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HD Playback - More CPU or GPU dependent?

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November 14, 2009 7:42:22 PM

Hi, a friend passed his PC over to turn it into somthing that can play YouTube HD content and HD streaming content in general, without breaking the bank. My question here is will his CPU be able to manage HD playback without lag teamed with a decent GPU? His current rig is:

CPU: Pentium 4 - 3.06Ghz 1MB Cache 533FSB (SL8JA) No HT support.
RAM: 512MB DDR PC2100
GPU: N/A

Now, my idea was to upgrade the ram to a single 1GB DDR PC3200 (generic ram of ebay) and add a decent GPU in there. But again this will relate to my first question... Can this CPU handle it? If so, what GPU would be the best to go with for HD playback?

I had in mind the 8600GT but I think that may be to much of an overkill for HD content. What do you guys think?

Thanks!
a b à CPUs
November 14, 2009 7:57:22 PM

The CPU should be fine. Ram is definitely a good idea.
For the GPU, aren't going to find a better GPU for the price and doesn't need a PCIe power connecter. 4670 512 DDR3 $38
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What is the mobo chipset?
What resolution monitor?
What is the audio being played through?
Does this need HD Audio over HDMI?

November 14, 2009 8:05:37 PM

skora said:
The CPU should be fine. Ram is definitely a good idea.
For the GPU, aren't going to find a better GPU for the price and doesn't need a PCIe power connecter. 4670 512 DDR3 $38
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What is the mobo chipset?
What resolution monitor?
What is the audio being played through?
Does this need HD Audio over HDMI?


Hi,

He gave me 50 bucks and the PC. I promised him I'll squeze somthing out of the 50 bucks he game me. So I had in mind a $35 GPU and $15 on a 1GB DDR stick from ebay. It's a DDR motherboard that has PCI-e, not a DDR2.

The motherboard is a MS-7142 Version 2B.

He will be connecting to his 28" HDTV and will need a HDMI port so he can stream the video and audio through there. No idea about the resolution of the monitor. I wouldn't think that would matter when you play a movie on full screen?... Looks all the same on any monitor when on full screen.

But if not, then most probally 1024x**** (widescreen?)
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a b à CPUs
November 14, 2009 9:15:11 PM

HD actually can be as low as 720p or 1280 x 720. 1920x1080 is at the high end.

I just found your other thread. Sounds like you already have sound advise. The 4350 is also a decent choice in the $25-$35 market.

Is this hooked up to home theater or just the TV speakers? If its going to a receiver, what format does it input. If its a new receiver, the 4xxx cards are limited to 6.1 I think and send the coded signal, not bitstream each channel for 7.1+ (I think.)
November 15, 2009 3:15:40 AM

Well, I guess it would be 720, but now YouTube is moving onto 1080p so go figure. Would need to be semi future proof, so yeah, 1080p needs to be a priority.

If I'm not mistaken, he only has 1 sub and a few tweekers, the other is his main TV which has 2 on either side. And yes, he wants to stream it through the HDMI cable.

Any idea of 1GB of ram will handle it?
a b à CPUs
November 15, 2009 12:14:05 PM

1gb of ram on XP will be fine. Vista, you'll want more.

The 4xxx ATI cards should be fine for bitstreaming up to 6.1 audio.
November 15, 2009 4:23:19 PM

skora said:
1gb of ram on XP will be fine. Vista, you'll want more.

The 4xxx ATI cards should be fine for bitstreaming up to 6.1 audio.


Cool, becuase 2GB of DDR ram will cost a furtune. Which one should I go for, Home or Pro?
November 15, 2009 6:44:12 PM

skora said:
The CPU should be fine.


A 3GHz P4 will not play 1080P H264 without GPU assistance; so make sure you get a GPU which can do most of the work for you.
November 15, 2009 7:30:12 PM

MarkG said:
A 3GHz P4 will not play 1080P H264 without GPU assistance; so make sure you get a GPU which can do most of the work for you.


Yes, and I did ask what type of GPU would go best with this CPU.

Thanks.
!