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Hardware recomendation for Linux HTPC

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  • Hardware recomendation for Linux HTPC

    Hi!

    I'm looking forward to buy an HTPC. Considering the following requirements I would like to have some advices:
    • Graphics card with OSS drivers and video decoding acceleration
    • Small case and low power consumption
    • Budget: ~250

    I will use Fedora and XBMC.

  • #2
    Originally posted by LinuxWarrior View Post
    • Graphics card with OSS drivers and video decoding acceleration
    At present your only choice is Intel for that.

    Example configuration: A mini-ITX socket 1155 mobo will set you back around 70, a Core i3 2100T 105, LC-Power 1320mi including PSU 35 (verify that the boxed cooler fits), 4 GB DDR3-1333 25, 320 GB 2.5" SATA HDD 35. Total is around 270.

    If you don't have to buy immediately, you can follow the progress of the Gallium3D VDPAU project, and see if maybe an AMD Brazos/Llano solution fits your needs better.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by chithanh View Post
      If you don't have to buy immediately, you can follow the progress of the Gallium3D VDPAU project, and see if maybe an AMD Brazos/Llano solution fits your needs better.
      The problem is the amount of time to be developed more the time needed to be shipped by a distro is probably more than 6 months.

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      • #4
        Not with Fedora, what they ship is usually very close to fdo git.

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        • #5
          nVidia Geforece 9300M with an intel Atom 330 processor board in mini-itx is the current de-facto standard.

          Outdated, yes, cheap usually, well supported drives - YUP!

          This will probably get replaced by AMD's new socket LM1 cpu+gpu systems in the mini-itx form factor (as the drivers get perfected).

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          • #6
            You need very much time when you compile something with those cpus. The older ion(1) can not decode several res with vdpau - not even using win and flash. When you want to decode a res % 16 != 0 then you usually get a problem. ion(2) would be better but sometimes this is optimus (especially with netbooks). i would use the iX-2xxx cpu. If needed combined with a g210 or something like that when you don't want to use latest kernel/mesa/ddx/vaapi. Last time i checked vaapi+vc1 was not working correctly with xbmc but only using mplayer-vaapi. h264 worked with vaapi and xbmc. That does not really help when you have to disable it everytime you play vc1. Well the cpu should be fast enough to decode everything using software. btw. vlc with enabled hardware accel on win does not work too with intel - intel should test that codepath, ati had to fix their win drivers too for vlc...

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            • #7
              So an Intel system with integrated graphics card still can't do video decoding (h264) with hardware acceleration?

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              • #8
                Of course it can. H.264 VA-API decode acceleration works for all Core i3/i5/i7 integrated graphics (GMA HD/2000/3000).

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                • #9
                  An alternative to trying to mess with an IGP that happens to have a working H264 decoder is to get a mainboard with a mini-PCIex slot and get yourself a BROADCOM CRYSTALHD. Then you can use your favorite GPU (like a Radeon...) and still have open video decode acceleration. The UVD unit on Radeons and the Broadcom crystalhd share some common ancestry.

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                  • #10
                    Right now I'm more inclined to buy an Intel system... due acceleration support and opensource drivers. The Core i3 2100T with 35W of TPD looks good...

                    In the past all my Desktop CPU's were AMD, but due the lack of proper opensource support I'm kinda forced to buy an Intel CPU with integrated graphics, and an Atom don't seems a good investment if I want to run some services on the same machine...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chithanh View Post
                      Of course it can. H.264 VA-API decode acceleration works for all Core i3/i5/i7 integrated graphics (GMA HD/2000/3000).
                      But good luck getting the GPU to work in the first place; I tried Ubuntu 11.04 on my new i5-2400 system and the live CD locks up with garbage on the screen and 10.04 works but it appears to be just a VESA driver.

                      Fortunately it's a server so I don't care, but SB graphics seems poorly supported right now. Maybe Fedora has newer drivers.

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                      • #12
                        Yep, you need more recent packages from xorg-edgers PPA. Fedora 15 might work, too.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LinuxWarrior View Post
                          Right now I'm more inclined to buy an Intel system... due acceleration support and opensource drivers. The Core i3 2100T with 35W of TPD looks good...

                          In the past all my Desktop CPU's were AMD, but due the lack of proper opensource support I'm kinda forced to buy an Intel CPU with integrated graphics, and an Atom don't seems a good investment if I want to run some services on the same machine...
                          And I just gave you a way to do a superior AMD system with all/only open source drivers.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by droidhacker View Post
                            And I just gave you a way to do a superior AMD system with all/only open source drivers.
                            True... But to buy an AMD system I need to buy an AMD card, and as far as I know the drivers for current models are still behind Intel.... (not to mention video decoding)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LinuxWarrior View Post
                              True... But to buy an AMD system I need to buy an AMD card, and as far as I know the drivers for current models are still behind Intel.... (not to mention video decoding)
                              That is up for debate. Intel may be further ahead in some areas (behind in others), but first off, their hardware is so much less impressive that it doesn't take as much, second, AMD drivers seem to work like magic. I don't trust intel at all, they've burned a lot of people in the past (myself included).

                              Now what is this "card" you speak of? HTPC should be IGP, and its doubtful that you would actually be able to come up with a configuration that includes mini-itx with space for a graphics card...

                              Take a look at these boards;
                              http://www.jetway.com.tw/jw/ipcboard...e=NF81-T56N-LF
                              http://www.jetway.com.tw/jw/ipcboard...e=NC85-E350-LF

                              Either of those would make a beautiful HTPC.
                              Last edited by droidhacker; 07-13-2011, 09:17 AM.

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