HD 5450 1GB Optimal Settings? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-27-2014, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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HD 5450 1GB Optimal Settings?

Hey guys,
I recently cut the cord, and my main streaming rig is an older P4 upgraded to W7, with an added WD Black 1TB HDD. The original Video Card was an AMD X300. It was dragging/hogging resources while streaming online HD, and XBMC content.
I bought a Sapphire HD 5450 a while back, and never really got it up and running correctly.
Later I added an HP N40L server to my network, and stole the 5450 for it. (original configuration for the N40L is no audio and onboard VGA). I found I was not using the Microserver as a display device, and was utilizing the headless capabilities more. So, back the 5450 went, in to my P4 desktop. I have downloaded Catalyst 14.4 and installed.
I am still getting 80-90% CPU usage while streaming on this machine. I have gone through all the settings, and really see nothing to optimize performance. I am also running the VGA, as it is a cleaner picture. The HDMI picture is offset, with no way to correct overscan completely. Colors are over saturated and blurry/not natural looking. (these reasons are why I gave up on it in the first place...)
So, as always, I come here for advice and guidance. Can someone give me some input on optimal performance, and maybe a way to tweak the HDMI output to get a better display?

Edit:
Web pages/print looks atrocious on the HDMI Input. Photos and web content pictures are grainy and harsh.
Also,when I leave the HDMI input, to watch ordinary TV...and come back to the correct HDMI input, I receive a blue screen (TV blank, not BSOD....) and "No Signal" message.

Thanks in advance

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Last edited by kevin g.; 08-27-2014 at 07:47 PM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-28-2014, 07:37 AM
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Doesn't make any sense that VGA would be better than DVI/HDMI as the former requires a D/A and then A/D conversion (assuming you have a digital display like an LCD).


Did you try turning off GPU scaling and setting the overscan to 0% over HDMI/DVI?


As for the high CPU during "streaming", what file types are you streaming, what program are you using to play them, and where are they being streamed from? A local NAS or sever or are you talking about through intarwebs?
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-28-2014, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ES_Revenge View Post
Doesn't make any sense that VGA would be better than DVI/HDMI as the former requires a D/A and then A/D conversion (assuming you have a digital display like an LCD).


Did you try turning off GPU scaling and setting the overscan to 0% over HDMI/DVI?


As for the high CPU during "streaming", what file types are you streaming, what program are you using to play them, and where are they being streamed from? A local NAS or sever or are you talking about through intarwebs?
I agree, but I am definitely seeing a FAR superior picture over VGA. Set is an older 720 LCD. I tried every setting imaginable in the console. All de-interlacing has been negated. Overscan set at "0" is actually too small. (720p setting on AMD console) If I "zoom" to fill the screen, I find that it is shifted up, as the minimize/close boxes in windows, and menus are kind of cut off.

I do not get PC resolution options sent back to the AMD console when viewing via HDMI.

Streaming issues are via the interwebs. XBMC, and network TV sites, so my wife can catch up on shows. Flash sites...(like TWITCH) chew up CPU, and I was hoping to offload some of that processing to the GPU.

Last night, after posting, I had multiple BSOD crashes when starting XBMC. I am in the process of uninstalling/re-installing. Not having much faith, though. I have seen the picture quality issue the last 3 times I installed.

Honestly, that was the reason I had no qualms installing the 5450 on my server and going back to the stock card. I felt that if I was utilizing VGA on an upgraded card...why upgrade?

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Last edited by kevin g.; 08-28-2014 at 08:41 AM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-29-2014, 09:44 AM
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Hmm, if you're at 0% overscan and the image is too small to fill the screen, it sounds like your TV is underscanning. Is there an option on the TV to display "full-pixel" or 1:1 mapping? If not you can use the overscan slider but I'd recommend you create a custom resolution instead in Catalyst. I'm not sure that will work for VGA but in HDMI it should work as the TV should still get a "720p" signal but the desktop will fit the screen. Using custom res is also clearer because IIRC if you use the scaling options instead (i.e. the overscan slider) it makes the image blurry.


Also flash is a bit crap, but there is an option to enable hardware acceleration--right click on the video and make sure it's selected (though it probably is already). It should be using HA but perhaps there's some reason it's not able to.


As for the local files and XBMC that should definitely be able to use DXVA. I'm really not that familiar with XBMC since I don't use it but check out this link and see if it's enabled and working:
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title...MC_for_Windows
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-29-2014, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks ES,
I don't see an option in Catalyst for custom resolutions. I will look some more. Hardware acceleration is enabled. I have also found a way to do it "in browser"...not sure it will help. The scaling is in proportion, but everything is moved up a few pixels, as well as a bit small. (So, when enlarged the corners don't exactly match up.) I have an "auto adjust" in VGA, via the TV menu, but nothing like that in HDMI. TV reports natural resolution in Catalyst as 1366 x 768.
I just enabled DXVA in XBMC, not sure if it made a difference yet.

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post #6 of 14 Old 08-29-2014, 04:20 PM
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Yeah the auto adjust for VGA is seen on nearly all digtal displays when connected to VGA. It adjusts the phase and whatever and makes the image look clear--turns out almost like an autofocus of a camera making the image clear.

HDMI won't have that, as you've seen as it's already a digital format. What is the native resolution of the TV? Is it 1280x720 or 1366x768? I would check the manual to be sure.


