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Best Video card for my needs

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I put together the following HTPC some time ago. I mainly wanted storage for my CD collection. As well as my BluRay collection of music concerts and a few favorite BluRay movies. I use DVD Fab to rip BluRays to my Hardrives. And JRivers to rip CD and play back my concert, movies and CDs. I used an optical out to my older Aragon StageOne preamp for playback.

I recently replaced the Aragon with the Marantz AV8801 preamp processor. Now I would like to use the HDMI out from my HTPC to the Marantz and listen to my concerts and movies in DTS-Master audio on my system. My EVGA Geforce GTX570 does not pass any HD audio with a HDMI.

My question here is. What current video cards will pass DTS-Master audio and Dolby TrueHD? I like the NVidia cards. But, from what I’ve been able to find out on my own. Current NVidia cards don’t pass HD audio. Is that correctt? And if so. What cards are best for my needs? My budget is under $400.00.

Intel Core i5-2500k Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz CPU
Asus P8Z68-V Pro LGA 1155 Intel Z68 motherboard
16 GB (4x4 GB) Corsair Vengeance 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600
EVGA Geforce GTX 570 HD w/1280 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express video card
Crucial M4 128 GB SSD
2 Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB 7200 RPM HD
1 Western Digital Caviar Black 2 TB 7200 RPM HD
LITE-ON Model IHBS112-04 Blu-ray Burner Black
Antec High Current Pro HCP-850 850W Crossfire Certified PSU
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus heatsink and fan
Silverstone FT02S Silver Aluminum / Steel case
Windows 7 Ultimate

post #2 of 14
You really don't need that powerful of a card for video playback.

we need a little more information

You could just use your i5-2500k for audio and the GTX 570 for video. Or you could decode the HD audio on the HTPC and pass LPCM to the new reciever
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responce Andy.

Using the HTPC to my older Aragon I could only get DTS or DD audio using and optical cable. That's not what I'm going for now.

Using my current setup how do I decode the HD audio and pass LPCM to JRivers and my Marantz? It's my understanding...which is limited. I need a video card that can pass the HD audio to my Marantz. JRivers software shows the HD audio available. But, my video card does not support the passing of any HD audio.

The only gaming I've done besides online poker. Is Skyrim.

I'm not that interested in the price of a new card that will accomplish what I'm after.... Within reason of course.
post #4 of 14
TrueHD and DTS-HD MA/HRA can be deocoded to LPCM and sent over GT 570's HDMI. You just need to borrow dtsdecoderdll.dll from TMT. This is mentioned in Advanced MPC-HC Setup Guide.

But sending TrueHD and DTS-HD MA/HRA over HDMI is a lot easier. Any GT(X) 6xx card supports it. GTX 660 is equivalent to GTX 570 in gaming performance. Or Radeon HD 7850/7870. GeForce requires some tweaks to get full range RGB and a correct "23.976Hz" refresh rate (but does not support for 88.2kHz / 176.4kHz LPCM over HDMI, however, in case you have hi-res audio files). Radeon works right out of the box.
Edited by renethx - 2/6/13 at 12:02am
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Renethx.

I'll read through the guide you listed. Maybe I can figure out how to keep and use my current card.

I'll also check out the cards you listed. Looks like for a simple plug and play the Radeon cards my be a good option. I've used NVidia cards for years. I've always liked their driver support and reliability. Why don't NVidia cards work and support sending HD audio for HTPCs like other card companies?

Any other advise would be appreciated.
post #6 of 14
All GeForce GT(X) 6xxx cards supports sending HD audio (TrueHD, DTS-HD, multichannel LPCM) over HDMI. They just can't send multichannel LPCM of less common sample rates.
Edited by renethx - 2/6/13 at 7:20am
post #7 of 14
If get a decent Radeon card. It will work right out of the box with little fuss.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've been doing some reading and viewing of youtube videos on different cards. Of course most cards are built and sold for gaming. So, the information is about card performace in that area. And right now based on my preference for NVida cards. I'm thinking of getting one of these. The EVGA GeForce GTX660 Ti FTW Signature 2 card. These can be bought for under $300.

I know the Ratheon HD 7870 card can be had for a little less money. Is there any reason that should push me to it? Or any other card?
post #9 of 14
Go with the GTX660 TI because you know and like nVidia. I have an 7870 and it is great for HTPC and gaming. I presume you game, and that is why you aren't looking at a 650-level card. If you can get a 670 on a deal, that is what I would consider top-notch nVidia right now - the extra $100 for 680 makes no sense.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
If I may ask Lespurgeon? What made you go with the 7870 over a NVidia card?

I'm not much of a gamer anymore. But, having the capability in a card is a nice feature which NVidia has alway had IMO. I listen to a lot on my music from my HTPC. I used a PS Audio DAC before my Marantz. And liked the sound from it. But, the Marantz is at least it's equal. So, the PS Audio is gone. Does the Ratheon cards have any advantage over the GTX660 that I should now about as far as High Rez audio over HDMI is concerned?
post #11 of 14
GeForce does not support 88.2kHz / 176.4kHz sample rate over HDMI. If you have such hi-res music files, resampling has to be done before the audio stream reaches the HDMI audio driver.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
What format of music is supported by 88.2kHz / 176.4kHz sample rate?

I don't have any DVD-audio or SACDs. And haven't downloaded any flac music up to now. My cd library on my PC is ripped 16 bit 44.1 kHz. Then JRiver upsamples to 24 bit and the Marantz up samples to 32 bit 192kHz. Would the GTX 660 have a problem with any of this?
post #13 of 14
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
I ordered and installed the EVGA GeForce GTX660 Ti video card. It was a breeze to install in my PC. Seems to be a nice card.

I ran the audio test in windows for 7.1 speakers. Windows shows the following supported sample rates of: 44.1kHZ, 48.0kHZ, 96.0kHz and 192.0kHz. And the following encoded formats: DTS audio, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD, Dolby TruHD and Dolby Digital. So, I'm good to go. Except now, I need configure JRivers to output something other than PCM over HDMI. I've had the flu bug for the last week so my interest was less than lacking. But, feeling better now I need to finish this little project. I believe I need to set the output on JRivers to bitstreem the audio over HDMI. Which I have done. But, my Marantz still shows PCM over the HDMI.

Does anyone have a simple A,B,C direction on how to setup JRivers audio for outputting DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD?
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