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It has been for a long long long time. It was pretty rock solid about 6 months after release. First few months had some teething pains but has been working flawlessly here (on h264) for 18 months on 8200 IGP, 8800GT, GTX-275, GTX-580, GT520 with multiple terabytes of h264 media ranging from rips to hd captures to streaming content.
Wow! That's great. I'll have to think over if I need SB CPU then. Maybe, if I want to record DVB stuff on hard drive, I'll need also a powerful CPU.
My HTPC build is rocking a dual core wolfdale celeron overclocked to around 3.5 ghz, a gt240 ddr3, a 60gb ssd root drive, a hvr2250 + an hvr1600, and 5.something TB of zfs raidz networked storage. I run a fairly tweaked version of myth 0.24. It's more than powerful enough for any sane use of an HTPC (even plays most gamecube/some wii games full speed via dolphin).
The Apevia X-Cube cases (if they're still being sold) are fairly affordable and I've had great luck with mine. When I decided to go overboard with the raidz I upgraded to a big thermaltake PSU, but the PSU that came with the Apevia case had worked for me for 4 or 5 years 24/7.
There is also the 2100T version, which seems to be clocked at 2.5GHz and has amazingly low TDP of 35W. At a local reseller 2100T is around 14 euros more expensive than the 2100. Is there a good reason to prefer 2100T over 2100?
I went through this whole process with my new MythTV backend and my final conclusion was that it would spend most of the time idle where the power consumption was very low anyway, so I went with the i5-2400 instead of the 2300S low-power version that was 20% slower and $20 more.
That said, the i5 is probably overkill because I rarely see more than two cores maxed out when recording (transcoding broadcast HD to H264).
I ran some videos on xbmc with vdpau enabled. The 720p ones ran ok but 1080p was practically unwatchable.
I used the restricted nvidia driver 170.41.06.
When I run the same video on my desktop with GTX260 and driver 280.13 the playback is smooth. Of cource
this is a lot more powerful card, but I thought the vdpau on GT520 should be capable of pushing 1080p.
Your driver does not exist. Did you check with "o" if vdpau was really used? Btw. nv is 280.13 officially now...
I meant to say 270.41.06.
By pressing 'o' the info says "dc:ff-h264_vdpau-vdpau" and cpu percentages are below 5. Quick google on 280.13
gave that some people get system hangs. What is the best way to install the latest nv driver nowdays?