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Quadro 600 vs 6450 vs HD2000 for HTPC, light gaming

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
755
18
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Currently have a Phenom X4 / 6450 combo for my HTPC. The performance is decent for what I need but the cabinet its in rivals the easybake oven, so while I'm upgrading the setup I'm going to choose a new GPU from my pile.

Now I just started doing some steam in-home streaming on my HTPC and have to say I'm really loving this feature, and started expanding the gaming a bit on my HTPC. I will stream anything GPU intensive but if something older can run natively I'd rather do that, obviously.

Of these cards, which would be the best GPU for this type of setup?

Quadro 600
keep my current 6450
use the onboard HD2000 from the new i3 setup

The quadro is obviously not a gaming card I'd buy but I found this in a discarded system. Spec wise its double the performance of my current 6450 on the same process tech (40nm) and the TDP numbers are similar between the cards. Are the drivers going to mess me up here in HTPC/gaming use?

Is there some other factor I'm not seeing that I should go with the HD2000 onboard graphics instead? It seems the low end discrete cards have more grunt but since the HD2000 is newer I'm not sure if I'd be missing out on some new feature set I'm not aware of.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
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Hmmm...

I wouldn't rely on the HD2000 as those Sandy Intel GPUs had crazy bad drivers. I mean, it might work so try it first but don't be surprised if it doesn't.

If it doesn't work I would stick with the 6450 unless you plan to use Linux then I would pick the Quadro 600.
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
755
18
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Thanks. The intel GPU is uncharted territory for me. I'd prefer the simplicity of onboard with the drop in power consumption but know none of the caveats.

I probably won't go linux as we need WMC for cablecard tuning.

I actually got incredibly lucky and found several PCs being thrown out with a bunch of decent hardware, so I might test out a SteamOS build and use the quadro for that but besides dicking around no real purpose in that.

The 6450 is working decently now with the H.264 streaming using steam so I suppose with a CPU upgrade it will just be a better experience.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
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The problem is that Sandy bridge drivers couldn't play proper 24p almost no matter what you did. For some people this doesn't matter, but for others it is a dealbreaker.

For actual picture quality the best option will be the 6450 as well.
 

DesiPower

Lifer
Nov 22, 2008
15,368
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I could never get proper satisfactory resolution with SB IGPs... always ended up buying a cheap GPU
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
7,363
640
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The problem is that Sandy bridge drivers couldn't play proper 24p almost no matter what you did. For some people this doesn't matter, but for others it is a dealbreaker.

For actual picture quality the best option will be the 6450 as well.
I always wonder why people say this and wonder why I haven't experienced teh same issue. But then I realized I don't think I've ever used a PC (extensively that is) with intel onboard graphics since like 2004 or something ridiculous.

Is using an AMD/Nvidia card really that much of an improvement in video playback quality? I mean obviously the cost/benefit ratio will be different for everyone though just curious.
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
755
18
81
The problem is that Sandy bridge drivers couldn't play proper 24p almost no matter what you did. For some people this doesn't matter, but for others it is a dealbreaker.

For actual picture quality the best option will be the 6450 as well.
I had heard about the unsolvable 24P bug, but since I had never used any of my SB systems in an HTPC role with the onboard graphics I never dug into the issue.

My understanding was that it was a blu-ray issue (most of my content is WMC TV), but I could be wrong in that. I guess I have some research to do.

If the 6450 is a better card then I have no problem using that, I just didn't know if the HD2000, since newer, had any better featuresets that I wasn't aware of, specifically offloading any GPU transcoding.

Since the 6450 has a fan on it I was thinking while I have things torn down to glue a big old heatsink on it and make it passive. The noise is really getting up there.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
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I could never get proper satisfactory resolution with SB IGPs... always ended up buying a cheap GPU
Agreed. Currently my favorite HTPC GPU is the GT 630 v2. I just got one and its amazing with its 25w TDP and cool temps.

Is using an AMD/Nvidia card really that much of an improvement in video playback quality? I mean obviously the cost/benefit ratio will be different for everyone though just curious.
Yes, mostly due to the state of the driver. For a while AMD GPUs had a driver feature advantage in Windows, while Nvidia has a clear cut feature advantage in Linux. Intel on both OSes is "good enough" to downright excellent on features on everything Ivy onwards. Anything prior to Ivy should be avoided.

