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963 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 20310 20-Mar-2008 09:48 Send private message

Updated 27 November


Setting up a list of supported video cards as there are alot of questions popping up about will my system handle it.

So in short if you have any of the following video cards your system once it has the correct software SHOULD be able to handle the H.264 video.

I am not saying that everycard on this list will work perfect but based on the SPECS it will work.

If you have one of these cards and it does not work let us know and I will take it off the list.

NVIDIA® ForceWare® driver greater than or equal to version 158.18.
I suggest the latest availabe from:

XP 32 bit:http://downloads.guru3d.com/Videocards---NVIDIA-ForceWare-(32-bit)_c10.html
Vista: http://downloads.guru3d.com/Videocards---NVIDIA-ForceWare-Vista_c32.html

If you looking to buy a new GFX card for this purpose make sure you only buy a card from the top block (8xxx or 9xxx). These cards are PCI-e and will not work in computers older than about 2 years.

Download GPUZ http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/843/TechPowerUp_GPU-Z_v0.1.7.html and it will tell you the bus interface you are using.

If you already have a card that is on this list it may be worth trying based on your other system components but note you may have to upgrade your GFX card as well.

Support HDCP which may become a future requirement.
look here for semi complete list: http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1071342
you need to ensure your card type and manufacturer model number is supported not just the card model.


Nvidia:
PCI-E
GeForce 9800 GX2
GeForce 9600 GT 
GeForce 9400GT  Reported working - Best option for HTPC
GeForce 8800 GTX No longer recommended
GeForce 8800 GTS  No longer recommended the 320MB and 640MB versions
GeForce 8800 GT
GeForce 8600 GTS
GeForce 8600 GT  Best option for HTPC
GeForce 8500 GT  Best option for HTPC
GeForce 8400 GS


NOTEBOOK:
GeForce 8700M GT
GeForce 8600M GTS
GeForce 8600M GT
GeForce 8600M GS
GeForce 8400M GT
GeForce 8400M GS


ATI

ATI HD3870 (confirmed working)
ATI 3850 (confirmed working)
ATI HD 2600 Pro
Saphire HD 2400 Pro AGP (requires some configuration doesn't work right out of the book)
ATI HD 2600 XT AGP (HD2600XT) for the how to http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=83&TopicId=22768




CPU: Intel 3770k| RAM: F3-2400C10D-16GTX G.Skill Trident X |MB:  Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB | GFX: GV-N660OC-2GD gv-n660oc-2gd GeForce GTX 660 | Monitor: Qnix 27" 2560x1440

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53 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 117749 20-Mar-2008 10:57 Send private message

Can anyone confirm that the 6200 especially but also the 6600 (especially AGP) cards can do h.264 acceleration sufficiently.
I know sbibble doesn't think so but am unsure just how sure he is.

sub

243 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 117751 20-Mar-2008 11:10 Send private message

I never managed to get any hardware acceleration with the H.264 channels with my old nvidia 7600GS card. It was an AGP model though. From what I've read, you can pretty much only get MPEG2 acceleration with AGP versions of the nvidia cards.

There is lots of threads on the internet with views like this: http://forums.nvidia.com/lofiversion/index.php?t28905.html

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  Reply # 117752 20-Mar-2008 11:16 Send private message

I'm only basing that on what I've read. The 6 series does support H.264 but does it very poorly due it's low GPU power. People seem to underestimate how much CPU time is required to support H.264, particularly 1080i or 1080p stuff.

If you're going to pay $70 for a 6200 you may as well $130 and get a 8500GT what will work properly.

674 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 117756 20-Mar-2008 11:23 Send private message

9600 is missing from the list (was released after Nvidia list was updated)

I would only consider the 9600, 8600 or 8500 series to be honest - nothing else has the power (plus these series support IDCT and CAVLC/CABAC)

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 117827 20-Mar-2008 23:40 Send private message

Great idea, but don't forget motherboard GPUs.  AMD 780G in particular looks like a winner, but the following should help with h.264 @ freeview resolutions.

Nvidia:
7050pv
8200 (maybe released next month?)

AMD:
690G chipset
780G chipset



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  Reply # 117832 21-Mar-2008 07:38 Send private message

hashbrown: Great idea, but don't forget motherboard GPUs.? AMD 780G in particular looks like a winner, but the following should help with h.264 @ freeview resolutions.

Nvidia:
7050pv
8200 (maybe released next month?)

AMD:
690G chipset
780G chipset




The 690G chipset does not do hardware acceleration of H.264 or VC1


322 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 117838 21-Mar-2008 08:40 Send private message

I think the concept of this list is admirable with one pre-cursor - the list should only be those cards validated by users here and known to work.  Otherwise the risk is the lay-person may take it as gospel and shell out $ for a card which is borderline.

Further, the test for "it does  work" should be CPU load <10% when viewing one of the HD channels (One, 2, or 3).

The issue of HDCP compliance should also be considered, particularly for those looking to add a BD-ROM for Blu-Ray functionality.  Many of the cards on the list above are definitely not HDCP compliant.

I have a 8600GTS, H.264 acceleration works with the NZ DTT trials (CPU load is ~6-8%), using Forceware 163.75, and the card is HDCP compliant.

