[mythtv-users] Upgrade old or cut my losses and buy new?

Yan Seiner yan at seiner.com
Tue Mar 6 17:29:22 UTC 2007

Yan-Fa Li wrote:

>On 3/4/07, Yan Seiner <yan at seiner.com> wrote:
>>I'm in search of HD...  My cheapie Sempron 3000 CPU just won't do HD.
>>It's clocked at 1.8 GHz and has a 128K L2 cache.
>>I can get an Athlon 64 3000+ that will fit the mobo for $60; it has 512K
>>L2 cache and is clocked 20% faster than the Sempron, at 2.00 GHz.
>>Or should I go for a new AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ system?  That comes in
>>at $400.  The computer in question will only be used as a HD frontend;
>>it has no other function, so if I can get good assurance an upgraded CPU
>>will push my TV at 1366x720p I don't want to spend the money.  But then
>>again, I don't want to spend $60 only to have a system that still
>>doesn't work.....
>As a reference point, I just built a new frontend for HD:
>X2 3800 (65w) AM2
>ASUS M2NBP-VM MB with integrated Nvidia 6100
>1GB DDR2 (2x512) 800MHz
>Connected via Gig E
>2.6.20 kernel
>nvidia driver 1.0.9746
>Mythtv 0.20_p12884
OK, thanks everyone for a great discussion.  I think I may be on to 
something; the working machine, which has an Athlon XP 2000+, does HD 
just fine with 60% CPU usage.  It also uses agpgart...

The non-working machine, the one with the Sempron, locks up when trying 
to use agpgart; I have to set option "nvagp" "0" or "1".

On looking at the modules, the working machine loads the agpgart and the 
via_agp modules; it has a KT400 chipset.

The non-working machine loads agpgart and amd64_agp.  The kernel docs 

This option gives you AGP support for the GLX component of X using the 
on-CPU northbridge of the AMD Athlon64/Opteron CPUs.  You still need an 
external AGP bridge like the AMD 8151, VIA K8T400M, SiS755.

So.... First of all, do Semprons have an on-CPU northbridge?  Second of 
all, should I be loading the via_agp module as well?

Or should I be loading *just* the via_agp?

In other news, I now have the box to the point where it uses 15% CPU 
when showing HD.  But....  there is a severe stacatto stutter when 
using  XvMC; about 1/4 second of pause, then video, then pause....  I've 
done all of the nfs tweaks, tried different network cards, etc.  When 
using the mpeg decoding, I get good sound, but the picture runs in slow 
motion and then jerks, on about a 2 second cycle.

The good news is that I have now learned enough to say with confidence 
that if everything works right, you can get HD with an Athlon XP 2000+.  
OTOH, I can also say that you can't get it on an Sempron 3000....

Go figure.

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