ATI Radeon 4850 VisionTek - Installation, configuration and HTPC (non-gamers) review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Introduction
As a long time AVS fan, I feel it is time to give back; so I like to take a moment and write this up and let you all know about the just release; 1 week before plan; ATI 4850, (VisionTek).

Purchase
After I read few posts in AVS and other forums, I can't believe that a day old GC can be on sale already. All you have to do is go to BB web site , print the weekly ad, go to your local BB grap the VisionTek 4850, run to cashier, show the coupon, take the plastic out from your wallet and you will walk away $150 4850; 25% off from $199 before tomorrow, 6/22 Saturday. It might extend but who know. The BB I went today only have 1 left on the floor...

Installation
First, I need to let you know that VisionTek have 2 DVI/VGA adapters in the box They should have 1 DVI/VGA and 1 DVI/HDMI. Since I used 3650 therefore I just use my ATI gray DVI/HDMI dongle and it works right away. If you don't have one and bought the box without the DVI/HDMI, you sure will not be too happy.

2nd - power, I did not read anything; I just use common sense, installed the 4850 and as soon as I started, it beep, beep and beep. It showed in the monitor that I need to connect the 4850 to PS. So I shut down the HTPC, connect the power cable from my PS to the end of the 4850 and start up. It starts right away. Please note that you have to have 450W PS in order to use 4850.

3rd - Driver, I looked at one of the thread in AVS and someone said that CCC 8.6 will work for 4850 but ATI did not update the content yet, therefore I downloaded 8.6 and installed that. But don't do that, I REPEAT DON'T DO THAT, after I booted up, I noticed I don't have my native resolution; 1360X768 and no matter what I try, it is not there. I immediately Google around and I found out that there is a hot fix just released today and as soon as I installed below hot fix, you are good to go. Please note that it said hot fix but it is a FULL CCC driver so you DO NOT need the any other drivers from the box and/or ATI web site.

http://support.ati.com/ics/support/d...asp?deptID=894

For XP user - please read http://support.ati.com/ics/support/d...estionID=30533.

There are some people that they can't get 5.1 or 7.1 after installed above Hot fix driver. Someone find it and post it in this thread and other follow and able to get 5.1 or 7.1 right away. Please reboot.

Latest Realtek driver released 6/30/08: here.

4th - other driver? I did not installed or use any other drivers such as Realtek and/or IDT. I just use above driver ONLY.

5th - Configuration - I only DID few steps and I am up and running now. First, all I did was choose my native resolution 1360X768 in CCC. 2nd, I went to Vista play back icon in task bar and select 5.1 speakers, check all the available rates and formats in playback device. That is all I did, nothing else and it plays all the sounds I want so far, iTune and PDVD8...

Video performance
I am NOT a gamer, I use my HTPC for music and movies only. I had NVIDIA before and I have some troubles and switch it to HD2600 Pro couple years ago. Then I switched it to 3650 and today 4850. To me they all the same but 2600HD might use more CPU power; 3650 and 4850 use less. Other than that, I am sorry I can tell that there are any picture different that it is worth to describe here. If not for audio, I will stay 3650 for sure.

Audio performance
First, I was wrong that I thought LPCM is not part of PAP stream and it should not down sampled. Apparently, I can use Vista to play around the output rate in order to get what I want to my receiver. Based on my understanding today, 4850 is most likely down sampling LPCM today. In order to get not down sampled the only way will be thru PAP to pre-amp.

In PDVD8 there are 2 options for me. First it's PCM and 2nd it's DTS/AC3 pass thru. When I use 3650, I have to choose AC3/DTS pass thru in order to get 5.1 sounds since if I choose LPCM, I will have only 2 channels LPCM and that is what we have inside 3650. But when I choose PCM with 4850 now, I have 5 channels coming in PCM, in receiver as MULTI and it shown 192kHZ, see below picture, but because I use Vista setting to output the highest rate. I think PDVD is down sampled now and Vista is up convert to 192kHZ.

