Hardware for Linux and XBMC - Printable Version
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- gateway69 - 2007-11-15 23:39
dexx Wrote:I'd be suprised if an AMD 4000+ cant handle that. I have a 4000+ and, under windows, it only shows 30% utilization when playing 720p material.
Something to keep in mind the decoders on windows have been highly optimized compaired to what the team is working with right now on unix, so yes, most of the hd stuff will play on windows fine but not decode with the same speed on a unix box.
- Gamester17 - 2007-11-16 11:11
pike Wrote:Tried with a FFMpeg decoder ?FFdshow is a Windows version of FFmpeg (the open source codec suit that XBMC uses)
nForce Motherboard / 8800GTS Video - ChevyNovaLN - 2007-11-17 20:58
Hey guys/gals, I just spent the last 10 hours of awake time reading through the linux forums here and I have to say, I'm impressed with all the hard work going into this project. My co-worker just had 3 of us bring our X-boxes in to work so he could go back and softmod them to get the latest version of XBMC and in messing around with it for about 3 hours yesterday, I immediately thought.. Hmm. i wonder if this is available for linux.
Well, I literally have ready most of the hardware areas for the linux part of the forums now and unless I've missed it.. I didn't see any mention of later nForce motherboards or newer 8800 series nVidia cards.
I've got Vista Ultimate running on this system and it screams, so I'm wondering if anyone has loaded Ubuntu 7.10 on a system like this and tried out XBMC. I'm about to, although my linux knowledge is a few years lacking. I'm a Windows Server Admin for one of the largest banks in the Midwest, so messing around with Linux got shoved to the side until I saw this project and it rekindled my wanting to know more about it again.
BFG 680i nForce motherboard (similar to EVGA, etc..)
Intel E6600 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo (2.4ghz native, easily clockable to 3ghz with stock cooling)
2GB (2 x 1gb Corsair DDR2-6400)
2 x 500GB WD Sata2-300 in Raid 0 (for now, will add more later in raid 1)
GeForce 8800GTS 320mb PCI Xpress video card
Generic (I think Lite-on) DVD+/-RW Lightscribe burnder.
I've got some free time today and my Vista installation has been used for much testing, so I feel its about time to blow it away and just install Ubuntu for a while so it forces me to learn Linux again. I'll be running everything locally on the box for now as I do not have cables run from my server rack ( http://www.chevynovaln.com/xbmc/ServerRack.jpg ) on the other side of the basement, so i'm using a 108mb Wireless Bridge to get internet/network to it.. Streaming = not-so-good, but I have gigabit run everywhere else (haven't wanted to pull up the carpet to run cables to my theater room yet)
Anyway, Back to the hardware. Has anyone tried a similar setup or does anyone have any ideas on whether it'll work well or not?
Thanks, and Devs/PM's, Skinners, etc.. keep up the good work.
Brian / ChevyNovaLN
- ChevyNovaLN - 2007-11-18 23:21
I took the plunge. I downloaded the Desktop version of Ubuntu 7.10 and formatted my HD(s) and the first thing I noticed while going through the installer is that Linux is too darn smart. It saw right through the hardware raid and could see each individual disk. So I broke apart the array for fear of not knowing what it would do to the other disk, and installed on the first HDD.
This is probably a question for the Ubuntu forums, but has anyone else had issues getting their resolution to properly be detected in Gnome (or KDE)? I have my DVI-to-HDMI converter cable going from my PC to my 60" LG Plasma and the highest resolution I can select is 1280x768. In windows, it'll do the right resolution which is 1360x768 native for my TV. I have tried to force it using some tricks I read about but its still locked in at a max of 1280x768 and the tricks I tried all end up with the system in low-video quality mode and ultimately (since i'm new at this) reloading the OS again. Thankfully this takes no time. With the resolution its running at, I can't see the bar at the top or bottom so I can't see what i'm clicking on, otherwise I get full acceleratoion using the nVidia drivers. Just thought i'd at least mention it in the forums here, that this video card and Ubuntu 7.10 and my Plasma are not playing nicely with regards to resolution
Brian / ChevyNovaLN
- grisen - 2007-11-19 10:01
kabirh Wrote:I've got a Harmony remote and I'm hoping I can find a large HTPC case with a built-in IR sensor that LIRC loves.
If you've got an iPhone, you wont need a remote.
- Amphetamine - 2007-11-20 03:33
I'll give some figures here from my personal experience of HD playback on a couple of my machines:
My Ath64 3700+ HTPC machine in the bedroom gets almost perfect H.264/MKV 720P playback when using CoreAVC under XP Pro, but suffers quite a lot of droppage when running FFmpeg.
My Ath64 X2 6000+ Gaming rig hits around 60% CPU With CoreAVC When playing back H.264/MKV 1080P. FFmpeg is over 85%.
I'll probably be looking at a X2 5400+ for XBMC when the time comes.
For those who already have everything on NAS and are prety much just looking for a small/quiet/cool playback unit, these SATA DoM (Disk on Module) units may be of interest to you: http://www.milesie.co.uk/shop/asp/product1.asp?Product=672
Any word of what size disk footprint XBMCL will have?
