ZOG loungeroom PC spec

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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby zog on Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:39 pm

Just a follow up to where I got with this:
I found the bleeding edge drivers for Ubuntu are good enough for "home theatre" use, with the onboard video acceleration. Some 3D games are a bit iffy, some work just fine, but the box isnt used for games much anyway. The all important H264 video playback works almost perfectly, a few minor artifacts on some, but not all, movie files. Digital audio out works perfectly out of the box, a big win as I have a noise free optical link through to the main stereo.

Pic of the guts of the system:
http://static.zog.net.au/new-htpc/.llga ... G_2926.JPG

and the case in the loungeroom sitting on top of the old clunker it replaced:
http://static.zog.net.au/new-htpc/.llga ... G_2938.JPG
(note the 65W laptop style power supply it uses)

technical info:
distro - 64 bit Xubuntu 11.04
added PPA source for bleeding edge video drivers:
https://launchpad.net/~xorg-edgers/+archive/ppa
script for checking out and patching mplayer for Intel VAAPI video playback:
http://www.splitted-desktop.com/~gbeauc ... yer-vaapi/
configure command needed as it doesnt work out of the box with the xorg-edgers PPA:
Code: Select all
./configure --enable-vaapi --extra-cflags="-I/usr/include/va -lva"


more technical stuff about dual monitor use


xfce, the desktop Xubuntu uses, is still a bit rough when it comes to dynamic dual monitor config.
The loungeroom PC uses a small lcd monitor for desktop use, with a 40" Sony LCD plugged in via HDMI as the extra monitor for "home theatre" and Youtube use.
Previously I was using the proprietry Nvidia dual monitor setup, but with the intel video drivers had to use the "xrandr" system. Xfce cant handle fixed icon placement in a monitor configured after it has started.. so I had to configure the dual monitor stuff before the desktop loaded, by adding the line:
Code: Select all
xrandr --output DP3 --off --output DP2 --off --output DP1 --off --output HDMI3 -
-mode 1920x1080 --pos 1440x0 --rotate normal --output HDMI2 --off --output HDMI1
 --mode 1440x900 --pos 0x0 --rotate normal --output VGA1 --off

to the file /etc/gdm/Init/Default
this xrandr line was generated using the arandr http://christian.amsuess.com/tools/arandr program
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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby [DRuG]NikT on Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:11 pm

Nice Duncan.. for any linux heads reading this, you know this is the shizzle. :ugeek:


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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby zog on Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:39 pm

[DRuG]NikT wrote:Nice Duncan.. for any linux heads reading this, you know this is the shizzle. :ugeek:

thanks! maybe a bit over detailed, but I always like it when I've hit some issue and some nerd has already posted info of the issues they hit and the solutions they used, and it saves you heaps of time working through it all.. plus if I ever need to rebuild I've got it documented here!
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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby zog on Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:45 pm

a few weeks later and mostly good experiences with this little PC... dead quiet, uses very little electricity.. reboots in 11 seconds back to GUI.... BUT

hidden in the manual for the ISK300-65 case is this:

"Sometimes the PSU will “latch” into a protected shutdown state. This means that you will need to power off the adapter and clear the fault before it will function again."

.. what this seems to actually mean is sometimes the PC wont turn on when powered down. Unplugging the power brick and waiting a bit seems to helps. But how long do I wait? If I plug it back in to soon it seems I have to start waiting from scratch. I dont actually know what it means by clear the fault.
A more normal mini ITX case with a conventional PSU is only $40, so if this starts really annoying me I'll got for it.
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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby zog on Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:55 pm

More than a year later and PC still going fine!

I've since upgraded it to Xubuntu 12.10 which supports the intel i3 heaps better, no recompiling and makefile tweaking anymore.

also I spat the dummy at the SHIT Antec stock power supply (have to wait up to 1/2 an hour for it to "reset" itself when turning the PC off) and got a PicoPSU:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article601-page1.html
heaps better!
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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby [DRuG]NikT on Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:23 am

That's awesome!


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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby zog on Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:52 am

Just upgraded (well, reinstalled, as I would have had to do multiple distro upgrades) to Xubuntu 14.04.1 - PC continues to be fine for youtube, flac playing, and vid watching.
The previous Xubuntu release hit end of support so I've chosen a LTS (long term support) release so it will get security updates for a while.
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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby zog on Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:15 pm

Even though this forum is pretty much retired I thought I'd note the latest evolution of this box.
The machine has been doing great duty as loungeroom / HTPC box now for 6 years, but I've been using an Android TV box recently to watch x265 content.

So that we can keep it all on one box, I just upgraded it to 7th gen i3 7100T processor, basicly the same low power footprint model, but the current gen. This required a motherboard and RAM upgrade, but I kept the case and PicoPSU power supply.

  1. CPU https://www.scorptec.com.au/product/Mot ... oenix-WIFI
  2. motherboard https://www.scorptec.com.au/product/Mot ... oenix-WIFI
  3. RAM https://www.scorptec.com.au/product/Mem ... 2A2666C16/
To make best use of this with Linux drivers, I installed Xubuntu 17.04, which Intel is releasing up to date drivers that use all the Kaby Lake features:

https://01.org/linuxgraphics/downloads/ ... -os-v2.0.5

The upgraded machine uses the same amount of power for idle use (about 19W), but much less power playing youtube video, HD vids, etc, and the Linux "parole" video player can do X264, X265 and X265 10 bit video content with hardware support.
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Re: ZOG loungeroom PC spec

Postby [DRuG]NikT on Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:10 am

I follow it still occasionally [mrgreen]

Nice to see PC working well.


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