[mythtv-users] hardware considerations: fast CPU vs nvidia/vdpau?

Matt Garman matthew.garman at gmail.com
Sun Jul 17 18:22:42 UTC 2011

My current combined Myth FE+BE is using an AMD X2 250 processor, AMD
760G chipset, and an nvidia geforce 210 video card.  I have no
performance problems.  However, this system uses a fair amount of
power (50+ Watts at idle).  I know 50 Watts isn't that much, but
I've recently built two Intel Sandy Bridge systems (using the
integrated graphics): a micro-ATX system for myself that uses about
30 Watts at idle, and a mini-ITX system for my dad that uses about
25 Watts at idle.  Both of these Sandy Bridge systems are quad core
as well.

Anyway, I don't have a link handy, but a few months ago I read on
this list that mythtv has really been designed around CPU-based
decoding; things like vdpau, while great (and working well for most
people, including me), are not really part of the "core" mythtv
design paradigm.  That's a loose paraphrasing, but hopefully I'm
conveying the right idea.  If nothing else, it is one extra thing to
set up.

What I'm trying to get to is the simplest possible setup (i.e.
minimal configuration) that does what I want.  So my current thought
is to build a new Sandy Bridge-based system, using the built-in
Intel graphics and letting the CPU do all the decoding,
deinterlacing, etc.  Dumping my current AMD CPU + nVidia video card
in favor of Intel Sandy Bridge gets me all these features:

    - Mini-ITX (I know it can be done with AMD, but Intel is
      currently better for power consumption).  Mini-ITX gets me a
      smaller machine overall.

    - Lower power consumption (I've seen mini-ITX SB builds on the
      web that use 14 Watts at idle).

    - Simpler configuration (no proprietary Nvidia drivers, no AMD
      video driver headaches, no vdpau configuration, etc).  To be
      fair, I've never used Intel graphics on Linux, so maybe they
      come with their own set of headaches?

Anyway, assuming the Intel graphics are relatively easy to get
working correctly under Linux (I plan on using CentOS 6.0), is there
any downside to my plan?  I.e., is there any reason I *want* to keep
the nvidia/vdpau setup?


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