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post #1 of 32 Old 08-25-2014, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Need HTPC suggestions and madVR help

Hi,

i need a new HTPC and there is so much stuff to consider now that i can't get my head around it.
1. No AVR - Asus Xonar Essence ST + H6 straight to amplifiers
2. No TV Tuner - i don't record and think a $100 standalone tuners scaling is not worse (correct me if i'm wrong)
3. All movies are on a server with Drive Bender
4. Web Radio and maybe DAB+ (USB stick)
5. No streaming (format conversion) to other devices

My TV is now ~7 years old and only 50/60Hz and one day i need a new one.
Maybe in 2 years 4k TVs will be mainstream - so the HTPC needs to be easy upgradeable.
Should a new TV do all this fps: 23.976p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p, 48p, 50i, 60i, 50p, 60p, 72p, 120p ?
But even now it would be nice to watch the 4k stuff that i found on the web.

I made myself a little list to have an overview.
Upscaling:
Code:
SD          > 1920 x 1080
1280 x  720 > 1920 x 1080
SD          > 3840 x 2160
1280 x  720 > 3840 x 2160
1920 x 1080 > 3840 x 2160
2K          > 3840 x 2160
Downscaling:
Code:
2K          > 1920 x 1080
3840 x 2160 > 1920 x 1080
4096 x 2304 > 1920 x 1080
4096 x 2304 > 3840 x 2160
Is it possible to watch 4096 x 2304 x264@80Mbps downscaled to 1080p today?
What about HVEC?
What about xvYCC (4K mastered Blu-Ray's)?
Is NNEDI3 doable at this time? Somebody here wrote it makes no big difference but this pictures tell another story:
HD BD with Jinc3AR: http://abload.de/img/j3ar-dial7ceum.png
HD BD with NNEDI3: http://abload.de/img/nnedi3-dialbvdjm.png

So what CPU/GPU is best today (with cost-benefit ratio in mind)?

Now the madVR thing - problems i have or what i can do better.
After ~1.5 year i updated madVR and LAV and I'm playing around with profiles.
I think for SD upscaling that SoftCubic looks better cause it hides source artifacts.
I made profiles for "artifact removal" and "scaling" with this rules:
Code:
if      ((srcWidth >= 1921) or (srcHeight >= 1081)) "UHD"
else if ((srcWidth = 1920) or ((srcHeight >= 721) and (srcHeight <= 1080))) "1080p"
else if (((srcWidth >= 1280) and (srcWidth <= 1919)) or (srcHeight = 720)) "720p"
else if (((srcWidth = 704) or (srcWidth = 720)) and ((srcHeight = 480) or (srcHeight = 576))) "SD-DVD"
else if ((srcWidth <= 1279) and (srcHeight <= 719)) "SD-Other"
Code:
---------------------
UHD
---------------------
Debanding: off
Chroma up: Bilinear
Image up: Bilinear
Image down: Bilinear

---------------------
1080p
---------------------
Debanding: low
Chroma up: BiCubic 75 (AR)
Image up: Lanczos 3 (AR)
Image down: Catmull-Rom (AR, LL)

---------------------
720p
---------------------
Debanding: medium
Chroma up: BiCubic 75 (AR)
Image up: Lanczos 3 (AR)
Image down: Catmull-Rom (AR, LL)

---------------------
SD-DVD
---------------------
Debanding: high
Chroma up: BiCubic 75 (AR)
Image up: SoftCubic 50 (AR)
Image down: Catmull-Rom (AR, LL)

---------------------
SD-Other
---------------------
Debanding: high
Chroma up: BiCubic 75 (AR)
Image up: SoftCubic 50 (AR)
Image down: Catmull-Rom (AR, LL)
The UHD section is for testing cause the testing machine can't really handles UHD.
2048x872 H.264 Sintel down to 1440x900 with Catmull-Rom (AR, LL) works but 2560x1440 is to much.

Now the thing is that i have allot Toon DVDs (He-Man, Smurfs, SpongeBob) and to me it looks like that "SoftCubic 60+AR" works the best. So I'm thinking about making another profile "SD-Toon" and adding [toon] to the file names.
Problem is that i have DVDs where i like the menu and i want them as ISO - so no way to handle this?
Others are out there who do something similar with anime/toon stuff?
I'm scared that with UHD TVs all this stuff will look really ugly.

