HD 4350 review/problems - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-08-2008, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I replaced my HD 3450 with a new MSI HD 4350. Both have 512MB of RAM. Have been using the HD 3450 for some six months. Replaced a more $$$ HD 3870 card that drove me nuts with media center stutter. Only on film-based recorded programs broadcast in 1080i. The HDMI sound worked fine in the 3870. Never could not get HDMI to work properly with the HD 3450 so I used a couple of amplified PC speakers. Smooth video. Only the most occasional hiccup in the recordings. Maybe once or twice per 5 or so 1 hour programs. But I would like the sound to come out of my TV or SRS system. HD 3870 stuttered every few seconds. HD 4350 is better than the 3870 but is is still jerky. Constantly. HDMI sound (stereo anyway) from windows and media center works fine. Nice. I am running the ATI hot fix driver. Uninstalled all of the previous catalyst and realtek sound stuff. Disabled MoBo sound in BIOS.

So I'm back where I started. Not as bad but totally unacceptable. My wife doesn't notice it but I do.

Running on a 2.5GHz AMD X2. 2 GB RAM. Vista HP SP 1. Up to date. 300 GB OS drive. 1 TB dedicated MC drive. 2 hauppauge 1600 tuners. MC remote. LG 42" LCD 1080p TV.

Oh yes. I also have to kick the PC in the head when I switch HDMI inputs on the TV usually. And I have the ATI event handler service disabled.

So before I send this back, I am open to any suggestions or reports from others the DO have the HD 4350 working in a similar system. I am only interested in MC OTA recording and viewing. We watch DirecTV live. Will pop for a up converting or BD DVD after MC PC is working.
-Thanks, Terry.
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-09-2008, 02:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Some results here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1082782
Will post results later using MSI driver in this thread.
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post #3 of 16 Old 11-09-2008, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm giving up on the HD 4350. I have tried different versions of Catalyst. The one on the MSI CD seems a bit better than the ATI hotfix download but the media center stuttering on 1080i programs still drives me nuts.
In reinstalling the HD 3450 card I went back all the way to cat 8.2. Guess what? HDMI sound and smooth video on 1080i deinterlaced to 1080p. I read that in a post here on AVS.
ATI recommends the 8.10 hotfix for the HD 3450 as well. Problems at best and no HDMI sound. I had 8.3-8.10 downloaded most had smooth video as long as HDMI was not used. I tried the Realtek sound driver. Windows says it is working properly but not my ears. No Realtek driver necessary with cat 8.2(?)
8.2 seems to do the trick. Will stay with it for a while. May post next weekend if there are any new revelations. I WOULD say that the HD 3450 appears a little grainy compared to the HD 4350 and HD 3870 cards but plenty acceptable. Stutter on the other hand...
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post #4 of 16 Old 11-09-2008, 12:49 PM
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Terry:
Thanx for the update. That is disappointing for sure. I think I will be sending the Asus 4350 back when it arrives and take a hard look at the 4650/4670. Thelower price was nice, but what really appealed to me was the passive cooling system on the Asus 4350 and the native HDMI connector. I can still get the HDMI connector on the Asus 4650/4670 offerings, but it looks like passive cooling is out the window.
I realize it could just be the immature drivers at fault, butI'd rathe have someting that is being successfully used by some of the experienced members in here as I will undoubtedly have some hiccups with the learning curve, and there is no sense fighting against possible known hardware issues.
Cheers


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post #5 of 16 Old 11-09-2008, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen Audio View Post

Terry:
Thanx for the update. That is disappointing for sure. I think I will be sending the Asus 4350 back when it arrives and take a hard look at the 4650/4670. Thelower price was nice, but what really appealed to me was the passive cooling system on the Asus 4350 and the native HDMI connector. I can still get the HDMI connector on the Asus 4650/4670 offerings, but it looks like passive cooling is out the window.
I realize it could just be the immature drivers at fault, butI'd rathe have someting that is being successfully used by some of the experienced members in here as I will undoubtedly have some hiccups with the learning curve, and there is no sense fighting against possible known hardware issues.
Cheers

