[mythtv-users] Would the $200 Everx gPC have enough power for a myth-box?

Mark Small msmall at eastlink.ca
Fri Nov 9 12:58:12 UTC 2007

On November 9, 2007 12:19:46 am Jonathan Rogers wrote:
> On Nov 8, 2007 8:37 PM, Brian Wood <beww at beww.org> wrote:
> > Brad wrote:
> > > I have been saving up my cashola for a new mobo and processor for a
> > > while now, for a mythbox that I want to build.  I already have a
> > > tv-tuner card, tv-out video card, and a large hard drive for storage.
> > >
> > > I was wondering if people think the $200 everex gPC that is being sold
> > > at walmart would be powerful enough for DVD/movie playback and
> > > streaming live TV?  It comes preloaded with Ubuntu, so it shouldn't be
> > > too hard to install mythTV.  Here are the specs I could find:
> > >
> > > Mobo: VIA pc2500 (micro-ATX)
> > > Processor: 1.5 GHz Via C7-D
> > > Ram: 512 MB (expandable up to 2GB)
> > > Graphics: Integrated, shared memory (hopefully this can be disabled)
> > > Expansion: 2 PCI slots
> > > Audio: Onboard 6-Ch AC97
> >
> > The VIA mobos are known to sometimes cause problems with Myth, and the
> > VIA CPUs have pretty small caches.
> >
> > The graphics would be a problem, and you didn't mention any AGP or
> > PCI-Express slots. While folks have used PCI video cards I'm not sure if
> > they would work with that setup
> >
> > A BIG maybe for SD, and a definite NO for HD,
> > IMHO.<http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users>
> Whether it has enough CPU power depends quite a bit on what the video
> source is and how it'll be displayed. I have one Myth frontend/backend
> machine with an old AMD Duron 800 MHz CPU in a Via-based mobo. It started
> with a PVR-150 and a Radeon 8500 with SVideo out. It worked well enough,
> but now it has the PVR-150 and a PVR-350 for both recording and playback.
> Most of the time, the CPU is not working too hard, even when recording two
> shows and playing back a third. Commercial flagging could be faster though,
> as it proceeds equal to or less than playback speed and bogs the machine
> down a bit. Video playback is great on a CRT TV, since the PVR-350 handles
> that. Obviously, it doesn't handle HD at all. I would guess that the Everex
> motherboard would be an ample replacement in that machine, saving power
> while possibly increasing performance.
> OTOH, I expect most systems I will build in the future will be HD capable,
> which makes any current Via chip iffy. Theoretically, the decoder
> functionality of the Unichrome graphics allows HD MPEG-2 playback with lowis
> power CPUs like the C7, but I don't know how much luck people have had with
> that so far.
> Jonathan Rogers

My (SD only) frontend is a 700 MHz Pentium III.  It has no problems playing SD 
or DVD content, though I use xvmc with xine for optimal DVD.

That VIA box is likely at least that powerful, and would use a lot less power.  
I'd pick up the motherboard only, and buy a used desktop mATX case and a nice 
quiet power supply, and a 512 stick of RAM.  Also, I'd run it diskless.

The motherboard is available here:



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