Quantcast Graphics card for Blu-ray playback - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
02-02-2011, 03:55 AM
manthing manthing is offline
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list of recommended graphics card for blu-ray movie playback on a PC:

geforce 8400, 8500, 8600, 8800, 9400, 9600, 9800
geforce gtx 260, 280
ati 2400, 2600, 2900, 3300, 3600, 3800,4500, 4600, 4800

i have an on-board ati 3200.
it is ok for some blu-rays.
but for others, it simply cannot do the job.

so, which of those cards really do the job?

as a benchmark, the movies that have given me problems are "sin city" and "tremors".

it would be good to know if you're using a specific card against those films, or a similar "graphically intensive" film.

thanks.
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  #2  
02-02-2011, 05:00 AM
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I don't much favor nVidia cards right now, from the 9000 lines. There are heat issues with some of them. So from that basis alone, I'd opt for an ATI card. Historically, I've liked ATI cards better for the past decade anyway.

For HD playback, it really comes back to "latest and greatest". nVidia has "CUDA" on the GPU. ATI has a simiilar tech, the "Stream OpenCL".
Those technologies are for HD video encoding/decoding.

Basically pick the highest card number currently out. You're looking at roughly $100 USD in costs.
Right now, that's going to be ATI Radeon HD 5xxx and 6xxx series cards from 2010-2011.
Some of the cards you listed are rather old, from 2008. Even 2009 cards are not "best" for HD 1080p.

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  #3  
02-02-2011, 06:05 AM
manthing manthing is offline
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thanks for that.

i am keeping my eye on some relatively newer cards, like the 4850s and the 5570s.

trying to get them 2nd hand for perhaps $60-ish (or less!).

does the ram size on the graphic card matter?
or is it purely down to processing power?

thanks.
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02-02-2011, 08:22 AM
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Standard advice applies --
RAM is nice, but ultimately it's the processor that matters most. Graphics cards are no different.

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  #5  
02-03-2011, 02:57 AM
manthing manthing is offline
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article on HQV tests. shows the strengths & weaknesses of ati cards & nvidia cards. read it for yourself here.
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02-03-2011, 03:08 AM
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Interesting...

Quote:
We’re seeing a fairly natural increase in quality across the Radeon line as you get to more expensive models, with the Radeon HD 5750 acting as the vanguard of maximum Radeon video playback quality. The Radeon HD 6850 does no better, and both are about as close to perfect as you’ll see on a PC. Indeed, all of the Radeons, other than the low-end Radeon HD 5450, have the same driver options. But the GPUs can handle more of the enhancements without stuttering as you get into pricier models.

The GeForce line is a little inconsistent, comparatively. There’s a hiccup, and the GeForce GT 240 and 9800 GT achieve a higher score than the more expensive GeForce GTX 460 according to our observations. This is mostly attributable to poor pulldown detection in some models, and while we’ve asked Nvidia about this disparity, the company hasn't responded.

Overall, when comparing Radeons to GeForces, AMD's cards get the nod for higher overall scores and better results per dollar spent. Frankly, the main reason for the superior results are AMD’s consistent cadence detection, better noise reduction (especially when it comes to compressed video), and a working flesh tone correction feature.

It’s important to note that the GeForce cards don’t suffer from shoddy video quality, and in our opinion, too many points are awarded for obscure multi-cadence detection. Thirty points are applied to this area, and that’s not including scores from important cadences like 2:2 and 3:2 pulldown. If you remove those 30 points, the playing field between GeForce and Radeon becomes much tighter. The GeForce cards offer excellent video playback when it comes to high-definition source material, and all of them handle the important 3:2 cadence without issue. Realistically, if you put a GeForce in an HTPC for DVD and Blu-ray playback duty, you’d probably never guess that it didn’t achieve the top score.

Having said that, the Radeons earn a well-deserved win here. While obscure multi-cadence support might be responsible for the bulk of point advantage, their real strength is superlative noise-reduction options. This comes in real handy with compressed video, so if you plan to play back any files that aren’t optimally encoded at HD resolution, the Radeons have a real advantage. It’s also noteworthy that the sub-$100 Radeon HD 5670 can offer slightly better playback quality than a GeForce GTX 470, even when multi-cadence tests are left out of the mix, and that a ~$120 Radeon 5750 card can boast the same ultimate PC playback quality right alongside more expensive Radeons like the 6850.
I bolded what I felt are the most important aspects in their conclusion.

Non-responsiveness from nVidia is something that goes back a decade now, when their cards have issues, be it outright problems or deficiencies. At least, that's been my observation, based on both personal experience and forum posts. Not that ATI is necessarily any better (especially post-AMD), but I still think they're somewhat more responsive. I've never been entirely thrilled with uncommunicative hardware companies, and it doesn't sit well with me -- my opinion of them and their product diminishes.

Anytime nVidia raises the bar, ATI shortly thereafter jumps over it.

Cadence is about smooth playback at varying framerates, which I'd put an emphasis on being important, given your first post concerned about sometimes not getting smooth motion quality.

And then it's hard to dislike NR on older and/or lower-quality sources. For somebody that watches a lot of older video material, that has to come in quite handy. I have that on my main HDTV, and absolutely love it.

And they picked out the "best" card for you -- the ATI Radeon HD 5750.
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... or best of luck finding one used and in good condition, on the cheap.

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