Hardware for Linux and XBMC - Printable Version
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- BLKMGK - 2007-12-07 06:59
Okay, is letter box on my 24inch Dell W/S. 23-24.2FPS, no jittering. CPU Total is peaking around 45%, XBMC peaking at 75%, saw 85% during a transition. Zoomed etc. it uses a little more, vid is at 1920X1200 during playback according to XBMC.
Mainscreen after movie plays is shrunk down in left corner, this is consistant and I've heard it from others - am making it fullscreenwith the \ key if that helps. FPS is 59.9, CPU total is 49%, CPU-XBMC is 99-102% at menu after movie. Yes, playing the menu after uses more CPU than the movie did, it's smooth so I don't care. <shrug>
- BLKMGK - 2007-12-07 07:08
gateway69 Wrote:The best way to do this is for someone to find a bunch of various clips that everyone can download. We could probably find them by googling pretty quick around. I can host a wiki page on one of my servers if we need this. But we need to have tests cases that everyone can use and report back , instead of various different clips.
Doh, posted while I composed I agree that we can test lots of clips and I'm happy to help. However at this point the devs aren't even to a point where they seem to want much testing. I built this mostly because I was pretty darned sure it would have the CPU to plow through whatever is thrown at it and because if it had lagged due to a slow CPU I'd have been ticked. My testing on pretty sad hardware seemed topoint tothe code being pretty darned stable for what looks to be sorta' unsupported Alpha code. It seems my hardware config works well so far, you could likely do slower and still roll fine.
If nothing this gives folks an idea as to what they could spend money on and be working without worry. Cost sans case and HD was about $650 if that helps budget, you could do this cheaper for sure.
Happy to test whatever, will get this thing hooked up to sound ASAP and report if I find pitfalls.
- embrion - 2007-12-07 11:10
Jezz_X Wrote:CPU-Total is how much cpu Linux is using all together max 100% no matter how many cores
Thanks, that's clear now.
So Your results at http://forum.xbmc.org/showpost.php?p=159048&postcount=81 were reporting which CPU usage?
I agree that we could improve testing procedure by specifying our hardware in particular order and format + test the same samples + was vsync on and what framerate and CPU-Total, CPU-XBMC usage (I leave question about dropped frames open because in my 720p case I had them only after start and when I skipped forward/backward, so I don't know if it's normal or not).
About HW specs it could be something like this:
CPU: Manufacturer, EXACT Model name, clocking (if overclocked, write stock and overclocked values You used to test)
GPU: Manufacturer, EXACT model name, ram ammount (if overclocked, write stock and overclocked values You used)
MOBO: Manufacturer, model name
RAM: Manufacturer, Model, amont, type, clocking (if overclocked, write stock and overclocked values You used)
Codec, container, resolution, vsync setting (on/off), lowest noticed framerate, CPU-Total, CPU-XBMC usage, (dropped frames?)
I'll ask my very video experienced friend if x264 is most demanding and for some dynamic samples. 750i 720p 1080i 1080p set would be ok I believe, the only questions are codec and dynamic (demanding) samples. I believe my friend will give me the answers today.
It would be good if we/someone could post them at XBMC Wiki.
- Mntz - 2007-12-07 14:53
As far as i know, it's not the resolution but the bitrate that tells how hard a movie is to decode. So maybe at this to the results as well. (Correct me if i'm wrong)
- BLKMGK - 2007-12-08 00:41
Hooked mine up to my Vizio 47inch display today. Via HDMI XBMC looks great but at the desktop I couldn't read any of the fonts and I had bad overscan issues. Hookup via the RGB analog VGA input actually looked better at the desktop but XBMC was shrunk when running as was the video. Video in BOTH cases looked incredible IMO, smooth too.
Now the bad news, for me anyway. Sound or rather lack thereof. The digital output appeared activated - I could see red from the optical - but no sound. My receiver displayed HDCP errors at one point but that was probably bogus. Coaxial was no better. This isn't an XBMC error this is a hardware config in Ubuntu, will plow through that I guess. This might impact CPU usage figures some when I get it working.
