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Using a GPU can allow for slower PC?
I have 3 PCs extras at my disposal and would like to create an HTPC with XBMC for my downstairs TV but since it will barely be used I do not desire to spend $100-$300 on a dual core or faster PC.

I already have the following:

2.4GHZ AMD 64bit/2GB RAM
2.0GHZ Celeron/1GB RAM

Now I read here that I should be able to use said one of said PCs and just use something that has NVidia PureVideo and that should offload video from the CPU and allow me to use a slower PC.

That way I could just spend like $30 or so and get an XBMC up and running.

Is this true or am I understanding this all wrong?

EDIT: I guess this idea is dead in the water, I just found out that every single PC only has AGP not PCI-e, so unless there is a such thing as a PCI GPU with PureVideo not sure what to do.
My librtmp & rtmpdump files for Android-ARM (APKs also), ATV1, iOS (Apple TV 2, iPhone, iPod Touch, & iPad), Linux (32bit & 64bit), MacOS x86 (32bit & 64bit), RasPi, & Windows

My technological website:
Motherboards are PCIe? That's you best option, a cheap ATI 5xxx series vido card can get you HD playback. If you go 6xxx I think you get 3D capability and bit streaming. NVidia options are GT 210 or GT 430 based cars.

All the above can typically be had for less that $25 frequently.

There are a couple of PCI solutions but I think they are more.

You're going to need Win7 or Linux though, I would suggest Linux with only 2G memory, which then means you should probably go with the NVidia line of cards.

The short answer is yes though... You can do what you want to do... It might be loud, ugly (big case) and use a lot of power, but it will work. Typically the other hardware isn't as energy conscious as the new stuff.


Some company got drunk and released a PCI version of the GT520.

And I have a 1.8 gHz Celeron with 1 GB of RAM.

And unless you're running 1080p all of those will play SD stuff just fine.
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `xbmc_%`.* TO 'xbmc'@'%';
IF you have a mysql problem, find one of the 4 dozen threads already open.
Ok I will have to look around then, because it seems very rare to find PCI cards these days.

I mean I'd enjoy having dual-core PCs, but I got 3 PCs, gotta do something with them, LoL.

It seems though even as it, even though XBMC lags through menus, videos play fine as long as they are SD, but it would be nice to at least get XBMC go navigate a tad faster.

This is while messing with my 2.0GHZ/1GB RAM PC.

Oddly enough it seems the XP XBMC was working WAY better than the Linux versions which seemed to almost completely freeze.

Though all 3 of these PCs are using integrated graphics, so that probably doesn't help a whole lot.
My librtmp & rtmpdump files for Android-ARM (APKs also), ATV1, iOS (Apple TV 2, iPhone, iPod Touch, & iPad), Linux (32bit & 64bit), MacOS x86 (32bit & 64bit), RasPi, & Windows

My technological website:
XP won't do hardware acceleration I believe...

Navigation of XBMC, etc would probably be your achilles heel. While video files can be accelerated, the interface is not. Sticking with the more simple skins would help. I was using Alaska Revisited on my Atom/ION boxes with great success a while back.

You can certainly use any of those CPU/MB combos indicated as the basis for your central library for sure.
correct, XP won't do hardware acceleration in XBMC
I have an old 1.7Ghz Pentium 4, 384MB ram, with a PCI Nvidia 8400GS running XBMC Live installed to the Hard drive and it runs pretty well considering its over 10 year old hardware with a new-ish gpu slapped in. The UI is responsive enough using the default skin. I havent tried any of the 'Heavy' skins on it though. 1080p Mkvs play just fine.
if the downstairs TV has HDMI... then atv2 can be found on craigslist for $60 to 80 and those work GREAT.

Silent, almost zero power consumption...
I just wanted to thank everybody for their replies.

I decided to go with the 8400GS PCI.

My 2.4GHZ 64-bit Hypertransport AMD CPU, 2GB RAM PC seems to run the XBMC menu fairly well with default skin, barely any freezing, running Vista 64-bit.

Now the video on the other hand is far better than I could have ever expected.

The video even 1080p video seems to play the same if not better than my 1.8, 2.1, and 3.4GHZ Dual Core PCs.

I have yet to notice a single hiccup in any video playing.

Not bad that you can just pay $37-$40 so that you can just refuse an old PC for XBMC vs a brand-new PC.
My librtmp & rtmpdump files for Android-ARM (APKs also), ATV1, iOS (Apple TV 2, iPhone, iPod Touch, & iPad), Linux (32bit & 64bit), MacOS x86 (32bit & 64bit), RasPi, & Windows

My technological website:
I've just tried replacing the GeForce 6800 on a Dell XPS600 with an XFX Radeon HD6450. Playing an HDDVD ISO (stored on another PC, but mounted using Virtual CloneDrive) in the trial version of TMT5 I'm getting some stuttering. It actually seemed worse using the Xbox HDDVD drive connected to one of the front USB ports. Not tried it with the ISO stored on the local drive, but the connection should have been gigabit.

The spec of the machine is:
FoxConn LS36 MB
3.4 GHz P4 (think it's a Prescott 2M)
2GB RAM (4x512MB sticks, think it's DDR2 667)
2x 500 GB SATA HDDs
XFX Radeon HD6450.
Win 7 64bit.

I tried both at 1280x1024 via VGA to an LCD monitor and at 1920x1080 (both 60hz and 24Hz) to a Panny VT30 (via an Onkyo 875 AVR).

When I had a quick look at task manager last night I seem to remember the CPU wasn't flat out, so I'm thinking that maybe it could do with more RAM. I'd be tempted to replace 2x512 sticks with 2x2GB sticks to up it to 5. Will cost about £45.
Make sure you enable hardware acceleration when possible.

I'm not sold that more memory will solve your problem, although Win7 does work better with 4G. I'd look elsewhere first.
I thought I'd got hardware acceleration enabled in TMT5. Will play around some more with it.

Using a GPU can allow for slower PC?00