evga GTX 970 FTW - HDMI 2.0a? HDR/DolbyVision for HTPC?

dsc106

Senior member
May 31, 2012
263
4
81
#1
Hi, I have a GTX 970 from evga (FTW) in my HTPC. I want to upgrade my 2010 HDTV to a new 4k HDR DolbyVision set to watch movies with VLC Player.

HDR is important to me.

Does the GTX 970 support this standard of HDR for DolbyVision movies? I believe it needs HDMI 2.0a and the specs I see for 970 say 2.0, but I am not sure if a firmware/driver update allows 2.0a and the full HDR for movies?

If not, what is the best bang for buck cheapest upgrade card I can get (better than GTX 970, power efficient, allowing HDR)? My HTPC is a 2008 build (quad core intel, 550w PSU I believe - all quality parts back in the day and going strong. I just use it to stream movies and youtube).
 
Oct 18, 2013
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#2
Hi, I have a GTX 970 from evga (FTW) in my HTPC. I want to upgrade my 2010 HDTV to a new 4k HDR DolbyVision set to watch movies with VLC Player.

HDR is important to me.

Does the GTX 970 support this standard of HDR for DolbyVision movies? I believe it needs HDMI 2.0a and the specs I see for 970 say 2.0, but I am not sure if a firmware/driver update allows 2.0a and the full HDR for movies?

If not, what is the best bang for buck cheapest upgrade card I can get (better than GTX 970, power efficient, allowing HDR)? My HTPC is a 2008 build (quad core intel, 550w PSU I believe - all quality parts back in the day and going strong. I just use it to stream movies and youtube).
Depending on your source, you may also need to look at your CPU. Not for power, but, because they locked down some things like Netflix 4k playback to limited hardware and I think as of right now only the Edge browser.

If you are looking for a cheap GPU that can do 4k hdr, I believe the 1050Ti and above are compatible with Netflix 4k HRD. Dont know if that is the Dolby standard of HDR, but I would imagine its not.
 

dsc106

Senior member
May 31, 2012
263
4
81
#3
Drat, didn't know that. Well I'd be running this all through VLC - no Netflix. Would that have any CPU lockdown, or would a 2008 intel quad have trouble with this?

Does this mean the 970 ain't gonna work?
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
10,790
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#4
Isn't 4k HDR limited to Kaby Lake CPUs and above if I'm not mistaken?
 
Oct 18, 2013
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#6
Drat, didn't know that. Well I'd be running this all through VLC - no Netflix. Would that have any CPU lockdown, or would a 2008 intel quad have trouble with this?

Does this mean the 970 ain't gonna work?
Let me ask you this, do you plan on gaming at all, or just HTPC stuff? What is your budget? I think I'm building a new HTPC next month and I have been looking at quite a few parts.
 

dsc106

Senior member
May 31, 2012
263
4
81
#7
Shoot, I thought only GPU mattered for 4K HDR... not CPU also... I could maybe spring for a budget 10xx series to upgrade the 970 for 4K HDR compliance, but if I need a whole new cpu platform prices start escalating quickly.

My HTPC is really just used for movies. NOT NETFLIX. I have an AppleTV for that. I would only use HTPC to play movies on VLC Player... (4K, HDR movies that is)

Although, if I was going to hassle through upgrading the whole HTPC I'd want access to some gaming. I do have steam installed and its good for lower key games right now on a Steam Controller (GTX 970 on HDTV). But that would be a low priority compared to just making it work for the HTPC movies... I have a dedicated gaming PC in my office w/1080 TI and 27" G-Sync Monitor + a 4K 32" monitor etc.

I'm just concerned with 4K HDR on the Home Theatre setup, for the most part, unless this is going to turn into a whole ordeal.

So the 970 and older 2008 Intel CPU definitely won't work for 4k HDR on VLC?
 

akyp11

Junior Member
Aug 27, 2018
3
0
11
#8
So the 970 and older 2008 Intel CPU definitely won't work for 4k HDR on VLC?
I have my GTX 970 hooked up to a LG 4k HDR monitor to watch 4k HDR movies with MPC-HC + madVR. No issues at all though my CPU is a first-gen i7-860.

The 970 cannot do full HEVC decoding by itself so it needs to be paired with a decent CPU for 4k HEVC playback.

I also noticed the LG monitor would only switch to HDR mode over HDMI, but not DP. Not sure if this is due to the monitor or the 970.
 

Brahmzy

Senior member
Jul 27, 2004
583
0
91
#9
1060 6GB minimum for a 10 series card @ 4K with MadVR.
MadVR uses about 3.8GB memory @ 4K and without sufficient memory, your performance will nosedive fast. Been there done that.
 
