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February 2008 Hardware Roundup

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the andriods-dreaming-of-water-cooled-sheep dept.

67

Tom's Hardware has a nice roundup of some of the new shiny hardware for February '08. Everything from a screaming fast 2 GHz DDR3 to liquid cooled cases and back again. "Unlike previous Zalman cases that used a heat pipe assembly, the LQ1000 has a traditional water pump and flexible hose for connecting the case's sinks to CPU and graphics coolers. A passively-cooled finned side panel and fan-assisted rear radiator remove heat, while a lighted flow indicator shows the bottom-mounted pump in action."

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9xxx series from geforce! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22264884)

I can't wait, the reviews are hotting up already [nimp.org] ! I can't wait to trade up my evga 8800. Which by the way, is a fantastic card.

WARNING: Link is GNAA (3, Informative)

celardore (844933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265234)

It's a link to last measure. Don't click it, just a heads up.

Re:WARNING: Link is GNAA (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269062)

Well, I didn't know what that was.. seeing as I'm on Linux, I decided to click it to find out. Good fun =)

Re:WARNING: Link is GNAA (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22269092)

I should add that it loaded in another tab, so I couldn't see it.. and I had MPD playing (blocking other sound devices), so I didn't hear anything either.. all I saw was the screen moving around. I downloaded the source with wget and took a look, and I'm fairly sure I can now guess what I would have seen if I hadn't loaded it in another tab =P

Aikon-

Interesting but the question remains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22264894)

do they run Linux? are they particularly suited for beowulf clustering?

I just realized I have hot grits down my pants

Unfortunately (2, Insightful)

opusman (33143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22264900)

By the time you've clicked through all 21 pages, it will be March already.

Stop this. (4, Informative)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22264918)

Please stop linking to "articles" on the page-o-ads tomshardware site and making them money. They have a hardware roundup every month; there's no need to link to them just to improve their ad revenue stream.

Re:Stop this. (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265268)

there's no need to link to them just to improve their ad revenue stream.
Linking to ad-filled pages is kinda how the internet works.
If you don't like it, get an ad-blocker, stop visiting those sites, or visit the printer friendly link.
It's 21 pages in 1:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/01/hardware_news_roundup_january_2008/print.html [tomshardware.com]

Stop this-making a living. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22268378)

"Linking to ad-filled pages is kinda how the internet works."

Well we belive in a "keep the internet pure" utopia. So no making money for anyone else.*

"If you don't like it, get an ad-blocker, stop visiting those sites, or visit the printer friendly link."

I'm sorry did you say do without [piratebay.com] something? How antimaterialistic.

*As for us some organization pays and supports us while we give away free software. We love our illusions.

Re:Stop this. (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265360)

I just clicked it and I see what you mean.

However, does /. get $ for referencing a site? I'm not hating, I'm just saying.

Re:Stop this. (2, Interesting)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265384)

I used to be a big fan of Tom's Hardware. Back when Tom Pabst was actually involved with the day to day operations of the site, last I remember they sold the whole shebang to some other company, good for them. But it's been mess for a long time now, I can't bring myself to read a full article there anymore... It's a shame really. IMHO

Re:Stop this. (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22266470)

Thanks. I was kind of wondering what happened to the site. I used to go there when I was looking to upgrade to get useful information...

NICE!!! (1)

joesnipes (1081163) | more than 6 years ago | (#22264946)

All this looks nice. I have to get the ddr3 memory in my system i heard the latency is LOW. Now for the liquid cooled cases call me crazy but I've always been skeptic of having anything liquid around my electronics. I'll stick to the traditional antec 900 gaming case with the 120mm fan along with like 4 other 80mm fans. That keeps my system running cool enough!!!

Just the opposite, I'm afraid. (4, Informative)

BalorTFL (766196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265572)

I'm not sure who told you that DDR3 RAM was low latency, but the statement is dead wrong. If you RTFA, you'll see that the new 2+GHz DDR3 has a CAS 10 latency!! While it's true that it's clocked more than double a typical DDR2 module @ 800mhz, these DDR2 modules are typically CAS 4 or 5, and timings can sometimes be tightened even further. The throughput of DDR3 memory is certainly boosted greatly over DDR2, but no matter how you measure it, memory latency has not seen the same improvement.

