Hardware for Linux and XBMC - Printable Version
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- 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...
- 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.
- 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 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.
- BLKMGK - 2007-11-30 20:01
Ben doing som emore research... I'd pretty much decided on a nice CHEAP Intel based board that had GMA X3000 onboard until I looked more closely at the Wikipedia regarding it's capabilities http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_GMA#Linux
It seems only the LATEST GMA chipset will handle OpenGL 2.0 So back to the drawing board. Still more research and I found that some Myth users are having issues with overscan on the 8x series of cards and that supposedly it wasn't adjustable as it was with the 7x series of cards. From what's been posted here perhaps that has changed but being a neophyte I'm not willing to go too far off the beaten track for an unknown and possibly mythical performance gain. It would seem that a 7x series card is the way to go for me.
Integrated NVIDIA video is interesting but honestly their chipsets always seem to have some weirdo' quirk that bites me in the ass when I'm not looking. I've had this mostly on Windows but the poking around I've done has indicated that yeah they are supported but occasionally you have to "tweak" things. Tweaking is what I'm trying to avoid! Intel stuff seems to be pretty rock solid and while I might be able to do a system cheaper using such a board I'd prefer to just spend the money and skip any potential hassles - an extra $100 or so won't break the bank. Oh and it did seem interestnig to me that so many of the UbuntuMyth guys run AMD CPUs, from what's been posted here and elsewhere I'd think a C2D would be preferred for HD. They do say 3Gig minimum though
Personally I REALLY look forward to when this is more finely tuned and we can just buy a specific hardware setup and install it ala KnoppMyth Until then I'm willing to work with what's available. I realize this is forging into uncharted\unsupported territory but I need something and this project is moving forward faster than I'd imagined with an interface I've come to love, I'm willing to spend some cash and try it.
Oh and as an aside, I and some friends finally managed to get an AppleTV to try and play some HD MKV files. Nope, not enough power on that puppy so I think that's dead as a hardware alternative. <sigh>
- rodalpho - 2007-11-30 20:59
Well, you can go with the integrated nvidia 630i chipset and then if it doesn't work like you want pick up a cheap PCI-E 8400GS for like fifty bucks.
They run AMD CPUs because until very recently they were much cheaper than intel. Now that the E4500 can be found for $120 or so, that's no longer the case at the mid-end. AMD is still cheaper at the low-end, but linux has no video acceleration so that won't help us out.
This is the video card I use in my shuttle - gateway69 - 2007-11-30 23:33
GeForce 8500GT PCI-E 256MB GDR2 3PORT DVI TV Out HDMI Passive Cool
It seems to work well, its fanless and does the proper resolutions on my big screen.
- BLKMGK - 2007-12-01 01:05
You are a bad bad man! That's damned cheap and passive too <sigh> Even cheaper at NewEgg too!
No overscan issues? Any install problems? I ASSume you are using the NVIDIA closed source drivers yes? Now to choose a M/B, I thinkthis is a pretty convincing video card! This card takes audio to the HDMI too if you connect it to the motherboard. I've seen it stated that Linux doesn't support audio via HDMI but will it with the S/PDIF connected this way?:confused2:
- BLKMGK - 2007-12-01 03:31
Just for grins I loaded this on another machine of mine. Faster that the laptop but not real fast and single core. It also has a Riva TNT card in it so also not up to spec. This loaded up pretty well and was usable! I was able towatch SD vid pretty smoothly but HD MKV files pegged the CPU and it jittered - duh 12FPS. Impressive though I think! The XBOX would puke when it tried this same file
A friend was also convinced to try it with a 6x series card in his machine, CPU unknown. It ran better for him than me but also CPU bound. Playback would get dorked if you paused and restarted too - the playingwindow would act as if you had a windowed the app it looked like. Not sure this is ready to replace my old XBOX but I will build one and play. I think some of the screwiness is due to playing on the keyboard trying to figure controls out
Hats off to the devs! This might not be perfect but it sure is a nice preview of things to come IMO. I'm stoked
What are folks using as an IRDA receiver\remote? I have an MCE keyboard and remote, have to find it's receiver though. Good enough? XBOX remote maybe?