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Video card for the non-gamer?

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September 25, 2008 1:13:34 PM

Hey everyone. I don't game at all right now. All I do is video editing (not professionally) and webdesign. I hope to also play Blu-Ray rips on my computer. It seems like all the guides on TH are for gamers and I wanted to know whether I should go head and get a card like the Radeon HD 2600 XT or whether this is too much for me for my needs? I plan on getting an HDCP capable monitor too so I can watch the Blu-Ray rips at 1080p.

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a b U Graphics card
September 25, 2008 3:16:27 PM

You want to go with an ATI card for blu-ray,
I would recommend anything between a 3850 and a 4850,
ATI cards decode the high def movies on the card (i believe) with no extra software,
Nvidia wants you to buy PureVideo to allow decoding on the card,
Yeah ATI cards are the way to go when it comes to doing things with HDTVs and HTPCs. All ATI cards from the HD 3xxx and 4xxx series will give you excellent performance with Blu-ray and they include Native HDMI.
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September 25, 2008 3:38:55 PM

In fact, you could buy a HD3450 and it will support support bluray playback. but it's a very weak card for 3d gaming (if you're going to gma eone day).

The 4670 is a great entry card, at a very good price.
September 26, 2008 7:51:51 AM

If you have a 780G motherboard, you could go with a 3450 for hybrid Crossfire, but your best bet is a 4670.

It's the best card in the sub $100. AVIVO's great. If you decided to game, then it does well at 1280 x 1024. It's the best card for around $79 offered in years.

If the economy holds up (at least my personal part of it), I'll get a 24" LCD and a Blu-ray drive next February. Though I play several games, I also like anime in HD and want to stop buying DVD's in favor of Blu-ray.
September 26, 2008 11:55:23 AM

sisley_111 said:
In fact, you could buy a HD3450 and it will support support bluray playback. but it's a very weak card for 3d gaming (if you're going to gma eone day).

The 4670 is a great entry card, at a very good price.



I have read a lot of positive reviews on the 4670
September 26, 2008 12:11:19 PM

evongugg said:
This would be an inexpensive choice:


Would a passive 4650 be a better bet when they emerge?
a b U Graphics card
September 26, 2008 9:08:56 PM

I'd tend to go for the actively cooled card when possible - I've seen passive cards run far hotter that I'd ever want. The lower spec actively cooled cards don't make that much heat anyways - they tend to run pretty quietly.
September 26, 2008 10:12:22 PM

evongugg said:
This would be an inexpensive choice:

SAPPHIRE 100255L Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


There is 9600gso for $50 after mir and free shipping, compared to $80 plus $8.25 shipping for 4670 (which also happen to be out of stock at the moment).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Performance is only slightly above 4670 though, so it's really no noticeable advantage there.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_4670/2...

As for heat and noise, the aftermarket dual slot cooler with bigger fan spinning at lower rpm will both keep the card cooler while producing low noise.
a b U Graphics card
September 27, 2008 12:08:40 AM

Stick with the HD4650 for playback, if you're not gaming, then it's the better performer with more playback features than both the GF9600GSO and HD2K & HD3K series, and more than enough for the tasks you listed. And in just about anuthing you're doing it's better than the HD2600XT.

In general the HD4850 would be overkill, generate more backplate heat (even with an aftermarket cooler [which you could apply to either]) and draw alot more power both at idle and heavy 2D.

I prefer passive on an editing rig because it means you can leave it unattended rather securely, and if you're not gaming and not overclocking then it'll run just fine, even for ambient if you have sufficient case cooling.

Reliability and longevity over slightly lower core temps and minimal impact on case temps for such a low power card. Problem is you have to wait for them.

