Is my computer good enough ?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-15-2007, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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ok I want to pick up a Dual format player for my Computer so I can watch some High def programming..

I've got a P4 2.5 ghz processor, 2GB of ddr 330mhz ram, ATI radeon 9800 , 128mb graphics card. Windows XP, and whatever sound card it came with...


Would I be happy with what I can do with the HDDVD/BR and other high def content ??

What kind of sound car should I upgrade to for full advantage of Dolby Digital ?

I've got a Benq w500 projector...
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-15-2007, 02:33 PM
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No.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-15-2007, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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why not?

what would I need to upgrade, and why ???
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-16-2007, 09:46 AM
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I think the better answer might be "maybe." Other people watch HDTV using their older HTPC's, with similar equipment to yours, on their 720p displays but they probably are not using either an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray drive. Playing back either of the hi-def disks at 1920x1080 will require more horsepower than you have, but I'm not sure if that would be the case at 720p (your Benq's native resolution) as well. A solution for you is to pick up a better video card that has hardware decoding. If, as I suspect, you have an AGP motherboard, that limits your choices considerably to one of the small handful of ATI Radeon HD 2xxx series AGP video cards (nVidia doens't make any GeForce 8xxx series cards in AGP). Newegg.com has about half a dozen HD2000 AGP cards, some 2400pros, some 2600pros, that would do hardware decoding of your HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disks. If your motherboard accepts PCI-Express (PCI-E) video cards, you can use any ATI Radeon HD 2xxx series PCI-E card or any nVidia 8400,8500 or 8600 series PCI-E card.

As for sound, are you planning on connecting your HTPC to an HT receiver? If so, you need to get a sound card that has an SPDIF digital output connection on the back (either coaxial/RCA or optical/Toslink - whichever you have a spare input for on your HT receiver) to allow passthrough of the digital signal for DD or DTS processing in your receiver's surround sound encoders. The usual cheap sound card with an optical SPDIF digital output that is recommended on this forum is the Chaintech AV710, which Newegg has for around $30 shipped. Make sure you download current drivers for it - I have one and I ended up spending hours fiddling with it and various drivers for it before I got it to work for me.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-23-2007, 12:43 PM
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The P4 single core will not cut the mustard in playing HD content. You need a medium to high end dual core AMD or Intel CPU to play HD 1080p content flawlessly.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-23-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamamotosama View Post

The P4 single core will not cut the mustard in playing HD content. You need a medium to high end dual core AMD or Intel CPU to play HD 1080p content flawlessly.

What about a P4HT chip???
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-23-2007, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illnastyimpreza View Post

why not?

what would I need to upgrade, and why ???

Neither your processor or video card will handle HD
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-23-2007, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamamotosama View Post

The P4 single core will not cut the mustard in playing HD content. You need a medium to high end dual core AMD or Intel CPU to play HD 1080p content flawlessly.

Interesting. I just saw a link comparing CPU usage for H.264 and VC1 playback between the new, upcoming 8800GT (which apparently has the HD superior video capabilities of the 8400, 8500 and 8600 cards) and the ATI 2900XT. The older cards were all in the 40-60% usage range for VC-1, the newer 8800gt was 31%. With H.264 the older cards were in the 90+% CPU usage range, the 8800gt was 1.58%. Was this running on some quad core Extreme monster processor, you ask? No, with a Celeron. Therefore, I think that answer is that with the latest HD hardware decoding video cards from nVidia and ATI's 2400 and 2600 series, the card does the vast amount of the work and you can run 1080p with a rather old and weak CPU.

Here's that link:

http://forums.vr-zone.com/showthread.php?t=197629
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