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Thread: htpc pcie card needed

  1. #1
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    Default htpc pcie card needed

    right gota go to bed soon after slaving over my new mythtv box project i have restarted now i have moved and have no channels what so ever!!!!



    now my mum in law (love her to bits) has given me as a present a 785G asus mboard by looking at the box for features. bad idea as the drivers need a hella a lot of work before this can start doing good playback let alone HD or bluray.

    so to bridge this gap im gonna have to get a pci E card to go into the media centre with enough grunt to negate the driver issue. my requirements are:-

    1) wanna stay open source driver if possible, after all xvba on catalyst is still a joke. also X just starts so much quicker and nicer on KMS

    2) wanna stay HD 4000 series as the 5000 are still not in a good support state (please correct me if im wrong),and the r600g/mesa classic are just going to get better over time, i wont be playing new games on this pc, just blu ray in time....

    3) would like it to be cheap as possible although a native hdmi is worth paying extra.


    so as i see it, no point going over a hd4670 and no point dropping to 320 streams to 80! (i think the igp has 40 hence the issue) and ending up with a cheap waste of money

    sooooo, will a HD 4650 hit the spot????

  2. #2
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    you gain nothing when you change from your igp to a dedecated ati. only way a nv 210 + binary driver.

  3. #3
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    If I was getting a HTPC card for Linux, I'd probably go with Nvidia... GT 240 but if you go with ATI, I'd go with a HD 4670 or even HD 5670.

    I'd probably take a risk and go with the HD 5xxx card but since the progress of features/functionality is really slow, your best bet is a HD 4670. I think that card is owned by some members on here.

    I checked and I found it in my area for about $60 (cheapest one).

  4. #4
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    Why would you spend 60$ for a card to run OSS drivers which you can run with your IGP as well? For mplayer/vlc with xv there should be no diff at all. And for xbmc i doubt that this will help much.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Why would you spend 60$ for a card to run OSS drivers which you can run with your IGP as well? For mplayer/vlc with xv there should be no diff at all. And for xbmc i doubt that this will help much.
    Oh, okay. I don't know how good the IGP cards run in Linux (right now) as far as wanting to use it for a HTPC.

    If one uses a Nvidia 210/220/240, do you get all the features with the binary driver? I've been wanting to upgrade my card for a while and I loaned my hardware out and probably will only get the CPU back! LOL!

    There's a 7950GT in it and I would like to use the 'recyling to family' as an excuse to get a new card! lol I use my computer to watch video/movies/youtube etc. so I thought I might even go for a htpc card that can run the odd game for now. I can always game later with another card if I raise the funds.

    So, I'm in the same boat as the OP. I would need a REAL GOOD reason to go with ATI. I assume Evergreen cards are a poor choice for htpc in Linux at this time and uncertainty for them for future revisions of drivers and also cutting off options if you want to use a more recent distro?

  6. #6
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    You can not even "try" xvba with evergreen. It just shows crap on the screen. As usual there are no official fglrx drivers for xserver 1.9 out yet. So you must really seek poison when you buy it now...

  7. #7
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    Well i have just confirmed it to myself, after shoving my desktop's HD4830 in for a test.

    time to go NV for the meanwhile, will have a look at GT210 that have native hdmi and hopefully passive coolers. assume that will do everything needed such as palyback, SD HD and then a bit of Bluray for future?

    shame though they are still more expensive then ATI still, here is hoping the binary blob is faster communicating with X in startup then fglrx.


    oh well, ATI just need to get it sorted or more likey the classic and Gallum driver start hooking up VAAPI....

  8. #8
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    It's no problem to play m2ts - even with xvba. But h264 l5.1 is also working fine with vdpau. It is very unlikely that you will find many bluray that play directly with linux, usually you need win for decrypting (it works in vbox however on the fly when you export the drive via smb).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by acreda View Post
    right gota go to bed soon after slaving over my new mythtv box project i have restarted now i have moved and have no channels what so ever!!!!



    now my mum in law (love her to bits) has given me as a present a 785G asus mboard by looking at the box for features. bad idea as the drivers need a hella a lot of work before this can start doing good playback let alone HD or bluray.

    so to bridge this gap im gonna have to get a pci E card to go into the media centre with enough grunt to negate the driver issue. my requirements are:-

    1) wanna stay open source driver if possible, after all xvba on catalyst is still a joke. also X just starts so much quicker and nicer on KMS
    As the local ati representative keeps saying... XVBA on desktop has not even officially ben released yet, so don't complain yet about video accelerated decoding. Also, your mixing up closed source and open source drivers. The closed source takes a little longer to load because your getting a lot more features out of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by acreda View Post
    2) wanna stay HD 4000 series as the 5000 are still not in a good support state (please correct me if im wrong),and the r600g/mesa classic are just going to get better over time, i wont be playing new games on this pc, just blu ray in time....
    HD 5000 works on linux just fine. It's just a pain to use with certain kernels because of the lack of support in kernel.