Interlaced Problem:
After the update my interlaced HD stuff has allot of dropped frames.
If i remember right i had LAV set to aggressive and madVR was:
"if in doubt, deactivate deinterlacing" on
"disable automatic source type detection" off

So allot of questions to do everything right when buying new stuff.
And thanks for any help.

Last edited by MrGlasspoole; 08-25-2014 at 01:13 PM.
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post #2 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Should a new TV do all this fps: 23.976p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p, 48p, 50i, 60i, 50p, 60p, 72p, 120p ?
Recommended refresh rate depends on the content:

24p and telecined 60i: 24Hz (then the display processes the incoming video and could display it at 48Hz, 72Hz, 96Hz, 120Hz etc.)
25p and telecined 50i: 25Hz or 50Hz
30p: 60Hz
50p and Interlaced 50i: 50Hz
60p and interlaced 60i: 60Hz.

Quote:
Is it possible to watch 4096 x 2304 x264@80Mbps downscaled to 1080p today?
What about HVEC?
What about xvYCC (4K mastered Blu-Ray's)?
Is NNEDI3 doable at this time?
Depends on the downscaling algorithm and your graphics card. If you select a cheap algorithm (bilear, bicubic, CR without anti-ringing, without linear light), downscaling is usually no problem. '80Mbps' is irrelevant here, it's relevant to decoding process.

Decoding 4K HEVC is difficult for the current crop of hardware. There is no HEVC hardware decoder in GPU yet. Even Haswell Core i7 can't decode some of them by brute force. Some software decoder (Strongene PC OpenCL HEVC/H.265 Decoder) offloads CPU by OpenCL (so that Core i7 + Radeon card is enough), but it's not mature yet (it crashes with some HEVC files).

As for deep color, madVR output only 24bit.

If you use NNEDI3 implemented in madVR, it's easy with a proper graphics card.

Core i7-4790K + R9 270X (MSI) is a good choice. You can upgrade GPU when 20nm graphics cards are available (hopefully that support HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2).

Last edited by renethx; 08-26-2014 at 10:02 AM.
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post #3 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
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As for deep color, madVR output only 24bit.
So xvYCC is reladet to color deep? I cant find something about bit on xvYCC.

Quote:
If you use NNEDI3 implemented in madVR, it's easy with a proper graphics card.
Form the articles i saw it seems that NNEDI3/image doubling/error diffusion kills the biggest graphics card?

Quote:
Core i7-4790K + R9 270X (MSI) is a good choice.
Is there a difference when it comes to 2GB vs 4GB RAM graphic cards on HTPCs?
But that CPU is really an expensive one?

madVR settings:
I changed the profile to just
Code:
if ((srcWidth >= 1921) or (srcHeight >= 1081)) "UHD"
else if ((srcWidth = 1920) or ((srcHeight >= 721) and (srcHeight <= 1080))) "1080p"
else if (((srcWidth >= 1280) and (srcWidth <= 1919)) or (srcHeight = 720)) "720p"
else if ((srcWidth <= 1279) and (srcHeight <= 719)) "SD"
It doesn't make sense to differentiate between DVD and other SD i think.
I made another one "SD-Toon" that i gave a shortcut. I don't like to add keyworts to my file names.
So if its a cartoon i just switch to "SD-Toon".
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post #4 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 06:14 AM
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OP: Are you using a script to change the settings in MadVR based on source input resolution? I would like more information about that if you are. Thanks..
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post #5 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGlasspoole View Post
So xvYCC is reladet to color deep? I cant find something about bit on xvYCC.

Form the articles i saw it seems that NNEDI3/image doubling/error diffusion kills the biggest graphics card?

Is there a difference when it comes to 2GB vs 4GB RAM graphic cards on HTPCs?
But that CPU is really an expensive one?
Yup, I am confused. Look at these posts in doom9's forum.

Error Diffusion loads GPU a lot. I wouldn't use it with NNEDI3. You'd better stick to Ordered Diffusion (madVR's default), the difference is very little in most cases anyway.

