I'm thinking about building a HTPC out of a Mac of some sort, and I'm wondering what the minimum speed dual processor G4 is for playback of MPEG-4 without dropping frames? I've been using Handbrake to rip my DVDs to MPEG-4 files with default settings targeting about 1000 kbps bitrate and otherwise generally 480i/p NTSC format.
Ideally, I'd like to display on an HD TV (1080p, 1920x1080). I realize that what I'm ripping isn't HD quality, but I don't care so much about that. Besides, the original source was only 480i or 480p at best anyway. But I do care about using all the available screen without dropping frames. If I have to use 720p instead, that's fine, too.
I know that my iBook G4 800 MHz can do 720p resolution upscaling of just about all my movies without dropping frames, though every now and then there is a movie which it just can't handle cleanly. I know that my VGA 667 MHz PowerBook G4 can't playback movies without dropping frames. So I was thinking maybe a Digital Audio dual 533 MHz G4 could.
Does anyone have any experience in this area? I'd love to pick up a cheap older G4 (dual 450s are dirt cheap these days), but I don't want to waste money on something that can't do what I want it to do.
What about video cards? Can a GeForce 2 MX do what I'm asking? How about a Radeon 7000 or Radeon 7500?
I'd appreciate any thoughts you guys have.