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What is the function of “Hardware Acceleration†in DVD software player in HTPC (I know it refer to the display card). In what situation should I turn it on or off? Thanks for advise in advance.


I am using:

Epson TW-100 projector (1280 x 720 native resolution)

Creative Rendeon 9000

Win DVD Platinum
 

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You should always use it if it is available, IMHO. Without it your CPU has to do all the processing required to display and scale the DVD image, and with it you use the built-in hardware support in the graphics card instead.
 

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A CPU is a general purpose, programmable processor. It handles everything from running programs to managing much of your systems I/O. The CPU can perform a wide variety of functions due to its programmability, but when it does these functions it does them somewhat inefficiently.


Videocards come with a processor designed for a single purpose: To make graphics look good. The software is imbedded in the circuitry and the chips are designed for a single purpose, which makes them incredibly efficient.


Using "Software mode", your CPU does all the work. Since your CPU has to do many other things, plus it's less efficient since it's not designed solely for graphics processing, it requires a beefy CPU to do large scale video rendering.


In "Hardware accellerated" mode, the crunching is taken off of the CPU and placed on the video card (if it can handle it). This has 2 advantages. 1. Since the graphics card is designed for this task, it can do it better and 2. since the CPU doesn't have that load, it can concentrate on I/O functions (like reading from your hard drive, etc) making everything run more smoothly.
 
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