+GF7100 -Both card are m-ATX, Socket-775, DDR2, HDMI, PCI-Ex16.


Hovever I not quite satisfied with the mobo, on to points:

-to few PCI slots
-single channel ram.

My reason for selecting one of these mobos is that they also can be used as Core/Hybrid and MD, with UI2.

Also on the CPU, have I been thinking; will the heat emission be to heavy for my low noice sysem??


If someone have a requmendation for an ATX mobo with an onboard grafic that can handle the install of LMCE, I would like to know about it... :-*



Well, any feedback on this setup will be nice ;-)

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gunsmoke

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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 05:34:19 pm »
Got some input from another forum that there is a issue with nForce6xx and intel CPU. Also  XFX nForce 630i+GF7150 does not support 45nm intel cpu's...

So I am rethincking my setup, and now it looks like this:

Chassis:          My older tower
CPU:               Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (possible to down clock -less heat)
Cooler for CPU: CNPS8700 NT http://www.zalman.com/ENG/product/Product_Read.asp?Idx=278
Memory:          Corsair TWIN2X DDR2 4096MB (2x2048MB)
HDD:               Samsung Spinpoint F1 1 TB
Power supply:   Seasonic S12-II 380W
Mainboard:       IntelĀ® Desktop Board DP35DP http://www.intel.com/products/desktop/motherboards/DP35DP/DP35DP-overview.htm
Video1:            XFX GeForce 7200 GS 256 MB Silent http://www.xfxforce.com/en-gb/products/graphiccards/7series/7200GS.aspx
Alt Video2:       ASUS Extreme N6200TC Series with TurboCache http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=2&l2=6&l3=497&l4=0&model=473&modelmenu=1



My alternativ AMD system:

CPU:             AMD Phenom X4 9350e http://products.amd.com/en-us/DesktopCPUDetail.aspx?id=450
Mainboard:    M3A78 PRO http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?modelmenu=2&model=2270&l1=3&l2=149&l3=639&l4=0  or M3A-H/HDMI http://no.asus.com/products.aspx?modelmenu=1&model=2129&l1=3&l2=149&l3=639&l4=0

My thinking here is that I can just pull out the GeForce grafic card when there are working ATI drivers for linux.....  ;) ;D

Is here any problem getting the 780G mobos working with adon grafic like GeForce 7200?

I'm going to search here in the forum for any compability problems on these setups.


Thanks for any feeback on this topic :o
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 05:36:59 pm by gunsmoke »
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totallymaxed

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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 05:59:26 pm »
Got some input from another forum that there is a issue with nForce6xx and intel CPU. Also  XFX nForce 630i+GF7150 does not support 45nm intel cpu's...

So I am rethincking my setup, and now it looks like this:

Chassis:          My older tower
CPU:               Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (possible to down clock -less heat)
Cooler for CPU: CNPS8700 NT http://www.zalman.com/ENG/product/Product_Read.asp?Idx=278
Memory:          Corsair TWIN2X DDR2 4096MB (2x2048MB)
HDD:               Samsung Spinpoint F1 1 TB
Power supply:   Seasonic S12-II 380W
Mainboard:       IntelĀ® Desktop Board DP35DP http://www.intel.com/products/desktop/motherboards/DP35DP/DP35DP-overview.htm
Video1:            XFX GeForce 7200 GS 256 MB Silent http://www.xfxforce.com/en-gb/products/graphiccards/7series/7200GS.aspx
Alt Video2:       ASUS Extreme N6200TC Series with TurboCache http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=2&l2=6&l3=497&l4=0&model=473&modelmenu=1



My alternativ AMD system:

CPU:             AMD Phenom X4 9350e http://products.amd.com/en-us/DesktopCPUDetail.aspx?id=450
Mainboard:    M3A78 PRO http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?modelmenu=2&model=2270&l1=3&l2=149&l3=639&l4=0  or M3A-H/HDMI http://no.asus.com/products.aspx?modelmenu=1&model=2129&l1=3&l2=149&l3=639&l4=0

My thinking here is that I can just pull out the GeForce grafic card when there are working ATI drivers for linux.....  ;) ;D

Is here any problem getting the 780G mobos working with adon grafic like GeForce 7200?

