Best card with native HDMI for audio and video?

Easius

Limp Gawd
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Jan 1, 2009
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Have a friend whos motherboard HDMI port went bad. He's looking to get a card to drop into his pci-express slot to replace it easily.

Needs to have 5.1 (or 7.1) audio through the HDMI port without any special cables (I have no idea what cards do this, without running a cable from motherboard).

Budget is 150 or less.

I saw the HD 3470 but I'm not sure on this area.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
 

nitefallz

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Check out the Sapphire Radeon 4670s on Newegg. They're around 60-80 bucks and a few of them have HDMI outputs with 7.1 audio.
 

DarkT

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A few months back I got a Sapphire HD 3450 and it works great. It has since been discontinued at NewEgg, but there are several similar models around like this.
 

Stereodude

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As a slight warning if he's running XP the ATI cards might not deliver audio on his system.
 

Snowknight26

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Do note though that the audio will be LPCM only. Bitstreaming DTS, AC3, TrueHD, etc. won't be possible. But that doesn't really matter, because if your receiver or TV or what have you can decode those, it can decode LPCM.
 

Stereodude

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Is this card able to display 1080p and do 5.1 audio over it?

I tried looking it up but not a ton of info on it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121302
Yes, and sort of. It does not support 5.1 or 7.1 PCM HDMI audio. It will support 2 channel PCM, DD and DTS.

Also be aware the 3450 does not have top of the line video processing. I think the 4550 is the lowest end card that has ATI's top of the line video processing for all formats.

If I were you I'd probably go here despite the scathing review I gave it on Newegg. (again assuming you're not running XP)
 

c10

Limp Gawd
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Wait a second. I own a Radeon 4870.

Does this mean that the HDMI out from it would support 7.1 audio from onboard the video card, on the motherboard, or an installed sound device (x-fi)?

I was planning on going SPDIF out from the x-fi, but would it do me better to come out from the video card via HDMI?

Link to the video card specs if it helps anybody: http://ati.amd.com/products/Radeonhd4800/index.html
 

Snowknight26

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The 4*00 series can do up 7.1 channel 16-bit/48KHz LPCM over HDMI. It would be better to use it than S/PDIF.
 

Archer75

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ATI 4650. It's the cheapest of the "best" cards out there for HTPC use. Any of the ATI cards above this won't bring you anything more in terms of audio or video. They just cost more.
 

c10

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Hmm. So maybe I will be removing my x-fi, and using that money instead on a second pair of ELT525 monitors... 7.1 grrrr baby grrrrr
 

Archer75

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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102816

$80, passively cooled, native HDMI, ati 4670.

Reviewed here: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...ultimate-512mb-passive-video-card-review.html
Although they didn't do any HT related benchmarks, but it does demonstrate that the passive heatsink is quite effective so long as there's even a modest level of airflow.

The heatsink is quite large and sticks up a bit. Depending on your HTPC it may not fit. I know there is no way it would fit in my case.
 

z5556792

n00b
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Mar 22, 2009
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I own a Radeon 4870.

Does this mean that the HDMI out from it would support 7.1 audio from onboard the video card, on the motherboard, or an installed sound device (x-fi)?




I'm sorry if I'm being dense, but did anyone answer c10's question? I am also curious about what is meant by HDMI audio "support" on these Radeon cards. I am always wary of the vague and liberal use of the word "support" in product descriptions. Does the card actually decode 7.1 audio... or does it simply have the ability to pass along audio streams fed into it? I'm guessing it's the latter.

I am trying to output HD Audio (ie Dolby True HD) from my PC to my HD receiver. This hasn't been possible so far, because my on-board audio doesn't have HDMI. Would the Radeon card allow me to feed the HD Audio stream from the blu ray drive, through the PCI-E slot, out the HDMI port, and finally into my HD receiver?
 

Archer75

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I'm sorry if I'm being dense, but did anyone answer c10's question? I am also curious about what is meant by HDMI audio "support" on these Radeon cards. I am always wary of the vague and liberal use of the word "support" in product descriptions. Does the card actually decode 7.1 audio... or does it simply have the ability to pass along audio streams fed into it? I'm guessing it's the latter.

I am trying to output HD Audio (ie Dolby True HD) from my PC to my HD receiver. This hasn't been possible so far, because my on-board audio doesn't have HDMI. Would the Radeon card allow me to feed the HD Audio stream from the blu ray drive, through the PCI-E slot, out the HDMI port, and finally into my HD receiver?
The card can pass it through, or whatever player you use can decode it and send out LCPM.

No, you can't output TrueHD from this card. Though you can have your PC decode it and then pass out LCPM. Though it will be downsampled. But it will bitstream other formats.

To bitstream TrueHD you need the Asus HDAV sound card and you have to use a special version of arcsoft TMT. And of course your receiver must then also support that format.
 

Snowknight26

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It doesn't have to be downsampled. Only programs that require PAP force downsampling (PowerDVD/TMT?).

As long as the audio's bitrate is below the maximum that the video card can do, it will play fine without downsampling (assuming you don't use horrible programs).
Do note though that the maximum bitrate is 6144kbps, so 8 channels of 16-bit/48KHz LPCM.
 

Archer75

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It doesn't have to be downsampled. Only programs that require PAP force downsampling (PowerDVD/TMT?).

And thus it will be downsampled. There is no other way to play your Blu Ray discs on a PC without one of those players.
Unless one were to rip the blu ray turn it into a mkv and use flac for the audio track.
 
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