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Is Linux better for elder machines? My case study.

Posted 04-30-2010 at 04:55 AM by AGer

Linux is for elder machines. Naturally, the term "elder" in this truism is to be understood as "less capable", not as "antique". The fact that any machine is less capable when facing a proper task makes things interesting.

Having Athlon 3500+ processor and R690 integrated video, my proper task is the 1080p video. My experience with it suggests that

1. The best player is MPlayer. That is, other options like VLC or KMPlayer (Windows only) are great until stressed to the limit.

2. Any composing, including Windows 7 aero, detriments video playback.

MPlayer can run videos at varying levels of ease:

A. Just runs out of the box.

B. Runs out of the box but complains that the system is slow in console. No visible signs of that.

C. The system is indeed slow and it is necessary to provide additional options to avoid problems like audio and video mismatch. None or minor visible distortions.

D. Even with speed-up options, the problems (mostly short image freeze) are easy to see.

Linux stands among some alternatives as follows:

Arch testing: A or B (depending on concurrent tasks?)

Slackware current: C

Windows XP: C

Windows 7: D

So, I have found that with Xorg 1.8 and radeon driver Linux is indeed better for elder machines. As 1.8 reaches more distros, I am likely to be in search of another proper task. Unless I prefer to admit that Linux is just better, naturally.
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