• 06-23-2013, 09:39 AM
    SkiFastBadly
    Computer with small thermal footprint as music server?
    Hi, I hope someone has tackled this. I am currently running a standard sized desktop as my music server. Nothing fancy, my CDs are all ripped WMP lossless, I run WMP, the computer's hooked up to the TV via HDMI and I pass the audio signal out through SPDIF into my Adcom DAC. I also can use the computer for watching Netflix, HBO Go, etc. It works superbly. Unfortunately, it sits in a cabinet in the living room and the cabinet door cannot be closed because the computer gets too hot. My wife is on my case to do something about this because she hates seeing the computer and associated wiring in her living room. My alternatives are to move the computer, which means running cables in the crawl space etc., or replacing the computer with something that is still a computer but has a lower thermal output. I cannot find a slimline computer which has both HDMI and SPDIF. Do any of you have a suggestion? Thanks.
  • 06-23-2013, 11:57 AM
    Feanor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SkiFastBadly View Post
    Hi, I hope someone has tackled this. I am currently running a standard sized desktop as my music server. Nothing fancy, my CDs are all ripped WMP lossless, I run WMP, the computer's hooked up to the TV via HDMI and I pass the audio signal out through SPDIF into my Adcom DAC. I also can use the computer for watching Netflix, HBO Go, etc. It works superbly. Unfortunately, it sits in a cabinet in the living room and the cabinet door cannot be closed because the computer gets too hot. My wife is on my case to do something about this because she hates seeing the computer and associated wiring in her living room. My alternatives are to move the computer, which means running cables in the crawl space etc., or replacing the computer with something that is still a computer but has a lower thermal output. I cannot find a slimline computer which has both HDMI and SPDIF. Do any of you have a suggestion? Thanks.

    If you shut down the computer when not in use and closed the cabinet door, would that placate your wife? Or is she deeply troubled about it even when it's in use?

    Is there any possibility of cutting a hole at the back of the cabinet and installing a fan? The fan could be a standard 12 VDC computer fan powered either by a spare fan riser on the motherboard or by a wallwart.

    Or perhaps you could take the computer out of cabinet and, instead, put behind a couch for example, and run a couple of discretely colored cables to the TV and DAC. (This is more or less what I do.)

    The good news is that you application doesn't require a high-speed CPU, nor a high-powered video card, nor a 7200 rpm hard disk: all of these tend to generate heat. Without these you can do with at lower wattage power supply that also produces less heat.

    I think a smaller case might be good as it would tend to leave more space inside cabinet but outside the computer case to dissipate the heat. And/or leave the sides off the case -- or, given that it will be inside the cabinet, how about this "open" case HERE. COOL ~ perhaps in more ways than one.

    http://images.highspeedbackbone.net/...gl_4904470.jpg
    Personally I've assembled dozens of computers from parts. I'd consider at small case like THIS. It needs a Mini-ITX mobo; these can be had with HDMI and S/PDIF output. For example, HERE.

    http://images.highspeedbackbone.net/...55-2013-10.jpg
    http://images.highspeedbackbone.net/...gl_7839177.jpg
  • 06-25-2013, 08:37 AM
    blackraven
    I agree with Feanor, cut a hole in the back of the cabinet and add a fan. Other options are adding an external water cooling unit for the cpu that you can place behind the cabinet but this will involve cutting holes so you might as well add a fan.

    Consider a cooler running lap top and you can add an external hard drive if you need more storage. All you would need is a cheap laptop or possibly a tablet that you can connect to an external HD.

    They do make inexpensive USB to SPDIF converters
  • 06-25-2013, 10:08 AM
    harley .guy07
    I agree in today's computer age there would be no reason why a person could not make a small case computer work for all your needs. I know companies like Falcon Northwest make pre built small form high performance desktop machines that would work perfectly and if you don't want to spend that kind of money maybe you could just study their ideas and then go on and do something similar on a DIY bases. Any just giving ideas