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- ashlar - 2007-11-27 12:08

gateway69 Wrote:I hate to keep beating this dead horse but xp, and vista decoders are optimized and things are offloaded to the cpu which makes playback of 1080p content much easier on windows, this is not the same for linux *YET* and no idea when this might happen..
For h.264 this holds true only if using PowerDVD decoder, that doesn't handle mkvs.

Under XP, with an E2160 overclocked to 2.4 GHz I manage to play 1080p h.264 files with no hardware acceleration and no frame skipping.

This with the CoreAVC decoder which, if I'm not wrong, can now be used with mplayer under Linux (but I might be wrong on this).


- Gamester17 - 2007-11-27 12:42

ashlar Wrote:This with the CoreAVC decoder which, if I'm not wrong, can now be used with mplayer under Linux (but I might be wrong on this).
I'm pretty sure that MPlayer for Linux does not yet support the CoreAVC binary codec (patches was submitted to mplayerhq.hu but not accepted). CoreAVC is a closed source commercial codec that you have to pay fore, it is highly optimized and supports frame-based decoding on multiple processors/ CPU cores. In any case that is a moot point for XBMC for Linux as it does not use MPlayer but the DVDPlayer and the DVDPlayer does not support binary codecs. Know however that the developers FFmpeg, the open source codec suit that XBMC uses in the DVDPlayer (which is the only and default video player for the Linux port), have talked about implementing frame-based decoding of H.264 in FFmpeg (for multiple processors/ CPU cores decoding), which is more effective than the slice-based decoding that FFmpeg already supports, plus other small optimizations are being added FFmpeg's H.264 decoder every month. So my guess is that it is only a matter of time before FFmpeg catches up to CoreAVC performance of solely using the CPU for H.264 decoding.

I like to end this rant by saying that you should all support the FFmpeg's efforts instead of relying on closed source commercial codecs.
http://www.ffmpeg.org

http://xboxmediacenter.com/wiki/index.php?title=Codec_and_Format_requests


jmarshall Wrote:Perhaps mplayer for win32 will bypass using the hw acceleration?
Yes, I am pretty sure that MPlayer for Win32 does not support GPU assisted decoding, I recommend MPUI for testing.


- Razor_109 - 2007-11-27 16:22

kabirh Wrote:So here's the motherboard I'm considering:
GIGABYTE GA-73UM-S2H Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
This board is based on the Nvidia 630i chipset with Nvidia 7150 graphics. It sports HDMI, which according to this thread at phoronix.com, is supported for video under Linux. Audio over HDMI isn't supported in Linux yet AFAIK. The board also has an optical SPDIF header which I hope I can get to work.
It's $100 at newegg.

Hey, i saw the motherboard to o, i'm considering the GA-73PVM-S2H version, which is 69euro's and cheaper than the GA-73UM-S2H. I thought the somewhat 'faster' videochip is not really that much of big deal.
Note this is just and suggestion, maybe you didn't notice there was a cheaper model with as far as i can see the same functions exept the geforce 7100 instead of the geforce 7150. By the way there is an geforce 7050 version too but it is the same price here as the 7100.


- kabirh - 2007-11-27 17:50

Razor_109 Wrote:Hey, i saw the motherboard to o, i'm considering the GA-73PVM-S2H version, which is 69euro's and cheaper than the GA-73UM-S2H. I thought the somewhat 'faster' videochip is not really that much of big deal.
Note this is just and suggestion, maybe you didn't notice there was a cheaper model with as far as i can see the same functions exept the geforce 7100 instead of the geforce 7150. By the way there is an geforce 7050 version too but it is the same price here as the 7100.

Nice find, I missed that! I still need a case, preferably with an LIRC compatible IR sensor built in.


- gateway69 - 2007-11-27 23:46

Gamester17 Wrote:I like to end this rant by saying that you should all support the FFmpeg's efforts instead of relying on closed source commercial codecs.
http://www.ffmpeg.org

http://xboxmediacenter.com/wiki/index.php?title=Codec_and_Format_requests

Amen... I Love ffmpeg and used it a lot in my mobile trans coding software Im working on, while people may complain right now things will sort them selves out the XBMC team has made great strides, and things will only get better and faster over time.


