What graphic card to view HD video

From the pixels, bits, and shaders to the graphic cards that power them. Discuss the latest from AMD and NVIDIA here.

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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:14 pm

To-- in simple terms-- explain my fellow gerbils' frustrations, your 1st question would look something like this in non-tech speak: "What is the difference between a Ferrari and an old Toyota when you are driving in near a school (15mph)." For all intents and purposes, there is none. The differences that are present are subtle and relatively irrelevant under near-school conditions. Take these cars to the autobahn (gaming) and we have a completely different discussion on our hands.

The real difference is rendering. When you are watching pre-made video content you are essentially watching a big stream of pictures... a non-intensive task for your computer. Switch to gaming (and anything else that isn't pre-rendered) and you have a completely different story. When you can interact with your environment your video card needs to calculate and manage the changes in the image it produces 30+ times per second (which by the way is freaking amazing). Imagine having to redraw your landscape every time you moved your head... that's a lot of work. A lot more work than looking at a picture.

To reiterate what others have said, for simply watching HD video and dealing with pre-rendered content, you will not notice a significant difference between a $50 and $500 video card.
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:34 pm

It's like none of you ever actually play videos in high quality and none of you is taking the OP serious.

Have you guys ever heard of madVR?

OP, get a 10-bit x264 1080p video and play it back on your 27" monitor using MPC-HC and madVR. Be sure to use Jinc4 to upscale the video. HD 6450 will not be enough for this task, HD 5770 is probably enough.

Maybe this will help you: http://www.avsforum.com/t/940972/guide- ... t_22532505
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:51 pm

I'm sorry for making the assumption that he was not trying to use a flying car in the '15mph zone' haha
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:53 pm

My friend with the 6450 is a bit nooby. It's almost like he just stumbled upon Tech Report and started posting. I get this all the time from him.
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:02 pm

BloodSoul wrote:To-- in simple terms-- explain my fellow gerbils' frustrations, your 1st question would look something like this in non-tech speak: "What is the difference between a Ferrari and an old Toyota when you are driving in near a school (15mph)." For all intents and purposes, there is none. The differences that are present are subtle and relatively irrelevant under near-school conditions. Take these cars to the autobahn (gaming) and we have a completely different discussion on our hands.

The point here is I did not know using a video card to watch a camera created video is analogous to driving a car near a school.

BloodSoul wrote:The real difference is rendering. When you are watching pre-made video content you are essentially watching a big stream of pictures... a non-intensive task for your computer. Switch to gaming (and anything else that isn't pre-rendered) and you have a completely different story. When you can interact with your environment your video card needs to calculate and manage the changes in the image it produces 30+ times per second (which by the way is freaking amazing). Imagine having to redraw your landscape every time you moved your head... that's a lot of work. A lot more work than looking at a picture.

To reiterate what others have said, for simply watching HD video and dealing with pre-rendered content, you will not notice a significant difference between a $50 and $500 video card.

Thank you for summarizing the conclusion of this thread.

I thank everyone for your responses.
I very much appreciate the numbers of detailed replies from Flying Fox to my seemingly endless queries. I am now much more enlightened about video card.
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:22 pm

lynguist wrote:It's like none of you ever actually play videos in high quality and none of you is taking the OP serious.

Have you guys ever heard of madVR?

OP, get a 10-bit x264 1080p video and play it back on your 27" monitor using MPC-HC and madVR. Be sure to use Jinc4 to upscale the video. HD 6450 will not be enough for this task, HD 5770 is probably enough.

Maybe this will help you: http://www.avsforum.com/t/940972/guide- ... t_22532505

Your post was made while preparing my previous post.
How can I check to see if a 1080p video is 10-bit x264? What are MPC-HC , madVR and Jinc4?
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:27 pm

churin wrote:How can I check to see if a 1080p video is 10-bit x264? What are MPC-HC , madVR and Jinc4?
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:59 pm

auxy wrote:
churin wrote:How can I check to see if a 1080p video is 10-bit x264? What are MPC-HC , madVR and Jinc4?
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:36 pm

Like I said: clueless, not homework.

Ah well, we were all that way once. Sort of.
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:25 am

@lynguist - How is 10-bit video supposed to help unless he's got a monitor that is capable of more than 24 bits per pixel? At best he'll be trading off effective color depth for resolution (i.e., dithering).

@churin - AFAIK very few LCD computer monitors support higher than 8-bit color. I don't think this tangent is particularly relevant to your situation.
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:06 am

just brew it! wrote:@churin - AFAIK very few LCD computer monitors support higher than 8-bit color. I don't think this tangent is particularly relevant to your situation.

But tangents are what this thread is all about! :P
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:11 pm

TLDR version:

A $100 GPU will provide the same HD playback capability as a $900 GPU.

A $50 GPU is not adequate for modern (and near-future) HD playback acceleration and should be used with either software rendering or a better GPU, even if the better GPU is older.

