My first HTPC, will use Windows 7 x64 Med.Center, but do I need high-powered GPU for my 65" HD TV?
If this question has been asked ad nauseum, please just point me to the right thread to read, and accept my apologies.
I was setting up my planned New Egg HTPC wishlist, and then someone told me that for my TV, I'll need serious GPU hardware... I was thinking a new 780G on board chipset would do the trick, but maybe that's naive.
I have a Hauppauge 2250 for recording shows from cable, and it has hardware mpeg2 encoders. I realize this doesn't do anything for the signal going out to the TV, though. I guess what I don't understand is: If I playback my High Def (QAM) recorded shows from the HDD (so they'll be in MPEG2 format, right?), or if the Blue Ray player I'm going to install is playing a BR disc (uh.... h.234? format ?), are these CPU tasks, or is something that I need a powerful Graphics card for, or neither (meaning the onboard Radeon 3200 can handle it??). Please point me in the right direction for my HTPC and 65" TV to fall madly and passionately in love with each other.
As far as the graphics card is concerned, a 65" TV @ 1920x1080 is the same as a 24" monitor @ 1920x1080. No, you don't need an uber graphics card to play back hi-def content. The HD3200 chipset will handle blu-ray at 1080p without a problem provided you have at least a dual-core processor.
I'd probably recommend going with just the HD3200 for starters. If you notice some glitches (pauses/freezes) then upgrade to something with a little more power behind it.
Wolf is right.The HD3200 will play blu-ray back without a hitch.I have a 40inch Polaroid LCD and the onboard of my ASUS M3A78-EM was a HD3200 and it far surpassed my expectations.As far as your tv goes I got the same t.v in my den.And if you hook up your HTPC to it it will only display 1280x720 so keep that in mind.And if you want to upgrade you can find some older HD3870's for around 50 bucks.
I use a 70 Inch HDTV @ 1080P. I use it for work, games, and watching video HD-movies (Recorded Tv shows, HD-Disc, Blue-Ray).
All videos are set to 1080P, Games are set at 1080P.... My workspace is set to 1080P.
I also use Hauppage 2250 HD Tuner.... I record HD -TV shows. The biggest recorded HD-TV shows that i did is ~ 27GB(27 Gigabyte). Extended shows like superbowl, Grammy Awards shows, or Olympic Basketball Games. The files are big but the videos are great.
My PC coonfiguration is below... For the money spent on this 70 Inch Display that i have i make sure that i drive it with the best video card possible. I don't go for the minimum.
I have tried the different video cards... 3870 512, 4870 512, 8800GT OC 512, GTX 280 OC and now i have XOC 4890. For better games i plan to crossfire soon with another 4890.
The 3870 512 or equivalent of 8800GT 512 is the min i can recommend. You don't want your system PAUSING when handling huge recorded HD-FILES.
If you have a better CPU and Video card you can watch Blue-Ray, Watch HD-TV, Record another HD-TV show, do something else on another window all at the same time with out degradation in performance. No video skips , image distortion , or missed frames.
This published video cards that are on the min-category will choke if not will result to skips frames, inferior images during playback or recording.
FERRARI needs a racing tires or its as good as regular Honda-Civic.
This is a very helpful forum. Thanks for the response, everyone. I'm still somewhat confused, though. The general consensus is the onboard gpu will be fine for all intents & purposes (btw, I rarely play games if that makes a difference, just want sharp, fast, smooth hi-def playback no matter what format-QAM, BlueRay, analog, etc...)
But Leon2006 has a Hauppauge 2250, 70" TV, and records QAM hi-def signal, and says a powerful GPU is just about necessary, and this sounds like the set up I'm going for.
AKM880, to add a little more detail on my current PC (which is subbing as the HTPC "laboratory" while I amass and research the parts of my 1st HTPC), I have a:
#ASRock Full Display Port MoBo (AMD 780G chipset/Radeon 3200 onboard GPU)
#AMD Phenom x3 2.3ghz. Toliman... uh... I think it's the 8650?
#Hauppauge 2250, which I will install and figure out this weekend
#Another tuner card, not dual tuner, QAM compatible, (forget specs), also will install soon and test out.
#ASUS EAH 3450 discrete card Hybrid Crossfired w/ onboard GPU
#4 gigs OCZ 1066 DDR2
#2 WD 320 gig HDDs in RAID1 (was having problems with RAID 0, and RAID 1 has been stable so far)
#550 watt crossfire/80plus cert. PSU
#Windows 7 RC x64, plan on learning Media Center after I get the tuner cards installed, hooked up to my cable.
What I plan on getting:
#OEM BlueRay player
#Nice component style case, maybe AHANIX or Moneual,
#Media center remote (if not included w/ case)
#Probably another ASRock mobo, pref ATX, but maybe mATX if HTPC case needs it.
#Probably the dual core AMD processor that's 2.7ghz, and 45 watts... (if I remember right). Less watts means cooler temps, right?
#Probably 4 gigs (dual channel) DDR2 800 or 1066 GEIL RAM, as I've read that it's inexpensive and runs cool.
#Probably an ATI Discrete GPU based on recommendations from this thread.
Thanks again for all the quality input, it's hard to find on a lot of forums.
Oh, and I plan on putting a PCI wireless internet card in the HTPC mobo so I don't have to mess with running CAT5 all over the house. Anyone else done this? Are you getting reasonably fast downloading off wireless as opposed to ethernet?
Since you have a Phenom X3, you don't need a strong GPU to do any DXVA. That CPU can handle most types of highly enocded HD files anyways. The HD 3200 will be good for HD and Bluray but no gaming, I can see you don't game anyways. Good luck!