I also have a 6600GT in another machine, which I will swap over to test at some point just to see if it does work.  That card though, is definitely not HDCP compliant.

dan

570 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 117840 21-Mar-2008 08:57 Send private message

ATI HD 2600 Pro w/ HDMI PCIe + Intel 3.0ghz Single Core CPU = 5% CPU usage watching DVB-T

319 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 117842 21-Mar-2008 09:26 Send private message

Had tons of problems with my 7600GT, switched to a 8400GS and all the faults disappeared straight away.

Heres an article on the various nVidia cards and HD:  http://en.expreview.com/2007/12/04/born-for-hd-first-review-of-g98-8400gs/?page=1

313 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 117843 21-Mar-2008 09:44 Send private message


sbiddle: The 690G chipset does not do hardware acceleration of H.264 or VC1


The H.264 decode feature was supposedly in a BIOS update released in August last year.
http://www.nordichardware.com/news,6662.html


walt12: Further, the test for "it does  work" should be CPU load <10% when viewing one of the HD channels (One, 2, or 3).


That seems a bit tough.  If I had an older system and a new card would take me from unplayable to 40% cpu with smooth playback, I'd be pretty happy.


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  Reply # 117854 21-Mar-2008 10:28 Send private message

hashbrown: The H.264 decode feature was supposedly in a BIOS update released in August last year.
http://www.nordichardware.com/news,6662.html



The 690G chipset has no vertex shader so it's impossible for it to offer full H.264 hardware acceleration as it has to rely on the CPU for deblocking. I've got a 690G Asus M2A here and have built up 2 other Gigabyte 690G systems and they will give you around 70-80% CPU load with a X2 4800 or X2 5000 trying to watching 1080i or 1080p content. 720p is quite a bit lower and you'll use around 40% with a fast CPU. Something around a X2 4400 will just choke most of the time.



walt12: Further, the test for "it does  work" should be CPU load <10% when viewing one of the HD channels (One, 2, or 3).


That seems a bit tough.  If I had an older system and a new card would take me from unplayable to 40% cpu with smooth playback, I'd be pretty happy.



40% is still very high and shows the video card isn't doing all the work. You should only get around 5-15% CPU usage if you're running a card that's offloading all the hardware acceleration.

A lot of people still don't realise how CPU intensive H.264 content is, the link in the thread above explaining PureVideo is well worth reading.


53 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 117917 21-Mar-2008 16:26 Send private message

I've bit bullet and going for the 780G (GA-MA78GM-S2H) since as this is a HTPC mostly it will be well worth it, in fact even a Sempron 3200 processor is apparently enough but I'll go probably for a ATHLON64 X2 4200+ 2.2GHZ.

The 780G is apparently very readily overclockable to boot.





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 118151 23-Mar-2008 09:21 Send private message

first post updated




CPU: Intel 3770k| RAM: F3-2400C10D-16GTX G.Skill Trident X |MB:  Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB | GFX: GV-N660OC-2GD gv-n660oc-2gd GeForce GTX 660 | Monitor: Qnix 27" 2560x1440

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 118365 24-Mar-2008 12:45 Send private message

sbiddle:

walt12: Further, the test for "it does work" should be CPU load <10% when viewing one of the HD channels (One, 2, or 3).


That seems a bit tough. If I had an older system and a new card would take me from unplayable to 40% cpu with smooth playback, I'd be pretty happy.



40% is still very high and shows the video card isn't doing all the work. You should only get around 5-15% CPU usage if you're running a card that's offloading all the hardware acceleration.

A lot of people still don't realise how CPU intensive H.264 content is, the link in the thread above explaining PureVideo is well worth reading.


Depends whether you are wanting to have the system just work with DVB-T or you want the card doing all the processing. If CPU Usage is at 60% i wouldnt care as long as playback is smooth.

Devide them into two catagories perhaps?

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  Reply # 118412 24-Mar-2008 17:48 Send private message

eXDee:
sbiddle:

walt12: Further, the test for "it does work" should be CPU load <10% when viewing one of the HD channels (One, 2, or 3).


That seems a bit tough. If I had an older system and a new card would take me from unplayable to 40% cpu with smooth playback, I'd be pretty happy.



40% is still very high and shows the video card isn't doing all the work. You should only get around 5-15% CPU usage if you're running a card that's offloading all the hardware acceleration.

A lot of people still don't realise how CPU intensive H.264 content is, the link in the thread above explaining PureVideo is well worth reading.


Depends whether you are wanting to have the system just work with DVB-T or you want the card doing all the processing. If CPU Usage is at 60% i wouldnt care as long as playback is smooth.

Devide them into two catagories perhaps?


It's not just about CPU usage. The GPU's in cards such as the Nvidia's are capable of hardware based deinterlacing, in particular spatial-temporal deinterlacing which you simply can't do with a software based decoder. The difference between a good and bad deinterlacer is very edident.


/rant mode on

IMHO all modern TV broadcasts should be 720p, I hate the fact TV3 are broadcasting in 1080i and all the other Freeview channels are 576i. All modern TV's are progressive scan panels - why are we still transmitting an interlaced signal which was designed for CRT based TV's? The rather expensive deinterlacers TVNZ purchased do a far better job at deinterlacing a picture than the 50c integrated circuit in your average TV..

/rant mode off


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