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How do I upgrade my GX280 so it can play smooth 1080p video smoothly when displaying full screen? I have a Dell Optiplex GX280.

Keeping in mind that it only has a 250 wall PSU.

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From FAQ: "Not about a shopping or buying recommendation" –  Olli Feb 27 '11 at 10:54
    
If I did want shopping recommendations, where would I ask at stackexchange? –  oshirowanen Feb 27 '11 at 11:19
    
This could easily be edited to simply ask "How do I upgrade my 250W PC to play 1080p smoothly fullscreen?", at which point it loses much of the shopping/buying recommendation elements. The answers so far seem to be following this generalisation anyway, so I'd recommend this @oshirowanen to make the question more acceptable but also to improve the chances of getting a working solution (because you widen the scope at the same time). –  DMA57361 Feb 27 '11 at 11:26

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Basically for this kind of power supply and low profile PC (assuming it is NOT a shopping question, but asking how you can play back fullHD content on a low-profile, not-so-strong PC), you need a GeForce card. NVidia Geforce. Why? Because it comes with VDPAU.

You can play all the HD content on Linux if the card comes with VDPAU.
See this article whether the card you look at have the neccessary feature. The higher version VP, the more it can decode. A VP4 card would be the best.

About VDPAU.

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I don't need a card for gaming, the computer is good enough for me, I just need it for smooth 1080p video playback at full screen. –  oshirowanen Feb 27 '11 at 11:16

'Smooth' 1080p playback isn't so much a function of the video card as a function of how fast the computer can decode the video and create a framebuffer for display to the video device. More powerful GPUs increase the speed of 3D gaming more than 2D video playback. A fast, expensive GPU on a slow computer will still render the video slowly.

If you want it for gaming, then the more graphics memory for texture caches the better.

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You can offload the decoding to the GPU –  ta.speot.is Feb 27 '11 at 11:06
    
I don't need a card for gaming, the computer is good enough for me, I just need it for smooth 1080p video playback at full screen. –  oshirowanen Feb 27 '11 at 11:15

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