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Graphics Card for 4k HDR HTPC/Gaming

Luxman Amplifiers India

saketb

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Hi, I already own a HTPC based on the below specs..
CPU - Intel 4th Gen i3 4130 3.4GHz
Motherboard - ASUS H87I-Plus
RAM - 8GB DDR3
Graphics Card - nvidia GT630

This is serving well for my 1080p needs. But now when I try to run 4k it stutters. Well HDR is not supported as the card supports upto 8 bit colour and HDR requires 10 bit as I'm aware of and the colours are way off.

Now, I want to know if I change just the graphics card and will my HTPC specs run 4k and HDR videos, or do I've to change CPU/Motherboard/RAM as well? If its possible to run the newer formats including HEVC .265, VP9 etc just by changing the graphics card, please suggest which one should I go for. Will a GT 1030 or a GT 1050 should be good enough for playing these content? And a little bit of gaming too along with it.

Any suggestions are welcome.
 

mandeep

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Now, I want to know if I change just the graphics card and will my HTPC specs run 4k and HDR videos, or do I've to change CPU/Motherboard/RAM as well? Will a GT 1030 or a GT 1050 should be good enough for playing these content? And a little bit of gaming too along with it.

Any suggestions are welcome.

One of my friends also had such a problem, he tried various combinations of processors and motherboards, i confirmed with him yesterday, as i am also upgrading my older PC.

There are no affordable hdmi 2.0 motherboards available in india as of now. You can import from US Amazon.Com if you want ( No warranty though)

Our best bet is get gtx1050 with at least 4gb vram.

The intel 7th generation i3, i5, i7 and above will fully support 4k with HDR.

My friends PC configuration is as below:

1) Intel 7th generation i5 7400

2) Msi B250m pro-vdh motherboard (get its bios updated from the dealer itself, due to certain freezing problems he faced, but after updating bios, everything is working fine)

3) Ram: 8 gb

4) Windows 10 software: Windows 10 Build 17093 has the option to select the HDR setting, update your PC, it will be downloaded automatically, and turn HDR to 'on' in display settings, but make sure to select 'enhanced mode' on your sony tv, so that wondows sees it as capable HDR Tv, then only, this option to select HDR to 'on' will come up under display options. Its quite strange that it never shows up with a non HDR tv. Strange but true. A new windows spring 2018 (Redstone 4 or RS4) is also coming soon.

5) if your PC is near to your Tv then shorter length of hdmi 2.0 cables work properly, but if its far i.e 15 feet or above then you might need a new HDMI cable. Like the Amazon basics High-Speed HDMI Cable - 25 Feet (Latest Standard) which is of HDMI 2.0 standard and supports bandwidth up to 18gbps.

6) Asus gtx 1050 4gb graphics card.

7) He is using cyberlink powerdvd 17 to play HDR video's, its a very good software, due to its simplicity.

The above configuration is just a guideline, you can try other combinations also. The above configuration works very well and a tried and tested one.

I don't know about any working configuration with an AMD processor.

Best of luck

cheers
 
Last edited:

suryakiran

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Hyderabad
If you just want to play 4k HDR videos upgrading your graphics card is good enough.
I have an i5 3570k+ AMD RX 460 2GB card and my PC plays 4k HDR videos fine without stutter.I can play GTA V with decent settings.
Hope this helps
 

saketb

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One of my friends also had such a problem, he tried various combinations of processors and motherboards, i confirmed with him yesterday, as i am also upgrading my older PC.

There are no affordable hdmi 2.0 motherboards available in india as of now. You can import from US Amazon.Com if you want ( No warranty though)

Our best bet is get gtx1050 with at least 4gb vram.

The intel 7th generation i3, i5, i7 and above will fully support 4k with HDR.

My friends PC configuration is as below:

1) Intel 7th generation i5 7400

2) Msi B250m pro-vdh motherboard (get its bios updated from the dealer itself, due to certain freezing problems he faced, but after updating bios, everything is working fine)

3) Ram: 8 gb

4) Windows 10 software: Windows 10 Build 17093 has the option to select the HDR setting, update your PC, it will be downloaded automatically, and turn HDR to 'on' in display settings, but make sure to select 'enhanced mode' on your sony tv, so that wondows sees it as capable HDR Tv, then only, this option to select HDR to 'on' will come up under display options. Its quite strange that it never shows up with a non HDR tv. Strange but true. A new windows spring 2018 (Redstone 4 or RS4) is also coming soon.

