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nmiklas21
November 1st, 2011, 09:04 AM
Hello everyone

I hope this is the right place to post it.
I need your opinion guys, I have an old pc, P4 3Ghz,DDR 512mb 400mhz ram, Nvidia 7600GS 128mb and a 80gb hard disk via esata. I have installed ubuntu and xbmc with a purpose to use it as a streaming device in my living room and maybe for a little web browsing. Streaming is ok but it has some issues when streaming or playing directly from hard disk 720p and 1080p mkv files. My question is: Is it worth it to buy a better display card with 512mb and install another 512mb for ram or should I buy another machine?
Thanks for your time.

tors
November 1st, 2011, 09:29 AM
Maybe you can borrow a better graphics card from a friend and see if you are satisfied with the result?
If you are not satisfied, maybe you should buy a new computer.
Again, maybe you can try your wanted setup at a friends with better computer and see if you are satisfied.

nmiklas21
November 1st, 2011, 09:39 AM
Maybe you can borrow a better graphics card from a friend and see if you are satisfied with the result?
If you are not satisfied, maybe you should buy a new computer.
Again, maybe you can try your wanted setup at a friends with better computer and see if you are satisfied.
The setup is ok,I have tried it on my main computer and its running smoothly, the problem is that the display card is for an agp slot and its impossible to find someone with a such a card. I'm thinking of this [URL="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sapphire-11160-01-20R-HD3450-Graphics-64-bit/dp/B002SV3D5I/ref=lh_ni_t"]one[/URL,do you think it should work with 720p and 1080p?
Thanks for your time.

Grenage
November 1st, 2011, 09:45 AM
A replacement graphics card won't really help unless it's got hardware acceleration support; your decoding is taking place on the CPU, and that will be the bottleneck.

While there might (doubtful) be an Nvidia AGP card with VDPAU support, it would be so expensive that it would be cheaper to replace your motherboard.

nmiklas21
November 1st, 2011, 09:55 AM
A replacement graphics card won't really help unless it's got hardware acceleration support; your decoding is taking place on the CPU, and that will be the bottleneck.

While there might (doubtful) be an Nvidia AGP card with VDPAU support, it would be so expensive that it would be cheaper to replace your motherboard.
I have tried playing 720p with the current setup, it runs almost smoothly,it cuts the screen horizontally some times, that's why I think I will have a better result with a better graphic card.
I have found this one (http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=4&sgid=642&pid=720&psn=&lid=1&leg=0), what do you think?

abohsin
November 1st, 2011, 09:58 AM
Are you sure there is no network latency problem. Streaming HD movies would require some bandwidth in your home network.

Grenage
November 1st, 2011, 10:10 AM
I have tried playing 720p with the current setup, it runs almost smoothly,it cuts the screen horizontally some times, that's why I think I will have a better result with a better graphic card.
I have found this one (http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=4&sgid=642&pid=720&psn=&lid=1&leg=0), what do you think?

As I said, the decoding is being done by your CPU, not your GPU.

nmiklas21
November 1st, 2011, 10:19 AM
Are you sure there is no network latency problem. Streaming HD movies would require some bandwidth in your home network.
No network latency so far,for HD I have tried only small hd video files. The pc is connected with a powerline adaptor (network through the power grid)

mips
November 1st, 2011, 10:29 AM
If you decide to go the new hardware route have a look at these two threads as you might find them interesting,

http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/333460-HP-ProLiant-MicroServer
http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/376752-A-Complete-Guide-to-creating-the-Ultimate-TV-Experience.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/HP_Proliant_MicroServer
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF06a/15351-15351-4237916-4237918-4237917-4248009.html

nmiklas21
November 1st, 2011, 11:28 AM
If you decide to go the new hardware route have a look at these two threads as you might find them interesting,

http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/333460-HP-ProLiant-MicroServer
http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/376752-A-Complete-Guide-to-creating-the-Ultimate-TV-Experience.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/HP_Proliant_MicroServer
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF06a/15351-15351-4237916-4237918-4237917-4248009.html

interesting but out of my budget,I want to either invest 50-60 in this old pc and use it as a media center if possible, or to buy a new streaming device like apple tv or something similar. Thanks for the links anyway, the concept is quite similar with what I want to make but at a much lower cost.

koleoptero
November 1st, 2011, 11:42 AM
Hello everyone

I hope this is the right place to post it.
I need your opinion guys, I have an old pc, P4 3Ghz,DDR 512mb 400mhz ram, Nvidia 7600GS 128mb and a 80gb hard disk via esata. I have installed ubuntu and xbmc with a purpose to use it as a streaming device in my living room and maybe for a little web browsing. Streaming is ok but it has some issues when streaming or playing directly from hard disk 720p and 1080p mkv files. My question is: Is it worth it to buy a better display card with 512mb and install another 512mb for ram or should I buy another machine?
Thanks for your time.

