Need help building divx machine

relaxandreflect

Senior member
Jan 28, 2003
493
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i want to put together a cheap divx only machine to hook into my tv with parts i already have. so far i have:

celeron 466
ep-3vbm mobo w/ 2x agp
power supply
ram

I am thinking about getting around a 4 gb hdd b/c i found a good deal. i need to know if the agp slot and processor will be too slow. if not, what would be a good vid card? and do i need one with hardware dvd decoding?

Also, I was considering whether to use linux (with X windows) or windows.

Finally, how much ram would i need?



Thanks in advance for any advice
 

rbV5

Lifer
Dec 10, 2000
12,632
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Your proccessor will struggle, a 4 GB HD will have too slow transfers, hardware DVD won't help with divx decoding, GF4 MX, Matrox or budget Radeons for acceptable TV output on the cheap, Windows for ease of use, Linux could certainly work, More Ram the better.

Be more realistic with your budget, maybe a N-force with a cheap AMD XP and you'll be happier, PC video is demanding..especially Divx decoding due to the compression.
 

Haden

Senior member
Nov 21, 2001
578
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If ram is a problem go for Linux with BlackBox/MPlayer - 64MB should be enough.
466 will be too slow (some skips during playback), maybe overclock to 525?
If stable - will play ~ good.
4GB for divx shouldn't be to slow - for mpeg-2 (vobs) might become bottle neck, however 4GB is what like 4-5 films?

950 Duron (or > ) , with 128MB sdram, GF2 MX400/GF4 MX would play w/o trouble.
 

jiffylube1024

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2002
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Originally posted by: rbV5
Your proccessor will struggle, a 4 GB HD will have too slow transfers, hardware DVD won't help with divx decoding, GF4 MX, Matrox or budget Radeons for acceptable TV output on the cheap, Windows for ease of use, Linux could certainly work, More Ram the better.

Be more realistic with your budget, maybe a N-force with a cheap AMD XP and you'll be happier, PC video is demanding..especially Divx decoding due to the compression.

Very good suggestions, but nForce is a bit much; you would be fine with a P3/Athlon/Celeron/Duron ~750 MHz and an old mobo with 256MB SDRAM (you can buy a bundle from someone in FS/FT for cheap I'm sure).

Personally, I'd try to get a Duron 750 bundled with an older Mobo and RAM... should be a GREAT price (good amount under $100 for the 3 pieces)
 

Gouv

Member
Jul 28, 2002
62
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If you don't slide the post processing bar to the higher quality settings your CPU and mobo should be able to handle it. You could always add a DIVX decoder board if it's a problem. You should really buy a bigger (mabye a cheap 20GB) hard drive. A Radeon 7500 is a good and cheap card. The video card only matters for the TV-out quality because the CPU does the DIVX decoding in software. Use Windows with Media Player 6.4 (mplayer2.exe in Windows XP). Here's a comparisson of the slower systems that I've watched DIVX movies on:

This system used to be my main one. Rarely skipped on any movie unless the post processing was cranked up beyond the second level. Almost never skipped when overclocked to 450.
Celeron 400
128 MB
ATA33 9.6 GB Quantum Bigfoot HD
Ati Rage Pro 8MB
Intel Chipset

Friend's system. Never skipped
PIII 550
768 MB
20 GB HD
TNT2 Ultra 32 MB
Intel Chipset

Basement system at home. The TV-out isn't great, but that's probably because the cables are long and the TV is a 46" 1986 projection model. Pre-Athlon AMD processors skip worse with DIVX. This one does ok, but it does skip too much with some movies.
AMD K63 450
128 MB
30 GB HD
Ati Rage Pro 8MB
VIA Chipset
 

Gouv

Member
Jul 28, 2002
62
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0
I do agree with jiffylube on this one - if you try it and it skips a cheap solution like he proposed is better than buying a decoder card.
 

speed01

Golden Member
Jan 23, 2001
1,167
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I have a P3 500 with 512 ram, AIW 128 and 2 drives (6 gig for OS and such and a 13 gig for captures) running XP Pro. I hasn't skipped on anything I've played on it yet. This is only used for capture and playback, not converting.
 

sxr7171

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2002
5,079
40
91
Originally posted by: Gouv
If you don't slide the post processing bar to the higher quality settings your CPU and mobo should be able to handle it. You could always add a DIVX decoder board if it's a problem. You should really buy a bigger (mabye a cheap 20GB) hard drive. A Radeon 7500 is a good and cheap card. The video card only matters for the TV-out quality because the CPU does the DIVX decoding in software. Use Windows with Media Player 6.4 (mplayer2.exe in Windows XP). Here's a comparisson of the slower systems that I've watched DIVX movies on: This system used to be my main one. Rarely skipped on any movie unless the post processing was cranked up beyond the second level. Almost never skipped when overclocked to 450. Celeron 400 128 MB ATA33 9.6 GB Quantum Bigfoot HD Ati Rage Pro 8MB Intel Chipset Friend's system. Never skipped PIII 550 768 MB 20 GB HD TNT2 Ultra 32 MB Intel Chipset Basement system at home. The TV-out isn't great, but that's probably because the cables are long and the TV is a 46" 1986 projection model. Pre-Athlon AMD processors skip worse with DIVX. This one does ok, but it does skip too much with some movies. AMD K63 450 128 MB 30 GB HD Ati Rage Pro 8MB VIA Chipset

But what's the point in building a machine specifically to do DIVX if you can't crank up the post processing? I know that it takes a lot of CPU to do that, but I guess it's necessary on a machine whose purpose is to play DIVX files.
 

Gouv

Member
Jul 28, 2002
62
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It's just an asthetic thing. I can't notice too much difference whether it on or off - especially on a TV. If I had the choice I wouldn't buy new stuff just to crank it up, but that's just because it doesn't do much for me.