Noise: To a HTPC user and an AV guy like me, it is pretty important. Not long ago before, before I bought my last 3650, Oh my... there is another 3650 made by another manufacture and that is crazy loud; I can hear that 4 to 5 feets away; if I stand next to my box, I feel it is a jet engine inside. I only had it for 48 hours and I took it out. This 4850 VisionTek is quiet and I have no problem with this, some might but again, it is a level that I am happy with.

Again before 4850 today, I used 3650 HDMI to my Onkyo 885 same as Integra 9.8 HDMI 1.3 loseless capable pre-amp. At that time, the audio is very nice but it is 2 channels LPCM only. With 4850, I have 8 channels LPCM instead of 2. With Vista, I use the highest format offer; as you see the picture below.

Conclusion
I spent lot longer time to write this up than I spent to install and play around the 4850 since I bought it tonight. Therefore I only able to watched few scenes of different movies. Based on that I think that even $150 for a card that I will not able to take the advantage like most gamers can, I think it is too much and overkill for HTPC user like me. Unless it offers some big improvements that I am not notice tonight, I plan to watch few movies this weekend, then I plan to re-use my 3650 for video and use Asus or Azuentech HDMI sound card as soon as they release.

I have a question about TrueHD audio. Where should I look? This is an excellent post and it will answer all the questions about this format.

One of forum member comment below in this thread and ever since I started this I have quite of bit PMs regarding this topic. So I hope with this comment, you guys will have a better picture now.

Some early posts in this thread were asking about whether the Audio is downsampled. It definitely will be as there is no software available that doesn't downsample HD Audio such as DTS-MA etc.

Software such as TMT and PDVD will soon be able to output unmolested audio but only on PAP enabled hardware. To my knowledge this card isn't PAP compliant and so will never support that functionality.

If full res audio is the main priority then the best bet is to wait for either the Asus or Auzentech solutions that should be available in the next month or so, both of which will also support Bitstreaming of DTS-MA and TrueHD etc..


Stay tuned and I will update more or less as soon as I have Asus or Azuentech HDMI sound card in my possession.

Please don't flush my PM and if you want me to test anything just let me know and I will try my best to help.

Thank you.

2nd impression after installed

Just finished a first BD after installed 4850 last night and using iTune listening 2 channels as I type this now. First, there are few people asking me what equipments do I have, please see below. Regarding the BD, it is excellent. Video again, I am sorry, I can't tell there is any different compare from 2600, 3650 and 4850 today. But audio, is definitely better, bass tighter and most noticeable improvement to me is discreet. All speakers are maybe 10 to 15% cleaner and every single drops of rain, birds singing..., I can hear much better and cleaner than before. 2 channels music listening is about the same. I guess it is same as my 3650 before. Will update more if I see and hear the different.


3rd impression after installed

Just finished watching Jumper BD with my new toy - 4850, all I want to say is wow wow wow!!! Sounds that I never thought it can be in my own room. It is SO SO SO reality like, LPCM just free up my system and bring me to another level; I feel I can fly now.
All I can say is I can't imagine and wait when PDVD not down sampled and I can truly 100% LPCM or PAP bit-stream to my pre-amp.
Bottom line is if you thinking to get another piece of audio gear to improve your system; save the $ and try LPCM first


4th and last impression after installed

Since installed 4850, I use nothing but 5.1 PCM via HDMI now. It sounds amazing not just BD but DVD too. Have a day off yesterday and watched 3 BDs and 1 DVD.
Watched "1408" DVD and it is unbelievable!!! Some sounds I really few it is a layer perhaps let me put it this way, it is very clear sound stages, (I can hear exactly where that audio notes are belong to in the sound stage) and it is not mixed/clear like before. Now, I can hear all the details that I never can hear before.


Hardware: ATI 4850, LG GGC-H20L, P4 3.2, D945, 4G RAM, 2X Fusion + 2X Hauppage.

Software: VMC Ultimate, AnyDVD HD, PDVD 8, Imgburn, Daemons Tools, MM PR7, HomeSeer, TrueImage, iTunes. 8X500G HDD for 310+ DVD + 90+ BD.