2GB (or even 1GB) video RAM is enough.

I suggested Core i7 just in case you are interested in HEVC decoding at this time. Another usage of Core i7 is SVP (Smooth Video Project). MadVR itself uses only GPU, CPU is mostly irrelevant.
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post #6 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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@Sammy2 ,
here you can see how to make profiles (middle of the page): https://imouto.my/madvr/
And here some scripting stuff: http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.ph...17#post1271417

I made a profile group in "scaling algorithms" and one in "processing" for "artifact removal".
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post #7 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 08:01 AM
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I see. I didn't know that this was an option now; especially setting up madVR outside a playback scenario.

I will need to investigate this further but most, not all, of my content is 1080p; about 99.5% is 720p/1080i/1080p so will this help me much?

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post #8 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGlasspoole View Post
@Sammy2 ,
here you can see how to make profiles (middle of the page): https://imouto.my/madvr/
And here some scripting stuff: http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.ph...17#post1271417

I made a profile group in "scaling algorithms" and one in "processing" for "artifact removal".
Links bookmarked. VERY USEFUL information!! Thanks for sharing..

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post #9 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post
Yup, I am confused. Look at these posts in doom9's forum.

Error Diffusion loads GPU a lot. I wouldn't use it with NNEDI3. You'd better stick to Ordered Diffusion (madVR's default), the difference is very little in most cases anyway.

I suggested Core i7 just in case you are interested in HEVC decoding at this time. Another usage of Core i7 is SVP (Smooth Video Project). MadVR itself uses only GPU, CPU is mostly irrelevant.
That's probably why our numbers were different for the 270x a long while ago, I use Error diffusion with NNEDI3 for 720/24->1080 doubling and can only run 32 neurons w/lanczos/jinc upscaling.

OP, you'll probably want to add source FPS in your script, the algorithm capabilities of a video card @ 24FPS vs. 60FPS are vastly different
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post #10 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pylor View Post
That's probably why our numbers were different for the 270x a long while ago, I use Error diffusion with NNEDI3 for 720/24->1080 doubling and can only run 32 neurons w/lanczos/jinc upscaling.
All of my tests have been done with default madVR settings (except for scaling). Otherwise there would be numerous combinations and giving simple results would be impossible.
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post #11 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 09:44 AM
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Should I consider upgrading my 7850 to a 270x?

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post #12 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post
Should I consider upgrading my 7850 to a 270x?
270X = HD 7870 (with minor tweaks), that's roughly 1.5 times faster than HD 7850. But you'd better continue to use 7850 and save your money for a Rx 3xx card (Pirate Islands series, manufactured in 20nm process), unless you have difficulty to do some algorithm (that you think a must). A rumor says R9 370X comes first.
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post #13 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 09:58 AM
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OK. I'll wait as I'm not really having issues with this card anyhow..

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post #14 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post
I suggested Core i7 just in case you are interested in HEVC decoding at this time. Another usage of Core i7 is SVP (Smooth Video Project). MadVR itself uses only GPU, CPU is mostly irrelevant.
I have no interest in SVP and after thinking about it, i belive it makes no sense to invest in such an expensive CPU for HVEC.
Maybe the next generation graphic cards will hardware decode HVEC.
So whats left for software decoding? Hi10p? So an i3-4130 is enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pylor View Post
OP, you'll probably want to add source FPS in your script, the algorithm capabilities of a video card @ 24FPS vs. 60FPS are vastly different
Something i need to investigate further. This FPS stuff is getting crazy with all the different frame rates and i/p.
And i'm not getting it yet how all the frame rates and Reclock stuff work together.

At the moment i try to figure out the best algorithms for everything. Everybody is talking about Jinc, but if
i look at all the old SD cartoons and also SD TVShows, to me SoftCubic looks better.
SoftCubic 50 for movies and SoftCubic 60 for cartoons.
60 cause there is no ringing.
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post #15 of 32 Old 08-26-2014, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MrGlasspoole View Post
So whats left for software decoding? Hi10p? So an i3-4130 is enough?
Yes. Even cheap Celeron G1840, $45, is enough.
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
Yes. Even cheap Celeron G1840, $45, is enough.
I need to ask again to make sure i get the right CPU.
Hi10p is done by the CPU and also 4K-H.264.
What about 4K-Hi10p - what CPU does handle that?

