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Best HTPC card using HDMI w/true hd audio

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 3, 2010 3:37:05 PM

I need a good HTPC video card and would like some advice. I 'm looking at the ATI Radeon 4350/4550 or HD 4670. I know the 4670 is the better card perf wise but my main concern is that it will decode bluray etc codec's so it will it can play 1080P with bitstreaming to my reciever. I want to have true hd audio ...obviously without having to route extra cables internally or to the receiver. I prefer Nvidia because I think they have more mature driver base and performance but I'm not sure about their HTPC cards. It doesn't have to be able to play crisis or anything but that would be extra as it's main purpose is to stream video content like bluray, avi/mkv/avchd etc to my projector via Onkyo 507 receiver. it's only 5.1 but that's all I could afford and old fart like me can't hear more than the stereo, wife, kid and myself so that makes me 3.1 audio capable. So 5.1 is okay for me lol.... yeh so any input is appreciated.

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June 3, 2010 4:47:24 PM

The ATI HD4xxx can't bitstream HD audio, though they can do LPCM. If you want HD audio bitstreaming, then you must step up to the HD5xxx series of video cards.

Unfortunately, Nvidia is lagging behind AMD/ATI in the HTPC video card niche.

If you want something inexpensive, the HD5450 will work for you. If you watch a lot of interlaced content, you may need more muscle like the HD5670 to handle vector adaptive de-interlacing.
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June 3, 2010 5:40:58 PM

I would go with the HD 5570 as lower end video cards tend to exclude some of the video processing circuitry of moderately priced video cards. The result would generally mean the HD 5570 will utilize the CPU less and also offer silightly better video quality.

See below review with some scores. Note that at a certain point quality is subjective.


http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...

Based on the scores, the HD 5670 and HD 5570 ties for video playback purposes.


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June 5, 2010 5:19:16 PM

True HD is supported by 5XXX ATI family card. The 4XXX HDMI/Audio is not True HD but it supports 7.1 Audio that you can feed to your TV or receiver.

Get the new 5XXX ATI family card to get better quality sound.

For NVIDIA the fermi generation cards support TRUE HD audio. At this stage its too early to acquire the first generation of Fermi card. There's too many unresolved issues with the Fermi DIE. Nvidia can't even release a version with all Cores Enable.
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June 7, 2010 12:07:47 PM

rwpritchett said:
The ATI HD4xxx can't bitstream HD audio, though they can do LPCM. If you want HD audio bitstreaming, then you must step up to the HD5xxx series of video cards.

Unfortunately, Nvidia is lagging behind AMD/ATI in the HTPC video card niche.

If you want something inexpensive, the HD5450 will work for you. If you watch a lot of interlaced content, you may need more muscle like the HD5670 to handle vector adaptive de-interlacing.


Great input! didn't know that HD4xxx didn't bitstream HD audio, good catch there. so looks like I will be taking a closer look at the HD5670. thanks once again rwpritchett :) 
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June 7, 2010 12:14:01 PM

jaguarskx said:
I would go with the HD 5570 as lower end video cards tend to exclude some of the video processing circuitry of moderately priced video cards. The result would generally mean the HD 5570 will utilize the CPU less and also offer silightly better video quality.

See below review with some scores. Note that at a certain point quality is subjective.


http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...

Based on the scores, the HD 5670 and HD 5570 ties for video playback purposes.



thanks for responding to my cries for help jaguarskx, I appreciate it. I am looking at the review this morning .... while I'm at work.
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June 7, 2010 1:00:07 PM

Best answer selected by bunz_of_steel.
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June 7, 2010 1:03:18 PM

leon2006 said:
True HD is supported by 5XXX ATI family card. The 4XXX HDMI/Audio is not True HD but it supports 7.1 Audio that you can feed to your TV or receiver.

Get the new 5XXX ATI family card to get better quality sound.

For NVIDIA the fermi generation cards support TRUE HD audio. At this stage its too early to acquire the first generation of Fermi card. There's too many unresolved issues with the Fermi DIE. Nvidia can't even release a version with all Cores Enable.


Thanks for answering leon2006, I appreciate your help here. I must also agree that Nvidia is lacking in this area of HTPC. I will be sticking to the ATI cards. :D 
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