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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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  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    What I'd like to know is why the 7950 is shown in the Idle temp charts and then vanishes from the Load temp charts. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Sorry.. Power consumption charts.

    I'd like to see the 7950/7970 load power consumption. The idle consumption is less interesting and that's where they're shown.
    Reply
  • dananski - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Me too, the 6850 was worse than the 5850, so I'd expected it to be easily beaten by this generation's 770. Then again, the 6770 was just a 5770, so I suppose I should've learned that the mid-range is barely moving. Reply
  • designerfx - Thursday, February 16, 2012 - link

    if you think about the fact of it's price today then it will probably be down substantially in a month - at which point it'd be quite competitive. Reply
  • ce12373 - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Hmmm. This AMD story sounds like a lot of other AMD stories (cough*cough "BULLDOZER"). Maybe no one has piledriven the point home to AMD yet. Oh well. Reply
  • medi01 - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Right, and it's a long time that nVidiai stopped producing overpriced "you can fry pancackes with these" GPUs and even hold performance crown? Oh, it's still producing them and AMD still hold performance crown? What a pity.

    Oh, but AMD went nVidia route with "confuse consumer more" naming scheme? How shameless, do they pay royalties for this to nVidia, the inventor of this rubbish?
    Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    AMD has been doing the name bait and switch just as long as Nvidia but since your such a fan boy apparently you haven't noticed. It is obvious from your overheated GPU remarks that you are stuck on some ancient review of a past Nvidia product. And again, AMD has done the same, also in the past, 2900XT anyone? Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - link

    The GTX 590 still holds the single card crown.
    The very strange situation that has occurred is amd holding the single core card crown with 7970, finally passing the 580 after a year or closer to two and I don't remember how long.
    This single core crown is gone already gone with the GTX680 benches leaked a few days early.
    So amd finally did hold a crown for once in a very long time, for a very short time, 2.5 months or so....with most of that time in very weak or absent stock on retail shelves.

    Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH Reply
  • Reticence - Monday, June 24, 2013 - link

    You realize you're kinda the laughing stock of anandtech right? You wait with baited breath for every post remotely including AMD somewhere in the article to give you the opportunity to suck off nvidia and intel. I literally think you might need psychiatric help with that raging superiority complex, then again I've always thought there should be specially designed concentration camps for people like you who never grew out of acting like a blow-hard highschool kid.

    Oh well, down to business.

    Two 7970's (And I mean two 7970's, NOT a 7990) perform better than one Titan, EVERY benchmark has shown it, you can not deny this. And I already know what you're doing to say "BUT THAT'S 2 CARDS VS. 1, NOT FAIR ;[" But see, this is the main point that proves you're a major fucking moron. That.does.not.matter.at.all.

    The the Titan is 1000$.
    Two 7970's are 800$.

    And while yes, it's impressive that a single card can hold it's own against two, it doesn't matter, who is going to spend 200$ more for LESS performance? I'm sure you'll also say "you're just an AMD fanboy." Wrong, I just don't like to waste my money. And I really, really, don't like you.

    Nuff said.

    Oh and by the way, read it and weep, pussy.

    http://www.semiaccurate.com/forums/showpost.php?p=...
    Reply

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