Is a 2.13Ghz Atom (Intel Atom D2700) enough for a Win7 or Win8 MCE DVR?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 04:43 AM - Thread Starter
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This is the kit I'm looking at getting...

http://www.zotacusa.com/zbox-id80.html (Atom D2700 - 2.13Ghz, Intel NM10 Express Chipset, GeForce GT 520M)

Samsung 1Tb SATA 3.0

4Gig DDR3 1066


This will be fed by either a SiliconDust HDHomeRun PRIME (connected via GigE) or an external Ceton InfiniTV 4 USB. They're about the same price, any advice on which would produce a better picture from the source or has better MCE support or anything? Small benefit with the HDHomeRun is that I wouldn't have to run coax to the TV since I don't already have a line drop into that room but I do have one right next to my network equipment in the room next door. HOWEVER, I would have to run GigE to the room that the TV is in (easiest is using a direct burial outdoor cable). So have the Ceton but have to run coax cable to the room, or use the networked HomeRun but have to run outdoor GigE to the room...

Honestly 3 or 4 tuners isn't too big of a difference for me, two is a must, four would be nice, but I'm not worried with "making due" with only three...

Will that little Zotac HTPC be able to handle recording at least 2 HD streams, all 4? I just want a basic DVR, a stand alone BluRay player will be for BD/BD3D or *cough* .mkv playback. Second, is it a toss up between tuners or is one better then the other?


(Btw, total would be $519, just a little less then $200 cheaper then a TiVo Premier4 with Lifetime service AND twice the storage)

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post #2 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 04:46 AM
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no. There are much better options at that price point
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post #3 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

no. There are much better options at that price point

I've spent a couple days looking... any chance you can help me find some? (And YES I've read your guide)

I'm limiting it to one fan in the case (or fanless would be awesome!) and a case that is TiVo sized or smaller (honestly I would like MicroATX or Mini-ITX since that will almost disappear under my HDTV but a standard "large" TiVo sized device is max)

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post #4 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 04:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, I'm looking for no more feature then a TiVo would offer. Pause live TV, fast forward commercials, record off at least 2 streams (or 1 live and 1 recording), and that's it. (Well, recording from all four at once would be nice but I can't remember ever in my life having four things going on at once that I wanted to watch, 99% of the time two will work for me)

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post #5 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 02:19 PM
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I'd have to agree it may be underpowered for all that recording... YES, I know recording is just streaming to the HDD and takes very little power.

I have the Foxconn 3500 and will try your test when I have a chance. I'll set WMC to record 3 Prime streams to the HDD and see how it does. Then I'll see if I can watch one of them while still recording all three. Then I'll see how reducing to 2 does... seems to me I've had trouble recording one while watching something else but I'll let you know.
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post #6 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 02:39 PM
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Celeron G1610 - Ivy Bridge replacement for the G550, will run you $40 or so and the iGPU is good enough for a DVR. Way better CPU grunt too.
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post #7 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

Celeron G1610 - Ivy Bridge replacement for the G550, will run you $40 or so and the iGPU is good enough for a DVR. Way better CPU grunt too.


What kind if case would that fit into? I like these ITX cases because they're almost AppleTv size... Also what about the fans? This will be in a bedroom and I basically want it to be "not there". That one I posted has one fan, including cooling for the power supply.

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post #8 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

I'd have to agree it may be underpowered for all that recording... YES, I know recording is just streaming to the HDD and takes very little power.

I have the Foxconn 3500 and will try your test when I have a chance. I'll set WMC to record 3 Prime streams to the HDD and see how it does. Then I'll see if I can watch one of them while still recording all three. Then I'll see how reducing to 2 does... seems to me I've had trouble recording one while watching something else but I'll let you know.

Thank you! That would be awesome. Isn't that also only a 1.6ghz? I'm curious if it handle the 2 streams test or 1 live + 1 record if that means I really shouldn't run into issues when I step up to 2.13ghz...

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post #9 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 02:51 PM
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Why would you buy something that's a couple year old technology when there are better things for the same or even less price? I'm not a big fan of buying something that is already almost out dated from the time you get it.
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post #10 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Why would you buy something that's a couple year old technology when there are better things for the same or even less price? I'm not a big fan of buying something that is already almost out dated from the time you get it.

