HD video on older pc



CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.8ghz Hyper Threading
Chipset: Intel 865PE + ICH4R
800mhz fsb
Radeon 9600 8x AGP
Windows XP

I am hoping to use this box for media playback on my hd tv. Trying to play some h.264 encoded video at 1080p shows that this isn't current setup isn't going to work, playback very stuttered, audio out of sync, etc...

Would putting a Radeon 3650 HD video card in it make this box provide smooth playback of high def content? Most of the info I found on the web was not very decisive some places saying its fine others saying it doesn't work. Also couldn't quite find out if there are windows xp drivers for this card that enable all features or not either.

Any info would be much appreciated.

7 answers Last reply
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  1. This is what you want i recon.


  2. Thanks,

    That looks pretty much like the 3650 but with some pvr features. Unfortunatly it also looks to be PCI express only, I need AGP.

    I think the 3650 is what I want but I am just wondering if its video offloading will be enough to get h.264 encoded video at 1080p to play correctly on my pc, or if I will need to get a newer dual core machine to do so.
  3. Sorry my bad dont know if they do an AGP one but all the features you want should be on a standard 3650 anyway. the 4650 is a more up to date option but thats not out on AGP untill about Q3 last i heard.

  4. Hey,

    I'm in the same boat as you and found this article http://www.missingremote.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2959&Itemid=1
    it looks pretty good to me. Also the sapphire site says "Unified Video Decoder (UVD) for Blu-ray™ and HD DVD at full HD 1080p" so I'd assume it's fine, haven't checked other brands as I prefer sapphire's driver support (there seem to be less issues with them)

    Might want to check on your PSU, could need upgrading. How many amps on the 12V rail do you have?

    sources: http://www.sapphiretech.com/us/products/products_overview.php?gpid=241&grp=2
  5. Excellent, thanks that is the kind of info I have been looking for.

    Looks like it should work out then which is great because it would be a shame to have to retire this still quite capable pc.

    I will have to double check the detailed specs on my power supply but I think it should be fine it was a fairly high end 550W unit I got about 3 years ago.

    Thanks again
  6. No problem
    Good luck with it, let me know how it goes when you get it in there.
  7. Ok,

    Got an ASUS AH3650 silent installed, it does allow me to fairly smoothly play compressed h.264 matrosk files so it works pretty well. The processor on average stays at about 80-90% and the gpu at 50-75% during playback of these files. So the processor looks like its having a little trouble keeping up with the video card. I imagine uncompressed hd video from a blueray player would be less taxing on the system. Will be interesting once I get more media to test with.

    Still working on some configuration stuff, currently I can only get the video offloading to work when playing the video through xbox media center, using other players such as media player classic or videoLAN seem to only use the processor but anyway it looks like its going to work for now.

    The card is also a major performance boost from my previous card (Radeon 9600 128MB). My 3DMark score went from 805 to 5003 and Aquamark3 when from 18,487 to 59,582 with just this change.

    hopefully this is useful for anyone else heading down this route
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