    Ubuntu 10.10 - No special steps (expected Final release 10/27)
    Ubuntu 10.04 - Requires xforce vesa parameter or safemode graphics until the fglrx driver is set, but once that is done it's golden.

    Quote Originally Posted by acreda View Post
    3) would like it to be cheap as possible although a native hdmi is worth paying extra.


    so as i see it, no point going over a hd4670 and no point dropping to 320 streams to 80! (i think the igp has 40 hence the issue) and ending up with a cheap waste of money

    sooooo, will a HD 4650 hit the spot????
    The number of stream processors really does not matter.... I would simply just simply suggest the HD5000 series as a good baseline for long term since it supports dx11 class graphics.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    Why would you spend 60$ for a card to run OSS drivers which you can run with your IGP as well? For mplayer/vlc with xv there should be no diff at all. And for xbmc i doubt that this will help much.
    I do agree, run the closed source drivers. Anyways, i suggest giving xbmc a shot. Use the xbmc-ppa-svn branch and you should be fine...
    https://launchpad.net/~team-xbmc-svn/+archive/ppa

    also, to keep the drivers up to date with some ease, look at the Ubuntu-x-swat ppa for handling the support of the fglrx driver updates.
    https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-x-swat/+archive/x-updates

    Quote Originally Posted by acreda View Post
    Well i have just confirmed it to myself, after shoving my desktop's HD4830 in for a test.

    time to go NV for the meanwhile, will have a look at GT210 that have native hdmi and hopefully passive coolers. assume that will do everything needed such as palyback, SD HD and then a bit of Bluray for future?

    shame though they are still more expensive then ATI still, here is hoping the binary blob is faster communicating with X in startup then fglrx.


    oh well, ATI just need to get it sorted or more likey the classic and Gallum driver start hooking up VAAPI....
    Yet again, mixing things up... the driver for video card based accelerated decoding is not even officially released on ati. as for most of the other stuff.... Your mixing up Closed source and open source. The open source drivers have not progressed far enough to have vaapi decoding.


    and on a final note (and a short rant)... I've been using ati on linux for years, and i will state this... You can decode the video all you want on cpu, it's just a matter of having enough processing power. A 720p HD video (1280x720) easily be handled on an on ddr based athlon 64x2 3800+ with a radeon x1900gt. The same video can also work on the Turion (Dual core 2ghz) laptop with radeon 3100 graphics and ddr memory. As for really high end video, namely HD 1080p (1920x1080), I don't know for certain if which chips can handle that, however I find my desktop at with an Athlon IIx4 (2.8ghz, but decodes just fine at 800mhz) is not very bad, although I'm using ddr3 memory. With this said, you should not complain about being unable to decode HD content.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by acreda View Post
    right gota go to bed soon after slaving over my new mythtv box project i have restarted now i have moved and have no channels what so ever!!!!



    now my mum in law (love her to bits) has given me as a present a 785G asus mboard by looking at the box for features. bad idea as the drivers need a hella a lot of work before this can start doing good playback let alone HD or bluray.

    so to bridge this gap im gonna have to get a pci E card to go into the media centre with enough grunt to negate the driver issue. my requirements are:-

    1) wanna stay open source driver if possible, after all xvba on catalyst is still a joke. also X just starts so much quicker and nicer on KMS

    2) wanna stay HD 4000 series as the 5000 are still not in a good support state (please correct me if im wrong),and the r600g/mesa classic are just going to get better over time, i wont be playing new games on this pc, just blu ray in time....

    3) would like it to be cheap as possible although a native hdmi is worth paying extra.


    so as i see it, no point going over a hd4670 and no point dropping to 320 streams to 80! (i think the igp has 40 hence the issue) and ending up with a cheap waste of money

    sooooo, will a HD 4650 hit the spot????
    The answer, which has been alluded to in the previous posts in this thread, is that the 785G has an AMD IGP (HD4200) with exactly the same UVD capabilities as any other HD4000/5000.

    As an HTPC, unless you're planning on using it for running 3D games (you're calling it an HTPC, so presumably you're just wanting the typical stuff, like video playback and web browsing), you will NOT gain anything from changing out that card with a discrete add-on.

    Your mother in law actually picked a very good mainboard for the purpose (too good, actually), even if it was just by luck. Throw in a low end X3 or X4 and you'll even be able to decode any downloaded 1080p content in software EASILY. I use an X2-4800 (2.4 GHz) in my HTPC and haven't found anything that it can't deal with "good enough" in software alone.

    Really, DON'T WORRY TOO MUCH about it. It'll do the job you want it to do, even with the OPEN SOURCE radeon driver. With the blob, you may even get some UVD happening.

    And remember: the cost of adding on a discrete video card will be MORE than the cost of a CPU capable of handling the work you want in software. You can get a decent X3 for ~$50 US. A discrete graphics card that is in ANY way better than the IGP you've got will DEFINITELY cost MORE than $50 US. Also, you may be able to unlock the 4th core in an X3, so $50 might get you a mediocre X4.

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