[mythtv-users] New FE machine feedback and Q's

Brian Foddy bfoddy at visi.com
Mon Mar 26 04:01:07 UTC 2007

I'm setting up a new FE for my parents, config:
Asus M2NPV-VM motherboard,
AMD X2-3800 EE cpu
Antec Fusion case
1GB ram, only a system HD (no video content), but very quiet.

Goals of this machine,
1.  Very quiet / nice looking case.
2.  No more XvMC for HD / ATSC playback

My first impressions are very positive.  Even using the stock
cpu cooler, the machine is very quiet, you have to be within
5 feet to hear it at all.  Handles HD playback very easily, and
I have the VFD display working using mythtvlcdserver, a first
for me with a lcd/vfd display.  I have some success with 
Quiet-n-Cool also (also a first for me), more on that below.
Using a kill-a-watt, machine at idle @ full cpu ~ 70 watts,
about 60 watts if the cpu slows to 1000Mhz with Quiet-n-Cool.
Full load & cpu speed ~ 110watts.

Now for the questions:
1.  Anyone found the best settings for the cpu scaling drivers?
I've been playing with using "conservative" and "ondemand" governors,
generally conservative works better as ondemand jumps the speed all around.
But even conservative has problems with 1 heavy cpu load on a 2 cpu/dual core
box.  If both cpu's are busy, it works much more predictable.  What I'd like 
to see is if a single process uses > 80% (for instance), it should speed up to
the next step, < 30% slow down.  But I find it goes long periods of time with
1 process at or near 100% and the other processor idle.  Especially playback
HD content.  So most of the time on conservative, it plays HD at the slowest
1000Mhz setting, it does it barely, but going to 1800 would make much more
comfortable.  I've played with changing
the /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/conservative tunable params,
but haven't found a good combo yet.  Anyone have settings they really like?

2.  Speaking of HD playback, playing Lost on ABC (720p), the X server takes
almost 100% of 1 cpu (even at fastest cpu speed), while mythfrontend takes
only 30%.  But a CBS/NBC show (1080i), the Xserver takes almost nothing,
and the mythfrontend takes ~30-40% (fast cpu).  But strangely the video 
resolution is set to 720p.  I haven't gotten the output up to 1080i or 540p
yet (more work on that one), but I find it very strange that it works much
harder when the content and video resolution match.  Anyone have any
clues why, or settings to look for solutions?

I think I may like this machine so much, I'll have to build one for myself :)


More information about the mythtv-users mailing list