5) if your PC is near to your Tv then shorter length of hdmi 2.0 cables work properly, but if its far i.e 15 feet or above then you might need a new HDMI cable. Like the Amazon basics High-Speed HDMI Cable - 25 Feet (Latest Standard) which is of HDMI 2.0 standard and supports bandwidth up to 18gbps.

6) Asus gtx 1050 4gb graphics card.

7) He is using cyberlink powerdvd 17 to play HDR video's, its a very good software, due to its simplicity.

The above configuration is just a guideline, you can try other combinations also. The above configuration works very well and a tried and tested one.

I don't know about any working configuration with an AMD processor.

Best of luck

cheers

One question comes in mind, hdmi interface in motherboard and graphics card are separate so does it require also to change both. As I can understand if only the graphics card is replaced then I have the HDMI 2.0b (as per nvidia site for gtx 1050) which should work well for latest codecs incl 4k & hdr. Cause upgrading even the cpu/motherboard is not in option right now and if it's required to do I'll give it a pass.

I'm confused, please clarify this.
 

mandeep

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One question comes in mind, hdmi interface in motherboard and graphics card are separate so does it require also to change both. As I can understand if only the graphics card is replaced then I have the HDMI 2.0b (as per nvidia site for gtx 1050) which should work well for latest codecs incl 4k & hdr. Cause upgrading even the cpu/motherboard is not in option right now and if it's required to do I'll give it a pass.

I'm confused, please clarify this.

As suggested by FM 'suryakiran' he is using old i5 3570k with an upgraded new graphics card AMD RX 460 2GB, go the dealer shop, install the graphics card into your pc and check various hdr video formats, if it plays well, then you are good to go. Let me check for hardware requirements as stated by netflix, because it may require specific hardware requirements.
 

mandeep

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This is what official page of netflix says :-

You can stream Netflix in HDR on your Windows computer in the Microsoft Edge browser or the Netflix app available from the Windows store.

To stream in HDR content on your Windows PC, your system must meet or exceed the following requirements:

If using integrated Intel GPU:

Windows 10 Creators Update is required (version 1703).

CPU: 7th Generation Core (i3, i5, or i7 7xxx or 7Yxx) or higher processor.

Graphics Driver: 22.XX.XX series, version 4708 or higher.

Note:
Devices must be enabled for HDR by the manufacturer.
If using discrete NVIDIA GPU:

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is required (version 1709).

GPU: 1050, 1060, 1070, and 1080 cards with at least 3GB of video RAM.

Graphics Driver: 387.68 (23.21.13.8768) or higher.

Note:
Devices must support Microsoft PlayReady 3.0 or higher.
If you are unsure if your computer meets these requirements, please reach out to the manufacturer.
 

mandeep

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Seems like Netflix has some sort of a exclusivity deal with Intel.

As stated by theverge.com

"Netflix is adding High Dynamic Range (HDR) support to both its Windows 10 app and the Microsoft Edge browser. Netflix’s hardware requirements for HDR on PC mean you’ll need Intel’s 7th-generation or higher processors to support the HDR10 encoded content, and Intel’s integrated GPU or an Nvidia 1050 or higher. AMD GPUs or even CPUs are currently unsupported."

If you don't feel the need for Netflix, you can go for the Amd GPU as an affordable option
 

saketb

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Yes, that's one move by netflix and intel. Well, streaming part the TV will take care so I'm safe there. Only concern is the graphics card connecting to my avr (no hdr support but passthrough may work).

Prices I got for some cards from my local dealer...
Gtx 1030 - 5900/- +18% (MSI/ASUS)
Gtx 1050 OC - 11200/- +18% (MSI/ASUS)
Gtx 1050ti 4GB OC - 14800/- +18% (MSI)
Gtx 1050ti 4GB OC - 16500/- +18% (ASUS)
 
Last edited:

reignofchaos

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I use a 1050 ti - it decodes Netflix HDR just fine. You can feed the HDMI from the graphics card directly to the TV and use the 2nd HDMI on the motherboard as the input of the AVR. Set the HDMI with AVR as the default audio device and all sound should be routed via it.

Those prices are shocking. I paid 8k or so for a zotac 1050ti last year.
 

saketb

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I use a 1050 ti - it decodes Netflix HDR just fine. You can feed the HDMI from the graphics card directly to the TV and use the 2nd HDMI on the motherboard as the input of the AVR. Set the HDMI with AVR as the default audio device and all sound should be routed via it.

Those prices are shocking. I paid 8k or so for a zotac 1050ti last year.

