[mythtv-users] Intel HD graphics on Core i5 with HDPVR output: success stories/opinions ?

Rod Smith mythtv at rodsbooks.com
Sun Jun 20 18:04:26 UTC 2010

On 06/20/2010 01:38 PM, Jarod Wilson wrote:
> On Sun, Jun 20, 2010 at 11:54 AM, mike <mikpolniak at roadrunner.com> wrote:
>> Is it worth investing in the Clarkdale core i5 CPU and using the
>> integrated graphics on mythrontend?
>> I already have frontends with nvidia and ati working with HDPVR output,
>> so just considering Clarkdale.
> Intel graphics aren't currently capable of hardware-accelerated
> decoding in mythtv, and on top of that, they have miserable vsync
> issues that lead to visible tearing in many cases. You're much better
> off using nvidia graphics. X folks have promised for years they'd fix
> the vsync thing, and someone worked on it briefly once, but the fix
> didn't pan out, and so far as I know, nobody with the know-how cares
> enough to come up with a proper fix. I could be wrong though.

FWIW, I've got a system with Intel graphics, although it's not an i5
system. (It's a Celeron E3300 CPU on an Intel DG43NB motherboard using a
G43 Express chipset with integrated graphics.) I use it to drive a
"720p" (really 1360x768) HDTV via a VGA port. I have no problems with
video tearing and the system has no problems keeping up with HD content.

That said, I have no doubt that recent nVidia hardware is superior from
a MythTV point of view, particularly if you're using a weak CPU or want
to devote CPU time to other tasks while playing back video. I might also
just be lucky on the video tearing issue. Thus, I certainly wouldn't
consider a switch from recent nVidia to Intel graphics an upgrade, as it
sounds like mikpolniak might be thinking, although switching to a faster
i5 CPU from something a couple of years old might provide an overall
performance boost, considered across the board.

On the plus side, Intel video support is open source and just plain
works. The features that most MythTV users want in nVidia graphics are
closed source, and they can cause compatibility problems, particularly
if you compile your own kernel. I've had a lot of problems with
proprietary drivers that refuse to install, crash the system, produce
weird video glitches, etc. I try to avoid these drivers whenever
possible. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible, and the
closed-source nVidia drivers offer enough benefits for MythTV that
dealing with their hassles may be necessary.

As long as the system being built supports an add-on PCIe card
(including both motherboard support and room in the case to add the
thing), you can start out with just about anything on the motherboard.
The worst-case scenario is that you'll need to shell out a few more
dollars for a new video card.

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