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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Where can I get a clear breakdown of what ATI and NVIDIA cards can do what when it comes to us in a HTPC.


Some cards can do video processing, some can't

Some can pass audio through HDMI, some can't

Some will be great as a HTPC card, saome won't


So where can the non-gamer go see what all these model numbers do.


3000 series, 4000 series, 9500, 9600, GTS, GTO, GT - too much confusion


Thanks,
 

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I use two 9600GT's in SLI for my HTPC (1080p to 57" 1080p DLP).


Plays everything. 1080p .mkv's take 1-2% processor use. Couldn't tell ya what the WMC does in Vista for CPU use watching HDTV broadcasts, as the DVR function takes cpu time. Nvidia calls the technology PureVideo, in otherwords, DXVA. The GPU decodes, not the CPU. I just have two in SLI because I can, but one is fine. For the money, just get a 9800gt. I know it's a powerful card for gaming, but that directly relates to HTPC use. Windows 7 will be out soon, and like Vista, Areo is GPU decoded, not CPU. Might as well get a card that makes everything pretty as well!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by computerinfo /forum/post/15587392


Where can I get a clear breakdown of what ATI and NVIDIA cards can do what when it comes to us in a HTPC.


Some cards can do video processing, some can't

Some can pass audio through HDMI, some can't

Some will be great as a HTPC card, saome won't


So where can the non-gamer go see what all these model numbers do.


3000 series, 4000 series, 9500, 9600, GTS, GTO, GT - too much confusion


Thanks,

The closest thing I have seen is in the sticky .


Radeon HD 4550 is currently in my wish list for HTPC for the following reasons:


1. It is fanless (Gigabyte) and low profile (Sapphire).

2. It has full hardware decoding for Mpeg2, VC1 and H.264.

3. It has HDMI audio out.

4. It has 80 shaders to perform video post-processing, so interlaced material can be de-interlaced with very good result.


However there seems to be concerns about Bluray @ 24P.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So, if I am looking for a half height card for a HTPC, the HD4550 is the best option at the highest performance level, right???


What about the nvidia side of things in a half height option?


I am only concerned with perfect video playback on a 42 inch plasma of HD, SD, divx, mpeg, etc files.
 

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Do you have the mobo etc already purchased, if not, have a look at any of the ATI 780 chipset mobos and use onboard video and sound. No half height cards, fans etc.


By HD, do you mean HD TV or BluRay?


BB
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
System already in use:

- AMD 5050e

- Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2HP

- Integrated 780G Video

- Corsair 2GB 6400

- Ahanix MCE301

- Antec WA-380

- 40 GB WD


Answer: HD is OTA HD recordings at this point but Bluray in the future


I am currently using 780G, but am having problems and thought that a video card may prove helpful over the 780G.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbird999 /forum/post/15595366


Do you have the mobo etc already purchased, if not, have a look at any of the ATI 780 chipset mobos and use onboard video and sound. No half height cards, fans etc.


By HD, do you mean HD TV or BluRay?


BB

The 780 chipset requires HT 3.0 (i.e. phenom processor) for some processing such as deinterlacing. If computerinfo needs that additional processing, he'll probably be better off going with a less-expensive processor and the 4550.


computerinfo, I just read your last post. What problems are you having? Is it just with deinterlacing? If so, then a phenom processor or the 4550 should be all you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Very frusterating problems. The system would crash after playing video. Sometimes it would go for 45 minutes before it crashed.


I added an ASUS EAH3450 card and it still crashed.

I switched from DDR 8500 to 6400 memory and it crashed.

I got so frusterated that I just reinstalled the system from scratch and am now playing the 1st 20 minutes of a HD prime time show.


I have my fingers that it does not crash. I will let you know of the reinstall fixes the crashing.


I no longer have the 3450 in place and am using the 780g.


EDIT: The new system crashed after 1.5 hours of playing HD video. The system can run a slideshow for days, but as soon as I play videos, it crashes.


I assume it is the 780G motherboard now.
 

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It sounds like it is overheating. Do you have case fans running on that low profile case? Try running it with the top cover off. If it doesn't crash, then look to increasing your case ventilation. Low profile cases often require more ventilation to get the heat out of the case.


BB
 

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Yep - sounds like overheating is a distinct possibility.


Have you tried loading any temperature display software - so you can see how hot your CPU and GPU etc. are getting?


Slideshow display is a lot less GPU intensive than video decoding - so will suffer from fewer overheating problems.


If I were you I'd look at your cooling first - as putting another source of heat in your case (a passive or fan-cooled graphics card) may not help.


Low profile cases in particular need care and attention paid to cooling (and cables need to be relatively tidy inside to avoid restricting air flow etc.)
 

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It definitely sounds like a hardware issue that is most likely not from the video card (since you tried two different ones). It could be a problem with heat, the power supply, the memory, etc. I would start with running some stress tests. This thread is a good source for stress testing and temperature monitoring. As detailed in that thread, download CoreTemp and Prime95. Run CoreTemp to show the temperature of your processor. While your system is at idle, write down this temperature. Then run Prime95 and choose the maximum-heat test. Let it run for 30 minutes and write down the temperature. Then let it run for 12-24 hours to see if it crashes or throws any errors. If not, then proceed to run MemTest to test your memory. If all that checks out, then it could be a problem specifically with video but not with the video card itself. Examples would be with the PCI-express slot on your motherboard or a problem in the BIOS.
 

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The mobo comes with gigabyte's temp monitoring software and there is a, 6000+ post, thread on this mobo. You might find answers there.


BB
 

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What kind of crash are you experiencing? It could be the Catalyst version you're using that's the culprit. It's pretty much agreed that the best version for the 780G is Cat 8.9. Almost everything else gives a lot of problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I spoke to Gigabyte Tech Support. They think that it could be the internal 780g chip causing the problem.


They recommend RMA the board and either replacing it with the same on or getting this one:



Original Board:

GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2HP AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128360


Possible Replacement:

GIGABYTE GA-MA78GPM-DS2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128341


Or this one:

ASUS M3A78-EM AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131324
 

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Last year I had grand ideas of making a nice HTPC from an AMD 5000 and a Gigabyte 690. I could never count on it, random crashing several times nightly when I was working on it. I blamed the motherboard and pulled the passive cooled Sapphire 3470 card out and stuck it in another PC. Oops, same random crashing started happening. Hmmm. Like a fool, I stuck the card in a socket 939 Asus board that had been rock stable for years. It too started random crashing, Sata ports died, and now it is not even completly stable with just one IDE drive and the same original Nvidia 6600.


Every board this card has touched has problems now.


Want my Sapphire 3470 video card?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by computerinfo /forum/post/15604025


I spoke to Gigabyte Tech Support. They think that it could be the internal 780g chip causing the problem.


They recommend RMA the board and either replacing it with the same on or getting this one:



Original Board:

GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2HP AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128360


Possible Replacement:

GIGABYTE GA-MA78GPM-DS2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128341


Or this one:

ASUS M3A78-EM AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131324

I'd stick with the original one, as it's the only one that guarantees AM3 support.
 

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I have a Asus GeForce 9500, the problem is that my HDTV freezes and I have to unplug it to get it working again. This usually happens when I have dual display and a video on. I'm thinking its the video card getting to hot. Everything on the computer is working fine when the crash happens.
 
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