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Hi,
I was thinking of turning an old PC into a HTPC however I am not sure if it would be powerful enough for 1080p x264 playback.

It is a Dell computer with a P4 single thread @ 2.8Ghz and an Nvidia FX 5200 (i think, could be a 5800) It has been upgraded to 2.5gb of DDR memory.
 

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You might want a GPU with a bit more juice, something like a 9600GT or something. Not sure if that card will cut it tbh.
 

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the 8600GT might cut it, give it a shot
 

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I'm sure your P4 doesn't have a PCIe port though... This limits your selection. Keep it in mind.
 

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It depends on what you're planning on using it to play. If you're playing mkv's MPC-HC support DXVA (direct X video accelration) playback but WMC does not. Blu rays will play fine since they all support DXVA.

So depends on what front ends you plan on using for your HTPC. You can use media browser and assign MPC-HC as your default player instead of windows media player but that takes some work around. There are guides on the net showing you how.
 

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I've played back HD content just fine with an OC'd xp2500/6600gt agp combo.
Some of the lower end newer cards are made in PCI flavor. A low/mid 8xxx card should be just fine tho.
The best AGP card you can get is a 7900gs, which will do great as well.
 
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