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Old 2009-02-20, 22:10   Link #1
RagolSlayer
DQ5 obsessed ^_^
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Help upgrading a computer for MKVs!

Hey all,

I'm doing something for my friend's birthday two weeks from now and got her an old eMachines computer from a friend of mine so that she can:

1) Actually own a computer for web browsing/work. Parents were too cheap to shove out for a computer when she got to college =P
2) Be able to watch anime (that's all she does on my computer when she comes over to visit)

But anyways, her new obsession is Tales of the Abyss and I'm trying out the gg subs (with CCCP + MPC) but the video is extremely choppy and lags behind the sound (don't say wait for other subs - she's already used to gg's subs and she hates how all the other subs are three eps behind). I know it's a crap computer, so I just have one question - which would make the video run at a decent speed (or at least make the biggest impact)? Upgrading the processor or the video card? I would do both, but I don't exactly have the money right now.

Or if anyone has any ways software-wise to make it run, feel free to post.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

BTW, here are the specs:
Processor: Intel Celeron 2.66 GHz
RAM: 1GB <--- Can't upgrade RAM since that's the most it can support.
Video Card: ATI Radeon 9250 128MB
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Old 2009-02-20, 23:21   Link #2
Anavel
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Since you mentioned the PC is old, I'll assume it can only support a P4. CPU upgrade will be the best thing, not sure if upgrading the video card will do anything. If you plan on upgrading the CPU make sure the BIOS is able to support a faster CPU. Upgrade to a P4, the type of Celeron processors that PC uses are slow for SD/HD viewing. If your not sure download CPU-Z and run it, it displays info on your motherboard & RAM.

Also make sure all the RAM is running at the same speed/frequency, if you have different RAM sticks it can cause some performance issues.
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Old 2009-02-20, 23:35   Link #3
RagolSlayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anavel View Post
Since you mentioned the PC is old, I'll assume it can only support a P4. CPU upgrade will be the best thing, not sure if upgrading the video card will do anything. If you plan on upgrading the CPU make sure the BIOS is able to support a faster CPU. Upgrade to a P4, the type of Celeron processors that PC uses are slow for SD/HD viewing. If your not sure download CPU-Z and run it, it displays info on your motherboard & RAM.

Also make sure all the RAM is running at the same speed/frequency, if you have different RAM sticks it can cause some performance issues.
Thanks for the info! I looked into some processors and I found a 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 on Newegg - would that be enough to run a 1280x720 MKV file?
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Old 2009-02-20, 23:53   Link #4
Anavel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RagolSlayer View Post
Thanks for the info! I looked into some processors and I found a 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 on Newegg - would that be enough to run a 1280x720 MKV file?
I think so. If your motherboard and BIOS can support that CPU speed then upgrade to it. If you have doubts, look at CPU-Z and see who the manufacturer of the motherboard is. If its an Intel motherboard go to Intel's site and search for your motherboard model. The site will display what RAM speed is supported and also the highest CPU speed along with the BIOS version required for it.

Also forgot to mention, but did you do reformat and install the OS? I'd recommend it, but if you don't have an OS disk with a valid serial key then I wouldn't. Also make sure you don't have resource intensive programs running in the background that can cause slow playback (antivirus or firewall).
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Old 2009-02-21, 00:22   Link #5
0utf0xZer0
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Before bothering with a CPU upgrade, I'd recommend trying out CoreAVC. Seems to have much lower CPU utilization than the default H.264 codec included with CCCP.

(I think you just need to install CoreAVC and uncheck the H.264 box in the CCCP settings.)

Also, if given the choice between styled and unstyled subs in an MKV, unstyled will usually be faster, although sometimes this eliminates effects the subtitler used to make it easier to differentiate dialogue from background chatter.
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Old 2009-02-21, 01:23   Link #6
emptyeighty
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Instructions on how to use CCCP with CoreAVC.

Also it should be noted that a P4 3.0GHz may not be able to play some of the heavier (non-anime) 720p H.264 files and will certainly have problems with 1080p H.264.
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Old 2009-02-21, 08:45   Link #7
SeijiSensei
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You need to make sure whatever CPU you choose fits the socket on your motherboard. A quick look at Google brought up this posting about a similar upgrade to yours.

Frankly, I'd try the CoreAVC route first and see if that helps. I'm not certain it makes a lot of sense to upgrade this machine, unless you're willing to invest in a new motherboard and CPU together. Here's a budget mobo at NewEgg for $50 that supports modern dual-core processors. If you look down the page, you'll see a compatible processor at $80. You'd also have to make sure the memory is compatible.

At some point the effort to upgrade may not be worth it given how cheaply whole computers are priced these days.

My main video computer has a 3.0 GHz Pentium D, and it plays nearly every fansub encoded at 720p with the H.264 codec flawlessly. I'm running Linux, though, which generally has somewhat less overhead than Windows. YMMV.

One other software option you might try is SMplayer, a nice front-end to the open-source mplayer program. If you download the Windows version, it comes with both programs packaged together. I don't know how mplayer compares to CCCP+CoreAVC for performance, though. Maybe emptyeighty does?
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Old 2009-02-21, 10:08   Link #8
Anavel
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With what the other guys mentioned, you could try installing Core AVC, but I highly doubt you'll see an improvemnt especially with a Celeron CPU. I suggest trying eBay instead of Newegg, you can get that 3.0GHZ CPU a lot cheaper.

My laptop (Celeron M CPU, 2.0GHZ) can play 720p fine with just CCCP installed using WMP, not to mention I can also multitask without playback issues. So I'm pretty sure that 3.0GHZ CPU will be enough.
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