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Help Putting Together a Fanless PC


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So, now I'm in a similar situation as Doug. I have three main needs:

1.) Squeezecenter

2.) Torrents

3.) 1080p playback via HDMI

Things like the Zotac, VIA ARTiGO, and other nettops are one option that can give me 1-3 above, or something like a Netgear ReadyNAS that can do 1-2 and provide RAID in a small formfactor. If I were to go with a nettop, any recommendations on processor and video?

I addressed similar requirements with 3 dedicated devices

1: Main PC - quiet Antec P182 Main build, wake on lan in another room.

It does't have to be silent, as its not the main listening room (lounge), and when I'm in the same room its headphones, or i'm listening/watching so I don't tend to notice the background noise. Wake on Lan means its only on when it needs to be

2: a re-purposed Dell mini 9 with SSD and external USB Hard drive. On 24/7 , but at only 5-15W vs 200W draw of the main PC. Can administer remotely to task it :) . Shuffle stuff off it when ratio is reached. Network shares So I can access stuff as soon as it is complete. Sits by the router.

3: Dedicated video playback device HDX-1000 (with added 2.5 inch internal laptop drive) . Fanless , 1080p HDMI output , networked (wired) to the main PC where addition storage is available by the myiHome server software or shares. Can't recall the last time I played a shiny silver disk, as its all ripped, then the ISO image played back over the network.

The HDX software lacks polish compared to other solutions, but plays what I want, and is controllable via a remote. which is what you want.

Thats just my approach and it works for me.

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I addressed similar requirements with 3 dedicated devices

1: Main PC - quiet Antec P182 Main build, wake on lan in another room.

It does't have to be silent, as its not the main listening room (lounge), and when I'm in the same room its headphones, or i'm listening/watching so I don't tend to notice the background noise. Wake on Lan means its only on when it needs to be

2: a re-purposed Dell mini 9 with SSD and external USB Hard drive. On 24/7 , but at only 5-15W vs 200W draw of the main PC. Can administer remotely to task it :) . Shuffle stuff off it when ratio is reached. Network shares So I can access stuff as soon as it is complete. Sits by the router.

3: Dedicated video playback device HDX-1000 (with added 2.5 inch internal laptop drive) . Fanless , 1080p HDMI output , networked (wired) to the main PC where addition storage is available by the myiHome server software or shares. Can't recall the last time I played a shiny silver disk, as its all ripped, then the ISO image played back over the network.

The HDX software lacks polish compared to other solutions, but plays what I want, and is controllable via a remote. which is what you want.

Thats just my approach and it works for me.

hmmm. so, looking at the HDX, it can download torrents, right? What about the HDX Bone?

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HDX has a built in torrent client. never got round to using it as I ended up using the mini 9. The Bone looks interesting. As with all these players, hardware establishes the potential, but the software makes or breaks the experience, and how much of the potential is realized, if at all. Hence the attractions of a HTPC running commodity software, with a big user base/support network.

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HDX has a built in torrent client. never got round to using it as I ended up using the mini 9. The Bone looks interesting. As with all these players, hardware establishes the potential, but the software makes or breaks the experience, and how much of the potential is realized, if at all. Hence the attractions of a HTPC running commodity software, with a big user base/support network.

I like the idea that the Bone can run Android. Thanks Grahame, I may have found my solution :)

So, I might just try the Bone + ReadyNas

Edited by luvdunhill
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I still say HP Firebird -- prices are down -- eCost refurb for $700 as an example.

I mean, I'd have trouble putting together a (fanless) system for $700, but the technology is a little old at this point. Still very good (1333 FSB), just not current.

EDIT: Oops, not sure about the HDMI part.

Edited by Dusty Chalk
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HP 6370t with bing cashback should get you around $500. Only thing is that you'll have to spec a gfx card or purchase one, which means you should be able to spec a fanless + hdmi card. I'm pretty sure it'll be able to do all that you want. I have one that's similar and it's pretty darn quiet... sometimes I forget to turn it off.

Edit: This is assuming that the size isn't an issue.

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hmm. lots of options. Which of the "green" hard drives do you guys recommend? Something like the WD10EVDS?

I have two 1.5 TB green drives (WD15EARS) and they work fine and operate quietly. Though the computer they are in isn't turned on all the time, after 10 hours or so of heavy use they are still cooler than my Seagates. Both have a very low flow (inaudible from a few feet) 120 mm fan blowing over them.

So many torrent trackers have rules and restrictions on the client software used that I would definitely want to have a MAC/PC in charge of a proper solution to stay updated.

Yup too true. The strictest trackers I'm on limit clients to utorrent, rtorrent and whatever the most popular Mac client is.

Edited by deepak
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The Aspire Revo should do all 3. I saw one at the store and it was dead quiet but it wasn't under load.

For mine when the fan is off its very quite (not silent), the fan is almost never off and depending on speed it can really get quite noisy (I`d prefer to build a fanless or single large fan alternative rather than get another Revo 3600).

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Where from and how much? I was bummed to find that my Buffalo Link Station is damn near impossible to configure with Slim Server and I'd love a one box solution to that and the RND appears to support it natively.

Newegg. They have a $150 Visa giftcard rebate now. So, $449.99 - $150 free shipping, no tax. Native support for Squeezeserver looks pretty sweet, that was the sole reason I went with this one. There's a smaller rebate ($50?) on the empty one, but heck at that price which includes two 1TB drives, it was hard to pass up on.

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