Conclusion: Ditch the 6450.

Are we in agreement?
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:43 pm

BloodSoul wrote:The real difference is rendering. When you are watching pre-made video content you are essentially watching a big stream of pictures... a non-intensive task for your computer. Switch to gaming (and anything else that isn't pre-rendered) and you have a completely different story. When you can interact with your environment your video card needs to calculate and manage the changes in the image it produces 30+ times per second (which by the way is freaking amazing). Imagine having to redraw your landscape every time you moved your head... that's a lot of work. A lot more work than looking at a picture.

Also, read through this anandtech article for more in-depth info.

I would like to add some things to muddy-up the water.
1) Video playback is subjective. If you can't notice the difference with your naked eye during video playback, then everything else is irrelevant.

2) When you're playing video, (as Bloodsoul explained) the images are pre-determined. Video playback DOES require effort from the computer hardware though. Your computer shows you pictures on your monitor, when you flip through a string of pictures at any rate, you get animation (video). A picture (or any individual frame of a video) is made up of dots (pixels). At it's core, your computer has to convert 1's and 0's from your hard drive (or DVD/Blu Ray disc) into colored dots on your monitor to display an image (or video frame). As I'm sure you can imagine, a video frame of 1366x768 resolution (1.05 million dots) takes less effot to render than a video frame of 1920x1080 (1.96 million dots). Although any GPU can render a 1920x1080 image (for example), a faster GPU can get that image to your monitor faster than a slower GPU. Typical movies display 24 pictures (frames) per second. To maintain "perfect" smoothness at this point, your GPU only has to be fast enough to render 24 frames every second to the montior/TV. As others have said, this is fairly easy by today's standards. If two different GPUs can render 24 frames per second, there will be no difference in playback quality between them. This applies to item 3 as well.

3) A lot of people have been mentioning "post-processing" as a differentiating factor between the 6450 and 5770. Post processing in video playback is meant to "improve" the image quality of a given frame in a video. Video imperfections often result from a video file being compressed to save space. Suffice to say that the graphics card has to "catch" each frame that goes by, "look" at it, and "improve imperfections" before sending it off to the display. (there are visual examples of this in the anandtech article linked above) This obviously requires extra effort from the GPU. You can tell your computer how much effort it should spend "fixing imperfections" on each video frame, but the GPU will be receiving frames in at 24 frames-per-second from the video file regardless. If the GPU cannot perform all the rendering and post-processing work required before the next frame comes in, it has to ignore the 2nd frame and finish rendering/displaying the first frame. (if the GPU doesn't send an image, your monitor is black) If the GPU has to skip a frame, you will notice a short pause (hiccup) in the video. More frames skipped = longer pause. To summarize, it takes a certain amount of GPU effort to display an image or video frame, it takes additional effort to "post-process" video frames. That additional post-processing effort is variable based on your inputs. With a "weaker" GPU, depending on the post-processing requirements you've set, this load on the GPU may take longer to complete than 1second / 24 frames = .042 seconds. If that's the case, the video on the weaker GPU will appear to stutter whereas the video on the stronger GPU may not. Technically speaking, if you pull the same video frame from each GPU though, they will both look the same. The only caveat being that modern GPUs are smart, so if the GPU is “choking” on frames, it will automatically reduce post-processing operations to preserve smooth frame delivery.

4) Games are still a series of images displayed on your monitor, much like movies. But, as Bloodsoul explained, the content of each frame (image) are no longer pre-determined. This is where the differences really become apparent between GPUs that cost $30 or $250 for example. There are staggering amounts of calculations that need to take place every fraction of a second to determine what each image should look like. Remember the resolution? A GPU can draw 1.05 million dots faster than it can draw 1.96 million dots. Less work = faster rendering times = more images displayed per second. Then theres the topic of how many images do you have to display every second to give the user the illusion of "smooth" motion. One person may think that 40 images per second looks smooth, the next might think 60 images per second looks smooth. There is also "post-processing" in games too which is similar to video post processing. Just because you don't need a $250 GPU though, doesn't mean that there's no need for them. Think of it this way, there are 500GB, 1,000GB, even 4,000GB hard drives available today. The major reason for this is for people that store video on their hard drive. Someone who doesn't store or use video/music/games on their computer could easily get by with an 160GB hard drive, but that does't mean that nobody else needs the extra space.
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Re: What graphic card to view HD video

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:40 pm

Voldenuit wrote: A $100 GPU will provide the same HD playback capability as a $900 GPU. A $50 GPU is not adequate for {much of anything.}
If one were considering new hardware, the graphics processor built into an AMD A8-5600K or A10-5800K APU is fine for HD video playback. You can't get much cheaper than that. However, if you're going to spend money on a new discrete graphics card, I agree that one shouldn't get anything less than a $94 -15MIR Radeon HD7750.
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