[mythtv-users] minimum card requirements for VDPAU

jarpublic at gmail.com jarpublic at gmail.com
Wed Mar 11 05:19:43 UTC 2009

On Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 12:52 AM, sonofzev at iinet.net.au
<sonofzev at iinet.net.au> wrote:
> Hi All
> I have read various bits of information for VDPAU drivers and am getting
> confused, so hopefully this list can help me.
> I am buying a new system for my audio studio soon, and due to a rotation on my
> boxes  will need to buy a new PCIe video card. At this point in time I am trying
> to spend as little money as possible, but don't want to be caught in a false
> economy and find in 12 months I should have spent more now.
> I am wondering essentially if a base model silent 8400 GS card will be enough for
> my mythfrontend to run VDPAU. The CPU is an opteron 170 and it has 2GB of RAM.
> I use the system for watching HD rips, DVD's and Digital TV.
> I have read there are some limitations to any 8xxx series cards, but I am
> confused as to what these are and if I need to worry about them. Locally I can't
> get anything lower than a 9600 in a silent model, and that seems like overkill
> for my needs.
> Any clarification would be nice.

Search the archives. There are several threads recently discussing
this in detail. There is also some information on the wiki page for
VDPAU including examples of the capabilities of specific cards. It
will be difficult to get a straight answer on this because the
capabilities of the various cards is a moving target, as things change
and improve as they develop the VDPAU drivers.

The basic answer is that all of the VDPAU cards (ie almost all 8xxx
and 9xxxx) cards will be able to run a VDPAU frontend. Initially there
was some sticking point on which cards would be able to decode VC-1 (a
codec used in some blu-ray and wmv-9). With the most recent drivers, I
think all of the VDPAU cards now support VC-1 at least partially. Some
of the cards will only offload some of the VC-1 decoding to the GPU.
The other issue is the deinterlacers. Some of the cards can't handle
the highest quality VDPAU deinterlacers (eg Advanced 2x in mythtv)
with HD. Any card should be able to handle decoding DVD's, digital TV,
and H.264. If your HD rips include or will include VC-1 material then
you may want to make sure you have one of the nicer cards that will
handle that completely on the GPU, but if you are ripping and
transcoding to H.264 you should be fine with any of the VDPAU cards
for decode. If you want to be able to do the highest quality
deinterlacing you may also want to get a card that can do Advanced 2x
with 1080i. You can search the archive and wiki to see which cards can
already do this, or you can gamble and hope whatever card you get may
be able to do it in the future. I think the 9xxx cards with 512 MB of
RAM will do it all, but I am just pulling that from memory. You will
want to read the recent threads in the archive for details. In the
8xxx range it may require some more looking at the specific chips or
manufactures to be sure it is all going do everything.

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