Can I run XBMC on a Intel Pentium 4 computer? If so, which PCI graphic card to get?
Yes, I run it on one in my office and it will quite happily playback 1080p content.

Mine runs with a nvidia 9400 card. Does the machine have a free pcie slot or just pci?
Even on my Athlon Single Core with 1800 MHz and Nvidia 8800GT every 1080p movie runs perfect. Also a Nvidia G210 is working great on this machine. Depends whether you have PCI or PCI-e
Thank very much for the replies. I have a Dell Gx260 Tower computer and manual says this about my PCI slots:

four PCI slots and one AGP slot (card sizes = three PCI slots support cards up to 27.9 cm [11 inches] long, and one PCI slot and the AGP slot support cards up to 22.9 cm [9 inches] long)

So I guess I"m looking at PCI and not PCI-E.

Any suggestions for a good low priced card?

Thanks again.
Nvidia 8400 - can normally be picked up quite cheap.
More specifically, you need a 512mb 8400 GS PCI card. This:
Much appreciated. Thanks.
Hi all,

At the moment Iḿ in search of an mce application for home use. For itś features xbmc is a real nice candidate. However, I do face some restrictions.

My main issue is the system I'm using. This is a Pentium 4 (3Ghz) system with 768 MB Ram (1 Gb when my old mediasystem will be replaced by this one). The bottleneck obviously is the built-in graph chip, namely an intel 865gv chip.

Upgrading seems the logical step but.... this intel chip runs via agp. The only expansion slot type available is PCI (the old one, not PCI-E).

Needless to say performance of xbmc (not to mention playing movies in it) is rather sluggisch, even with refocus as skin installed. (FYI, I try to get it running on Linux Mint 10)

So my question is... would this performance benefit enough from adding a pci graphical card to make the system usable? The boost form the chip must exceed bij far the loss of bandwitdh from stepping back from agp to PCI.

Would a card, based on (for example) a Geforce FX5200 be useful here? if not, what could you recommend? (And yes, I know getting antoher system would be the smartest idea, but that is not really one of the options since I try to find use for systems I still have lying around. So a small amount of money for an upgrade is OK, but not more than that)

Thanx for your replies.
Sadly I think you're throwing good money after bad. I would save your pennies until you have enough for a new PC.

If you really *really* want to carry on with the old PC you need an NVIDIA card that supports VDPAU, or DXVA2 if you want to use Windows. I'm pretty certain that an FX5200 supports neither. Google, or use Wikipedia, to find out which NVIDIA cards would be suitable. There are PCI cards that do support VDPAU, though I can't remember which these are.

Is xbmc really that huge that it needs vdpau? I mean, regarding to wikipedia's description, vdpau is a pretty recent thingy?
Tuckson Wrote:Is xbmc really that huge that it needs vdpau? I mean, regarding to wikipedia's description, vdpau is a pretty recent thingy?

Decoding 1080p involves a lot of Fast Fourier Transforms! Anything that attempts to play 1080p video needs a lot of processing power, so it's not just XBMC that will struggle. VDPAU/DXVA2 allows XBMC to offload the decoding to the GPU, which is designed for the task and does it a lot better than the CPU.

You'll be able to play DVD and probably 720p, and maybe 1080p will play (depending on the bitrate). Try it and see. My point is simply that hardware is (relatively) cheap these days so if your finances will stretch that far it's much nicer to buy a modern HTPC than to bodge up some old hardware.

Tuckson Wrote:The only expansion slot type available is PCI (the old one, not PCI-E).

Here is the one real option for 1080p playback:

No other GPU works for hardware that old, but that card can play 1080p files in Linux with what you have otherwise.
Thnx for the link. Will consider this one. Seems not too much money since I'm from Europe.
I have tried XBMC on ATV but I am having trouble playing my HD content. It buffers way too much and is very choppy. I have this old PC that I was thinking about using. It's a Dell with a P4 and 2 GB of memory. I haven't booted this PC yet as it was given to me by a friend. I think it is a 2.8Ghz but I am not sure as of yet. I would have to add a video and sound card to get optical and HDMI out.

Before I spend the time putting an OS on it, I was wondering if anyone can tell me if that processor is enough to decode 720p and 1080p content. If it will not decode 1080p but will do 720p, that's ok, I can still use my PS3 and PS3 Media Server but I really like the XBMC experience and would much rather use that over the PS3. I would also want to use it with my Harmony remote and would need to pick up one of those HP IR Receivers.

Thanks in advance,

I run 1080p on a single core 1.8 gHz celeron, the CPU just idles.

Your trouble will be finding a compatible video card. I think the 8400 in PCI/AGP form is your best/only bet.
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `xbmc_%`.* TO 'xbmc'@'%';
IF you have a mysql problem, find one of the 4 dozen threads already open.
As darkscout says, the trick will be finding a video card that supports hardware acceleration. The NVIDIA 8400GS is about the oldest card that does, and one of the few available as any format other than PCIe.

You could probably play 720p without hardware acceleration, but I suspect 1080p would max out the CPU.

Isn't a Dell of that vintage going to be rather big and noisy to use as an HTPC?

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Can I run XBMC on a Intel Pentium 4 computer? If so, which PCI graphic card to get?51