Re:Just the opposite, I'm afraid. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22265676)

They are about equal in terms of actual clock time, 5 cycles at 400mhz = 10 cycles at 800 mhz. Equal latency as the processor sees them, but twice the throughput.

But what're the hard facts on Latency? (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 6 years ago | (#22266428)

I've been buying quality RAM for like a decade now, paying attention to timings and bandwidth and so on, but when it comes to RAM, I have to admit that in all my gaming experience (which is extensive enough), I have seen *tangible* benefits from increasing memory bandwidth (by switching dual channel mode on/off), but I have never been able to establish a *tangible* benefit or detriment to my general computing or gaming by tightening or loosening my RAM timings.
 
I understand the technical details on what latencies effectively do and how they work, but I still have never seen scientific, real world results.

Know if there's any hard data on this?

Re:But what're the hard facts on Latency? (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 6 years ago | (#22267076)

Slashdot posted an article done by a tech site that benchmarked different RAM latencies, and they basically found that you're getting some very low performance benefits. I think it was something like 2%, and 1 or 2 FPS. Can't find the article with a quick search, sorry.

Re:But what're the hard facts on Latency? (2, Informative)

Cup-of-Tea (792473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22267948)

The only way you're going to see latency cause large effects on performance is if you turn off the cache on your processor, or run some kind of program that always results in cache misses (which isn't at all realistic). The whole point of cache is to mask the effects of latency. For example, if you have a cache with a 98% hit rate (meaning that only 2% of all memory accesses need to wait on memory, which is fairly realistic for today's processors), then if you doubled your memory latency, your performance (average latency seen by the CPU) would only increase by 17%. If you could cut the latency in half, then your performance would only increase by 9%. In reality, there isn't that much variance between different latencies on similar types of memory. (I've assumed that the cache is 10 times faster than memory, which is pretty conservative).

Applying Amdahl's law here, if you want to reduce memory latency, you really want to increase your cache's hit rate or speed, for example by getting a processor with a larger cache or lower cache latency.

SOME PEOPLE LIKE ...quiet ... COMPUTERS (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22267328)

That was a main reason for me to switch to water cooling - blissful quietness, instead of sounding like I parked next to a wind tunnel, or an airport. Liquid systems are fairly common now, and have had the kinks worked out. I never had a water leak.

Thanks, but no. (4, Funny)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22264964)

I'm waiting for the swimsuit edition.

Traditional? (3, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22264996)

traditional water pump and flexible hose
Water cooling is traditional now? I guess I gotta start shouting at kids to get off my lawn because my computer is air cooled.

Re:Traditional? (2, Funny)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265086)

I guess I gotta start shouting at kids to get off my lawn because my computer is air cooled.

Who needs a reason?

Um, I didn't say that....

Re:Traditional? (1)

celardore (844933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265202)

It's much more commonplace now, and has been for a few years. I believe Apple ship a water cooled G5. That said, sometimes the cost outweighs the performance. My friend has the same system as me pretty much, but he's watercooled his CPU and done some other tricks. He spent £150 (at least) on his cooling system. I've bought replacement fans, my CPU cooler is Zalman. It was a real bastard to get on, but my CPU idles at only 5c above his and my load temp is about 15c higher. He's kinda regretting spending the extra money now.

Re:Traditional? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22266942)

The only reason I might consider water cooling is to make the machine quieter. Especially for media centers and such, I'd rather pipe the heat to a massive heatsink with a big, slow, quiet fan than have the number of fans I have in there now. I just haven't seen a good solution yet for my machine, and I don't have the cash to drop on it.

Re:Traditional? (1)

celardore (844933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22268762)

I upgraded my case recently. Went from a little box thing that I'd hacked pieces out of over the past eight years, to a brand new things with fans and perspex all over the place. It's massive too, I could easily fit my old box inside it with plenty of room to spare. The thing that surprised me most, was even with a 320mm fan on the side, a 240mm on the front and top - it's quieter. The only thing that REALLY bugs me is the LEDs now. Stupid things light up my room.

