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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After seeing how mixed my results have been with nVidia 8200 IGP (ie. full-screen flash falls flat on the floor), I was wondering about results using Intel X3100 graphics (the Dell outlet is having a sale on the Studio Hybrids again).


As they say it what you don't know that you don't know that kills ya...


I know (now) to look at full-screen Flash.. some Googling ( http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FP-114 and http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=280138 ) suggests the X3100 may do better than my 8200 with this... but again, I'm wondering if there is anything I'd expect to be just fine, that isn't.


These posts suggest problems tho...:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...el/+bug/252094
http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12284
http://kubuntuforums.net/forums/index.php?topic=3099667


So it looks like Ubuntu is out unless I want to use Hardy (my linux experience is eerily like Windows.. for best performance I have to use the previous version of OS, and previous version of graphics drivers (173 on the nvidia side)
)


So it appears the X3100 is just as ugly of a ball of wax as the nvidia 8200 ?


I begin to wonder, what *does* work in linux ?!?!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zim2dive /forum/post/15505946


I begin to wonder, what *does* work in linux ?!?!

Lots of stuff- in fact, probably more hardware works in a given recent vintage Linux distro than in any one version of Windows-

http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2008/10...re-device.html


..it's just that you've had bad luck with your choice of hardware and the constraints of the commercial Acer X1200 box you're using.


I think most Linux people here and elsewhere use machines they built themselves, from parts known to work after doing some Googling and avsforum research.


From your recent posts in this forum, to summarize your issues:


1) HDMI audio won't work with Nvidia drivers less than 180.xx beta


2) When you use Nvidia drivers 180.xx, Flash fullscreen streaming performance is unacceptable, so you use Nvidia driver 173.xx instead, which doesn't support HDMI audio output


3) 6 channel analog audio out was troublesome, unclear if you got it to work with the suggestions at the end of that thread.


4) The Acer X1200 uses low profile slots/cards, and you don't want to buy low profile sound card and/or video cards known to work well in Linux, like

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125095


I never expected HDMI audio to get working on Linux until sometime this year- didn't it take until sometime in 2008 (i.e. within the last 12 months) for HDMI audio to get stable and easy to work in Windows? I usually expect 12-18 months lag for Linux support to be enabled for random hardware, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer.


Getting just SPDIF working in a simple and stable fashion on Win98SE and XP from 1999-2003 was no simple task, either



I don't have experience with Intel GPU's...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well yeah, I know I was stuck with the Acer X1200 (and the miserable nvidia drivers for the 8200 IGP).. that's why I was looking at other options.


Maybe I'm missing a case-style (I'm new to the idea of building my own), but it seems to me that once I got something that could accomodate full-size card, I'm getting bigger than I wanted to... maybe not.


was trying to get a small-ish machine... the Studio Hybrid certainly qualifies.. I don't need any PCI slots (no interest in TV tuners, etc)... as such that means I'm looking at IGPs, b/c in theory, they should perform all the tasks I need and quite well (and for the most part, have for 2 or more years) and have very acceptable performance with the uses in Vista and Mac OS X (granted this is just the Intel IGPs). The Mac Mini I was using before this experiment ran circles around the performance I'm getting with my 3-years-newer hardware under Ubuntu 8.10. Both supposedly lower-end IGP solutions, but hey, that is enough for my needs, assuming the drivers are the equal of their cousins for the other OSes.


What I'm seeing tho is that the most obvious current (but definitely not bleeding edge) IGPs appear to be in bad shape.. the Intel IGPs (at least under Intrepid), the nvidia IGPs for AMD (8200/8300), and not sure how the most bleeding edge (9300/9400) are doing for Intel (the little I've seen suggests that ironically they may be the best supported of the bunch even tho also the newest...)


So for a small machine, I'm not seeing great options (except the 9300/9400).. I don't know that I've seen any machines coming from a PC manuf yet with these, so that would be a roll-your-own path.


so my preference was to look for IGP solutions, and here I am doing research so I don't end up with the same lousy performance that I see now.


And yeah, I could buy a replacement sound (PCI or USB), but then the next time I have graphics issues you guys will bust on me for being stuck back at 173 and not using the newest drivers.. so I won't be able to get any benefits of the other improvements until/if they fix whatever they broken in the 173->177 change. So the bottom-line message there is that sticking with the 8200 seems like a bad idea. so again, I'm trying to see what else exists.


EDIT: that 7200 doesn't work well for me b/c it has no digital audio out. And in general, from the several searches I did, there are very few (any?) low-profile video cards that do, either integrated as HDMI, or in parallel with a DVI connector. I did make an effort to look several weeks ago (I think having to add low-profile in to my search terms probably doesn't give optimal search engine results.)