Dec 12, 2001
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#10
Isn't 4k HDR limited to Kaby Lake CPUs and above if I'm not mistaken?
For Blu-Ray playback and perhaps Netflix etc yes, but not for 3rd party local media playback programs. It's an HDCP decision that ties everything to specific hardware which doesn't necessarily apply for VLC.

The 970 is 2.0a but as mentioned it doesn't do full HEVC decoding alone.

Is dolby vision a requirement? You can always pick up an Nvidia Shield and run Kodi/MrMC or Plex. It can playback HDR10 with lossless audio passthrough. The shield does not do dolby vision. It also functions as a game streaming box from Nvidia Shadowplay or Steam, also in HDR.
 
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Oct 18, 2013
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#11
Shoot, I thought only GPU mattered for 4K HDR... not CPU also... I could maybe spring for a budget 10xx series to upgrade the 970 for 4K HDR compliance, but if I need a whole new cpu platform prices start escalating quickly.

My HTPC is really just used for movies. NOT NETFLIX. I have an AppleTV for that. I would only use HTPC to play movies on VLC Player... (4K, HDR movies that is)

Although, if I was going to hassle through upgrading the whole HTPC I'd want access to some gaming. I do have steam installed and its good for lower key games right now on a Steam Controller (GTX 970 on HDTV). But that would be a low priority compared to just making it work for the HTPC movies... I have a dedicated gaming PC in my office w/1080 TI and 27" G-Sync Monitor + a 4K 32" monitor etc.

I'm just concerned with 4K HDR on the Home Theatre setup, for the most part, unless this is going to turn into a whole ordeal.

So the 970 and older 2008 Intel CPU definitely won't work for 4k HDR on VLC?

The gaming is what is going to inflate the price. If you want to game at 4k its going to be a slide show. That means you are going to have to bump down the resolution which never looks as good. Further, gaming is going to push your hardware which means more heat, so its going to get louder if you want small form factor.

Now, if you want to play UHD disks or any DRM 4k stuff, you need to make sure all hardware is compliant. So for the CPU, Intel says you need... "3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processor or higher with Intel® HD Graphics and the latest Intel® HD Graphics driver."

Now, if you are playing say h.265 content, that can be done by your GPU and work perfectly fine. Playing 4k is not as simple as can your hardware do the work.

I'm building another HTPC for my 4k tv. It looks like I'm going with a i5-8600 or something close to that. I'm leaving the option to get a dGPU later but for HTPC needs, the cpu should be more than enough. That means that I will also need to get a motherboard that can support 4k HDR as I would be using the motherboard ports for video.
 
Last edited:
Dec 12, 2001
26,398
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#12
The gaming is what is going to inflate the price. If you want to game at 4k its going to be a slide show. That means you are going to have to bump down the resolution which never looks as good. Further, gaming is going to push your hardware which means more heat, so its going to get louder if you want small form factor.

Now, if you want to play UHD disks



The gaming is what is going to inflate the price. If you want to game at 4k its going to be a slide show. That means you are going to have to bump down the resolution which never looks as good. Further, gaming is going to push your hardware which means more heat, so its going to get louder if you want small form factor.

Now, if you want to play UHD disks or any DRM 4k stuff, you need to make sure all hardware is compliant. So for the CPU, Intel says you need... "3rd Generation Intel Core Processor or higher with Intel HD Graphics and the latest Intel HD Graphics driver."

Now, if you are playing say h.265 content, that can be done by your GPU and work perfectly fine. Playing 4k is not as simple as can your hardware do the work.

I'm building another HTPC for my 4k tv. It looks like I'm going with a i5-8600 or something close to that. I'm leaving the option to get a dGPU later but for HTPC needs, the cpu should be more than enough. That means that I will also need to get a motherboard that can support 4k HDR as I would be using the motherboard ports for video.
The hdmi ports on the motherboard are dependent on the cpu. So if you go with an 8600 you are covered with the supported intel chipsets.
 
Oct 18, 2013
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#13
The hdmi ports on the motherboard are dependent on the cpu. So if you go with an 8600 you are covered with the supported intel chipsets.
The HDMI ports are not dependent on the CPU. You can currently find many different HDMI ports on motherboards.

For example, here is a H370 motherboard that has a HDMI 2.0 port.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188194

This means it can support 4K @60hz through HDMI.

Here is another H370 motherboard that does not support 4K @60hz through HDMI.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157817

Its true that usually these motherboards have display port that can do that, but, the point is that the HDMI ports are not dependent on just the CPU.
 

dsc106

Senior member
May 31, 2012
263
4
81
#14
Oh wow, ok, this is helpful. Some maybe good news here. HDCP will not be an issue for my PC use case and gaming is a very low priority on the current rig. Maybe Ori and the Blind Forest or something. I could even render it at HD and then upscale it to the TV for the few times i might actually do that.