The other question is FPS. Is this just a GPU thing or is it linked to what processor does the decoding?
For example i have a 4K-H.264-AVC-119.880fps.mkv
Is the load on the GPU/CPU related to the frames the TV can do native?

madVR/LAV:
I still have problems with my interlaced files.
If i turn on "disable automatic detection > force film mode" i have no dropped frames.

Then i need a tip for the right way to detect the FPS.
Downscaling 60fps 1080p Big Buck Bunny only works with Bilinear.
And there is scrFps and deintFps so what to check for?
Or should i make really a separate profile for everything: 1080p, 1080p@60, 1080i, 1080i@60... ?

Then i figured out that on a 2560x1440 file Catmull-Rom+AR is a little bit heavy while i can use
Catmull-Rom+AR+LL on a 3D Top-and-Bottom 2160p (1080 x2) file. That means the script should
for example look like this:
Code:
if ((srcWidth >= 2561) and (srcHeight >= 1601)) "4K"
else if ((srcWidth >= 2048) and (srcHeight >= 1081)) "2K"
else if ((srcWidth >= 1920) and (srcHeight >= 1081)) "3D"
else if ((srcWidth >= 1920) and ((srcHeight >= 721) and (srcHeight <= 1080))) "1080p"
else if (((srcWidth >= 1280) and (srcWidth <= 1919)) or (srcHeight = 720)) "720p"
else if ((srcWidth <= 1279) and (srcHeight <= 719)) "SD"
But with all the other combinations i can think of it gets complicated.
Do i think to complicated?
Nobody yet made a script that looks at all possibility's?

Isn't it that way that the whole pixels are determinative of what the hardware can handle?
1920x1080 = 2,073,600
2560×1440 = 3,686,400
If thats the case then the script should look at pixels total?
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post #17 of 32 Old 08-27-2014, 10:58 PM
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Hi10p is done by the CPU and also 4K-H.264. What about 4K-Hi10p - what CPU does handle that?
Decoding 4K AVC by CPU is generally a lot harder. You'd better get Core i5 / i7.

Quote:
The other question is FPS. Is this just a GPU thing or is it linked to what processor does the decoding? For example i have a 4K-H.264-AVC-119.880fps.mkv. Is the load on the GPU/CPU related to the frames the TV can do native?
FPS is the number of frames per second stored in the video file. Once decoded (by CPU or ASIC in GPU), it's an uncompressed video stream with that number of frames per second. Your desktop refresh rate (may not be necessarily supported by GPU / display device, of course) has to be the same as that (or an integer multiple of that) for smooth playback. This applies to progressive contents. For interlaced contents, see below.

Don't confuse fps in video with fps in gaming. In gaming, a higher GPU can produce higher fps. In video fps is fixed. (You can increase frame rate of the video for smoother motion by interpolation e.g. using SVP, of course. That's another story.)

Profiles

Basically you will need the following profiles, apart from UHD:

- SD 24fps (NTSC DVD/broadcast movies)
- SD 60fps (NTSC DVD/broadcast videos)
- HD 24fps (broadcast/downloaded movies; a broadcast 60fps movie is so by repeating frames in 3:2 pattern, so called '3:2 pulldown': 60 = (3+2)/2 * 24)
- HD 60fps (broadcast/camcorder videos)
- FHD 24fps (BD/broadcast movies)
- FHD 60fps (BD/broadcast/camcorder videos)

60fps is 2.5 times harder to process by madVR than 24fps (60/24=2.5). That's why 60fps is separated from 24fps.