Setup: Onkyo Pro 885 Pre-Amp (Selling CBII, buying CBIII now), Krell KSA-200S + KAV-500 amp, Martin Logan Theater (C), Ascent (L&R), Script (R) and Depth Sub, PS Audio Power Premier Plant, MIT Shotgun S1 cables & HDMI 1.3b.

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post #2 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 01:47 AM
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Hi, the link to ATi is broken.

What MB do you have ?
What driver release did you used for the sound card ?
I presume you have selected HDMI out from the control panel of Vista (not the sound card control panel) ?

cheers, Nik
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post #3 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlkc View Post

But when I choose PCM with 4850 now, I have 5 channels coming in PCM, in receiver as MULTI

That's a good proof that HD 4850 supports multichannel LPCM HDMI audio (with or without PAP).
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post #4 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 04:13 AM
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I have a question about the attachment photo. What does the little "48.0" represent? The main display says "192khz". Does that mean the receiver is set to that but the little one mean that it is actually running 48khz and not at a true 192khz? I would have just looked it up but you never said what the receiver was.
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post #5 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charger2000 View Post

Hi, the link to ATi is broken.

Radeon HD 4800 Series Hotfix

or

AMD Customer Care for ATI Products > Radeon HD 4800 Series Hotfix
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post #6 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egarrard View Post

I have a question about the attachment photo. What does the little "48.0" represent? The main display says "192khz". Does that mean the receiver is set to that but the little one mean that it is actually running 48khz and not at a true 192khz? I would have just looked it up but you never said what the receiver was.

I have a feeling the 48.0 is the volume.
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post #7 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 05:07 AM
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Thanks for the report!

Could you post some screenshots of the HDMI configuration from the control panel? I mainly am curious what the options are as far as speakers go, whether there are options for 2, 5.1, and 7.1, or just 2 and 7.1 like the current nvidia 8200 boards. From the picture of your receiver, it does look like you are getting 5.1 (as opposed to 7.1). Is your speaker setup 5.1 or 7.1? I would assume 7.1, but just wanted to double check.

Also, what is the exact name of the device in the control panel? It seems like others were getting several different names, so it would be nice to know the correct one.

Lastly, are you using VMC or just PowerDVD?

Thanks again.
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post #8 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egarrard View Post

I have a question about the attachment photo. What does the little "48.0" represent? The main display says "192khz". Does that mean the receiver is set to that but the little one mean that it is actually running 48khz and not at a true 192khz? I would have just looked it up but you never said what the receiver was.

I thought he said Onkyo 885
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post #9 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 05:39 AM
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hlkc,

How about the noise of the Vision Tek 4850. From several review it seems to me that the card run hot. Hence the fan might need to be running at high spin. Can you hear it from 5ft away?

THanks,
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post #10 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charger2000 View Post

Hi, the link to ATi is broken.

What MB do you have ?
What driver release did you used for the sound card ?
I presume you have selected HDMI out from the control panel of Vista (not the sound card control panel) ?

cheers, Nik

http://support.ati.com/ics/support/d...asp?deptID=894

I have a very old MB, it is Intel 945 PVS.

I only used above driver.

I used the one in the Vista in the task bar.
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post #11 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

That's a good proof that HD 4850 supports multichannel LPCM HDMI audio (with or without PAP).

OK, but is it down sampled or not?
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post #12 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egarrard View Post

I have a question about the attachment photo. What does the little "48.0" represent? The main display says "192khz". Does that mean the receiver is set to that but the little one mean that it is actually running 48khz and not at a true 192khz? I would have just looked it up but you never said what the receiver was.

It is volume level.

I used to have Theta Casablanca which I LOVE it so much. Unfortunately, their HDMI upgrade is NOT available yet therefore I bought myself an Onkyo 885 same as Integra 9.8 pre-amp. It is a excellent pre-amp for the money and has all the bell and whistle, HDMI 1.3....

http://forums.soundandvisionmag.com/...cending&page=1
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post #13 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cghebert View Post

I have a feeling the 48.0 is the volume.

