HD 3450 - HTPC Graphics card of choice - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Check out the new ATI HD 3450. It was just released and looks like the ideal HTPC: 1080p, passive/silent cooling and for less than $50!


If you have been dreaming of a HTPC with a dual format HD DVD and Blu-ray drive, the ATI Radeon HD 3450 is the perfect video card for the job. It offers full offloading of video decoding and uses little power and produces little heat. This is one of the best buys you will find on a video card ideal for HTPC use.
http://www.i4u.com/full-review-368.html
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post #2 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 06:31 AM
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Damn, and I just bought the 3850. I guess I just wasted $150! Oh well the 3850 is a very nice card and it really doesn’t make that much heat or noise.
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post #3 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 07:07 AM
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Yeah I agree that this looks like the ideal HTPC solution for the occasional gamer. More powerful than a 2600XT but lower power consumption.

Oops. Just checked it was the 3650 I was looking at.
So as a HTPC only GPU this is ideal.
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post #4 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 07:28 AM
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This card is only $50??? Where do you see that? EDIT: NVM, I just looked up the prices on another site. HOLY CRAP. This has got to be the perfect HTPC card.

Geez this might be absolutely perfect for me, the only games I play on my HTPC are old-school emulated games, Frets on Fire, and a few other older games which are not all that graphic intensive.

If this card is really only 50 bucks, this is a no-brainer.
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post #5 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 07:39 AM
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Does this card do audio bitstreaming through the HDMI interface? That is what the perfect video card needs to offer otherwise you cannot pass any hi res audio formats.

I just read the specs and this card does NOT bitstream out HD audio formats such as DTS-MA or Dolby Tru-HD. It will also not allow streaming of 24bit 96Khz pcm files either. So you can watch your blue-ray movies but hear second-class sound. Looks like we are still not quite there yet!
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post #6 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 07:42 AM
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For this price range, I can't imagine that it does. But I guess it's possible.

I'm buying it either way whenever it comes out, hell it's only 50 bucks. Might as well give it a shot. It can't be much different than my 2600 Pro, and for a passively cooled card, this definitely seems like a great HTPC card.
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post #7 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 08:23 AM
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Also note that this is a low-profile card, hurray for slim cases !!!
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post #8 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 08:28 AM
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Yep, I'm all over this one whenever it comes out. Unfortunately I can't seem to find a release date anywhere, and no online sites seem to have it listed yet.

I'll buy this, and keep my 2600 Pro until I use this card on everything I would use it for and see how it runs. If it does everything that review says it does, I imagine it will be just fine for me.

It would be just great to find a card for 50 bucks that would do everything I need my HTPC to do. And passively cooled! It sucks that I can't find a release date on this anywhere because I will buy it the day it comes out.
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post #9 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 09:22 AM
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I will also buy this guy. Perfect for my HP slimline s3020n. Although, my NV 8400GS is doing a decent job right now as well!
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post #10 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 10:28 AM
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The release date was yesterday - still haven't found it at any online retailers.

The really cool thing about these new cards is that they can TEAM with the IGP on certain chipsets (yet to be released) for "hybrid graphics" - and it provides a nice boost for gaming without having to drop big $$ on a gaming card. The stuff I read indicated that when running in hybrid mode, the discrete graphics card would only be used when needed - and draw little to no power the rest of the time. Very cool stuff.
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post #11 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 10:28 AM
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Just as a sidenote, the slimline 3450 will do 1080p, the full-height 3470 can upscale to 1440p. Just thought it was worth noting.
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post #12 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 10:30 AM
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Yeah I noticed on those reviews that it states the cards were "released," but I sure don't see them anywhere. I've searched a ton of sites, and none even have it listed. At all. Odd considering things like this at least usually have a date on sites of when you'd be able to order it. I'm definitely keeping my eye out.
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post #13 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 10:53 AM
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I bought a HD2400PRo when it first came out. Haven't used it much for video decoding recently: it's not in the HTPC.

Based upon this preliminary overview (link below), the HD3450 looks like a refreshed HD2400PRO. Bit faster clock. HD3450 low-profile design looks good for a low profile HTPC, not useful if you want two "digital" montors/displays.

But how does the HD3450 stack up against the upcoming 780G chipset, especially if you have older an older socket939 system you want to upgrade?

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/652/1/
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post #14 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 12:26 PM
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I thought the rumor was that these cards would be available now Monday, instead of the 23rd.

How does the 3450 compare to the new 780G motherboards? I think they have essentially the same graphics power. But the secret feature is if you couple a 3450 to a 780G motherboard, they will share the 3D processing load -- Hybrid Crossfire. So they make a nice bundle for low-profile cases.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/612/1/

So if you get a 3450 now and you want faster graphics in the future, put one of these motherboards on your shopping list. $50 now for the 3450, and then another $80 for the motherboard sometime in the next few months.

