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Old August 20, 2010, 08:34 AM
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Default Onboard ATI HD4200 or ATI HD 3650 for 720p playback

I am kinda on the fence in deciding which i should use. The HD 4200 should have the ability/power that i want though i've never really been a fan of onboard graphics cards. This is for my htpc so there will be little to no gaming on it (emulators at most) and will be playing 720p and maybe eventually 1080p content on it.

System currently has 2GB of ram but i can easily upgrade that with some spare ram laying around if i go onboard.

The 3650 isn't dedicated but the newer drivers give the 4000 series the ability to decode/play back .264 better. Also, running the 3650 i believe pulls more power then the hd 4200 onboard.
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Old August 20, 2010, 09:04 AM
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Check our reviews of the 890GX chipset.

ATI's IGPs are more than good enough to shunt literally 95% of the processing power necessary for HD A/V decoding away fromthe CPU.
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Old August 20, 2010, 09:30 AM
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neither. get something in pcie form that can do 1080 just in case. a bit of overhead is always good. im a fan of onboard myself, for video playback and stuff but in some situations like when the file is too big you will have issues.
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Old August 20, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Thats good to hear sky. I may just give the system some more ram and allow/allocate the system to use it for graphic commuting if it needs it.
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Old August 20, 2010, 12:23 PM
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You will probably have better luck with the 3650 depending on what you're doing. Using DXVA (Direct X Video Acceleration) with the new version of the drivers and VLC or XBMC, it will play 1080p no problem. I currently do this with a 3450, and have done it with a 3200 IGP.
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Old August 20, 2010, 12:30 PM
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10.7 improves upon the h.264 decoding for just the 4000 and 5000 series and seeing as my 720p content will be all h or x 264 i 'shouldn't have an issue. Its fun to play the assumption game as the htpc/server is currently packed away for the move.
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Old August 20, 2010, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arinoth View Post
10.7 improves upon the h.264 decoding for just the 4000 and 5000 series and seeing as my 720p content will be all h or x 264 i 'shouldn't have an issue. Its fun to play the assumption game as the htpc/server is currently packed away for the move.
10.7 was the first usable driver that would allow me to use my 3450 with DXVA. While most 3x00 cards didn't have issues, mine was artifacting alot and a few others had this issue with MPC and XBMC DXVA functions. I thought this was a limitation of a driver that ATI never fixed and it was proven when they came out with the 10.7 cats. It didn't completely fix it but it was improved.

So all that to say, it wasn't just the 4x or 5x series that were improved. That is also specific to VLC's DXVA and not XBMCs. So the reason I say the 3650 will be better is because the 3200 I had struggled through 1080p. I was speaking strickly from a 1080p reference point as you did mention 'and maybe eventually 1080p'.
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Old August 20, 2010, 01:30 PM
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Personally I've found ATI's h.264 DVXA acceleration to be rather buggy. Now I never used w/ w/ the Cat 10.7's but w/ the 10.6's I had horrible artifacting w/ MPC-HC and XBMC.

Now as for VLC's DXVA....

Up to 200% GPU usage w/ my GTX460's in SLI.

Personally I'll just stick w/ good ol' CPU power when it comes to video playback. W/ CoreAVC even a dual core Atom has no problem w/ 720p playback.
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Old August 20, 2010, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
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Personally I've found ATI's h.264 DVXA acceleration to be rather buggy. Now I never used w/ w/ the Cat 10.7's but w/ the 10.6's I had horrible artifacting w/ MPC-HC and XBMC.
Try 10.7. It should fix many of the artifacting issues you were having. The issue they have is the driver for their h.264 acceleration won't play high bandwidth movies very well, hence the artifacting. ATI refused to fix it but seems to have fixed most of it with their VLC DXVA improvements.
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Old August 20, 2010, 05:40 PM
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I have a laptop with a 4200 IGP, and I can play 1080p content with no problem on HDMI on my 1080p plasma. There should be no difference with a 3650. So I would go with a 4200 IGP, it take less place :D
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