Wow, is that really possible... I have heard it in bluray players, but PC too... that will be great and will solve all issues with my avr. Will it not have any issues in audio delay or something like that, will it be seamless in this way? If this really works I'll be very happy.
Thanks a lot for the suggestion, I'll try with my current GT630 card and the onboard HDMI and see if this works fine.

Yes prices are insane due to mining. I was interested in a 1070 but after knowing the price, I just shut my mouth and walked away. Will settle for a 1050ti 4gb if I get little better price. BTW, how would be the MSI compared to the Asus, as that is around 2k less?
 

reignofchaos

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Wow, is that really possible... I have heard it in bluray players, but PC too... that will be great and will solve all issues with my avr. Will it not have any issues in audio delay or something like that, will it be seamless in this way? If this really works I'll be very happy.
Thanks a lot for the suggestion, I'll try with my current GT630 card and the onboard HDMI and see if this works fine.

Yes prices are insane due to mining. I was interested in a 1070 but after knowing the price, I just shut my mouth and walked away. Will settle for a 1050ti 4gb if I get little better price. BTW, how would be the MSI compared to the Asus, as that is around 2k less?

Yep possible and I've been running a similar setup since eternity now. One bonus is that you don't need to turn on the receiver when you don't care about sound quality. You'd have to enable the intel cpu/motherboard video output in the bios though. It may not be active by default.

As for MSI/Asus - anything works fine. I've had both earlier and neither has given me trouble. Zotac is ok too and has 5 years warranty after registration.
 

saketb

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Update on using 2 HDMI interfaces...

I used my GT630 HDMI for video signal to TV and motherboard HDMI for audio to AVR, and guess what... it worked flawlessly (after configuring windows audio to intel digital audio). I am so happy that it worked and now I'm going forward with the upgrade of a graphics card (hoping that it will work with my existing motherboard). This also serves well and solves the issue of HDCP 2.2 issue with my avr.

Thanks a million for your valuable suggestion, reignofchaos and others as well.
 

suryakiran

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Update on using 2 HDMI interfaces...

I used my GT630 HDMI for video signal to TV and motherboard HDMI for audio to AVR, and guess what... it worked flawlessly (after configuring windows audio to intel digital audio). I am so happy that it worked and now I'm going forward with the upgrade of a graphics card (hoping that it will work with my existing motherboard). This also serves well and solves the issue of HDCP 2.2 issue with my avr.

Thanks a million for your valuable suggestion, reignofchaos and others as well.
If this is your Motherboard: Asus H871-PLUS
it has PCIe gen 3, so you are good to go. Also you can use digital out to send audio to AVR.
 

saketb

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If this is your Motherboard: Asus H871-PLUS
it has PCIe gen 3, so you are good to go. Also you can use digital out to send audio to AVR.

Yes that's the one. Thanks for looking and confirming. If I use digital out (optical) I loose uncompressed audio and will be limited to compressed core formats of dts & dd. So the HDMI route for audio would be the best.
 

saketb

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Bought MSI Dual Fan 1050ti 4gb OC Edition card. Will update once I've installed it.
 

saketb

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Finally installed the card yesterday night and after installing the latest drivers from nvidia it worked flawlessly. 4k videos play very smooth on the 55incher and the uncompressed audio from the on-board HDMI to avr plays fine too without any sync or any other issues.

Only thing which is of concern now is the hdr functionality of Windows 10. The implementation of hdr in windows 10 does not feel right. I mean who will want hdr on all the time, when non-hdr content will look awefull. Windows only sends the hdr signal to the display unit only when one slides the hdr to on. Else it's on sdr. And when I slide the hdr switch to on, in display settings the colour just goes berserk. It becomes very dull and flat and above all the hdr content is not displayed correctly on the tv irrespective of hdr being lit on tv picture settings. Manually setting a slider does not feel a great option. Anyway even then the hdr colours are not like it should be. Looks like a known issue with Windows 10. Anyone else facing this issue?

I found one way of doing this is by keeping the windows display setting as normal (non hdr/sdr) and when playing a hdr content manually change the video option to hdr10 and colour option to bt2020 on the tv picture setrings and then the screen pops up with real hdr colours and a wow feel. I tried this with some hdr samples I downloaded and played them first directly on the tv via usb to check the quality of the colours displayed and then through the PC with hdr switch on, it looked yuck. The manual trick worked perfectly and seemed the same as on direct tv. But only downside is you have to again manually set the picture & colour options to auto for a normal sdr display. Maybe Microsoft comes out with a patch or something to resolve this hdr implementation issue.

