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 Post subject: Need a Quick Primer on Vid Cards
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:51 am 
Coppermine
Coppermine

Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:47 am
Posts: 682
Yes, I am on the internet every day absorbing as much as I can but I was hoping someone knowledgeable could explain to me in just a few sentences what exactly a vid card does in relationship to the CPU?

I thought when I am watching a movie, the GPU on the vid card would be doing all or most of the work for the pc. Can anyone put into percentages how much work the CPU does and how much work the GPU does while watching a movie?

It seems these super expensive, high end vid cards are more for gamers and not people like me who use their pc's for the internet and watching HDTV.

Thinking of ways to spread around the work the pc does, I am considering two vid cards. One card plugged into my HDTV and the other plugged into my HD monitor. Doing this, I am assuming I wouldn't need to purchase a top end card I could, instead, purchase two "medium rated" cards that can easily do HDTV and internet stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Need a Quick Primer on Vid Cards
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:29 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5034
robertco300 wrote:
Yes, I am on the internet every day absorbing as much as I can but I was hoping someone knowledgeable could explain to me in just a few sentences what exactly a vid card does in relationship to the CPU?

It offloads the part where the computer has to render a visual output to a monitor. You don't have to have a video card, if the computer has another way of providing output (text terminal, for instance).

Quote:
I thought when I am watching a movie, the GPU on the vid card would be doing all or most of the work for the pc. Can anyone put into percentages how much work the CPU does and how much work the GPU does while watching a movie?

No, because it depends on a lot of factors including:
  • What kind of video it is
  • What kind of video card you have. Traditionally, lower end video cards had better video decoders.
  • What drivers you have installed
  • How the codec settings are set up
  • What software you're using
  • If the software supports CPU offloading to GPU

If you want an idea of things: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3786/hd-v ... -vlc-110/3

Quote:
It seems these super expensive, high end vid cards are more for gamers and not people like me who use their pc's for the internet and watching HDTV.

No, and often times in the past, the high end video cards had the last generation video decoders.

Quote:
Thinking of ways to spread around the work the pc does, I am considering two vid cards. One card plugged into my HDTV and the other plugged into my HD monitor. Doing this, I am assuming I wouldn't need to purchase a top end card I could, instead, purchase two "medium rated" cards that can easily do HDTV and internet stuff.

Don't you have a Z77 board? Just use the Lucid Virtu feature on your motherboard (http://www.anandtech.com/show/5728/inte ... -biostar/2 ). This will let you use the discrete GPU for heavy lifting and the iGPU for video decoding. Or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Need a Quick Primer on Vid Cards
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:02 pm 
Coppermine
Coppermine

Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:47 am
Posts: 682
Everything I have is AMD but what you are saying is to use my onboard video if I get a good enough MOBO????


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 Post subject: Re: Need a Quick Primer on Vid Cards
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:47 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5034
No. It does not depend on your motherboard. Lucid Virtu is just a nice-to-have-feature on Z68 and Z77 boards that allows you to take advantage of the iGPU in Intel chips if you use a graphics card at the same time.

Here's the thing though. GPU decoding is more or less meant to offload work on lower end systems, where having a high-CPU usage for just playing HD videos is undesirable. Hence why the better GPU decoders were on lower-end GPUs. GPU decoding doesn't drastically improve the quality of the video. So if you have a good enough CPU, then this is something you shouldn't be spending any more time on.


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 Post subject: Re: Need a Quick Primer on Vid Cards
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:42 am 
Coppermine
Coppermine

Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:47 am
Posts: 682
Thanks Dr. Lat.....just trying to learn.

I literally research almost a year before my next build. My current build does everything I want but it's not gonna last forever so I toss around ideas for no reason literally for a whole year. Reading reviews on MOBO's, chips, RAM, vid cards. One was to have two vid cards instead of one. One for the tv, one for the montior. "Seems" like it would split the work a vid card does in two.

Something new I never done before is to have to versions of Win 7 installed on two different hard drives. When my SSD died I was stuck with my dick in my hand. Now, all I have to do if it happens again is to have BIOS point to the drive with Win 7 on it and not miss a beat. Also, I can run programs on the other drive that has Win 7 on it while the SSD is doing something else like downloading files or surfing the net. After what I went thru when my SSD died, I will ALWAYS have a second version of whatever OS I am currently using installed on a second drive.......always!!!!


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