If you want a little more you could always go with the HD4670, and get a nice OEM cooler like the one on the HIS;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Maybe a little more power than you need for a non-gaming machine, but it's quiet and ejects all the heat out of the rig, even though I still prefer passive cooling.
September 27, 2008 12:25:48 AM

I definitely think the 4670 would be the absolute best video card for your uses.
September 27, 2008 2:05:55 AM

You won't notice a difference with video playback. The gpu will take some of load off cpu, but as long as cpu isn't bottlenecked to 100%, playback will be perfectly smooth anyway. Decoding is done on cpu, gpu only helps accelerate.
a b U Graphics card
September 29, 2008 8:53:35 AM

dagger said:
You won't notice a difference with video playback. The gpu will take some of load off cpu, but as long as cpu isn't bottlenecked to 100%, playback will be perfectly smooth anyway. Decoding is done on cpu, gpu only helps accelerate.


If that's your philosophy, why recommend the GF9600GSO? Why not a cheaper $25 HD2600Pro like in the original post?

If you need to recommend an nV solution, then point him towards their upcoming GF9 series integrated solutions about to launch, at least that would get him most of the way there if he didn't already have a mobo. But that's only if he doesn't have a mobo already picked out. But that would be better than that GSO for his stated needs.
September 29, 2008 4:09:58 PM

dagger said:
There is 9600gso for $50 after mir and free shipping, compared to $80 plus $8.25 shipping for 4670 (which also happen to be out of stock at the moment).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Performance is only slightly above 4670 though, so it's really no noticeable advantage there.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_4670/2...

As for heat and noise, the aftermarket dual slot cooler with bigger fan spinning at lower rpm will both keep the card cooler while producing low noise.


a 9600GSO could possibly also require a PSU upgrade, while the HD 4670 doesn't. It's really not that good of a budget card as you make it sound, dagger :p  A LOT of people have el-cheapo PSUs that need some 4670 lovin'.
a b U Graphics card
September 29, 2008 4:23:31 PM

Yeah, and while I like the idea of integrated MoBo solutions, I think Cleeve's review on the subject was very enlightening on their limitations with older CPUs which many people tend to use to build HTPCs out of, and even mid--range modern CPUs when using higher bitrates.
September 29, 2008 10:47:12 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
If that's your philosophy, why recommend the GF9600GSO? Why not a cheaper $25 HD2600Pro like in the original post?

If you need to recommend an nV solution, then point him towards their upcoming GF9 series integrated solutions about to launch, at least that would get him most of the way there if he didn't already have a mobo. But that's only if he doesn't have a mobo already picked out. But that would be better than that GSO for his stated needs.


I was stating the $50 ar plus free shipping 9600gso as an alternative to the more expensive 4670. I would have recommended 2600XT, but the cheapest one on newegg is $48 ar, plus $8.25 shipping, which makes it more expensive than 9600gso. There is no point paying more for less performance.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

emp said:
a 9600GSO could possibly also require a PSU upgrade, while the HD 4670 doesn't. It's really not that good of a budget card as you make it sound, dagger :p  A LOT of people have el-cheapo PSUs that need some 4670 lovin'.


At peak load, system power consumption is 164w compared to 177w, a 13 watt difference between 9600gso and 4670. While the 13 watts less is certainly an advantage, it's not big enough to make or break a psu. A psu that can handle 4670 should be able to take the extra 13 watts, it's not that much.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_4670/2...
a c 106 U Graphics card
September 29, 2008 10:51:11 PM

Get the 4670
a b U Graphics card
September 29, 2008 11:15:28 PM

dagger said:
I was stating the $50 ar plus free shipping 9600gso as an alternative to the more expensive 4670. I would have recommended 2600XT, but the cheapest one on newegg is $48 ar, plus $8.25 shipping, which makes it more expensive than 9600gso. There is no point paying more for less performance.


However if you're going to recommend something else, why not recommend the then $25 HD2600Pro? That's the point, why stop at the GSO if all he needs is a good CPU?

Quote:
At peak load, system power consumption is 164w compared to 177w, a 13 watt difference between 9600gso and 4670. While the 13 watts less is certainly an advantage, it's not big enough to make or break a psu. A psu that can handle 4670 should be able to take the extra 13 watts, it's not that much.


