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G4 for HD content? Any suggestions?

 
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:13 pm    Post subject: G4 for HD content? Any suggestions? Reply with quote

Hey all,

I have a bit of a conundrum... I have my PowerMac G4 Quicksilver with the following specs:

867Mhz G4 Processor
640Mb RAM
2x Superdrive
Stock AGP Video Card
60Gb IDE Hard Drive

According to Apple you need a Dual 2Ghz PowerMac G5 with 512Mb RAM to run 1080p HD content. (with Quicktime)

My question is: With the plethora of upgrades for my machine, what would the minimum upgrades be to play HD content (at least 720p)?

I have run some testing and at even 720p, it plays but very choppy, drops frames like crazy!! Sad

I have already ordered:

16x Superdrive
SIIG 4 Ch SATA PCI Card
ATI Radeon 128Mb AGP Video card (supports Core Animation and Quartz)

What processor?
How much RAM? (I know more is better, but this machine will only be used for HTG4 Very Happy ) I don't think maxing it out is necessary. I could be wrong.

Thanks for the help.

-Hackersmovie
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offa_broadway
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While updating the RAM, HD access speeds, and graphics will certainly help, there is a LOT of decoding to be done with a compressed HD signal, and the G4 processor might not be able to keep up. It's not in the speed, necessarily, but the specs of the processor's architecture as well. A G4 from that time period has on average 128kb Level 2 Cache, which means a LOT of access to memory, and the memory in a G4 only runs at 132Mhz, or something similar.

Something else to consider is that your SATA access times won't be faster than the limitations of the PCI bus that the card plugs into, which I believe is somewhere around 130Mb/s bandwidth for the entire bus, so if you're using other cards at the same time, you might see slowdown.

My reccomendations would be 1.42Ghz G4 (or a dual-G4 upgrade card, if you can find one, from OWC), and stuff it with RAM, at least 1gb. I'll be interested to see if this works, but with the dated architecture, I have my concerns.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I not sure how this plays into it, but the 867 mhz G4 has a 1 mb level 3 cache, whereas a Mini has no level 3 cache if I'm not mistaken.
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK.. I had a Live Chat with a guy in the Tech Dept. at OWC. He claims if I upgrade to:

the video card I have coming
1.5Gb of RAM (that's Maxed)
Dual 1.6Ghz Powerlogix Processor (512kb Level 2 Cache per processor no Level 3 Cache)
And the SATA Card I have coming (capable of 1.5Gbps according to him)

It will be faster than a stock G5 and will handle HD content with no problems.

(Note: my G4 runs 133Mhz front side bus)

I will do those upgrades and post the results, thanks for your input.

Any other input is still appreciated.

-Hackersmovie
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7031
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See this: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/recommendations.html
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

7031 wrote:
See this: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/recommendations.html


Thank you 7031,

I had already read that and wanted to know if I could make my G4 play 1080p content as it is not listed. Apple lists machines that in their "stock" or base configuration will play the content. My G4 will be far from stock.

And I am only going to be playing content from it, no other loads will be present on the machine. Not even e-mail.

-Hackersmovie
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7031
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hackersmovie wrote:
7031 wrote:
See this: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/recommendations.html


Thank you 7031,

I had already read that and wanted to know if I could make my G4 play 1080p content as it is not listed. Apple lists machines that in their "stock" or base configuration will play the content. My G4 will be far from stock.

And I am only going to be playing content from it, no other loads will be present on the machine. Not even e-mail.

-Hackersmovie

I was begginning to think that as they seem to be rounding it to the closest Mac model they have sold.
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Doug Eldred
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somehow it would seem simpler and probably cheaper overall to get a current Mac for the actual viewing, and use the G4 as a file/media server only... Or even an Apple TV!

Doug
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug Eldred wrote:
Somehow it would seem simpler and probably cheaper overall to get a current Mac for the actual viewing, and use the G4 as a file/media server only... Or even an Apple TV!

Doug


Agreed, however, I have the G4, I have 4 external drives that will fit nicely in the G4, and I would like to use it if possible, after the upgrades if it doesn't perform well, I will find another use for it, I'm sure.

I had thought of using it as a server but, I kinda like the idea of being able to have all of my media on one machine (with 1.5TB of media) and the ability to upgrade, unlike AppleTV.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hackersmovie wrote:
Doug Eldred wrote:
Somehow it would seem simpler and probably cheaper overall to get a current Mac for the actual viewing, and use the G4 as a file/media server only... Or even an Apple TV!

Doug


Agreed, however, I have the G4, I have 4 external drives that will fit nicely in the G4, and I would like to use it if possible, after the upgrades if it doesn't perform well, I will find another use for it, I'm sure.

I had thought of using it as a server but, I kinda like the idea of being able to have all of my media on one machine (with 1.5TB of media) and the ability to upgrade, unlike AppleTV.

True.
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blur35mm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:14 am    Post subject: QuickSilver - Dolby Digital 5.1 / 720p Reply with quote

Hackersmovie-

I am doing a similar thing. I have a QuickSilver G4 Dual 1GHZ processor 1.5 GB RAM and am turning it into a video server once I upgrade to Mac Pro using MactheRipper and Matinee.

Here is what I am trying to do, please let me know any more details you might have:

1. To preserve Dolby Digital 5.1, Apple DVD Player can play out 5.1 surround (check preferences) but you need to preserve the OPTICAL out from the Mac in order to get it to your receiver via a sound card. Question is, what sound card for the G4 will "unghost" the 5.1 option and also carry the signal out via an optical out port preserving the AC3 signal for the receiver? This is the only way to get true Dolby 5.1 out of the Mac.

2. What video card did you upgrade to? I have a Sanyo PLV-Z5 Projector and it is only 720p. I only need the video card to go 1280x720p. Which card did you get that is compatible with the QuickSilver? I dumped my Sony 1080 Wega for the 92" diagonal of a projector, and right now 720p is the way to go. 1080p projectors are $5000+.

3. Are you getting BlueTooth installed for wireless mouse and keyboard control? If so, what bluetooth card for the QuickSilver?

Let me know any more details on specific cards, hard drives and other stuff you are getting to upgrade your QuickSilver.

http://www.hemingwayhometheater.com (Pictures coming soon!)

Cheers!
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blur35mm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:41 am    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

Just an update it looks like the M-Audio Revolution 5.1 card will do the trick!

It has a Coax Digital Out which my Receiver has Coax Digital In so that should be perfect.

Now, what video card will project 1280x720 for my 720p Projector?

Thanks!
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i got the ATI RADEON MAC EDITION from Ebay for $150 shipped. Works great and huge improvement. It's only 128Mb Video RAM but that is a huge improvement over the stock 32MB card!! I still need my CPU upgrade and ram but otherwise it is going well. I did get the D-Link DBT-120 for bluetooth just haven't had a minute to plug it in!!

I'll post benchmarks once i am completed.
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blur35mm
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="hackersmovie"]i got the ATI RADEON MAC EDITION from Ebay for $150 shipped. Works great and huge improvement. It's only 128Mb Video RAM but that is a huge improvement over the stock 32MB card!! I still need my CPU upgrade and ram but otherwise it is going well. I did get the D-Link DBT-120 for bluetooth just haven't had a minute to plug it in!!
I'll post benchmarks once i am completed.[/quote]


Does this output true 1280x720 resolution? Or are you doing some kind of screenres manipulation?

Thanks!
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

will absolutly output that res. No problem, even way higher. Will do 1080p if I had enough, ummph! I haven't found a better AGP card for it yet, (except the 256mb version) give it a try, you'll be pleased.
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