Originally Posted by assassin
So what do you all feel is the minimum monetary investment in hardware required to be able to tinker w svp? Seems like its substantial.
I'd say a 3570k is a good compromise between "high end / expensive" and very basic. It is probably enough for level 3/4 I am guessing; and I am pretty certain you could level 5 with a good GPU card and/or overclock.
It would give you a basic entry point or upgrade path.
3570k + say Asrock Z77 board is about $200ish at Microcenter ... so that's probably the cheapest you could go and have a reasonable expectation for a good upgrade path like overclocking or adding a more serious GPU if you wanted in future. I would guess most i3's can do it, and do it even better with a GPU of coarse
It all depends on the levels you want. The lower levels run fine on an i3.
If you already own an i3 or higher it's free to try it out. My guess is some will try SVP and then never really use it much beyond playing around, while others might really like it and add a robust GPU to get more .
If you want max quality though you'll certainly want a decent CPU and GPU combo. No way can you go maximum quality on cheap hardware.
I ran VLC on one monitor and MPC-HC with the toys on the other side by side and in time sync. I dropped a few frames when the movies started and I click MPC-HC from window to full screen then after that none.
Very noticable improvement on Monsters Inc and Cars. Even wife instantly noticed and agreed. I would use one of these for the first test before switching to other scenes if you have them. Use a 1080p video (although with a weaker CPU you'll get better quality on 720p) if you can. It's a good stress test.
I wish there was a cool way to post my test. It's very obvious side by side testing. I am lucky enough to have dual monitors and the ability to run dual 1080p side by side with different players to compare. I have the exact same Samsung Monitors so it's pretty easy for me to test this out. The into of TITANIC and some of the universal intro, Columbia or Fox intro's are pretty easy to tell if SVP is on in the first few seconds of something playing. I think it's a huge benefit for newer animation but I am still playing around with it for movies. It's possible too good for normal movies.. lol.
I'm nearly certain a 7000 series Radeon and 3570k would be a really good entry point if someone was starting out fresh but I'll digress to ReneTHX's advice for certainty.