I'm putting together a living room PC for MythTV connecting via HDMI to my HDTV.
Taking into consideration all the exiting new graphics tech coming online at the moment (proper open source 2D/3D drivers, Gallium3D, KMS, Plymouth, VDPAU, VAAPI, XvBA, Latest OpenGL standards), what would be the best company to buy from and which range of chippery from that company?
Currently my choice would be something ATI R700 (any on board R700 chippies yet?) or R600 (780G w/ onboard 3200) based.
Well, if you can find a board with a recent Intel chip on it, by all means go for it. I was under the impression you wanted to buy a card for an existing motherboard.
In any case, Intel or NVidia, just make sure it's not an AMD/ATI
I'd suggest avoiding anything using Intel GMA 500 (Poulsbo). As it's not an Intel graphics chip, and documentation is non-existent as far as I know. The linux drivers are not updated(do a search on the dell mini 12, or just go to the dell website, notice the lack of Ubuntu 9.04).
I'm like you. I'm hoping the AMD drivers get better, but when your friends come over they aren't going to care about ideological crap... they will just see a bad product. I currently have an integrated Radeon 3200, but the drivers for my old computer with NVidia TI 4400( or something like that, maybe it's 4200) graphics have far less problems.
If you aren't going to play any games whatsoever then just stick with integrated intel chip(except for the GMA 500 as noted above), or go with NVidia.
I'd choose integrated Nvidia (like a 9400 or, I guess, Ion) or some sort of basic passive-cooled Nvidia card.
I've seen reviews of passive-cooled Nvidia 9500 GTs. I've seen reviews for passive-cooled 9400 GTs but they've usually just said "Get the 9500, it's only a $5 more" :-) I own a passive-cooled 8600 GT but I'm no longer using it.
Any of those GPUs and cards will be capable of VDPAU, which is what you really want, and they should be capable of CUDA and OpenCL too (which is what you'll want in the future, especially as Nvidia hasn't released its OpenCL driver yet).
Just so you know r600 r700 amd/ati cards and IGPs do not have 3d support yet but AFAIK already have Xv support so that may also be a not that bad choice for a MythTV box.
Considering all it would be better be to get intel right now but the price factor may be better on amd/ati.
intel has probably the worst HD playback (speed and quality wise) of any chipset and AMD's HD playback isn't much better especially when playing items like x264 HD content on a AMD IGP. Xv simply doesn't cut it for HD playback unless you couple it with powerful CPU otherwise you experience big frame drops as well as the headaches of video tearing.