On Board Graphics vs Add-On Graphics Adapter - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-03-29, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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On Board Graphics vs Add-On Graphics Adapter

When reading some of the build suggestions for HTPC, I have noticed that some have added video/graphics cards instead of the video available on the motherboard. If the motherboard already has on-board HDMI, optical sound - is there any advantage by adding a PCIe graphics card?

I have a Asus M3N78-VM motherboard, that has an integrated nVidia GeForce 8200 chipset. It has both HDMI and S/PDIF output. What would be gained adding a Sapphire Radeon HD 7970, for example?

My picture quality is ok, but always looking for better.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-03-29, 12:40 PM
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It depends on what you are looking for.

The older embedded chip sets did not always handle HDMI audio properly, depending on how old you are talking about. As far as video performance for BluRay playback goes they will be fine.

The other main reason is for gaming performance. The standalone graphics cards will always have higher frame rates and better games processing than the embedded of the same generation.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-03-29, 01:05 PM
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What would be gained adding a Sapphire Radeon HD 7970, for example?
A lot of unnecessary noise and heat. That's a gaming card, not an HTPC video card. A suitable HTPC card would be a Radeon 6450. Using a card or embedded video chip that is optimized for HD video is a better solution than a gaming card.

I've tried a Radeon 5450 and higher powered gaming cards, There was no significant difference over an embedded 4250 for HTPC video. Software aspects, like drivers, CODECs and rendering methods, make a bigger difference in HTPC video quality when using modern video hardware.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-03-29, 01:08 PM
 
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For an HTPC it basically comes down to how well the system performs on the HQV Benchmarks. Newer video cards and integrated IGPs provide better video post processing for superior up-scaling of standard definition video like DVD. They will support the latest revisions to the blu-ray standards like 3D and take a load off the CPU.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-03-29, 01:44 PM
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De-interlacing is another consideration. For example, the GeForce 8200 chipset that the OP mentioned is not powerful enough to do Advanced 2X de-interlacing of 1080i material, so you would need to use an inferior algorithm.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-03-29, 02:12 PM
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Agreed. Scaling is also a consideration. I've seen video issues caused by both scaling and deinterlacing. At first, it seemed odd that BDs would play perfectly but DVDs wouldn't. A little video "tuning" in the software player was needed to fix the issue.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-03-29, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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De-interlacing is another consideration. For example, the GeForce 8200 chipset that the OP mentioned is not powerful enough to do Advanced 2X de-interlacing of 1080i material, so you would need to use an inferior algorithm.
So what you are saying here, is that my HD picture quality is inferior and could/would be improved with a new graphics card?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-03-29, 03:34 PM
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Quite possibly, yes. Whether you will notice the difference depends on the size of your TV, the type of programming you are watching, the distance you are from it and how critical an eye you have. You will see the biggest effect with sports. OTOH, with cinematic movies you likely won't notice any difference as most are filmed at 24fps, thus at 1080i, 3-2 pull-down is used and almost any video chip should be able to compensate for that.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-03-29, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Good information - thanks!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 2012-03-31, 11:56 AM
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From what I understand, the on chip HD graphics in Intel Sandybridge has a bug which does not properly play 24 FPS HD video correctly. In the case you are building a Sandybridge HTPC, you likely need to figure a graphics card instead of on-board graphics.

I use an AMD Fusion E-350 system, which has in built AMD Radeon graphics, which at least plays Youtube/Vimeo HD fine, and much of my legacy AVI and SD MPEG2.
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