Sapphire HD 3850 AGP 512MB 1080p problem...

I've got a Sapphire HD 3850 AGP 512MB card running on a P4 2.4c OC'd to 2.7 with 2GB PC3200 RAM on an Asus P4P800 Deluxe mobo.

I've been googling this question for days and I've read some posts that this problem has been solved. However, no one has given a step by step explanation on how to get it working and I'm new to the whole HD thing so I hope someone here can help me out.

Gaming works great with this card. I'm running games like Oblivion and Fallout 3 with good results, and older games like Half Life 2 are just flawless. I'm satisfied there. I've tried overclocking the card however I haven't seen any improvements in gaming. I know the stock heatsink and fan isn't that great, however my case is really well ventilated, and I've watched the GPU temp never go past 70 C when overclocked, and it stays below 60 C when I got it running stock.

My problem is with HD playback. That's one of the reasons I got the card. I found out later that the HD 3xxx series that are AGP and built by third party developers aren't that great and have had a whole bunch of problems. Nevertheless, I'm come across tons of posts reporting a lot of the issues have been solved.

The problem is that any HD playback can and should be processed by the GPU. However, when running a 1080p MKV the GPU stays at around 1-2% while my CPU load hits 100%. This is the reason I'm getting stuttering video and sound. I get that. I've also read that some guys have managed to get the GPU to do the processing, but I haven't found any real instructions on how to do this. If anyone could help me out on this one, I'd really be grateful.
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More about sapphire 3850 512mb 1080p problem
  1. Your cpu is far too weak for HD video and anything more than light gaming.
    The reason your performance in games didn't improve when you OC'ed the card is your cpu is bottlenecking your gpu.

    The solution: Save up your money and get a new pc.
  2. I agree with you 100%, but all my spare cash at this point is going into my '89 Mazda 323 Turbo. And like I said before, I've read posts that people with a P4 2.8 have been able to run HD without a hitch as long as the GPU is doing the work. So back to my original question, what codec/player combo should I be looking at to get my HD 3850's GPU to take over the processing of 1080p videos as opposed to dumping it on the CPU? I heard there are players (or maybe it was some sort of codecs) out there that would let you force the HD video to process through the GPU using ATI's Avivo codec. I've installed that codec, and I've downloaded a few players that have the feature to make my graphic hardware do the work, but when I run the video the CPU still hits 100% load while the GPU is practically at idle.
  3. [1080p mkv + P4 = S.O.L
    there is no codec combo... core avc is junk not matter wht people say i had a top of the line p4 oced at 3.3 ghz 3 gigs of ram tried a 7600gt tried 3850 tried for over year till i picked up a dell with a 3450 hdmi and a core2duo e7400 this machine eats 1080 for lunch and looks amazing on my 40inch 550 series samsung i did get 1080p wmv off the p4 but eh it was laged at time

    STAY AWAY FROM CODEC PACKS only use ffdshow+media player classic for mkv
  4. I don't know what 'S.O.L.' means.

    Assuming you mean a P4 will never play a 1080p mkv, fine. Lets just accept that fact for now. You guys are still not answering my question. How do you get the HD 3850's GPU to take over the decoding of h264 mkv's, lets say its a 720p which I can play no problem, but still ends up putting almost 100% load on my CPU. The HD 3850 GPU is supposed to be able to do the decoding so the CPU doesn't have to. How do I go about setting that up?
  5. Quote:
    HD 3850's GPU to take over the decoding of h264 mkv's

    not going to happen stick with 720p no shame
  6. Quote:
    I don't know what 'S.O.L.' means

    *** outa luck
  7. So why is there so much info out there saying that the HD 3850 can decode this sort of thing with its own hardware?
  8. Inseino said:
    So why is there so much info out there saying that the HD 3850 can decode this sort of thing with its own hardware?

    power dvd will use it to decode legit bluray from a bluray disc
  9. try to use CoreAVC to decode H264 mkv files and seeif that helps

  10. read this also (and follow the links) :
  11. I don t know if my answer is post too late....but is a solution
    You need windows media encoder 9 series , ac3 dts codec , arcsoft total media theatre version 2!Atention , you must uninstal all codec or other software hat are to do with video play.Run this.....WORK.....procesor usage....25-30% :bounce:
  12. late post too but for info I have found a usefull how to guide to get h264 decoded by the gpu (got it working with my sapphire HD3850 agp and hotfix for catalyst 9.9) :

    read here :

    you have to use one of the few media players that can use ati hardware to decode HD (Media Player Classic as described in the link above, or Arcsoft Totalmedia Theatre 3 for example) ; and of course setup the options accordingly... uninstall (or block) all other codecs installed that could prevent hardware decoding on your pc.

    if you don't succeed, CoreAVC is still the software decoding way that puts the less stress on your cpu

  13. I just installed the MPC-HD project player and it plays Microsoft WMV HD files much better than Windows Media Player. It seems that only Windows 7 has a decent HD decoder.

    (Asus P4SD-LA, P4 2.8HT and HD 3850)

    If I play the file in WMP a few times, it gets better and the Media Foundation Protected Pipeline process takes ~60% CPU. Meanwhile MPC HD takes about the same CPU and plays smoother but still not excellent and won't tolerate any other apps running > 5% CPU.

    It still seems too high. The CPU should be used only to read binary and move it into a pipeline for the GPU to decode. I'm not convinced that the GPU is doing anything. Is it the sound that's now an overhead?

    Nothing just works in PC-land and it seems no one gets it. As computers and TV and the web all converge, the PC platform will lose out if companies don't pull together and sort this out.

    I'm surprised as I thought spending on a HD card would be the whole deal, and ATI/AMD would supply an HD decoder for their h/w, like when I bought the PureVideo decoder for my NVidia.

    What's this Avivo thing? It doesn't help me. It's just marketing B/S to me.
  14. In my experience (with MPC-HC and catalyst), I had issues with the last ati drivers, maybe try older ones if hardware acceleration doesn't work as it should.
    Or try Arcsoft Totalmedia Theatre 3 (check in the optionsration is enabled) : it works with all drivers

    other interesting guide :

    does it help?
  15. can't edit my last post, I don't know why

    read: (...) Or try Arcsoft Totalmedia Theatre 3 (check in the options that DXVA acceleration is enabled) : it works with all drivers
  16. to be sure DXVA works when watching an HD movie in MPC-HC : right clic in the movie > Filters > choose at the bottom of the menu the name of your movie>Properties

    in the example above, CoreAVC is used, it's software decoded (I'm not at home on my pc), but so you can see how MPC-HC decodes your h264 movies... hardware or not
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