Is it better to have a decoder card or a software decoder? Frankly I don't really know what either trully does besides, I guess, decode? hehehe
My old ATI XPERT2000 (Rage128 chip) has a built-in DVD decoder. If I use PowerDVD with hardware acceleration enabled, the picture is perfect and I have about 40% processor idle.
If I uncheck hardware acceleration, processor is used up to 100% and it becomes jerky.
I have a K6-2+ 550MHz processor.
Conclusion: a card that decodes mpeg-2 (DVDs) is needed if you have a slow processor.
If not, you don’t need one, but it’s always good to have one, it’ll keep your cpu cooler!
I guess all ATI cards decode DVDs in hardware, I don’t know about the rest.
I see what you mean avalon. My computer isn’t that slow, but I 've seen cards for 30 bucks even. I guess I’ll spring for it. It can only help I assume.
I have an 800Mhz and with PowerDVD the picture is still jerky without hardware support. Most 3D Accelerators have them built in.