Help with PC design for confused newbie pls


Established Member
H all

I currently have a fairly low spec P4 PC with 768 RAM, I'm using the onboard VGA out to my Hannspree XV 37" TV.

I'm actually quite happy with the PQ from the VGA as it's pretty crisp. I currently use win media player to play DVD films (backed up to various PC's dotted around the house via the network), play from Iplayer etc, surf the net and play music. I'm using the onboard sound card to my stereo amp at the moment for sound.

I'm thinking of getting a blue ray drive to play and back up movies with and also want to be able to play my HD movies from my Cannon HF100 HD camcorder.

Would the PC spec I currently have be ok for this?

Would I see any benefit in PQ from a HDMI/DVI Graphics Card?

Does the graphics card provide the necessary processing for the Picture/sound from blue ray/HD?

I want to upgrade my sound to 5.1 as well so:

Presumably I need a 5.1 sound card as well?

If I had an HDMI graphic card, would this present a problem outputting the 5.1 sound from the soundcard to a 5.1 amp? Or can they BOTH output the sound?

Any suggestions for a cheap but reasonable 5.1 amp?

Many thanks for any answers!!


You would have to get a reasonably decent graphics card (such as an 8800GT) to play Blu-Ray quality as it can put a bit of strain on the system. Depending on how powerful your P4 is it might just be able to keep up.

As for sound, you can get a reasonable sound card for around £20 - £30. However I'm not too great with them as I've always used the sound on motherboards.


Standard Member
PC Pro magazine this month rates the ATI Radeon HD4350 card for playing Blu-Ray.


might be worth investigating further


Established Member
Thanks for the replies thus far everybody - that Cyberlink blue ray checker was very useful :smashin:

Cheers for the Gaphic card recomendations - only thing is that my old P4 moby only has AGP - no PCI express

Is that going to give me problems?

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