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Old 08-05-2016, 18:26   #1
Dean[SAS]
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Looking For New Budget HTPC Graphics Card

I'm looking to replace my current graphics card as I'm struggling to play 1080i x265 stuff. I use a HP n54l as a media server so low profile and ideally single slot (or as close to).

I'm having a bit of a mere trying to work out what to buy and what will be suitable. I have no need for a killer gaming card.

I was looking at an Nvidia GT 730 (GT730-2GD5-BRK) but when looking for reviews you get the gaming lot slagging it off and nothing about htpc stuff.

My card at the moment is a ATI Radeon HD5450 and was looking to spend about £50odd if possible.

Cheers

Last edited by Dean[SAS]; 08-05-2016 at 20:08.
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Old 08-05-2016, 19:19   #2
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If you mean x265/h.265/hevc then I believe the only cards with full hardware decoders are the GTX 950 and GTX 960 series. And they're both way over your budget as they're more for gaming.
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Old 08-05-2016, 19:21   #3
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Ah yes, silly typo.
I read I think the gt730 has hybrid hardware support but I have no idea what that means in practice
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Old 08-05-2016, 21:13   #4
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Yeah the hybrid hardware decoding cropped up in a search when I was double-checking the 950/960. It appears to be what the name suggests, offloading part of the decoding job to the graphics card.

Actual details on it (and how to implement it if you have the necessary hardware) are pretty scarce though. From what I could find this outlines what architectures support it:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/9152/f...-hdcp-and-hevc

And this suggests the 64-bit versions of the GT 730 use the supported GK208 Kepler architecture:

http://www.geeks3d.com/20140618/nvid...-730-launched/

And from my own testing (I have a GTX 980 which uses the GM204 that supports the hybrid decoding) it definitely has some impact but requires tinkering with settings. Using MPC-HC I had to enable HEVC and 4K support in the hardware decoding section of the LAV Filters. I also found switching from DXVA2 Native to DXVA2 Copyback gave much better results.

It definitely reduced CPU usage, anything from 20% to 50% less on sample files I tested. It only works with files that use 8-bit colour depth though.
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Old 09-05-2016, 16:33   #5
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Thanks, might give that a whirl and if that fails probably get a new setup.
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