What you need to do to make a custom resolution is the following. Connect the TV via DVI/HDMI at the desktop. If there's any options in the TV's menu for "full pixel" or "1:1" mapping or adjusting the zoom, try those first to see if you get the image to fill the screen properly. If not, continue...


Right click on desktop and open CCC; on the left frame select "My Digital Flat Panels" then from that list select "Scaling Options". Make sure the slider is at 0% and that the box regarding scaling is unchecked. Then go to "HDTV Support". Make sure all the resolutions your TV will accept are checked in the first list. Click "Apply" if necessary. Then in the lower box select the "720p Standard" resolution and click "Apply Format". Once you do that you should be able to click "Add". When you do that it will take you to a screen you can adjust until the edges of the screen are best fit to your TV. I would keep the aspect ratio locked when doing this to avoid stretching/distorted image issues when playing videos.


Once you do that you will see that you've just created a 720p custom resolution in the lower drop down box and you should see that the desktop now fits your screen properly and it should look very clear--just as if you were using a computer monitor.


Try that^ out and see how it goes.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-29-2014, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Great! Thanks for the walkthrough. I will try those steps and report back...

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post #8 of 14 Old 08-30-2014, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Well...
Attempted all the steps.
First, there is no 1:1 mapping on the display. Second, I was mistaken earlier, setting the overscan to "0" put the image much larger than the screen. (I was using the center of the scale, setup automatically by CCC, as a zero reference point...when, in actuality, the far right is "0" and the far left is 15%. )

Adding in the custom resolutions as described brought the screen size back down, but showed less resolution. (11-something x 688...) And I had the same issues. The top of the screen is cut off, and the bottom has black banding. Typing this, letters are blurred and "pinched"...not as clear.

I am also still having the problem of input switching. If I leave the HDMI2 input, to say...watch TV, I cannot come back to the PC screen. All I get is the "No Signal" blue screen. I will try the HDMI1 input, and see if there is any difference.
I am certain that my wife does not see any of these issues, all she wants is to watch her shows. (I am the only one doing any PC/email/forum-hopping on this display) I'm thinking I either leave it alone, or go back to VGA.

One question I have is, am I introducing any more CPU usage, by going back to VGA, vs. direct HDMI?

Thanks for the assist...

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post #9 of 14 Old 08-30-2014, 11:06 AM
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We know the 5450 can easily do 720p and 1080p over HDMI. So I think the issue lies with your TV. Can you post the make/model and a link to the manaual? Then again, if VGA works, just stick with it. I ran 1080p VGA for years, and it looked identical to HDMI. No extra burden on the card or CPU at all. The only reason I eventually switched to HDMI is because my 20 year old AVR finally croaked, and I got a new one with HDMI.


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post #10 of 14 Old 08-30-2014, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
We know the 5450 can easily do 720p and 1080p over HDMI. So I think the issue lies with your TV. Can you post the make/model and a link to the manaual? Then again, if VGA works, just stick with it. I ran 1080p VGA for years, and it looked identical to HDMI. No extra burden on the card or CPU at all. The only reason I eventually switched to HDMI is because my 20 year old AVR finally croaked, and I got a new one with HDMI.
I agree with this. The image looked fine on my projector, when the 5450 was in my Microserver. The only thing that gives me hesitation, is that I have no other HDMI source issues on this set. I have run HDMI from my 360 to this set, with PC resolutions (separately, and through my Onkyo 818...), also the Microserver was set up on this display with the card in question, as well as it being my secondary display for my Xbox One, driven through the 818.

http://support.vizio.com/product/vw37lhdtv10a

I was thinking of going back to the VGA, but again, Why even utilize the card here? I am not sure I gained much, if any, decrease in the load to the CPU...

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post #11 of 14 Old 08-30-2014, 12:02 PM
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When you setup the custom res, was the overscan slider at 0% and the scaling option checkbox unchecked? If so, not sure why you're getting the blurry output; in that case yeah just go back to VGA if VGA is working fine. There's not going to be any more CPU use with VGA output--the card's DAC takes care of that on the output side and the TV's ADC/scan converter takes care of it on the input side. Only downside I can see is possibly more input lag, but that's about it.
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-30-2014, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah...I followed your instructions to the letter, double checking before I moved on. I'm going to try some screen shots...to determine if there is actually a difference, or if the TV is truly the culprit.

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post #13 of 14 Old 08-30-2014, 01:51 PM
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So, looking at the manual, the native resolution of your screen is 1366x768. 720p with no overscan is 1280x720. So when you feed it that lower res over HDMI or mess with the scaling in your video card, it's going to get upscaled to native and probably not look as good. Better to feed it exactly 1366x768 over VGA, IMO. Also that TV is 7 years old and probably not as good at scaling as later models. If/when you ever get a newer or 1080p TV, it will look much better over HDMI. So I'd live with VGA on that TV.

Furthermore, if that res plays smoothly from your onboard video, then I agree the card is unnecessary. Take it out if you want to reduce the heat and power consumption.


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post #14 of 14 Old 08-30-2014, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, that is the native resolution reported. I agree on the upgrade, but it is just a bedroom set, and not the main display, so it will probably stay until it dies.
I am not using the onboard video, no matter what transpires. The machine came with a Radeon X300, (as mentioned above). It is obviously older as well. So, either that goes back in, or I stay with the 5450. Unfortunately no new equipment is slated until I can get back to the workforce.
Is this card putting more stress on my system? I was under the assumption that it was relieving the overworked CPU.

Thanks to both of you, for all your help. I will switch back to VGA, and hold out until we can afford extra.

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