I am a huge Nvidia fanboy so I make sure whatever my "primary" box is has NVidia inside, but that is so I can use obscure VDPAU features most users don't care about....
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
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I had heard about the unsolvable 24P bug, but since I had never used any of my SB systems in an HTPC role with the onboard graphics I never dug into the issue.

My understanding was that it was a blu-ray issue (most of my content is WMC TV), but I could be wrong in that. I guess I have some research to do.
The issue is that those GPUs cannot hit the proper frame rate that every movie since the silent film era has used. Blu Rays are the common example because videophiles really about proper playback of the best source possible (which is Blu Ray), but most US film content no matter the source is 24p and will suffer from that bug.

If the 6450 is a better card then I have no problem using that, I just didn't know if the HD2000, since newer, had any better feature sets that I wasn't aware of, specifically offloading any GPU transcoding.

Since the 6450 has a fan on it I was thinking while I have things torn down to glue a big old heatsink on it and make it passive. The noise is really getting up there.
That is quite doable, I have two passive 6450s. It is an excellent HTPC card, much better at things like deinterlacing (that probably matters to you) than the Intel GPU. I would stick with it.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,207
38
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That is quite doable, I have two passive 6450s. It is an excellent HTPC card, much better at things like deinterlacing (that probably matters to you) than the Intel GPU. I would stick with it.
I ran the iGPU on my Sandy G620 in my HTPC for a while, never really had any problems with it except properly streaming Netflix. I dropped in a passively cooled HD6450... the Netflix issues remained but it seemed like everything else worked a little better. On paper the HD2000 graphics and the HD6450 are roughly in the same ballpark, but in use I really prefer the card over the iGPU.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
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IDK, a 610 is more than enough, hell, I have a 8400 that does 1080p BRD just fine....
You are correct that anything Nvidia from the 8400 onward can play most Blu Ray rips, while anything a GT 430 onward can handle 3D and the most demanding 1080p or 1080i files. Where the GT 630 v2 excels is the fact it is made using Nvidia's best process, while having the power to play 3D, 4k, and interlace the most demanding files. So better than a GT 430 for half the heat, which matters a lot with Mini ITX builds.

I will say that prior to the 630v2 my favorite was the 6450 as its was hard to beat for its cost.
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
755
18
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You are correct that anything Nvidia from the 8400 onward can play most Blu Ray rips, while anything a GT 430 onward can handle 3D and the most demanding 1080p or 1080i files. Where the GT 630 v2 excels is the fact it is made using Nvidia's best process, while having the power to play 3D, 4k, and interlace the most demanding files. So better than a GT 430 for half the heat, which matters a lot with Mini ITX builds.

I will say that prior to the 630v2 my favorite was the 6450 as its was hard to beat for its cost.
I agree - the value for the $15 after rebate has been great. I was under the impression that there hasn't really been an update to the 6450 in awhile (maybe the GT610) but not on the AMD side.

For movies/media center its fine, but I wish it just had a little more kick for light gaming. The other day a bunch of people got together to play Telltale's Walking dead with an xbox controller on the HTPC, and while framerates were tolerable, I wouldn't call it smooth at 1080P. Just a little bump would have been perfect for that type of gaming.

So is there any reason not to use the quadro card? Its 'free' in the sense that I already have it, and its got double the memory bandwidth of the 6450. Might be a little harder to make it passive. I suppose I could put the quadro on ebay and pick out something else as well.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
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The only issue with the Quadro is that for its more power it produces more heat, and you are dealing with an "easy bake oven" enclosure in your own words. Why the 6450 was a big deal in its day it is was the true line between power and efficiency where fanless made sense. No way the Quadro will go fanless in that same environment, but it might run with the stock fan if you want to try.

If it doesn't work or you deem it too loud, the trick is to get more power than the 6450 for the same (fanless) power profile. To do that you need more modern tech that uses a 28 nm process so you get more power per watt.

Something like a Radeon 7 240 will provide SIGNIFICANTLY more power than the 6450 and be fanless:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...140610144155:s
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
755
18
81
Gotcha. I didn't know the quadro was using more power. I figured they'd be about the same but I guess looking at the numbers the quadro is using 50W which is a bit much.

I guess I haven't kept up because I had no idea there was a R7 240, I only knew about the big cards. Looks interesting.

I think I will stick with the 6450 for now and keep my eye on the 240, waiting for AMD to position something like that more competitively in the 6450s spot on the newer process tech and grab that.
 

