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Choosing the right chipset for a HTPC

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Redeeman View Post
    so as i see it, you can pretty much forget about decoding with the gpu right now, because either
    1: its irellevant (SD material or MPEG2)
    or 2: its non-existant, and ETA is unknown.

    Which brings me back to my recommendation, get an E8400 or higher cpu (E8500 recently went to basically same price), and some intel graphics motherboard.
    I totaly agree with you, HA is not linux ready, and I fear not for a moment ...

    But so, I'd like to have at least audio through HDMI (less cable). Even on this point, the solutions are not clear ...

    PS: I've read a test about full cpu decoding of 1080 material, even with video filter that were fully handled by an E7200. According to the price of E8400, I'd be glad if an E7200 do the job ...


    • #22
      Originally posted by ltmon View Post
      Hi All,

      I'm building a Linux-based HTPC, and am attracted to various AMD/ATI 690G boards. Mainly because of low cost, low power integrated graphics (X1250) with HDMI output already built in.

      The other main option is an all Intel solution, with a G33 chipset. I would probably drive my TV with a DVI-to-HDMI cable in this case, as inbuilt HDMI are a bit harder to come by.

      I'd like to know experiences people have with driving HD televisions with these chipsets. I'd like to get 1080p video output and basic OpenGL with enough performance to run the various HTPC interfaces such as XbMC (for linux), elisa, mythtv and linuxmce.

      - Is ATI still too much of a pain, despite recent improvements? Are the video playback acceleration capabilities working properly on linux?
      - Is the Intel too slow? Does it have video playback acceleration?
      - Would I be better off with a discrete card? Which one?

      My laptop's nvidia is quite good through DVI, but has some occasional video tearing. Plus I want to support Intel and AMD with their open source strategies if possible.

      Thanks in advance,

      I have some experiences with quite a bit of graphics hardware, video, and HTPCs. Both an Intel and AMD setup can work very well for your uses, but each has strengths and weaknesses depending on your particular usage.

      1. An all-Intel system is most likely going to cost more than an all-AMD system and offer fewer features, but it is also quite a bit more flexible and easier to work with from a software standpoint. Intel's IGPs support XVideo Motion Compensation, which offloads rendering and AA work to the GPU, allowing you to use a slower, cheaper, cooler-running CPU than if you were just using XVideo or OpenGL to display the images. My recommendation is to go with a G33 motherboard and an inexpensive but pretty decent Pentium Dual Core E2x00 CPU if you intend to use the MPEG-2 codec for your files and can take advantage of XvMC. Also, if you prefer to not run any proprietary drivers, stick with an Intel platform for the present no matter what codec you choose as the open-source ATi driver is not currently able to do 3D and video reliably on newer hardware. If you are going to be using a non-MPEG-2 codec, get a Core 2 Duo E7200 or one of the E8000 series CPUs.

      2. An all-AMD system can give you more hardware features for less money than an all-Intel setup and also can be more power-efficient. If you intend to use a video codec that is *not* MPEG-2, then I would go this route as you will be using XVideo anyway. I'd suggest an AMD 780G board instead of the 690G as the 780G is much more powerful and not that much more expensive. You will need a reasonably stout CPU like the X2 5800+ to decode and deinterlace CPU-intensive codecs such as H.264 using XVideo.

      ATi's proprietary drivers are decent today but lack some features available in NVIDIA's and Intel's drivers, such as proper XRandR support and XvMC. They work very nicely with XVideo, though. There is 2D support for the 690G and 780G with the open-source Xorg ATi driver but 3D and video is spotty. It's coming, but not here yet.
      Last edited by MU_Engineer; 08-19-2008, 11:00 PM.


      • #23
        as it currently is, i recommend you get atleast E8500 (which is actually quite cheap) if you plan on doing 1080p H264 - because quite frankly, untill the multithreaded h264 is merged into ffmpeg, it DOES require _ALOT_ of cpu power to decode the most high bitrate scenes

        as far as price/cool/features goes, i dont see how AMD can match intel at all, heck, AMD chipsets cant even get their act together on USB and SATA..

        some quick prices(taken from Denmark):
        G45 board will probably be around USD 150
        E8400 cpu is $200
        2gb ram is $75
        Thats pretty damn cheap, and you can probably find a cheaper G33 board..


        • #24
          There is 2D support for the 690G and 780G with the open-source Xorg ATi driver but 3D and video is spotty. It's coming, but not here yet.
          FYI the 3d core in the 690 is from the R4xx generation so 3D and video are supported today in the open source drivers.


          • #25
            When they are as good as the RV410 then good night