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Upgrade from Intel HD 3000 GPU?

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January 20, 2012 4:40:02 PM

I have a relatively new system built around an Intel I5-2500K CPU and an ASUS P8Z68V-PRO/GEN3 motherboard. The Intel I5-2500K has the Intel HD 3000 GPU, which I understand to be perfectly good for general use. I don't do any gaming but I do some video encoding.

I was thinking of upgrading to a discrete video card, but don't want to spend a lot of $$ with under $100 my goal. Can anyone recommend something that would be an upgrade over the HD 3000 but still under $100? Also, I have a 500W PSU and don't want to have to upgrade it, so something that will work with it as well.

I've heard good things about the Radeon HD 5670 being a good value.

Also, there seems to be a ton of re-branding when it comes to video chipsets. How do you know which brand of card to buy once you figure out which chipset you want?

Thanks!

More about : upgrade intel 3000 gpu

a c 259 U Graphics card
January 20, 2012 4:50:54 PM

I am not an expert on video encoding, but I understand that the "quick sync" capability of the HD3000 integrated graphics can massively improve encoding with certain apps.
Do some research there first. In general, discrete graphics cards are meant for fast action gamers.

In general, you get what you pay for with discrete graphics cards. I understand that HD3000 is comparable to a $50 discrete card.
At the same price point, Nvidia and AMD will perform comparably. There are fanboys for each.
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a b U Graphics card
January 20, 2012 4:59:12 PM

Probably the best value on Newegg at $99 is a 6750 with gddr5: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But like geofelt said, make sure you actually need it for something. I don't do any video work, but in gaming the 6750 will blow Intel 3000 away.
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a c 175 U Graphics card
January 20, 2012 5:15:09 PM

Yes, get the 6750, just make sure you have one vacant PCI-E connector (6-pin or 6+2-pin) for Power.
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January 20, 2012 5:20:37 PM

Thanks for the replies. As I understand it, only a few applications take advantage of Intel's Quick Synch and the program I use for encoding (TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works 5) is not one of them (I don't think anyway; will have to check into it more).
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a c 259 U Graphics card
January 20, 2012 5:24:54 PM

Here is an article on video encoding using quick sync. If you can use Cyberlink’s Media Espresso 6 or Arcsoft’s Media Converter 7, the quick sync capability will be superior.
Here is a quote from the article:


"Quick Sync is just awesome. It's simply the best way to get videos onto your smartphone or tablet. Not only do you get most if not all of the quality of a software based transcode, you get performance that's better than what high-end discrete GPUs are able to offer. If you do a lot of video transcoding onto portable devices, Sandy Bridge will be worth the upgrade for Quick Sync alone."

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...
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January 20, 2012 5:38:33 PM

Thanks, but I'm sticking with my TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works 5 program. The programs above seem to be focused on output formats suitable for mobile/portable devices, whereas I am creating output suitable for DVD, and eventually, BluRay players. Quality over speed. Yea, I'm "old school". :) 
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a b U Graphics card
January 20, 2012 6:21:35 PM

OK, here is some information that will help you out:

Video encoding is simply not sped up by getting a better GPU. Video encoding is done on the CPU, or will be accelerated IF the software you use supports some GPU technologies (such as CUDA with Adobe Premiere), and even then it is only IF you have enough CUDA cores (think the GTX 480/570/580 which are rather expensive cards to begin with) to make it faster than the CPU encoding would be. Even with those large GPUs it only speeds up the export time for SOME supported transitions and effects/color correction, and will not speed up the process of encoding regular plane-jane video. The HD3000 has a technology called Quicksink, which is ridiculously fast at encoding/reincoding/transcoding video, and is leaps and bounds faster at encoding than even the GTX590 for that type of task, so really you WILL NOT see ANY performance improvement in rendering video by moving to a dedicated GPU.

Now, all that said, with the little (like only once) I have played with quicksink I can tell you that while fast, it does export to a larger file size and of less quality than many other software/CPU encoders. Is it bad? no. But doing things the 'old and slow' way will give you a slightly better/smaller end product. But like I said, I have only messed with it once, and there may be ways to tweak it to work better.

If you want to purchase a dedicated GPU for better multi-monitor support, or to play games, then I would go with some of the suggestions here for an AMD gpu, or possibly look into Matrox if you need something low power and running 3-9 monitors (they suck at most things, but they are the oldest/best company for low power multi monitor solutions). If you want CUDA support then know that you will need a high end card to make it worth it (but oh boy is it awesome!), as well as the editing software the supports it.