Oops, if you have a socket 939 system, then you won't be able to do this. But you know those AMD cpus start at 60 bucks. You won't need a fast one with these video boards/IGPs.
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post #15 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 02:45 PM
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Very nice looking.
I'm gonna try this to replace 8600GT in my HTPC.

Just one question, I'm wondering why all models that I found from different websites are with DDR2 memories.
Why not (G)DDR3 or doesn't it just give any benefit with this GPU speed?

Or this just the reason for (very) low price and later coming (faster) DDR3 models will be somewhat pricier?

Regards
Janus
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post #16 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 03:00 PM
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One of those sites said that once the other companies get their hands on the spec (sapphire, etc,) you could expect to see versions with ddr3 memory. So I guess we'll just have to see what happens.

I'd just like to see them for sale period lol. I almost always wait to read end user reviews on sites like this for a new product, but for 50 bucks, I don't even care. It's a blind buy.
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post #17 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 03:18 PM
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Wow... I'm tempted to replace my 7800GT with it
Any idea when/where I can get one?
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post #18 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 03:21 PM
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These are the two I'm going to keep my eye on when they go on sale:

HD 3450 256MB DDR2

http://www.hisdigital.com/html/produ...d=366&view=yes

HD 3650 512MB DDR3

http://www.hisdigital.com/html/produ...d=368&view=yes
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post #19 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkristof View Post

I bought a HD2400PRo when it first came out. Haven't used it much for video decoding recently: it's not in the HTPC.

Based upon this preliminary overview (link below), the HD3450 looks like a refreshed HD2400PRO. Bit faster clock.

That's exactly what it is...
Old model-->New Model

HD2400Pro-->HD3450
HD2600Pro-->HD3650
HD2600XT-->HD3670
Etc.

Not really a huge deal that it's $50 but since it is updated from the HD2400 with a little less power required and DX10.1 and Hybrid Crossfire support no doubt, it's a better choice over the 2400 if you can find it. The DX10.1 is meaningless becuase this card probably won't even run most modern DX9.0c games at playable framerates, nevermind any DX10 or 10.1 stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vkristof View Post

But how does the HD3450 stack up against the upcoming 780G chipset, especially if you have older an older socket939 system you want to upgrade?

Hmm I'm not really sure about that but even if the 780G's integrated GPU runs at a similar clock as the HD3450, the RAM performance is usually quite a bit below the dedicated cards which have RAM on them already. This is because usually on-board chipsets share motherboard/system RAM so the speed suffers going back and forth to the GPU. Still, the fact that the 3450 still isn't going to play any games anyway means it doesn't really matter except for the on-board stealing system RAM from you, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AzBlueMach1 View Post

The really cool thing about these new cards is that they can TEAM with the IGP on certain chipsets (yet to be released) for "hybrid graphics" - and it provides a nice boost for gaming without having to drop big $$ on a gaming card. The stuff I read indicated that when running in hybrid mode, the discrete graphics card would only be used when needed - and draw little to no power the rest of the time. Very cool stuff.

Uhh yeah but two 3400-series GPUs teamed together (one using system ram) is not exactly going to be fast though. One 3670 is probably faster, LOL.

Hybrid Crossfire or Hybrid SLi might enable some people to just run some games at lower res and lower settings, but it's definitely not going to be a replacement for "dropping big $$ on a gaming card". I mean you could probably have three HD3450s running in Crossfire and it still wouldn't beat an 8800GT-512 I don't think.
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post #20 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 04:59 PM
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And

HD 2400 XT --> HD 3470.


For those who are worrying about the video playback performance of HD 3400 series as it's the successor to HD 2400,

Quote:


また、Universal Video Decoder(UVD)に関しても改良が加えられた。従来のRadeon HD 2400 PROなどでは高解像度のコンテンツになるとビデオメモリ帯域幅が不足しがちであったという。しかし、Radeon HD 3600/3400シリーズのUVDは改良されており、DDR2版のRadeon HD 3450のようなバリュービデオカードでも、より安定したHD解像度コンテンツの再生が行なえるようになっている。PC Watch

Translation:

In addition, Universal Video Decoder (UVD) has been improved. When playing back a high-resolution video content with a low-end card like Radeon HD 2400 Pro, memory bandwidth was not enough. However the UVD of the Radeon HD 3600/3400 series has been improved so that even a value card like Radeon HD 3450 DDR2 will be able to play HD high-resolution contents stably.

If you want better post-processing, then you'd better choose HD 3470.

Quote:


ATI Radeon HD 3470 graphics chip can also achieve proper scores in HQV HD test thanks to its high clock-speed, which means that its Blu-ray disc or HD DVD playback quality is similar to much more expensive graphics cards. X-bit labs

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post #21 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 05:21 PM
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The integrated graphics of the upcoming 780G is called Radeon HD 3200.