Right on buddy
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post #14 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cghebert View Post

Thanks for the report!

Could you post some screenshots of the HDMI configuration from the control panel? I mainly am curious what the options are as far as speakers go, whether there are options for 2, 5.1, and 7.1, or just 2 and 7.1 like the current nvidia 8200 boards. From the picture of your receiver, it does look like you are getting 5.1 (as opposed to 7.1). Is your speaker setup 5.1 or 7.1? I would assume 7.1, but just wanted to double check.

Also, what is the exact name of the device in the control panel? It seems like others were getting several different names, so it would be nice to know the correct one.

Lastly, are you using VMC or just PowerDVD?

Thanks again.

I posted the pictures before and same as this here. Except picture 4, 2 and 6 are the same. My 4 has few more formats.

Yes, if I want I can just click 7.1.

The excat name is:
Realtek HDMI Output
2-HDMI Output Audio

VMC means to me Vista Media Center, right? and I have that as OS in this box.
I used nothing but PDVD8 and latest patch for all BD playback.
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post #15 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlkc View Post

OK, but is it down sampled or not?

Ok, we know that the receiver is being fed 192 khz (which is good news itself because if you are into hi res flac, etc, you will be able to get that via hdmi) and we can tell what input power dvd is decoding (i.e. which audio track, what bitrate, etc). However, is there anything out there (software / graph?) which will tell us what conversions are happening along the chain (i.e. pdvd down samples, vista upsamples, etc)?

Many thanks for this post hlkc!
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post #16 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 06:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreydeng View Post

hlkc,

How about the noise of the Vision Tek 4850. From several review it seems to me that the card run hot. Hence the fan might need to be running at high spin. Can you hear it from 5ft away?

THanks,

hey Jeff,

thanks for the reminder, I did update to my original post, but here you go:

Noise: To a HTPC user and an AV guy like me, it is pretty important. Not long ago before, I bought my last 3650, Oh my it is crazy loud; I can hear that 4 to 5 feet away; if I stand next to my box, I feel it is a jet engine inside. I only had it for 48 hours and I took it out. This VisionTek is quiet and I have no problem with this, some might but again, it is a level that I am happy with.

Also, as I said I am not a gamer with PDVD playing BD, I think it is as heavy as I can use and I sure don't hear the fan at all.
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post #17 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eg2 View Post

Ok, we know that the receiver is being fed 192 khz (which is good news itself because if you are into hi res flac, etc, you will be able to get that via hdmi) and we can tell what input power dvd is decoding (i.e. which audio track, what bitrate, etc). However, is there anything out there (software / graph?) which will tell us what conversions are happening along the chain (i.e. pdvd down samples, vista upsamples, etc)?

Many thanks for this post hlkc!

That is EXACTLY I want to have and try too.

Here is what I think. Everyone said it is down sampled no matter what you do since it is not PAP. Ok I buy that. So everyone telling me that it is down sampled out from PDVD8 and since I have my Vista check all the available format therefore it will output the highest one, perhaps up convert to the highest one. Ok, I buy that, but based on PDVD I am not surprise, but I've no evidence to proof that, is some one can teach me to proof that here, since I am everything up and running here, I am up to the task!!!
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post #18 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 06:31 AM
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Appreciate the update. Talk to you later!
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post #19 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreydeng View Post

Appreciate the update. Talk to you later!

Again in your situation, I hope this is not down sampled LPCM then I will tell you to go get one. But it looks like it is; therefore for $150 on sale end today for down sampled LPCM for you and I HTPC, BD... use I think it is way too much. Just wait for the Asus one next month and that is the one I REALLY want to keep if it is bit-stream PAP not down sampled to my pre-amp and to you NOT down sampled LPCM.

Talk to u later and take care!
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post #20 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 07:10 AM
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where do u control the audio for this?

is it in control panel and the sound?

I only see configuration for 2 stereo, i don't see configuration for my 5.1 setup in the sound properties.

i'm running vista ultimate 64bit
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post #21 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mefromfl View Post

where do u control the audio for this?

is it in control panel and the sound?