Might be.
Emp said "could possibly", seems that if someone were concerned between the two, then you go for the one that consumes less, and an HD4650 even less of a PSU concern. It's not like he's losing features for that benifit, it has more features he's looking for, AND draws less power. Win-win.

If it were about gaming the motivation might be different, but it's not in this case.
September 29, 2008 11:56:22 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
However if you're going to recommend something else, why not recommend the then $25 HD2600Pro? That's the point, why stop at the GSO if all he needs is a good CPU?

Quote:
At peak load, system power consumption is 164w compared to 177w, a 13 watt difference between 9600gso and 4670. While the 13 watts less is certainly an advantage, it's not big enough to make or break a psu. A psu that can handle 4670 should be able to take the extra 13 watts, it's not that much.


Might be.
Emp said "could possibly", seems that if someone were concerned between the two, then you go for the one that consumes less, and an HD4650 even less of a PSU concern. It's not like he's losing features for that benifit, it has more features he's looking for, AND draws less power. Win-win.

If it were about gaming the motivation might be different, but it's not in this case.


Good point. Didn't look at the pro. It's $30 ar plus $7 shipping. Still cheaper though. So if gpu don't matter, it's a fine choice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for 4650, it's really not a good choice considering the $70 plus $7 shipping price tag. It performs lower than 4670 while costing only slightly less, also lower than 9600gso while costing significantly more. If performance matters, there's 9600gso for less, if it doesn't matter, there's the 2600pro for far less, which is also low energy consuming. :p 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2008 5:51:44 PM

You're missing the reasoning behind the HD4650 and 4670, it's not for games it's for playback capabilities, so for that the HD4650 is fine, and offers features not available on other cards other than the other HD4Ks, and some integrated options (although their playback performance is suspect after Cleeve's review).

For the OP's needs, which are not gaming, the HD4650 > GF9600GSO. If gaming were involved, then you could mention performance, otherwise, there's little the GSO can do that the HD4650 can't, but alot the HD4650 can do that the GSO can't. Specific to this thread the HD4650 > GF9600GSO, for most other people that may not be the case. The added oomph of the HD4670 is also wasted for what he's doing.
September 30, 2008 7:59:44 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
You're missing the reasoning behind the HD4650 and 4670, it's not for games it's for playback capabilities, so for that the HD4650 is fine, and offers features not available on other cards other than the other HD4Ks, and some integrated options (although their playback performance is suspect after Cleeve's review).

For the OP's needs, which are not gaming, the HD4650 > GF9600GSO. If gaming were involved, then you could mention performance, otherwise, there's little the GSO can do that the HD4650 can't, but alot the HD4650 can do that the GSO can't. Specific to this thread the HD4650 > GF9600GSO, for most other people that may not be the case. The added oomph of the HD4670 is also wasted for what he's doing.


You're missing the point. If you're talking about ATI's AVIVO HD playback, the 2600 support it too, just like 4650, and it's far cheaper. And unlike integrated gpus, it's powerful enough to run it. So basically, for hd video playback, there is 2600, for performance, there is 9600gso, both are cheaper than 4650/70. 4650/70, at the current price, is just a halfway option that offers neither hd playback on the cheap, nor performance on the cheap in comparison to alternatives. Jack of all trades, master of none.

Besides, Nvidia has its own PureVideo playback, in competition with ATI's AVIVO. It's not like 9600gso don't offer video acceleration.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2008 8:42:16 PM

dagger said:
You're missing the point. If you're talking about ATI's AVIVO HD playback, the 2600 support it too, just like 4650, and it's far cheaper. And unlike integrated gpus, it's powerful enough to run it. So basically, for hd video playback, there is 2600, for performance, there is 9600gso, both are cheaper than 4650/70. 4650/70, at the current price, is just a halfway option that offers neither hd playback on the cheap, nor performance on the cheap in comparison to alternatives. Jack of all trades, master of none.


