My Xserve media server is all but finished now, just need half a case for it. I have managed to acquire a cube to use as a client with a TV or monitor in my living room. I was after some opinions on what would be the best mods to allow it to play back vids from the server? CPU, RAM, graphics mainly. I don't want to fork out for an aftermarket upgrade if poss. I might have a 733MHz I could try and fit. Would that do?
OK, I tested playing back some HD clips on a 733MHz DA G4 with 1B RAM today. The first batch played beautifully on a 20" ADC display. I think they were 720. Then I tried a 1080 clip and it dropped frames something awful. I should really have paid attention to the formats, but at least I know that I'm going to need more than a 733 to playback full HD.
OK, I now know I want to be able to play 720p HD clips on the cube if possible, since my LCD doesn't have the res to go any higher. Apple recommends a 1.8 G5 or 1.83 Core Duo with 256MB RAM and 64MB graphics card as the minimum. For 1080p, they recommend dual 2 G5 or 2.0 Core Duo which make me wonder if clock speed is the most important factor here. Are these requirements drawn up with Apple models in mind rather than upgraded Macs? Does system RAM make much difference with video playback? How about GPU? Will 1080p scale back to 720p if there aren't enough pixels available? Which system requirements would apply under such conditions? Am I really going to need a 1.8GHz (G4) upgrade to get close to playing back 720p?
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