Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Catalyst 9.6 ATI 4000 HD Series Still Behind NVIDIA For HTPC

ATI is still behind NVIDIA for HTPC even with the latest leaked Catalyst 9.6 - It still fails to decode L5.0 / L5.1 high profile AVC video in DXVA mode (using MPC-HC for example). This means that for HTPC, a NVidia 8600GT / 9400GT would be the better choice over ATI HD 4800 / 4700 / 4600 / 4500 / 4300 series.

If you're looking to build a HTPC, go for NVIDIA.

While ATI heavily promotes its HTPC capabilities, the truth is it is still very far behind NVIDIA.

NVIDIAusers have been enjoying this for about 6 months.

@NVIDIA marketing, you could consider starting a "The way it's meant to be watched" program. Doesn't look like ATI has anything left in them to pose a threat whatsoever.


SirDaniel said...

U are right but 5.1l is not the only thing that makes card good or not for htcp.
Regarding to mpc hc. this player by default blocks 5.1l files to be played in dxva mode on ati. There is registry hack to allow playing that files. Or try Win7 microsoft decoder in WMP.

Zach Saw said...

I have the registry set to use DXVA regardless of the profile level in MPC-HC. I see random green blocks.

I don't want to run Win7 on my HTPC and Win7 users have reported the same random green blocks with MS's decoder in WMP.

Yes I agree - DXVA L5.1 isn't the only thing. ATI has a lot more issues when it comes to supporting the HTPC community, such as the de-interlacing problems on Vista. They're seriously way behind nVidia.

Anonymous said...

The only reason I prefer ATI is their support for native sound over HDMI. Not all motherboards have SPDIF connectors on them, and all Nvidia graphics cards require some wire connection from the motherboard SPDIF connector on to them for getting sound over HDMI.

Since my motherboard doesn't have a proper SPDIF connector on board, my set up consists of a single HDMI cable going from the ATI 3450 video card to my AV receiver (capable of decoding HD sound but as of now, ATI is able to atmost passthrough DTS only. I havent been able to get DTS-HD to pass through as bitstream). My AV receiver has a HDMI out to my TV. The sound plays through AV receiver.

Do you know of any Nvidia cards which have native support for HD sound over HDMI?

Zach Saw said...

Yes, this is to do with the lack of audio chip on the nVidia card. This post is mostly about drivers and the support / effort from the respective manufacturers in DXVA decoding of H.264 contents.