Prices correct as of 4th June 2010
Case – tower – already got (think this is an Antec case – 8×5.25″ drive bays – full tower sized)
PSU – 480W – already got (should be enough)
CPU – Core i5 750 (4 cores) – £143.34 inc VAT from Aria.co.uk
CPU cooler – Prolimatech Megahalems Rev B – £44.64 from Aria.co.uk – important to reduce number of fans if backend system is in room you use, rather than in garage or under stairs etc
Motherboard – Asus P7H55-M Socket 1156 DDR3 PCIe uATX – £70.49 from Aria.co.uk
RAM – (8GB) OCZ Gold 4GB 2x2GB DDR3 1333MHZ dual channel kit x 2 – £183.28 from Aria.co.uk
Drive Enclosure – Icybox IB-555SSK 3.5″ 5 bay dual channel SATA/SAS backplane – £99.86 from Aria.co.uk
Hard drives – (5) Hitachi HDS722020ALA330 7200rpm 3.5″ SATA 2TB – £96.34 each – £481.70 from Aria.co.uk
TV tuner cards – (4 ports needed, but preferably on two cards – ????? – £??.?? Each – £???.?? From ??????
- TBS6980 PCIe DVB-S2 dual tuner card (x2) certified for MythTV, XBMC, Win7MCE, Freesat HD – $302.08 from buydvb.net in USA
- Anyone else got any ideas of any dual DVB-S2 cards that work well with Myth ?
RAID – AMCC-3Ware SAS/SATA 6Gbit 8-port £435.93 from span.com
OS – Mythbuntu Linux 64-bit (tailored Ubuntu 64-bit distribution with MythTV and associated RPM packages built in). 32-bit version could be used if your system only has 4GB RAM.
£1659.24 (assuming $300 = £200).
For other rooms x 3 (initially)
Acer Revo R3610 PC / Intel Atom N330 DC, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD, HDMI, nVidia 9400 Ion Linpus Linux – £179.98 from ebuyer
£540 ish . This system was recommended by another MythTV enthusiast.
Octo LNB – satellitesuperstore – £80 ish . Satellitesuperstore.co.uk deserves a mention as an extremely good reference for all things to do with the actual types of dish and issues around signal, dish placement etc. . No good having a superb MythTV back-end only to feed in a signal obtained from a Sky 40cm mini-disk that points through a number of tall trees … that’s another job on my list of to-dos ….
Coaxial cables – B&Q – £20. Should be enough if back-end PC can be placed very close to the back of the dish.
So £2300 for all this…
Ways to reduce cost:
- Go for existing components, e.g. case and CPU wherever possible
- Try cheapest i5 CPU and cheaper CPU cooler/fan, possibly saving £50, or find an old quad core PC system for sale cheaply and build up.
- If only serving max 3 TVs, try 4GB RAM only
- Remove RAID and replace with single 1TB drive for £55 or 2TB for £96. Once system gets into realms of ‘true’ hardware RAID that’s supported by Linux and multi-high capacity drives, the cost doubles, but you can then store much more content.
Ways to improve spec:
- Increase CPU to an i7 960 for £200. Maybe more appropriate for 5-7 TVs with at least half using HD content.
- Increase motherboard and CPUs to 2 x Xeon 5500s for approx £600-1000 or more. If you are supporting 10-12 TVs you may have to do this.
- Add cache memory to RAID controller
- Buy a bigger RAID Controller with 16 ports, additional enclosures and more drives, although this will require a 1000W PSU also.
- Increase number of Tuner cards. Beyond a certain point, this probably requires a server or other specialist type of motherboard (e.g. as used in industrial computing, where you sometimes find 20 slot motherboards).
- Rackmount and fit into a decent rack lockable cupboard with ventilation and aircon.
- Add more Octo LNBs, resulting in more coaxial feeds IN.
Increase number of teamed Gigabit NIC ports available to the back-end system. More than 8 probably doesn’t work – Cisco Etherchannel standard supports 8 x 1000Mbit/sec connections bound together. Also bear in mind what it’s connected TO – basic Dell 8 or 16 port gigabit switch will suffice for most wired networking installations, but beyond a certain point, the quality of the internal switching fabric and so on , comes into question. With professional grade network switches (e.g. Cisco 3750) comes NOISE. If planning for this sort of thing, you need a wiring closet planned, and equipment location away from people and living space.