Whatever you wind up with be sure and post your results! Best of luck with your HTPC system ( you'll need it ;-) )
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post #6 of 16 Old 11-09-2008, 02:57 PM
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Thanx for the good wishes. I think I've decided on the Asus EAH4650. For the extra $10 the 4670 would cost it should be a no brainer as you would get the better gddr3 ram and a faster clock on it, but you can clearly see in the pics on Newegg that the 4650 has a much less aggressive cooling solution that should produce much less noise. I don't really game so I won't miss the extra horse power of the 4670.
After flooping all over the place on a build I decided to go the easy route and get an HP Media center M7750N that is being sold locally on Craigslist. The price is right, and it has the remote, and Vista installed and an AMD 5000+ dual core, and a 320G HD. It is not the build I would have done, but I figure everything probably already plays nice together vs the joy of having to fire up a new system and get all your drivers to cooperate. I'll mate it up to a Denone AVR 2808ci and a Sony Wega 50" and see what happens.
So in the next week or so I should have the video card and get to start playing. I've been an audio geek for some time, but I'm kinda jazzed about the new foray into the HTPC arena.
Cheers


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post #7 of 16 Old 11-09-2008, 03:57 PM
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I have the Asus 4650. it has bugs too. It also uses the Hot Fix driver from AMD. The driver from Asus is the same. The Audio thru HDMI is fine until you pause or stop a movie. It make s a creeching sound. Other than that it work ok unitil today, for some reason Power dvd 7.3 is telling me my display is not HDCP, ITS A PIONEER. The card does make some noise but you can't hear it with the case closed. The LG drive is the loudest of all the devices in my HTPC.
I wouldn't remcomend the Asus 4650 yet.
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post #8 of 16 Old 11-09-2008, 04:25 PM
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Zen Audio, look at the 4670 from HIS. It comes with an ArcticCooling cooler and is supposed to be extremely quiet. The Asus is actually loud enough that people replaced the stock fan with a quieter one.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1059559
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post #9 of 16 Old 11-09-2008, 10:12 PM
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Vinuneuro:
Thanx for the input and suggestions. I have given some thought to the HIS card, but I really had my heart set on the native HDMI connector and I believe the HIS is dual DVI. I know there is some sort of adapter, and the DVI will carry the audio signals, but it just seems to me if DVI was meant to carry audio natively it would.
Perhaps I will think on it some more.
Has anyone verified the audio passing therough the DVI is equivelant to the audio that would pass through the HDMI?


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post #10 of 16 Old 11-09-2008, 10:37 PM
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I just took a closer look at the HIS card and it is a definite no go. I didn't realize it required a second slot to vent the fan. That is a great design to help cool the case, but I just don't have the available extra slot to use it.


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post #11 of 16 Old 11-09-2008, 11:37 PM
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His has a 4650 that has a heatpipe heatsink that is on the other side of the card, so if it's in the first slot it won't take up a PCI slot it you have the room near the processor. You might want to check that one out or you can find a other one (say the 1GB card 4670) and buy the Zalman heatsink that is the same one used.
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post #12 of 16 Old 11-10-2008, 12:17 AM
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I opened the case up and had a look. I just bought this HP M7750N locally on Craigslist so am just learning the case. It seems there would be room before the processor for the zalman except there is a small aluminum heatsink that rises maybe 2 inches off the board between the pcie slot and the processor. Probably the north bridge, or south bridge or something like that. It might make it impossible to get something else in that space.
I think I may be able to eliminate one of the pci slots being used and free up room for the HIS card. Seems the unit came with a tuner card from HP, but the owner added an All in wnder 650 card for dual tuner. Also there is a pci slot being wasted on an old school modem card. So I can pull the factory installed tuner card and the modem card. I want to add a wireless network card, but that still leaves me with an open slot so I could go with the HIS.
I have spent many hours reading threads in this forum and am learning a lot. I have read most of the 4000/4600 series threads. So is there in fact confirmation the the Asus EAH 4650 is having problems for multiple users? Just trying to get all the info I can before I make a decision that will lock out a pci slot for future use.
Thanx to everyone for the help and advice.


