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Is there a scanner that could scan my computer and recommend hardware updates to do?

Actually I have an old PC and very annoying problem do not be able to see the HDTV or DVD videos that exceed 3Gb...

I know that this is an old PC and I should change it, but there is almost everything OK except large video files, and I wonder if I could change, say, just video-card for fix this problem?

My configuration:

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System Information
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   Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3
           Language: English (Regional Setting: French)
System Manufacturer: VIA Technologies, Inc.
       System Model: Aspire T120     
               BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
          Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) ,  MMX,  3DNow, ~1.7GHz
             Memory: 2048MB RAM
          Page File: 654MB used, 2778MB available
        Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
    DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
     DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.5512 32bit Unicode


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Display Devices
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        Card name: RADEON 9200 SERIES   
     Manufacturer: ATI Technologies Inc.
        Chip type: RADEON 9250/9200 Series AGP (0x5964)
         DAC type: Internal DAC(400MHz)
       Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_5964&SUBSYS_7C26174B&REV_01
   Display Memory: 128.0 MB
     Current Mode: 1920 x 1080 (32 bit) (60Hz)

System usage when (trying to) watching a HD movie = 5Gb. alt text

EDIT:
Installed XBMC (?!):
alt text

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4 Answers 4

These days for full 1080p video the graphics card can make a world of difference as a lot of the work can be offloaded from the CPU to the graphics card.

I would recommend getting a current generation nVidia or Ati graphics card as a first step as they both support hardware video decoding. The only problem is that I don't think you can get many current cards that support the AGP that is in your system any more. Here's one I'd recommend.

Once you've got a decent graphics card make sure you're using a media player that supports DXVA such as the built-in Windows Media Player (which isn't that bad in Windows 7) or Media Player Classic Home Cinema as they can pass h.264 video (typically used by 720p and 1080p video) directly to the graphics card. for decoding.

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The bottleneck is certainly the CPU, 1.7ghz is not enough.

I've got an old/slow machine I use for watching movies on my TV and it only has 1Gb ram but has an Intel P4 2.8Ghz CPU. The graphics card is just a Gefore FX 5200 with 128MB also. I'm running Linux on it, which probably helps a little too.

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1  
I run full 1080p movies on a single core 1.6ghz processor and 1 Gb ram with no dropped frames. It can be done. –  Jarvin Jun 29 '10 at 22:17
    
I could suppose this is the cause, see the update.. –  serhio Jun 29 '10 at 22:20
1  
Depending on the quality of the video and certainly depending on the encoding, even very powerful CPUs will struggle (i have problems with certain parts of 1080p movies even on my q6600). You definably need more CPU power. Upgrading the CPU might not be worth it though, probably easier to get a new computer. –  Faken Jun 29 '10 at 22:21
1  
-1 @Weboide: Assuming that the OP isn't try to play BluRay films, I completely disagree - 1.7GHz is really far from "not enough" to play a movie... –  dag729 Jun 29 '10 at 23:10
    
Q: "What should I change to watch a movie?" A: Change the channel :) –  Zabba Aug 10 '10 at 6:48

You're system sounds decent to me. I run full HD (1080p) on my Acer Aspire Revo, which is only 1.6Ghz, 1 Gig of memory. It is perfectly smooth with no dropped frames (It really bothers me when a movie starts dropping frames). The trick is to use the right system and bios settings, since your skating on thin ice as far as the CPU goes. The CPU isn't powerful enough to do it, but if you can make the Graphics card do all the work, you should be good to go. I'm not sure where the 9200 ranks in the world of graphics cards, but it might be good enough.

I would suggest booting up xbmc live off of a thumbdrive and seeing that will let you watch movies. It may just be your drivers or the way you have your system set up.

This is the guide to how I set up my system. Note there are a few bios options like iGPU Frame buffer size that you might be able to change on your system which may help.

EDIT: Your CPU is really struggling. Try updating your DirectX and Video Drivers as well.

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a... sorry, I am afraid do not understand everything. Need I some additional hardware? I saw the article, but understood very little :"), or I go to xbmc.fr/download download the setup, install, and it's all? –  serhio Jun 29 '10 at 22:35
    
I have not XBox... –  serhio Jun 29 '10 at 22:37
    
I used Driver Checker that says that I have all driver to date... –  serhio Jun 29 '10 at 22:39
1  
@serhio: A live boot OS is one that instead of booting off the harddrive boots off a CD or thumbdrive. You can run the whole operating system without installing anything. XBMC is a good OS for this test because it knows how to run all sorts of movies right out of the box. I am not suggesting you install anything, and be careful you don't try to install XBMC as an OS off the thumbdrive, it could write over your system. (XBMC can also just be run as a program that can run on top of windows/linux/mac, hence the confusion) –  Jarvin Jun 29 '10 at 22:41
    
he... OK. What I understood: XP is not good OS for my config + big movie. XMBC its an alternative. If I have a USB I could load that OS after my computer will restart. So, I installed the program(see edit)... now i should not launch it, as you suggest –  serhio Jun 29 '10 at 22:50

Try to update the DirectX (link to Microsoft's page): your system looks fine to me(CPU, RAM and graphic card).

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