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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In order to gain WAF, I've got concurrence to put a slim case into my A/V rack. I'm not looking for a debate on how limiting a slim case allowing only low profile cards is -- I've got five or six other computers in the house to do "intensive work". This will basically be a media client only playing DVDs (from local DVD player and from other PCs), music, and shoutcast streams.


So, for this box I want low heat at minimal sound.


I'm going to use (for now) onboard graphics (may add low profile ATI 9x00 card later if I really hate it) and onboard sound output via back panel SPDIF out to my DD/DTS receiver. I'm not into games, so I'm not looking at Soundstorm cards, and besides I've yet to find one in a micro ATX form factor.


So, am correct that the Pentium 4 2.4 GHz 800MHz FSB will run cooler than the Athlon XP2500+ Barton core using stock cooling?


And how much cooler would a Celeron 2.4 GHz 400MHz FSB Northwood core chip run compared to the Pentium 2.4 GHz 800MHz FSB chip? A lot?


I've built several dozens of computers over the past few years, and never used a Celeron or Duron -- but I'm thinking since I need to minimize the heat / noise, and that this will only be used for media playback for likely two years max, the Celeron might be the ticket.


I welcome any and all useful feedback given the limits of the WAF dictating a slim case (i.e. low profile cards). FYI she likes the Antec Minuet case with a silver DVD drive and will let me get the new Crystalfontz CFA-631 LCD module for the 3 1/2 floppy bay -- I think it should look pretty nice all put together.


Charlie
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by aafflyer
So, am correct that the Pentium 4 2.4 GHz 800MHz FSB will run cooler than the Athlon XP2500+ Barton core using stock cooling?
I startted a thread similar to this (search on my name if you want to see it).


The gist of the answers was that a P4 can handle around 50° at idle with no problem if you rarely run things that run up the processor to 100%. My P4-2.6GHz runs at 40°C when idle, and that's after slowing down the CPU fan (Intel boxed processor stock fan) using a Zalman fan mate. You can make a P4-2.4GHz CPU fan almost silent and still keep the temperature well within acceptable levels.


I also slowed down the voltage regulator fan and the other exhaust fan, and now I can barely hear the HTPC...the DVD drive is far louder than the rest of the unit...I'm working on tuning that next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the two other boards, but for the WAF approved Minuet case I see issues with these, but perhaps you can help.


The Asus A7N266-VM board being nForce based is somewhat dated, but I'm sure it would work for a media client use. However, the included bracket for SPDIF appears to have a small circuit board that would be too tall for modification to use with a low profile bracket.


And the Shuttle does not come with a bracket, and if it uses the MSI S-Bracket the same issue arises with not working with the low profile case.


The two motherboards I'm considering are the Abit AS-10 or the Abit VA-10. Both of these boards bring the SPDIF out right to the back panel, which really works with my constraints.


Still open to any and all other ideas as well as to feedback on heat issue.


Charlie
 

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I reserve the right to be wrong, but being that the primary difference between a Celeron and a Pentium is the amount of on-chip cache (greatly improves efficiency [and therefore throughput] of P4), I don't think that at any given clock speed either would be significantly thermally different from each other---go with the P4.
 

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cdissmore is correct. The P4 is manufactured with more on board cache memory, which speeds up processing in the chip, even with the same clock speeds. There should be no difference in heat generated by two chips running the same core speed.

The notable difference between an AMD and Intel CPU in a small case that you are describing is the heat factor. They will both generate a fair bit of heat, but the P4 will not be damaged by the heat as the AMD chip can be. Tomshardware.com did a great test a year or so ago showing what happens when you remove a heatsink while the pc is running. The P4 slows itself down and keeps running while the AMD chip smoked almost instantly after removing the heatsink. As heat is the primary problem in the HTPC world, I have always gone intel to ensure that a slower quieter fan will not cause any hardware failure. In a HTPC case, the last thing you want is a loud fan required to keep it running smotthly.
 