Re:Traditional? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265374)

It's traditional for high performance rigs. If someone wants to spend a lot of money on a computer, liquid cooled has been the standard for a while. Considering how much I'm willing to spend on a computer, it's a little ridiculous, but if you're going to spend over $3,000, why not?

Re:Traditional? (1)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22267446)

But, is it traditional to call a computer, a "rig"?

Summary if you don't want to go through it all (5, Informative)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265070)

- a bunch of novelty cases
- overpriced power supplies
- and 6 new DDR3 modules at varying frequencies

Re:Summary if you don't want to go through it all (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265328)

- and a bunch of motherboards with various features.

Nonsensical splurge (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#22266308)

And all of it is crap you don't need yet.

I put together a system last week for $1200 that runs Oblivion + Qarl's Texture Pack 3 @ >60 FPS. Quite frankly, anything more would be a hideously excessive waste of money.

Hell, I feel guilty about buying a $100 power supply with LED's.

Re:Nonsensical splurge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22268792)

can you detail the parts you used in your $1200 system, and the decisions that led you to picking those (and that price) versus, say, $1300 total or $1350 total or $1400, etc.

It seems, whatever price you pick, you can get so much more for $50-$75 more that I'm curious how anyone stays at $1200...

Summary if you don't want to buy it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22270480)

Oh I don't know. I'm in the market for a new case and I've noticed that there's no good guide for what to look for in a good case. As for the PSU's A good PSU will save you a LOT of heartache. Same with a good MB, but a PSU affects more components. And how about the ONE component no one talks about? A UPS that filters as well as protects. Why spend all that money and leave it defenseless?

Re:Summary if you don't want to buy it all. (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22272212)

Oh I don't know. I'm in the market for a new case and I've noticed that there's no good guide for what to look for in a good case.
SPCR [silentpcreview.com] has one. Ofcourse it's dedicated to silence, but they also keep an eye on other useful features, like cable management. Conclusion: get an Antec, preferably a P182 or a P150/Solo.

As for the PSU's A good PSU will save you a LOT of heartache.
The things I recently learned about this are: A 300W PSU is plenty for most people, the Seasonic S12 line of PSUs are among the quietest and very reliable, Antec PSUs are not so reliable, and keep an eye on the efficiency of your PSU.

Same with a good MB, but a PSU affects more components.

But a motherboard is more complex. A PSU simply has to work and not fail. Anyway, here, I learned that the Gigabyte P35-DS3 line is pretty good.

Note that I'm not in any way a hardware expert, but perhaps someone else will have some use for this information.

Depressing (1)

abc_los (638007) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265110)

I don't think it's wise to "be up to date" with the latest and greatest hardware. Obviously it's essential to know what's going on with current technology, but I find trying to keep up with the shiniest, fastest hardware out just makes me depressed that the top-of-the-line hardware I just bought a month ago is already second rate.

Re:Depressing (5, Insightful)

Kraeloc (869412) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265356)

If you buy second-rate to begin with, though, then you can enjoy it for years before it turns third-rate. A much better investment, and usually a lot cheaper.

Re:Depressing (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265362)

one word: Zoloft

seriously though your "second rate" hardware is now and will be perfectly capable of performing well for a few years to come (assuming you actually bought decent hardware), so just enjoy it and care not about the new stuff until you have a need to get new stuff again, its that simple!

Re:Depressing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22266462)

one word: Zoloft
So he can go on a killing rampage once he stops taking it and realizes how much money he wasted if he would have only waited a few months?

Since we're all here (2, Insightful)

rhdaly (1072244) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265264)

Since the hardware experts are all here and you're all complaining about Tom's Hardware's advertisements and novelty/enthusiast equipment, can anyone recommend a good hardware review site, especially for (comparative) beginners? I'm a graphic designer and could use some advice on buying a new computer that's more detailed than, "buy the mac that fits in your budget." And even if the best advice really is to buy that mac, I'd be a lot more comfortable paying it's thousand dollar price tag if I knew why.

Re:Since we're all here (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265448)

And even if the best advice really is to buy that mac, I'd be a lot more comfortable paying it's thousand dollar price tag if I knew why.

