Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Motherboard, faster processor and an airplane in my living room...

This is an idea that I have had for a long time now - I have to change processor in my MythTV box. The AMD Athlon I am using now, and which has served me well so far I should add, just is too stupid for this kind of application. First of all, it is really, really hot. This means that the fan will have to be very efficient, and after a while, this leads to huge noise.  Second, it does not have any kind of CPU frequency scaling. So, my Athlon 2400 will always be at 2400 (or equivalent), meaning no power saving and no chance of havign a cool and quiet computer.

So, now I finally got on eBay and found a pulled mATX motherboard with an Pentium 4 Mobile processor and some memory on it already. Perfect! Just have to load a module and - voila! - I can set the CPU frequency governor to "ondemand" and get a 350 MHz processor when "just using" the system. Excellent! Now I just have to figure out how to set this governor at boot time... and change the CPU fan. The fan which came with the board is a really stupid one, going at full speed and sounding like a small airoplane even when the CPU is at 350 MHz and should not be in such a big need of huge amounts of cooling. I wonder why this fan was ever used... well, I will get a new fan anyway - that's for sure! :-)