Is your PC HD ready?

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Chicago (IL) - Ever wondered, if your current PC has enough horsepower to handle the next generation of multimedia? No, we are not talking about a Vista ready PC, but simply a system that is capable of displaying HD movies. Cyberlink has a surprise for you - get ready for a major overhaul or to throw out your PC, if you don't own a dual-core processor.

With Windows Vista scheduled to launch in less than five months, its time again for computer users to assess their current computer system. Just like Windows 95 required foremost an investment in system memory and XP called for a processor with at least 300 MHz, Vista once again will make you rethink whether a system upgrade or a fresh and completely new system is the way to go - at least, if you plan to upgrade within the next year.

The same goes for other technologies that are currently being introduced, especially high-definition multimedia. Cyberlink published a free "advisor" tool that provides some details on system details and if they are powerful enough to run HD-DVD or Blu-ray movies on a computer. Don't be surprised, if watching a video will exceed your current system specs.

Cyberlink's HD DVD playback software

According to Cyberlink, HD video playback from HD DVD and Blu-ray media, requires the following hardware:

  • Processor: Pentium D 840 EE or higher, Core Duo T2500 or higher, AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ or higher, Turion 64 X2 TL-60 or higher
  • System memory: 1 GB
  • Operating system: Windows XP SP2
  • Graphics card: HDMI and HDCP support, Nvidia 7600GT or higher, ATI X1600 or higher
  • HD player: Third party software is required, as the Windows Media Player 10/11 will not support Blu-ray- and HD DVD playback
  • Display: HDMI and HDCP support required

The specifications appear to be largely in line with what hardware manufacturers are recommending. Nvidia recently demonstrated HD DVD and Blu-ray playback on a Pentium D 830 / 7600 GT HDCP system, which required the firm's PureVideo HD acceleration to show a movie in acceptable quality. For the first time in several years, it is quite obvious that it is not only video gaming that will promote the purchase of an enthusiast computer system. At least in the short term, a high-performance system will be required to take advantage of the features that will be arriving over the next months.

Hopelessly underpowered for HD DVD and Blu-ray