AnitaPeterson

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2001
5,611
28
91
Whoa... there's a GT630 v2?

Is it the same GPU as before, only smaller lithography, hence the 25W consumption?
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
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Whoa... there's a GT630 v2?

Is it the same GPU as before, only smaller lithography, hence the 25W consumption?
No, it is basically a completely different GPU despite the same name. Good ole Nvidia. ;)

The old 630 had 96 Fermi stream processors and a 810 MHz clock speed. The v2 630 has 384 Kepler stream processors (so yup new lithography and architecture) and a 902 MHz clock speed.

You would assume from that the new 630 would kill the old one, but they went from a 128-bit memory bus to a 64-bit one on the V2 model. The end result is that the V2 is still a little faster for gaming, but has a HUGE advantage on power consumption.

I have been testing the new V2 630 and I think for HTPC use it does everything anyone could ask for short of some crazy Mad VR on a 4k screen and source. It is certainly an upgrade of my GT 430 for half the power (so WAY less heat).

Highly recommended. The fanless Asus seems nice:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814121778

Where I am using mine didn't have the clearance for that heatsink so I have this one instead:

http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-GT630.../dp/B00H707RQQ

This thing runs room temps when playing my meanest 1080p files.
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
755
18
81
Yes, thank you. The 630V2 looks like a pretty good card.

I wanted to justify the quadro as the benchmarks did put it as faster than the 6450 and I have it in my hands right now, but thats just not the best use of it and it wastes too much heat. I got off my lazy butt and put the card up on ebay.
 
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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
48,825
5,321
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The old 630 had 96 Fermi stream processors and a 810 MHz clock speed. The v2 630 has 384 Kepler stream processors (so yup new lithography and architecture) and a 902 MHz clock speed.

You would assume from that the new 630 would kill the old one, but they went from a 128-bit memory bus to a 64-bit one on the V2 model. The end result is that the V2 is still a little faster for gaming, but has a HUGE advantage on power consumption.
Interesting. EVGA just recently released GT 730 cards, and if you look at the specs, most of them have 96 SPs, but the "low-profile" GDDR5 versions have 384 SPs.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
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Interesting. EVGA just recently released GT 730 cards, and if you look at the specs, most of them have 96 SPs, but the "low-profile" GDDR5 versions have 384 SPs.
I was looking at the specs today and it seems Nvidia did their favorite thing with lowend cards and the 64bit GT 730 is a rebranded GT 630 V2. Same specs down to the details. So its a good card, but maybe a V2 GT 630 provides better value depending on what prices you can get.

The shame is the 128bit DDR3 GT730 (the 96 SPs version you mention) looks like a rebranded V1 GT 630 down to the 40nm fab. A complete waste of silicon IMHO to ship any 40nm card in 2014.

The interesting model is the DDR5 GT 730. That looks like something completely new and quite awesome honestly. Given the price, power level and fab that might be THE card for those who want a HTPC that can game a little.
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
755
18
81
I was looking at the specs today and it seems Nvidia did their favorite thing with lowend cards and the 64bit GT 730 is a rebranded GT 630 V2. Same specs down to the details. So its a good card, but maybe a V2 GT 630 provides better value depending on what prices you can get.

The shame is the 128bit DDR3 GT730 (the 96 SPs version you mention) looks like a rebranded V1 GT 630 down to the 40nm fab. A complete waste of silicon IMHO to ship any 40nm card in 2014.

The interesting model is the DDR5 GT 730. That looks like something completely new and quite awesome honestly. Given the price, power level and fab that might be THE card for those who want a HTPC that can game a little.
I looked up GT 730 on newegg and every card I found was 96 cores, I think all were DDR3 except one GDDR5 (but that also had 96 cores).

Interestingly I just shipped out my quadro 600 card that I put on ebay, it ended up selling for $55. So obviously the better decision to sell it and get a proper card. Just have to find the right one.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
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I looked up GT 730 on newegg and every card I found was 96 cores, I think all were DDR3 except one GDDR5 (but that also had 96 cores).
If you want a little more gaming power the best choice is a GT 640 V2 DDR5, as some are the 384 core kind. Here is an example, but other OEMs might sell it cheaper:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814500308

Or just get an R7 if you prefer AMD, as that honestly might be more bang for the buck. I am declared Nvidia fanboy so I only really track their cards...
 

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