As for testing, are we being premature? Certainly it's good to know at about what level you need the video card, memory, and CPU to be but the devs are still working on the code. Extensive testing now when code is still baking probably doesn't need to be done except maybe to find the bare minimum to work. A set of standardized vids is probably a good idea though if they can be such that they provide a good test set for the developers to excercise features. Some feedback from the devs on this would be helpful and I'd agree that feedback into the Wiki is a good idea to at least establish a baseline of what's needed to get going with the code. If someone has a torrent tracker and some vids throw them up, I'd be happy to help seed.
If folks do insist on testing I'd suggest adding a build number into the dataset since that might matter. At some point I want to automate pulling builds down and building them so regular testing of the latest code can be done, if someone has already do this please post the script!
- BLKMGK - 2007-12-08 08:51
Okay, I now have sound - mostly. My original OS build was Ubuntu server with xubuntu desktop pulled down after in an attempt to keep things "slim". Well, servers have no need of sound it seems so this left that hardware misconfigured. Most of the troubleshooting guides assumed a desktop install it seemed and I was getting pretty lost trying to setup ALSA correctly from source\scripts.
So, I rebuilt using desktop - a pretty slick install. Still the sound wasn't working but the system could see sound hardware. It would seem I've picked a fairly recent chipset so I was a bit nervous. In the end I had to go into the mixer, enable some additional devices, and then unmute the silly oputput! PCM is what I'm outputting via optical. This is an Asus P5K-E board, there seem to be a bunch of different ones in this lineup that are much alike.
Some quirks - I don't always get UI sounds. This might be my receiver, I'm not sure. I'm currently testing with an old Sony receiver. Playing back HD rips of Lost and 24 I get background sounds but NO voices except for the announcer at the start of 24. XBMC is set for ANALOG output, switching it to Digital results in garbage out of the speakers. If I leave it analog it's good but no matter what I hook speakers to I get no voice - center channel has no audio. My hope is that my newer receiver which can do DTS etc. can make sense of the "garbage" and that I can use "digital" in the XBMC setup. I'll test tomorrow. We'll see if audio via the HDMI from the vid card works too.
Video - it's pretty nice. However ATM I cannot play an IFO and get a working DVD. I can select VOBs but I usually get subtitles enabled and sometimes a Director's voice over I'm going to load up code to play DVDs in Ubuntu and see if that changes anything with this, this might not be XBMC's fault. One thing I do notice, even when I do not see subtitles, is a subtle tearing or distortion in the area across the screen where subtitles usually appear. Only when playing DVD I think.
CPU usage with the Gnome desktop underneath is fine. I do occasionally note some dropped frames in the statistics but these only seem to happen right at the start of a vid, aren't noticable, and do not continue unless you FFD or RWND. If I didn't look at the stats I'd never know. Lirc is working great, it's how I control XBMC almost completely under Linux and after doing it 3+ times it's easy There does need to be some work to debounce the inputs some though IMO. This should be a Lirc change *not* an XBMC change.
P.S. Audio in the Apple Trailers appears to work great, voices and all - go figure!
- Jezz_X - 2007-12-08 09:36
XBMC does not currently downmix 5.1 to stereo you need to look at the readme on how to get linux to do it for you
dvd image or .ifo playback still isn't fully functional
XBMC buy default does not play ui sounds during media playback if thats what you mean
This is after still not even alpha state and meant for public yet just people who are interested and want to see
- BLKMGK - 2007-12-08 17:25
Oh no, please do not misunderstand - I'm not aggravated or dissapointed with XBMC at all! I realize that this is WAY early in the development process and right now I'm thrilled with where things are at! I'm simply trying to share with others who might want to get this running the sorts of hurdles I'm hitting - me who is not any sort of expert in Linux.
Sound - not looking to downmix, if I get 5.1 I'm going to be REAL happy! What's weird here is the voice track is missing even when I hookup a 5.1 capable stereo and try the center channel etc. This is a test rig and an older stereo though so I will try a DTS\newer stereo today. The issue I'm hitting here is almost certainly going to be the underlying Ubuntu setup I've done and not XBMC I think. Weird that it works best with XBMC set to analog though
DVD\IFO playback - no problem. If it's not done it's not done, I can wait <shrug> I have friends who are equally excited that are asking about using this to replace their XBOX1s. I'm reporting back what I'm finding as I go for the benefit of other's like them who might not have the hardware to test on, please do not feel that this is some sort of bug report or that I'm "expecting" action on quirks that I find.
