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Poll: Best PQ among GPU vendors

post #1 of 112
Thread Starter 
Please vote...

Which is better for standard 1080p for HTPC (in alphabetical order)?

1. AMD/ATI
2. Intel HD 2/3000
3. NVidia
4. I can't tell the difference
5. I've never compared
post #2 of 112
IMO, Intel is the best option. I built a HTPC using the i3 2105. Runs blurays at 1080p with HD audio... no video card required.

1. Intel HD 2/3000
2. NVidia
3. AMD/ATI
4. I can't tell the difference
5. I've never compared
post #3 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by xzener View Post

IMO, Intel is the best option. I built a HTPC using the i3 2105. Runs blurays at 1080p with HD audio... no video card required.

1. Intel HD 2/3000
2. NVidia
3. AMD/ATI
4. I can't tell the difference
5. I've never compared

Since you've responded, I'll ask you... you've actually compared Intel to both Nvidia and ATI, on the same setup, and found that it looks better? I only ask because I'm surprised at the results that show "I've never compared" to be in the minority. There are that many people that can, and have, done valid A/B comparisons, and found a discernable difference? I have three HTPCs... one has Nvida, one has ATI, and the other is an i3 with integrated graphics. But I can't answer, because they are three different systems. I have no valid way of providing an accurate answer, but I can say that I there is no obvious difference that I feel is the result of the GPU.
post #4 of 112
You should have added the choice: "The one I bought." Because that is the answer pretty much everyone is going to pick...

-Suntan
post #5 of 112
No difference - had both Nvidia and ATI in a rig with an i3. Have run all three seperately in the same rig with the same content and conditions and to my eyes there is no difference.
post #6 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelman1991 View Post

No difference - had both Nvidia and ATI in a rig with an i3. Have run all three seperately in the same rig with the same content and conditions and to my eyes there is no difference.

That's what I'd expect. My eyes ain't so good anymore so I'm pretty sure that a wouldn't notice any improvement over the GPU in my i3 Clarkdale. Now if I had an AVR and HDTV capable of 3-D I'd probabaly get the GT 430.
post #7 of 112
Thread Starter 
Bumping for the Friday crowd
post #8 of 112
There is no difference.

If there is, you're suffering from the "default configuration" syndrome. The default settings between vendors are vastly different, which gives them quite distinct "out of the box" experiences. If you like an over-satured and over-processed image (as many people do, they think on the first glance it looks more "life like"), then you will think AMD/ATI looks better.

If you bother to turn all post-processing off (or turn it on for NVIDIA/Intel), then it'll look pretty similar.
Sadly this isn't widely known, and AMD/ATI keeps turning on all the post-processing to win those people over.

PS:
I've actually tested a wide range of GPUs in my HTPC, both from NVIDIA and AMD/ATI, and i'm quite positive that given equal configuration, they do look the same. Getting the same configuration out of both vendors setups isn't always trivial, because options have different names or may even be hidden to some degree, though. Intel i haven't tested all that much, i only have an HD3000 in my main PC, which is not connected to the TV.
post #9 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

You should have added the choice: "The one I bought." Because that is the answer pretty much everyone is going to pick...

-Suntan

Yup its pretty expensive to buy one of each so you can compare. Hence the need for hardware review sites like anandtech.
post #10 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Yup its pretty expensive to buy one of each so you can compare. Hence the need for hardware review sites like anandtech.

Or really good forums like AVS with actual user experience.
post #11 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post

There is no difference.

If there is, you're suffering from the "default configuration" syndrome. The default settings between vendors are vastly different, which gives them quite distinct "out of the box" experiences. If you like an over-satured and over-processed image (as many people do, they think on the first glance it looks more "life like"), then you will think AMD/ATI looks better.

Considering that AMD exposes options in the hardware through their driver... that helps the end user match or exceed CE devices... I'd say this is bunk.

Even some of the best siliicon-based video processors tweak the image with these types of enhancements. Turning off some of these makes your finely tunable hardware act as a dull/lifeless video frame-buffer instead of a video processor.


Quote:


If you bother to turn all post-processing off (or turn it on for NVIDIA/Intel), then it'll look pretty similar.
Sadly this isn't widely known, and AMD/ATI keeps turning on all the post-processing to win those people over.

How is advanced post-processing a bad thing? Not everyone's display is setup to ideal. Not everyone's viewing room is ideal. Not everyone's viewing habits or preferences are the same.

People want the best video quality, and AMD helps them get it.


