Simple Upgrade to HDTV? (1 Viewer)

dcwp

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  • October 9, 2006
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    Howdy!

    After two years of very happy MP use, I've finally started tinkering with HD content. I took a look at the wiki requirements for HDDVD playback and I see that I am a bit lean on CPU (plenty of power, but only one core) and woefully underpowered on graphics card.

    My experience so far is this:
    HD content on the hard drive plays back crystal clear and beautiful in MediaPortal or outside of MP.
    HDTV channels playback clearly and with good audio sync within MP, but with a regular stutter about once per second that is very annoying.
    HD webstreams (outside of MediaPortal mostly) playback clearly, but video streams slower than audio so there is a sync problem that gets worse as the stream moves on. If I download the content instead of streaming it, then playback from HDD, it works like a charm.

    So what I need help with is this:
    I'd be interested in upgrading to achieve HDTV and webstream capability, but only if it's fairly low cost and low hassle. It wouldn't break my heart to go on with SD only.
    If I update the video card to one that supports PureVideo HD, will that do the trick? My CPU will still be only single core, but at 3.2 GHz, will it matter?

    Thanks for any thoughts. My current system specs are available in my profile, but here are the main points:

    Celeron D 3.2 GHz
    2X1Gb DDR3200 RAM
    NVidia GeForce FX5200
    CoreAVC h.264 codec
    :D
     

    Paranoid Delusion

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  • June 13, 2005
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    If this is a AGP system, then this may be your bottleneck and getting a reasonably powerful graphics card that fully supports dxva2 will be hard to find for this type of connection.

    It would be more sensible to put the money away, and eventually get one of the newer motherboards with designed onboard gpu for this, like the 9300\9400 chipsets or there ATI equivalent.

    :sorry:
     

    dcwp

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    Thanks for the thoughts PD.

    This is in fact a PCI system, no PCI-e or AGP available.

    Eventually I do plan to save some cash and rebuild altogether to create a more powerful, quieter, and more attractive HTPC, but it will probably be at least a year before I can do that. So I was thinking that if I could achieve HDTV and HD streaming for under $100USD (preferably well under that) by just upgrading vid card, I would go ahead and make that change for now.

    It looks like there are a number of NVidia-based cards that can handle HD, starting with the GeForce 6XXX series. So I was considering something like this:

    Newegg.com - EVGA 512-P1-N724-LR GeForce 8400 GS 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

    or at the higher end this:

    Newegg.com - SPARKLE SP94GT1024D2LHP GeForce 9400 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

    What I'm most curious about now is whether that will make the necessary difference. I'm more or less clueless about graphic cards and HD video in general. So will a card that has PureVideo HD capacity be able to render streaming 720p in my single-core machine? Or would you still say I'm better off waiting until I can upgrade the whole system?

    Thanks again for the help!
     

    Darkjasper

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    I am using a 8400 gs and it is working wonderfully on my single core system. I am using the new core avc that allows for full hd offloading to the gpu. Havent had any issues yet with it. My current htpc set up is my old computer just with my new video card in it. Couldnt ask for a better result. Full 1080p videos with no lag or stutter.
     

    dcwp

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    Thanks Darkjasper! That helps a bunch. I may try this some time in the next month or so.

    Just out of curiosity, what sort of CPU do you have?
     

    Darkjasper

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    On my old pc im using as a htpc i have a 2 year old amd athlon 64 3500+ which clocks in at 2.19 GHz and only 1.5 gig of ram.
     

    dcwp

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    Cool. Thanks for the info. Makes me confident in my machine's potential.
     

    dcwp

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  • October 9, 2006
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    Hi again,

    I'm getting closer to moving ahead with purchasing a new vid card in hopes of achieving HD capabilities.

    I have a fairly basic question that I can't seem to find a simple answer for, so excuse me if it's been discussed to death already.

    How much does the amount of onboard memory on a video card matter? I'm considering a GeForce 9400GT card that is available with either 512 or a gig of onboard memory. I imagine that a gig will be plenty, but is it overkill? Is it worth an additional 20 bucks? Or does that kind of videoRAM only matter to gamers?

    Thanks for any help.
     

    etheesdad

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  • November 8, 2008
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    cant see how a gig would offer any performance increase over 512 on an htpc

    even with gaming 512-1gb doesnt make much difference to frame rates with all other variables constant (shader clock, memory clock, memory bandwidth)

    BTW, if you want 7.1 audio out through hdmi the HD4550 is a great card and is available in passive cooled flavor (silent - no fan)
     

    dcwp

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  • October 9, 2006
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    Thanks for the input. The 4550 looks like a nice card, but I don't think it's available in PCI and that's all I've got for now. I also don't have a good sound setup to take advantage of 7.1 right now.

    This is just a budget fix to get HD capability. Once I save some cash (and maybe get a permanent job) I'm planning to overhaul the entire system from ground up. When that comes around I'll definitely be looking for better audio capabilities so I'll keep the 4550 (or whatever replaces it next year) in mind.
     

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