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Need help do I need to upgrade my gfx card, please advide.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok gentlemen I need a little help.

I am going to order the Onkyo HT-S6200 7.1 home theater in a box.
http://www.onkyousa.com/model.cfm?cl...ems&m=HT-S6200

One of the reasons I'm getting this one is because it can do audio and video over hdmi.

The card i have is an oem nvidia 8500gt. Which came in my pc which is an HP m8430f
Specs
The card has been great for me. Im happy with the picture quality. I get sound over hdmi to my plasma. But just stereo as I have no speakers or any avr yet.

When I go the the sound device properties for hdmi this is what I see.

Max number of channels says "2". I dont know if it only supports 2 channels or if this is because I dont have anything better then that plugged into it.

So my question is do I need to upgrade the card. My receiver will be 7.1. It handles the new HD codecs but I do not care about bitstreaming. I would like to use all the channels though.

Also it needs to be quiet, my current one is totally silent. I've been happy with nvidia. I've never used an ATi card before. Not against it, they seem to be pretty popular around here.

No gaming.

Will an ATi 4xxx card get it done. What does nvidia have that is comparable? Im not really looking to spend a bunch of money but I want to use this sound system to its capabilities.

EDIT Oh and I have a weak psu so Im not looking for a card that needs extra power.

EDIT2 I guess what Im looking for is a card that can do multi channel lpcm.
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
no takers?
post #3 of 8
Ok here goes...

Your current gpu has hdmi which pushes the audio out using an internal spdif connector from your motherboard.

Spdif doesn't have enough bandwidth to transfer 7.1 lpcm audio and obviously can't bistream.

Current gpu's work around this by adding an onboard hd audio controller.

Also, your 8500GT only has 16 cuda cores and therefore won't be very good at VA deinterlacing 1080i content. It also draws around 40W from your psu.

If you aren't going to be playing 1080i content then the least expensive cards listed will still blister through 1080p content.

Going by Renethx's recommendations (which are THE ABSOLUTE best imho), you have some great choices.

Nvidia
ASUS ENGT240/DI/512MD5/A GeForce GT 240 GDDR5 512MB, $100.
the GT240 which has more than adequate stream processors for VA deinterlacing 1080i content and allows for 7.1 lpcm.
This is only directx10 and cannot bitstream hd audio codecs if you decide to in the future.
It draws about 69W.

ATI
Feb4-8th there are some new ATI gpu's being released. These are passively cooled cards that will be great in htpc's. I'm currently
holding out for a 5570/5550, so if you can wait a week and a half it would be good to see these new cards.
(The 5570/5550 performance is equivalent to HD 4670 per Renethx)

Otherwise,

HIS H567Q512 Radeon HD 5670 GDDR5 512MB, $100. An alternative is Sapphire HD 5670 512GB GDDR5, $100.
Has enough stream processors to do VA deinterlacing of 1080i content.
Draws around 61W.

MSI R5450-MD512H Radeon HD 5450 GDDR3 512MB, $53. Not enough stream processors to do VA 1080i interlacing.
Draws less than 40W.

All Radeon HD5xxx cards support lpcm 7.1 audio and bitstreaming hd audio codecs should you decide to want this later.
Plus they are all directx11 with eyefinity support (up to 3 monitors).


We both sound to be in the same position. My 2 cents, wait for the 5570 to be released in the next 2 weeks. That way you get
directx11 support for the future, VA deinterlacing of 1080i content (granted if the card has 128bit memory with ddr2 400mhz or faster),
7.1 lpcm with the ability to bistream hd audio, a passively cooled and therefore silent card, and somewhere in the
$53-$100 price range.

Hope this helps!

The only thing you might want to look into is your amp. See if other people on the forum have it and if they need to do EDID overrides.
That could be the only missing piece of the puzzle.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post17984809
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Tahnks for the nice reply! Since I posted this I had been scouring through the thread you mentioned.

I'm liking the look of the 5670. Sounds like a good card. I've seen it posted that it is very quiet. I do like the idea of bitstreaming for the future. I like the fact that it has an exhaust that blows the hot air out of the case. My case has half *ss air flow and I think the current gpu doesn't help out the temps.

So I have a pointless 56k modem and an oem tv tuner that I plan on taking out of my pc. Also of course the 8500gt. You said the 5670 will draw about 61 watts, and my current one draws 40 watts.

