Thursday, February 04, 2010

1080/50 & 60P playback on a 2002-vintage PC? You betcha!

Brian and I had six of these Compaq W8000 workstation which our tech support department were disposing of. This is the machine that was the penultimate Avid Meridien machine and eight years ago was a real killer workstation-class computer. It has dual 2.2Ghz P4s (so a lot less pokey than the laptop I'm writing this on!) but by gutting the six old machines we made two computers that were pimped out. Add to that a £30 Radeon 3650 AGP (remember that!) card from eBay and you've got a machine that can playback 50P H.264 at 1080 without a slip. This is going to be my new PVR machine (replacing an elderly 2Ghz P4 which has been fine for SD but can't handle HD).


hks1966 said...

AH, I have one of these I, ahem , acquired, from our old Meridien based Symphony suite. I have it in my dining room for the family to use, but I do run MCA 5.0.3 just now. It struggles a bit with HDV on a USB drive, but is fine with DV. I have a problem with it shutting down, it just restarts, and the missus blew the OS away trying to switch it off the other week which gave me the oppurtunity to replace the IDE OS drive with a SCSI drive. What a difference. Can't beat SCSI for reliability.

hks1966 said...

I found the problem with this machine not shutting down. It was a firewire card in the 64-Bit slot. I moved it to a 32 bit slot and it now shuts down. I also added 2 more gigs of ram and added another cpu so it is ow a dual 2.8GHz Xeon.

Phil Crawley said...

That's my config exactly.
Every year I keep thinking I'll replace it but it works just fine!