- einal - 2007-11-28 17:12

I just installed AMD's Catalyst 7.11 driver on my Shuttle X100 with Radeon Mobility X1400 graphics on Ubuntu 7.10 and CPU utilization went down from 50% in the main menu to ~20% and I can now play 1080p mkv's with around 50-60% CPU utilization, down from ~90%.

Apparantly AMD's AVIVO http://ati.amd.com/technology/Avivo/index.html is getting even better. AVIVO is AMD's answer to Nvidia's PureVideo and accelerates all xv video, no need for XvMC or other black magic.


- Razor_109 - 2007-11-28 20:14

einal Wrote:I just installed AMD's Catalyst 7.11 driver on my Shuttle X100 with Radeon Mobility X1400 graphics on Ubuntu 7.10 and CPU utilization went down from 50% in the main menu to ~20% and I can now play 1080p mkv's with around 50-60% CPU utilization, down from ~90%.

Apparantly AMD's AVIVO http://ati.amd.com/technology/Avivo/index.html is getting even better. AVIVO is AMD's answer to Nvidia's PureVideo and accelerates all xv video, no need for XvMC or other black magic.

which CPU does your shuttle have? Duo Core?


- Gamester17 - 2007-11-29 11:06

einal Wrote:Apparantly AMD's AVIVO http://ati.amd.com/technology/Avivo/index.html is getting even better. AVIVO is AMD's answer to Nvidia's PureVideo and accelerates all xv video, no need for XvMC or other black magic.
I am sure that is not the case! Please do not make such statements without facts to back it up!

AVIVO and PureVideo can not accelerate video decoding without the codec and demuxer specificly supporting their API and support for that API in the video device driver, (for which there is only XvMC under Linux so far and that does not support H.263 nor H.264, only MPEG-2). There is a new API currently under development for Linux called "VAAPI (Video Acceleration API)" which might be the solution if AMD/ATI and NVIDIA decices to support that API (which they have not done yet, only Intel has), then FFmpeg also have to impement support for that API in their codecs and demuxers

More information to help you understand the reality: http://xboxmediacenter.com/wiki/index.php?title=Hardware_Accelerated_Video_Decoding


- einal - 2007-11-29 12:09

I have an Intel Core 2 Duo T5600 1.83 GHz cpu in my Shuttle X100.

Quote:AVIVO and PureVideo can not accelerate video decoding without the codec and demuxer specificly supporting their API and support for that API in the video device driver, (for which there is only XvMC under Linux so far and that does not support H.263 nor H.264, only MPEG-2).

I know AVIVO doesn't accelerate codec specific functions. What it DOES do is accelerate the rendering of the video using pixel shaders. Although that doesn't free the CPU entirely from the video playing process, it does make 1080p mkv's very playable on my system and I think that is something people would be interested to hear.

From http://xboxmediacenter.com/wiki/index.php?title=Hardware_Accelerated_Video_Decoding
Quote:ATI/AMD Avivo Technology uses pixel shaders to assist in decoding the video. So far only ATI/AMD closed source binary device driver for Microsoft Windows support this Avivo Technology. However, in theory using technology pixel shaders to assist in decoding the video should be supported on any GPU (by any manufacturer) that support Shader Model 3.0 (ie. Pixel Shader 3.0 and Vertex Shader 3.0).

That is BTW wrong since AVIVO has been supported in the fglrx driver for some time now. My humble point was that AVIVO seemed to be much better in the Catalyst 7.11 driver from AMD compared to the fglrx driver that ships with Ubuntu 7.10.

Quote:There is a new API currently under development for Linux called "VAAPI (Video Acceleration API)" which might be the solution if AMD/ATI and NVIDIA decices to support that API (which they have not done yet, only Intel has), then FFmpeg also have to impement support for that API in their codecs and demuxers

That does sound interesting and if I'd had a choice I would have gone with an Intel card in my Shuttle, but AMD was the second best choice.