I'm going to search here in the forum for any compability problems on these setups.


Thanks for any feeback on this topic :o

The nVidia 7200 should be fine... but some people have experienced some issues getting it detected correctly by the AVwizard. 6200 & 7300 cards are working perfectly and are detected and configured correctly by the AVwizard.

Thel recent ATI Catalyst drivers are working fine for us on ATI X1250 based motherboards and cards. We also have a 780G based motherboard ready for testing next week... and I would expect this to be fine too... but we have not actually tested it yet ;-)

See the this wiki page for info on display drivers http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Display_Drivers

All the best

Andrew
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gunsmoke

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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2008, 06:30:27 pm »
Thanks for your replay Andrew, appreciate it :)

When you say that the ATI drivers are working, is that out of the box or do I have to install them like the wiki says?

Do you think that a quad cpu is overkill for a core, will it just be well of wite x2?


My other conserne is heat emission, witch of my to setup examples here will be the one that makes less heat under regular use(not peak operations)

Regards
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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2008, 07:17:34 pm »
Thanks for your replay Andrew, appreciate it :)

When you say that the ATI drivers are working, is that out of the box or do I have to install them like the wiki says?

Do you think that a quad cpu is overkill for a core, will it just be well of wite x2?


My other conserne is heat emission, witch of my to setup examples here will be the one that makes less heat under regular use(not peak operations)

Regards

You will need to install the ATI drivers as described in the Wiki currently. They work perfectly under UI2 + Overlay but do not support UI2 + Alpha Blending yet. With UI2 + Overlay they perform as well as the nVidia drivers in our experience.

In our experience Dual Core is more than enough for Cores currently - I cant see any need for Quad Core in even the biggest installations (8-10 MD's). Both of your Processor choices seem way over the top... and will generate large amounts of heat and use a lot of energy in operation. Remember a Core has to be on 24-7. We have Cores built around the AMD 6400 processor and have not found any situation where we have felt it was being stretched at all.

All the best

Andrew
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gunsmoke

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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2008, 08:11:47 pm »


You will need to install the ATI drivers as described in the Wiki currently. They work perfectly under UI2 + Overlay but do not support UI2 + Alpha Blending yet. With UI2 + Overlay they perform as well as the nVidia drivers in our experience.

That sounds very well, I think I will give it a try ;D

Quote
In our experience Dual Core is more than enough for Cores currently - I cant see any need for Quad Core in even the biggest installations (8-10 MD's). Both of your Processor choices seem way over the top... and will generate large amounts of heat and use a lot of energy in operation. Remember a Core has to be on 24-7. We have Cores built around the AMD 6400 processor and have not found any situation where we have felt it was being stretched at all.

Yes I am worried about the heat, and I found this test page here:
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/13/
That show 9350e have a ide consumption that is a bit higer than Q9300.... :o


Did't find any info on AMD 6400 CPU that you refer to, but I did find AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850E or 4050E. Maybe one of these should fit nicly with the 780G mobo :P it has 45w TDP.
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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2008, 09:06:01 pm »
Another test of Phenon here; http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/07/24/amd-phenom-x4-9350e/13

Seems like there is no need for a quad core as long there is no need for cpu accelerated 1080 playback.

But from these tests, it looks like core 2 duo have the lowest power consumption and highest performance in any condition.... But the 4850e have 20w more at idle than 9350e in the HTPC Power Consumption senario, so it is maybe a bit cooler than core 2 duo :-\
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totallymaxed

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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2008, 09:16:43 pm »
Another test of Phenon here; http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/07/24/amd-phenom-x4-9350e/13

Seems like there is no need for a quad core as long there is no need for cpu accelerated 1080 playback.

