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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about building a new HTPC around a Shuttle SB51G. I want a good balance between performance and silence and am curious as to what processors others have used.


I'm thinking about using the 2.53Ghz P4 because it supports the 533Mhz FSB, but it's somewhat cooler (around 60 Watts) than faster processors.


What processor did you use and are you happy with how quiet your Shuttle is?


Thanks in advance for your reply.


Best regards,
 

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Allen,


I opted for the Celeron 1.7 - low wattage and the PC is remarkable quiet! I'll be testing with DScaler & XCapture card when DScaler offically supports it. I should have a better idea if I have enough horsepower then...


The SB51G is a really nice little box. Cramped quarters, but an AGP and PCI slot should be enough.


Darryl
 

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I used a 1.6A that I had and am running it at 133 (2.2 gHZ). The system only kicks the fan into overdrive when I am doing video conversions. During DVD play w/TT and MyHD use it stays cool enough that the fan doesn't kick in.
 

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I just built mine.. with a P4 2.4 533 FSB.... It's pretty quiet (has a bit of room for improvement as far as noise, but still decent).


It's a neat little box... of course, I don't have my graphics card yet.... which will raise the sound level a bit... but all that can be worked out. It's much much quieter than my PS2 (currently the noisiest component).


Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses!


DArthur: I'd be interested to hear if you are still happy with your Celeron after running it through some processor intensive tasks.


mpempton: Hey, you're the guy who came up with the "SPDIF out the back" mod. Your mod removed the last issue that I had with the Shuttle; the fact that it has SPDIF out is located at the front of the box.


So you are running an overclocked 1.6A Northwood? And are you saying that with non-processor intensive tasks the 80mm fan doesn't even come on? That means the only noise would be from the PS and video card (unless it's passively cooled). That's about as quiet as it gets.


Jayedeye: Your processor is pretty close to the one I've been thinking about. If it's quieter than a PS2 (which can be very noisy), then that's pretty good. Does your rear fan stay on all the time?


-------------------


BTW, did the 80mm fan come with the kit? If so did you use it or install a different one, like a silencer?


Thanks again for your comments.


Best regards,
 

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Right now... since I just put it together, my rear fan is on at a low level all the time, but it's not hot at all... in fact, the powersupply was the only fan producing heat....


The shuttle "kit" comes with a Sunon 80 mm fan, but I wanted to be a bit different, and replaced it with an Antec tri-led fan, just to give the box a little personality (and to llight the inside of the case to see better).


Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Jim,

Quote:
Originally posted by Jayedeye
The shuttle "kit" comes with a Sunon 80 mm fan, but I wanted to be a bit different, and replaced it with an Antec tri-led fan, just to give the box a little personality (and to llight the inside of the case to see better).
The lit fan sounds pretty neat. And it was probably a good idea to lose the Sunon. I haven't had good luck silence-wise with Sunons.


Any idea what CFM/RPM the Sunon is rated for? If it's close enough, I'd probably replace it with a Silencer (27 CFM at 1600 RPM and 20 dB). I've found Silencers to be very quiet and reliable.


Best regards,
 

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I used the fan that came with the kit but used some heavy felt to make sure the fan was sealed to the outlet. I also removed the (cut away) the stamped grill and replaced it with one made from wire, on the PS I just cut the grill away (nobody in my house has a finger small enough to get into that fan). These mods dropped the noise level to what I considered acceptable.
 

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The 1.7Celeron is the slot478 cpu that will fit the SS51G. I have that one and it is much quieter than my projector. Running Theatertek 1.5, it uses 33% of the CPU... more than fast enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by mpenton
I used the fan that came with the kit but used some heavy felt to make sure the fan was sealed to the outlet. I also removed the (cut away) the stamped grill and replaced it with one made from wire, on the PS I just cut the grill away (nobody in my house has a finger small enough to get into that fan). These mods dropped the noise level to what I considered acceptable.
So it sounds like your fan does run at a low level during normal operation, it's just that you've gotten it to an acceptable sound level by reducing vibration and airflow resistance. I'll think about doing the same.


Where's a good place to get a 1.6a Northwood now a days? It seems like many of the online shops don't provide enough info regarding whether the core is Northwood based or not.


Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, I'm really torn. Part of me wants to go with a 533 FSB Northwood (like a 2.26, 2.4 or 2.53) plus 333Mhz memory (like Corsair's XMS 3200 rev 1.1) so that I can really take advantage of the SB51G's modern 845GE chipset. I know that I don’t need this kind of performance for any of the HTPC applications I have. But I play games also, so I I’m willing to fool myself into thinking that I would use the additional performance. I draw the line at Hyper Threading though. The testing I’ve seen related to HT indicates to me that it’s not worth it.


On the other hand the silence freak in me wants to stick with a low wattage P4 like the 1.6A. It’s probably all I need for most applications. And it would be way cheaper when paired with lower end memory. The problem is that I would probably feel cheated in a way because I would not be taking advantage of the capabilities of the chipset if I use a mere 400Mhz FSB processor.


