Good enough CPU or GPU/iGP for "Ultra-settings"?

Everything about Splash compatibility with different hardware configurations.

Postby Blisterpack » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:33 pm

Hello to the community!

I've been using the Splash Lite version for a while and I'm loving it; yesterday I saw my friend using your Splash Pro EX and I definitely see the visual improvements from the Lite version.

He's using a pretty decent system (quad-core CPU and GTS 250); and though I'm confident that my system could handle it, I'm planning to buy a "budget" HTPC system (HD videos, DVD,. no gaming) for Christmas.

I've read the hardware requirements for the EX since I'm really after the "Motion2/Picture2" features, and I'm pretty confused at which I should follow,. somewhere its written that it needs a "Quad-core" while the system requirement on the EX page says a "Dual-Core Intel 1.66GHz",.?

I'm planning to buy a copy of EX for the HTPC build but until I could confirm the "minimum/recommended" requirements, I can't settle on the final CPU.

My movie collection are mostly 1080p H.264 videos (encoded between 3 - 15Mbps) and I would want to use all of EX's settings without "lag".

Which of these would suffice?
Athlon II X2 250 + 9500GT
Core i3 2100 w/IGP (HD2000)
Atom D525 + 9500GT
Other suggested CPU?

I'm really looking for the "good-enough" config since I'm really short on budget and I would like to use the savings to get better storage.

TIA!!!
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Postby P.J » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:38 pm

Core i3 2100 should handle Motion2/1080p60 (Sandybridge-HT). Atom is a joke :D
Athlon II X2 can only play 1080p but not 50/60p or Motion2.

I have no experience about HD2000 or Intel IGPs.
But you can add a dedicated video card later because IGPs aren't good specially Intel.
9500GT likes 8600GT but uses VP3 video engine, not that bad but so old and can't play 1080p50/60, I think.

So, if you like to use Motion2 with 1080p (Only progressive 24/25/30 or it won't enable), you have to get a powerful dual-core or normal quad-core CPU.
And if you want to get good video quality, you have to get at least a good new low-profile dedicated video card like HD6570/GT430/GT520...
It'll offload your CPU too except Motion2 that uses CPU.
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Postby Blisterpack » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:30 pm

Thanks sir P.J for the response, it affirmed my decision to go for an Intel build with the Intel Core i3,. haven't yet settled on the GPU since I'll be using a dedicated HTPC case with half-height PCI slots.

Thanks..
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Postby Blisterpack » Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:06 pm

I've read online that the HD2000 on the Core i3 2100 is good enough for HTPC purposes; I never experienced any issues playing any of my videos in XBMC,.

HD2000 is supported by SplashPro EX hardware list but my experience in running every option in EX with 1080p videos resulted in chronic stutters and overall slowdown,.

Will the stutter/slowdown be fixed with a decent low-mid class discrete videocards like the HD5670 or GT430?

Also,. is there any way that I could use SplashPro as the external player in XBMC?

I would really like the PQ of SplashPro and the GUI of XBMC. TIA
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Postby P.J » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:40 pm

Get the latest driver from intel site. Try changing settings in Intel graphic control panel, ClearVideo...
What video files do you have problem? Please provide more details, should be more expert to solve kinda these problems :)
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Postby Blisterpack » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:17 am

Thanks sir P.J for the immediate reply,..

I've downloaded the latest drivers (v15.22.50.2509),. and I've already disabled any video "enhancements" in the control panel but the stutter problem still persist when playing a 1080P (Avatar, blu-ray rip @ 16MBps) video in SplashPlayer.

I'm using a trial copy of SplashPlayer Pro and enabled:
- 1080i Deinterlace
- Hardware accel (ClearVideo)
- Motion2 @ 6
- Light Boost @ 2
- Detail Boost @ 4


I see the "M/GPU" below the seekbar that indicates hardware acceleration is enabled and utilized but the stutter/slowdown is still there,. so far,. the stutter occurs only on 1080P videos,. SD res videos work fine.

Further research suggest that the HD2000 is about half the power of the HD3000,. could it be that HD2000 simply is too weak to do all of SplashPlayer's features?

Though not a reliable comparison,. I tried using my spare 9500GT (which is more powerful than HD2/3000) and see similar problems,. the video stutters when playing HD videos.
To verify,. I've also swapped my GTX 460 card and any videos play fluidly- no probs at all,.

I'm willing to buy a new discrete card (9500GT couldn't handle all of SplashPlayer's features),,..

Will the NVidia GT430 or the slightly faster ATI HD6570 handle the 1080P videos without any problems?
Both cards trump my 9500GT in raw performance,.


TIA
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Postby P.J » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:02 pm

Try to turn off Motion2, Light Boost, Detail Boost. What if you play in WMP12?
9500GT is the same as 8600GT, has some problems since it's old.

And HD6570 is better than GT430:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4380/disc ... shootout/7

I would get GT550Ti for Nvidia.
Also it's worth to try v15.​22.​54.​2622 since it's newer (I know it's only for HD Graphics):
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchR ... amilyId=39
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Postby Blisterpack » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:40 am

Thanks for the reply sir P.J

Yes,. the HD5670 is faster than the GT430,.. but the GT430 is cheaper and I would readily pick the cheaper one as long as it would handle 1080P videos in SplashPro,. I'm not interested in their gaming value.

The only reason that I'll consider the HD5670 (even if the GT430 is good enough) is that ATI Cards seems to give better noise reduction and better PQ than NVidia.

BTW. Except in SplashPro,. both the HD2000 and 9500GT plays 1080P videos fine.
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Postby IDfine » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:21 am

P.J wrote:Try to turn off Motion2, Light Boost, Detail Boost. What if you play in WMP12?
9500GT is the same as 8600GT, has some problems since it's old.

And HD6570 is better than GT430:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4380/disc ... shootout/7

I would get GT550Ti for Nvidia.
Also it's worth to try v15.​22.​54.​2622 since it's newer (I know it's only for HD Graphics):
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchR ... amilyId=39

hardware acceleration doesn't work with 550ti
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Postby P.J » Tue May 01, 2012 7:16 pm

Splash has problem with new Nvidia drivers for WinXP. Get Win7 for good video playback.

I have to mention that only GTX680 has better video playback quality due to VP5.
GT520 has VP5 too but very weak! So better to wait for newer models if you want to get Nvidia.
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