Actually you need to look into the feature list if you think the HD2600 has the same support as the HD4650, and same with the GF9600GSO, since they all support different feature leves. Whether or not he will use all those features is another story.

Quote:
Besides, Nvidia has its own PureVideo playback, in competition with ATI's AVIVO. It's not like 9600gso don't offer video acceleration.


It does, but you need to look further into the differences, because you seem to think they are all the same, and they are not.

The HD2600 reference is in reply to your CPU comment, because if it were to be playback feature wise, the GF9600GSO definitely has a slight edge over the HD2600, however in addition the HD4650 also has additional features ontop of that, which is the point of the recommendations. Whether or not he'll use all the features or not is another question. However for the tasks he's listed, there's nothing the GF9600GSO would be a 'better performer' at than the HD4650, other than the gaming which he already mentioned is not the focus.

So what exactly is it that the GF9600GSO does that makes it your recommendation? What is this 'performance' difference you allude to.
What to shed some light on it, because right now it looks like you're confusing gaming performance and adding it into a thread/choice where it's not relevant.
September 30, 2008 9:12:53 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Actually you need to look into the feature list if you think the HD2600 has the same support as the HD4650, and same with the GF9600GSO, since they all support different feature leves. Whether or not he will use all those features is another story.

Quote:
Besides, Nvidia has its own PureVideo playback, in competition with ATI's AVIVO. It's not like 9600gso don't offer video acceleration.


It does, but you need to look further into the differences, because you seem to think they are all the same, and they are not.

The HD2600 reference is in reply yo your CPU comment, because if it were to be playback feature wise, the GF9600GSO definitely has a slight edge over the HD2600, however in addition the HD4650 also has additional features ontop of that, which is the point of the recommendations. Whether or not he'll use all the features or not is another question. However for the tasks he's listed, there's nothing the GF9600GSO would be a 'better performer' at than the HD4650, other than the gaming which he already mentioned is not the focus.

So what exactly is it that the GF9600GSO does that makes it your recommendation? What is this 'performance' difference you allude to.
What to shed some light on it, because right now it looks like you're confusing gaming performance and adding it into a thread/choice where it's not relevant.


The reason is both 2600pro and 9600gso are cheaper than 4670, by $30 and $50 respectively, while both offering all the major features, especially hd playback, which is what OP asked for. What are those "features" that the $80 4670 or $70 4650 offer which the $30 2600pro does not? You never mentioned. 2600pro has all the major points, like AVIVO and dx10. It addresses OP's needs. 9600gso don't have AVIVO, but does support PureHD, which really isn't inferior, just a different name of similar acceleration offered by a rival company.

So, both alternatives are cheaper than 4650/4670, one perform better, the other worse, but both address OP's needs.

As for 9600gso performing better, how is performing better a con as long as it's cheaper? It accelerates hd video playback just fine. It both perform better and cost less than 4650/70, while does what OP wanted. Even if you dismiss performance completely, cost is something that can't be dismissed.

The 2600pro accelerates playback, but don't perform as well as 4650/70, but it's even cheaper. There is no real difference in "features." The only real drawback compared to 4650/70 is performing lower, but you already asserted that it doesn't matter.

For the most expensive of the three choices, 4650/70 should offer some kind of advantage to OP for its higher price. It doesn't.
September 30, 2008 11:45:02 PM

Don't you have to pay for Purevideo? I can't remember to be honest.
September 30, 2008 11:48:09 PM

emp said:
Don't you have to pay for Purevideo? I can't remember to be honest.


Why do you have to pay? It comes with driver. :sweat: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purevideo

But anyway, if performance doesn't matter, just get the 2600 on the cheap.
October 1, 2008 12:26:45 AM

I don't know, I'm asking you :)  You're the expert... I hear that Purevideo isn't free. Also I read that AVIVO offers better image quality. But that's just me repeating what I've heard, since Video acceleration isn't really my area of expertise... I'll let you and ape duke it out and teach me about it :p 

Apparently there's better UVD on the HD 4000 series, so it might be worth it over the HD 2600.