Do you know if the His 5670 needs additional power plugged into it? Im trying to figure out if I will need a new power supply. 20 watts doesn't seem like much but I think Im cutting it close as is. My set up is
q6600 quad
4 gb ram (4 dimms)
2 sata drives
dvdrw
tv tuner (coming out)
56k modem card (coming out)
8500gt

Also I have to wait till around the date you said the new cards will be out, so I will check them out either way. But if the 5670 is better then them both and about the same price ($100) I think I like the option for some light gaming if I get the urge.

I guess those should also be lower power? Which would help me not having to buy a new psu I assume. Although I also am probably going to throw in another 1tb drive so the psu is probably a good idea either way.
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

Tahnks for the nice reply! Since I posted this I had been scouring through the thread you mentioned.

I'm liking the look of the 5670. Sounds like a good card. I've seen it posted that it is very quiet. I do like the idea of bitstreaming for the future. I like the fact that it has an exhaust that blows the hot air out of the case. My case has half *ss air flow and I think the current gpu doesn't help out the temps.

So I have a pointless 56k modem and an oem tv tuner that I plan on taking out of my pc. Also of course the 8500gt. You said the 5670 will draw about 61 watts, and my current one draws 40 watts.

Do you know if the His 5670 needs additional power plugged into it? Im trying to figure out if I will need a new power supply. 20 watts doesn't seem like much but I think Im cutting it close as is. My set up is
q6600 quad
4 gb ram (4 dimms)
2 sata drives
dvdrw
tv tuner (coming out)
56k modem card (coming out)
8500gt

Also I have to wait till around the date you said the new cards will be out, so I will check them out either way. But if the 5670 is better then them both and about the same price ($100) I think I like the option for some light gaming if I get the urge.

I guess those should also be lower power? Which would help me not having to buy a new psu I assume. Although I also am probably going to throw in another 1tb drive so the psu is probably a good idea either way.


As noted on the product web page (so you believe me hehe ) the 5670 does not need any additional power connectors.

http://www.amd.com/us/products/deskt...-overview.aspx

It definitely is a great card and I too like the idea of gaming. The only problem is I have a slim case and can't fit it unless they come
out with a low-profile version of the card

What is the size of your psu? Losing those 2 cards will save you around 10-15W a card I would assume.

Oh and one nice thing about bitstreaming is that currently all bluray playback software downsamples the hd audio from (usually) 48khz 24bit
to 48khz 16bit audio so you lose some fidelity. Now whether or not your speakers and ears are good enough to hear the difference is
another thing. I'd say why not try bitstreaming if you have the amp and the card to handle it...but that's another thread indeed!
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Oh jeez hello *slaps forhead* my psu is 300 watts. Forgot to mention that lol. It sounds like it will handle the card after I take out those 2 other pci cards. Idk about another HDD though. Dont want to have a failure but Im looking to spend about $50 on a psu.

Anyways thanks for the feedback man. My amp and speakers are gonna be far from high end but coming from the speakers on my plasma I know I will be very happy.

I've been keeping an eye on the bitstreaming thread so I'm sure its something I will try.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

Oh jeez hello *slaps forhead* my psu is 300 watts. Forgot to mention that lol. It sounds like it will handle the card after I take out those 2 other pci cards. Idk about another HDD though. Dont want to have a failure but Im looking to spend about $50 on a psu.

Anyways thanks for the feedback man. My amp and speakers are gonna be far from high end but coming from the speakers on my plasma I know I will be very happy.

I've been keeping an eye on the bitstreaming thread so I'm sure its something I will try.

I calculated your system with an ATI Radeon HD 5750 (because it didn't have an updated database) and with that extra 1TB drive
you mentioned. It came to around 251W.

Incidently, the 5750 would draw more power (somewhere around 10-30W) than the 5670/5570 so you are in the clear for now.

However, that doesn't consider efficiency of your current psu because not all psu's are 100% efficient and therefore in your case
all 300w isn't available, AND over time you psu becomes less efficient.

It would be very generous if hp sold you a computer with an 85% efficiency psu...that would mean you'd have around 255W.
You can maybe eek by, but if its a 4 year old psu that was run a lot then you probably want to buckle down and pick up
a new psu from newegg. With numbers this close I'd probably just get a new psu rather than be inconvenienced later if the psu
burns out leaving me to get a new one and then pray it didn't do anything to my precious components inside.

http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yah I'm feeling the same way. I dont want to live on the edge and fry some other components along with the psu somewhere down the road. I see Renethx recommends one in his guides that is 80 bucks. It comes highly regarded but I was hoping to spend more around 50.

But I may just buckle down and get that one as it should be pretty reliable.

Actually its 70 bucks with a $10 rebate. I'm just gonna snag that one. Just gotta wait for my tax money now

Thanks again man for all your help.
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