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8600 GT\8500 GT lack of HDCP & shattered media PC hopes...

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 18, 2007 3:11:40 PM

I for one am dissapointed by the lack of hdcp on the 8600GT & 8500GT. Yes the individual card makers can add support themselves but from looking through the specs on the initial cards relased from xfx, asus, bfg etc it appears that NONE of the cards below the GTS are sporting HDCP support. :( 

I was in the process of choosing components for a new media PC when these cards were released and it seemed like a streak of luck for low power cards with excellent HD video decode to be released at just the right moment to go into my new system (coupled with a cheap xbox360 HD DVD drive or possible blu ray in the future when it becomes cheaper or if it wins the format war)... boy was I mistaken!

For most gamers out there this won't be a problem, however with the new pure video 2 engine providing excellent hadware decode of all the codecs used in both HD DVD and Blu Ray these cards would be perfect for a media centre PC and at a good price (around £55 for an 8500GT/£90 for a 8600GT). I just assumed that even though hdcp was't mandatory on these cards that most of the board makers would still integrate hdcp support but since that has fallen through I then cast my eye to the GTS. Now remember I won't be using the card for gaming so lukewarm frame rates in <insert generic fps game name here> don't bother me so much.
However what DOES matter is the noise of the card and low and behold it's strike 2 against the card with just about every review stating that the fans are pretty damn noisy and worse still the 8500GT cards have only 2 pin fan connectors and thus have no thermal control meaning they run the fan at full speed ALL THE TIME!

After having carefully picked out Noctua case fans and CPU heatsink & fan precisely for their low noise and good cooling im not about to have the graphics card mess that up for me.
Now I realise that the 2nd revision of these cards will hopefully redress these issues but they probably won't be available for another 2-3 months and i'm not waiting that long to build my new system.

My only hope now lies with the new AMD ATI cards due out in May in the hope that they offer hdcp on their HD 2400\2600 and that their new UVD lives up to expectations.

Who knows, perhaps this was just fate dashing my hopes, but I hope that by making me wait a few more weeks until ATI release their new cards it may all work out in the end... :?:

Does anyone else have a suggestion for a decent graphics card which would go well with a HTPC? The current card I have penciled in is a x1950 pro with silent heatpipe cooler (hdcp is included on ALL x1950 pro's). What does everyone else think?

More about : 8600 8500 lack hdcp shattered media hopes

April 18, 2007 3:34:05 PM

you could install your own GPU fan :) , but that does suck that theyre not HDCP, you would think by this stage all new cards would be supporting it
a c 365 U Graphics card
April 18, 2007 9:26:58 PM

That's a shame. Looks like I'll have to continue using ATI cards for my next HTPC even though they general have higher power requirements than nvidia cards.
April 21, 2007 4:08:18 PM

I was looking forward to these cards for the same reason, and am disappointed that virtually every maker out there chose to skip on the optional HDCP support.

So far I have found two non-8600GTS cards which are positively identified by their manufacturer as having HDCP support (not the lame 'HDCP-capable' pasted verbatim from the Nvidia site by some makers and many resellers):

- Gigabyte 8500GT (their 8600GT isn't HDCP-enabled):
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/VGA/Products_Overvi...

- BFG 8600GT:
http://www2.bfgtech.com/CMDocs/BFGTech/pro=112-8600GTOC...


The Gigabyte card looks ideal for a HTPC, being passively cooled. I would have liked to see an inexpensive passive HDCP 8600GT, since the 8600GT is rated at 43W max, and the 8500GT only at 'a few watts less' (I'm assuming 35-40W).

The other option is to wait for the Radeon HD 2400XT (35W, can handle 1080p unlike the 25W HD 2400Pro's 720p), which although saddled with a 64-bit memory bus, apparently sports built-in HDCP). Hopefully the Radeon HD's can also offload 100% of VC-1 off the CPU, not only H.264 like Purevideo HD.


I am also dismayed to see Nvidia hasn't released 8500/8600 drivers for W2K yet. A few years ago, their drivers were way ahead of ATI's...


P.S. Other, older cards aren't an option for me as I need HDCP over dual-link DVI.
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2007 8:46:59 PM

Quote:

P.S. Other, older cards aren't an option for me as I need HDCP over dual-link DVI.


Then the GF8 series isn't for you at all.
No GF8 will have dual-link HDCP, that's been a known limitation for weeks/months.

They should have hardware accelerated VC-1 in the UVP unlike the software/host dependent methods of PureVideo and AVIVO. The GF8600 does have all hardware for H.264 but seems to specifically omit VC-1 when discussing that. Although VC-1 isn't as tough as H.264 so the level of importance depends alot on the CPU your HTPC runs on. With a nice mobile Merom on M-ATX setup it should be easy on either solution.
April 21, 2007 10:17:41 PM

Quote:

No GF8 will have dual-link HDCP, that's been a known limitation for weeks/months.


I recall reading about some trick NVidia used to send one HDCP key over both links (pardon my non-technical terminology) on this specific series. While certainly less elegant than the R6x0 solution, it apparently works according to this (usually reliable) French website: http://www.clubic.com/article-72384-3-nvidia-geforce-86...

They report success displaying HD-DVD content on a Dell 3007WFP-HC using a 8600GTS, failure using the (non-HDCP enabled) Gigabyte 8600GT.


I am aware VC-1 is less CPU-intensive than H.264, but every bit helps, as I'm running an undervolted S939 X2 3800+ passively, and would be loath activating the CPU fan just to watch movies. I understand my CPU is borderline for decoding HD content unassisted, but have no immediate plans for an upgrade (the HP 30" having eaten into this year's PC budget).
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2007 11:18:23 PM

Quote:

I recall reading about some trick NVidia used to send one HDCP key over both links (pardon my non-technical terminology) on this specific series.


Need to se somthing more on that because it would have to break the HDCP requirements to do it (which can be done in software, or can also be done by the original content not requiring it).

Quote:
ertainly less elegant than the R6x0 solution, it apparently works according to this (usually reliable) French website: http://www.clubic.com/article-72384-3-nvidia-geforce-86...

They report success displaying HD-DVD content on a Dell 3007WFP-HC using a 8600GTS, failure using the (non-HDCP enabled) Gigabyte 8600GT.


Yeah, I read/write/speak French, and they say nVidia says it is HDCP and Dual-link; but look yourself, nothing nV has said yet cofirms HDCP over dual-link support (they seem pretty clear in making it separate items in any writeup).
Also their experiment is interesting, however it's conclusion is that it is possible because they would view the HD-DVD content on their Dell 30 inch using the Xbox DVD player, which is an imprecise test considering the software dependancy of the X360 player if it doesn't call for the feature it doesn't mean it exists. It may call for HDCP and then allow dual link on it's own, but might not call for both, rememebr the standard X360 doesn't have an HDCP at all, let alone a dual link connector. I'd rather see confirmation on an internal BR player using the GF86000GTS. That would be far more convincing. Right now it looks more like it happens to work by default rather than by design. Which would be like reading in the efficiency of software-host based acceleration in AVIVO as proof of hardware acceleration in features that have none.

I'd rather see something a little more technical, especially from nV themselves to support this first. Too many times before these assumptions have been made and found out later to be wrong.

Interestingly enough Anandtech also makes that claim, so there may be something to it, but it wasn't in any of the nV material having them together they were clearly listed as separate features. So the GF8600GTS may indeed support it, but like I said I'd prefer to see a test on a dedicated internal BR player than an external X360 HD-DVD.
!