Quote:
UVD 2.2
The UVD 2.2 features a re-designed local memory interface and enhances the compatibility with MPEG2/H.264/VC-1 videos. However, it was marketed under the same alias as "UVD 2" as the special core-logic, available in RV770 and RV730 series of GPUs, for hardware decoding of MPEG2, H.264 and VC-1 video with dual-stream decoding. The nature of UVD 2.2 being an incremental update to the UVD 2 can be accounted for this move.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Video_Decoder

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVIVO
October 1, 2008 12:38:33 AM

emp said:
I don't know, I'm asking you :)  You're the expert... I hear that Purevideo isn't free. Also I read that AVIVO offers better image quality. But that's just me repeating what I've heard, since Video acceleration isn't really my area of expertise... I'll let you and ape duke it out and teach me about it :p 

Apparently there's better UVD on the HD 4000 series, so it might be worth it over the HD 2600.

Quote:
UVD 2.2
The UVD 2.2 features a re-designed local memory interface and enhances the compatibility with MPEG2/H.264/VC-1 videos. However, it was marketed under the same alias as "UVD 2" as the special core-logic, available in RV770 and RV730 series of GPUs, for hardware decoding of MPEG2, H.264 and VC-1 video with dual-stream decoding. The nature of UVD 2.2 being an incremental update to the UVD 2 can be accounted for this move.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Video_Decoder

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVIVO


Lol, yep, that was what APE meant by "additional features and updates." And I'm a noob, you're the expert here. :D 
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 12:50:30 AM

dagger said:
What are those "features" that the $80 4670 or $70 4650 offer which the $30 2600pro does not? You never mentioned.


I didn't need to, they're pretty well described in any review that details the changes, that you don't know the differences is apparent, which is why I ask you to detail them. You think they're the same, but I know that the differenhces, and have detailed them in the forum before. The question is simple, if you think they're all the same, what is the benefit to the GSO, if you understand they are different, then why the GSO instead of the GF9500 or GF9400, and why omit the HD4650?

Quote:
2600pro has all the major points, like AVIVO and dx10. It addresses OP's needs. 9600gso don't have AVIVO, but does support PureHD, which really isn't inferior, just a different name of similar acceleration offered by a rival company.


It's more complicated than that, and both AVIVO and PureVideo have evolved from generation to generation, which is the point I'm specifically addressing, and you seem to be unaware of. As to either being 'inferior', it depends on the task, and really, I would say that regardless of the PR names, the features the chips support, and that would be relevant to the OP's question, goes HD2600<GF9600GSO<HD4650, but I don't think you still grasp why since you think they're equal and it's about AVIVO or PureVideo being superior or inferior and not about the hardware within (you're confusing the two obviously). You also miss the idea that other Geforces would be cheaper still and offer the same features.

Simply put, the more I read your replies, the more I get the feeling you really understand what is different about the requirements here for something that is a media-centric PC that is not focused on gaming. I agree the GSO is a good value for gaming, but it doesn't really match the requirements of this thread, and for the same reasons I wouldn't suggest an HD4850 as it's overkill, the same goes for the GF9600GSO, because pretty much everything it can do related to the OP's question can be accomplished by the GF9500GT for less.

