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38 posts

Geek


Topic # 24384 22-Jul-2008 17:21
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Freeview HD testing with on board video

Purpose of these tests is to determine whether we can take HTPC's to a lower budget by using on board hardware acceleration rather than current PCI-E cards

Here's my test setup

System
AMD 4800X2
Corsair 2x1gb
WD 640gb
Antec Fusion 430watt

Testing motherboards:
Asus M3N78-EMH (nVidia 8200)
Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H (ATI HD3200)

Testing cards:
Happauge HVR2200
Happauge Nova 500 HD

Software:
Vista Ultimate 32bit SP1
MediaPortal RC1/RC2
Monogram AAC
PowerDVD 8

If 8200 doesn't quite make it will try the nVidia 8300 chipset,

Pictures and progress to come over the coming week :)

Thanks to Computer Lounge for providing test parts~

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38 posts

Geek


  Reply # 151416 25-Jul-2008 19:13
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Both motherboards tested today.

Latest drivers for both nVidia/ATI were used. Mediaportal RC2
(Picture quality was always perfect, just running minimized shows very jaggered)

nVidia 8200
- All channels ran OK, occasional minor skip (exemption below), CPU load 20~50%
- TV3 not so good with frequent skips, CPU load 30~70%
- Changing the memory buffer from 128mb default to 256mb made a decent difference

Test Setup


TV2


TV3


HD3200
- All channels ran smooth
- C4/Parliament TV were almost completely showing green but smooth (needs codec/driver tweaking possibly)
- Changing the memory buffer from 256mb default to 512mb made no noticeable difference

Test Setup


TV2


TV3


C4


Conclusion:

HD3200 was the clear winner in terms of consistent quality, only problem was C4/Parliament being green, possibly a codec/driver issue which would need to be resolved. This was very stable changing channels and doing operations, definitely viable for Freeview HD with some further tweaking.

The nVidia 8200 was clearly not quite powerful enough, the 8300 may do the job. Generally was good and did work on C4/Parliament but had the odd skip and was very sensitive to being unstable in changing channels etc.

On board GPU's are getting more and more powerful so it won't be long before we don't need a GPU in our HTPC's. Was expecting the 8200 to perform better than the HD3200 since its become quite known that the ATI drivers often result in poor/non-existent hardware acceleration but Catalyst 8.7 seems to of done the trick. Personally I would not be happy with the nVidia 8200 for my hardware acceleration; the HD3200 performed beyond my expectations and if your strapped for cash could be a possibility.

Next up Nova T 500 HD vs HVR2200

73 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 151525 26-Jul-2008 10:33
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Hi Bloom,

Thanks for the test results.
Did you have the latest patch for PowerDVD 8 applied (build 1830 - http://www.cyberlink.com/multi/download/updates_1_ENU.html)?  Seems that PowerDVD may have been the cause of a lot of the ATI related problems rather than the ATI driver.

I'm been looking to get either a 780G or a 8200/8300 motherboard and was leaning towards the 780g and you results seem to confirm my thinking.

Thanks
Andy

 
 
 
 




38 posts

Geek


  Reply # 151542 26-Jul-2008 11:17
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Ah that would probably be it, though I did it but apparently not grr, should solve the green.
The 8200 board will let you SLi with onboard and a 8400GS which will do fine.

Would not recommend running the HD3200 alone for a solid system although will do the job if your gentle with it :)

73 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 151566 26-Jul-2008 12:44
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Do you mean that you wouldn't recommend running a HD3200 without a discrete graphics card?

Andy

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  Reply # 151578 26-Jul-2008 13:13
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We're likely getting a hybrid SLI board with the 8200 + 8400GS, will post results if we do.



38 posts

Geek


  Reply # 151579 26-Jul-2008 13:14
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Yea it did the job better than the 8200 but remains slightly sensitive to multiple operations, e.g. recording, swapping to TV, changing channel. I think the best cost/benefit would be the 8200 chipset with an 8400GS ($50) in SLi, should do it very well :)

Could get the HD3200 chipset and if starts to give any problems add a HD3450 in crossfire for $60 which should solve the problem

73 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 151582 26-Jul-2008 13:32
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Yeah, that's what i was thinking of doing.  I prefer the features on the 780G motherboards, and they seem to be a little cheaper than the 8200s.

Andy



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Geek


  Reply # 151612 26-Jul-2008 16:24
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This one will be very nice
New Gigabyte GA-EG45M-DS2H
X4500HD GPU

http://www.techpowerup.com/66817/GIGABYTE_Intros_Industry%E2%80%99s_Most_Secure_Green_High_Performing_G45_Motherbaord.html

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  Reply # 151666 26-Jul-2008 20:52
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andrewdixon1000: Yeah, that's what i was thinking of doing.  I prefer the features on the 780G motherboards, and they seem to be a little cheaper than the 8200s.

Andy

Considered that, but ATI + freeview doesnt seem a good match for some people.

73 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 151743 27-Jul-2008 10:56
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Yes, I realise that, but things have changed in the last few days, as it looks like the problem wasn't with ATI's drivers but actually with PowerDVD.  Seems now that with PowerDVD patched people are having much better decoding with ATI hardware.

Andy

192 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 151956 28-Jul-2008 08:04
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Indeed it would be great if you could try an Intel G45 board such as the one bloom mentioned.  Apparently these boards now offer full H.264 hardware accelerated decoding so would be perfect for a HTPC!

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  Reply # 152119 28-Jul-2008 16:33
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The 8400GS doesn't have full acceleration does it? I'm beginning to wonder if the 8400GS + onboard 8200 hybrid SLI will do full acceleration? It will obviously have more power, but still not full? Perhaps an extra $20-30 is worth an 8500GT?

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  Reply # 152781 30-Jul-2008 19:52
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Big warning to all PCI-E 1x tuner card users.
The XFX 8200 board's southbridge heatsink blocks inserting a PCI-E 1x card of any decent length, so my HVR-2200 simply can't fit.

Massive design flaw there. Time to return it.

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  Reply # 154471 5-Aug-2008 21:30
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i have 780G with PDVD8 Ultra 1830 and i get the same problem of a green screen with C4
All the other channels worked perfectly.
I am currently using XP, but when i was in vista i didn't get the green problem.
However when i was in vista i had lots of codecs installed,
but in XP the only codec i have is PDVD8

Did you ever solve the green issue.
I am wondering if i can solve it by installing another codec
However I really don't want to do this, as I'm worried I will loose H.A. if i install another codec!




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter




38 posts

Geek


  Reply # 154515 6-Aug-2008 00:29
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Make sure your ATI drivers are up to date, catalyst 8.7 and your PowerDVD is fully up to date including patches

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