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MKV Files , GHZ or Cores

WallaceTech

Standard Member
Hi Guys.

New guy round these parts so go gentle. I am work in IT so know my stuff.

The question for the guys who know all about MKV files and playing them is this.

With MKV files is is better to have more Ghz with your processor or is it better to have more cores.

I need to do some upgrading at home and do i go for a 3Ghz dual core or do it go for say a 2.5Ghz but quad core.

Any advice and direction would be great

many thanks

Craig
 

Fe_man2000

Well-known Member
depends on if the software playing them is written to use multiple cores or not.

Its generally not incredible CPU intensive, again depending on what the MKV file contains as it could be 1Gb file or a 18Gb file.

I have found that a 2Ghz dual core can play most things I have on my laptop.

I would buy the CPU that fits what else you plan to use the PC for as both should have no issue with video playback. If playback is the reason for the PC get the coolest running/quietest/cheapest one.
 
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WallaceTech

Standard Member
depends on if the software playing them is written to use multiple cores or not.

Its generally not incredible CPU intensive, again depending on what the MKV file contains as it could be 1Gb file or a 18Gb file.

I have found that a 2Ghz dual core can play most things I have on my laptop.

Thanks for the reply mate. Do you know of any software that will play them over multiple cores? i thought the kmplayer did but i could be wrong

Craig
 

jameson_uk

Well-known Member
Please read the codec guide in my sig. MKVs have nothing to do with it; they are just a container like a ZIP file. It is what is inside the MKV which makes a difference as to what hardware you need.
 

WallaceTech

Standard Member
Thanks mate.

I know there are so many variables when it comes to MKV files etc. I guess what i am looking for really is, is is better to have more Ghz in your box or do the cores in the CPU assuming the software supports in make it better.

From the very little reading i am doing most people seem to get good play back with dual core machines

Craig
 

jameson_uk

Well-known Member
From the very little reading i am doing most people seem to get good play back with dual core machines
You can also get decent 1080p H264 playback from a single core Atom processor as long as you have the right combination of GPU, codec and file encoding. Getting the CPU to decode video should only be done if you know why you want to do it....
 

WallaceTech

Standard Member
Thanks mate.

Well its not that i really want the CPU to do the decoding but my MKV files are in x.264 and h.264 and seem to be giving my CPU a hard time. Its a P4 3Ghz Hyper Threaded machine.

Now i was thinking of upgrading the machine to a Dual or Quad core processor if this will help.

Craig
 

FoxHound

Active Member
I believe x.264 scales well across cores, so if I was choosing I'd choose the quad core.

Well, actually if I was choosing I'd get a cheap GPU, but thats not what you asked :devil:
 

WallaceTech

Standard Member
Thanks mate.

Well the Video card is going to be my next area to look into once i have the processor sorted out.

Right now my processor will max out playing .mkv files so think i need to address that first. Maybe my graphics card is ok and its just i dont have enough power.

I am still searching for the answer though, what is more important, Ghz or Cores

Craig
 

jameson_uk

Well-known Member
Well its not that i really want the CPU to do the decoding but my MKV files are in x.264 and h.264 and seem to be giving my CPU a hard time. Its a P4 3Ghz Hyper Threaded machine.

Now i was thinking of upgrading the machine to a Dual or Quad core processor if this will help.
As it says in that guide somewhere :rolleyes:

It comes down to what codecs and GPU you have. What is setup on your system for H264 material? what graphics card do you have?

Depending on your GPU you might be able to play this material by just tweaking your codecs. If your GPU is not up to it then you will probably find a new GPU the cheaper and easier option (to replace a P4 you would need to go second hand else you are looking at new mobo and RAM as well as CPU and this will come with PCI-express so potentially new GPU anyway)

To sort of answer the question about grunt vs workers then, it depends :devil: Some codecs will decode of multiple cores in which case using them will be better on multi-core processors but other codecs will only run on a single core meaning they would be better off on a faster processor
 

FoxHound

Active Member
Well, as I said in my last post, to my knowledge and generally speaking cores are more important.

What are the actual 2 processors you are comparing?

EDIT: Sorry I noticed you said that maybe your graphics is OK, but the procesor doesn't have enough power. I would imagine that if you offloaded playback onto your GPU (ability to do this depends on GPU, codec and program IIRC) the processor should be fine, as most of the work will be done by the video card.

For example, I get about beyween 7%-20% (mostly 10%) processor usage on my PC playing 1080p (specs in sig), and thats with it being bicubically sampled and rescaled and black-level corrected on-the-fly also by the GPU.

I mention this because a suitable graphics card is much less expensive than buying a CPU suitable for 1080p decoding without using a GPU. A similar or better GPU should cost you below £40.

Of course if you dont have a suitable file for GPU aceleration the the processor comes into play again.

Again, changing a codec might be better than changing a CPU.

When not using GPU acceleration, I use CoreAVC, which gives me about 40%-50% processor utilisation with the same file, which would suggest your P4 should be fine for 1080p. Turning off my bells and whistles would likely lower CPU usage further.
 
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Nokmondoo

Active Member
FYI - my old E4500 cpu plays 1080p rips perfectly without HW aceleration. As said before, a single core Atom 1.6 cpu can play 1080p stuff perfectly with Gpu acceleration.
 

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