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Old 19th February 2013, 02:31 AM   #11
Hengy is offline Hengy  Canada
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A year ago, I set out to build a low power HTPC that could play 1080p, had room for a PCIE TV tuner card, and had other options for upgrades in the future.

I ended up using a motherboard based on the AMD E350 APU, similar to this one

It has 4GB or RAM, 750GB HD, 64GB SSD, and is powerful enough to play any 1080p file I throw at it, smooth as butter.

If all you want is music, then you could use a hybrid HD/SSD from WD - speed and size, and you would have a PCIe slot for a high-end sound card if you like. 4GB of RAM is more than enough for playing music. Cases can be very small.

As for noise, mine has 3 120mm fans, and a ATX power supply. Yes, i can hear it if I'm not playing anything, and no one is talking, but play music, and you will never notice it.

In addition to playing media, it can do file server duties, and a lot more.

Now, for the best part: at the wall, it only sucks down 24W at idle, ~30W playing music, and ~40W playing an HD video.

Hengy
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Old 19th February 2013, 03:14 AM   #12
BFNY is offline BFNY  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldermizer View Post

As for Linux, amazing how cheap they are getting. I will pass for now. I have ancient Unix skills, probably older than you are! I don't have the time to hack Linux at the current time.
Well, maybe, maybe not on the older thing. I was learning fortran in 1973 on punch cards. Those were the days! fortran was it for engineers back then, unless you did assembly.
No hacking required, if you buy 2, and use one as the server, one as the player. This guy draws 3W as a server playing music from a USB stick, 5W from a USB drive. It shows you how little power is needed to play music. PCs are way overkill. See
VortexBox user forum - Logitech SqueezeBox replacement for under $30
Once you have the VAMP .3 installed, you run setup at the prompt, and install the squeezebox server software.
Only gotcha for some is you have to use the squeezebox software for server and player, however the software is free, finished, and works great. But it's not for everyone.
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Old 19th February 2013, 09:27 AM   #13
ttan98 is online now ttan98  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hengy View Post
A year ago, I set out to build a low power HTPC that could play 1080p, had room for a PCIE TV tuner card, and had other options for upgrades in the future.

I ended up using a motherboard based on the AMD E350 APU, similar to this one

It has 4GB or RAM, 750GB HD, 64GB SSD, and is powerful enough to play any 1080p file I throw at it, smooth as butter.

If all you want is music, then you could use a hybrid HD/SSD from WD - speed and size, and you would have a PCIe slot for a high-end sound card if you like. 4GB of RAM is more than enough for playing music. Cases can be very small.

As for noise, mine has 3 120mm fans, and a ATX power supply. Yes, i can hear it if I'm not playing anything, and no one is talking, but play music, and you will never notice it.

In addition to playing media, it can do file server duties, and a lot more.

Now, for the best part: at the wall, it only sucks down 24W at idle, ~30W playing music, and ~40W playing an HD video.

Hengy
It has come to my knowledge that using an ITX-Mini motherboard you can even used a battery as power supply. You idea of using the AMD E350 and also available E450 is good one, you can also find ITX motherboard based on this chip. My laptop based on E450 draws with little current less than 10Watts.
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Old 19th February 2013, 09:55 AM   #14
JLOP is offline JLOP  France
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldermizer View Post
As for Linux, amazing how cheap they are getting. I will pass for now. I have ancient Unix skills, probably older than you are! I don't have the time to hack Linux at the current time.
Hi Soldermizer

If you have ONE hour you may have mpdpup running without any hacking, the developper has made a nice wizard that takes most cases into account. I did it and am in no way what you could call a hacker , with absolutely no Linux knowledge (too old for that , was trained at the time of DEC and MVS and Z80)

As the system is headless, you could put your old PC in a cupboard and just forget it.

Just in case you want to give it a try Puppy Linux Discussion Forum :: View topic - mpdPup - Simplified MPD Music Server/Jukebox - v0.9.3
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Old 19th February 2013, 07:50 PM   #15
Hengy is offline Hengy  Canada
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Originally Posted by ttan98 View Post
It has come to my knowledge that using an ITX-Mini motherboard you can even used a battery as power supply. You idea of using the AMD E350 and also available E450 is good one, you can also find ITX motherboard based on this chip. My laptop based on E450 draws with little current less than 10Watts.
I also have a laptop based on the E350. When it was new, I could get 10 hours out of it doing light 'net surfing and word processing. It has since gone down to about 5 max.

You can get lower power processors, and ones without as much graphics power as well on ITX boards too. The super low power, AMD C-60 and one made by VIA might be perfect for just playing music (and only music) There is also the Intel Atom series.

Using windows built in Remote Desktop, or a VNC program, and you wouldn't need a monitor, mouse, or keyboard, and could put it in a closet (with adequate ventilation, of course).

Hengy
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Old 19th February 2013, 10:54 PM   #16
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So many suggestions! I tried SpeedFan on my laptop and did not seem to be able to control anything. The PC fan is not the only issue: there is some ac hum probably due to my line staging. I have the DEQ2496 doing Bose EQ duty and the gain on the power amp(s) is really high. Gain staging I can fix. The PC ... I will continue to collect information. Even work on my graduate classes in my spare time
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Old 19th February 2013, 11:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by i2k92 View Post
I recommend PC based on intel DN2800MT mobo + 4gb RAM + small SSD for OS only + used laptop power supply, cheap & 100% silent. If you use USB DAC, add a Renesas based USB-3 PCI-e card to improve the sound further. I use mine with Win 7 64 bit + Jplay v5b, the sound is awesome. Depend on the enclosure, it can go below 300$.
How were you able to run Win 7 64 bit? Intel does not support 64 bit yet on GMA 3650 based Atoms like DN2800MT. Which driver did you use?
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Old 19th February 2013, 11:31 PM   #18
JLOP is offline JLOP  France
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Originally Posted by Soldermizer View Post
The PC fan is not the only issue: there is some ac hum probably due to my line staging.
Laptop power supplies for amps

This May help
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Old 20th February 2013, 10:49 AM   #19
i2k92 is offline i2k92  Indonesia
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Originally Posted by TopQuark View Post
How were you able to run Win 7 64 bit? Intel does not support 64 bit yet on GMA 3650 based Atoms like DN2800MT. Which driver did you use?
I use default Win driver, as it is headless and 100% used for music playback I dont care about the video quality. I believe for Win based music player dn2800 has the best value of all mobos. Before dn2800, I used MSI e350 + picopsu and I found that dn2800 is far more suitable for music pkaying duties.

other option would be alix board + mpdpup. mpdpup sounds awesome + free.

Last edited by i2k92; 20th February 2013 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 21st February 2013, 12:27 AM   #20
Hengy is offline Hengy  Canada
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Originally Posted by Soldermizer View Post
I tried SpeedFan on my laptop and did not seem to be able to control anything. The PC fan is not the only issue: there is some ac hum probably due to my line staging.
Motherboard in laptops are custom made by the laptop manufacturer. There are so many models and revisions, that something like SpeedFan would have an awful time keeping up with the different hardware.

If you are getting hum from a laptops headphone/line out, it is probably lack of shielding of the audio IC. This is an unfortunate, and very common occurrence on laptops. Even moving the trackpad can cause interference! A USB audio interface should resolve this.

Hengy
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