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Ok, I'm on the lookout for a new HTPC platform, and I'm currently looking more towards the laptop segment of the market, but just how muh power does the newer laptops posess? My current laptop only runs and old 1.5 Ghz Celeron M and is far from strong enough for solid HD playback.


Sure the GPUs can take care of DXVA-supported content, but can the CPU kick in and do the job on non-DXVA content? What exactly can a Turion 64 X2 or a C2D T/P CPU do when it comes to media?



And what sort of audio signals can the newer laptops send out? Can they handle 7.1 LPCM? Or are they stuck at 2.0 stereo?
 

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My Latitude e6500 has a P8600 (2.4GHz) Core2 Duo and does 1080p just fine. The GPU doesn't though (GMA4500HD), so make sure you get one that does.
 

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its as much a matter of GPU as it is CPU. The GPU offloads from the CPU so it determines a large extent of the machine's capability. Also, be aware that 1080i is much more resource demanding than 1080p, so if you need to do this type of playback its a bigger ask (and consequently a bigger spend) in terms of hardware.


Rule of thumb is 2.0ghz dual core PLUS an ATI or nVidia chipset with HD decoding capability. In ATI parlance, ( UVD ) this is anything with an 'HD' prefix (the 4 series has some advantages over previous generations). In terms of nVidia, its anything with ' Purevideo ', ideally an 8 or 9 series, although some older models will also do this.
 

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Get 4xxx ATI if you can - that has 7.1 lpcm, all thru the hdmi. Of course read the specs.
 

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Read up. Right now, the ATI 4xxx has the lpcm edge, but the future will change. Bottom line, get what you can afford. Specifics are difficult as each 4xxx is dependent on installed components. My advice is gravitate towards the advertised gaming or HT platform with 4xxx that suits you.
 

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My laptop just passed its fifth birthday: Pentium M 1.7 GHz, ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 64 MB, 1920 x 1200, 17 inch display.


I simultaneously play and record 1080i HDTV and can surf with web browser also.



Why do you need a brand new computer for this?
 
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