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NJRoadfan 03-11-2012 01:19 AM

Minimum CPU to capture full motion NTSC video with HuffYUV?
I'm currently planning to building an additional capture machine using a AGP ATI All-in-wonder card, and I'm just wondering what the minimum CPU requirements are for HuffYUV to capture 720x480@29.97fps without dropping frames. Recordings will be directed to a modern SATA drive attached to a PCI controller card so disk I/O will not be an issue. I have access to a Dell Dimension 8100 with a P4 1.3Ghz (1st gen Socket 423) with 384MB of RAMBus (!) RAM and a clone tower with an Asus motherboard, 1.6 or 1.8Ghz P4 (have to check, its less then 2Ghz and Socket 478, that I do know) and 1GB RAM. Both work, although the clone tower's motherboard will need to be recapped as some are bulging. :( Did I mention that I really don't like P4 era hardware? FWIW I also got a Sony Vaio PCV-RX540 tower in mint condition with this batch of machines, but its doubtful that a Socket 370 Celeron 1.2Ghz/256MB RAM with Intel 815e chipset will handle modern 8X AGP cards without a problem.

My last option if these aren't fast enough will be to seek out a late Athlon 64 x2 Socket 939 AGP board, or a late AGP LGA 775 board that can support Conroe Core2Duo series CPUs. These have the advantage of onboard SATA ports and better reliability due to lower heat and less chance of bad caps.

jmac698 03-11-2012 06:39 AM

Actually I tested this

Try UTVideo codec or huffyuv from ffdshow.
The minimum needed should be 1GHz Athlon XP, equivalent (which has SSE3, which might make a difference).
UT plays very fast and HD on an Atom (1.6GHz, but very slow).

NJRoadfan 03-11-2012 01:22 PM

SSE3 was introduced with the Prescott Pentium 4s. Athlon XPs don't even have the SSE2 instructions, let alone SSE3! Its all kinda moot though since I don't think HuffYUV is even optimized to take advantage of the newer instructions.

Regarding AGP slot compatibility I should be good to go with AIW cards. These are all AGP 4X systems, which support 1.5V cards. I have run into problems in the past with incorrectly keyed cards and motherboards, so its always good to double check.

NJRoadfan 03-15-2012 10:22 PM

Just an update, the clone tower has a Asus P4B533 motherboard with a 1.7Ghz Willamette P4.

lordsmurf 03-21-2012 11:43 PM

Willametta P4 was a fine processor, but I only used it in the 1.8Ghz to 2.0Ghz range. When I tried to use a Celeron 1.7Ghz, same CPU size, it dropped frames on MPEG capture. In fact, that system dropped frames on AVI capture, because the VIA drivers were crap.

AVI capturing is mostly an exercise in I/O. And I/O is not as simple as using a fast hard drive -- the computer has to be good at using the fast hard drive! Most motherboards of that era are complete crap, VIA based, and had rotten VIA drivers. It's been too many years to recall if that Asus was good or a problem. All I can say for certain is that Asus was using Intel and not VIA chips during the earlier years of the past decade (2000-2002), and should be okay. You'd really just need to put it together and try some captures. I may have used that exact mobo at one point.

The SSE2/SSE3 doesn't really matter for AVI capturing. That was most helpful for using the live MPEG-2 capturing function of the ATI AIW cards. Though it was partial hardware (hybrid) encoding, it still needed some CPU cycles. I forget which portion of encoding was kept on-chip, and which was fed to the CPU. (The prevailing theory of the day was that you'd be able to get better encoding as CPUs increased. Big names like Matrox and Canopus were big supporters of this. The idea fizzled around 2005, as NLE card manufacturers dropped it.)

I'd stick to Huffyuv -- not newer AVI compression codecs, which tend to be greedier on CPU.

NJRoadfan 03-22-2012 12:10 AM

This sorta became a moot point. I picked up a Gigabyte Intel 865PE based board with a P4 2.8Ghz (Prescott going by the BIOS screen's 200Mhzx14 CPU setting) today on ebay for $15. Now off to find an All-in-Wonder card and a cheap SATA HD (HA! stupid floods).

The Intel 865 choice was a matter of me being conservative (which completely ruled out Athlon systems). Too many bad memories of VIA chipsets and Soundblaster Live! cards.... and those blasted 4-in-1 chipset drivers! I won't even mention SiS or ULi. It also has the ICH5 based SATA which is one of the best 1st gen SATA implementations. The VIA 6421 and Silicon Image SI31xx PCI cards are a bit wonky with new drives to say the least. SATA is one big mess when it comes to backward compatibility!

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