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I have run both Celeron's > 1Ghz, PIII's and P4's. The P4's and Celerons and come in with about the same heat (assuming no over clocking) and the PIII's ran a tad bit hotter. Now the AMD's on the other hand were averaging almost 10 degrees hotter than their Intel bretheren. You couple that with the previous info above that AMD's will fail far quicker under heat stress (which is true) than Intel the choice has always been obvious IMHO. I have always liked quiet PC's but like to tinker with voltage too so I have been quite the die hard fan of the Zalman CPU coolers over the last couple of years for their great cooling ability and quiet fans. I'm sure a few ppl will beg to differ but this has been MY personal experience. Also I do like the new celerons on the .13 micron chip and have faired really well for me when building budget minded PC's for people. However, I have no experience with them when it comes to HTPC for I am just starting my first project here but from what I have read here on the forums the more horsepower the better if you want to go over the 720P line for video out. That includes a high end video card too like at least a ATI 9600 or better to get good 720P or 1080I resolution out. Here in lies another rub for heat. I swear these new high end video cards now are putting out as much heat as the darn CPU's!
 

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I have an A7N266-VM in a microcase (not a Minuet), mine is tall enough to allow a MyHD card, 2600XP, but also stuffed in a bookcase (the airflow is not optimal). Even after several hours of hard work, including HD capture and DVD playback at the same time with Forceware beta and post-processing, the CPU temps have never exceeded 50C - well within spec, using a PAL heatsink and Panaflo 80mm fan. Runs at 37-38C at idle. Pretty darn quiet, too, even given that the bookcase acts like an echo chamber. I hear it at all only if nothing is playing and nobody's talking.


As far as the other issues, the Asus SPDIF bracket is easily cut to fit, if need be (I've even considered taking the plugs out of the bracket and mounting them elsewhere on the case, but just haven't done it yet -- looks like a 10-minute job). As far as the CPU fan/heatsink failure issue - well, assuming even a modicum of care taken with the install, this is a very, very low base rate event. Possible? Yes. Likely? Far from it.


The A7N266 is an older board and is at the end of its development life. However, it is still purring happily along for me in my HTPC uses. The Soundstorm chip has several advantages that I enjoy, which is what led me to use this board in the first place. And, of course, it is a very inexpensive solution.


Richard
 

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I have a Shuttle MN31N mainboard with an AMD +1900 CPU in slim case (ACER H340D). With an Aero Glacier CPU cooler, the CPU is at 45degC idle and 60degC at 100% workload. The ambient temp in the box is at 35degC.

To reduce fan noise, I've added a 82ohm resistor and a 100nF capacitor to the CPU fan. This has cut the overall fan noise down to barely audible levels.
 

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I agree EricN:


Because your old AMD runs hot don't think the newer faster one's do. You would think the Bartons 2500+ would run hotter than say an older Athalon 1.2 ghz processor. But not so, AMD has improved on their chipset greatly over the years in terms of heating issues.


I'm running Barton's 2800 being the highest version I have. I put on a 22 db fan (aka very quite) designed for up to 3200's. The system runs cool and quite. It's really a non-factor now where-as a generation or so ago it was a real issue all the AMD's, which ran loud because they needed big fans to cool them. With the AMD and fan technology improving it simply isn't the case anymore.


They can again compete in this area with Intel. Are they absolutley silent? No. But they are way ahead of where they were and imo workable in a HTPC environment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the great feedback.


I have to laugh though, I've gone back and forth so many times between nForce2 board (i.e. AMD Barton) and Intel based board (currently likely to be ATI 9100 IGP based).


I think what I take away from this is that either approach will work ;)


And for my use to only a SDTV (at least for now) in basically a client mode (I've got six other PCs in the house to serve up all the content I need and a Replay TV to be my PVR), minimizing my investment for my first system is the plan -- i.e. I will use on-board graphics for now. Going with a micro ATX board with either the Barton (XP 2500+) or Celeron (2.4 GHz Northwood core) puts the MB + CPU in the $150 to $190 which is zippo when you consider what you get (usable on-board video for SDTV, SPDIF out to my DD/DTS receiver, LAN, and on some boards firewire).


Decisions, decisions ...


Charlie


P.S. For a non gamer, what would be the advantage of nForce or nForce2 board that supports Soundstorm -- I'm trying to think what I would want or need to be encoded in DD.
 

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So, here's the thing. you can't say "AMD's run hot and Pentiums run cold" - there are WAY to many processors covered by such a statement.


Older AMD's ran hotter than older pentiums, this was true perhaps 18 months - 2 years ago at the front edge of the price curve. At the front edge of the curve now (hyperthreading P4's vs. AthlonXPs) we have MUCH cooler cats than just a little while ago. I run about the hottest production intel chip of the last two years (a straight 2.8), which I can keep at 45 degrees C without much noise or trouble (but with case fans and a CPU fan). By contrast, my 2.8c Hyperthreading one will run at 25-30C while playing games or encoding video, but watercooled).


