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View Full Version : [xubuntu] Xubuntu VS XP for video performance.



ssouthparkk
November 6th, 2009, 06:20 AM
I am going to fix someone's OLD computer up so that it will play DVDs smoothly on their ~40" TV via VGA. It is my old PC I gave to them after I got a new one. It currently has XP, and the video is unwatchable on fullscreen, it is too slow. And this is from a FRESH install.

The specs are:

Model: HP Pavilion xt953
CPU: Pentium 3 1ghz
RAM: 256mb
Video RAM: 32mb

Yes, old PC from around 2000, came with ME, used it for a few years with XP, got a new one and gave it up to them. I was wondering if Xubuntu would be able to play their DVD and other videos smoothly on fullscreen. It sucks watching on a big TV when you just have to shrink the screen. No popcorn enjoyment there.:popcorn:

Also, what about Mythbuntu?

ssouthparkk
November 6th, 2009, 11:43 PM
Next-day bump.

angrboda
November 7th, 2009, 12:37 AM
hey there,
firstly (and don't get this the wrong way, please) with 9.10 just started there will be a lot of activity on the forum and answers may take a little longer so do have a little patience if you do not get immediate response... now for your question...
hmm... with a cpu like that and the relatively small amount of memory much depends on the graphics adapter. i have an old dell latitude c600 working as a multimedia-center using xubuntu 8.04. the dell's cpu is a pIII (1ghz) it has 512mb of memory and an ati m3 (16mb) for graphics. it works tolerably well when using the standard xv video-output in mplayer or xine etc, but chokes on any accelerated video methods. i find it good enough for my needs, however.

i tried watching movies using win2k on it once and found that considerably slower. so yes: it might be worth trying xubuntu. i can't say how much effect the smaller amount of memory will have, though...

i never tried mythbuntu, but xubuntu is specifically made for lower-end machines so i'd say xubuntu'd be the ubuntu-flavour of choice here.

ssouthparkk
November 7th, 2009, 01:22 AM
Thank you, and that's what I was thinking. That just plain video, no graphical rendering, would run better on Xubuntu than XP. I just wanted to get another opinion. ;)

And I put "next-day bump" just to point out that I wasn't rushing anything, that I waited a day. I wasn't trying to be rude and point out that I haven't gotten an answer in a day, rather that I waited a day to not be rude. ;)

jollysnowman
November 7th, 2009, 01:51 AM
I ran Xubuntu on an iMac G3. It has a 400mHz processor, and either 8 or 16mB for graphics (don't quite remember). It was a pain trying to watch fullscreen YouTube or Hulu, and that's with a 1024x768 resolution. From my experience, I don't know if you'd be able to run a 40" tv with that little firepower.

keithld
November 7th, 2009, 01:58 AM
Myself I think that video card is what's causing most the problems.. You can get a Radeon 3650 1G Ram for about $75 and that would make a world of difference... More RAM would also help alot...

ssouthparkk
November 7th, 2009, 02:35 AM
Yes, but this is my old PC I gave away, and I would buy myself a new card or more RAM before getting some for the people I gave the PC to. lol

I am just trying to help them out with what is already there. So I am going to give Xubuntu a try, and the resolution doesn't need to be too high, it's better than standard TV at 800x600 anyway. I just need to set the aspect ratio to 16:9. :)

EDIT:

Also, jollysnowman (http://ubuntuforums.org/member.php?u=939967), YouTube and Hulu videos in fullscreen is way more power consuming than playing a DVD on this PC. ;) (I know, it was once mine.) YT videos in full screen would skip and stop, but full screen DVD played fine.

I guess I should have mentioned this:
Their DVDs play fine in fullscreen (I mentioned playing DVDs smoothly in the first post, I meant MP4s on the HDD. D'oh!), it's the other, downloaded videos that play gittery. Mostly ones in MP4, Quicktime is very power hungry on old PCs. But Xubuntu's player, once the codecs are downloaded, should play them better, right?