Because of OS X. The hardware doesn't even enter into the equation.

Re:Since we're all here (1)

rhdaly (1072244) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265592)

I spend most (95%) of my time in applications. Photoshop, Illustrator, etcetera. Those will run fine on either OS. Yes mac is UNIX, but it doesn't make a bit of difference to me; I'm using my OS for peripheral hardware management and file wrangling. On the other hand, I obviously don't want to take the performance hit from Vista, and XP32 is limited to 2 gigs of ram which sounds suboptimal. I've heard nothing good about XP64. How much ram can OS X support for a professional workstation? And, again, anyone know of a good hardware or buying guide sorted by intended use?

Re:Since we're all here (3, Interesting)

HebrewToYou (644998) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265818)

The new MacPro supports up to 32 GB of RAM and is the best option for a true pro workstation. I would purchase my monitors, hard drives and additional RAM separately as Apple tends to mark those up significantly. Just configure the high-end model -- dual 3.2Ghz quad-core xeons -- with the minimal specs and install the rest yourself. It's fairly easy to do. Such is my advice to you.

Re:Since we're all here (1)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 6 years ago | (#22280018)

I spend most (95%) of my time in applications. Photoshop, Illustrator, etcetera. Those will run fine on either OS.

I obviously don't want to take the performance hit from Vista, and XP32 is limited to 2 gigs of ram which sounds suboptimal. I've heard nothing good about XP64. How much ram can OS X support for a professional workstation? And, again, anyone know of a good hardware or buying guide sorted by intended use?
The "performance hit" from Vista might not be a problem with the impending release of Service Pack 1 and the supposed workstation-class driver quality of Quadro and FireGL video cards.

The Mac Pro is a nice option IF your needs are not met by a single quad-core processor and 8GB of dual-channel 800MHz ECC DDR2 memory. Unfortunately (IMO), Apple doesn't offer a decent single-processor workstation option that doesn't use FB-DIMMs.

Other replies have suggested three good sites with "system guides" (Tech Report, Ars Technica, and Anandtech), but none of them seem to have specific guides for graphic designers (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc). I think they're still worth reading because their general tips are useful for (comparative) beginners and their guides are regularly updated to keep up with current hardware trends.

In addition to Apple's Mac Pro specs page [apple.com] , you could use Dell's Precision workstation specs pages as a "guide" on which hardware to choose when you build your Photoshop/Illustrator workstation. Dell actually has a "Find Your Recommended Workstation Configuration" page [dell.com] that suggests specific workstations based on application. Their Photoshop and Illustrator suggestions are the same: the "mainstream" Precision T3400 [dell.com] (based on Intel's X38 chipset) and the "advanced" T5400 [dell.com] (like the Mac Pro, based on Intel's 5400 chipset).

If you're buying based on the Intel platform, those are probably the best and most compatible chipsets to build your workstation around. They both can use ECC memory, workstation-class video cards, PCI Express 2.0, etc. The X38 chipset [intel.com] might be limited by its 8GB RAM ceiling. The 5400 chipset [intel.com] might be unattractive because it uses FB-DIMMs and dual Xeon CPUs (when a single Core 2 Quad might do). X38 has decent cheap RAID (0,1,5,10) built into the chipset as well as eSATA and HD audio. The 5400 chipset can use up to 64GB of RAM and usually has legacy PCI-X slots for those older, expensive cards you don't want to throw away.

Re:Since we're all here (2, Interesting)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22267002)

Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] . They aren't pure hardware review, but they do a good job and have much more insightful articles. Really, the difference between a Mac and a PC any more is the operating system and the fit and finish. The only reason to use a Mac is if you need/want OSX. Not a bad reason to use it, but that's the main differentiator between Macs and PC's. That, and design. Macs tend to have a certain spartan, minimalist yet functional design that appeals to a lot of people. It fits with their Ikea furniture ;)

Tom's Hardware has good Charts section, too. It'll let you fairly easily compare different bits of hardware, and get the best bang for your buck with configurations, let you see if it's really worth the extra $300 to get the faster CPU and so on.

