Personal computing discussed

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Topic Author
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 7:00 pm

Cube case for Abit nV7M?

Tue Apr 30, 2002 6:33 pm

Hello all, I've been reading these forums for some time now and figure it's time I should post something. And what better way then to pick your brains for a second. Just hope I'm putting this in the right forum...

P.S. This is a little long...

I'm trying to build the wonder media center computer, or HTPC. As far as I can tell, the hardware and software are now getting to a point where this is feasible.

This machine must be able to meet these points...

1: Easy to use interface, accessible by remote.
2: Play games at high quality settings and high framerates (must be able to play DOOM3) :lol:
3: Have Tivo functionality, easy to schedule recordings, pause live TV, etc.
4: Have HUGE amounts of storage. (Most likely to be done by a seperate Linux file server over a wireless network).
5: Must run quiet and cool.
6: And finally, must be aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

For the CPU I'm waiting for the Tbred Athlon. With the die shrink it should run much cooler (hoping anyways) and not need such exotic cooling measures. Anything 2000+ would work fine.

The most difficult part of this is the video portion. The new AIW 8500 128MB looks like the killer solution for this. But, it kills the upgradeabilty of the video card for future games, (they just can't keep up with Nvidia)

I would like to put a GF4 4400 in there with a separate TV tuner card. I'm not sure which would be the best and offer some of the features of the AIW hardware and software package. Anyone have any info on the ATI TV Wonder card
with the Remote Wonder? I've heard of the classic ATI driver problems plauging the TV Wonder on XP.

Then I've seen this Hauppage WinTV PVR card
But, I can't seem to find any reviews or information regarding it.

The rest of the hardware is mostly covered by the nForce, audio and NIC.

Hard drive would be the WD 120GB JB drive.

This would all be connected to either a Sony Cineza Home Theater projector, or a Sony WEGA TV. And a regular monitor for regular computer use. Wireless keyboard, mouse and remote would take care of the input devices.

DVD+RW burner would be a nice addition, but I'm holding off until the Big guys figure out what standard they want to follow.

RAM will be 1GB of DDR.

And the last thing, the case. The Pandora Plus cubes are extremely nice, but I don't think they'll hold the nForce board. Any suggestions? I'm even looking at some 1u server cases. Black or aluminum would be optimum, but I'm open for other ideas.

Sorry for being a long winded post, but I honestly can't think of another group of gerbils that can answer this intelligently and honestly :D

Plus if any of you guys have a media center box, I would love to hear your setup.

Thanks for any info!

Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Mon May 13, 2002 9:33 pm

I have the ATI TV Wonder and I tri-boot win98, Win2k, and WinXP. So I can attest to the functionality of the device. Works well under 98 and 2k, but under XP I get jagged lines every time I start the TV window. Totally unwatchable. Only fix I can find is to change the refreshrate from 75 to 85 Hz (or vice versa, depending on what it is currently at) and it will then function fine (98% of the time; one a blue moon I'll need to do a full reboot).

As far as cases, the bet two I can find are:
-Cooler Master ATC-600 $225 ... 333&DEPA=1

-Lian Li PC-42 $135 ... &prdid=361

Good luck. *wink*
Gerbil In Training
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 8:51 pm

Thu May 30, 2002 11:44 am

Unfortunately, short of cube server chassis, you'll be hard pressed to find a cube case that'll provide enough cooling for an AMD CPU (believe me, I've tried).

I've used this case before ( and had trouble keeping a Duron 750 cool enough. I use it as a LAN rig and ended up going Intel (P4 1.6GHz which works fine in it) to run it without heat issues.

I too considered the NV7M...nice little board. but putting one into a tight cube will just generate too much heat....unless you cut extra holes for more fans, than the thing will make too much noise to be worth the trouble.
Global Moderator
Posts: 2329
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2001 7:00 pm

Thu May 30, 2002 11:53 am

Gene wrote:
Unfortunately, short of cube server chassis, you'll be hard pressed to find a cube case that'll provide enough cooling for an AMD CPU (believe me, I've tried).

