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Topic # 31566 22-Mar-2009 17:35
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Hi guys,

I got a cheap Pinnacle TV tuner, but my poor old Athlon 3000XP+ CPU stuggles to decode let alone do anything else.

I have a pretty old video card (Asus N6600LE Silent) and was wondering if a better video card might help?

Any suggestions, or is it purely CPU preformance?

-Al

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  Reply # 202641 22-Mar-2009 19:01
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DVB-S or DVB-T?

If T then although a better graphics card would help it would not be enough. You really need a dual core CPU AND a video card that will do full hardware acceleration ie a Nvidia 8400GS or above.

Also I am guessing that the mobo is AGP not PCIe?

If DVB-S then you have some hope.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 202653 22-Mar-2009 20:10
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here's an analogy for digital TV (not analogue)

the tuner is in effect a 'dumb' device, it's job is to download the digital signal over the air (0's and 1's) and put them into something the rest of the PC can understand, this signal is then fed to the video card to render (together with any software or hardware assistance)

If you have a low specced video card, it can't render the video being fed to it well enough, which will then lead to choppy or no picture at all. 

Or something like that anyhow...



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Reply # 202664 22-Mar-2009 21:02
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Well one thing in my favour is it is a PCIe mobo (ASUS A8N32SLI Deluxe).

I can currently play DVB-T ok - but cant do anything else at the same time. It sounds like a new card will help a little?

-Al

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  Reply # 202678 22-Mar-2009 22:41
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Well here is an example. My PVR is a lowly Sempron 3000 with 1G RAM. It had a fairly average AGP video card in it. It could not play any Freeview content at all, SD or HD. The screen was just a mess of colour patterns.

Popped in a ATI HD 2600XT AGP card which many would say is not recommended since the card apparently has some hack to allow that chipset to work as AGP.  Anyway with the latest Catalyst drivers I can now  play any Freeview HD content and the CPU is only running at about 20% (those with dual cores etc are seeing 5-10%).

It's quite a revelation. Now in either GB-PVR or PowerDVD8 I can watch and hear all Freeview content, HD or not and the CPU is not breaking a sweat




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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  Reply # 202680 22-Mar-2009 22:44
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lchiu7: Well here is an example. My PVR is a lowly Sempron 3000 with 1G RAM. It had a fairly average AGP video card in it. It could not play any Freeview content at all, SD or HD. The screen was just a mess of colour patterns.

Popped in a ATI HD 2600XT AGP card which many would say is not recommended since the card apparently has some hack to allow that chipset to work as AGP.  Anyway with the latest Catalyst drivers I can now  play any Freeview HD content and the CPU is only running at about 20% (those with dual cores etc are seeing 5-10%).

It's quite a revelation. Now in either GB-PVR or PowerDVD8 I can watch and hear all Freeview content, HD or not and the CPU is not breaking a sweat


Well it certainly sounds from that, that a new vid card will take a load off the CPU?

-Al

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  Reply # 202701 23-Mar-2009 06:37
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bigal_nz: Well one thing in my favour is it is a PCIe mobo (ASUS A8N32SLI Deluxe).

I can currently play DVB-T ok - but cant do anything else at the same time. It sounds like a new card will help a little?

-Al


Nice board.. I have the A8N-SLI. OK get yourself a new video card. Do you use the PC for gaming or is it dedicated to media centre duties? If it is dedicated get yourself a 9400GT or 9500GT if gaming go up from that. I think it is still better to stay away from ATI as they have had issues with the drivers. Sounds like the guy in the previous posts is having more luck with ATI but I have still not heard of a general consensus that they are OK now.

If the PC is still stuggling after that pick up a second hand X2 CPU.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64



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  Reply # 202706 23-Mar-2009 07:25
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Nety:
bigal_nz: Well one thing in my favour is it is a PCIe mobo (ASUS A8N32SLI Deluxe).

I can currently play DVB-T ok - but cant do anything else at the same time. It sounds like a new card will help a little?

-Al


Nice board.. I have the A8N-SLI. OK get yourself a new video card. Do you use the PC for gaming or is it dedicated to media centre duties? If it is dedicated get yourself a 9400GT or 9500GT if gaming go up from that. I think it is still better to stay away from ATI as they have had issues with the drivers. Sounds like the guy in the previous posts is having more luck with ATI but I have still not heard of a general consensus that they are OK now.

If the PC is still stuggling after that pick up a second hand X2 CPU.


Wish I could get a x2 processor, but the board is Socket A? Not AM2 - I think I need AM2 to get any sort of dual cores?

Will look at those cards....Thanks for the tips.

-Al

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  Reply # 202721 23-Mar-2009 09:02
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The mobo you have is a 939 socket. The X2's started out as a 939 socket and then moved to AM2 later on. That is why I said get one second hand as you are hard pressed to find any 939 CPU's new now. Not to mention the cost.

I think you can get a 4000+ or maybe even a 4200+ 939 but the common one that is available seems to be the 3800+ which is what I have.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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  Reply # 202804 23-Mar-2009 14:56
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You should be reasonably safe to assume the vid card will sort it out for you. The difference between software and hardware encoding is huge with the level of CPU you have there, I would be surprised if you couldn't get perfect playback with around 30% CPU or less. Multitasking may still be a big ask though when playing HD content.

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  Reply # 203359 25-Mar-2009 22:39
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I think ATI are "ok" now.
Catalyst 8.12 for XP and 9.2 for Vista
(Altho i have heard romours that 9.3 is working in XP for DXVA)




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter


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