Bottom line, with GOOD quiet aircooling, like a Zalman 7000, in a REGULAR case with SOME airflow, you should be able to keep either processor under 40C, well out of danger.
 

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The current Barton 2500+ CPUs are overclocking monsters. People regularly overclock them 50% with stock cooling. Conversely that means you can undervolt them, run at stock speeds and run much cooler. Remember that power is proportional to the voltage SQUARED. Reduce the voltage by 10% (1.6v->1.45v) and you reduce thermal output by 20%.


AMD's typically run hotter because they don't have the P4's heat spreader. Because of the heat spreader the die temps tend to stay lower on the P4 but that DOESN'T mean that p$'s have a lower thermal output.


Either chip works great. Note that Barton 2500's go for $60 and 2.4c P4's go for $160 though. They basically have the same horsepower and the same overclockability/undervoltability. I might give the mobo edge to AMD though with nForce2. That's a great chipset.


PS I run an older 2.4c at 3.0 at stock voltages with a Zalaman 6500? AlCu flower and it gets pretty hot now that my case has filled up.
 

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One idea I've been playing around with is using a mobile pentium processor. Intel thermal spec for the mobile pocessor is 100C ! :

http://processorfinder.intel.com/scr...ALL&CorSpd=ALL


And it only puts out 35 watts! This compares to 70c and 60 watts for a standard processor.


From what I can tell, the processor is pin compatible with a standard processor. It has no heat spreader, so ou would need to either use a heatsink that bolts through the motherboard, or add a shim to a standard mount motherboard.
 

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I think what I take away from this is that either approach will work


There you go -- while lots of folks seem to take an overly personal commitment to the "Intel vs. AMD" argument (almost as much as the MS vs. Mac), it really boils down to the same thing. Which will suit your needs for the amount of money you're willing to put into it? Personally, I really like the Nforce chipsets for their stability, on-board options, and ease of assembly and updating. But you can do the same things with Intel solutions, too. In our house, we have two Nforce/AMDs (1 and 2), three Intel/Pentiums, and a SIS735/AMD. They all work great for their chosen jobs. They are all reliable, other than the occasional problem with a power supply or CDROM going bad.


Richard
 

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I have the MSI K7N2GM-L MSI K7N2GM-L link at newegg and I love it. I also have it in the Antec Minuet Case. I will be purchasing the optional SP/DIF bracket for this board soon. I plan on simply modify the full pci bracket to fit the half height slot. Or simply using one of the 1/2 height pci slot covers that come with the case as the bracket for the SP/DIF jacks. Note this board has very decent GeForce 4 on-board graphics capable of using up to 128MB of shared RAM. This board also includes TV-Out bracket, which I have modified to fit the 1/2 height PCI slots of the Minuet case. I used one of the PCI slot covers and drilled some holes. 15 minute job.


The case is very nice. The stock power supply is VERY quiet.

I bought a Nexus HS/F from www.endpcnoise.com to cool the AMD 2100 XP CPU. The machine cannot be heard from over 4 feet away. It is barely audible when sitting right next to it.

I added 1 80MM Zalman fan that uses a resistor to slow fan rpm(also from www.endpcnoise.com )


I am very please with this whole setup and have NO problems recommending it to others (obviously) ;-)


I have let SiSoft Sandra Burn In wizard run for 4 days straight on this setup. My Case temp maxed out at 36C and CPU maxed out at 41C.

They both run around 23-25C at idle.


Hope this Helps!


-Tommy
 

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I've found this link helpful for these quandries for some years:


users erols com/chare/elec htm


Sorry, not enough posts to use urls (insert dots where the spaces are).


As was recently posted, the old AMD hot P4 cool is not true (the non-mobile P4s were never cool).


The Barton 2500+ has a "typical" power dissipation of 53.7W at standard voltage.


The P4 2.8C at 1.5 volts (Which I believe is standard) dissipates about 69.7W.


All numbers are approximate as it's a strict function of your workload.


Note that the Barton can actually tolerate a higher core temp (85 C vs 70C).


As long as you don't plan on removing your heatsink while the computer is running, the old Toms video is not much more than tool for spreading FUD. I had a fan die on one of my Athlon MP 1800+ procs and the computer just shut down.


All that said (I know, horse...dead), if you're just playing DVDs an EPIA M10000 (www mini-itx com/store/default asp?c=2#p175), for example, has enough power for that.


I'd go with the least expensive setup that works well and undervolt/underclock if less heat was needed.
 
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