[mythtv-users] CPU for a frontend

R. G. Newbury newbury at mandamus.org
Sun Feb 26 19:46:52 UTC 2012

On 02/26/2012 02:35 PM, William Otten wrote:
> On 2/26/2012 1:07 PM, R. G. Newbury wrote:
>> On 02/25/2012 11:15 AM, dave cunningham wrote:
>>> Hi All,
>>> My current frontend is SD only with an Intel Little Falls board.
>>> This has been fine (if a little slow navigating menus) but I'm now
>>> moving to HD and so it's time to upgrade.
>>> The frontend is and will be fanless in a mCubed case. I'm running on a
>>> PicoPSU type power supply so am quite limited component wise.
>>> Where I am at is GT430 + 4GB RAM + either a G630T or i2100T (+ DVDR,
>>> net-boot).
>>> This frontend will be used exclusively DVB-T/T2/S/S2 FTV in the UK.
>>> Is there any reason as to why I should choose an i2100T over a G630T?
>>> (Conversely a G630T appears to be 50% cheaper than an i2100T here so
>>> that's the way I'm currently leaning).
>> For a Frontend-only box there is no reason why you cannot use an ION
>> based motherboard. I purchased a Zotac ION 2 years ago when they were
>> introduced, for use as a VOIP box. It does that job just fine!
>> But before I installed the VOIP setup, I tested it as a fronted.
>> No problems playing myth recorded OTA High Def. The box runs off a power
>> brick. It touches 35 watts for an instant during boot, and thereafter
>> stabilizes around 27-29 watts during HD replay. Small CPU fan is the
>> only fan installed. It has an Atom 330 dual core cpu and on-board nvidia
>> gpu (9500 or 9600 chip, can't remember which).
>> Lots of boards of this type at logicsupply,com for reference and of
>> course at mini-itx.com.
>> But if you are going to build up a box, then you probably should browse
>> at ark.intel.com  (yes that is an "R") and look at the i3 *and* i5 2xxxT
>> series cpus. They are all low TDP versions. The i3 I have my eye on is
>> the 2120T at 35 watts or the i5 2390T also at 35 watts TDP. Both are
>> dualcore at about 2.5 to 2.7GHz. There are also 17 watt chips! running
>> in the 1.5-1.7GHz range with Intel 2000 or 3000 video chipsets.
>> Given that the Zotac cpu is that sort of speed the real question point
>> for THIS use, is the video chipset. It looks like Intel will have full
>> video accel for their chips in the not too distant future. In the
>> meantime, you would need the GT430.
>> Of course, these are limited chips but they are built for a particular
>> niche.
>> And our limit is generally determined by the amount of 'wallet-pain' we
>> wish to endure....
>> Geoff
> Here are more examples of users only using the intel sandy bridge gpu
> with success and getting very good video quality.
> http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/users/501137

Agreed. But at the moment there are still reports of glitches and 
gotchas. But the required patches to mesa are working there way upstream 
and the Intel code is getting better. At the moment, I would say the 
*safe* course for the OP is to assume that he will use the GT430 and 
hope that he will be able to remove it at some point in the future.
Note that *removing* the Nvidia blob requires some pre-planning as its 
install routine *replaces* some libraries and *does NOT* save the 
copies. Extract the bin file by running NVIDIA....bin -x and you can 
read the install script to see which libraries it replaces. I keep 
intending to write a script.....

Then again, there is always the 'nuke it from orbit' re-install path...



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