- HD 3200: Core clock 500MHz, 40 stream processors, DX 10.0/ SM 4.0. Some motherboards have local frame buffer (64MB) to improve 3D performance.
- HD 3450: Core clock 600MHz, Mem 500MHz DDR2 256MB, 40 stream processors, DX 10.1/ SM 4.1
- HD 3470: Core clock 800MHz, Mem 950MHz DDR3 256MB, 40 stream processors, DX 10.1/ SM 4.1

The video playback performance may not differ much between HD 3200 and HD 3450.

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post #22 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 06:04 PM
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This thread really should be titled "HD 3450 - Low Profile HTPC Graphics card of choice."
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post #23 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 06:47 PM
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Thanks for the updates!

It looks like the 3470 will be right in the sweet spot, since it will allow full post-processing for HD playback at a very reasonable price (assuming the articles are correct).

I wonder how a hydrid CrossFire setup will handle video playback. Based on what I've read, in general it sounds like the IGP will be used by default, and the discrete card will kick in in hybrid mode when more GPU power is needed. For video playback however, one would want to use the discrete card and not the IGP, even if both are capable of full HD playback, to take advantage of the post-processing. Is there any information about how hybrid setups will handle video decode and post-processing?
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post #24 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 08:25 PM
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Will the Hybrid Crossfire boards be limited to AMD processors?
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post #25 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 08:41 PM
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Hybrid CrossFire = ATI IGP + ATI DGP
---> limited to AMD chipset (no other chipset has ATI IGP)
---> limited to AMD platform (AMD stopped producing chipset for Intel).
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post #26 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 08:47 PM
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Okay. I think I read somewhere that Nvidia was making a MCP78 for AMD so I thought the RS780 working with Intel was a far-fetched possiblity.
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post #27 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 08:52 PM
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Yeah it sure sucks that since the AMD takeover, ATi IGP chipsets are now "AMD" chipsets and therefore no longer made for Intel platforms

I dislike IGP in general personally (regardless of the recent advances) so it has little effect on me; however for someone that wants ATi integrated graphics they're stuck with an AMD CPU

I'm not sure if AMD is continually digging their own grave here (by reducing sales of ATi chipsets which previously had both Intel and AMD support) or if they're protecting themselves (by forcing some customers to use AMD CPUs if they want ATi built-in). Personally the effect of my [hypothetical] "choice" would be the former--I'd refuse to buy either just based on the fact that the AMD CPUs aren't really competitive at the moment. I.e. I'd just go with Nvidia integrated (if I were going with integrated graphics) and an Intel CPU.
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post #28 of 348 Old 01-24-2008, 09:37 PM
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If I were building a HTPC from scratch I'd probably choose a low-profile HTPC case and the new AMD/Ati stuff. That 3450 sure looks appealing. I hope they can keep giving Intel some competition because if they can't who else will? However you bring up an interesting point, is Intel and AMD really doing consumers a favor by seperating themselves in the market?

It certainly makes the technology war more open and distinguishable, they've made it so you practically HAVE to choose a side. I don't know if I like that too much either.

Since I plan on kicking down my Core2Duo at sometime in the near future it looks like I'll be buying Nvidias Hybrid IGP solution. Intel will have the upper-hand for awhile I think. They've gotten too strong. Over-priced Pentium IV's and D's are long-forgotten as well as AMD's golden-age. 2008 should be interesting I can't wait.
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post #29 of 348 Old 01-25-2008, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgriffin View Post

This thread really should be titled "HD 3450 - Low Profile HTPC Graphics card of choice."

Why pay more if the 3450 does everything a 1080p HTPC is supposed to do ?

This card is attractive to me because:

- Price
- Passive Cooling
- Low power
- Does everything a HD HTPC is supposed to do

Taking any gaming out of the equation, I don't really see why you would want a 3470 in a full-height case versus a 3450.

Edit:

NCIX/NCIXUS is carrying the HIS card http://www.ncixus.com/products/27918/H345H256NP/HIS/
The 3450 "partners" page http://ati.amd.com/products/radeonhd..._products.html
I believe I read that MSI will have a 512MB version of the 3450...
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post #30 of 348 Old 01-25-2008, 07:08 AM
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This card looks great for those building now, but it doesn't fit the bill for upgrades. My passive cooled 2600XT is great and performs flawlessly for the most part. Once someone releases a video card with true HDMI 1.3 capabilities and full HDM playback capabilities I'll upgrade. BUT, with the new and coming CPUs those not interested in gaming are probably better off investing in a better CPU and going the software decode route. A good 45nm quad is more than enough and will probably give more options and as good as or better PQ as hardware decoding will. Now the game is the sound department. Software and the CPU have a lock on the video side. IMO of course.
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