Interlaced contents

60i (=30fps with interlace flag; some people also use 30i) content (NTSC DVD/broadcast, FHD broadcast, camcorders) will become either 24fps (for film-based contents) or 60fps (for video-based contents) by detelecine (by madVR or GPU)/deinterlacing (by GPU), then processed by madVR. That's why there is no need to create profiles for interlaced contents. MadVR can't detect film/video, so you have to add the tag "deint=film" or "deint=ivtc" in the file name of a film-based content manually. If there is no tag and madVR thinks it is interlaced (the information is obtained from the source filter), it leaves detelecine/deinterlacing to GPU (unless you change madVR settings). The current GPU is intelligent enough to detect film/video and detelecine/deinterlace correctly. Unfortunately it can't communicate well with madVR so that there is no way for madVR to change the fresh rate to 24Hz for films, resulting in pulldown judder. So leave detelecine to madVR and deinterlacing to GPU.

'Detelecine' is used by HandBrake, it is usually called IVTC (inverse telecine).

UHD

Most of the current UHD contents (encoded in AVC) are either 24fps or 30fps. So a single profile should be enough. In future UHD Blu-ray will be HEVC 24fps (and higher) and broadcast UHD will be HEVC 50fps/60fps.
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Last edited by renethx; 08-28-2014 at 09:17 AM.
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post #18 of 32 Old 08-28-2014, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post
Should I consider upgrading my 7850 to a 270x?
I have a 7850 overclocked to 1050 core and it can play 720p60->1080p60 NNEDI3 doubling with 16 neurons, debanding on. I can do 64 neurons with 720p23->1080p23. A better card wouldn't be of any use to me, and probably not for you either right now. I probably won't upgrade again until I get a 4K tv.

That 77" 4K LG OLED is calling my name (if only I were rich).

Last edited by StinDaWg; 08-28-2014 at 08:44 AM.
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post #19 of 32 Old 08-28-2014, 09:32 AM
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I have a 7850 overclocked to 1050 core and it can play 720p60->1080p60 NNEDI3 doubling with 16 neurons, debanding on. I can do 64 neurons with 720p23->1080p23. A better card wouldn't be of any use to me, and probably not for you either right now. I probably won't upgrade again until I get a 4K tv.

That 77" 4K LG OLED is calling my name (if only I were rich).
Do you OC in the Radeon driver software or in the MoBo BIOS?

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post #20 of 32 Old 08-29-2014, 10:05 AM
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Do you OC in the Radeon driver software or in the MoBo BIOS?
MSI Afterburner, but you could also use the AMD CCC, it does the same thing. I use Afterburner so I can set a fan curve profile.

http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm
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post #21 of 32 Old 08-29-2014, 11:01 AM
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A note: you can't overclock AMD GPU if you use UVD, you have to use software decoder or QS.
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post #22 of 32 Old 08-29-2014, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post
Should I consider upgrading my 7850 to a 270x?
Fairly sideways move. 270X is Curacao which is Pitcarin, which is what your 7850 is. (Not sure why AMD changed the codename on these but not other 'carried-over' cores, but Pitcarin and Curacao are one and the same.) As mentioned above you're just going from a 7850 to a 7870, essentially. Unless you go to Tahiti (7950 or R9 280 and above) or Hawaii, I wouldn't bother upgrading. Also if you're planning on 4K anytime soon, then I'd wait for the next gen of cards so you'll have HDMI 2.0.

Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post
A note: you can't overclock AMD GPU if you use UVD, you have to use software decoder or QS.
You can't? My current card is not OC'd but my previous ones were...I never had any issues with UVD being disabled though? The OC doesn't kick in until you start playing a game (a "3D" application), so under regular use it's not overclocked and UVD should still work normally, no? Or were you talking about transcoding?
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post #23 of 32 Old 08-29-2014, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Just saw that the Tonga R9 285 is coming.
Maybe its an option if the price is right or maybe the price of the 270 will go down a bit.

And i just asked about QuickSync at Doom9:
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.ph...11#post1691611
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post #24 of 32 Old 08-29-2014, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ES_Revenge View Post
You can't? My current card is not OC'd but my previous ones were...I never had any issues with UVD being disabled though? The OC doesn't kick in until you start playing a game (a "3D" application), so under regular use it's not overclocked and UVD should still work normally, no? Or were you talking about transcoding?
OC won't kick in if DXVA2 (copy-back) or DXVA (native) is active in LAV Video Decoder (or if any DXVA2 video decoder is used). I am talking about video playback.
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post #25 of 32 Old 08-29-2014, 12:51 PM
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Just saw that the Tonga R9 285 is coming.
Maybe its an option if the price is right or maybe the price of the 270 will go down a bit.

