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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a Boxee fan and want to put together an HTPC around Windows. (the Windows build will eventually have Netflix thus the choice of Windows over linux)


Unfortunately this port doesn't support DXVA.


What's the recommended cpu for a system lacking any DXVA acceleration? It needs to be able to decode 1080 mkv's smoothly. There's a sticky on the subforum that suggests an Intel Duo E5200 will work. Is that accurate?
 

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I don't think so. I have an E7300 and when my DXVA isn't working, my MKV's run at about 70% CPU load... that's too high. It'll be smooth most of the time but any processes that start up will push it to 100% peaks and you'll get jumpy video.
 

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It all depends on how much load the CPU have to take on and how much it can offload to the GPU. With a proper chipset like the nVidia Ion, even a N230 single core Atom can handle BD, mkv playback with no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiz33 /forum/post/16906043


It all depends on how much load the CPU have to take on and how much it can offload to the GPU. With a proper chipset like the nVidia Ion, even a N230 single core Atom can handle BD, mkv playback with no problem.

I'm assuming that the cpu will take the full brunt. Hardware acceleration isn't an option in the Windows port of Boxee because it uses FFmpeg which doesn't take advantage of DXVA.
 

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"1080" isn't exactly well specified... it's just a resolution.


But I've played 1080p H.264 ~10-12Mbit/s MKVs on my E5200 without DXVA. Worked like a charm. I keep my system well maintained though, without a lot of extra crap running.


I mainly use DXVA though. Seems silly not to use it, power-, system load- and heat wise.
 

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It all comes down to what codec you want to use. If you want a codec that is built for DXVA so that you can use DXVA when it's possible then you'll most likely need a more powerfull CPU, but if you don't have a DXVA-capable gfx-card or just want to always use CPU then you can use a non-DXVA codec and you won't need a CPU that's as stron as in the other incident.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nengland /forum/post/16905850


There's a sticky on the subforum that suggests an Intel Duo E5200 will work. Is that accurate?

Yup, that's accurate. I just played a 1080p max 36Mbps MKV file with ffdshow Video Decoder and measured CPU usage with Performance Monitor. There is no room for inaccuracy. Of course it is assumed that no other (CPU intensive) task is running simultaneously. Those who think this assumption is unpractical may suggest another CPU, of course.


 

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You all are exactly right that you can get by with a less powerful CPU if you tightly control what processes are loading in your system. I'm sure that at least 20% of my CPU is just useless crap running in the background at times. Anybody have a good site to recommend on the best way to optimize this? I assume you just go through MSConfig and stop a bunch of crap from loading, but I'm not sure what stuff is important and what isn't.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by karakas /forum/post/16906175


It all comes down to what codec you want to use. If you want a codec that is built for DXVA so that you can use DXVA when it's possible then you'll most likely need a more powerfull CPU, but if you don't have a DXVA-capable gfx-card or just want to always use CPU then you can use a non-DXVA codec and you won't need a CPU that's as stron as in the other incident.

He isn't using external codecs, he is using Boxxee which uses ffmpeg.


Does anyone know if boxee uses ffmpeg-mt or regular ffmpeg?
 

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i cant play play mkv on a onboard video with no dxva support, on a dual core i get 80% or more cpu usage and i skip frames.


If i have a videocard i get only 50% or less and i dont skip


so dual core and videocard is key ,even if dxva isn't used
 

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Although I am not using Boxee I am using an e5400+G45 based m-board to act as both HD HTPC and a media server for a VMC extender and the other PCs in the house.


So far so good. No playback issues and it beats what it replaced; an old e6600 + ASUS P5W DH + nvidia 7600GT that was heating that side of the house & dimming the lights in the neighborhood
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr007 /forum/post/16910092


i cant play play mkv on a onboard video with no dxva support, on a dual core i get 80% or more cpu usage and i skip frames.


If i have a videocard i get only 50% or less and i dont skip


so dual core and videocard is key ,even if dxva isn't used

HT 3.0 (the bus connecting IGP and system memory = video memory) is crucial for smooth video playback with IGP in the AMD platform (if this is your platform).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nengland /forum/post/16905850


I'm a Boxee fan and want to put together an HTPC around Windows. (the Windows build will eventually have Netflix thus the choice of Windows over linux)


Unfortunately this port doesn't support DXVA.


What's the recommended cpu for a system lacking any DXVA acceleration? It needs to be able to decode 1080 mkv's smoothly. There's a sticky on the subforum that suggests an Intel Duo E5200 will work. Is that accurate?


On my TV HTPC I'm running XBMC (same as Boxee for all intents).


The CPU is an E5200 dual core, stock speed is 2.5ghz (2.4? I forget..).



When I was using the onboard Intel 3100 video, I needed to OC to 3.2ghz to get smooth playback of all bluray sourced mkv files (Dark Knight for instance).

Playback would use 80% of CPU.


I fitted an 8500GT video card, and CPU usage plummeted to ~50%. I no longer need to overclock.



As I'm using XBMC, no DXVA is being used.



So, I can tell you that an E5200 processor and 8500GT will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr007 /forum/post/16910112


u could wait till boxee gets dxva support,xbmc linux version got it already and there kinda of the same thing.

Right. Linux supports VDPAU. I really wanted a single box though for Netflix and Boxee and MKV's. Netflix is driven by Silverlight... that's not happening on Linux any time soon though.


The more I think about it.... it's easier to just get a Popcorn Hour and a Roku.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nengland /forum/post/16915787


Right. Linux supports VDPAU. I really wanted a single box though for Netflix and Boxee and MKV's. Netflix is driven by Silverlight... that's not happening on Linux any time soon though.


The more I think about it.... it's easier to just get a Popcorn Hour and a Roku.

popcorn hour sucks. I have been down that road. goodluck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mackworth /forum/post/16916268


popcorn hour sucks. I have been down that road. goodluck.

"sucks" isn't completely helpful. What about popcorn hour disappointed you? Was it lacking a key feature? Did it feel unpolished? Was it just not as geeky cool as a hacked together HTPC? If that road ends in disappointment then I'd like to avoid it!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nengland /forum/post/16917289


"sucks" isn't completely helpful. What about popcorn hour disappointed you? Was it lacking a key feature? Did it feel unpolished? Was it just not as geeky cool as a hacked together HTPC? If that road ends in disappointment then I'd like to avoid it!

As a software engineer, you can definitely tell that software people didn't create the software that runs the popcorn hour, hardware people did.


If you want something that will display some folders, the files in them, then go ahead get it. But if you want any type of media experience, the popcorn sucks. There is no polish on it, because there is nothing to polish.


If you want more of my ranting of the popcorn hour, there was a thread not too long ago about someone asking about it.
 
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