You haven't shown me anything that roughly falls within the same price AND can fit in one of those small cases and be cooled by only one can. Hell, I want a fanless system but those are out of my price. You keep saying there are better but no way in **** am I just stuffing a full sized laptop that's loud and has a bunch of lights on it under my TV and a midsized PC case with three fans running in it. This is a set too replacement that ONLY need DVR functions. My Motorola set top box from charter is silent even when recording, that's my benchmark for this thing.

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post #11 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Also, that Atom launched 3rd quarter 2011, yes it's a little more then a year old, but you make it sound like I'm looking at something from 2010 or 2009 or something...

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post #12 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 03:22 PM
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If you can stand the size, I'd have no problem recommending this Gateway SX2370-UR10P (PT.GCRP2.003) Desktop PC A8-Series APU A8-3820(2.50GHz) 6GB DDR3 1TB HDD Capacity AMD Radeon HD 6550D Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit especially at the $399 they're offering it today! I'd built an A6-3500 (triple core) for my bedroom and the stock HSF runs so cool I never hear it! Sure, this is the A8 but if it's anything like the A6 it should run cool... I would hope Gateway integrated some Cool -n- Quiet and active CPU fan control into their BIOS as I have with the BIOSTAR TA75M FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard I used.

I can tell you how much more satisfied I am with the A6 than the Foxconn 3500 -- sure, it's a larger form (nettop vs SilverStone ML03B) athough still identical to your standard stereo receiver component size! The sluggishness of the nettop I couldn't get used to - sure, it was a novelty being so tiny, but not ready for prime time! Maybe you could have your kids get used to it but buying new I'd shy away for my personal use.
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post #13 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by acarney View Post

Also, that Atom launched 3rd quarter 2011, yes it's a little more then a year old, but you make it sound like I'm looking at something from 2010 or 2009 or something...

In the tech world and especially PC that is old.

Again, there are better options at the same or less money. You seem to want to buy this 2 year old underpowered technology so do what you want. But you did ask for opinions.
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post #14 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

If you can stand the size, I'd have no problem recommending this Gateway SX2370-UR10P (PT.GCRP2.003) Desktop PC A8-Series APU A8-3820(2.50GHz) 6GB DDR3 1TB HDD Capacity AMD Radeon HD 6550D Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit especially at the $399 they're offering it today! I'd built an A6-3500 (triple core) for my bedroom and the stock HSF runs so cool I never hear it! Sure, this is the A8 but if it's anything like the A6 it should run cool... I would hope Gateway integrated some Cool -n- Quiet and active CPU fan control into their BIOS as I have with the BIOSTAR TA75M FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard I used.


Thank you for the solid recommendation. I'm now torn even more because while that system surely would be powerful enough for everything there is now the little trade off of slightly bigger case and maybe more noise... And I just found this review saying that the Ceton COULD be used fine with a D525 1.8ghz atom (slower ram and the test bed only had 2gig).

From the review it sound like watch 1 plus record 2 didn't cause any problems and looking at the numbers record 4 shouldn't cause problems. The only time they had issue was sometimes with watch 1 record 3 which already would be VERY rare for me and is on hardware almost a year OLDER then the Atom I'm looking at. Not to mention 200mhz or so slower and using slower ram...

Hmmm... I may end up getting the atom as a proof of concept for you guys. It would be crazy to basically have an Apple TV sized box that replaces a DVR!


http://thedigitalmediazone.com/2011/09/20/ceton-infinitv-4-usb-review/

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post #15 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 03:38 PM
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Read my update above... I too am acknowledging the novelty.
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post #16 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 04:19 PM
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The Atom is not old because it as launched in 2011, it`s crap because it is underpowered, even by 2011 standards. Believe me, i have a Zacate (Atom equivalent) and it`s now sitting in a closet. My Intel Celeron G530 + Nvidia GT610 blows it out of the water.

Here`s a system for you :

Intel IvyBridge Celeron : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116889 : 49 USD
ASRock B75M-ITX : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157310 : 89USD
Memory 4GB : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231253 : 24USD
CASE + PSU : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154090 : 84USD

246 USD in total, 3$ more than the Zotac.

PSU is external, aka a fanless power brick, just like a laptop has. So only 1 fan, the CPU fan, which is quiet.
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post #17 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acarney View Post

Hmmm... I may end up getting the atom as a proof of concept for you guys.

