[mythtv-users] OT: Help me upgrade my mythbox

Chris Ribe chrisribe at gmail.com
Sat Jan 20 04:19:45 UTC 2007

On 1/19/07, Justin Luitjens <luitjens at cs.utah.edu> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm looking at upgrading my mythbox and am looking for advice on what to
> get.  I'll start out by describing my setup.
> Motherboard:  Asus A7v 133
> Processor: AMD Thunderbird 1.2 ghz (underclocked to 1 ghz for stability
> reasons)
> Memory: 768 mb PC 133 ram.
> Videocard:  NVidia Geforce 2 Ultra
> Capture cards:      PVR-500 PVR-350
> Hard Drives:  2 120 GB ATA drives for storage one 17 GB drive for OS.
> Playing video causes my mythfrontend to take up about 60-70% of the CPU
> and X takes up another 10-15%.  This doesn't leave much room for
> recording.  When 2-3 shows are recording I cannot watch anything because
> the CPU is pegged.  Also when my machine is pegged it has a tendency to
> hard lock with no errors.  My birthday is coming up and my girlfriend is
> willing to spend up to $200 on me.  There isn't anything I want so i
> figured i'd just have her get me something for the mythbox so we can
> watch tv when recording multiple programs.

I think the best solution would be to upgrade the video card so I can
> offload the decoding onto it.  Upgrading the mobo/proc/ would also
> require me to upgrade the ram and possibly more.  Right now this isn't
> an option.  So I feel upgrading the video card would be the best
> solution.  Which video card would be the best in my situation?  I could
> get one of the nicer NVidia cards but would it have much effect or would
> the CPU bottleneck it to much?  Or would I be better off to get a
> cheaper card and use the money elsewhere?

Myth has little use for a nice video card, but a nicer card than the one you
currently have would certainly help.  I, and many others on this list, have
had good experiences with nvidia FX5200 based cards.  These card are easy to
find new in the ~$40 price range, and they offer enough hardware
acceleration to do 1080i with the right processor.

In fact, I think I can probably post back here within a half hour with a
shopping cart that will turn your box into an HD ready box for less than
$200. Stay tuned...
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