You should check out the reviews of the AMD based Shuttle cubes posted in the Shortbread over the past few days. Both reviews said the CPU doesn't get too hot and the machine runs very quietly.
Topic Author
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 7:00 pm

Thu May 30, 2002 12:34 pm

The heat issue is something I'm trying to keep in mind. Which is why I'm waiting for the T-bred chip. I'm hoping that the temps on that chip will drop considerably.

This computer will be put into the entertainment center, so looks do mean a little 8) . From your suggestions, that Cooler Master ATC-600 case looks classy and functional. Though, it does seem a little on the large size, I can't imagine it being any bigger than your classic Sony A/V Receiver, so it should fit fine. Good thing about it is that it leaves room for airflow and expansion.

The Shuttle setups are very nice, and would be a perfect fit, however I share the complaint that many others have... no AGP port. Don't know why they aren't including one (can't be that hard to implement). Maybe their PR people are not talking to the right crowds. Does anyone know if they plan to put one in anytime soon?

I think I'm going to give the nod to the ATI TV Wonder with the ATI Remote Wonder. As long as the TV Wonder includes the software that comes with the AIW, then I think that's as close as I'm going to get to a Tivo with this generation of hardware.

Stick a Ti4200 in there and that should make for a killer living room rig for games and movie watching. :D

As always, feedback is always welcome!
Gerbil In Training
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:45 pm

SS51 - Shuttle with AGP

Sat Jun 29, 2002 9:34 am

I've also been waiting for a Shuttle with AGP and that wait is now getting shorter. Go to <a href=""></a> and search for "SS51" (leave out the quotes obviously), that should help you out. In my case, I want to put my ATI AIW 7500 in the SS51 and use it for an entertainment box, while putting a TI4200 in my main box.

Hope this helps,

Topic Author
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 7:00 pm

Mon Jul 01, 2002 6:03 pm

Great link modman! Thanks.

Looks like the SS51 is what everyone has been waiting for. As soon as that thing is out my credit card is going to be put to use :wink:

Now that the T-bred chips have been reviewed, I can't say I'm excited about the temps on those chips. I was hoping for a bigger drop in temps, but hopefully Shutle's heat pipe thingamabob will keep it cool, while keeping it quiet. Not looking to overclock, just don't want a furnace.

I guess I'll just see what happens when the SS51 is released and reviewed.

Thanks again!
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Posts: 3505
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: The nearest pub

Mon Jul 01, 2002 6:45 pm

Just don't go putting the Athlon horizontal, I've read on an AMD whitepaper it's not supposed to be used in the old desktop style cases...

The thought occured to me because you mentioned the whole VCR thing...

Oh, and if the TiVo storage is going to be handled by linux server, why the need for a huge drive? Get a 60GB or less, and if you go with seagate's barracuda, you get quiet too... a noisy hard drive will pee you off, especially if it's in the middle of your room while your trying to watch some porno channel

(Kidding... :-P)

Apart from that, get an "airy" case, I wouldn't put an Athlon in a cube, not enough air in there to do that,
Living proof of John Gabriel's theorem
Topic Author
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 7:00 pm

Mon Jul 01, 2002 9:39 pm

You really do learn something new everyday....

I haven't heard about the horizontal thing. I'll look into that more. If that's the case, I may need to rethink the hardware setup.

Was reading some things on HTPCs at the AVS Forums, seems the Intel chips are the favs among them. So, with that in mind the Shuttle SS51 running on a P4 1.8a wouldn't be too bad. I would imagine it running much cooler than a Athlon chip, less noise and 'maybe' :o more stable.

Or....put the athlon in a CoolerMaster ATC-600 case with a nForce mobo. Why nForce? From what I've heard 'round these parts, they are stable, and the ONLY people that provide a Dolby Digital encoder. Makes for easy connection to the Hi-Fi system, one little cable for all the sound.

I still have to do a lot of research to get it just right. It's going to sit in the living room for the everyday people to use. It just has to 'work' 24/7.

The reason for the big drive was to keep me from needing to upgrading it for some time. I already have over 20GB of music files alone. And with my collection of DVDs, I could easily eat through the 60gigs in no time. As far as the sound, no biggie. The media server is just going to sit in a corner in the backroom, not buggin anybody.

Now they have 200GB drives coming out.. sigh.. I love technology and the speed that it moves at. Wallet just can't keep up with it :cry:

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