But from these tests, it looks like core 2 duo have the lowest power consumption and highest performance in any condition.... But the 4850e have 20w more at idle than 9350e in the HTPC Power Consumption senario, so it is maybe a bit cooler than core 2 duo :-\

Well one of the things that will help out on the power consumption front is that shortly the Catalyst ATA driver should support MPEG2/H.264 content playback in hardware on 780G and above... once this is the case the need for faster processors should not be there ;-)

Andrew
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gunsmoke

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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2008, 10:51:21 pm »
Well one of the things that will help out on the power consumption front is that shortly the Catalyst ATA driver should support MPEG2/H.264 content playback in hardware on 780G and above... once this is the case the need for faster processors should not be there ;-)

Okey, that would be very nice, so the 780G is maybe one of the best choice for LMCE for the future also.


Another test here for the 4850e here: http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1400/11/amd_athlon_4850e_780g_as_htpc_platform/index.html





Now my setup looks like this(after som reading off reviews on mobo's):

Chassis:           My older tower
CPU:               AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850E
Cooler for CPU: CNPS8700 NT http://www.zalman.com/ENG/product/Product_Read.asp?Idx=278
Memory:          Corsair TWIN2X DDR2 4096MB (2x2048MB)
HDD:               Samsung Spinpoint F1 1 TB
Power supply:   Seasonic S12-II 380W
Mainboard:       M3A-H/HDMI http://no.asus.com/products.aspx?modelmenu=1&model=2129&l1=3&l2=149&l3=639&l4=0

Did also look at the ECS A780GM-A mobo, but it had some issues with the onboard sound chip + bios issues.... To bad though, it had eSATA port :( that I could use with my external HDD.

Edit1
Did find many good review's on Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H, asus page here http://www.gigabyte.eu/Products/Motherboard/Products_Overview.aspx?ProductID=2758 and rewiev here http://www.legitreviews.com/article/676/12/, though this is only an microATX redused with one PCI and one PCIe, it has eSATA... bit of puzzle for me. Have to think about it for a while :P
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 11:50:54 pm by gunsmoke »
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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2008, 09:35:15 am »
Well one of the things that will help out on the power consumption front is that shortly the Catalyst ATA driver should support MPEG2/H.264 content playback in hardware on 780G and above... once this is the case the need for faster processors should not be there ;-)

Okey, that would be very nice, so the 780G is maybe one of the best choice for LMCE for the future also.
Well once Catalyst has support for MPEG/H.264 hardware then any ATI from the 780G up should be ok in fact.

Quote
Edit1
Did find many good review's on Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H, asus page here http://www.gigabyte.eu/Products/Motherboard/Products_Overview.aspx?ProductID=2758 and rewiev here http://www.legitreviews.com/article/676/12/, though this is only an microATX redused with one PCI and one PCIe, it has eSATA... bit of puzzle for me. Have to think about it for a while :P

The board we are testing next week is the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H in fact ;-)
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Viking

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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2008, 01:59:50 pm »
Hi,

I am also looking into what Hardware to get for an Core + MD or maybe an Hybrid.
I will be moving from Germany to Denmark in the next 6 months and don't know if I will need a Hybrid or a Core+MD setup - depends on the house that I im going to buy ;)

The system (MD/Hybrid) should be able to play anything at 1080p/i - no matter if H.264, MKV (don't have any at the moment) or f.ex. Blue Ray . That would also mean Upscaling of DVD and VDR recordings ...

Looking through this forum I have found that a lot of people are using AMD processors - why is that so ? Are they more Energy Efficient ? Or is it personal reasons (we don't like Intel ;)). I personally would not mind supporting AMD, but on the other hand I would like a system which uses as litte power as possible for the job. It should though have enough computing power to play all formats without stuttering and in good quality.

I have been searching for tests comparing the powerusage for Intel and AMD CPU's - and not found much :(

Here is a German Review comparing Intel/AMD - The chart on the first page shows the yearly CPU costs in Euro for a HomeServer when CPU is idle. Might be a little more for a LinuxMCE core :
http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,648044/Review_Hardware/PCGH-Stromkosten-Special_70_Komponenten_im_Energie-Check/&menu=browser&image_id=840124&article_id=648044

And this one shows the Costs for a Gamer (4 Hours gaming / 6 Hours Working/surfing per day) :
http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,648044/Review_Hardware/PCGH-Stromkosten-Special_70_Komponenten_im_Energie-Check/&menu=browser&image_id=840122&article_id=648044

Looking at that - the new Intel Dual Core E7200 (little brother of the E8500) looks to me like it is a good processor for a MD / Hybrid - it has enogh computing power (more than the most AMD Dual Core if what I have read is correctly), price is OK and it uses only "little" power.

