Miscellaneous HTPC Aspects

One of the nice aspects of the Radeon HD 7750 is the fact that AMD's excellent video post processing capabilities with respect to deinterlacing, cadence detection and noise reduction are carried over from the previous efforts without the introduction of any bugs. As such, deinterlacing is of the same quality as before, and we felt that there was no necessity to repeat screenshots very similar to what we already provided in our previous Llano HTPC review.

3D works very well, and is even more seamless compared to NVIDIA's implementation. I don't play 3D games, and my only interest from a HTPC perspective is playing back 3D Blu-rays. I found that simply clicking on the 3D icon in PowerDVD shifted my VSC-32 / Sony KDL46EX720 into 3D mode. There was no need to explicitly set up the 3D display as I had to do with the NVIDIA cards. This might be a drawback for people doing 3D gaming, but for 3D media watching this is as simple as it could be.

It is not that the 7750 is without its faults. For all practical open source software purposes, MPEG-4 decode acceleration is absent even though it is a feature of UVD3. The Catalyst 10.4 release notes promised support for H.264 L5.1 stream decoding. However, consumers soon discovered that enabling DXVA decode for 4K clips often ended up in a BSOD. AMD has quietly slipped this under the radar, and now officially states that 4K decode is not officially supported for the time being, however this appears to be a matter of validation rather than hardware limitations. That said, we did see that trying to decode a 4K clip now no longer results in a hard BSOD.

The 7750 also has support for HDMI 1.4a's full specifications. This means that the GPU can drive resolutions of up to 4096x2160 at 24 fps and 3840x2160 at 30 fps over a single HDMI port! I am currently aware of only one HDMI sink supporting this over a single HDMI link, namely, the Sony VPL-VW1000ES projector. Users on AVSForum are already reporting success with driving 4K over a single HDMI link using the Radeon HD 7970, and I expect the 7750 to have no issues either. That said, if we do get access to this projector system, the 7750 will be one of the first HDMI sources to get connected to it.

I recently set up a 2x2 Eyefinity system using the 7950 to drive QFHD videos onto the displays. I was very impressed with the quality and ease of setup. Frankly, I am more excited about 4K compared to what I felt about 3D when manufacturers were trying to push that down the throat of the consumers. In my opinion, 4K (QFHD) with 2x2 23" 1080p thin bezel monitors will become a very cost effective solution for those looking at 4K for the desktop. In that respect, it is a bit disappointing that the 7750 we tested today can't drive four displays without a DisplayPort MST hub.

It is a little bit interesting to compare the GT 520 with the AMD 7750 with respect to readiness for 4K. While the GT 520 has full hardware decode acceleration for 4K videos, it is unable to push out the 4K material to the display(s). The HDMI 1.4a PHY in the GT 520 can drive only 1080p monitors and there is no way to drive four displays with it. The 7750, on the other hand, can drive 4K displays through HDMI right now (and to four monitors using an MST hub down the road), but it is unable to accelerate the decode of those videos. It will be interesting to see what NVIDIA has in store for the HTPC fans down the road. Can they deliver working cards and drivers before AMD fixes its driver issues? It is going to be a very interesting year ahead.

As a summary for our HTPC section, we have to say that the Radeon HD 7750 is an excellent addition to our HTPC testbed. It will definitely be the one to compare against when the new cards from NVIDIA and Intel's Ivy Bridge CPU come out over the next few months. We just hope that AMD will be able to get its driver act together before then.

Video Post-Processing: GPU Loading VCE & The Test
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  • chizow - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    There's a reason we look at the past, because chances are, what's already in your rig performs the same or better than what AMD is trying to sell you at the same or higher price than what you paid "in the past".

    Everyone needs to set the bar for themselves in terms of what they are willing to pay for an "upgrade", and given there is negative scaling with these parts, its pretty obvious they fail on all fronts. But hey, even you acknowledge this.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Those with a choosen side should not try to explain whatever the history tells us because they have a biased opinion. They can't see both side of the medal as objectively possible as someone with an impartial view and form the beginning you've proven to be on nvidia's side.

    End of the discussion, you can try to explain history but it's YOUR perception. I never said history wasn't worthy of anything the thing is you always are on the same side which means it's worthless from the very beginning.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I do not think it's a TOTAL fail, the 7970 and 7950 isn'T very well priced, but it's not a fail like those. From your point of view a fail is from historical pricing. From my point of view and ALWAYS was like that, it's from a performance/price standpoint and I won't change because you tell me we should look at everything things from the past. Sure we can learn from it.

    There was once a man that beleived the earth was round. But the historians and everyone else beleive it was flat so they killed him. No need to put names in there... History used as an argument makes that sometimes.... You've got to renew your point of view else, you can't see further from what you know.

    AMD is trying to sell you at the same or higher price than what you paid "in the past".

    Like we said before, nothing new here, it's always the same with x2 parts from last gen for years now... And it's only an example from many others of rebranding older designs selling at higher price point which AMD and Nvidia are both strong at.
    Reply
  • Galidou - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    The price is a failure from my perception, 7770 and 7750 is a big fail..... Unlike 7950 and 7970 non-attractive price/performance but still a little justified by it's performance compared to parts that are out NOW and not compared to freaking history of pricing or future video cards...

    People out there will buy the 7770 and they'll be totally satisfied for as long as they'll own the thing. If you spent 4 hours on the internet looking at video card prices and benchmarks and realize you're way better off with a 6850 you might find it a bargain. But for others, if you tell them what you did to get to that conclusion, they'll maybe end up being happy with their choice without searching because they had 4 hours of playtime outside on a sunny day and that's worth it, while you're on the computer looking to spend your money on the best you can find.

    So in the end, whatever we might say, perception is the key in life, we can take a whole day speaking about that and in the end, everyone will be right, because each of us create it's reality by thinking and seeing it the way THEY want... You want to live in the past and the future analyzing everything, you'll end up loosing the present which is the only thing that exists...
    Reply
  • chizow - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Yes Rarson, its proof stupid people have low standards and will buy anything. How's your 7700 treating you?

    Plenty in stock actually: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Sub...
    Reply

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