And i just asked about QuickSync at Doom9:
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.ph...11#post1691611
Any 'dedicated' GPU also has ASIC for video decoding. You can use either that or QS. MadVR's video processing uses GPU's shader units, that's independent of the decoding ASIC. Reasons to use QS instead of AMD's UVD (Universal Video Decoder) are:

- 4K H.264 decode is supported by QS but not by UVD
- Overclocking AMD GPU is possible only when you don't use UVD. Use QS instead.
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post #26 of 32 Old 08-29-2014, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, something new learned. Letting the GPU or CPU decode does not affect madVR performance...
I thought if i use the CPU for decoding then i free up resources for madVR.

I'm looking now at i3-4360 and i5-4570S - big price difference.
CPU Benchmark says 5,579 vs 6,860.
I wonder of how much difference the 1281 points make when it comes to HTPC.
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post #27 of 32 Old 08-29-2014, 01:36 PM
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I'm looking now at i3-4360 and i5-4570S - big price difference.
CPU Benchmark says 5,579 vs 6,860.
I wonder of how much difference the 1281 points make when it comes to HTPC.
Depends on your usage. For example, i3 can't transcode two FHD videos simultaneously, while i5 can. "S" or "T" is almost pointless, it does not save power at all at idle, it consumes slightly lower power because of lower clock/voltage. Just go for a normal version for better performance.
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post #28 of 32 Old 08-29-2014, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
Depends on your usage. For example, i3 can't transcode two FHD videos simultaneously, while i5 can. "S" or "T" is almost pointless, it does not save power at all at idle, it consumes slightly lower power because of lower clock/voltage. Just go for a normal version for better performance.
I've done three at a time with an i5-3570 usage below 80% (though it does bounce around)

I've not tested an i3, but <2 is really surprising to me since a celeron can transcode 1
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post #29 of 32 Old 08-29-2014, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Sure the T version does not really make sense because it is allot slower then the new S and the price on all (T, S, non T/S) is the same now.

In idle you don't save power. But thats a HTPC and when is it idle?
I mean you have it on to watch movies and then you trough your Hi10p on the CPU.
The S version has 20 watt less then the normal version and here the CPU Bench is just 208 points apart.
The price is the same so i think the S version is the right one.
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post #30 of 32 Old 08-29-2014, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by renethx View Post
OC won't kick in if DXVA2 (copy-back) or DXVA (native) is active in LAV Video Decoder (or if any DXVA2 video decoder is used). I am talking about video playback.
Okay so yeah I think we're both saying the same thing, lol. What I thought you were saying at first is that if you OC the card you can't use DXVA, but I think what you were saying is that during DXVA the OC isn't used which is what I meant too. But why would you want the OC to be active in DXVA anyway? I thought it wouldn't make a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGlasspoole View Post
Sure the T version does not really make sense because it is allot slower then the new S and the price on all (T, S, non T/S) is the same now.

In idle you don't save power. But thats a HTPC and when is it idle?
I mean you have it on to watch movies and then you trough your Hi10p on the CPU.
The S version has 20 watt less then the normal version and here the CPU Bench is just 208 points apart.
The price is the same so i think the S version is the right one.
Idle doesn't exactly mean you're leaving the entire computer idle, it's just the state of the CPU. When the CPU isn't being used it's idling. Whether you measure this in seconds or minutes it doesn't matter.


Ever since later generations of Pentiums (Socket 7) with Windows NT-based OS, CPUs have been able to conserve power (and heat) for idle cycles. Now obviously it's come quite a ways since the Pentium (with stuff like EIST and C1E) and power/heat savings are much more these days but yeah the CPU is "idle" most of the time, even when you're using the PC unless you're doing processor intensive activities like CPU encoding/decoding or gaming.


So the idle power consumption is certainly of importance and will be similar on both CPUs.


I agree that there's no point in buying the S or T models, they don't really save power they're just clocked lower. I dunno how Intel keeps making these models--just seems a bit silly. If they were actually more power efficient they'd be clocked the same and using less power, but that's not the case.
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