IMO for "Alpha" this code runs really well. I think I've had maybe one core dump, that not reproducable unfortunatly. I'd love to find a way to help more but I'm not a coder and my experience with Linux is lacking. I asked about contributing to Linux development of XBMC but I don't think I ever got a response onthat - I'd like to help and encourage others. My poor XBOX just cannot do HD and thus far this looks like the best path towards an upgrade that has a good interface. Lots of folks cheering the devs on!
At this point I intend to try testing sound on my main stereo, report back, and then maybe install MythUbuntu since it also interests me (as does Linux MCE but it looks like way more work). MythUbuntu might also make a good base to try installing XBMC on - and I will try. Perhaps sound will work better as well. If nothing I'm learning and have some pretty shit hot hardware I can repurpose should I get frustrated, no matter what this is a win/win for me. No worries, I ain't bitching!
- mrkrad - 2007-12-08 19:06
2.4ghz core 2 duo (1mb,2mb,4mb l2 cache) you pick, overclock it or buy one that is stock that fast. 1066fsb at least. dual ram for extra bandwidth (two sticks identical to interleave), 2gb is good to keep swapping low, nvidia 8600gt (i got mine for $59 a/r a/c). pretty much handles all forms of high def you'll throw at it with soft-decoding. you want a digital out sound card so theres no processing of the sound (downmix,etc) eating up cpu. I mean if you can afford the box and high def tv you probably have a toslink/copper surround system to boot.
E2140 to E2160 are cheap low end cpu's than can overclock mad. and are cheap. the celeron 420SC is just half of one of these and can hit the same stride overclock but until hardware acceleration on the gpu is met you will drop frames with the 420sc over 3ghz
- BLKMGK - 2007-12-09 20:21
2.4gig C2D is a good choice but if you look at NewEgg the 2.6 is CHEAPER That is why I chose it - $189 for the faster CPU and $230+ for the 2.4ghz. The overclocking rep of the 2.4ghz has pushed the price up it seems, the 2.66 is supposed to clock just fine though too. Runs a slightly higher voltage I think.
I'd agree 2gig is a good memory point, I do not appear to be swapping.
I also agree on optical output. Be aware that it is a little tricky to get working! My previous issues with no dialog may be because the mixer I used didn't discern the various channels. The optical output will be MUTED out of the box! The mixer on Mythbuntu has a center channel slider, go figure. Bet it was muted on Desktop for me. <sigh> I have that on another drive so I might go check later The Asus P5K-E working well here FWIW and has both copper and optical digital out supported by ALSA.
Video - the fanless 8500 mentioned earlier works well too and does HDMI. The 8600 you found is cheap enough, does it have an HDMI output? This one is silent and is so far proving to not get too hot. Need to get LM_sensors working and somehting for fan speeds speaking of heat...
Which OS to use... Am building on Mythbuntu right now. It has Lirc support out of the box and has recognized my sound hardware. Added a mixer to top bar easily enough with a right click and unmuted my output - working. Not yet tried with surround yet but those channels appear on this mixer. The restricted NVIDIA stuff was easy to install as was the deCSS code. This is a pretty light install and I know many are interested in DVR functionality too - this will handle it with the right hardware. Server Ubuntu w\Xubuntu-desktop doesn't handle the sound hardware near as I could tell, Desktop install is heavy and includes Openoffice and Gnome. Mythbuntu uses the Xubuntu desktop stuff and no fluff plus installs\configures lirc for you. The MCE remote works well so far but need to work on debounce and getitng the full keyboard to work. Only downside I've found with Mythbuntu so far is pulling vid from SMB shares in Myth is a PITA! XBMC will probably not have that issue though, didn't on other installs Will report back any quirks I find that appear to be related to Mythbuntu as a platform. So far so good!