Re:Since we're all here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22267320)

http://www.anandtech.com/ [anandtech.com]

Re:Since we're all here (1)

mako1138 (837520) | more than 6 years ago | (#22268428)

The only hardware site that remains in my daily bookmarks is the Tech Report [techreport.com] . One of the few honest sites on the web.

How to build a PC [techreport.com]

Christmas 2007 system guide [techreport.com]

Note that most hardware sites are geared toward gaming. As you're a graphic designer, your requirements are probably

0) color accuracy (don't know anything about this, really)
1) gobs of memory
2) gobs of storage
3) fast CPU

Then there's software limitations, which are out of the purview of most hardware sites. 32-bit Windows is limited to about 3 GB of usable RAM. Kickass hardware is useless without software that supports its features.

Re:Since we're all here (1)

toddestan (632714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22270434)

I wouldn't imagine it would be really hard to build a machine for a graphics designer. Here's how I would do it:

1. Get some really nice display(s)
2. Appropiate video card to drive those display(s)
3. A lot of ram (4-8GB+)
4. A motherboard that will support the above, preferably with some room to expand atleast the ram in the future
5. A reasonable higher end CPU, faster is better of course, but the bang-for-the-buck ratio isn't that great here
6. Fill in the details such as optical drive, harddrive(s), case, etc. as appropiate

The difference between doing it yourself and buying a Mac in terms of hardware is that the Mac Pro comes with a really high end Xeon CPU, which while nice, is also really expensive. It also requires expensive ram. Or you could get an iMac, which leaves you stuck with Apple's LCD screen and video card, and also requires expensive laptop ram. But if you want OSX, that's the only way you're going to get it.

21 Pages?!?!?! (4, Funny)

dbleoslow (650429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265286)

Wow! 21 pages with 50% ads. Now I remember why I stopped reading Tom's Hardware years ago.

Re:21 Pages?!?!?! (1)

Mex (191941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22267722)

You were modded "Funny", but I would have modded you "insightful". I was a faithful TomsHardware reader(back in the Quake days, even), and the page has grown so disgustingly difficult to navigate, that I just don't bother anymore.

Today I visited them again, just to see if things have improved, and I gave up at by the 3rd page. It's ridiculous.

only one am2+ nvidia board and where is sb700 for. (2, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265390)

only one am2+ nvidia board and where is sb700 for the AMD chipset boards?

Big and bulky (4, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265436)

Is it just me, or is everything in that article big and bulky? It's all RAM that's been made faster by adding cooling fins the size of bricks to them and other hardware made for running a server. I realize that all these hardware sites pander to the extreme gaming crowd, but where is the sleek and small?

Instead of the case larger than some bookshelves, where is the one designed to run silent and unnoticed by my TV or under my desk? Instead of the super ram and massive hard drive racks, where is the clever wireless network storage solution that will move media around my house? Instead of the computer case with a big fat LCD screen built into the front, where is the sleek standalone screen that that can wirelessly connect to the server in the basement and display pictures when not in use?

I don't think anyone is surprised to discover that by making everything twice as big, loud and hot you can get the most blazing performance. How about showing me something that impresses me instead?

Re:Big and bulky (4, Informative)

jfuredy (967953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265946)

It sounds like you should be looking at Silent PC Review [silentpcreview.com] instead. They focus more on how you can get a moderately powerful computer without it being obtrusive. Maybe a little bit extreme at times, but always good info.

Re:Big and bulky (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22272232)

Seconded. I knew very little about recent hardware until Silent PC Review taught me almost everything I know. Although AnandTech [anandtech.com] is also pretty good, and has some very helpful people on its forum.

Re:Big and bulky (2, Informative)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22265956)

EPIA 800 MhZ Nehemiah core on a nano_ITX mobo with 1 GB RAM, 500 GB 3-1/2" drive, and slot-loading DVD ROM in a Silverstone LC08 case.

Add an 802.11n USB dongle out the back (or traditional wired 100 Mb/s Ethernet), and you're golden.

