Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

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Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby catalin-ch on Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:38 am

I'm looking into building a low cost DIY NAS based on an Intel Atom D2700 (2x2.13 Ghz, 4 threads) or Intel Atom D525 (2x1.8 Ghz) CPUs and the maximum supported of 4 GB RAM running full Linux OS. Do you have any experience running Linux on these or similar processors and will they be capable to do on-the-fly HD video remuxing (not transcoding) to stream to my PS3 or TV?

Would you recommend Linux Mint or Ubuntu and would they have included support for these relatively new CPU/motherboards? How easy are Mint or Ubuntu to operate remotel via GUI from another computer in the home network ("headless" server I think they call it)?
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby DrHu on Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:28 pm

http://www.ps3mediaserver.org/forum/vie ... 3&start=10

http://www.linuxtech.net/features/intel ... rview.html
http://liliputing.com/2010/01/nvidia-io ... pared.html
    Probably is more dependent on hardware than the OS
    --if HD demuxing works, then and apart from checking a specific board/model number and Linux support modes/graphics issues will tell if it can handle the graphics you want ! for Linux
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby catalin-ch on Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:25 pm

Thanks for the links however A)they concern older CPU not these that i have in mind and B) they don't answer how Linux runs on it. Hoping that someone on here has personal experience with them.
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby Oscar799 on Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:45 am

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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby AlbertP on Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:16 am

D2700 contains PowerVR graphics - which does not work very well. You'd better use the D525 which has Intel GMA 3150 graphics built-in.
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby minties on Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:33 am

AlbertP wrote:D2700 contains PowerVR graphics - which does not work very well. You'd better use the D525 which has Intel GMA 3150 graphics built-in.


From what I've read, the GMA 3650(PowerVR graphics) doubles the GPU performance of the GMA 3150. The 3150 couldn't even come close to the performance of AMD's Zacate APUs, and thus Intel had to use PowerVR graphics to boost GPU performance. It's still not good enough to match Zacate, but it's a hell of a lot better than GMA 3150. That's what I've read.

I have the Atom N2600 in my netbook, which is the latest generation 32nm CPU. It has the integrated GMA 3600 GPU(also PowerVR) and uses a mere 3.5W. I am running Mint 13 Mate 64 bit with 1GB RAM. The netbook runs Mint fine. Based on my CPU, I would advise you not to expect too much performance from an Atom. However the D2700 does use 10W, and it runs 500Mhz faster and has a slightly better GPU, but I'd dare say the performance wouldn't be much different from my N2600. Muxing with an Atom? Personally, I wouldn't go there.
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby AlbertP on Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:40 am

Yes, on Windows it has better performance. But on Linux, GMA 3150 just works but the PowerVR graphics is a pain. Basically, you do not have any 3D acceleration and there are lots of issues with black screens.
For older Mints there used to be the EMGD driver but that driver is not well maintained. On Mint 13 it requires compiling your own kernel, and even then it sometimes doesn't work at all.
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby catalin-ch on Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:19 pm

AlbertP wrote:Yes, on Windows it has better performance. But on Linux, GMA 3150 just works but the PowerVR graphics is a pain. Basically, you do not have any 3D acceleration and there are lots of issues with black screens.
For older Mints there used to be the EMGD driver but that driver is not well maintained. On Mint 13 it requires compiling your own kernel, and even then it sometimes doesn't work at all.


Minties does say that he has the Power VR and it's working just fine with Mint 13, why would you argue with that?
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby catalin-ch on Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:27 pm

minties wrote:
AlbertP wrote:D2700 contains PowerVR graphics - which does not work very well. You'd better use the D525 which has Intel GMA 3150 graphics built-in.


From what I've read, the GMA 3650(PowerVR graphics) doubles the GPU performance of the GMA 3150. The 3150 couldn't even come close to the performance of AMD's Zacate APUs, and thus Intel had to use PowerVR graphics to boost GPU performance. It's still not good enough to match Zacate, but it's a hell of a lot better than GMA 3150. That's what I've read.

I have the Atom N2600 in my netbook, which is the latest generation 32nm CPU. It has the integrated GMA 3600 GPU(also PowerVR) and uses a mere 3.5W. I am running Mint 13 Mate 64 bit with 1GB RAM. The netbook runs Mint fine. Based on my CPU, I would advise you not to expect too much performance from an Atom. However the D2700 does use 10W, and it runs 500Mhz faster and has a slightly better GPU, but I'd dare say the performance wouldn't be much different from my N2600. Muxing with an Atom? Personally, I wouldn't go there.


A lot of useful information, thanks! About remuxing, there is one easy way to find out if you are willing to do an easy test for me. Do you have anything at home that you could stream to, like a PS3, XBOX or a DLNA TV? If so could you install PS3 Media Server on your netbook using the simple instructions located here (takes less than 5 minutes):

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ps3MediaServer

and try to stream a HD .mkv from your netbook? It will be automatically remuxed by the PS3 Media Server on-the-fly. Also valid for anyone with a similar setup reading this.
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby catalin-ch on Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:38 pm

After further consideration I am now more inclined to go with the Intel DN2800MT board featuring the newer Atom N2800 processor. The N2800 is 2x1.86 and features speedstep technology making it much more energy efficient than the D2700 while having almost similar results in the benchmarks according to this article:

http://compare-processors.com/intel-ato ... 2700/3508/

It has the same GMA 3650 graphics (PowerVR), praised by Intel. The board also has 3 PCI slots (2 mini, 1 full size) which I think is impressive for a mini ITX board. More info about the board here:

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ ... 800mt.html
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby catalin-ch on Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:42 pm

I found this on the ReadyNAS forum:

http://www.readynas.com/forum/viewtopic ... 76&t=63618

People report streaming and remuxing 1080p on-the-fly with the ReadyNAS Ultra 2 which uses the Atom D425 processor (single 1.8 Ghz).

