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Old 03-14-07, 12:41 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 11
Default CPU/Video Card Needed for Reliable H.264 1080p Content?

I'm going to be building myself a new Linux HTPC for my Westinghouse LVM-37W3 and I would like something that is capable of playing the most CPU intensive HD video (x/h.264 from what I can gather) at full 1080P resolution reliably and with plenty of leeway so that, under normal conditions, stuttering or frame dropping does not occur. Does anyone have experience with this?

From what I can gather, as there is no hardware h.264 acceleration that is supported by Linux, so my real limiting factor will be the CPU, not the video card. (And I assume that XvMC won't be worth the bother, since if the system can reliably play HD H.264 then MPEG2 should be cake.)

In windows, using VLC, the most aggressive h.264 1080P content I can find tops off one of my Core 2 Duo E6400's cores at 50 percent and stutters during fast scenes. (Less aggressive, which I assume means less compression) content plays stably around 30-40 percent. 1080p VC-1 and MPEG2 work beautifully in the 30-40s as well without any hardware acceleration.

I'm thinking that I should opt for the fastest, individual core I can afford. Would something like a Pentium D 3.0 or 3.4 cut it? My budget is going to be around $400-600.

Thanks for the help, it's much appreciated!
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