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daniel

Living room PC

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The GPU can do that work. If what he has can't even a VERY cheap card can. I ran full HD on a GeForce 210 using hardware accelerated decoding.

 

That's because that card is designed to run movies. Where as a ATI 4330 is not.

 

I don't know if hardware decoding will help any, but we will see. Or he can buy a very cheap "new" video card.

 

This system seems underpowered to me for what you want it to do. Not by much.

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the rig is more than capable....

 

My first HTPC was a Biostar TForce 550 with a AM2 4200X2 and 4gb ddr2 1066 and a 6600gt Nvidia card and it had no issue doing mkv files with vlc.....

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I would be concentrating on the gpu and network aspect of your current system rather than considering a whole new build whose only function is to work as a good HTPC. The x2 6850e is right smack in the middle of the low > midrange cpu performance charts when bench marking with Passmark, and 4Gb of memory is more than enough for a HTPC machine.

 

Really the two areas I would focus on are;

 

Network

GPU

 

If I were building a budget HTPC I'd probably pick up one of the MSI GT630 4Gb cards for around $75. Plenty of power and onboard memory which should run any HTPC HD monitor or TV without a problem. I'd be perfectly happy with the rest of that system you have (dual core AM2, 4Gb memory, 7200RPM hdd etc.)

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That's because that card is designed to run movies. Where as a ATI 4330 is not.

 

I don't know if hardware decoding will help any, but we will see. Or he can buy a very cheap "new" video card.

 

This system seems underpowered to me for what you want it to do. Not by much.

A 4330 may very well be fast enough for decoding...a 210 is a POS. :lol:

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The GPU can do that work. If what he has can't even a VERY cheap card can. I ran full HD on a GeForce 210 using hardware accelerated decoding.

Ok.

 

If I were building a budget HTPC I'd probably pick up one of the MSI GT630 4Gb cards for around $75.

 

Good choice. An HD6570 might be another good choice, depending on the cause of problem and budget.

Edited by d6bmg

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if it means anything my current HTPC in the living room is an Asus E-350 rig with a xfx-4550 and it handle mkv files rather well... I just remember that this morning....

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the rig is more than capable....My first HTPC was a Biostar TForce 550 with a AM2 4200X2 and 4gb ddr2 1066 and a 6600gt Nvidia card and it had no issue doing mkv files with vlc.....

 

Thats because a 6600GT was a tank in the day, one of the best bang for buck cards at the time as well. Also they had PureVideo for HD decoding.

 

Now a 4330 says it has "Enabling hardware decode acceleration of H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2 & Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2) for Blu-ray

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All,

 

Thanks for the replies. I have tried the hardware accelerated decoding and it did improve performance, but there is still a little lag in just a couple of the bigger files. But with the new conditions I do not think it is worth upgrading the computer for now.

 

Thanks for the suggestions!

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if it means anything my current HTPC in the living room is an Asus E-350 rig with a xfx-4550 and it handle mkv files rather well... I just remember that this morning....

:withstupid: except no dedicated graphics and no hiccups at all unless it's an external stream deficiency. Local media files play perfectly off USB and the HTPC is damn fast even as a casual machine with a 64GB SSD :D.

Edited by IVIYTH0S

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All,

 

Thanks for the replies. I have tried the hardware accelerated decoding and it did improve performance, but there is still a little lag in just a couple of the bigger files. But with the new conditions I do not think it is worth upgrading the computer for now.

 

Thanks for the suggestions!

High bitrate files can cause issues on slower cards - if you do get the itch to upgrade in the future you might just need to drop in a slightly more powerful GPU. :cheers:

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:withstupid: except no dedicated graphics and no hiccups at all unless it's an external stream deficiency. Local media files play perfectly off USB and the HTPC is damn fast even as a casual machine with a 64GB SSD :D.

 

The only reason I added the card is I needed S-Video for the 55in RP-TV....it will do fine without using HDMI... I heard that these things really struggle with HD content over Netflix but it's an issue with SilverLight and WMC....I don't have nor use Netflix so it doesnt pertain to me... other than that even an under powered E-350 does High Definition very well...I can pull mkv files from my server via Gigabit intranet without a hiccup

 

Slightly off topic, but how well does VLC fare with modern Bluray DVDs?

 

 

Very well... only issue is VLC looks grainy in Windows 7.... in XP it looks very crisp and sharp still...I haven't looked for a codec pack to make it better so i quit using VLC for anything I watch...I will use it for mkv files if I dont have anything installed so WMC handles it

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