ATI Radeon HD 3450 and 3650 available now! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, the wait is over. Newegg has the Saphire HD 3450 and HD 3650 in stock this morning. Price is $50 and $100 respectively. Good news is the 3450 is indeed passive! Bad news: I thought the 3650 was suppose to be more like $70??? Oh well, what can you expect...

I have been waiting a while for these cards, but I want to make sure it comes with a DVI->HDMI dongle first. If it does, I'm getting one of these asap!
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post #2 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 07:52 AM
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I am guessing the 3650 price is due to it having 512mb gddr3 memory. I bet a 256mb gddr2 memory model will be out soon that is $70ish.

Gotta love how an extra 50 cents of memory chips bumps the cost 20 + dollars hah.

Anyway, not sure about the HDMI adapter Ill find out later this week as I ordered one today. Regardless since I currently have an nvidia 7xxx series, I couldnt take jittery Blu-Ray playback any longer lol.
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post #3 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 08:03 AM
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Man, I dunno. At first this was DEFINITE buy for me, but I just don't know if the 3450 is going to be able to handle the small amount of gaming that I do on my HTPC.

The only games I play on it are emulated games (not worried about these,) Madden 08 (I fear it won't work, but the sys. requirements suck,) and MVP 2005 (pretty much same as Madden)

I'm undecided. I might just buy it on Friday and see how it works anyway.
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post #4 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm in the same boat. I thought the 3450 would work for me, but now I'm thinking that a 3650 with 256MB of DDR2 (passively cooled and closer to $70 hopefully) would be a better fit if I ever wanted to play a game. That's why I haven't jumped on it already as well...
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post #5 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 08:12 AM
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Yeah that's what it's sounding like to me and if that's the case, I'm just sticking with what I have (2600 Pro.) It works fine, is (fairly) quiet, and plays all the games that I use without a problem. 50 bucks is a great price, but at the same time I'm not going to buy it just to buy it.
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post #6 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 09:51 AM
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Will these cards be able to handle 1080p output without any problems?

I am looking to spend $150 on a new video card for my HTPC, specifically to handle hardware based decoding of 1080i MPEG2 and 1080p AVC and VC1. I don't do any gaming so it will only be used for video decoding only.

Which one will be best suited for my needs 3450, 3650, or 3850? They are all within my budget, but it would help me to save money to use on other parts.
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post #7 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 09:55 AM
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They can all handle 1080p video.

The only question mark that is with these cards is the 3450 and what it can handle for games in any way. This is pretty much an HTPC "line" of cards, so all the video outputs are no problem.
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post #8 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mva5580 View Post

They can all handle 1080p video.

The only question mark that is with these cards is the 3450 and what it can handle for games in any way. This is pretty much an HTPC "line" of cards, so all the video outputs are no problem.

I remember reading about an issue with MPEG2 decoding in the lower end of the 2600 cards. This caused most people to recommend the higher end 2600XT.

Will the 3450 also have the same problem?
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post #9 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 10:14 AM
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From the previews I've read, they've said the 3450 is just fine. But none of us can know for sure because they're just not out there yet. I'm sure if you hold off for another week or two, you'll start to see reviews on here from users.
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post #10 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 11:36 AM
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My question is will the HDMI adapter work with these cards?
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post #11 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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Hm, i was about to pick up a 2600XT. Would i be better off with the 3650?
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post #12 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 04:42 PM
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How does the 3450 compare to the 2600xt?
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post #13 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 04:51 PM
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Let me know when someone spots a 3470 in the wild... for all that 1080P+ goodness...

7300GS + Vista x64 = No multi monitor support as the card can drive my monitor and projector separate, but together it's just a constant black screen flicker as it can't lock on to either.
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post #14 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 05:53 PM
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Now I'm not so sure anymore..
Before it seemed like a perfect HTPC candidate, but with 8500GT closing in at $58 (after rebate) - I'm thinking green..
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post #15 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 06:25 PM
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I just ordered the 3650. I have a 2600Pro and it works fine, but I have another home for it anyway. I had problems with a 2400 before with BD and HD DVD and the extra $50 was not a big enough deal to try it out.

I draw that line at a card that uses an extra power connector. I figure they probably improved the UVD in these cards. If you wait a bit for the reviews to come in, it may be that the 3450 gets a perfect score on HQV HD.

I should get mine tomorrow or Wednesday.

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post #16 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Uegis, it doesn't...

The 3450 compares to the 2400pro
The 3470 compares to the 2400XT

The 3650 compares to the 2600pro
The 3670 compares to the 2600XT

The only difference is the 34xx and 36xx cards are fabbed on a smaller process, so they should theoretically be cheaper to produce and generate less heat at the same speed. Also, this new generation of cards have an improved UVD engine that should allow even the slowest card of the bunch (the 3450) to play back 1080p smoothly, which evidently was sometimes a problem with the 24xx series. At least this is the line that AMD marketing has been touting...