Linux 2.6.23, alsa, xorg 7.1 with DRI, openchrome, xine --with-xvmc, and mythtv and you can render 1080i at anywhere from 40% (most streams) to (rarely) 95% (some particularly badly coded ones with lost of motion).

I just finished natively building (i.e. compiling from the sources themselves on the box itself) this starting from a stock Damn Small Linux install.

I'm trying to pare it down so it runs completely out of 512 MB RAM disk.

Re:Big and bulky (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22266006)

Oh, did I mention, there is no fan?

Now, this won't come cheap: $350 for the mobo, $80 for the RAM, $250 for the hard disk, $150 for the DVD-ROM, and $150 for the case, give and take. Budget $1000.

Re:Big and bulky (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22272418)

Hate to say it, wouldn't an appleTV running linux be cheaper, faster, and just as quiet?

Re:Big and bulky (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277790)

Interesting.

The appleTV is limited to 160GB hard disk (can it be expanded easily, or is it limited to a 2-1/2" drive?), and can only render 720p.(Though, I will be the first to admit that I am not going to get into the 720p/1080i battle here since the future is all 1080p or better anyway. Still, anything that can do 1080i can usually do 720p).

But, I'm curious, has anyone tried to get beyond these limits (and the DRM associated with Apple), with a linux installation? If so, it might be viable.

Re:Big and bulky (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22279058)

If you're running linux, the 1080p problem goes away (it's a software limitation, at least AFAIK). HD limitation should also not be a problem, even with 2.5" discs, that goes up to 320, and the usb port provides extra storage possibilities. 'Course the best solution is a big, loud, file server somewhere else in the house with the media shared over the network.

Re:Big and bulky (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22279248)

oh, you may be interested in this [mactel-linux.org]

Re:Big and bulky (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22280826)

Looks interesting! :-)

And, I agree that a big, honkin' server spitting out content (wirelessly!) is a great idea -- my first thoughts were for a diskless set top box. But, then I realized that there are times when I want to take my content with me somewhere, and having it (or some of it) in that very box would be convenient -- hence the desire for a big disk there (500 GB is nite, 1TB will be better!)

Yes, external disks and remotely served content and alleviate this, but I'd rather take one box with me rather than two, and not have great demands on the setup where I'm taking it: i.e. they have a TV, or monitor, and speakers, or stereo receiver. Requiring someone else to have something I can plug my drive in is a bit of a greater requirement.

What's all that stuff about NVidia video drivers? Are proprietary drivers required? If so, ewww :-(

Surely, DRI will be required.

I realized that the "big honkin; server's" best role is TV capture: one or more capture cards in one or more MythTv backends, all co-located with cable and/or HD antenna and/or analog or MPEG2 satellite feeds.

Re:Big and bulky (3, Insightful)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22266490)

Start with Damn Small Linux [damnsmalllinux.org] . CPU [via.com.tw] Mobo [via.com.tw]

Hard Drive [seagate.com] DVD ROM [panasonic.com] Case [silverstonetek.com]

Other software:

0. Install DSL to hard disk, reboot, and configure

1. Upgrade (Apps->Tools) to gnu utils

2. Install gcc

3. Install zile (MyDSL) for editing convenience

4. Other software (for building natively and installation):

http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v2.7/linux-2.6.23.tar.bz2 [kernel.org]

ftp://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/grub/grub-1.95.tar.gz [gnu.org]

ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-2.4.tar.bz2 [gnu.org]

ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/m4/m4-1.4.tar.bz2 [gnu.org]

http://www.oberhumer.com/opensource/lzo/download/lzo-2.02.tar.gz [oberhumer.com]

http://www.zlib.net/zlib-1.2.3.tar.gz [zlib.net]

http://www/perl.com/CPAN/src/perl-5.8.8.tar.bz2 [www]

http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/autoconf/autoconf-2.61.tar.bz2 [gnu.org]

http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/libtool/libtool-1.5.24.tar.gz [gnu.org]

http://xorg.freedesktop.org/archive/X11R3/src/everything/index.html [freedesktop.org]

