P4 video card upgrade to enable 1080P MKV playback? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-15-2013, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I have an old P4 dell computer I've been using to stream music to my WHA system with MC18. It currently has a PCI video card. I was thinking I could put a newish PCI card with HDMI, such as:

Zotac NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 512MB GDDR3 PCI

It is only around $50 so likely not too painful to try it out and if it doesn't work, oh well.

I believe the processor is P4 2.8Ghz, it has 4GB of ram and is running Windows XP.

My MKV blu-ray rips are full bitrate video and audio simply converted to the mkv container from the original disk.

Should I save my money and just build a full HTPC with modern parts when funds allow or is there a chance this PC with a new card can handle it?

I'm hoping to output the full 7.1 or 5.1 DTS MA or Dolby TRUEHD tracks as PCM to my AVR along with the 1080p video.

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post #2 of 8 Old 02-15-2013, 01:20 PM
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With a sing;e core P4 you'd really need to lean on the GPU for your decoding.  Short of buying an expensive video card I'd suggest playing some of your videos on MPC-HC and see how they do on your existing system.  this will give you a good idea how outdated the P4 is.  I'd think you'll find it's too far gone for video and $50 is low for a decenk PCI based video card.

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post #3 of 8 Old 02-15-2013, 01:25 PM
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I think the best upgrade performance I have ever seen was going from a 2.4GHz P4 on WinXP to an i5-560 on Win7x64 and I've been at this since about 1990 or so.

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post #4 of 8 Old 02-15-2013, 01:48 PM
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Honestly, Id replace the PC. a Core2 can be had for almost nothing - I see them at a scrap yard near me sold by the pound.

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post #5 of 8 Old 02-15-2013, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments. I currently have an i3 desktop machine. But unfortunately where it resides I can't get it hooked in to my home theater and 4x4 matrix. I have a Dune player for streaming but it pitched a fit with EDID issue when installed in the matrix so I moved it to the living room tv where the kids use it for their movie watching mostly.

i was trying to find a cheap way to get my MKVs on to the big screen w 7.1 sound in the basement. I have a monoprice HDMI extender and 2 cat6 lines to my i3 PC that is home run back to my rack, but I couldn't get it to output via HDMI to my avr, or even display video when connected to my TV directly (showed the gigabyte splash boot screen when connected to directly but when it got to windows I got no video).

I was trying to use my monitor via VGA and my AVR-->>TV via HDMI, but had no luck.

I've been using this old P4 to run jriver media center as part of my whole home audio system. It runs that fine, but I'm guessing the current video card would not work. I'm not desperate to do this, but thought a card like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500262

that is available in open box at my local micro center for $44 and I think I can still get the manufacturer rebate of $15, bringing cost to $30 to give this a try.

If everyone is saying not to bother, then I won't., thanks for chiming in. Any other comments are welcome.

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post #6 of 8 Old 02-15-2013, 02:42 PM
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That card is a little shy on the memory. You might want one with a gig of DDR3-1600 or even more.

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post #7 of 8 Old 02-15-2013, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

That card is a little shy on the memory. You might want one with a gig of DDR3-1600 or even more.

Yeah, finding a PCI card that doesn't break the bank (if I'm spending $100, I might was well save the cash and build a new PC) is the issue. If I had PCIe I think it would be easier. There just aren't a lot of choices with PCI and HDMI out. The linked Zotac card being one of the few I've found. The newegg reviews show that someone tried this with a dell p4 like I have. He didn't say what he was playing. I figure I'm not really doing any transcoding. If I can use the rebate, I think giving it a try for $30 might be worth a few hours of tinkering.

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post #8 of 8 Old 02-15-2013, 03:39 PM
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Go!

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