Feel free to get something tiny if you must but know that you are buying something antiquated that struggles with current technology such as Netflix HD streaming. Doesn't bode well for future use when something already struggles with some modern day tasks out of the box.

Let's put this another way...

Atom d2700 Passmark: 855
Celeron G1610: 2673
AMD A6 5400K: 2145

I just don't see the point of ever intentionally using the Atom or Zacate.
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post #18 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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No, thank you guys for the solid replies with links and prices. I'm just making sure everyone is think of the application I want. I understand the thing with an HTPC is that it's able to do more then just a set top box. However, I'm looking for a single solution to a single problem, a DVR. Both the Panasonic TV or Samsung bluray player will be able to handle NetFlix (including SuperHD or 3D streams) and amazon instant video or Hulu. Those are the only three platforms I use for web based video. They'll also be able to play bluray video (duh :P) and at most in this bedroom I'll have a 2.1 system but probably just stick with the TVs sound.

The only thing I want this device to do is record cable TV using a cable card. I can't picture 1080p or higher resolutions coming down the coax cable for at least a couple more years (2+ at the earliest). I understand future proofing and that you're trying to find me the best bang for my buck. But I'm 100% focused on can it handle pausing, fast forwarding, recording, and playing TODAY'S digital cable streams, at least 2 at a time, more if possible.

I really appreciate trying to get me the best for my budget, but I want "just as good" picture quality as a Motorola or TiVo DVR in the most silent, smallest, lowest power device possible. It's a bed room setup, not a man cave home theater. Just to get a 1Tb TiVo I'm looking at a minimum $530 in the first year of device alone. So if my little atom box can even record cable TV for just TWO years I've saved myself $180 AND with the Ceton being external and USB I can move it to a strong system two years down the road if need be.

If you seriously think that system won't be able to record a couple shows or show live TV while recording one, then I'll HAVE to get something else. But, if you think it can handle that with the same quality as a TiVo or Motorola, even if you think it's "old or not as good as what I could have", that setup has a place in my heart :P

I just don't want to buy it, set it up, go to watch live TV and see I'm getting 10fps or something or try to record and it keeps dropping the recording if its a high def channel or something...

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post #19 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenEyez View Post

The Atom is not old because it as launched in 2011, it`s crap because it is underpowered, even by 2011 standards. Believe me, i have a Zacate (Atom equivalent) and it`s now sitting in a closet. My Intel Celeron G530 + Nvidia GT610 blows it out of the water.

Here`s a system for you :

Intel IvyBridge Celeron : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116889 : 49 USD
ASRock B75M-ITX : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157310 : 89USD
Memory 4GB : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231253 : 24USD
CASE + PSU : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154090 : 84USD

246 USD in total, 3$ more than the Zotac.

PSU is external, aka a fanless power brick, just like a laptop has. So only 1 fan, the CPU fan, which is quiet.

Ok, that actually got my attention with the single fan and external power brick...

Does it have built in wifi on that board and I would still need to add a hard drive, 2.5 inch for that case or 3.5? (Sorry on my phone so it's taking a little while to load links)

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post #21 of 44 Old 01-31-2013, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Intel nuc. Look it up.

That was exactly what I was excited about however it only has room for an mSSD internally and I wasn't sure if you could point the MCE's live buffer to a USB2 or 3 external hard drive, or if it was good leaving an external hard drive running 24/7... I don't know if they spin down as much as an internal one would when not in use...

If its dead simple to configure MCE to store recorded content and live buffer on an external drive, then ya, I'll do the Intel NUC, external 2.5 inch 1tb bus powered drive, and like a 32gig (or smaller) mSSD for OS... It'll be a little more expensive, but better specs, super small with built in wireless and everything, and pretty near silent.

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Originally Posted by acarney View Post

Ok, that actually got my attention with the single fan and external power brick...