I only see configuration for 2 stereo, i don't see configuration for my 5.1 setup in the sound properties.

i'm running vista ultimate 64bit

In Vista I have it up all the way, 100%, and I control volume from my pre-amp.

Hmm something wrong since I do see 2, 5.1, 7.1 here. Please refer to this post's picture #2.

I am runing Vista Ultimate 32bit

So do you have sound in 2 Channels or no sound at all? Did you use the audio drive Ipost here the hot fix one?
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post #22 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 07:40 AM
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I did use the hot fix as the driver, but when i uninstalled my x-meridian driver first, after that uninstall, it seems to install a driver for hd audio, then i went to install my driver hot fix.

Got my pioneer receiver set to do hdmi and pcm but in the sound configuration there is only stereo setting no 5.1

I do hear sound coming out, but it's only 2 channel and quality isn't so good.
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post #23 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 07:45 AM
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here's an image of what's it's showing
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post #24 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mefromfl View Post

I did use the hot fix as the driver, but when i uninstalled my x-meridian driver first, after that uninstall, it seems to install a driver for hd audio, then i went to install my driver hot fix.

Got my pioneer receiver set to do hdmi and pcm but in the sound configuration there is only stereo setting no 5.1

I do hear sound coming out, but it's only 2 channel and quality isn't so good.

Ok, I have 3650 before 4850. All I did was installed 8.6 CCC then hot fix and that is all I did, nothing else. It sounds like you have other thing you uninstall and you need to put back now. Let me look around and if I see annythng I will PM you.

I do have VERY good perhaps I should say way above average and discreet 6 channels sounds now. When I test it last night, one of the scenes in untraceable BD, I hear a lot of small details, it is so clear coming out form every single speaker that I might miss it before or I was looking at it this time :-)
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post #25 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 07:52 AM
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wait, so u install 8.6 first then do the hot fix? Cuz all i did was do the hotfix

The hdmi driver seems to be coming from microsoft can it auto detects and install, i think that might be the probelm.

But confirm with me u did the 8.6 first then apply the hotfix?
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post #26 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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mefromfl hold on, I just post my thread and I noticed you have the picture now. This is another problem to me. I thought you had 5.1 or 7.1 but you only hear 2 channels... No wonder you only have 2 channels now since you can only have 2 channels there. Please refer to one of my post above and I posted the pictures already, 2, 5.1 and 7.1... You MUST have 5.1 or 7.1.

I suggest that you need to uninstall the driver and re-install the hot fix the minimum at this point.
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post #27 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mefromfl View Post

wait, so u install 8.6 first then do the hot fix? Cuz all i did was do the hotfix

The hdmi driver seems to be coming from microsoft can it auto detects and install, i think that might be the probelm.

But confirm with me u did the 8.6 first then apply the hotfix?

Yes I did BUT it was an accident and I don't have my native resolution in that 8.6 not to mention the problems I think they might have otherwise they won't have that Hotfix right away.

If I may suggest you, if I were you I will uninstall the hotfix now, install the hot fix and see that will fix the problem. Make sure reboot! If not, if you want, I guess nothing to loose and try 8.6 and see. If still not definitely try the hot fix after. If still not, I really out of idea, sorry. Good luck and let us know how you end up please.
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post #28 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 08:03 AM
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What does PowereDVD say when you show the information on the movie? It will tell you video bit rate and audio bit rate.
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post #29 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amd_rocks View Post

What does PowereDVD say when you show the information on the movie? It will tell you video bit rate and audio bit rate.

Yup, show information and it will show you all that in top right corner. Also, I can do that in my pre-amp and I post that picture in my original post. But to me it does not matter today. Since we think PDVD8 is down sampled now and Vista is up convert the signal before my receiver got it Until PAP here I guess that is the reality we need to live on...
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post #30 of 948 Old 06-21-2008, 08:20 AM
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i'm playing a 5.1 movie now and it shows 5.1 448kbs

I have try to uninstall, but when i uninstall in reboot, when the comp loads, it installs the driver for the HD audio right away, i think that's the driver from MS
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