EDIT2: and then I have the impression I'd have to start figuring out what the 220W power-supply in the X1200 can and cannot handle.. simply far dirtier than I thought I'd have to get my hands on this little adventure.


EDIT3: there are a few at newegg, low-profile HDMI.. mostly AMD.. would prefer to stick with the devil I've gotten to know (nvidia), but then my 1st google search for http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125232 suggests similar issues.. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ee/+bug/275107 only one nvidia option.. at $70, I'd rather sell the machine and get something that I'm sure will work, will fit, and not overtax my PS, nor over-heat the small case and create fan noise.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zim2dive /forum/post/15509014


Well yeah, I know I was stuck with the Acer X1200 (and the miserable nvidia drivers for the 8200 IGP).. that's why I was looking at other options.


Maybe I'm missing a case-style (I'm new to the idea of building my own), but it seems to me that once I got something that could accomodate full-size card, I'm getting bigger than I wanted to... maybe not.

.

I really like this case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...master&x=0&y=0


It's the smallest case physically possible while allowing a full ATX motherboard and stock ATX power supply, yet in no bigger than my Pioneer 3 disc DVD changer from 1990. I just installed it in my den media rack, with an X2 4200/ 1GB/ 7100GS/ Ubuntu 8.10 / Mythbuntu on top. Full-screen streaming Flash plays very well and apparently full framerate, with only minor tearing (depending on site), though with very high CPU usage, but not clipping either core. I don't think a normal user would think there was a practical difference in Flash playback on this rig vs Windows, as most normal people wouldn't check CPU usage while playing- still no excuse for Adobe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb /forum/post/15515864


I really like this case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...master&x=0&y=0


It's the smallest case physically possible while allowing a full ATX motherboard and stock ATX power supply, yet in no bigger than my Pioneer 3 disc DVD changer from 1990. I just installed it in my den media rack, with an X2 4200/ 1GB/ 7100GS/ Ubuntu 8.10 / Mythbuntu on top. Full-screen streaming Flash plays very well and apparently full framerate, with only minor tearing (depending on site), though with very high CPU usage, but not clipping either core. I don't think a normal user would think there was a practical difference in Flash playback on this rig vs Windows, as most normal people wouldn't check CPU usage while playing- still no excuse for Adobe.

Thanks for the suggestion.. I see in the newegg comments lots of concern still about which gfx cards can fit...(LOL, does this never get simple?)



Still from both an overall size and cost point of view, my inclination would be to go with IGP.. again, these do work well and have worked well for most HTPC needs for 2-3 or more years now on the Mac/Windows side. This saves 30-100-?? $$ on the gfx cost, allows a smaller case, a cooler case, and most likely less fan noise and power consumption. I'm not saying you can't build a very successful linux HTPC but my observation so far is that you have to pick and choose carefully, and so far the IGP route (for all its otherwise expected advantages) appears to be poorly supported at the current time (this is where you can prove me wrong by citing IGPs that don't have the massive performance issues seen with the nvidia 8200/8300 or the Intel IGPs under current Ubuntu).


This goes back to my suggestion in the other thread that there be a sticky that collects.summarizes what does/not work well in current systems.


From what I am reading, I just can't share your optimism about being able to build a system (that is optimal towards my goals)... if I'd wanted a full (ATX? still learning the case size lingo) size system downstairs, I cold haul my dualie-G4 down there, but wanted a small/quiet well-integrated system... I have been able to acquire such a system running either other major OS. But so far I am not able to find its equivalent that will run with acceptable performance under Linux. Again, I'm not puffing my cheeks, stamping my feet and holding my breath
I _want_ to be proven wrong.


Perhaps I should re-phrase or partition my question...


a) Is there any IGP that works well under linux (current distros)**

b) if not, what is the smallest case I can buy that allows me to use a graphics card that does have reasonable performance?


** I say curent distros, b/c the Intel IGP problem apparently surfaced only with an instruction type change in the newest distros, but I don't see how that its going to get better until the driver gets fixed and don't want to be stuck at a back-rev distro forever.
 

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a) Yes
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...e=&srchInDesc=


b) Already answered- the Apevia X-M500 will fit Nvidia 6xxx and 7xxx cards with reasonable sized heatsinks like

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130098
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125095
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814500031


With these GPU's you should see CPU utilisation as shown in the attached System Monitor screen grabs, which I just tested with the Digg Reel and Daily Show streaming feeds from their sites on my X2 4200/ 1GB/ 7100GS/ Apevia X-M500 rig. This is Flash 10.x, not 9.x. Flash 9.x numbers would be worse (i.e. more CPU, perhaps clipping). Ubuntu Hardy defaults to Flash 9.x, while Intrepid defaults to Flash 10.x. This X2 4200 rig is using Nvidia driver 177.82

http://revision3.com/diggreel/steaming/

http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-epi...isodeId=215298


Full screen Flash streaming video CPU usage is the left half of the CPU History, "normal" size Flash window in the browser on the right half.