And as Mainboard for a Core - ASUS P5GC  - 6 PCI slots :) :
http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=498&l4=0&model=1867&modelmenu=1
(I would also need a Graphics card for the core, but here it really should not matter)

For the MD the same CPU and Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2 ( VGA/DVI/HDMI + opt SPDIF + eSATA + 1394a) :
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Products_Overview.aspx?ProductID=2691

I would like to hear what you think ?

Greetings
Christian

gunsmoke

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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2008, 03:59:14 pm »
Still if you look at the system in total(with mobo, cpu, ram, hd and cooling fans) it looks like the combination of 780G and 4850e gives a lower total, iaw this page/review:http://hothardware.com/Articles/AMD-780G-Chipset-and-Athlon-X2-4850e-Preview-/?page=12


In contrast to the info from intel based platforms here:http://www.legitreviews.com/article/690/13/


But the E7200 did get a good review from Legit, and it have a lower power consumtion than other intel cpu, but it looks like it is still 48w higer idle and 18w at 100% load than the AMD 780G setup.

Regarding the Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2 ( VGA/DVI/HDMI + opt SPDIF + eSATA + 1394a), I have been warned against that combination of intel and nvidia due to some issues in the south bridge, some mobos gives repeating blue screens.... :P
The ASUS P5GC  - 6 PCI slots, looks great with its six pci slots, verry rare these days anyway :o

Do comment on this ;D
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 04:17:03 pm by gunsmoke »
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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2008, 07:17:38 pm »
Hi,

I am also looking into what Hardware to get for an Core + MD or maybe an Hybrid.
I will be moving from Germany to Denmark in the next 6 months and don't know if I will need a Hybrid or a Core+MD setup - depends on the house that I im going to buy ;)

The system (MD/Hybrid) should be able to play anything at 1080p/i - no matter if H.264, MKV (don't have any at the moment) or f.ex. Blue Ray . That would also mean Upscaling of DVD and VDR recordings ...

Looking through this forum I have found that a lot of people are using AMD processors - why is that so ? Are they more Energy Efficient ? Or is it personal reasons (we don't like Intel ;)). I personally would not mind supporting AMD, but on the other hand I would like a system which uses as litte power as possible for the job. It should though have enough computing power to play all formats without stuttering and in good quality.

I have been searching for tests comparing the powerusage for Intel and AMD CPU's - and not found much :(

Here is a German Review comparing Intel/AMD - The chart on the first page shows the yearly CPU costs in Euro for a HomeServer when CPU is idle. Might be a little more for a LinuxMCE core :
http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,648044/Review_Hardware/PCGH-Stromkosten-Special_70_Komponenten_im_Energie-Check/&menu=browser&image_id=840124&article_id=648044

And this one shows the Costs for a Gamer (4 Hours gaming / 6 Hours Working/surfing per day) :
http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,648044/Review_Hardware/PCGH-Stromkosten-Special_70_Komponenten_im_Energie-Check/&menu=browser&image_id=840122&article_id=648044

Looking at that - the new Intel Dual Core E7200 (little brother of the E8500) looks to me like it is a good processor for a MD / Hybrid - it has enogh computing power (more than the most AMD Dual Core if what I have read is correctly), price is OK and it uses only "little" power.

And as Mainboard for a Core - ASUS P5GC  - 6 PCI slots :) :
http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=498&l4=0&model=1867&modelmenu=1
(I would also need a Graphics card for the core, but here it really should not matter)

For the MD the same CPU and Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2 ( VGA/DVI/HDMI + opt SPDIF + eSATA + 1394a) :
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Products_Overview.aspx?ProductID=2691

I would like to hear what you think ?

