Powerful Enough Computer?

Abit / Nf7-s
May 21, 2009 at 12:11:18
Specs: Windows XP Pro, AthlonXP 1gb

straightforward question..

I'm wondering if an old Abit NF7-S V2 motherboard with USB 2.0 with a 3200 Athlon XP processor, 1GB of 400Mhz RAM, would be powerful enough to run a Diamond Multimedia ATI TV Wonder HD 650 Combo USB TV card. The site says it needs an Athlon 64 3800 but I've read on this review that CPU utilization is low on the PCI-E version


and on this review, they even say the PCI-E works with a Pentium II/3/4 or the old AMD K-6 (although I can't see anyone finding a motherboard for the AMD K-6 that has PCI-E?)

Thanks for any suggestions


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May 21, 2009 at 12:30:23
A USB tuner will use slightly more CPU time than an internal bus tuner.

Your CPU is definitely fast enough to handle 480i, 480p, and 720p digital TV. The Athlon 64 3800+ is probably required for 1080i HDTV.

The problem with the Athlon XP is that it lacks the SSE2 instruction set. Many H.264 decoders use SSE2 and SSE3 to speed up HD video decoding (and deinterlacing, as in the case of 1080i HDTV) in software.

"they even say the PCI-E works with a Pentium II/3/4 or the old AMD K-6"

It will work with any board that has a PCI-E slot: late model P4 and Athlon 64 boards or newer. Since you'll be using the USB version, this is something you obviously don't have to worry about.

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May 21, 2009 at 12:30:49
I agree that some of the cards are made for TV and video contain specialized hardware. Those parts reduce processing needs on the cpu.

It should be possible to use some features of the card on an older system. I doubt you use all the features.

I tried a different model of usb tv and never could get it to work on three systems.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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May 21, 2009 at 13:13:18

thanks very much for the information and explanations.

One question that comes from your responses is whether I may be better to go for the PCI version if this takes less CPU time? It boils down to whether the reduced CPU cycles might let the Athlon XP run the 1080i HDTV?

The USB version includes two tuners which is a benefit over the PCI which only has one.

So do you think the reduced CPU load means it might get to 1080i HDTV?

Thanks very much for the advice..,

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Related Solutions

May 21, 2009 at 14:00:00
"The ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo PCI Express".
Copied from the provided link:
"The "Combo" in the name indicates that this card has two separate tuners" and the photo shows 2 tuners.
I can't see any advantage getting the usb version which is $20 dearer, apart from not needing to open the case to plug it in, unless you have a laptop that you want to use it on as well.

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May 21, 2009 at 14:56:30

That's the PCI-Express version. My old board is only PCI and the PCI version is a single hybrid tuner


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May 23, 2009 at 14:45:48

just a thought..

Is there a PCI card that gives external support for SSE2 and SSE3, or is this purely a CPU capability?


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