Neither core is clipping. I am getting the same visual performance (but not CPU efficiency) as I did in XP, which also had occasional tearing during fullscreen Flash video playback while streaming (i.e. using Adobe's video playback plugins) on an equivalent X2 4200 rig.


Since X2 4200's (and faster) and 7xxx GPU's are practically free now, I don't consider this a showstopper for people moving to Linux any longer, though Adobe still needs to improve their Flash video algorithms to reduce CPU utilisation on Linux (and OSX).


There is no need for anything more than a 7xxx GPU on Linux for video playback at this time- put the extra money into the fastest dual core or quad core CPU you can afford instead. The new VDPAU stuff for GPU-assisted decoding of x/h264/VC1 and other codecs is still in the early development stages. All motherboards I've mentioned have a PCIe 16x slot, so wen the VDPAU stuff is ironed out, you can upgrade the GPU to a VDPAU-capable one (8400GS or higher, I believe) when the time comes. But putting the money into more CPU Ghz and cores can make up for the lack of GPU assist at this time.


While the 8200 GPU on your motherboard appears to be supported with VDPAU-
http://blog.mymediasystem.net/avchd/vdpau-gpu-list/


it will take more time for Nvidia and Adobe to fix the HDMI and Flash video issues you were having on the 8200.


I just purchased a MSI AM2+ K9N2GM-FIH Nvidia 8200 board for a new build. I never planned to even try HDMI audio out, and I have another PCIe card, a 7300GT/256MB, to use in case the 8200 has the same Flash performance problems you experienced- it may not, we'll wait and see whenever I get the time to build and test.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb /forum/post/15516254


While the 8200 GPU on your motherboard appears to be supported with VDPAU-
http://blog.mymediasystem.net/avchd/vdpau-gpu-list/


it will take more time for Nvidia and Adobe to fix the HDMI and Flash video issues you were having on the 8200.

Just to be clear (will look at the other mobo info late), Flash on the 8200 should not need VDPAU, nor even fixes from, Adobe.


nvidia provided VERY acceptable (or at least relatively) performance with the 173 driver.


177 and now 180 have degraded the performance to well beyond clipping, it is virtually lockup when choosing the more challenging Flash streams.... but these same streams seemed to play well enough in 173... so the only difference in that experiment is the nvidia driver. In that case I think we can ignore whatver bugs/shortcoming/etc Flash does or does not have. It is within nvidia's power to supply a driver that supports good Flash performance.. we know they can do this b/c they already have (in 173).. the question is what did they BREAK when the moved to 177/180 and why does the 8200 performs so much more badly than what are allegedly less GPUs from nvidia using the same 177/180 drivers. I think this squarely point *a* finger at nvidia (not all the fingers mind you, some may very well point to Adobe too)... but given the dramatic decrease in performance from 173 to 177/180, I suspect Adobe could release a perfect driver for linux and whatever nvidia has broken with regard to the 8200 would still render it incapable of adequate playback.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zim2dive /forum/post/15516586


Just to be clear (will look at the other mobo info late), Flash on the 8200 should not need VDPAU, nor even fixes from, Adobe.


nvidia provided VERY acceptable (or at least relatively) performance with the 173 driver.


177 and now 180 have degraded the performance to well beyond clipping, it is virtually lockup when choosing the more challenging Flash streams.... but these same streams seemed to play well enough in 173... so the only difference in that experiment is the nvidia driver. In that case I think we can ignore whatver bugs/shortcoming/etc Flash does or does not have. It is within nvidia's power to supply a driver that supports good Flash performance.. we know they can do this b/c they already have (in 173).. the question is what did they BREAK when the moved to 177/180 and why does the 8200 performs so much more badly than what are allegedly less GPUs from nvidia using the same 177/180 drivers. I think this squarely point *a* finger at nvidia (not all the fingers mind you, some may very well point to Adobe too)... but given the dramatic decrease in performance from 173 to 177/180, I suspect Adobe could release a perfect driver for linux and whatever nvidia has broken with regard to the 8200 would still render it incapable of adequate playback.

I will post my 8200 tests once I get the K9N2GM up and running, which may take a few weeks.


I hope you are posting your test results over at Nvidia forums so Nvidia developers are aware.