HDR is what is most interesting to me by far, and where I am hoping I can use my PC to display some 4K HDR content via VLC h.264 or h.265 files.

I have an AppleTV 4k and a Samung UHD Blu Ray for most movies. VLC/PC will just be for some 4k HDR content for specific reasons.

I did not know the evga 970 FTW had HDMI 2.0a for HDR support - was that enabled on a driver update? I am connecting GTX 970 via HDMI straight to TV, then sending audio to the receiver via optical.

It sounds like I should be able to play 4K HDR without issue other than speed? The only question will be performance perhaps being poor because of my CPU being a 2008 intel without a newer chipset for HEVC decoding? And maybe the GPU getting a little tapped out?

I understand HDCP would be an issue for blu-rays or iTunes or something but again anything with HDCP won't get played on the PC, it will get played on BluRay or AppleTV only. PC with local files on VLC player is only for non-HDCP content.
 
Oct 18, 2013
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#15
Oh wow, ok, this is helpful. Some maybe good news here. HDCP will not be an issue for my PC use case and gaming is a very low priority on the current rig. Maybe Ori and the Blind Forest or something. I could even render it at HD and then upscale it to the TV for the few times i might actually do that.

HDR is what is most interesting to me by far, and where I am hoping I can use my PC to display some 4K HDR content via VLC h.264 or h.265 files.

I have an AppleTV 4k and a Samung UHD Blu Ray for most movies. VLC/PC will just be for some 4k HDR content for specific reasons.

I did not know the evga 970 FTW had HDMI 2.0a for HDR support - was that enabled on a driver update? I am connecting GTX 970 via HDMI straight to TV, then sending audio to the receiver via optical.

It sounds like I should be able to play 4K HDR without issue other than speed? The only question will be performance perhaps being poor because of my CPU being a 2008 intel without a newer chipset for HEVC decoding? And maybe the GPU getting a little tapped out?

I understand HDCP would be an issue for blu-rays or iTunes or something but again anything with HDCP won't get played on the PC, it will get played on BluRay or AppleTV only. PC with local files on VLC player is only for non-HDCP content.
Then if HDCP is not an issue, you should be good with almost anything.

I have an OLED TV and HDR is nice, but is not amazing right now.
 

dsc106

Senior member
May 31, 2012
263
4
81
#16
Excellent.

Do you think performance will be an issue with a 2008 quad core intel CPU and GTX 970 for 4K HDR content?

Is it only HEVC that causes issues, or the CPU bandwidth of rendering the 4K too?

When did the 970 gain 2.0a support for HDR?
 
Oct 18, 2013
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#17
Excellent.

Do you think performance will be an issue with a 2008 quad core intel CPU and GTX 970 for 4K HDR content?

Is it only HEVC that causes issues, or the CPU bandwidth of rendering the 4K too?

When did the 970 gain 2.0a support for HDR?
What CPU? Something from 2008 is pretty old. I'm guessing its like an i7 9XX chip.

At the very least, you can try it sense you already have the PC. Its not super expensive to upgrade though. If what you have does not work, its not a huge bust to get some upgraded parts. You could even get a NUC if you want to go through display port.
 

dsc106

Senior member
May 31, 2012
263
4
81
#18
I'm not sure what the model was - 2.66ghz 45nm Quad Core is what I know. I think it had a Q in it?

True, I suppose I could just upgrade the HTPC to a modern intel chip on the cheap. Get a nice new silver/small HTPC case. But then the cost goes up and I assume it's a step back for some basic gaming tasks, too.
 
Oct 18, 2013
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#19
I'm not sure what the model was - 2.66ghz 45nm Quad Core is what I know. I think it had a Q in it?

True, I suppose I could just upgrade the HTPC to a modern intel chip on the cheap. Get a nice new silver/small HTPC case. But then the cost goes up and I assume it's a step back for some basic gaming tasks, too.
Depends on how small of a case you want. Some small cases can fit full sized cards. So if you want to keep that 970 you probably could.
 

akyp11

Junior Member
Aug 27, 2018
3
0
11
#20
I'm not sure what the model was - 2.66ghz 45nm Quad Core is what I know. I think it had a Q in it?
That looks like a Q6700 to me. I would give it a try - by downloading and playing a sample 4k clip, see if you get frame drops and observe the CPU% and GPU%.

As to your other question on 970 and HDMI 2.0a support - I have no idea if the 970 supports 2.0a but this page does state all 900 and 1000 series GPUs support HDR output:
https://developer.nvidia.com/high-dynamic-range-display-development
 


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