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H.264 VA-API Support For Intel Clarkdale/Arrandale

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  • #11
    I wonder : How exactly would this translate into out-of-the-box support?

    As far as I gathered Ubuntu 10.04 - end of april - will use the 2.6.32 kernel. While the intel graphics support is only from 2.6.33 onwards? Same for this va-api?

    It's just that I built a htpc around a core i3 530 cpu. I also ordered an nvidia card (gt 240, passively cooled) with the vdpau feature in mind, but it's still unavailable.
    So I'm stuck with windows for now, but would really want Ubuntu with xbmc on there. (9.10 won't install)
    And I wonder if I would be better of cancelling my nvidia card.

    Even if Ubuntu would support the intel graphics for my core i3, I'd still have to wait for xbmc to support va-api, right?

    So, to summarize: When would you expect I'd be able to use ubuntu with no separate (nvidia) gpu, only the core i3 530. (without having to patch the kernel myself).
    And could I expect xbmc support for the va-api?

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    • #12
      I'd guess 2.6.35 would have this out-of-the-box. By then xbmc will probably have va-api support.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by curaga View Post
        I'd guess 2.6.35 would have this out-of-the-box. By then xbmc will probably have va-api support.
        Thanks for your answer.

        This means I cannot reasonably expect va-api to be a feature in Ubuntu 10.04?
        But possibly in 10.10 ; maybe even at a later stage?

        And what about just the igp feature, not the va-api hardware accelerated decoding part. From where on will I be able to use Ubuntu out-of-the-box; without va-api, just the intel igp part of my core i3? With the new Ubuntu 10.04, or at a later stage?

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        • #14
          U 10.10 might have it, yes.

          As Michael found out, the igp in i3 does work in 10.04, he had some crashes though. It should be better when it's released.

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          • #15
            gallium for old chips?

            isn't it possible to get hardware assistance for decoding on g33 with gallium and the shader pipeline?

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            • #16
              Originally posted by garytr24 View Post
              isn't it possible to get hardware assistance for decoding on g33 with gallium and the shader pipeline?
              Intel's IGPs aren't known for good shader performance. I doubt it's possible at all.

              Also, the kind of acceleration you get this way (that is, MC level) is not very useful, especially with H.264 high profile, where acceleration is most needed.
              H.264 data in high profile is normally encoded with CABAC. CABAC decoding needs a lot of processing power and cannot be parallelized well, thus it isn't viable for offload to shaders. If you approach high bitrates (like on bluray), if I remember correctly, CABAC usually becomes the most involving decoding step. And you can't speed it up with MC acceleration at all.

              Plain and simple, in my opinion, only full (i.e. bitstream/VLD level) acceleration is worth implementing when it comes to H.264.

              VC-1 is different, but it's not nearly as hard to decode as H.264 anyway.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by djiezes View Post
                As far as I gathered Ubuntu 10.04 - end of april - will use the 2.6.32 kernel. While the intel graphics support is only from 2.6.33 onwards? Same for this va-api?
                AFAIK the Ubuntu 10.04 release is using 2.6.32 kernel but with the drm (graphics kernel driver) from 2.6.33, so from a graphics POV you can pretty much think of it as being 2.6.33.

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                • #18
                  Little More Detail Please

                  I am new to getting things up and running on this new Gateway NV7915u laptop. I came across this post to get Ubuntu installed. It works but I think I have some stability issues when running Firefox. I chose to run 2.6.33. I am interested in using this feature but am a little unsure of how to get it installed. Can someone provide a little more detail on how to apply the patch. Thanks.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by uwgandalf View Post
                    yep, I asked this in the VA mailing list, they said planned for Q2.
                    Bad news, G45 support is planned for Q3, not Q2
                    ## VGA ##
                    AMD: X1950XTX, HD3870, HD5870
                    Intel: GMA45, HD3000 (Core i5 2500K)

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                    • #20
                      I wonder why they began to implement this on the newer chips and not on the GM45. I would have thought they were far more people owning the older chips and wanting this feature than the newer chips.

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