Help picking a video card and other related gear
tevans.uk at googlemail.com
Tue Apr 14 02:51:06 PDT 2009
On Fri, 2009-04-10 at 01:29 -0400, grarpamp wrote:
> I could use some primary help with video issues.
> And secondary help on the motherboard.
> I've got seriously old gear and it's upgrade time :)
> I'm currently running 1280x1024 on 21" and I need more desktop.
> So I put together some minimum video things:
> 1) Freebsd, amd64 [for zfs and the future of things], xorg
> 2) DVI-I or DVI-D dual-link card for those 30" 2560x1600 displays
> 3) Well supported, _open_source_, in the tree, video card drivers:
> o I don't want to rely on the card vendor to release binary blobs.
> o I don't want to end up with a useless video card when
> xorg9/freebsd10 come around.
> o I don't care about the brand on the box as long as the right chips
> are soldered in place. Cheap works if it gets the job done :)
> 4) PCIe interface or integrated on motherboard.
> 1) Analog RGB output up to 1080p for feeding old school projectors
> and backup CRT monitors. I'm betting a single card could provide
> it via DVI-I or D-SUB15 with maybe an xorg mode switch? VIVO?
> 2) The ability to color calibrate one or both cards via the xorg
> driver would be useful. I can spyder it from a windows box so
> just having the xorg knobs would suffice. Does anyone do this
> under xorg?
> 3) A second connector off the same card for feeding a smaller
> secondary monitor at the same time.
> 4) Some sort of power save mode... LCD off, card idle, etc.
> I'm still shopping for motherboard and chipset. I don't think I'll
> find 2560x1600 dvi dual link on an integrated chipset? Thinking
> maybe AMD 790GX and AMD SB750 if FreeBSD likes it.
> I might as well go HTPC and stick an HDTV OTA ATSC / QAM tuner in
> there. And I'll eventually need to capture NTSC audio/video from
> dying analog sources somehow. VOIP/webcam, mplayer, dvd upscaling,
> etc. That's all 2D and largely CPU based afaik.
> CPU will likely be...
> amd: phenom x3 8450e, athlon x2 5050e or 5600+
> intel: core2 duo e4300, e4400, e4500
> All the integrated gig network, SATA, and USB must be in the tree
> and working well. Boot from USB needs to work. Same with sound.
> Though I'd like to play 3d games on freebsd, that interest does NOT
> override the above fulltime workstation requirements. I can always
> boot or build a windows toybox for that. So 3d support is only a
> bonus. I don't think it even exists open source in tree anyways?
> Just looking for hardware ideas... Thanks.
I think what you want is what everyone wants - and I don't think it
exists properly yet.
I spent the weekend playing around with some very cheap nvidia graphics
cards, playing with VDPAU. If you were wanting something very cheap to
decode and deinterlace HD MPEG4/AVC/H264, VC-1 or MPEG2, then this is
where it is at. With a £30 Geforce 8400 GS, I could decode/deinterlace a
1080i 22 MBps MPEG4 AVC stream, using 3-5% CPU (without acceleration,
70-90% CPU usage and occasionally dropped frames). Playing back 1080p
x264 content used 3-5% CPU (without accel, 100% CPU usage, 3-4 dropped
frames a second). This was with a 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo, 7-STABLE and the
nvidia 180.44 driver.
Obviously, being a nvidia binary blob, there are certain major downsides
(no amd64, no source code, no guarentee of support), but to get similar
performance from a software decoder would be impossible.
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