Greetings
Christian

Hmmm... well we have both Intel and AMD based Core's and MD's. In general it appears that the AMD chipsets are more power efficient than the Intel ones currently (even if some Intel processors are in themselves lower) so that taken as an overall figure the AMD boards come out better. However this is a changing landscape... and  assume that even as i write this Intel re probably announcing some new low energy chipset rev!

Both processor families and chipsets work fine in general... and the only issues to be aware of are those that will affect any Linux hardware choice... are all the peripheral chips (Audio, NIC, RAID etc etc ) supported adequately.

My home Core is a i945 based MSI by the way... with a 7300GT installed.

All the best

Andrew
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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2008, 10:33:53 am »
Hi

Thanks for the comments :)

@Andrew
So why did you go for an i945 and Nvidia 7300GT ? What CPU are you using ?

What kind of CPU should one use for a core that is not going to have more than 3 active MD's at the same time ?

And offcourse you are right, the components should be Linux usable. For the Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2 I would probably have to update Audio and Videocard drivers :
http://lukasz.dk/2008/02/09/ubuntu-710-and-nvidia-nforce-630i/


@gunsmoke
But the bluescreens with the Intel/Nvida combination only happen on Windows ;) and only if you dont update some drivers IIRC. Or am I wrong here ?

The 6 PCI slot mainboard is really tempting for a Core. Maybe combined with a lower power Intel CPU  !? But still one would need an PCIe Grapicscard = 18W minimum. On the Power costs side this is not good :( I would like at least 4 PCI slots as I already have 3x PCI DVB-s cards an I would like to get an DVB-s2 card extra for the core and if VDR streaming not fast enough (switching time) then a second DVB-s2 for the MD.
 
OK it seems that you could be right on the Power consumption side of the whole system here - if I go for a Gigabyte/AMD 4850e solution, but ...

@all
I am just not sure if the 4850e has enugh power to play all formats at 1080p resolution, can anyone comment on this ?
And that should be without the maybe upcomming H.264 support in the AMD drivers ! Will that also help playing other formats like MKV ?
H.264 and good MPEG2 upscaling is the most important - would the above Gigabyte/4850e combination be capaple of that ?



There is probably a nonGPL solution here for playing MKV/H.264 on slower maschines (whatever CPU that means !?), but I am not sure if I would like to handle that after every update :
http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=5767.0

And if we go for one of the X2 6000+ the power consumption goes also in the same regions or even more than the E7200. And E7200 is much more powerfull than the X2 AMD's

Again I did only find a german site. Performance rating over all tests they did :
http://www.computerbase.de/artikel/hardware/prozessoren/2008/test_intel_core_2_duo_e7200/23/#abschnitt_performancerating
Compresing MPEG2 to Divx 6.7 :
http://www.computerbase.de/artikel/hardware/prozessoren/2008/test_intel_core_2_duo_e7200/12/#abschnitt_divx_67

And here again the link from above - Costs for a Gamer (4 Hours gaming / 6 Hours Working/surfing per day). It sets the X2 6000+ as beeing almost 4 times expensiver than an E8500. :
http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,648044/Review_Hardware/PCGH-Stromkosten-Special_70_Komponenten_im_Energie-Check/&menu=browser&image_id=840122&article_id=648044

Greetings
Christian

gunsmoke

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Re: New Hardware for Core Linux MCE
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2008, 07:25:51 pm »
@all
I am just not sure if the 4850e has enugh power to play all formats at 1080p resolution, can anyone comment on this ?

Well if you read this review here: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2008/07/24/amd-phenom-x4-9350e/13 that conclude with this:

Quote
In comparison when we tried the 4850e the power consumption was only slightly less at 98W but the loading on both cores was 95-100 percent. The playback was not watchable as it constantly stuttered.
It look like we have to wait for HW driver support for H264 support for the 4850/780G platform. In order to play HD content flawless.

So maybe you should find a good mobo for the E7200, and go for that, inorder to get the playback you are looking for right now... :)

I am not into HD content yet, so I can wait a bit... ;)
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