(And they have no Internet, YT is no issue. They live in a rural area, and the only Internet they can get is satellite that won't play YT anyway, it's so slow and expensive... :( )

jollysnowman
November 7th, 2009, 03:32 AM
Yes, but this is my old PC I gave away, and I would buy myself a new card or more RAM before getting some for the people I gave the PC to. lol

I am just trying to help them out with what is already there. So I am going to give Xubuntu a try, and the resolution doesn't need to be too high, it's better than standard TV at 800x600 anyway. I just need to set the aspect ratio to 16:9. :)

EDIT:

Also, jollysnowman (http://ubuntuforums.org/member.php?u=939967), YouTube and Hulu videos in fullscreen is way more power consuming than playing a DVD on this PC. ;) (I know, it was once mine.) YT videos in full screen would skip and stop, but full screen DVD played fine.

I guess I should have mentioned this:
Their DVDs play fine in fullscreen (I mentioned playing DVDs smoothly in the first post, I meant MP4s on the HDD. D'oh!), it's the other, downloaded videos that play gittery. Mostly ones in MP4, Quicktime is very power hungry on old PCs. But Xubuntu's player, once the codecs are downloaded, should play them better, right?

(And they have no Internet, YT is no issue. They live in a rural area, and the only Internet they can get is satellite that won't play YT anyway, it's so slow and expensive... :( )

Ah, ok. Yeah, I wouldn't know about Xubuntu and DVDs haha. Since you seem optimistic, just give it a shot!

ssouthparkk
November 7th, 2009, 03:35 AM
Will do, and IF I remember (I should. lol) I will post results here. Through the magic of Google it may help someone else with the same issue. You have no idea how many times I used Google for help with Ubuntu and I was led to this forum and saved! :D

ssouthparkk
November 27th, 2009, 02:51 PM
Ok, I said I would comment back results. I now can.

Well, I didn't use Xubuntu because I couldn't find the disk, but I gave them Ubuntu. Although kind of glitchy on the machine when moving windows, and slow to open things such as "help", I am proud to report that the previously unplayable videos play full screen no problem.

So if anyone finds this page through Google, yes it is worth a try. Not much of a "benchmark" i have done here, but proof of concept that yes, video plays much better on older machines with Ubuntu. So if you are making an HTPC, you can save power and such with Ubuntu.

KeLa
November 27th, 2009, 03:21 PM
I had couple years ago a setup where cpu was Cyrix C3 800MHz and Via graphics and chips and memory 512MB. Running WinXP and used as multimedia center.
Connected to 32'' tv with tv video output and it played dvd's as normal dvd player.
So i say put more memory to the machine and you have excellent system there.
The memory is the key because too much of cpu time is spend to swap things.

ssouthparkk
November 27th, 2009, 05:52 PM
I had couple years ago a setup where cpu was Cyrix C3 800MHz and Via graphics and chips and memory 512MB. Running WinXP and used as multimedia center.
Connected to 32'' tv with tv video output and it played dvd's as normal dvd player.
So i say put more memory to the machine and you have excellent system there.
The memory is the key because too much of cpu time is spend to swap things.
Yeah, I tried to give them more RAM, but the 2 sticks I brought were 128mb. This being my old computer, I felt stupid that I forgot that it already had 2 128mb sticks. (I brought 2 to try another stick incase one didn't work.)

I thought it had one stick of 256mb, but it was 2 128mb sticks. I don't want to buy someone else more RAM, they will have to buy 2 256mb sticks and I will install it for them. :)

(Also, this PC has no AGP slot. And max RAM is 512. Do they even make standard PCI video cards? (non-PCIe x16))

cascade9
November 27th, 2009, 05:56 PM
Yes, theres still PCI video cards around. Low end only, but on a system that old, and with the bandwidth speeds of PCI, it wont matter.

KeLa
November 27th, 2009, 06:38 PM
That old system of mine had all in motherboard and only one pci slot where i had better tv card (used also as tv recorder) and all this with windose. (back then didn't try using linux on the system because of the cyrix chips lack of support in linux)
DVD drive was actually same as you can have in laptops, scrapped the system when my brother needed new cd/dvd drive for his old laptop :(