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sunnycharlie Oct 15, 2007 10:34 AM

Hi everyone!
I have been a keen follower of Xacti hybrid cameras for several years now. I had a lovely blue c4 and have recently upgraded to a cg65.

I am about to buy a laptop on which I want to store and share my videos. What I would like is some advice on the spec of the laptop. What are the necessary requirements to play the h.264 video smoothly on windows vista? In particular, is a dedicated graphics card necessary? I have tried to do my own research but am getting bogged down in Techy talk!!

Thankyou so much in advance to anyone who can spare 5 minutes to help me out!

Caelum Oct 15, 2007 12:22 PM

Here's a simple ruleto determine ifa Vista laptop that will play CG65 videos smoothly: if the laptop has a dual-core processor and is certified/comes with Vista Premium, then it should have the necessary horsepower to play CG65's AVC/H.264 videos smoothly. To be certifiedfor Vista Premium, a PC/laptop must have a minimum spec. graphicschip that is able to handle Vista Premium's Aeroglass UI.

So: Vista Premium certified laptop = probably good enough, Vista Basic certified only laptop =perhaps not good enough. Of course this is just a general guideline.

herbs Oct 15, 2007 12:51 PM

Any new laptop will play cg65 files without issues (excluding C7 processors from via), my main pc is a 2000+ xp and it plays fine. If you want to edit I suggest a dual core laptop without a doubt, the intels are taking it in the video conversion/processing stake at the moment.

sunnycharlie Oct 15, 2007 2:37 PM

Thankyou for your advice so far!

Just to clarify, the recent Athlon chips are dual core, are they not? For example, a Turion 64 x 2 TL-58. I am presuming that the 'x 2' bit means dual core.... Please correct me if I am wrong!

Having read around a bit, it would appear that the Intel chips are better than the Athlons but I presume that both would cope with the h.264 video.

Caelum Oct 15, 2007 2:57 PM

Some (typically < $500) latops stillfeature single core chips (Intel and AMD). But yes, AMD qualify their consumer dual core CPUswith "X2" and Intel with "duo", so if it says X2 for an AMD CPU, it should be a dual core CPU. Both Intel and AMD offerings should playback H.264 fine, for editing, processing and encoding a more expensive laptop/CPU would help reduce processing time(it's not just a simpleIntel / AMD thing, it's more of a price thing, a low-end Intel is still less powerful than a mid-end AMD).

reprazent Oct 15, 2007 3:32 PM

Don't worry about brand, both AMD or Intel dualcores will work fine.

It's not like you're playing 1080p footage, even a midrange dualcore system (around 2Ghz) can play HD H264 video fine. So if it's just your C65 movies, you won't have to worry.

below I'll try to give some examples about HD video. (as in 720p/1080p movies)

with a newer generation videocard the CPU will have less work to do (new range of gpu's like 2xxx models by ATi or the 85xx/86xx models by Nvidia - they have a built in chip for decoding H264 and HD video) CPU usage drops down to 10% or below.

with a low-end vidcard you CPU has to do more work, but even with crappy card like a 6200, CPU usage won't be amazingly high on a fast system. Like with my overclocked 3Ghz Core2Duo system, playing a HD movie, CPU usage stays around 30-40%/

so basically it comes down to this:

lowend vidcard - mid/high end CPU needed

mid/highend vidcard - low/mid range CPU will do fine.

but then you're wanting a laptop, that's more tricky because laptops almost always come with lowend onboard videocards. so you can't skimp on the CPU if you want to play HD movies.

then again, your C65 footage will play fine on any dualcore machine.

sunnycharlie Oct 16, 2007 3:24 AM

Thanks again everyone! I am much clearer on what I need now. I hope your answers will help others too.

Does anyone know where I can find a list of Intel and Athlon cpus that compares them side by side so I know what's what? For example, I have been looking at laptops with these 2 cpus and I don't know which is better: Intel care 2 duo T5450 1.6 ghz or Turion 64 x 2 TL-58 1.9 ghz. Is it simply that a higher speed is better or is it more complicated?

herbs Oct 16, 2007 4:32 AM

The intel will be speeder for video editing and re-encoding, and but you pay a price premuim for this.

reprazent Oct 16, 2007 11:32 AM

Looking at Tom's testcharts, at same stock speed the Intel performs little better it's more like between 5-10% difference. most of their tests, the speeddifference is within 10 seconds, that's not what I call groundbreaking.

Then again, sunnycharlie: if the price of the core2duo laptop is the same as the Turion model, I'd go for the Turion. if the Intel laptop is $50-100 cheaper, I'd go with the Intel.

and oh, just a reminder, if you're going to run Vista, make sure you have at least 2gb memory.

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