- dizzey - 2007-11-29 15:27

Well much is still unknown but for now the fastest cpu you can get if you want 1080p.
Dont think that xbmc makes really good use of multiple threads for decoding so a fast dualcore is probobly better than a bit slower quad core.
A decent geforce card 8600gt perhaps. Ati is getting better and will probobly have better ofloading to the gpu but it is way to soon to tell so for now a geforce is the safest bet. xbmc does not support tv tuners but somwhere in this thread somone demonstrated how to start the tvpart from mythtv in xbmc so i guess the mythtv forums would be the best place to find tuner cards.


- BLKMGK - 2007-11-29 17:18

The Wiki currently states that an NVIDIA 6150 or better card is recommended. Having compiled XBMC from source as a test on a slow unaccelerated laptop successfully I'm ready to move forward and build a "real" machine for testing.

Looking at NewEgg 6x series cards from NVIDIA are pretty cheap, dirt cheap really. Would a later model 7x card be an advantage for the pittance of cost difference? What about say a DX10 capable 8400 or other more expensive 8x series? Does onboard memory have much of an impact with regards to rendering? Is a PCIx interface vs AGP going to impact us much? I'm just trying to get a handle on bang for buck here, I'm completely willing to buy an 8800GT if there's a real advantage but I'd prefer not to throw money away if I can help it.

Interfaces - obviously DVI is an option but does a card with an HDMI interface matter? There are converter cables out there and audio is apparently not working over this interface in Linux, correct? I'd eventually want 5.1 sound so optical is likely what I'd go for anyway but my receiver can switch HDMI, should I bother to look for an HDMI card?

I know this is still under heavy development and perhaps it's a bit early to nail down specs but judging from what I saw when I compiled the code and looking at reports from others this project has made incredible progress. I'm pretty frustrated trying to find a good HD front end for my video so I'm willing to try and do this earlier rather than later if some video card recommendations can be nailed down... Confused


- jmarshall - 2007-11-29 22:42

I'd say pay the tiny bit extra for the 7 series - if it gives you performance advantage for a few more dollars, it's worth it - not just for XBMC, but it gives you some options for gameplaying as well if you want (or gratuitous 3D desktop effects).

I see little point in getting carried away - XBMC taking advantage of a very fast card for extra stuff (better scaling etc.) may possibly eventually happen, but it won't be happening quickly. Thus, if it does happen, you can always upgrade later.

As for DVI vs HDMI: It just depends on the cost of the converter vs the cost of the card and what you're viewing device is gonna be using.

Cheers,
Jonathan


- BLKMGK - 2007-11-30 05:30

Been doing a little more research as well, mostly on the Myth pages since I figure those guys have much the same issue. They seem to recommend an even older card so I agree a 7x card is the way to go for now and upgrading to an 8x card down the road is easy enough. Actually I might even jump on an 8400 card if the price is right. I think I'll do a C2D CPU at either 2.4 or 2.6Gig and clock the snot out of it Big Grin We'll see how this goes...


- Gamester17 - 2007-11-30 11:30

The reason MythTV users have recommend graphic-adapters from the 6 and 7 series NIVIDA GeForce is that the Linux device drivers for the 8 series NIVIDA GeForce has not been mature enough, but I read now that the very latest closed source binary driver from NVIDIA now fully support the 8 series NIVIDA GeForce under Linux as well so that should not be a problem, ...in theory.

Personally, with the price differences between 7 and 8 series NIVIDA GeForce today I think I would go for one of cheapest fan-free (for absolute silence) 8400 or 8500 GeForce cards that have a HDMI port and SP/DIF passthrough in the hope that it will be as future proof as possible. Sure, Linux may not support SPDIF via HDMI today but it might next month or the month after that, progress is very fast in the world of Linux world these days.


- rodalpho - 2007-11-30 18:48

I would agree that a passively-cooled 8500GT would be the best bet if money were no object, but for pure compatibility and cost, according to posts on phoronix the integrated-video nvidia boards do quite well under linux. Nvidia very recently released uATX boards based on the 630i chipset which start around $65 at newegg and are fully supported by their binary drivers. No additional video acceleration, of course, but they're REALLY cheap.

That's what I plan on grabbing once my ancient xbox1 gives up the ghost.