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Join Date: Apr 2009
01-13-2010, 01:57 PM
On netbooks with weak CPUs (like the Atom), you'll need a separate device to accelerate HD h.264 decoding. Even netbooks with stronger CPUs, may struggle with such demanding content. Like the Dell Inspiron 11z, with it's optional dual core CPU.
There was a recent post about HD playback on netbooks using CoreAVC, an efficient CPU decoder for h.264 video. But I'm not confident even CoreAVC will be capable of satisfactory results. (CoreAVC is frequently lauded as the best decoding software for people without capable hardware)
Look into "Ion" platform netbooks. They match an Atom CPU with a nVidia graphics card, which should be able to decode video well.
Or netbooks with the Broadcom "Crystal" video decoder card (the NEW Dell Mini 10 will have this as an option eventually). At least one HP netbook has the card now.
The Broadcom card can be added to some netbooks (buy it on eBay), but they might not have the spare slot. For example, I think it works in the Mini 9, if you put it in the WiFi slot. So, then you'd need to use a USB WiFi dongle, or something. But the Mini 9 probably isn't an option for you, because it can't be upgraded to a large internal drive for storing videos. I don't know if the larger Dell Minis can accommodate the card.
You could also look into Athlon Neo CPU netbooks. They probably have a stronger graphics card than typical Atom CPU netbooks. But they tend to be bigger, too.
I hope one of the solutions I suggested works for you, but be aware, I haven't tried any of these solutions, since I don't need a netbook capable of 1080p h.264 decoding.
Mini 1012 | SSD | Intel 6200 Wifi | Ubuntu 11.10 64bit
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
01-13-2010, 02:52 PM
there is a usb device out there that will take content and encode it to h.264 using the microchips/processor inside the usb dongle; in eseence offloading the encoding of h.264 from the atom processor. i can not vouch for the functionality of it but. i do know it works nicely with macs.
I will link the product review shortly.
Join Date: Jan 2010
01-13-2010, 03:04 PM
Very knowledgeable thanks for the insight.
I was hoping to stay with the Dell because of it's hackintoshability.
Is the new 1012 going to carry the banner of OSX as did it's predecessors?
Failing a netbook are any other compact laptops hackable to OSX?
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