Graphic Cards HTPC - inbuilt vs discrete GPU

harry_houdini

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Hi friends,
I read somewhere that discrete GPUs are better for watching Full hd or blu ray movies than inbuilt GPUs.
Now one of the most popular HTPC cards out there is the Sapphire HD 6450.
But when I compared it my inbuilt HD 4000, HD 6450 has half the performance.
So how is the HD 6450 better for watching movies?. I have read the G630 also plays 1080 without any problem and with ease.
So when it is playing it without a problem, how is a discrete graphics card helping really ?.

Someone please clear this, it is confusing.
Thanks
 

ch@ts

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If you can do stuff with fewer components, and lower power consumption, then always take that route.
A discrete GPU (fanless) would be useful only when paired with a weak, low-powered CPU, and a fanless SMPS so that that you can have a virtually silent system that's still powerful enough for your HTPC needs.
 

pratikb

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but its traditionally weaker part of intel graphics and AMD was always king of the hill when it came to video playback.
I am using this 6450 made by gigabyte,its damn nice in playback and so far has never failed to impress me with its video playback.
 

Chaos

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Hi friends,
I read somewhere that discrete GPUs are better for watching Full hd or blu ray movies than inbuilt GPUs.
Now one of the most popular HTPC cards out there is the Sapphire HD 6450.
But when I compared it my inbuilt HD 4000, HD 6450 has half the performance.
So how is the HD 6450 better for watching movies?. I have read the G630 also plays 1080 without any problem and with ease.
So when it is playing it without a problem, how is a discrete graphics card helping really ?.

Someone please clear this, it is confusing.
Thanks
An HTPC GPU is only useful when you are using madVR which honestly is the only way you'd want to display videos on an HTPC if you are looking for absolute video quality. madVR with Jinc scaling is the best possible output you can get out of an HTPC as of now and it needs serious GPU horsepower. A 6450 is not enough for it. I'd suggest getting atleast a 6570 or 6670. The ideal future proof card is the 7750. I have a 6570 and with high quality scaling using pixel shaders, the GPU usage is between 65-70% on a 1080/24p video. Its time for me to upgrade soon.

Another bonus of a discrete gpu is you get a much closer frame rate to 23.976 fps (the exact frame rate of bluray). My 6570 manages 23.9767 fps which is close enough - there's a frame drop/repeat once every 1 hour and it is hardly noticeable. The same is possible on an NV gpu with some tweaking. On intel, you can expect a frame drop every 3-5minutes at max. While even that is quite hard to notice, its still an order of magnitude worse than intel.

If you are not a pixel peeper like i am, you'd probably not notice much of a difference. DXVA works pretty well even on intel so it won't look bad. Just that you'd not get the ultimate fidelity what you'd get out of a discrete gpu.

For more info on madVR, look up this thread
madVR - high quality video renderer (GPU assisted) - Doom9's Forum
 

harry_houdini

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If you can do stuff with fewer components, and lower power consumption, then always take that route.
A discrete GPU (fanless) would be useful only when paired with a weak, low-powered CPU, and a fanless SMPS so that that you can have a virtually silent system that's still powerful enough for your HTPC needs.
Thanks,
I guess that is the main need of an discrete GPU when the CPU is quite weak.

but its traditionally weaker part of intel graphics and AMD was always king of the hill when it came to video playback.
I am using this 6450 made by gigabyte,its damn nice in playback and so far has never failed to impress me with its video playback.
Thanks,
I do not know about previous intel models but since it started incorporating HD graphics, video playback has not been a problem. My friend's E8400 plays 1080p with ease.
Currently my HD 4000 eats any video I throw at it. I love to have a nice movie experience so was thinking if adding a GPU will add to it.

An HTPC GPU is only useful when you are using madVR which honestly is the only way you'd want to display videos on an HTPC if you are looking for absolute video quality. madVR with Jinc scaling is the best possible output you can get out of an HTPC as of now and it needs serious GPU horsepower. A 6450 is not enough for it. I'd suggest getting atleast a 6570 or 6670. The ideal future proof card is the 7750. I have a 6570 and with high quality scaling using pixel shaders, the GPU usage is between 65-70% on a 1080/24p video. Its time for me to upgrade soon.

Another bonus of a discrete gpu is you get a much closer frame rate to 23.976 fps (the exact frame rate of bluray). My 6570 manages 23.9767 fps which is close enough - there's a frame drop/repeat once every 1 hour and it is hardly noticeable. The same is possible on an NV gpu with some tweaking. On intel, you can expect a frame drop every 3-5minutes at max. While even that is quite hard to notice, its still an order of magnitude worse than intel.

If you are not a pixel peeper like i am, you'd probably not notice much of a difference. DXVA works pretty well even on intel so it won't look bad. Just that you'd not get the ultimate fidelity what you'd get out of a discrete gpu.

For more info on madVR, look up this thread
madVR - high quality video renderer (GPU assisted) - Doom9's Forum
Thanks,
Well I tried madVR ( madVR 0.85 ) on Media Player Classic. Intel HD 4000 was playing it nicely. The only thing that changed was it used a bit more RAM and video memory usage changed from 288 to 322 mb. The max memory is 1768 on Intel Hd 4000. Also maintaining the 24 fps marks is also fine. Thou I have not seen enough to notice the frame drops yet.
Will check.
One odd thing I noticed though is that in EVR custom Pres which is default in MPC. In both windowed mode and full screen, 1080p or blu ray movies show 24 fps.
But in madVR, in windowed mode it is 24 fps but in full screen mode it is 60 fps?. How is that possible and what is the fault?. Is that a bug ?.
Also you use DX11 or DX 9 ?.
 

Chaos

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Thanks,
Well I tried madVR ( madVR 0.85 ) on Media Player Classic. Intel HD 4000 was playing it nicely. The only thing that changed was it used a bit more RAM and video memory usage changed from 288 to 322 mb. The max memory is 1768 on Intel Hd 4000. Also maintaining the 24 fps marks is also fine. Thou I have not seen enough to notice the frame drops yet.
Will check.
One odd thing I noticed though is that in EVR custom Pres which is default in MPC. In both windowed mode and full screen, 1080p or blu ray movies show 24 fps.
But in madVR, in windowed mode it is 24 fps but in full screen mode it is 60 fps?. How is that possible and what is the fault?. Is that a bug ?.
Also you use DX11 or DX 9 ?.
Its nice to know HD4000 handles madVR fine. The HD2000 in my i3 2100 is horribly slow.

For madvr to output 24p exactly, you need to setup custom resolutions in media player classic. Have you done that? Its there in playback-> full screen.
 

harry_houdini

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Its nice to know HD4000 handles madVR fine. The HD2000 in my i3 2100 is horribly slow.

For madvr to output 24p exactly, you need to setup custom resolutions in media player classic. Have you done that? Its there in playback-> full screen.
Thanks,
No I did not set custom resolution. In playback -> full screen there are options like 59fps - 60 fps, 23.5 fps -> 24 fps and so on. All in a difference of 1-2 fps. Frankly I have never messed up with these settings before. Can't seem to understand anything.
 

Chaos

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In the 23.50Hz - 24.00Hz, set 1920x1080 23Hz. Then you should be getting as close to 24p as possible.