[mythtv-users] Machine question....

George Mari george_mythusers at mari1938.org
Sun Sep 16 20:04:01 UTC 2007

Bruce Nordstrand wrote:
> Hi all
> Up to now my Myth machines have been small ones. The two I have built 
> are both 1Ghz Intel machines, one with 512Mb ram and the other with 
> 384Mb ram. Live TV on both has been abysmal to say the least and I have 
> to use the two of them at once to record from 4 DVB-T tuners, display 
> recordings and process commercials all at once.

It sounds like you are using both 1Ghz machines as combined FE/BE - you 
should be able to watch live TV with this setup.

> Now, my current desktop is a little better than these machines. It is an 
> AMD Sempron 2800 with 1Gb ram. Would it be worth my while to use this 
> machine as a combined backend/frontend with the hard drives onboard 
> (80Gb + 250GB IDE's) plus 2 DVB-T cards and use one of the 1Ghz machines 
> as a slave backend with the two other DVB-T cards in it. Would, in your 
> opinions, would I then be able to better use Live TV? Would I even be 
> able to use this machine as my desktop during the day and Myth machine 
> at night by utilising "normal" display via the VGA connector and the TV 
> display via the S-Video connector (nVidia FX5200) and still expect good 
> performance (read watchable) from Live TV?
> Any and all opinions appreciated..
> Cheers
> Bruce

Certainly your Sempron machine would seem to be better able to handle 
recording and commercial flagging and Live TV simultaneously, but it may 
be that you would need to spread your I/O load among multiple disks even 
with this machine.

You can get an indication of where your bottleneck is currently on the 
1Ghz machines by running top while playing back Live TV and 
simultaneously recording and commercial flagging.  Is the CPU maxed out? 
   Which process seems to be taking the most CPU? More importantly, what 
is the % the CPU is waiting on I/O?

It's hard to say if the Sempron would definitely be better until you 
know what the bottleneck is on the current machine.

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