[mythtv-users] Processor Minimum Specs

Andrew Close aclose at gmail.com
Tue Jun 24 13:40:01 UTC 2008

On Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 8:18 AM, John Williams <williamsbyron at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm sorry to be asking this on the list since I'm sure it is somewhere, but
> the docs and other places I could find seemed very out of date. The wiki,
> was not very specific and I know these things change over time. I finally
> broke down and bought an HDTV. I have a Toshiba 42 42RV530U. It does 1080p
> and has 4 HDMI inputs. I'd now like to get a system that can record the HD I
> have and play back to the HDMI on the TV.
> Obviously I need a HD tuner. It seems like the HDHomerun is the prefered
> method around here.
> What I can't nail down is the processor needed to be able to do this without
> XvMC. I plan on buying processor, 2Gb RAM, Video card, PSU, Motherboard. Any
> recommendations would be great.
> I will use the CPU cost to set the budget for the rest of the system or to
> rule it out all together, so CPU is my big concern. Can you help me out by
> telling me the best cost CPU that will run a Full FE/BE system with all it's
> demands (transcoding recording 2 channels and playback)?

i'm still working on this myself :)  but i think i can lend a hand.
the 'recommended minimum' processor for HD is currently an Intel
Core2Duo @ 2.5GHz.  i say 'recommended minimum', but i don't think
that that's actually stated anywhere.  that's just what i've gleaned
from reading various threads, articles, whatnot on the subject.  i
know you can get away with less processor, but if you eventually plan
to do x.264 1080p you'll probably want at least that much power.
2GB of RAM is fine.  many ppl swear by 512MB.  on my newly setup
MythBuntu system i see that roughly 800MB RAM is being used at idle.
there may be other services running in the background that i haven't
looked into yet.  this is just the base MythBuntu install i'm looking
at.  so i would recommend 2GB ;)
Video card - i would go with an integrated Intel video card on your
motherboard.  or nVidia if you can't find a MB that you like with
Intel graphics.  there are several MB's on the market that have
multiple video outs for various devices.  i believe the MB i have is
the ASUS P5e-VM HDMI, and it has VGA, HDMI and i believe one other
video out source.  this board looks like it would be the ultimate
MythTv MB for HD video (not looking at future technology of course),
but it isn't 'fully' supported at the moment.  i haven't gotten far
enough with my tweaking to find what's not supported.  the Intel
graphics drivers appear to be updated quite frequently and there is
chatter that they have stablized and are working quite nicely with
HDMI out.  ymmv.
Power Supply - you'll want at least 300W and maybe more depending on
how many harddrives you plan on spinning.  you can go with pretty much
anything that is 80+ rated (green rated for energy savings).  check
out http://silentpcreview.com for reviews on 'silent' power supplies
The HDHomeRun will only record unencrypted HDTV.  so OTA or
unencrypted QAM via Cable.  there is a new PV-HDTV (?) that may have
linux drivers in the very near future.

good luck and keep us posted ;)

Andrew Close

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