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[Discuss] Returned to the NVIDIA fold

After last month's Intel CedarView driver debacle, and at Tom's suggestion to
dig through the MythTV forum for comments about graphic cards, I chose a new
system.  The MythTV forums are relatively quiet on this topic, so I had to
make an educated guess.

The product I chose is the Zotac Zbox ID80, which is based on the same
processor (Intel's discontiued Atom D2700 2.13GHz); $234 or so at any of the
major online vendors.  It's got all the expected ports (including optical
S/PDIF which was missing from the Shuttle product) and includes an NVIDIA
GeForce GT 520M which is supported properly by the NVIDIA proprietary Linux
driver.  I got the system up and running (on my usual OpenSUSE 12.2 distro, no
fiddling with Ubuntu/Fedora/everything else like I had to last time) in about
30-40 minutes of effort; HD video playback uses about 6% CPU.

The one tiny downside with this product is that the extra GPU chip costs extra
electric power: I'm measuring 29 watts idle, 33 watts during TV playback.  If
only one could make the Shuttle product work (with the D2700's internal GPU),
then one could get power usage down to 13-14 watts.  My future 10-watt video
front-end solution will just have to wait for the future to arrive.


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