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So I installed windows 7 on a new partition on my HP slimline 1.6Ghz computer. I've been running XP. Works pretty nicely - except Hulu in full screen. The video constantly stops. Netflix and other sites are OK.

Is Hulu just a hog or should I upgrade the video and/or processor?

When I view my windows experience index scores, the video is the lowest with a 2. My current card is 128mb onboard ati. I've been looking around for a PCI low profile card and the pickings are pretty slim. What memory should I shoot for? 256? Does 128 or 256 bit matter? I don't do any serious gaming, but options are nice.

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I'm assuming by PCI you mean PCI express? I don't think any 256-bit PCI cards exist. –  John T Aug 12 '09 at 0:01
    
I meant pci. I was suspecting that. Now that I see the bit = bandwidth it makes sense. –  Sam Aug 12 '09 at 0:35

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Look at your CPU usage while playing the content from Hulu. Does it max out? If so, it may be your processor and not your display card.

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I'll be sure to do that. –  Sam Aug 12 '09 at 14:31
    
CPU is running very high when switching to full screen. –  Sam Aug 20 '09 at 16:39

I have been having a few problems with flash based video sites stalling and flickering slightly on a 512MB Geforce 8600 GT.

However I can play 1080p videos out via HDMI on a big TV just fine at natural resolution.

I think that there are some problems in flash itself.

That being said, I have had people on 128MB graphics cards being able to run WCF applications quite well. I would not look at the memory but the generation. Just get the newest card that has the support for the newest Direct X / Open GL. If it is a choice between 256 or 128, go for the biggest! (budget depending!)

-- Also, Nvidia and ATI made some serious rubbish cards a few generations ago that ate a huge chunk of your system ram and had hardly any performance increase. (I forget the name, I will edit if I can remember or find it). However, I think this was achieved via a function of PCI Express, so it may not effect you.

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256-512 megabytes of video RAM is pretty much the norm. the "bit" rating specifies the Memory bus size, and bigger is always better. In fact, I would go so far to say that memory bus size is one of the most important factors. 128 bit will play anything well, but 256 bit will play most things great.

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This depends on the GPU present on the card. There are many cards sold with busses that are too wide to be saturated by the GPU, causing it to be nothing more than a bit of marketing fodder. Your best bet is to read reviews at Tom's Hardware or Anandtech or comparable hardware sites. They usually do monthly video card reviews. –  MDMarra Aug 12 '09 at 0:48

Definitely go for a new card. 256-bit is a big factor as essentially it is double the memory bandwidth (assuming both cards specifications are similar otherwise).

Hulu recommended system specs are as follows:

  • Flash Player 9.0.115.0 or higher
  • 2.5Mbps Internet connection or greater
  • Windows: Intel Pentium 4 3GHz processor (or equivalent), 128MB of RAM, 64MB of VRAM
  • Macintosh: Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor, 256MB of RAM, 64MB of VRAM
  • Linux: Intel Pentium 4 3GHz processor (or equivalent), 128MB of RAM, 64MB of VRAM

Do Hulu videos play in higher resolution or do they just stretch when you view fullscreen? If the resolution changes, it may be your network connection struggling to keep up. Your CPU may also contribute to the bottleneck. Try the GPU upgrade before breaking the bank though.

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I couldn't tell you if they are stretching or not. It's not the network though. Xp plays it fine. –  Sam Aug 12 '09 at 0:37

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