You talk in circles about 'how is performing better a con as long as it's cheaper?' which doesn't address the situation here. How do you think the GF9600GSO performs better than the HD4650 or HD4670? Because it doesn't in this scenario. The limited ways in which the GF9600GSO would perform better than the HD2600Pro you seem unable to address, and yet I and others here have discussed them time and again. So like I said, explain specifically how you think the GF9600GSO performs better than the HD4650, and what you think it performs better at than the HD2600Pro that is worth it's price? Or why it's worth more than a GF8600/9400/9500 Once again, I think you're relying on gaming performance, and that's not what the OP is talking about. Otherwise it should be easy to explain how the GF9600GSO fits your performing better for cheaper vis-a vis the HD4650, GF9500GT and even the HD2600P, the last one I give you because it should be an easy one as that's the only one that really has a strong case for it.

edit - Well as I was writing this on the way out from work, this thread updated itself. Anywho, I don't know if you understand the differences better now or not, but I'll tell you this pure and simple, the hardware differences go HD2600 (which I own) < GF9xxx < HD4K. I'll explain more when I get home specifically why, and why it matters to the OP, but Emp at least pointed you in the right direction. :D 
October 1, 2008 1:28:59 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
HD2600 (which I own) < GF9xxx < HD4K. I'll explain more when I get home specifically why, and why it matters to the OP, but Emp at least pointed you in the right direction. :D 


Ah, fine, you won. :D 
Price is in the same 2600<9600gso<4650/70 order though.

I have a feeling that OP was long gone, and we're just a bunch of dorks debating details that normal people don't even care for anymore. :na: 

But anyway, let's at least agree that 2600, coupled with any half decent cpu, is enough for hd playback. If OP puts that Blue Ray into the drive, it'll play smoothly with all 3 graphics cards. 9600gso and 4650 will give the same smooth playback, for $20 and $40 more respectively. Sure, it's lower cpu utilization than 2600, but as long as it doesn't bottlneck OP won't notice a difference. So 2600 is the practical choice for someone who just wanted to watch hd movies and wanted something that gets the job done. The 9600gso I suggested, and 4670 you did are both overkills for more money than necessary.
October 1, 2008 1:46:23 AM

Now I'll hijack the thread for my own benefit to enrich my knowledge and want an answer on a few questions.

1.) Which one would you say offers the better picture quality? AVIVO HD or PurevideoHD?

2.) Should I set on my CCC Edge enhancement, de-noising, Color vibrance, and flesh tone correction to the maximum?

3.) As I understand it, do I need an AVIVO compatible player to make full use of it? I use the KMPlayer that I found on wikipedia as being fully compatible.

I'd really like to understand more of this stuff to be able to offer more sensitive advice (That and because I'm buying an HDTV soon :p ).
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 4:35:51 AM

dagger said:
Ah, fine, you won. :D 
Price is in the same 2600<9600gso<4650/70 order though.


I grant the prices are similar to features (although the 4650 is closer to the average GSO, but just replace it with a GF9500GT and we're at the same point). But he didn't really say he was strapped for cash, just wanting to know if the HD2600XT was overkill. Which depends on your tasks.

Quote:
I have a feeling that OP was long gone, and we're just a bunch of dorks debating details that normal people don't even care for anymore. :na: 


Perhaps, however for future reference it's good to get it clear.

Quote:
But anyway, let's at least agree that 2600, coupled with any half decent cpu, is enough for hd playback. If OP puts that Blue Ray into the drive, it'll play smoothly with all 3 graphics cards. 9600gso and 4650 will give the same smooth playback, for $20 and $40 more respectively.


Yes, but that's the advantage of the HD2600 (and GF8600) over even the HD2900 and G80 based GF8800GTX/GTS. However there's additional advantages as we talked about.

Quote:
Sure, it's lower cpu utilization than 2600, but as long as it doesn't bottlneck OP won't notice a difference. So 2600 is the practical choice for someone who just wanted to watch hd movies and wanted something that gets the job done. The 9600gso I suggested, and 4670 you did are both overkills for more money than necessary.