Quote:


I've actually tested a wide range of GPUs in my HTPC, both from NVIDIA and AMD/ATI, and i'm quite positive that given equal configuration, they do look the same. Getting the same configuration out of both vendors setups isn't always trivial, because options have different names or may even be hidden to some degree, though. Intel i haven't tested all that much, i only have an HD3000 in my main PC, which is not connected to the TV.

Interesting article here that renethx pointed out to me:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...nc,2839-5.html

The author is quick to bash AMD for having post-processing turned on by default, but if you Blind A/B the screen shots that they posted with random people, they will easily gravitate towards the AMD picture. It's not perfect (none of them are), but the vivid dynamic contrasting on the AMD blows everyone I've shown away.

Constrast is one of the things that the human eye can easily distinguish... the NVidia and Intel pictures are flat, dull, and fuzzy. The AMD picture has sharpened edges (a bit too much for my taste), and pops.

I love it when people bash others for buying the "torch-mode" TV that looks the best on the showroom floor... it's easy to see why. When I enabled dynamic contrast on my AMD, my wife told me not to turn it off again... the picture is just that good.
post #12 of 112
Looks like Nev, the developer of LAV and someone whose opinion I respect greatly, dropped the hammer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post

There is no difference.
post #13 of 112
Looks like despite numerous well respected AVS users' opinions and poll results that favors there being no difference we are going to continue to have this argument.

I think that some people just don't want to recognize that there MAY be no difference at all in the hands of many/most users.

Turning "torch mode" on is hardly a good argument for superiority, imo.
post #14 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Looks like despite numerous well respected AVS users' opinions and poll results that favors there being no difference we are going to continue to have this argument.

I think that some people just don't want to recognize that there MAY be no difference at all in the hands of many/most users.

Turning "torch mode" on is hardly a good argument for superiority, imo.

I for one am actually happy that the overwhelming majority of people stepped up and responded "no difference" here because when I first saw this thread I avoided it, wondering what the heck the purpose of this "poll" was other than to start more pissing contests among proponents of AMD vs Intel, nVidia vs Radeon, integrated vs discrete. (What? No Mac vs PC vs Linux option?)

I don't profess to have tried all the various options in a way that would provide a basis for comparison. I've relied on the recommendations in this forum and reputable reviews and am happy with the results. But I'm sure there are other comparable setups that would work equally well.
post #15 of 112
I was trying to stay out of this thread to gauge people's opinions.

But for the record put me down as someone who has tried all 3 options (more than once for that matter) and found little to no difference with the exception of the Intel drivers being by far the simplest and easiest to use for my particular setup.

All three are excellent for HTPC.

As I have said for over 12 months now start with the iGPU. If for any reason at all you aren't satisfied THEN add a discrete video card.
post #16 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I was trying to stay out of this thread to gauge people's opinions.

But for the record put me down as someone who has tried all 3 options (more than once for that matter) and found little to no difference...

100% agreed. I test with all 3 top manufacturers... on a daily basis.
none has an advantage over any other.
post #17 of 112
I've tested/used all 3 as well.

I 100% agree that there is no difference.
post #18 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

How is advanced post-processing a bad thing? Not everyone's display is setup to ideal. Not everyone's viewing room is ideal. Not everyone's viewing habits or preferences are the same.

People want the best video quality, and AMD helps them get it.

If the video was supposed to look any different, why wouldn't the mastering engineer that produces for example a Blu-ray adjust the image to look differently?
I'm not saying that its generally a bad thing, i just think assuming that everyone wants/needs it is a bad thing.

Like i said, a lot of people like over-satured images, because it looks "better" to them, and AMD exploits this by activating all these settings by default.
Preferences are however rather subjective, and i hate overly sharpened and over-satured images (and so do quite a bunch of people that value image quality)

All these algorithms don't generally "improve" the image, they just change it (improvements are subjective)
Of course it may seem better to you (increasing the Quality for you), but it may seem worse to someone else.

This is my whole point. No matter which subjective level of post-processing you prefer, if you want to compare quality, at least be smart about it and compare on equal settings.
All the vendors expose the settings to change post-processing. The only difference is that AMD has them on by default and NVIDIA has them off, but thats it - all the settings are there.

I dislike post-processing, but still i wouldn't say AMD gives me worse quality, because i can just turn everything off.
So in the same spirit, just turn on some post-processing in the NVIDIA control panel, and enjoy.
post #19 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post

All these algorithms don't generally "improve" the image, they just change it (improvements are subjective)

Not all video is 1080p. For other lower video resolutions, the AMD algorithms are very, very good. Hence.... the high HQV scores.

