Music Server help
Feb 26, 2009 at 7:24 PM Post #16 of 26

fzman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Denim /img/forum/go_quote.gif
FYI -- My Case



i also highly recommend you get one of the antec fusion cases -- they are built really well, are solid, easy to use and very quiet-- and they look good too!
 
Feb 28, 2009 at 3:02 AM Post #17 of 26

Denim

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My case is here, and I'm not changing it. In fact, it looks better than the pictures. I have Antec cases on older PC's around the house. If they had a model similar to what I have, then I would have considered it.

I'll fill in the details so far on this rig. I have an AMD 5050e CPU (45 watts).

I planned on a 500W power supply, but found a Coolmax 700W modular as an open box that was too cheap to walk away from. I'd like to figure out just how much power is needed for the PC and if any negative side effects exist by using a power supply rated for a much more power than will be needed.

I have a 1T Seagate Barracuda SATA drive and a 160G Western Digital SATA drive. Both are standard 7200RPM drives.

I'll add a SATA optical drive, but haven't selected one yet. I"ll use an old CD/DVD drive laying around for now.

The motherboard has a SPDIF connector. I intent to mate that to a 75 ohm coax and use that to get the digital music out of the PC and to the next link in the chain. Another item that needs to be built / selected.

I don't see adding any other cards to the PC, other than the display for the front. I have not loaded XP, or started transfering music yet. I can hear the fans clearly with the top cover off. I don't have a feel yet as to how loud it will be after it's covered and on the shelf with the other stereo components.

All of the input has been appreciated. Many of you guys have been down this road already. I'm sure I'll replace fans and do other mods to quiet it down. Looking ahead, I'm still happy with the case selection.
 
Mar 29, 2009 at 3:55 AM Post #19 of 26

Denim

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As a matter of fact -- YES!

I'm thrilled with the case. I gave a lot of thought to what I really wanted before I began the build. I wanted a case that did not have a volume control, simply because the output would go to a stereo amp. A big knob on the front just wasn't going to cut it. So I was really limited in my selection. I don't think nMEDIAPC is a household name in the PC world like Antec. Some of the reviews had me thinking twice. But after getting my hands on it, the case is fine. It's standard width (19 inches?) for stereo components and mates well with my other pieces. Right now, it's mainly Yamaha, but I hope to make some changes as money is available.

Back to the rest of the server -

This must be the fifth or so PC for my home that I've built and the first time I didn't use an Asus motherboard. I walked into Microcenter with the intent of pricing some of the pieces and seeing if any open box items would fit my needs. They had a motherboard that was worth the risk. (It was priced right!) They had an open box power supply that was way overpowererd for my needs, but again, the price was right. The fan from the power supply is quiet enough for a music server. 700 watts is overkill, so it's never going to work hard. The motherboard has an SPDIF header that I hope to put to use. (More on that later.)

The rest of the pieces are behaving as I expected. The CPU is the fastest I could find at 45 watts. It will never keep up in games, but is plenty fast for music. The PC boots faster than any other PC in the house. (Even faster than my Ubuntu box; somethings wrong there!) I can hear the drives once in a while.

Performance wise, it doesn't run EAC any faster than my old system. I wasn't sure if I'd see any difference before the build. I switched from an IDE CDROM to SATA. However, after EAC hands off the wav file to LAME, it's much faster. The same with FLAC. This was expected, and I'm happy with the results.

Back to the case - as many has said, I can hear the fans. It has two smaller fans in the back and one larger fan along the left side to blow across the hard drives. I was willing to deal with this when I made the purchase, and now I will have to. That is the only gripe I have. The noise is not extreme and I believe it can be corrected. I don't have the PC connected to my stereo yet, so it hasn't been a big concern. Right now, the server houses my music collection and albums get dumped in my MP3 player when I travel.

Keep in mind that this is in a house with kids, wife and noise. I wear headphones on planes, not in the house. I'll send the tunes out to speakers and drowned out the noise. The fans will be pretty low on the noise chart. First I need another pair of speakers, mine are in the living room for movies.

I still intend to improve on the system. I need to go back and look at the recommendations for fan replacements. I live in New York, but I'm in Vegas today. Fry's has a nice selection, so if anyone wants to chime in, I'll have time tomorrow to stop by and pick something up.

The case is sitting in an Ikea wooden media cabinet. Airflow has to be restricted a lot, but the PC has never had a problem. I need to get a temp probe inside the case and take some readings. I've got about an inch on the top and almost nothing on both sides.

SPDIF - I know so little about it. I expected digital out would be the same, no matter where it came from. I'll use the header on the motherboard if I can validate some of the info I've come across. I've looked at a few threads on the subject and see that there are different opinions. I intend to do some homework and use you guys as a sanity check. I love Head-Fi for the info, but it can be hard to separate facts from opinions. I'll jump into this discussion when I can devote the time.

I'm on the road now and won't get back home until Friday. It's a weekend and I'm not on the strip! I guess I've been to Vegas enough, huh? I'm happy to type about my results with a cold beer in my hand.
 
Mar 29, 2009 at 11:31 AM Post #20 of 26

.Sup

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Get an SSD
wink.gif
 
Mar 29, 2009 at 11:35 AM Post #21 of 26

iriverdude

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You were overspecced a PSU no way you'd need 700W for a standard fileserver. You should have bought a case with large low rpm fans in the first place. Lowering the speed of your fans will help but larger fans would have helped.
 
Mar 29, 2009 at 2:12 PM Post #22 of 26

fzman

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Denim, there are better sounding options than onboard spdif. question is, what are you willing to spend to get them? if toslink is ok for you -- the prodigy hd-2 is a good sounding card, has stable drivers, and swappable opamps. you may even like the sound if its analog outputs enough to forgo the digital path.

the juli@ is also very good, has soldered opamps, good drivers, and will do coax spdif.

food for thought.
 
Mar 29, 2009 at 6:10 PM Post #23 of 26

HammerSandwich

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Sounds like you're off to a good start.

I'd love to see how much power that system really pulls. A Kill-A-Watt or similar meter can be really useful when figuring out how much cooling you need and so forth.

The first step to reducing fan noise is to turn off fans. Temporarily running just 1 fan at a time will indicate which fans add the most noise. I'm confident that you don't need the 80mm fans at all. Duct the CPU, either through the PSU or to the 80mm holes. With the proper setup, you can have the CPU HSF's fan exhaust out the back without any case fans there.

The side-mounted intake fan's probably redundant as well.

Hard drive noise can be a bit tougher, assuming you need more storage than an affordable SSD offers. Good drive enclosures work, as I mentioned above, but putting the majority of your storage in a remote location and connecting via GigE is even better.
 
Mar 29, 2009 at 9:45 PM Post #24 of 26

Denim

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The Prodigy hd2 looks very good. A quick check on eBay didn't show any for auction now. It's not a bad idea and offers a path for digital out. Thanks fzman!

We use to have an inductive amp meter at work. I know we don't any longer. If I can read the current easily, then I'll take the reading some weekend.

The fan work can happen anytime. I'm in no hurry. Next step is to get it connected to my stereo amp.
 

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