Intel GMA graphics - any good for hi-def? 1920 x 1080 @ 50/60hz

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at
Wed Feb 21 04:23:10 PST 2007

On Wed, 21 Feb 2007 17:29:14 +1000 "leon zadorin" <leonleon77 at>

> On 2/21/07, Stroller <linux.luser at> wrote:
> > I don't mind splashing out for a decent Core2Duo processor but as I
> > read it, with all the other possible demands upon a system, even
> > these can struggle with HD playback if hardware acceleration is not
> > enabled. The common MythTV solution is to use a nVidia card & their
> > binary drivers with XvMC enabled.
> >
> > I believe that the X3000 can do hardware graphics acceleration, but
> > I'm not clear what the driver support is like for that?
> I have had a bit of a play with HDV/DV playback (albeit in a
> collaborative context):
> and
> and as far as software rendering goes - it has been out of the
> question in my experience (e.g. CPU can't hack it when rendering
> 25fps, 1920x1080 with Imlib2 an AMD Opteron box)... [DV is ok though-
> macmini running linux and rendering in software on X server powered by
> i810 driver]

i am sure have managed 25fps 1920x1080 - i can't notice dropped frames. via
emotion +evas in software rendering - as long as you do NO scaling. the yuv->rgb
is very fast in software (there is a hardware pipeline too if using the gl
engine). this is on my core 2 duo 1.83ghz - it does use 120-140% cpu (being
dual core it can push up to theoretically 200%). X itself uses about another
25% cpu just copying the xshmimages to the screen. there's headroom there - but
it's pushing it.

so it is possible to do in software... just, given optimal code and a fast(ish)
cpu. 1.83ghz t5600 core 2 duo isn't top of the line by any stretch as it's just
a laptop. using gl fragment shaders to do yuv->rgb does definitely drop cpu.
cpu for the decoder drops to 60-90% cpu (on the same box) with x cpu usage
nowhere in sight.

> For hardware accelerated rendering (e.g. Xvideo exetnsion support in X
> server; OpenGL, last time I checked, was not as fast in terms of
> colorspace conversion [e.g. from 420 planar to rgba]) I have found the
> following:

definitely is fast enough - nv6600gt on with fragment shaders do a great job :)
this also lets you overlay, alpha blend, underlay and do all sorts of extra fun
with the video with no real limitations (unlike xv with yuv422 etc.)

> Most cards support "Overlay" adaptor in Xvideo (this, however is not
> always present on some of the newer nvidia chips) and this overlay
> adaptor is OK but only if you want to play 1 video stream per whole
> computer system. If you want to display multiple video streams/images
> at once - you need either the blitter or texture adaptors in Xvideo
> support (or you can "collate" different streams into 1 logical display
> window - nothing short of being programmatically insane). This is
> where the "stable" i810 Intel driver was letting me down :-) [can't
> wait to start playing more with modesetting branch when I get the time
> to do so]...
> So it is, I guess, more about what kind of hardware acceleration
> support you need...
> given that XvMC is a typicall config for your app (afaik XvMC was not
> designed to do multiple streams decoding well, as it has a limited
> number of "hardware" surfaces and it uses those for "inter-frame"
> decoding processes of a given stream) you probably won't care about
> displaying more than 1 stream per system... having said this, AMD
> opteron 64 (dual cpu, dual core, running in 32 bit mode) or MacPro
> (core 2 duo, dual CPU) have no trouble decoding (NOT rendering) HDV
> streams in software (libavcodec) - with single stream decoding only
> taking ~32 (macpro) or ~41 (AMD) percent of a single logical cpu
> (given that there are 4 of these, theoretically one may be able to
> decode 8 HDV streams... - I don't have enough cameras to test this :-)
> Whilst on the subject, if anyone out there has done rendering/playback
> of 1920x1080 video streams on latest of intel drivers (using texture
> adator in XV extension) - would love to hear about their experience (X
> server's cpu load, achieved frame rate, image-tearing issues [e.g.
> effeciency and possibility of "lock to VBlank" features])...
> Kind regards
> Leon Zadorin.
> _______________________________________________
> xorg mailing list
> xorg at

------------- Codito, ergo sum - "I code, therefore I am" --------------
The Rasterman (Carsten Haitzler)    raster at
Tokyo, Japan (東京 日本)

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