Now coming to games, I did a little gaming with the 1050ti and had metro last light redux edition (I know it's a pretty old one, being busy in work no time for games). The display was set to 1440p with medium settings, it looked awesome and was so much fun to play. I did not measure the fps but playability was good without any lags. Especially the sound stage was by default multi channel and I was amazed when game characters were talking and the player moves around the vocals were coming from the respective speaker as the direction the person talking and in real time. This was amazing and blew me away. Well this was the first time playing in surround sound with a large display.

Above all the 1050ti is a good choice and investment made. I even checked for a 1060 but the price was too much, around 25k for a 3gb one, can you believe it.

Thanks to everyone to pitch in and make your valuable suggestions. As always this forum is always at help with the right answers when needed.

Will update more on this as I will be using extensively this weekend hopefully.
 

mandeep

Active Member
Joined
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Messages
741
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Location
Mohali (Near Chandigarh)
Finally installed the card yesterday night and after installing the latest drivers from nvidia it worked flawlessly. 4k videos play very smooth on the 55incher and the uncompressed audio from the on-board HDMI to avr plays fine too without any sync or any other issues.

Only thing which is of concern now is the hdr functionality of Windows 10. The implementation of hdr in windows 10 does not feel right. I mean who will want hdr on all the time, when non-hdr content will look awefull. Windows only sends the hdr signal to the display unit only when one slides the hdr to on. Else it's on sdr. And when I slide the hdr switch to on, in display settings the colour just goes berserk. It becomes very dull and flat and above all the hdr content is not displayed correctly on the tv irrespective of hdr being lit on tv picture settings. Manually setting a slider does not feel a great option. Anyway even then the hdr colours are not like it should be. Looks like a known issue with Windows 10. Anyone else facing this issue?

I found one way of doing this is by keeping the windows display setting as normal (non hdr/sdr) and when playing a hdr content manually change the video option to hdr10 and colour option to bt2020 on the tv picture setrings and then the screen pops up with real hdr colours and a wow feel. I tried this with some hdr samples I downloaded and played them first directly on the tv via usb to check the quality of the colours displayed and then through the PC with hdr switch on, it looked yuck. The manual trick worked perfectly and seemed the same as on direct tv. But only downside is you have to again manually set the picture & colour options to auto for a normal sdr display. Maybe Microsoft comes out with a patch or something to resolve this hdr implementation issue.

Now coming to games, I did a little gaming with the 1050ti and had metro last light redux edition (I know it's a pretty old one, being busy in work no time for games). The display was set to 1440p with medium settings, it looked awesome and was so much fun to play. I did not measure the fps but playability was good without any lags. Especially the sound stage was by default multi channel and I was amazed when game characters were talking and the player moves around the vocals were coming from the respective speaker as the direction the person talking and in real time. This was amazing and blew me away. Well this was the first time playing in surround sound with a large display.

Above all the 1050ti is a good choice and investment made. I even checked for a 1060 but the price was too much, around 25k for a 3gb one, can you believe it.

Thanks to everyone to pitch in and make your valuable suggestions. As always this forum is always at help with the right answers when needed.

Will update more on this as I will be using extensively this weekend hopefully.

Hello saketb, i got assembled a brand new PC, with the same components as suggested by my friend. Yes, you are right i am getting the same problem with HDR, but i knew it beforehand, so it wasn't a surprise, windows 10 Spring RS4 update will hopefully solve this. The excuse given by Microsoft is

"When your Windows 10 PC is connected to an HDR TV or display, your desktop may appear dimmer than when the display is set to standard dynamic range (SDR) mode. This is because a display interprets an HDR and SDR signal differently, and the results will vary by make and model.

To make your screen brighter, use the buttons and on-screen menu on your display to increase the brightness."

Microsoft is putting all the blame on display or tv. But thats not the case when we play through USB of tv, so there must be something wrong with the windows 10 implementation of HDR signals.
 

mandeep

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You can use the madvr renderer for HDR playback. It uses an NVIDIA private API to switch the GPU output to HDR when playing videos via a compatible player. No need to turn anything on/off.

https://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=146228

The most compatible player with this is MPC-HC or MPC-BE.

Thanks reignofchaos.

Will definitely try this, earlier i used kodi + madvr combination, it used to crash like hell and i switched to cyberlink powerdvd. May be that kodi is unstable. Lets see if MPC is stable on my new PC or not.
 
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