I'm so glad I stumbled onto this thread. I've been looking for the same info.
I was so close to getting an 8500GT to use in my Athlon64 (single core) box.
I knew that the 8500GT accelerated only H.264. I was under the impression that most HD-DVDs were H.264 with the minority being VC1.
I read through every HD-DVD title released on hidefdigest.com only to find about 10 HD-DVDs in H.264!! And four of those were Discovery Channel releases!!!
So basically, until the Radeon HD 2400 comes out I'm SOL. There is no way my machine can handle VC1 w/o hardware acceleration. It's a 939 board so I don't want to invest in a dual core 939 chip (only one affordable option exists anymore) until I build my HTPC. I know, I already tried (HD addon and a 7600GT resulted is an unwatchable King Kong which is VC1)
The ATI Radeon HD series accelerates H264, VC1, and MPEG2. The HD2600 MSRP is under $99 and the HD2400 being, maybe, $60 (total guess), I have to wait until June. Grrr. Well, the good thing is that the RAM, hard drives, MoBo, CPU all should be a lilttle cheaper when those cards finally come out
Don't despair, with the new PowerDVD 2911 patch, I am now able to watch VC-1 titles with hardware acceleration on my 8600gt with a lowly 3500+. CPU runs at around 40-50% with VC-1, 10-15% with h264. No need for me to upgrade to a new cpu and X2 platform, which also means DDR2.
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