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What is the slowest cpu possible to watch flv and mp4 video?

post #1 of 3
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Hello. I'm testing out programs on my newly built file server configured with an Athlon T-Bird 800MHz cpu with Windows 2000, but some versions of VLC media player (What I use to watch mp4 and flv on my faster PCs) don't seem to want to play flv and mp4 on my server, but will play avi and wmv pretty well. On one of my similar PCs, A Pentium iii 1.0GHz with 512MB ram running Windows XP seems to play flv and mp4 up to 480 pixels great. Is my Athlon too slow to play the files, or is this a software problem regarding VLC's support for Win2k?

P.S. Also, would anybody know of a "lighter" flv and mp4 player for slow cpus available as freeware?
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon 64 2650e 1.6GHz MSI K9N2 Diamond 256MB Nvidia Quadro FX 1500 3.5GB DDR2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSPower
750GB IDE RAID 1 Array  DVD-RW drive Windows Server 2003 550W Power Supply 
CaseAudioOtherOther
Aopen HX08 Full Tower Case Soundblaster Live Value (PCI) 3Ware Escalade 7506-8 IDE Raid Controller card  PCI Express x1 USB 3.0 card 
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post #2 of 3
    That's really a bad question.  MP4 and FLV are just video container formats, as are AVI, MKV, MTS and WMV.  They don't have much of anything to do with the processing requirements for playback.  However, MTS is specialized for the H.264 video codec, and WMV is specialized for the VC-1 (Windows Media Video) format.

    What really makes a difference is the video format.  There are many video formats available nowdays, but the most popular are H.264 (BluRay, HD, YouTube) and MPEG2 (DVD).  H.264 (also known as AVC) can take a lot of CPU power to decode.  I don't know how much CPU it takes to play H.264 at 480p, but you'll need at least a Core2 Duo at 2 GHz to play H.264 at 720p60 or 1080i30.  Move up to 1080p60 and you'll need at least a Core2 Duo at 3 GHz.
    I hope that helps! thumb.gif
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Intel Core i7-3770K Gigabyte P67A-D3-B3 NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS  1x Corsair 8 GB 
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Kingston SV300S3 WesternDigital WD10EZEX Samsung HD154UI Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64 
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Intel Core i7-3770K Gigabyte P67A-D3-B3 NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS  1x Corsair 8 GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
Kingston SV300S3 WesternDigital WD10EZEX Samsung HD154UI Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64 
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Daewoo L947BK Gateway FPD1530 HTK-2001 Dynex DX-400WPS 
MouseAudio
Kensington K72400 Realtek ALC889 
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post #3 of 3
Not really answering the CPU question but:

If you want something really lightweight, I would suggest getting a lightweight Linux distribution for tweaking.
Good lightweight mediaplayers are vlc and mplayer (At least vlc is available for many OS, Mplayer I don't know).
In my opinion Linux is the best choice for slower pc builds.
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