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Trying to squeak by with a system to play blu-ray

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by pengyou, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. pengyou New Member

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    I bought a blu-ray player recently for my computer and then realized that my p4 was not going to cut it. It seems that even if I upgrade to a 3.4 ghz I will still not be very happy. I was a bit bummed because I was saving up for a newer (nicer) desktop for next year and don't want to buy a skimpy system now just to play blu-ray. Power DVD 10's software states that the min req is an AMD Athlon 64 x2 3800 or faster. Is that a reasonable standard to use, or is it slow? I think i can find a used system with this cpu without destroying my plans for next years mother of all computers. When it says "or faster", how much faster is preferable? Will a 3800 give me choppy performance on playback? Will i have problems with audio and video synch? I have a 15K 38 GB SCSI hard drive I am going to use as the system drive, and either a 200 or 500 gb SATA drive to use for data storage. This computer will be networked to my P4, which will probably have the 500 gb drive. I plan to have a peer to peer with the 1000 mbit standard, so data transfer speed should not be a big issue. But then there is the issue of the video card

    Help!

    http://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdvd/powerdvd-system-requirements_en_US.html

    Related to this question, if I buy this AMD chip, is there a mobo that will support a much faster chip than this (at a later date)?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  2. MRCL

    MRCL

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    SCSI! I love you.

    A Radeon 3 Seriens GPU and a cheap Dual Core (Like E6300) will do the trick nicely and don't cost that much today. In fact I bet you can find such a system on Craigslist or something, maybe in TPUs B/S/T section you'll find something. Just depends on your budget. In fact I built a media rig with components that didn't even cost 200 bucks a few years ago and it plays HD media just fine.

    But a P4 doesn't cut it. What graphics card do you have? Or is it onboard.

    On the topic of the AMD chip, others might be more helpful.
     
  3. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    bluray is easy on modern systems.

    Any modern dual core with a modern video card is good enough - look at low to mid range core 2 duo or athlon II systems, dont bother with older DDR1 based platforms because the ram will actually be more expensive to obtain.

    Video card doesnt matter at all, so long as it has 256MB of ram or greater. i can pull off 1080p playback just fine on my media PC's onboard radeon 4200 with no problem with and without hardware acceleration* enabled.


    My advice to you would be to make a copy of my HTCP with the following (or similar specs) and then upgrade it later when you want your more powerful machine.

    AMD 780/785/800G motherboard with onboard video (can be upgraded to 6 core CPU's or better later, video card upgrade also possible with ease)
    2GB DDR2 or DDR3 ram (easily upgradeable to 4GB+ for future needs)
    Athlon II CPU or phenom II CPU, any dual core or better.


    I dont know your location in the world, but you should be able to get those parts very cheaply and have a system that can manage 1080p playback with or without GPU accelerated playback.


    *If you want the GPU accelerated video playback, almost any video card can handle it. I reccomend ATI cards because Nvidia cards have some issues with their lower end GPU's withthings they cant accelerate (not blu ray disks, but other thinks like interlaced streams from HDTV tuner cards, that may screw you up in the future)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  4. pengyou New Member

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    Thanks! I am living in Shanghai, China now. I have not shopped for a desktop since 1997, when I bought my P4 - which I still use, though it has had a number of upgrades along the way. Can someone fill me in quickly on words like pci-express, e6300, etc? They are all foreign to me :(
     
  5. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    PCI-Express is a slot for graphics cards to go into. It replaced AGP a few years ago.

    E6300 is a CPU from intels Core 2 Duo lineup, for socket 775 motherboards. Its outdated now, but still more than powerful enough for blu ray plabyack.
     
  6. MRCL

    MRCL

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    I noticed you have a bit of a lack in knowledge when I read about your SCSI Harddrive :)

    PCI Express is an interface which connects a graphics card to the motherboard. You might have heard about AGP, thats the old interface most probably used by your computer - if it even has a graphics card and not an onboard chip.

    An e6300 is a dual core CPU. Its clocked at 1.86GHz, but for your task more than enough. Also, its unbelievably cheap. And has hidden powers. eXXXX stands for the socket 775 (the CPU form factor) dual core CPUs, while qXXXX would be for quadcores. That is for Intel chips.

    Your system uses probably DDR1 as mussels stated, common today is the older DDR2 or newer DDR3. But for your HD setup, DDR2 is enough.
     
  7. pengyou New Member

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    "I noticed you have a bit of a lack in knowledge when I read about your SCSI Harddrive"

    Free is sometimes better than fast ;) and a 15,000 rpm scsi hard drive, even now, is likely to be faster than most 7K SATA's :laugh:
     
  8. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    you'd be surprised how much the tech progresses. RPM only really helps access times, the data density on the latest drives really helps boost the throughput in MB/s
     

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