Be sure to post exact driver rev, Xorg version, Linux kernel version and other relevant details.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb /forum/post/15517000


I will post my 8200 tests once I get the K9N2GM up and running, which may take a few weeks.


I hope you are posting your test results over at Nvidia forums so Nvidia developers are aware.


Be sure to post exact driver rev, Xorg version, Linux kernel version and other relevant details.

There are several 8200 threads there and I have emailed a bug report to the dev email addr.. but have not seen a single response from anyone inside nvidia
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zim2dive /forum/post/15517057


There are several 8200 threads there and I have emailed a bug report to the dev email addr.. but have not seen a single response from anyone inside nvidia

I've been following your back-and-forths over there, and I, too, find this surprising. My guess is that they've been mostly focused on vdpau-specific issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster /forum/post/15517091


I've been following your back-and-forths over there, and I, too, find this surprising. My guess is that they've been mostly focused on vdpau-specific issues.

yeah, I just hope the 8200 isn't too old for them to worry about vs. the snappy new features they are adding (Which are great..just not sure they will have any relevance to my 8200 if this underlying issue isn't fixed 1st). A little concerned b/c I do see official nvidia folks chime in on a lot of other threads.. nothing on any of the 8200 threads.. not even just something simple to say they hear us but won't be able to work on it until XYZ...


shrug, only time will tell (and/or I'll junk this thing and try something else)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster /forum/post/15517743


Absolutely. That's the only setback for an otherwise perfect board like this --> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128360

Beautiful board- I assume the Linux ATI video driver doesn't support HDMI audio out yet?


Is the on board audio chip, Realtek ALC889A, supported well in Linux, at least SPDIF out?


If the board is supported in Linux other than its GPU, I'd go for it and slap a low cost Nvidia 7xxx PCIe GPU in there. When ATI improves driver support for the on board GPU and enables HDMI audio out, you could then take out the PCIe card.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb /forum/post/15517884


Beautiful board- I assume the Linux ATI video driver doesn't support HDMI audio out yet?


Is the on board audio chip, Realtek ALC889A, supported well in Linux, at least SPDIF out?


If the board is supported in Linux other than its GPU, I'd go for it and slap a low cost Nvidia 7xxx PCIe GPU in there. When ATI improves driver support for the on board GPU and enables HDMI audio out, you could then take out the PCIe card.

I don't think the video driver has anything to do with HDMI audio, but that's the same chipset that I have, and although I haven't tested it, I'm pretty sure it works (seems like I've heard of other people using it).


Also, from one of the reviews:
Quote:
I'm running OpenSuse 11.1 - 64 bit and it installed perfectly - everything works including the built in sound card and ATI graphics card.

The 780G/SB700 chipset is rock-solid in linux.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster /forum/post/15518213


I don't think the video driver has anything to do with HDMI audio, but that's the same chipset that I have, and although I haven't tested it, I'm pretty sure it works (seems like I've heard of other people using it).

At least with my nvidia 8200 the video driver is directly related to the hdmi audio... ie. with 173 I get good Flash, no HDMI audio.. with 177.80 I get 2-ch audio (and bad flash), with 177.82 I get 5.1 audio, etc.


I have the ALC888 on my box, and saw a fair # of posts about the ALC889A getting recognized incorrectly with alsa when doing my research to get my ALC888 working.. I can't quite convince Google to give me a clear picture of whether this has been rectified in the newest alsa...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zim2dive /forum/post/15518364


At least with my nvidia 8200 the video driver is directly related to the hdmi audio... ie. with 173 I get good Flash, no HDMI audio.. with 177.80 I get 2-ch audio (and bad flash), with 177.82 I get 5.1 audio, etc.


I have the ALC888 on my box, and saw a fair # of posts about the ALC889A getting recognized incorrectly with alsa when doing my research to get my ALC888 working.. I can't quite convince Google to give me a clear picture of whether this has been rectified in the newest alsa...

I can't find the thread where you said which board you're using, but you can search through the alsa bugtracker here --> https://bugtrack.alsa-project.org/al...l_bug_page.php
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster /forum/post/15518213


I don't think the video driver has anything to do with HDMI audio, but that's the same chipset that I have, and although I haven't tested it, I'm pretty sure it works (seems like I've heard of other people using it).


The 780G/SB700 chipset is rock-solid in linux.

..then what is the current "set back" you referred to re: ATI drivers on this board?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb /forum/post/15518739


..then what is the current "set back" you referred to re: ATI drivers on this board?

Video playback quality (for now
), although the new foss driver supposedly reduces tearing significantly. I'll prolly test it out after I move (1st wk in feb).
 
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