`grep bz2 index.html | sed s/^.*\.bz2\"\>// | sed s/\<.*// | sed s,^,http://xorg.freedesktop.org/archive/X11R7.3/src/everything/,`

http://gitweb.freedesktop.org?p=xorg/util/modular.git;a=blob_plain;f=build-from-tarballs.sh [freedesktop.org]

http://downloads.sourceforge.net/expat/expat-2.0.1.tar.gz [sourceforge.net]

http://downloads.sourceforge.net/libpng/libpng-1.2.24.tar.gz [sourceforge.net]

http://www.fontconfig.org/release/fontconfig-2.5.0.tar.gz [fontconfig.org]

http://download.savannah.gnu.org/releases/freetype/freetype-2.3.5.tar.bz2 [gnu.org]

http://xcb.freedesktop.org/dist/libxcb-1.1.tar.bz2 [freedesktop.org]

ftp://xmlsort.org/libxslt/libxslt-1.1.22.tar.gz [xmlsort.org]

ftp://xmlsort.org/libxslt/libxml2-2.6.30.tar.gz [xmlsort.org]

http://xcb.freedesktop.org/dist/xcb-proto-1.1.tar.bz2 [freedesktop.org]

http://www.paldo.org/paldo/sources/pthread-stubs/libpthread-stubs-0.1.tar.bz2 [paldo.org]

http://www.paldo.org/paldo/sources/xau/libXau-1.0.3.tar.bz2 [paldo.org]

http://www.paldo.org/paldo/sources/xproto/xproto-7.0.11.tar.bz2 [paldo.org]

http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gettext/gettext-0.17.tar.gz [gnu.org]

http://downloads.sourceforge.net/mesa3d/MesaLib-7.0.1.tar.bz2 [sourceforge.net]

http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/xine/xine-ui-0.99.5.tar.gz [sourceforge.net]

MOD THIS THREAD UP - silent HD VIDEO client! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22267330)

Subject says it all. It describes a silent client capable of rendering 1080i HD video that can have a local HD and DVD as well as wired and wireless network connectivity.

Re:Big and bulky (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22272260)

I'm looking for something almost exactly like this for a MythTV box, but powerful enough to act as a small mail/web server (has to run Java servlets). I'm not sure those amazingly cool VIA processors are really powerful enough for what I want, but I do like their low power consumption for a server I'm going to have permanently turned on in my living room.

Re:Big and bulky (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277878)

Haven't tried running apache on it yet, or servelets, but native building isn't THAT much of a pain... yeah, it takes a couple of hours to build ALL of xorg 7.3, but it is bearable and makes turning around small changes easier.

I would think it could do the job of a light server if it isn't rendering HD video.

You could always buy a board to play with for around $350 plus the cost of a RAM stick: my setup is expensive only because of the DVDROM, big hard disk, and fancy case.

Right now, I've trimmed my install down to under 500 MB with the intention of loading it as one HUGE initramfs, with 500 MB of free RAM (well, 384k since 128k is the video arpeture). I haven't added Myth on top of that, or apache, but those are next steps.

Basically, I moved a bunch of stuff (man pages, code needed to build, other docs, obsoleted DSL stuff (like X11R6) to the hard disk in removed, build, test, extra directories, and made symlinks from the appropriate points in the root fs to them. So, I can make bits come and go with approriate mounts.

I also stripped a lot of the binaries to save some space, with the originals symlinked from a ../bin.nostrip or ../lib.nostrip directory to the hard disk.

Really, it runs fine from local disk, but I want to play with the option of running out of flash or ram as well.

It could easily be a net-bootable thin client, accessing content remotely, too. However, I found the idea of content on an internal drive that permits me to take the unit to a different home and hook it up for demos or entertainment very useful. Technically that doesn't make it silent, but if retrieving content remotely, the drive can always be spun down.

Re:Big and bulky (1)

w3c.org (1039484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22266420)

You don't understand, those are the new pieces of hardware designated to overcome the slashdot effect !

Only interesting thing in the article (1)

pajeromanco (575906) | more than 6 years ago | (#22266024)

IMHO, the Asus XG Station [tomshardware.com] . That external graphics enclosure might be interesting.

pump? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22266036)

shows the bottom-mounted pump in action
When did Tom's Hardware become a fetish site?
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