Now that misses the point I was trying to drive home as to why the GF9500/9600 and HD4K are better than the HD2600 and why they would do things likely that just any good CPU couldn't, and why a good CPU would benefit from even partial help of the HD2600. Dual stream decode is very handy for both BR profile 1.1 movies as well as a multiscreens. Even playing just older BR titles, run Vista in windowed mode and you suddenly kill the performance of cards without this feature. Doesn't seem important for most people, but for someone who's talking about ediitng and using BR rips, it's quit possible that he'd be watching something in windowed mode. And if we're buying for future use, then supporting BR 1.1 PIP or BonusView commentary (to be different from HD-DVD) simultaneous decoding is a good idea. This was a software update to the GF9 series, it's a hardware update for the HD4K.
Now even further than that a few other items;
- the HD4K series (like the HD2600) also supports full VC-1 acceleration, this is not a major issue, but it depends on the rig, the new integrated nVidia chips now support full VC-1 acceleration as well, while the GF9 and GTX2xx were still partial (still an improvement on the GF8s).
- the HD4K improved their ability to upscale BR titles to resolutions above 1080p, which is handy for those with larger panels, this is still an issue for other cards that struggle to do both.
- the HD4K added both DVI and HDMI playback of deep colour 10bit per channel HDMI 1.3 support (still only part of the way, still think they won't go 12 and not 16 for a while), while ATi cards could support 10bit per channel since the R9700 and nV since the GF8600, they didn't offer it for protected HD content.
- the HD4K also supports decoding of multi-channel HD audio, whether or not this is a concern is a personal thing, but with capable receivers coming down in price (I've seen the Onkyo 606 on sale for $299), anyone interested in HDCP support for 1080P to me would want all options open for future upgrades, especially for BD3.0 which is an audio-centric update, it's something that as Cleeve mentioned in is review is a situation that's role reversed in ATi and nV's integrated products.

As for the quality debate, I don't bother, because they change position so often and it's so subjective, that beyond the hardware limits, everything else is up for interpretation.

What matters to whom, is like discussing CAL/CTM vs CUDA, but the end result is more options, and that's the point. The HD4650 doesn't lose you anything, but whether you need more than the GF9500GT or HD2600 is another story. However IMO if you plan on watching alot of BR movies in the future, then defeinitely get at least an HD2600/GF8600.
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 5:11:34 AM

emp said:


1.) Which one would you say offers the better picture quality? AVIVO HD or PurevideoHD?


I wouldn't they offer different things. Some are better than others, and just like digital vibrance or the 'VIVID' setting on a SONY TV, you might prefer something that is not visually correct, but looks 'better' to you because it pops. You can mathematically compare the two images, and they are both very close. The funniest thing is that the best test between the two was actually wrought with flaws because the PCs weren't set up properly and then they tested one PC with image enhancements and the other without (because the IHV said whenever you test always turn off enhancements [just like saying when running benchmarks turn off optimizations/floptimizations) which doesn't really show either system to it's true benefit. Most people who use both find them very VERY close, and if you set them up properly, then both will accurately reproduce the image portrayed on the HD media.

Quote:
2.) Should I set on my CCC Edge enhancement, de-noising, Color vibrance, and flesh tone correction to the maximum?


No, I would start at default at tweak for different content.
My experience, edge enhancement and de-noising cause problems for some content.
I haven't had experience using the other two personally on a long term basis just played around with them. The only thing I'd likely prefer at max all the time on an LCD TV would be contrast enhancement, it was impressive for an LCD, but not sure whether it would be as good for a CRT, DLP or Plasma.

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3.) As I understand it, do I need an AVIVO compatible player to make full use of it? I use the KMPlayer that I found on wikipedia as being fully compatible.


Yes.

Some of the basic questions about AVIVO and PureVideo can be answered at ATi and nV's sites, they have some good whitepapers, briefs, guides and FAQs but it is primarily for setup and use than the technical stuff.

I would suggest checking out some AV forums if you have specific questions in the future, because usually someone else has encountered whatever issue too, and likely figured out how to fix it collectively.
October 1, 2008 5:13:11 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:

In general the HD4850 would be overkill, generate more backplate heat (even with an aftermarket cooler [which you could apply to either]) and draw alot more power both at idle and heavy 2D.

