[Mplayer-users] DVR box - how much CPU

Stephen Davies steve at daviesfam.org
Mon Apr 30 14:36:02 CEST 2001


I'm starting to build my digital video recorder / dvd playback box.

Its been a while since I built my current PC and there's a lot of new
stuff out there.

I'm hoping to be able to capture and play video at the same time.  I
expect to need a Kfir card for hardware mpeg encoding for capture (though
I'd be pleasantly suprised if its not needed), but I haven't decided
whether to use a hardware mpeg decoder.

If I can do without a mpeg playback card, I'll use an XVideo supporting
video card, with rgb output to my TV.  A composite video output would be a
bonus.  Matrox card looks like a good choice with special support in

But with all this I don't want a box which needs heaps of whirring fans to
keep it running.  Looks like could easily end up with PSU and case fan,
chipset, processor and graphics chip fans... !  Be a shame if the movie
was drowned out by the noise of the box playing it.

Does anyone have any experience, suggestions or insight?

How much cpu power will I need to do DVD playback at say 30-40% CPU
usage with the current mplayer?

How important is cpu power relative to bus speeds, memory speeds?

Should I consider a dual processor system?

Can I underclock and lower cpu voltages to reduce heat and eliminate fans?

Sources of quiet fans?

Which chipset/processor puts out least heat for the performance?

Should I rather drop back the CPU power drastically and include a
hardware mpeg2 decoder?  (But then, what about non-mpeg2 video output?)

All these questions - you can tell I'm rather overwhelmed.  I this stuff
discussed somewhere already?


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