On the subject of GFX cards, bottom of the range retail cards will genrally have very bad v-sync, causing image tearing all the time. The 7300GS cards are awful and I would avoid them like the plauge.
Would be interested to hear from anyone who's got a mobo that's got onboard gfx with HDMI out as to whether they suffer any sort of tearing on movie playback, as this is one of the options I'm considering for my XBMCL box.
- gosquad - 2007-11-20 17:50
I recently purchased a Shuttle SN68PTG5 barebones box with an AMD 6000+ CPU specifically for XBMC. I got the AMD version because the CPUs are cheaper and because it has a built in Nvidia 7050 card with HDMI out.
Sound through HDMI currently doesn't seem to be supported under ubuntu, so I've been using the spdif port.
I have had no problems with tearing on my collection of SD, 720 and 1080 encodes. Like your experience with the 6000+, 1080p under XBMC pushes the CPU to close to 100%. I only have one 1080p file, and it seems to play fine with 0 dropped frames. (running under mplayer uses a lot less cpu, though).
One small thing I did was replace the stock fan with a Zalman 90mm fan. It's a lot quieter and even running under full load, I've had no drastic problems with heat. Overall very satisfied.
- bripeace - 2007-11-22 06:48
I built a box for this just recently:
ABIT AN-M2HD AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 7050PV HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
AMD Athlon X2 BE-2400 Brisbane 2.3GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADH2400DOBOX - Retail
Transcend AxeRAM 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TX800QLJ-2GK - Retail
SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Microsoft A9O-00007 WinXP Media Center Infrared Remote Control
At first the 2400 could play 720 h.264/mkv stuff okay... very little stuttering full cpu usage though completely unplayable with vsync (audio was fucked). I overclocked it about 10% and that got it down to flawless playing even with vsync @ about 100% cpu. I then overclocked it to 20% and it plays any 720p content @ 60% cpu with vsync and all. Also despite it being overclocked 20% it still is running on stock retail cooling very quietly 2 32 degrees celcius.
All around this is a great chip and a great system. I just need to add in a quiet sata dvdrom for watching dvd's and I'm set. Even set it up so it boots directly to XBMC so the wife can use it.
- rodalpho - 2007-11-25 03:42
My old Xbox is on its last legs; it intermittently refuses to start up, flashing orange and red lights. I give it a shake and mess around with the cables and it resusitates, but clearly I've got to move on. So it's time for XBMC-Linux. I was thinking about the following configurations from newegg, using an old EIDE hard drive I've got lying around for storage. I stream most stuff from my desktop over SMB anyway.
$099 CASE: antec NSK2480
$065 MOBO: MSI P6NGM-FD GeForce 7100 micro ATX
$130 CPU: C2D E4500 2.2Ghz
$048 RAM: 2GB DDR2-800
$030 DVD-R: sony 18x DVD+-R
$039 REMOTE: MS MCE remote + IR receiver
or this config with AMD
$099 CASE: antec NSK2480
$075 MOBO: biostar tf7050-m2 AM2 geforce 7050PV micro ATX
$120 CPU: Athlon64 X2 5200+ AM2 2.7Ghz
$048 RAM: 2GB DDR2-800
$031 DVD-R: pioneer dvr-212dbk
$039 REMOTE: MS MCE remote + IR receiver
Which one would work better for XBMC-Linux? And does XBMC really need this much horsepower to play HD material? These aren't exactly low-end computers. Obviously the cheaper the better, but I want to get something that really works.
Speaking of which, is XBMC on linux really usable yet? I've built computers from scratch for years and I've worked as a linux sysadmin, so those aren't issues for me. I just need it to stream media and reliably play everything that XBMC on xbox does. Reliably being an important point.
- BLKMGK - 2007-11-25 04:12
The reason why such high performance setups are being specc'd is becasue the state of video acceleration on Linux vs Windows is so poor. http://xboxmediacenter.com/wiki/index.php?title=Hardware_Accelerated_Video_Decoding is a pretty good explanation as to what's going on. Drivers on Windows accelerate lots of different codecs, not so on Linux where you might only get MPEG2.
So when someone says they "shouldn't" need a powerful CPU for this because the same file on Windows only uses 30% CPU they don't realize that it's because their GPU is doing most of the work. You cannot use performance on Windows as any sort of basis for how it will work in Linux, at least not until the vendors get their act together and give the developers the acceleration that's needed. They have the knowledge it seems since they did it for Windows, I don't understand why it isn't also also done for Linux. <sigh>
In the meantime the heavy lifting is going to have to be done by the CPU, just as it was on the original XBOX hardware. That means FAST cores and probably more memory. Such is life.
If this were being done for Windows the heavy lifting part of video would be easier but the flexability would be FAR less. <shrug> Personally I'm THRILLED they are as far along as they are and while not a Linux wiz I'm going to play with this while waiting and hoping for an easy to install distro version. When they tell me what hardware to use I WILL buy it!