An upgrade to a new dual core celeron with integrated graphics should solve any issue you have with streaming, and it will give you a more sane solution because a)Less power consumption, b)quieter rig, if you have the stock p4 cooler c)Easily upgradeable later by adding a gfx card or even an i5.

If your psu is at 400watts you can keep it, and the hard drive as well.

Should cost less than $100 if I remember correctly.

And to give you a direct answer a new gfx card won't help with 1080p decoding and streaming much I think.

nmiklas21
November 1st, 2011, 11:59 AM
A replacement graphics card won't really help unless it's got hardware acceleration support; your decoding is taking place on the CPU, and that will be the bottleneck.

While there might (doubtful) be an Nvidia AGP card with VDPAU support, it would be so expensive that it would be cheaper to replace your motherboard.
i have found this card (http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/9556293/PNY-Geforce-8400GS-512MB-PCI-Graphics-Card/Product.html)with VDPAU support, but for pci slot,as for agp i don't think there is one

Grenage
November 1st, 2011, 12:07 PM
My my, that's surprising. Your board will have a PCI slot, so there's an option.

nmiklas21
November 1st, 2011, 12:08 PM
An upgrade to a new dual core celeron with integrated graphics should solve any issue you have with streaming, and it will give you a more sane solution because a)Less power consumption, b)quieter rig, if you have the stock p4 cooler c)Easily upgradeable later by adding a gfx card or even an i5.

If your psu is at 400watts you can keep it, and the hard drive as well.

Should cost less than $100 if I remember correctly.

And to give you a direct answer a new gfx card won't help with 1080p decoding and streaming much I think.
Kalispera file,
for the current pc I'm not willing to spend more than 50, if it's not worth it, probably i will end up with a new streaming media device

koleoptero
November 1st, 2011, 12:21 PM
Kalispera file,
for the current pc I'm not willing to spend more than 50, if it's not worth it, probably i will end up with a new streaming media device

Kalispera kai se sena.
With an upgrade though you'll also be able to use it as a pc and play all kinds of things like youtube video (full HD if you have a decent connection) some not so new games etc. So it's good value for money, if you have the money.

If you don't then look for something like a hard disk media player that you can hook up to your TV. Assuming you're living here in greece snoop around for used micca iplay thingies that otenet used to give away for free with connx, they're wonderful. Much much cheaper than any other solution I can think of.

pqwoerituytrueiwoq
November 1st, 2011, 06:16 PM
i suggest reusing your hdd, case, psu (if it has decent output), dvd drive if you go with a new computer
hdd cost is up over 100% due to lost inventory/production
$50 motherboard $20 ram 60$ processor

mips
November 3rd, 2011, 10:48 AM
i have found this card (http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/9556293/PNY-Geforce-8400GS-512MB-PCI-Graphics-Card/Product.html)with VDPAU support, but for pci slot,as for agp i don't think there is one

You will not find an AGP gfx card with VDPAU support. The last AGP nvidia based cards was the geforce 7 series, VDPAU only appeared with the geforce 8 series which are all PCIe.

ATI/AMD has X-Video Bitstream Acceleration (XvBA) which you will probably find on AGP cards but I have no idea how well it is implemented in linux.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Video_Bitstream_Acceleration

nmiklas21
November 3rd, 2011, 04:26 PM
You will not find an AGP gfx card with VDPAU support. The last AGP nvidia based cards was the geforce 7 series, VDPAU only appeared with the geforce 8 series which are all PCIe.

ATI/AMD has X-Video Bitstream Acceleration (XvBA) which you will probably find on AGP cards but I have no idea how well it is implemented in linux.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Video_Bitstream_Acceleration
you are correct!only geforce 8 series support VDPAU, but they have some models that are for PCI slots,thats what i'm looking for!

mips
November 3rd, 2011, 05:02 PM
you are correct!only geforce 8 series support VDPAU, but they have some models that are for PCI slots,thats what i'm looking for!

I did not even know they made PCI versions of those cards.

Have a look at these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500221
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709+600007853+600030348+600007316&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&IsNodeId=1&Subcategory=48&description=&hisInDesc=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&AdvancedSearch=1&srchInDesc=
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709+600007853+600030348+600007313&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&IsNodeId=1&Subcategory=48&description=&hisInDesc=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&AdvancedSearch=1&srchInDesc=