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Thread: 1080p decoding minimum CPU requirements

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    1080p decoding minimum CPU requirements

    I am building a new PC shortly, and want to establish what the minimum spec I need for being future proofed against decoding 1080p videos (HD-DVD or Blu-Ray)

    I have a measly 2.6GHz Athlon 64 at the moment, and this cannot cope with sample 1080p content I have downloaded from the web (trailers and the like)...

    Could any of you who are playing back 1080p content (ideally from a HD-DVD drive or Blu-Ray) suggest how much of your CPU decoding takes?

    I have a 7800GTX that I am keeping for a while, which unfortunately doesn't help with H.264 or VC-1 decoding.

    I would guess that the minimum is about a Core 2 Duo 6320 at 1.86GHz, or 6420 at 2.13 GHz, am I right?

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    I run am X2 4400, 1gb ram and until I got my 8600GTS, a 32mb 7300LE. I could run h.264/VC-1 no probs. The Casino Royale BD spiked up into the 80% range using CoreAVC as the decoder, which is software only.

    Of course, you could just get one of the new ATI 2400/2600 cards which have mammoth HD decoding on the card, for all formats. Combine that with PowerDVD and you'll be sorted.

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    I would have thought that any dual core from AMD or Intel would provide sufficient horse poer for what you wanna do.

    As mentioned above a good vga card to take the HD decoding strain off the CPU would be a good choice. You might even be able to keep your current cpu. The 8600GTS would be a good choice for you, but its pants for gaming.

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    Opty 146 at stock (2.0GHz) (work) can't cope with software decoding of 1080p. C2D@3GHz (home) has no such problems though.

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    --deleted- should have read the question better....
    Last edited by tinners; 06-07-2007 at 01:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s_kinton View Post
    I would have thought that any dual core from AMD or Intel would provide sufficient horse poer for what you wanna do.

    As mentioned above a good vga card to take the HD decoding strain off the CPU would be a good choice. You might even be able to keep your current cpu. The 8600GTS would be a good choice for you, but its pants for gaming.
    There's no VC-1 (HD-DVD's codec) hardware acceleration with 8500/8600 cards, so to stick with the original processor mention by the op, I'd get the ATI card. No hardware accelerated XP drivers for Nvidia yet either, ATI is ok as far as I know.

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    CPU power is irrelevant for this.
    I can do it with my Xbox, which has a 733 Celeron CPU.
    CPU+GPU+RAM, they all together make it work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by derchris View Post
    CPU power is irrelevant for this.
    I can do it with my Xbox, which has a 733 Celeron CPU.
    CPU+GPU+RAM, they all together make it work.
    He's talking about high def content. I doubt your Xbox can decode H.264 or VC1 encoded 1080p media.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skinleech View Post

    Of course, you could just get one of the new ATI 2400/2600 cards which have mammoth HD decoding on the card, for all formats. Combine that with PowerDVD and you'll be sorted.
    Does the ATI 2400 have onboard hi-def multi-format decoding capabilities? They only cost around £35-40.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinizter View Post
    Does the ATI 2400 have onboard hi-def multi-format decoding capabilities? They only cost around £35-40.
    http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/...mance_preview/
    in addition, the Radeon HD 2600 series supports AMD’s Avivo HD technology. In a nutshell, Avivo HD provides dedicated hardware decode acceleration for playing back high definition Blu-ray and HD-DVD movies. AMD is quick to point out that their Radeon HD cards support both VC-1 and H.264 Codecs, whereas NVIDIA is limited to just H.264.

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    I referred to the 2400 series and you have quoted about 2600s.

    But it does look like even the 2400s are specced with onboard VC-1 and H.264 decoding. I need to find a review or something that actually does it in real life and see what processors they used.

    I am considering building a new desktop and if so, this would be useful to have.
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    Have you tried Purevideo?

    * Dedicated video processing core provides astonishingly fluid standard and high-definition video on your PC without stutter or skips.
    * Programmable video processor accelerates H.264, VC-1, WMV, and MPEG-2 high-definition movies.
    * Discrete video processing core offloads the CPU and 3D engine of complex video tasks, freeing the PC to run multiple applications simultaneously, while consuming less power.
    Id be surprised if that didn't give smooth playback on a A64+7800!
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    Quote Originally Posted by derchris View Post
    CPU power is irrelevant for this.
    I can do it with my Xbox, which has a 733 Celeron CPU.
    CPU+GPU+RAM, they all together make it work.
    Umm no, xbox struggles with most 480p output. Try and play a 1080p video on your xbox and watch it fall over.
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    From what's been posted on the review sites, the nVidia 8500/8600 (there's meant to be a 8400 around somewhere too) aren't so hot on VC-1 decoding as they are for H.264. The drivers needed for HD acceleration only work on Vista right now (afaik) despite the fact that nVidia said that they were going to make it available for XP before the end of June.
    The ATI 2400/2600 are still being reviewed and you should see some more thoughts on these for HD processing as the sites get around to posting them.

    If these 2 sets of cards give the actual performance that the preview sites indicated, then either should be fine for H.264 and the ATI may get the edge for the "supposed" VC-1 acceleration along with a current mid-low CPU.

    However, keep an eye out for the HD acceleration comparisons that should be springing up soon.

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    My machine will do 1080p x264 using ffdshow with something like 30% cpu usage iirc.

    I'll double check, and watch some VC1 as well, and see how it copes, and post back.

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    Man. Too many posts to quote on.

    derchris: Bull****. I can't play 1280x720 xvid smoothly on the original Xbox. It cannot handle it, nor anything higher. It certainly will not play 1080p HD-DVD or Blu-ray

    Sinizter: I'm pretty sure the 2400 is pretty closely specced to the 2600 in the video department.

    Agent: That still needs a capable DXVA card - like the ATI series.

    spazman: Disagree here, mine plays 960x544 Hi res Xvid with DD5.1 @ 384k no probs.

    amdavies: Spot on!

    weegie.geek: Certainly re-encodes, not original source. x264 is far less of a cpu drain than Sky HD h.264, let alone HD-DVD/Blu ray h.264

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