Does it have built in wifi on that board and I would still need to add a hard drive, 2.5 inch for that case or 3.5? (Sorry on my phone so it's taking a little while to load links)

2.5 for the HDD and a 5.25 bay for an optical drive. Nope, you could replace it with a mobo that has built in WiFi, or you could just get an USB WiFi adapter and put it in the back.
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post #23 of 44 Old 02-01-2013, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acarney View Post

That was exactly what I was excited about however it only has room for an mSSD internally and I wasn't sure if you could point the MCE's live buffer to a USB2 or 3 external hard drive, or if it was good leaving an external hard drive running 24/7... I don't know if they spin down as much as an internal one would when not in use...

If its dead simple to configure MCE to store recorded content and live buffer on an external drive, then ya, I'll do the Intel NUC, external 2.5 inch 1tb bus powered drive, and like a 32gig (or smaller) mSSD for OS... It'll be a little more expensive, but better specs, super small with built in wireless and everything, and pretty near silent.

You can do that, and assassin beat me to it as I was also going to recommend the NUC with a USB drive. Would be even smaller than your rig and way more powerful if a bit more expensive with the external drive, check out newegg's deals on these. I had my WMC PC doing live/recorded TV to an external USB 2.0 drive for a while with no issues.

See this thread for more details.
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post #24 of 44 Old 02-01-2013, 05:59 AM
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Seriously, don't skimp on your DVR. I tried using an old laptop and it chocked when using two tuners at a time. IIRC, when the Ceton infiniTV first came out the minimum recommended CPU was a Core 2 Duo E5400. Assassin is right, that Atom is a dog by today's standards.

I'd be interested to know how the NUC does with recording multiple shows. I assume it would be fine, but I just don't know much about that CPU.
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post #25 of 44 Old 02-01-2013, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Seriously, don't skimp on your DVR. I tried using an old laptop and it chocked when using two tuners at a time. IIRC, when the Ceton infiniTV first came out the minimum recommended CPU was a Core 2 Duo E5400. Assassin is right, that Atom is a dog by today's standards.

I'd be interested to know how the NUC does with recording multiple shows. I assume it would be fine, but I just don't know much about that CPU.

Believe it or not, one reviewer noted that a 1.86ghz Atom was able to handle three streams at a time without pixelation or dropping frames...

Min specs on that NUC would be like $630... :-/

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Believe it or not, one reviewer noted that a 1.86ghz Atom was able to handle three streams at a time without pixelation or dropping frames...

Min specs on that NUC would be like $630... :-/

Hey it's your choice. When it comes to an appliance that needs to simply work 100% without failing, I like the idea of having a bit of headroom.

Why would the NUC cost $630?
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post #27 of 44 Old 02-01-2013, 06:27 AM
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Something like this would be very small and work well for a DVR:

Realan E-i5 mini-ITX HTPC / desktop computer case
Gigabyte GA-H61N-USB3 motherboard
Intel G630T 2.3GHz dual-core processor (comes with needed low-profile CPU cooler)

Add 4GB of DDR3-1066 RAM, and up to 2 x 2.5" HDD. The case has an internal 120W DC powerboard and comes with a 60W AC adapter.

I have my HTPCs (we use them for live TV) with 128GB SSDs which have enough room for live TV buffer and recordings and then once a day the recordings are moved to my server (or in your case an external HDD if you prefer).

BTW, if you have your heart set on the Atom/GT520M combo it will work. It's just not the best value. You can do better for the money for what you want to do. Since you're building a DVR and need a slightly bigger case (~75mm tall) for at least a 2.5" HDD/SDD you have room for something like the G630T which comes with a very quiet low profile cooler, not much taller than the Zotac's heatsink.

 

 

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post #28 of 44 Old 02-01-2013, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Hey it's your choice. When it comes to an appliance that needs to simply work 100% without failing, I like the idea of having a bit of headroom.

Why would the NUC cost $630?

The NUC, RAM, cheapest 30gig mSATA, cheapest 1Tb 2.5 inch USB drive plus the USB Ceton...

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post #29 of 44 Old 02-01-2013, 09:49 AM
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I've seen the Prime go on sale for $130-140 more than once, so don't lock into the Ceton.
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post #30 of 44 Old 02-01-2013, 09:52 AM
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I have my HTPCs (we use them for live TV) with 128GB SSDs which have enough room for live TV buffer and recordings and then once a day the recordings are moved to my server (or in your case an external HDD if you prefer).

Not a good idea to use SSDs for continuous write apps like a DVR, but it's your call - they're certainly cheap enough now to have one fail prematurely.
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