Yeah, really. HD4850... thats exactly like recommending someone an 8800Ultra for blu-ray and video editing. I think the HD 4650 would be plenty in this situation... though a HD4670 can't hurt...
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-char...
An HD4850 is definately wayyyy overkill.... though, again, besides the heat, more power always=better :) 
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 5:17:18 AM

Yeah the only thing I can see the HD4850 or GTX 2xx being good for in this scenario would be a GPGPU aspect. And right now I'm not sure if the difference would make an HD4850 much more attractive than an HD4670 for such a thing.

It's still early days for that too.
October 1, 2008 5:17:21 AM

Thanks for the answer... Since you're around I'll use you one more time :p  (Starting to feel dirty for doing this though...).

I'm planning on getting an LCD TV soon and these the models I have eyed (all around the same price):

Samsung 40" LN40A550

LG 42" 42LG60

Sharp 42" LC42D64U

I was wondering if I'll see major image distortions similar to Computer LCDs if I run 720p content or play PC games at 720p (All have a native res of 1080p) compared to a native 720p TV?

Yeah sorry I went so off topic, but I got carried away :) 
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 5:26:06 AM

Yeah, you'll definitely see artifacts. TVs usually have pretty good and fast hardware scalers, but they're still imperfect.

From my experiences of 2 of the 3 you listed above, the Samsung handled off-resolution content (especially SD material) better than the LG. I haven't seen the Sharp.

The biggest issue I saw was occasional gap jumps on the LG and some blockiness. But for the most part they do a better job than most desktop LCDs, however text is still going to suffer terribly, so you may notice it in things like the hud, but static images are a little easier and not so noticeable from my experience.

October 1, 2008 5:34:22 AM

I figured as much, that's why I'm not throwing away my 19" screen :p . Which would you think would be a better choice? I lean strongly towards Samsung, to the point where some would consider me a fanboy. But at least I'm a fanboy willing to explore other options :D 

And thanks for helping with this... I've had a horrible time getting an answer during the past month on this subject. I'm starting to love you more than a drunk loves a $2 whore...

Last, but not least (And I promise this is the last one), do you think it'd be worth it to get a 1080p TV over a 720p if I'm almost sure to display 720p 95% of the time? Like usual, cost difference isn't really a thing to consider with me, even if I don't have it... I'll manage to get it somehow
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2008 6:12:06 AM

The 3 look good at native with HD content, but because of the Samsung's ability with SD content and it's slightly better blacks IMO, I prefer the Samsung. Also the LG sucked at de-interlacing, Sharp was ok.
But I still prefer Plasmas personally, but I had to shop for one for a friend (he's still stuck on a Sony though, which is a good panel but overpriced IMO), and really he is a sucker for the 'vivid' setting which does make football look 'hyper green'.

That's a tough question, most short term content will be primarily 720P for those not in the BluRay and HD-DVD crowd. Now I own about 40 HD-DVDs and 20 BluRay disks and rent them all the time, so for me 1080i is better than 720P, let alone 1080P. Especially since CBC which carries hockey and the Olympics in Canada is 1080i. TSN is 720P, Sportsnet 1080i and TSN2 is supposedly 1080i (I have a feeling all are moving to 1080i then 1080p eventually).
But if you're not watching BR titles or HD television, then most internet stuff will be primarily 720P for the near term, due to download size and broadcast limits and such. But I suspect in 3-5 years you'll see things move to primarily 1080P even for gaming consoles.

So my view on it is, if you're looking for the best experience, and don't mind upgrading, then buy a solid but inexpensive (not cheap, just not expensive [no Kuro 720P]) Panel that supports 720P, and then in 3-5 years sell it and upgrade to a by then inexpensive 1080P panel with updated technology (might be OLED by then (doubt it, but I can dream).

As nice as it is to have a 1080P panel, what's the point if most of your content is 720P? Just know that eventually everything will be 1080P.
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