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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 02-07-2008, 07:38 PM
wirecreative wirecreative is offline
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video card upgrade?

The video card on my work computer went out the other day. Bad fan.

Since I recently moved up to HD on my Sage machine, it occured to me that I could move the geForce 8600GT from my Sage PC over to my work PC and get a newer, better card for Sage.

But I've been looking around, and it doesn't seem like there's much room for improvement in the <$200 range. I could go to an ATI HD 2600, but is that really an improvement, when all I do is watch HD through a couple of HVRs?

I don't game on the Sage system, so do I need anything better than the 8600GT? The only thing I don't like about that card is the lack of desktop overscan controls.

Any thoughts or recommendations?

(I currently have an old, previously rma'ed card in the work PC, so I'm not in a rush on this.)
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2008, 09:39 PM
emok emok is offline
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I've been looking around for a graphics card for my client machine as well. It really depends what you want do do with it your machine.

AMD/ATI just released some cards that I've been following closely. The HD 3450/70 and the HD3650 both seem to be geared towards HTPC use, though at this time, only the 3450 can be had fanless.

These are in no way as powerful for gaming as the 8600gt you had, but they supposedly suited for video playback. From what I understand, the older HD2400pro card had some memory bandwidth issues that caused some issues and that has been resolved in this new card.

I'm still waiting for more user reviews before I jump, but the 3450 is very enticing at <$50. Newegg only has one model in stock so far with limited reviews.

E
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  #3  
Old 02-07-2008, 11:02 PM
CollinR CollinR is offline
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I don't know how much better you can do then an 8600gt + PureVideo I mean that seems to be the multimedia ticket right now.
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  #4  
Old 02-08-2008, 01:45 AM
wirecreative wirecreative is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CollinR View Post
I don't know how much better you can do then an 8600gt + PureVideo I mean that seems to be the multimedia ticket right now.
That seems to be the case. And I was all excited to spend some money.

This may the first case where I've bought some gear that hasn't been obsolete 8 months later.
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  #5  
Old 02-09-2008, 07:25 AM
ben_95sl1 ben_95sl1 is offline
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I have a 3450 on the way. Needed to get a cheap vid card as I can't seem to fix my year long feud with my onboard 6150 video which causes the computer to lockup and reset occasionally during playback (due to part of nvidia driver, have swapped motherboards, ram, changed drivers, decoders to no avail - you win nvidia!).

I have just read in avs forum that someone had problems in VMR9 and 1080i....I hope that's not the case, even though I'm still only playing SD, I wanted it to be somewhat useful down the road. I figured with the number of complaints on the 2400 that I read on forums, the 3450 "should" be a lot less cranky. Time will tell....
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  #6  
Old 02-09-2008, 11:49 AM
CollinR CollinR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirecreative View Post
And I was all excited to spend some money.
Newegg has 750GB drive for IIRC $150, thats some instant gratification on my system!
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2008, 06:07 PM
kpbrwn kpbrwn is offline
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ATI 3650

Take the following with a grain of salt. I've only put together the PC and have been playing with Sage for the past 20 or so days.

I bought a Sapphire ATI 3650 and couldn't be happier. It replaced the on-board video on my GA-MA69G-S3H motherboard which is a based on a Radeon X1250. I couldn't get the computer to run 'stable' when watching TV via Sage when using the on-board video. The computer would just freeze (or least the video via HDMI output did as I didn't test the VGA output).

I also noticed a significant increase in video quality.

Regarding the video card fan noise - I don't notice it but I'm not not an Audiophile and partially deaf in one ear.

On a side-note I've been impressed so far with both Sage and the the 3650.

Good luck!
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2008, 07:47 PM
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phelme phelme is offline
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I've got an ATI 1650 in one of my clients and I really don't see why you'd need anything better for just HD (no gaming). I run VMR9 on mine no sweat. Make sure you get one with a core clock of 500mhz or better. They are well under $100 now.
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2008, 10:16 AM
ben_95sl1 ben_95sl1 is offline
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The things that sold me on the Sapphire HD 3450 are:
-price ($50)
-passively cooled (=quiet)
-it should handle bluray/hddvd type material as good as any other card out there

If I could have found a passively cooled 3650 for ~$80 I would have bought it, and possibly used my system for a little gaming.
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2008, 03:09 PM
wirecreative wirecreative is offline
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Thanks for the advice.

I found an 8800GT that will let me pass through digital audio via an HDMI adapter (something most of the ATI HD2600s will do, but few so far of the nvidias it seems), and it also comes with the Purevideo decoder for which my trial just ran out, so I'm getting one of these.


It's a little more robust than I need, but hopefully it will do the job for a few years.
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  #11  
Old 02-20-2008, 09:05 PM
ben_95sl1 ben_95sl1 is offline
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Received my 3450 and just installed and briefly tried it out:

-It seems to play the 1080i hd content I have (downloaded) just fine in vmr9/FSE (the onboard 6150 could only play 1080i in overlay)

-SD content seems good, no major issues so far.

-ATI still prevents encrypted dvds from playing over component >480p resolution; I find that comical (onboard nvidia did not do this)

If I find any issues, I will update.

Ben
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2008, 09:49 PM
mikesm mikesm is offline
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Something to consider is the next gen of cards from nvidia and ati should be able to do HD audio over HDMI. None of the currently available ATI cards do better than SPDIF style audio, and the nvidia 8 series don't do HD audio either. Next month the onboard nvidia 8300 series IGP's will launch and will do 8-channel LPCM passthrough to HDMI, and I think some of the newer 9 series discrete cards will do it as well.

I am thinking of rebuilding the only client I have not replaced with an HD100 with the 8300 series motherboard, since the HD100 doesn't do HD audio. That will also ley me do hybrid sli, and give me hybrid power too, so if I stick in a discrete card for gaming use, it will only get powered up when it needs the 3d boost, but won't burn watts or noise when doing video playback. All this will need Vista of course, but I'm Ok with that on the client.

Also, Nvidia should ship it's own direcshow codecs that support complete hardware offloading for the purevideo 3 engine in these new GPU's for MPEG2, VC-1 and H.264. This should address the issues people have been having in getting good HD acceleration with powerdvd and other codecs

If the nvidia guy at CES didn't lie to me, it'll fully support VMR9 calls as well, so Sage should really well with them.

I have criticized nvidia's crappy drivers significantly in the past, but if they have fixed this, they will be a great HD platform.
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Client 3: Media MVP to 15" Toshiba LCD
Client 4: HD100 connected to Samsung 23" 720P LCD
Client 5: HD100 connected to Vizio VX37L
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