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Athlon II X2 255, 2Gb RAM, GeForce 210
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Author:  tjc [ Fri May 06, 2011 9:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Athlon II X2 255, 2Gb RAM, GeForce 210

# Video type: HDTV via HDMI
# Type of system: combined front- and back-end
# Noise level: I can barely hear it from 5 feet away
# CASE: Antec NSK2480
# PSU: Antec EarthWatts 380 Watts ATX12Vv2.2
# CPU: Athlon II X2 255 Regor 3.1GHz 65W - ADX255OCGMBOX
# RAM: Kingston HyperX 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 - KHX1600C9AD3/2G
# CPU HEATSINK: Scythe SCSMZ-2000 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
# CD/DVD-RW: ASUS Black 24X
# HDD(1): Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM
# HDD(2): Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1Tb 5400 RPM
# SOUNDCARD: motherboard (HDA)
# TUNER CARD(1): pcHDTV HD 5500
# TUNER CARD(2): Silicon Dust HDHomeRun HDHR-US
# REMOTE CONTROL: Old Hauppauge silver cigar and dogbone

I'd recommend most of the components here with the exceptions of the WDC Green WD10EADS and the Gigabyte motherboard. 99% of the issues I had getting the system working (and the reason there's a separate NIC card) can be traced back directly to those two components.

Even though it wasted a lot of my time, the WDC Green 1Tb drive was almost a side show and more of a time bomb than an immediate problem. See the details in the linked thread here.

On the other hand the wretched motherboard caused me problems in at least 3 different areas:
    - The onboard Realtek RTL8111/8168 NIC is a steaming pile of rotten entrails. It's a nonstarter with the kernel drivers in LinHES 6.04 and has several other issues (limited jumbo packet support, documented degradation and flakiness over time, ...). After a great deal of jacking around, building custom kernels and ethernet drivers, I ended up disabling it in the BIOS and getting the Intel NIC listed above. That worked out of the box with a vanilla kernel and even gave me better throughput. It was worth every penny.

    - The onboard HDA sound chip isn't supported with the ALSA drivers in LinHES 6.04 and OSS doesn't support audio over HDMI and some other things.

    - The onboard thermal and fan monitoring isn't supported by the xmbmon/mbmon utilities. Also, with lm_sensors the values reported for temp3 (the northbridge) are bogus and seem to have a +30C offset from the actual temperature.

Getting audio over HDMI working required building and installing packages for the latest ALSA driver and utilities. That was relatively easy compared to the networking nonsense the motherboard put me through. See the linked thread for more details.

The noisiest component in the system is the Antec PS. Across the room on the TV stand it's not a problem, but when the machine was on the desk in my office a couple feet from my ears, it was loud enough and had enough unpleasant characteristics to be tiring. If you're noise sensitive, or plan to sit closer than about 6-8 feet from the box I would recommend replacing it with a PS that uses a quiet 120mm fan.

Author:  snaproll [ Sat May 07, 2011 7:45 am ]
Post subject: 

What kinda IR receiver did you use for the Hauppauge remotes ? I usually plugged the Hauppauge eye into a 250 or 350 card, but don't use those any more...

The one Hauppauge remote machine I use now has a serial port eye, & no blaster.

Author:  tjc [ Sat May 07, 2011 8:41 am ]
Post subject: 

They work with the IR receiver in the HDHomeRun. There's even a set up option for it in the service menus. Quick, slick, and no extra wires dangling off the machine.

One of the improvements with the new box is the reduced number of connections and cable snarl. No separate audio cables because it's going over the HDMI cable, no separate IR cables because it's coming across the network from the HDHomeRun, ...

Author:  snaproll [ Sat May 07, 2011 12:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

Now there's a corner of the envelope I haven't explored ! .....

Thanks for the tip !

....I'll have to look into that that ! ...... :D

Author:  tjc [ Sat May 07, 2011 2:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

Almost forgot...

# Keyboard: SIIG JK-WR0312-S1 USB RF Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad

Works great. Still getting used to the touch pad, but that's mostly a practice issue.

Author:  jzigmyth [ Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:24 am ]
Post subject: 

tjc wrote:
Still getting used to the touch pad, but that's mostly a practice issue.
Just curious, how's the keyboard and touch pad working out?


Author:  tjc [ Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

Pretty good. I still occasionally select or drag something when I don't intend to, but the biggest issue is unclutter still hiding the cursor when it shouldn't.

Author:  mattbatt [ Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:21 pm ]
Post subject: That's how you can change the settings

Author:  tjc [ Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

Oh, I've already done a bunch of tuning on unclutter, having the cursor disappear when you're hovering to read the mouse over text and other silliness forced that, but it still periodically goes stupid on me and won't let the cursor show until I hit shift on the keyboard or something else like that.

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