Much more important than the GPU (at least for video editing, and especially for HD content) is the RAM and HDD setup. If you do not have a minimum of 16GB of ram then seriously consider upgrading that first. The more data you cram into RAM the faster/smother things will go than trying to spool off a HDD. When I built my system back in November and went from 4GB to 16GB I thought it would be way overkill for anything I would use it for... but I was wrong. The first project I imported used up 14GB of ram, considering I have Adobe Premiere set to leave 2GB alone for other programs this means that I have maxed out my RAM already. Buying 8GB sticks is expensive so it will be a while before I upgrade.
If you have plenty of RAM then the next step is your data storage. Your average HDD can only read/write 120MB/s, but it cannot sustain that if it is reading and writing at the same time. I suggest having a minimum of 1 system drive (preferably an SSD, but HDDs work just fine), 1 data/content drive (as large as possible), and 1 export drive (does not have to be particularly large, just fast. SSDs work well for this also). Any drive smaller than 1.5TB should be a minimum of 7200RPM, anything 2TB or larger can be 5900RPM, but do not buy any 5400RPM drives. RAID is also helpful, but you still need the 3 separate purpose drives first for best performance, then it is most important to RAID the content drive, followed by RAIDing the render drive. Do not combine the content/render drives even with RAID unless you are doing RAID 10 or some other configuration where there are 3 or more drives involved. Avoid RAID 0 like the plague as there is no redundancy, and if one drive goes then your whole project is gone! People say that RAID0 is just as likely to fail as a single drive, but that is false. 2 drives means it is 2x as likely for something to go wrong, no matter how you do your math.
For my own setup I have a 500GB system drive, 1TB documents/render drive, and 1TB project/content drive. When I can afford a 240+GB SSD then I will use that as my system drive, then use 60GB of the SSD as a cache for my 500GB drive (which will then be documents/export), and then RAID my 1TB drives (RAID1) for my content. disc throughput is by far my #1 bottleneck in the system at the moment, and adding the SSD/cache/RAID will greatly improve (perhaps 2x) my performance, which is way more than my GTX570 is doing for me, but as I game from time to time, and SSD prices are still droping like a rock, the GPU was the smarter purchase for me at the moment.

Hope that helps!
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a b U Graphics card
January 20, 2012 6:30:14 PM

am_dew said:
Thanks, but I'm sticking with my TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works 5 program. The programs above seem to be focused on output formats suitable for mobile/portable devices, whereas I am creating output suitable for DVD, and eventually, BluRay players. Quality over speed. Yea, I'm "old school". :) 

Your software does support CUDA processing! Woot!
http://tmpgenc.pegasys-inc.com/en/product/tvmw5_spec.ht...
It says you need at least a GT240 or better. So any card that has at least 96 CUDA cores, and is more modern than a GT240 will do the trick for you. So this means you should only look at nVidia cards, and even the 550ti has 192 CUDA cores, and costs $120, on sale they are ~$100. Again, please note that as I said above, the HDD throughput and RAM are much more important than CUDA processing. Only get the CUDA is you have already got 3 HDDs, and as much RAM as your board can take. Also, make sure your power supply is big enough for whatever card you throw in.
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January 20, 2012 6:34:29 PM

Wow...thanks CaedenV !!

I've always been confused by what role the video card plays in video encoding and your post really clear a lot of that up for me.

My system is pretty well set I think...I have 16GB of good quality DDR3 RAM and my content/rendering HDDs, while not in RAID, they are all 7200 RPM SATA2 or SATA3 WD Caviar Black drives with good size caches on them. I do have an SSD but it's only 80GB so I use it only for Windows 7 and my programs. I recently encoded a 2.5 hour 1080P MP-4 clip down to DVD MPG-2 format in about 2 hours...that was using 2-pass VBR...I thought was pretty good all things considered.
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a b U Graphics card
January 20, 2012 7:02:26 PM

Sounds like a beautiful little setup! And interesting software as well, not a bad price assuming it does everything it says it does (though I am quite happy with Adobe Premiere :)  ). If it runs anything like mine does you should be pretty happy with it for a long time coming!
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January 20, 2012 8:00:41 PM

CaedenV said:
Sounds like a beautiful little setup! And interesting software as well, not a bad price assuming it does everything it says it does (though I am quite happy with Adobe Premiere :)  ). If it runs anything like mine does you should be pretty happy with it for a long time coming!


Yea, I am very happy with the system and the software. I am just a video hobbyist who enjoys creating DVDs for my personal use and sharing with close freinds, and the TMPGEnc software I use, does so without being overly complex or technical, but at the same time, provides excellent results I think. This new system is a HUGE step up from my previous and well-aged and band-aided 10+ year old system with an AMD XP 2400+ CPU -- which did serve me very well, but needless to say, it was time for an upgrade.

Thanks again...your input saved me $100! :) 

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January 23, 2012 3:40:27 PM

Best answer selected by am_dew.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
January 23, 2012 4:23:05 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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