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post #13 of 16 Old 11-10-2008, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen Audio View Post

Vinuneuro:
Thanx for the input and suggestions. I have given some thought to the HIS card, but I really had my heart set on the native HDMI connector and I believe the HIS is dual DVI. I know there is some sort of adapter, and the DVI will carry the audio signals, but it just seems to me if DVI was meant to carry audio natively it would.
Perhaps I will think on it some more.
Has anyone verified the audio passing therough the DVI is equivelant to the audio that would pass through the HDMI?

Not sure why people get hung up about DVI and HDMI when discussing audio.

The audio data in HDMI is carried on the same pins and in the same streams as the video information - it is carried during the Data Island Period - which is basically horizontal and vertical blanking. Just like SDI and HD-SDI - the audio is carried during blanking. Effectively the audio is carried in the blanking/syncs portion of the video signal. There are no separate audio connections on HDMI - and as HDMI and DVI are identical in video data terms, the same connections are present on DVI.

AIUI the HDMI conversion dongle is mainly there to tell the video card to output audio in blanking (which you really wouldn't want to do when feeding a native DVI display) - it doesn't perform any major hardware stuff or even re-route any signals. (A DVI to HDMI cable doesn't do this - it just re-arranges the data connections to the new connector) The same "I'm now an HDMI output" stuff that the dongle tells the video card may also trigger a YCrCb rather than RGB colour space output - though HDMI can carry either.
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post #14 of 16 Old 11-10-2008, 05:18 AM
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The dongle actually adds flexibility as having it plugged in or not effects the color space that is being output. I would would say having flexibility is a plus.
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post #15 of 16 Old 11-10-2008, 11:56 AM
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Well thank you for the excellent explanations there. I would honestly say my hangup had more to deal with ignorance than anything else. I work in electronics for a living, and have been into audio for many years, but alas I grew up in the analog world.
Although I have been listening to SACD's for several years, and have a laymans understanding of it, digital will always be a second language to me. I was not aware that the audio was time sharing the same conductors as the the video during the blanking period. I just assumed that there were dedicated conductor lines for the audio to pass in HDMI cables. So now that I understand the audio is time sharing the same conductors, and I already know that DVI is basically on the same quality par as HDMI, I don't have that hang up anymore. I do appreciate the brief, but concise explanation there. It was just enough information to explain what was going on without making my head smoke.
So all that said, and after doing more case investigations, I have gone ahead and orderred the HIS 4650 with the factory installed Zalman heat pipe cooler as suggested by H8. I noticed the cooler does not extend completely down the opposite side of the card, and I am fairly certain it will clear the small low rise heatsink on my motherboard next to my pcie slot. As luck would have it the Zalman will sit immediately below a case fan that is venting out of the case, so the heat should be removed quickly as it rises off the heat sink. The memory clock is 200MHz faster than the Asus 4650 card as well, which is never a bad thing.
I am hopeful the problems creeping up with the audio in this series will be addressed in driver releases, and likely before I am fluent in setting up and using the full functionality of the card. I will post my opinions and experiences (and questions) as they arise.


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post #16 of 16 Old 11-10-2008, 12:27 PM
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You can also rest assured that the card does not generate much heat at all. This is compared my previous passively cooled nVidia 7600GS, 7600GS and 7950GT.

The ATI card was a bit more difficult compared to nVidia to calibrate with my display due the loss of blacker than black (BTB) and whiter than white (WTW) when displaying video. BTB and WTW is displayed correctly when displaying the desktop, pictures and I would assume games. The registry fix to clip SD video to the same levels as HD video was required in order to calibrate black and white levels with my display. The PQ appears to be close or equal to the nVidia cards and I now have multi-channel LPCM and no 1080i deinterlacing seems to work better. I did have to switch my DVD MPEG-2 decoder from the NVidia PureVideo to the Cyberlink decoder as the nVidia PureVideo in some cases would not deinterlace correctly.
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