NathanC,

There is no reason I can see to get a 2600XT over a 3650 (just the opposite). If there were a significant price difference (i.e. the 2600XT was a LOT cheaper) then maybe. Inexplicably, however, most flavors of the 2600XT seem to still be MORE expensive than the $99 3650, which may be vaguely understandable for the DDR4 versions, but not the DDR3 versions. And frankly, if you are looking at the DDR4 version of the 2600XT, you'd be downright silly to not spend a couple extra dollars and get a 3850 instead. Bottom line, I would not get the 2600XT.
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post #17 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpgxsvcd View Post

My question is will the HDMI adapter work with these cards?

Sounds like it. From a review:
Quote:
The board features a pair of CrossFire edge connectors along the top edge of its PCB, and dual, dual-link DVI outputs along with a single HDTV / S-Video output. We should also note that the Radeon 3650 supports audio over HDMI as well using a supplied adapter.

http://www.hothardware.com/articles/...Arrive/?page=2
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post #18 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 07:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtfoltz View Post

NathanC,

There is no reason I can see to get a 2600XT over a 3650 (just the opposite). If there were a significant price difference (i.e. the 2600XT was a LOT cheaper) then maybe. Inexplicably, however, most flavors of the 2600XT seem to still be MORE expensive than the $99 3650, which may be vaguely understandable for the DDR4 versions, but not the DDR3 versions. And frankly, if you are looking at the DDR4 version of the 2600XT, you'd be downright silly to not spend a couple extra dollars and get a 3850 instead. Bottom line, I would not get the 2600XT.

Thanks for the info. I'd been looking at getting this MSI 2600XT card, but may have to reconsider. They're both the same price and seem pretty similar.
http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16814127298
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post #19 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtfoltz View Post

The 3650 compares to the 2600pro
The 3670 compares to the 2600XT

I am not sure about that. The 3650 has GDD3 and the 2600Pro had DDR2 (at least the Sapphire that I bought) so ins't the 3650 DD3 more like a 2600Xt?

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post #20 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Rich, it all depends on which preview you read--most showed the 3650 getting DDR2. However, true enough, the Saphire 3650 on NewEgg right now does correspond more to what earlier reviews called the "3670" by using DDR3, so I guess they're content to continue messing with our heads...

Like I said, I have decided to wait on a "real" 3650, one that uses 256MB of DDR2. Should be plenty fast for all HDTV tasks, cheaper, possibly fanless, and at least usable for last-generation games (e.g. Half-Life 2).
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post #21 of 350 Old 01-28-2008, 11:22 PM
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Well let's hope this fixes all the MPEG-2 goofs with the HD24xx cards!

Right now I see 40-50% CPU usage with 1080i OTA HD, 12% with SD.

If the card finally offload any HD off the CPU I should drop below 20% with HD and below 10% with SD.

The newest Direct 9 game I will have is The Race '07 based on the GTR2 engine from Simbin and according to several people it run without issue with a 2600XT. I previously wanted a HD3850, but with the HD3650 it seems it has tested faster with some games than the 2600XT, so being under $100...

Just might have to pull the trigger....

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post #22 of 350 Old 01-29-2008, 02:13 AM
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I hear ya DJ, I had a 1950GT in my HTPC...

I was building a new Phenom system on the cheap, and bought a 2400 Pro for the HTPC thinking it wouldn't matter, as long as it played videos right? Needless to say the 1950 looked WAY better!

I took the 2400 back, paid the extra $100 for a 3850 and put the 1950 back in the HTPC... Someone said a 3850 wasn't a gamers card, I hate to disagree! For $170, it's the sensible gamers card, I really don't think you can beat the price/performance....
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post #23 of 350 Old 01-29-2008, 06:08 PM
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I just got my 3450 from Newegg and popped it into one of my HTPCs. This particular HTPC had problems playing VC-1 content from HD-DVDs. The video stream is not re-encoded and it is muxed into a WMV container. The audio stream is re-encoded to WMA 5.1. My previous video card in the system was a Geforce 6800 AGP (this is a Asrock 939 mobo with AGP and PCI-E). The CPU is a AMD X2 3800.

The drivers that came with the CD are version 7.11, but I downloaded and used the 8.1 drivers from AMD's site instead. The packaging included a DVI to VGA adapter and a component video dongle. It did not include the special DVI to HDMI adapter that allows for HDMI audio. I did have a spare ATI adapter lying around and the HDMI audio does work on this card.

As far as the VC-1 content, playback has improved. However, I still noted high CPU usage (nearing 100%). I'm using the default Windows WMVVideo Decoder DMO to decode and I am on Windows XP MCE 2005. But, like I said, there was a noticeable difference with only minor skipping. The previous video card caused these videos to not be watchable.

