Upgrading Computer To Play Blue Rays

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cetus lupedus
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I got this Samsung blue ray drive recently.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151222

The software that comes with the drive was old and I didn't want to use the whole bloated PowerDVD bundle. So Instead I purchase the latest WinDVD software, version 11.

I have an Asus A8V deluxe mobo with a AMD 64 3500+ CPU. I currently have 2GB of PC 3200. I have an HIS 4670 video card which has 1GB of RAM and is fully 1080P HD compliant.

My problem is, blue ray movies do not playback smoothly, there is a lot of lag, and a major percentage of my CPU is being used, between 80% to 100%.

I know I should just build a new rig, but as you know the economy is pretty crappy right now, were all loosing our jobs, and well, I just don't got the money to build a new 800 dollar or more computer.

Anyways, back on topic...

Because I felt that my 2GB of RAM was lacking, I went ahead and purchased a couple more sticks of RAM to reach my max 4GB of RAM capacity.

My question is, will bumping my RAM up to 4GB allow me to play blu ray movies smoothly? I am also have problems with playing Red Faction Armageddon and Fear 3. Of course this could be an incompatibility with my CPU being a single core.

But I find it hard to believe that they would make games that were not backwards compatible for those who are still operating single core PC's. Oh and before I forget, yes, I am running Windows XP.

You don't think me running a 7200RPM IDE drive is slowing down the works? My Mobo does support serial ata 1.5, so getting a new drive is an option for my computer.But seeing as how hard drives have recently gone way up in price, I am going to hold off on that.

Thanks for any ideas
Cetus

Acer Aspire V3-771G Notebook - Quad-core i7-2670QM 2.2 GHz - 8GB DDR3 MEM 2GB VID MEM - NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M - Screen 17.3" 1TB HD - Upgraded OS To 7-Ultimate

3dGameMan
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Well, fact is you have a slower video card and 4GB of memory isn't much for playing content at high resolution flawlessly. Also, you're running WinXP which could also be an issue in the way of driver support.

Rodney Reynolds,
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cetus lupedus
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Thankyou for getting back to me Rodney! :)

Yeah, I thought the video card being full 1080P compliant and having a full gig on it would handle the task with ease, its also kind of a fast card for what it is as I can pump the memory up to 2000 MHZ.

4GB of memory is actually a lot for any single core setup, most people could only say they had about 1GB to 2GB when they had their single cores. But I understand that it may not be enough for watching blu rays?

Regarding driver support, that may indeed be an issue. One of the things I have noticed is that I can not use any newer driver past 10.9. Everytime I try, I either get a BSOD or the driver just acts like their is no driver on the system.

I wasn't aware that it was because I have XP that might be causing that problem. I assume my hardware is not up to snuff to run System 7, which is why I haven't even bother to buy it.

I guess I am just going to have to make due till I build my next rig. And thankfully I got a blue ray player attached to my 60" plasma TV! Watching on their is better anyways LOL.

Cetus

3dGameMan
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Yea, not to be rude, but you're system is dated.

eire1274
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Unfortunately, WindowsXP does not have embedded DVD or Blu-ray licenses, so this creates an odd situation. On Vista or Windows 7, which do have the licenses, playback is sent to the video card driver which uses the GPU to do the decoding.

On WindowsXP, since there is no license, the decoding features of the driver are inactive, and decoding software like PowerDVD and WinDVD use the main processor exclusively. 2Gb should be sufficient, but anything else going on will interfere with the playback. On DVD, you shouldn't see to much because the processing needed for that resolution is low, but Blu-ray is rather intense and can tie up the system.

AMD (ATi) used to include DVD/Blu-Ray licenses in their drivers, but stopped when Micro$oft started building them into the Windows packages. I believe the last generation that got it was the R300 cores (Radeon 9500/9600/9800, X300, X600, and X1000).

Got this info straight from Microsoft while trying to restore a client's training PC, which suddenly lost DVD playback rights in Media Player. It originally had a Radeon 9500 in the original build, which failed, and was replaced with an HD 2650, but the driver never took out the license for playback when they made the change. When I loaded a brand new XP build onto it, obviously I was using newer drivers, and created the problem.

Nick McDermott

cetus lupedus
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Thankyou Erie for letting me know what is really going on here. I knew that if it was using my video card as it was intended, I would be getting smooth playback, but it was like it was not even using it, turns out is wasn't ha?

We have gotten so strange as a nation where we worry so much about copy protection, that it effects the lives of people who try to play blu rays. My computer has always played DVD just fine, but like you said, it really needs my video card for blu rays.

I knew that 4GB would be sufficient, why wouldn't it? Heck, WinXP only draws about 512MB of it for the system, which allowes for most of the memory to be used for apps and games.

I can imagine all those who are getting rich off of that scheme. Microsoft has always played this BS game and its as old as the hills. Take Halo for example, there was no reason for Microsoft to make Halo 2 only playable to those who had Windows Vista at the time.

They did it to make money, that was the only reason, pure and simple. Then when it came to Halo 3, ODST, Reach, they decided, no, screw the computer gamers, we need people to buy our Xbox's, so they made their games for only Xbox.

My system may be dated, but you'd be amazed how I can play Crysis on all high settings without frame rate for a dated system. Not many back in the day could do that with their single cores, so my system must still has some life left in it.

Its also the same thing with AGP. AGP has been so good to us, and then all of the sudden were forced to buy into the PCI express gig? I cite once again marketing ploy, cause you can't get a faster video card then a 4670 AGP, unless you are on a PCI express board.

Do in terms of games which require a dual core PC or better, you know what I did? I went and got a Xbox360 and guess what, every game plays fine on it because they are optimized for it. And future games will work fine on it too without upgrading components, unlike the computer.

Oh sure there will always be a new console to buy after 10-years, but at least consoles don't force you to spend hundreds of dollars upgrading every single year to keep up with it all. I feel that consoles are a more economical option.

And as far as blu rays, I am going to stick to my Panasonic blu ray player attached to my LG 60". I am sure those 8-core setups will come down in price one of these days and I will build one of those.

Can you imagine all those folks who jumped right on it in the beginning and spent thousands of dollars just so they could say they have an 8-core PC? LOL

Cetus

eire1274
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Glad I made sense. I confuse myself sometimes!

I also was a hold-out for AGP, waiting for 16x, but Apple's abandonment of their RISC architecture killed development. To this day, I still am running a Radeon HD 4670 on 8x AGP on my primary rig, and will finally be buying into PCIe on the next build in the following months.

You are right, Micro$oft (note the "$") is 50% software giant, and 95% marketing guru. Yes, my math skills suck.

Nick McDermott

cetus lupedus
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I am glad somebody gets it besides me, and I respect you for sticking with AGP. I actually thought there was going to be a new version of AGP as well. But when PCIE came into the game I was like, WTF? Question, just how long do these slots need to be before we say its good enough, PCIE-16 is like twice the size of a PCI slot!

Guess what I am playing today? Fear 1, I have always loved that game and its so much fun to play. Fear 3 won't play right on my system and I think its because it requires a dual core or better. However, I have heard that even people with dual cores have run into problems running Fear 3. Its only those with quad cores that seem to have no problems.

I can play Fear 2 just fine though, and even though the latest AVP game requires a dual core, the entire game plays just fine on my PC minus the cinimatics. Amazing how some dual core optimized games that claim they require dual core, run flawlessly on my single core, but other dual core optimized games do not. LOL

Cetus