Also came across this:

http://www.wegotserved.com/2011/05/18/a ... pc-server/

Hardware decoder and accelerator that plugs into a mini PCI. Anybody has experience with these?
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby AlbertP on Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:31 pm

catalin-ch wrote:Minties does say that he has the Power VR and it's working just fine with Mint 13, why would you argue with that?


Mintie perhaps does not use 3D acceleration. He uses Mate, which does not need 3D.
But if you want to run Cinnamon or Compiz you can't use PowerVR unless you get the EMGD driver installed. Which was doable on Mint 11/12, but very hard to get working on 13. For basic desktop usage it maybe works but for 3D, a GMA 3150 would be much better. That works out of the box.
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby minties on Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:07 pm

catalin-ch wrote:
minties wrote:Do you have anything at home that you could stream to, like a PS3, XBOX or a DLNA TV?


Unfortunately I have none of the above. :(

EDIT: But I am not particularly familiar with the concept of muxing, and the processing power that is required, so my comment about not using an Atom is based on my experience with my N2600, rather than my experience with muxing with an Atom. So the Atom may well be able to mux without problems. :D

EDIT 2: If you are not aware, for Atoms, N denotes netbook, D denotes Desktop. So N2600 is a netbook CPU, and D2700 is a desktop CPU(uses more power, has higher clock speed, and generally better graphics).
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby minties on Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:35 pm

AlbertP wrote:Mintie perhaps does not use 3D acceleration. He uses Mate, which does not need 3D.


I forgot to mention that as far as I am aware, there is no linux driver(yet) for the Intel GMA 3600/3650.

Have a look at my thread about the screen brightness problem due to lack of driver: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=104540
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby AlbertP on Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:32 am

If you use GMA 3150, you of course have a bit slower CPU, but you won't have all those graphics problems. You'll have out-of-the-box 3D acceleration, Cinnamon or Compiz is working, no screen brightness problems. What might happen is that it detects a second monitor which does not exist but you can easily disable that "laptop monitor" in System Settings > Monitors if it limits your screen resolution to 1024x768. Also, the bug has been fixed in the kernel, so future Mint versions won't detect the non-existent monitor anymore.
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby minties on Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:32 am

catalin-ch wrote:After further consideration I am now more inclined to go with the Intel DN2800MT board featuring the newer Atom N2800 processor.


Alot of DN2800MT owners not happy about lack of linux drivers in this thread: http://communities.intel.com/thread/291 ... 0&tstart=0
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby AlbertP on Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:37 am

The user "powerarmour" in that thread says the same: only 2D is kinda working, but not all resolutions are available. "Tomek" says the performance is next to useless.

It's quite clear from that thread how well GMA 3650 works on Linux. For some people it may be sufficient but GMA 3150 is cheaper and better on Linux. If you have a well-supported GPU like the 3150, you will also need your CPU less. The D525 is not a bad CPU, though it consumes a bit more power than N2800. Still, D525 based computers are very silent. And it has a single-core version D425 which works just as well.
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby catalin-ch on Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:03 am

AlbertP wrote:The user "powerarmour" in that thread says the same: only 2D is kinda working, but not all resolutions are available. "Tomek" says the performance is next to useless.

It's quite clear from that thread how well GMA 3650 works on Linux. For some people it may be sufficient but GMA 3150 is cheaper and better on Linux. If you have a well-supported GPU like the 3150, you will also need your CPU less. The D525 is not a bad CPU, though it consumes a bit more power than N2800. Still, D525 based computers are very silent. And it has a single-core version D425 which works just as well.


What if you plug in a full size or half size video card from a known manufacturer? Then you can bypass the onboard graphics and solve the issue correct? Option two would be to pick up a board from another manufacturer which would have the CPU I want but a different GPU. Issue is that the only N2800 boards I've seen so far are from Intel.
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby AlbertP on Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:19 am

@ catalin-ch: the GMA 3150 or 3650 graphics is built into the CPU, you can't get 3150 graphics on an N2800.

Indeed, using a seperate graphics card would help, as well as getting a board with integrated nvidia graphics. But that's far more expensive than a D525, and also consumes more power than a D525 + GMA3150 will ever do.

Or do you think GMA 3150 graphics is not enough?

Maybe you thought the D525 was an inferior CPU. However, its CPU part is not much slower than an N2800 (there's just 1% difference according to cpubenchmark.net, which I think is right as it's the same architecture on nearly the same clockspeed). The D2700's CPU part is of course a bit faster as it has a higher 2.13GHz clockspeed.
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Re: Itel Atom CPU/motheboard and Linux

Postby catalin-ch on Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:31 am

AlbertP wrote:@ catalin-ch: the GMA 3150 or 3650 graphics is built into the CPU, you can't get 3150 graphics on an N2800.

Indeed, using a seperate graphics card would help, as well as getting a board with integrated nvidia graphics. But that's far more expensive than a D525, and also consumes more power than a D525 + GMA3150 will ever do.

Or do you think GMA 3150 graphics is not enough?

Maybe you thought the D525 was an inferior CPU. However, its CPU part is not much slower than an N2800 (there's just 1% difference according to cpubenchmark.net, which I think is right as it's the same architecture on nearly the same clockspeed). The D2700's CPU part is of course a bit faster as it has a higher 2.13GHz clockspeed.


It's just that the GMA 3650 it's supposed to have 2x performance of GMA 3150 and I would hate to buy something today with technology from 3 years ago. D525 also missing HDMI out etc and fewer expansion capabilities, which are things that I want since they are now available at the same price.
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