So I guess what I’m trying to figure out is just how much silence I would be sacrificing by going high end? Will a 15 watt difference between processors really have any impact on silence with the Shuttle’s unique heat pipe design? So far I haven’t seen any info on this forum or the Internet at large comparing the sonic impact of different processors with the SB51G.


It’s probably too much to expect that anyone on the forum has compared processors on the Shuttle with an ear towards quiet. But if any of you have any further comments or suggestions on which direction to go, I’d be all ears (so to speak ;-)


Thanks in advance and best regards,
 

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I think that the 1.6A has all but disappeared from most shops. Any of the newer chips with a 133 FSB should work fine. The only 'trick' is that the Shuttle mb is fussy about the ram when you use more than one stick. 1 stick and you can pretty much set the ram timing to whatever the chips will bear, 2 sticks and most seem to have to back the ram timing way off to get the system to work with any reliability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A wide range of processors has been used for the online reviews, from 1.6 to 3 Ghz. All of the articles seem to indicate that the high-speed fan setting only turns on under extreme load.


I'm leaning towards the 2.26 (the low end of the 533Mhz FSB offerings), which in one article was found to run at a relatively cool 34C at idle. I’m hoping that adding an ATI 9700 pro and a MyHD card will not impact the overall heat of the box too much.


Thanks in advance if anyone has comments before I put my money where my mouth is.


Best regards,
 

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I started with a 1.7 Celeron for price and heat reasons. I have a the new Sony DRU500A all format DVD drive, 256 MB DDR, floppy, ATI AIW 7500 and a PCI cound card.


I switched to a 2.0 Ghz Celeron because you can over clock this model up to 3 Ghz. I am running mine at 2.66 right now and have not had any stability issues, also the fan is at the same low setting so there has been no increase in noise. It runs around 42c even when burning DVDs.


I have done MPEG encode/decode using the ATI software with the highest settings and have not seen the CPU go above 33%.


When I was running the 1.7 I was seeing 100% cpu util during capture.


For the price of the 2.0 I am very pleased. There's a great CPU comparision on Tom's hardware where they look at the 1.7/1.8/2.0 celeron and the several P4s including the 3.06 with hyper threading as well as a few of the top athalons. The 2.0 celeron over clocked out performs over CPUs costing 4 times as much.
 

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FWIW, I use a 2.8GHZ pIV with my ss51g based machine. Nice machine. The psu fan is really loud, though. It easily drowns out the cpu fan.
 

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I installed a P4 2.40B processor in my SS51G. When I bought it two months ago, it had the best price/performance ratio. The 2.28 GHZ chips were actually slightly more expensive, and the 2.56 GHZ chip was 33% more expensive than the 2.40 GHZ chip. Even worse, the 2.8 GHZ chip was three times more expensive! As for overclocking, I don't bother. I run everything according to their specifications and everything works perfectly.


I also cut out the fan grille and replaced it with a wire grille when I cut out a couple of holes for two more USB ports (the job required complete disassembly of the case). Surprisingly, the fan does run a bit quieter with that aluminium plate out of the way. As mentioned, the PSU fan is noisy, but I might be able to do something about that using StarTech's very quiet 40mm fan rated at about 21 dB. I already use the fan along with their 486 CPU heat sink on my ATI 9000 Pro video card, and it's helped eliminate the jet engine effect from the ATI's stock fan.
 

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Using a PIV 1.8a in a SS50. I am not a gamer and am aiming for silence. I seem to recall that the latest Celeron 2.0 is a crippled Northwood, which could be an excellent HTPC choice. To me it seems that the main limitation in using shuttles for gaming is that the onboard video is so-so in 3D and that giving up a slot is painful. (I DO want TV, DVB, CAM-slot, and a DVI out:D)
 

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Not to turn this into a celeron thread, but in response to the last post. The 1.7, 1.8 and 2.0 Celeron's are all based on the P4's Northwood core. The 1.7 and 1.8 are facrtory crippled for over clocking but you can over clock the 2.0.
 

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I havent seen a comparison on the net yet (maybe I havent looked hard enough) but how much performance is really gained, then, by spending almost twice as much on a genuine P4? I know the cache is WAY smaller on the Celly, but does it really make that much of a difference?


-Chris
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by nedw
Not to turn this into a celeron thread, but in response to the last post. The 1.7, 1.8 and 2.0 Celeron's are all based on the P4's Northwood core. The 1.7 and 1.8 are facrtory crippled for over clocking but you can over clock the 2.0.
The Celeron 1.7 and 1.8 are Willamette not Northwood and as far as I know all Intel chips are clock locked in the same way i.e the multiplier is locked. Also the the cpu cache plays a very important role in most multimedia applications so even the northwood based Celeron 2.0 and above are a not a great choice since they only have 128KB cache.
 
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