Asus EEE Is Fired
I've spent some time with the Asus EEE 1006. It was one of those almost there, maybe if I tweak... situations, and I've given up wasting time tweaking.
I have replaced it with a Lenovo X60, which has proved itself capable of 1080p fullscreen video with no issues. The Lenovo has a dual core Centrino Pro 2.0Ghz, more memory (4GB), just as quiet at least as far as I can hear, which is not very well. I threw a couple of large MKV files at it, played them flawlessly in the player of my choosing (VLC), which can't be said of the Asus.
When it's all said and done, I believe the real problem is driver support. The Asus (like the Lenovo), has a Radeon Mobility card. The problem here is that ATI does not release current reference drivers for their Mobility series due to pressure from laptop manufacturers. Unfortunately this means that features which work on a desktop part, like VLC GPU acceleration aren't available because the drivers are years out of date. The Lenovo can make up for this, just barely, with CPU power, the Asus, with its single core CPU, could not. NVidia seems not to restrict their driver releases in this way, so probably another Asus with an NVidia card would have worked just fine.
I believe that I'll stick with the laptop for a while until manufacturers start shipping reasonably powerful small PCs with BluRay drives. Hello! Apple! Asus! You listening? What the hell!
So now I have a EEE that does nothing. I think I'm going to use it to replace my Mac Pro as "Unixy machine I can get to from outside and test crap". We use the Pro rarely enough that having it sleep most of the time will probably make a pretty huge dent in the power bill. Maybe it will be enough to justify another EEE or Mac Mini in a few months when/if they include BluRay.
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Under windows I had good luck with mobility modder .
The modified driver it created worked flawlessly... Until the system died due to what looked like bad video memory. Could have been a coincidence?
I think the only change to the original driver was to under clock the memory due to poor cooling.
I was using an old gateway laptop that was long out of support. I am surprised ASUS would abandon driver support for the 1006 so soon.
Re: Catalyst drivers
As far as I could tell, Mobility Modder has been dead for a year and a half. VLC only started offering support for hardware acceleration after they stopped updating. In the forums, there were a few people posting later versions, but all I ever really got from it was a crashy machine. Eventually it just turned into time=money=I quit. I do know that if properly integrated with GPU acceleration, a media app /can/ play 1080p video, but the only thing capable of doing that was ArcSoft's media player, which sucks in countless other ways anyway.
If you know anyone who's in the market for a very small machine with HDMI out that does almost exactly what you'd want such a machine to do, let me know :-)
It should make a really good terminal server for me in any case.