AMD offers the best deinterlacing... perfect for your 1080i broadcasts and SD broadcasts... and hey... DVDs! AMD can also apply post-processing to your internet video... which like it or not will be more and more prevalent in our lives.

Quote:


Of course it may seem better to you (increasing the Quality for you), but it may seem worse to someone else.

Agreed. But the vast majority of people who buy based upon store shelf looks... like AMD's improvements.
post #20 of 112
htpc's are not dvd players, there is no major processing going on like upscaling, its mostly a raw image. There may be slight color differences but that ends up changing based on TV settings. I would never consider color saturation and things like that as being better/worse because its one of those things everybody changes to their liking, its not real post processing like upscaling or something that gets rid of artifacts (which every gpu claims but they dont really work since its so half assed).

Every major piece of post processing that I've seen make a difference has been handled entirely by software, the players themselves, the video card seems to do absolutely nothing.
post #21 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Not all video is 1080p.

Funny. You created this thread, and in the first post you ask about quality when playing 1080p content.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

But the vast majority of people who buy based upon store shelf looks... like AMD's improvements.

You still seem to ignore the main point. You're obviously very much biased, but swallow the AMD propaganda for a minute and read the important lines.

Its all just configuration! All vendors have very similar processing, you just have to configure it the way you like it
post #22 of 112
"Pixel perfect" is what I want. Cosmetics, silicon etc? No thanks.
post #23 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Agreed. But the vast majority of people who buy based upon store shelf looks... like AMD's improvements.

. . .to go along with their Bose speaker system.
post #24 of 112
"Vast majority of people buy based on store shelf looks"?????

WTH?

This is AVS. Not Best Buy.
post #25 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

... the AMD algorithms are very, very good. Hence.... the high HQV scores. AMD offers the best deinterlacing...

It appears you already have an opinion. What was your point in starting this thread?

Quote:


the vast majority of people who buy based upon store shelf looks... like AMD's improvements.

And that's supposed to be a positive? People who are truly enthusiasts of this hobby pay good money to have their displays calibrated away from the the inaccurate settings that are intended to sell the sets to the masses on store shelves. I expect you're going to find few in this audience who share your views.
post #26 of 112
No difference.
post #27 of 112
It all depends on what your doing with the card. If your only using it for watching movies then no there is no difference but when I had an NV card in my rig the text was not as sharp as AMD. Can't comment on Intel never tried them.
post #28 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by xfett View Post

It all depends on what your doing with the card. If your only using it for watching movies then no there is no difference but when I had an NV card in my rig the text was not as sharp as AMD. Can't comment on Intel never tried them.

What do you mean by "text"? Like on the desktop and websites? So with movies/tv you noticed no difference otherwise?
post #29 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin View Post

It appears you already have an opinion. What was your point in starting this thread?

Just to clarify the poll and thus this thread was actually my idea. It stemmed from a disagreement in another thread where puwaha basically called me dishonest by accusing me of lying (i.e. by me sharing my opinions and experience with others on this issue) to people that Intel was no different than ATI or NVidia for HTPC picture quality...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Honestly Assassin... the HQV disc is $25. Since you always have different model GPUs to compare with your assorted builds, you should do an honest assessment... notice I said honest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

A moderately powerful AMD discrete GPU will get you the best of everything that modern GPUS can offer, and get you the best measured PQ.

In my opinion, offering "good enough" suggestions for video cards is doing a disservice to the HTPC community. Unless someone is on a very strict budget, IGP should be avoided.

Which led to more bickering back and forth with me failing to convince him and he obviously failing to convince me. Lots of link to various websites, reviews, etc were shared by both parties.

Then I suggested that he post as unbiased a thread as possible so we could judge the opinions of other users (such as myself) that have compared and used all three options...

Quote by me from that thread:
Quote:
Here is an idea. Post a thread and poll in the main forum area. Make it simple and unbiased.

Quote:
Which is better for standard 1080p for HTPC (in alphabetical order)?

1. ATI
2. Intel HD 2000/3000
3. NVidia
4. No difference in any of the above
That's it. No dialogue and you and I stay out of any and all dicussion.

And let's just see where the discussion goes.

Deal?

So that's where we are. Feel free to share your opinion but to as why he created this thread it was actually my idea.
post #30 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

What do you mean by "text"? Like on the desktop and websites? So with movies/tv you noticed no difference otherwise?


In my basement I have an all purpose 42" Panny Plasma that is used for an XBOX, PS3, etc.. well I built a second HTPC so my kids could watch movies from my server and get on the web. Well with the Nvidia card black text on a white backgroud was blury and not as sharp. Everything else was fine.
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