Shuttle / MP3 Jukebox scenario

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Sun, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. Sun

    Sun
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    Hi,

    I think I have the right forum for this one.

    I have a laptop arriving this week and was going to replace my aging desktop with it, however It's occurred to me that the laptop won't be too great for playing mp3's which is what I do all the time, it just has a normal stereo out.

    What I have at the moment is and I was planning on selling it all

    1.4 Thunderbird
    512meg Crucial DDR
    Creative 5.1
    CD & CDRW drives
    Geforce MX440
    Seagate 80 gig HD

    but now I have started thinking about somekind of Mp3 shuttle system that I could hook up to my A/V in the front room and then use my TV as the display.

    I have a zillion questions really, errm.

    1) Is this possible?
    2) What else do I need?
    3) How quiet are shuttles, I have a mega noisy Nokia style midi tower case at the moment so surely it must be better than that?
    4) Do I just buy a shuttle and stick that lot in it?
    5) All the shuttles I have seen have onboard audio & graphics, can I use my 5.1 & Geforce instead?

    Sorry, this is a bit rambly, but me heads up me arse at the moment :)

    Cheers
     
  2. andy572

    andy572
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    You're pretty much on the ball there, Sun.

    In light of your wording, there's one possible caveat, however. Expansion - or rather, lack of it.

    From what I've seen, there tends to be one each of a slot for a 3.5" and 5.25" drive (there are exceptions to the rule, however e.g. Soltek). Furthermore, there are generally just two IDE sockets available. As you'd stated drives, I thought I'd better play safe and make this side of things clear. :smashin:

    After that, it is just a matter of chucking everything in. Er, when I say 'chucking'... :laugh:

    In terms of audio and video, there shouldn't be any problems disabling the on-board equivalents to your present cards; but the 'losses' may not be great (or 'gains', if you prefer to think of it t'other way around!), should you choose to make use of the on-board components - particularly if you don't intend to use the system for 3D games, as I'd expect the video hardware to be of similar (albeit slower in 3D) performance to your current '440' (as it is based on the same chipset), if reviews and comments are accurate. Regarding the sound card, although I haven't yet used the Soundstorm chipset on my recently-built system via a digital connection (any day now!), so far, it's not bad - and may be worth your consideration, too.

    My mention of making the most of the Shuttle 'boards facilities is with one of your concerns in mind: noise. The more 'free space' available and the fewer cards you have mounted could lead to reduced system temperatures and with it, noise. It's a long time since I've seen the specs on such hardware, but I wonder if your 1.4 GHz processor could be of help here, too... :)

    Is it noisy? I have no personal experience of this, as I recently went for a full-size box, but a quick Google search suggests that the general concensus still says that noise is an issue - with the 'stock' fan and an unmodded case, that is. Again, perhaps that 1.4 will be on your side...

    I'm sure that someone around here will be able to give a better, more helpful opinion.

    One final note regarding noise is that your choice of components could have at least as much of an impact as the cooling parts of the case. To my surprise, I have just discovered this with a DVD-R drive transplanted from my old system. The case (Antec Sonata) is obviously responsible too, as the vibration of the drive as it reads a CD can be heard above all else - something not evident in the older box. Although that case and componentry was so loud that you couldn't hear anything else! :laugh: I'd always wondered where these loud drives were - until last week! D'oh! :suicide:

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. GrahamC

    GrahamC
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    I personally don't think that shuttles are quiet enough for use in the AV rack unless you mod them although the new Zen model with external power might be good enough. The onboard graphics are good enough if all you are doing is outputting mp3 tags to a TV screen.
     
  4. Sun

    Sun
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    wow thats a lot of help :)

    To be honest I guess the graphics isn't too much of an issue as yes essentially it will just be used as a basic PC, some surfing and some ID3 tags, games aren't really an issue.

    I guess things have moved on so much since I was into PCs that onboard has caught up and is as you say probably the same if not better as the level I have now. The selling of the Soundblaster and Geforce may then thow up a little surplus cash to go towards the Shuttle anyway, nice.

    Im right in thinking that they'll have at least one PCI slot?

    Is there a recommended supplier or model I should be looking out for?

    Thanks
     
  5. james.miller

    james.miller
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    for mp3's - modded xbox.
     
  6. HMHB

    HMHB
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    For all things Shuttle and small form factor PCs I would recommend having a look at Kustom
     
  7. Oakmere

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    Just a quick note on terms of space in a Shuttle system.

    I upgraded my huge hovercraft of a tower last month to a shuttle system.

    I've got a sexy little black shuttle with a Baron 3000+, some corsair X-Treme memory (512mb) a black sony CD-RW drive, a pair of 120gb Seagate drives running in Raid 1 (Mirror) an IDE raid controller and a 15Gb Toshiba Laptop HDD as my system drive. You can squeeze a lot into these things ;)

    oh, and I put an 80mm-120mm fan adapter at the back and used an Acoustic fan with its own temp sensor.. It cost me £20 but its silent :D
     
  8. Oakmere

    Oakmere
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    I bought my shuttle from ebuyer.com, however, they don't have many of the add-ons available
     

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