I have been experimenting with watching TV episodes via the internet using my Intel based desktop computer running a fresh install of XP SP3, (all MB drivers correctly installed using the latest drivers available) with a 2.4 GHz Celeron CPU, integrated Intel 82845 video controller, 1 GB RAM and wired Ethernet via Comcast High speed internet using IE 7. I am unable to watch streamed video full screen without severe video loss (jerking, out-of sync video to audio, ETC). Watching using a smaller screen is much better but would much prefer watching full screen. My internet speed has tested good (12 MB's download). I noticed that my CPU usage under Windows Task Manager on the Performance Tag is maxed when streaming so it would seem a lot of CPU work is going on. I suspect that having an integrated video controller is taxing the CPU. For comparison, I have a freshly installed XP SP3 1.7 Pentium laptop with 512K Ram connected wirelessly that seems to work as good if not a little better although the video is still a little jerky. So now my question. Is the Celeron the problem or is it the video controller? What do you think? I don't have the ability to run out and purchase the latest fast PC available and my curiosity has me wondering, what are the minimum hardware requirements for watching a reasonably smooth video stream? The MB will take a Pentium but Dell can’t tell me what CPU’s are supported. It doesn’t have an AGP slot nor does it have enhanced PCI slots, just standard PCI. I’m not sure if I would gain much moving from the integrated video controller to PCI. Thank you for your thoughts
Your problem is definitely without a doubt that the onboard video is the problem. The reason is the onboard video uses your cpu to process video and thats proveing to be too much for the celeron to handle a pentium 4 might improve it a little but to really solve it you will have to go with a dedicated video card.
You can still get PCI video cards new but they are on the expensive side your best bet would be to look around ebay or craigslist to find one reasonably priced.