Well, a few days ago Jessica started having problems with it. The box started locking up. Took a bit of effort to get it back online again (since its headless), three or four reboots before everything came back in. Not happy.
My first guess is that it is heat related. The only fan in the unit is the CPU fan. The inside of the case is quite warm. I haven’t put a thermometer into it yet, so I can’t say exactly how warm. It first locked up when she was using it “locally” with MPD playing. This does require a bit more CPU power than streaming which is what she has been doing mostly since I gave it to her. In fact, it GMediaServer had been streaming to the HomePod for just about 12 hours a day for the prior two weeks. Simple disk reads and sending packets over the network, very little CPU power. This all started happening on the 22nd or 23rd.
Decoding MP3’s for four to six hours seems to push it a bit too much, though. I haven’t seen any console errors or anything logged. When it happened, she herd the disk make bad noises and then things just stopped. Ouch.
So last week I ordered a PCI slot fan card. I could only find one with variable speed fans on it, so thats the one I got. Just installed it this morning, so I don’t know yet how effective it will be. It also adds noise to the unit. If it still locks up or the fan doesn’t keep it cool enough, I’ll probably switch gears again on it. For a “quiet” set top box solution, it is quite loud now, between the hard drive, the CPU fan and now the PCI card slot fan, its louder than my main system — which has a whole lot more CPU power, two hard drives and a case fan. I still have options for quieting this unit down. Perhaps mounting a 120mm inside the case and replacing the hard drive with something quieter or enclosing it in a SlientMaxx disk silencer/cooler.
Worst case is that I’ll replace it with an Antec Overture case and regular motherboard and scrap the STB option.