I was still curious about the high CPU usage and the minor skipping. I couldn't find the checkboxes to enable wmv acceleartion so I wasn't sure if this was actually working. So, I just tried overclocking my processor a bit from 2.0ghz to 2.15 ghz and now playback is smooth. CPU usage on this high bitrate VC-1 content is now at around 70% for me. So, it still looks like you need some CPU power to playback this content.

As far as high bitrate h.264 is concerned, I didn't have a problem with this stuff with the old vid card. I also rip the h.264 elementary stream from HD-DVDs and just mux it into a new container (MKV for h.264 files). I do not re-encode them. Those have always played fine using the CoreAVC decoder for me and they still play fine with the new vid card.

I'll try 1080i mpeg2 content later tonight. And, if I'm not too tired, I'll pop it into my Vista machine that currently has a HD 2400 and is sucking big time at 1080i content!
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post #24 of 350 Old 01-29-2008, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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leonowski, THANKS for the update. That is some good info. Looks like we are confirming the improvements in the 34xx and 35xx series, but they are not perhaps the panacea we might've hoped for...
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post #25 of 350 Old 01-29-2008, 06:43 PM
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I was going to provide the link to the AMD white paper that explained the video decoding improvements the HD 3450 has over the HD 2400 but AMD has already movedit off the HD 3400 page:

http://ati.amd.com/products/radeonhd3400/index.html

I wonder why? The white paper actually contained actual playback data, for Vista, of course.
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post #26 of 350 Old 01-29-2008, 07:06 PM
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Ok guys I need some advice. I currently have Abit Mobo that supports crossfire. I have one ATI 1950GT card in there now. I know I need to get a new power supply (I think I need a 700w according to the Abit manual), but would that $50.00 card run right in crossfire with my current video card? Do you guys think it would provide a significant improvement? thoughts please...
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post #27 of 350 Old 01-29-2008, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonowski View Post

As far as the VC-1 content, playback has improved. However, I still noted high CPU usage (nearing 100%). I'm using the default Windows WMVVideo Decoder DMO to decode and I am on Windows XP MCE 2005. But, like I said, there was a noticeable difference with only minor skipping. The previous video card caused these videos to not be watchable.

Using the MS in box driver isn't going to get you proper AVIVO support, you need to use something AVIVO aware like the Cyberlink H.264 decoder from PowerDVD Ultra.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leonowski View Post

I was still curious about the high CPU usage and the minor skipping. I couldn't find the checkboxes to enable wmv acceleartion so I wasn't sure if this was actually working. So, I just tried overclocking my processor a bit from 2.0ghz to 2.15 ghz and now playback is smooth. CPU usage on this high bitrate VC-1 content is now at around 70% for me. So, it still looks like you need some CPU power to playback this content.

You can get to the properties of the WMVVideo Decoder while it's playing from something like Media Player Classic or ZoomPlayer, there is a check box for DXVA acceleration, as I recall it's enabled by default.
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post #28 of 350 Old 01-30-2008, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpHeRe31459 View Post

Using the MS in box driver isn't going to get you proper AVIVO support, you need to use something AVIVO aware like the Cyberlink H.264 decoder from PowerDVD Ultra.

You can get to the properties of the WMVVideo Decoder while it's playing from something like Media Player Classic or ZoomPlayer, there is a check box for DXVA acceleration, as I recall it's enabled by default.

Doh! Thanks - I figured that might be the case. It seems silly UVD aware decoders can't be used in Winoews Media Player or in the Media Center interface. It is strange that I am not able to play these VC-1 files now though. Maybe I should look at other things...

Are there any UVD aware decoders that can be used in Directshow players?

As for the WMVideo Decoder filter properties while playing, I do not see an option for WMV acceleration.
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post #29 of 350 Old 01-30-2008, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeddie27 View Post

Ok guys I need some advice. I currently have Abit Mobo that supports crossfire. I have one ATI 1950GT card in there now. I know I need to get a new power supply (I think I need a 700w according to the Abit manual), but would that $50.00 card run right in crossfire with my current video card? Do you guys think it would provide a significant improvement? thoughts please...

You can't run one of these new 3000 series cards in Crossfire with your 1950 GT. The cards must be of similar series (i.e. both 1950XX, 34XX, 36XX, etc) to be run in Crossfire.
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post #30 of 350 Old 01-30-2008, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justmtnb44 View Post

You can't run one of these new 3000 series cards in Crossfire with your 1950 GT. The cards must be of similar series (i.e. both 1950XX, 34XX, 36XX, etc) to be run in Crossfire.

And even if you could, I can't imagine that $50 card would bring any benefit anyway.
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