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Re: small form factor recommendations

On Mon, Jan 15, 2007 at 06:47:56PM -0800, Marc Shapiro wrote:
> Andrew Sackville-West wrote:
> >I just wanted to follow up with my final decision for the sake of
> >completion. 
> >  
> >I finally settled on building my own box (who wouldn't?) using a Via
> >Epia SP-13000 mobo with .5G ram and an old 2.2G laptop HD I had lying
> >around (no local storage, all video will be saved on a server, so just
> >need a boot and basic software, no X). I put it all in a nice little
> >iStar S3 Storm Series box. 
> Out of curiosity -- are you doing any video processing on the new box?
> I plan on playing around with some robotics soon, and am considering 
> mini-ITX boards like the one you picked.  I am hoping to attach a camera 
> and use openCV to process the video.  Can the Epia SP-13000 handle 
> this.  Can any of the mini-ITX boards.  Any comments?

I'm running a pretty stripped down system on it right now and running
two webcams through motion. capturing at 320x240 with a pretty low
threshold for detected motion (I need to see motion a good ways away
from the camera). AFAICT, motion looks at frames from both cameras and
when it detects motion, it starts writing a .avi video of the frames,
it is continually processing the incoming frames looking for more
motion. I've watched it a bit in top and never seen it move above
about 20% cpu using those two cameras. 

It really depends on how heavy the processing is. The sp-13000 has a
via c3 processor running at 1.3ghz. I did some simple math running my
two cameras in the same setup on my desktop and successfully predicted
the cpu load. running 8% cpu load at x clock cycles on desktop worked
out to about 18% cpu load at 1.3 ghz. Came in pretty close. If you can
do the same sort of thing that might help you decide... test the setup
on a known sufficiently powered but architecturally similar machine,
and convert it to the specs of the epia. might get you something you
can wrap your head around. I know in the real world this doesn't
*really* equate, but it worked for me. 

Also, there are some more powerful mini-itx's out there. via's got one
that clocks closer to 2ghz I think. 

anyway, I know this wasn't helpful, but there it is.


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