RAM and CPU performance effects on HD at "low-res"?
This question relates to LIVE (couldn't change the title...)

Probably like quite a few people I've got quite a few .MKV 720/1080 HD media files, but my Plasma TV is just 480p.

My basic Athlon 3200+ system with a Nforce 430/GeForce 6150 board can play the MKV's but they do stutter occasionally in very complex/busy scenes.

Firstly, is there any less CPU load when downsampling HD playback to 480p? (playback resolution does not seem to have a major impact, as far as I can tell...)

With respect to playback performance, would a dual-core Athlon X2, of the same actual CPU speed (2GHz) as a Venice-based 3200+ help playback?

Also, how much RAM is actually required for XBMC live? Is there any point going over 1GB? Any performance gains with 2GB, 2.5GB, 3GB?

To answer your first question, there's little to no decrease in CPU when downsampling - you still have to decode the video. Some decreases I believe *might* be possible as some codecs have the ability to do half-sized decoding - we currently do this for anything larger than a certain pixel rate for the xbox only. See CDVDFactoryCodec::CreateVideoCodec if you wish to try it out for yourself.

Scaling is done on the GPU, so that side of it doesn't matter much.

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