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Best graphics card for video coding/decoding

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 1, 2008 2:25:03 PM

Hi everybody,
Prtway through a build with an amd 64 x2 5200, MSI K9NBPM2-FID AM2 SOCKET MATX DDR2 800 x4 PCI-E X16 PCIx2 NV Quadro NVS 210S 2000MT/s A&V&GBL&1394, 4 gig of Ram (adata pc6400) 320 gb western digital sata 2 hd, 20x sata samsung lightscribe dvd burner, wondering what would be the best, read fastest, non sli/crossfire graphics card for this config, used mainly for video/audio encoding/decoding, dvd authoring. not much gaming going on here. Any info would be appreciated. Can live with the onboard til I get the right card.

Thanks for your help!
:sol: 

jiminid
February 1, 2008 3:04:42 PM

ATI AVIVO
AVIVO is what comes with the ATI catalyst package. I know my x1900xtx does it not sure how far back it goes but the x3850 would also do it and is a newer card an under $200.00. Also the quality of the ATI encoded video is superior in my opinion.

http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/video/avivo_1.html

Check out the above site for starters
a c 358 U Graphics card
February 1, 2008 3:54:16 PM

While ATI trumpted AVIVO back in 2005/2006 there is no program that I know of that takes advantage of it. ATI's Video Converter using AVIVO is very, very limited from what I remember. If you can live with those severe limitations options for encoding video then great.

Video encoding is still 100% dependant on the CPU. In that sense going with an Intel C2D or C2Q is a better option than AMD Athlon 64 because the new cores (Wolfdale and Yorkville) has SSE4 extensions that is currently implemented in the DivX codec in beta (testing) mode. It should improve performance by about 30% - 40% (from what I remember reading) over a similarly clocked C2D or C2Q without SSE4 extensions. Also Intel processors have traditionally been better at video encoding than AMD when comparing two CPU of similar gaming performance.

AMD stated it will implement SSE4a (or something similar), but that will not be the same a SS4 for the Intel CPUs. From what I've read the core instruction extension set is fundamentally similar, but the way they are implemented is totally different.

In the past ATI was much better than nVidia in terms of video quality, but nVidia has caught up and has surpassed ATI; at least according to an article from Anandtech.com that you should read. Link is provided below. Avoid the lower end cards since their video decoding power is next to non-existant. The recommended lowest video card is the ATI HD 2600 (or it's HD 3xxx series counter-part; the article is dated July 2007), or the nVidia 8600GT.

HD Video Decode Quality and Performance Summer '07
Related resources
February 1, 2008 4:30:04 PM

I found that Anandtech article a bit slanted toward Nvidia.

It doesn't mention that Geforce cards don't do any image quality enhancements in XP - they only work in Vista. That's a pretty huge issue for an XP user.

In addition, after testing them both I have no idea how Anandtech concluded that Nvidia has better noise cancellation. Ati's noise cancelleation algorithm is worlds better than Nvidia's IMHO - on the Geforce, set below 60% the noice cancellation is undetectable. Conversely, set it above 60% and you'll see noticable blurring of video. I found Ati's noice cancellation to be pretty damn close to perfect, on the other hand...

Also, Ati has less CPU utilization when playing VC-1 HD.

Based on that I'd say the best price/performance card for video playback is the 2600 XT.

Those were my findings, anyhoo. Here's the linky:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/10/26/avivo_hd_vs_pure...
February 1, 2008 5:13:46 PM

I was using a Matrox RT.X100 for a while with three different ATI Radeon models (I forget which, the last was, I THINK, an X550). Each and every one of them caused problems with the preview window in Premiere Pro, both 1.5 and 2.0. I thought it might be the Matrox (which I have since jettisoned due to their horrible drivers), but the problem persisted until I switched to an Nvidia card. A shame, really.
February 1, 2008 5:27:33 PM

For encoding it doesn't matter. Playback is a bit more subjective and pretty close with the current gen of cards. In gaming nvidia currently has better quality hands down.
February 1, 2008 6:56:43 PM

bydesign said:
In gaming nvidia currently has better quality hands down.


Huh? What are you basing that statement on?

Image quality in games is a dead heat, in fact there are a lot of people out there who will argue that Ati has better color reproduction.
February 2, 2008 3:22:07 AM

Thanks for all the great responses, everybody!
I think I may have not been clear enough, though. I don't plan on watching hd video movies on my pc or doing much gaming. I'm interested in seeing what the best video card is for encoding/decoding, merging & converting various video files. Is this simply a function of the processor and ram or does it matter what video card I use. I also wonder what effect the amd processor paired with an nvidia chipset might have on my choice. Amd owns ATI now but there are the nvidia chipsets. As always, I appreciate all of your thoughts on this matter.

Thanks again!
a c 358 U Graphics card
February 2, 2008 4:41:18 AM

jaguarskx said:


Video encoding is still 100% dependant on the CPU...

February 2, 2008 4:48:36 AM

jiminid said:
Thanks for all the great responses, everybody!
I think I may have not been clear enough, though. I don't plan on watching hd video movies on my pc or doing much gaming. I'm interested in seeing what the best video card is for encoding/decoding, merging & converting various video files. Is this simply a function of the processor and ram or does it matter what video card I use. I also wonder what effect the amd processor paired with an nvidia chipset might have on my choice. Amd owns ATI now but there are the nvidia chipsets. As always, I appreciate all of your thoughts on this matter.

Thanks again!



As stated before, the graphics card has no impact on video encoding. Encoding video is done by the CPU, and unfortunately for you, you bought an AMD.

Best to worse for video encoding:

Intel quadcore (Q6600)
I would think AMD Phenom quadcore
Intel Core 2 chip clocked as high as possible (e21xx, e6xxx, e8xxx)
AMD X2
Pentium D
P4 HT
AMD 64
P4
AMD XP+
!