show me good one Ati HD video card

I want to upgrade my computer with HD video.I want advice on Appropriate Model Ati HD Video working well for 11.2 and 11.3

i have an ati HD 4850 for a year now and to be honest with the latest propretary drivers, i have seen a very good performance.

Watching videos with smplayer i have no flickering, no cutted immages and various problems i have seen for long time. Even the kde effects are working good. I can say that now i’m pleased of the perormance. In any case i’m using opensuse 11.2 64bit and kde 4.3.5 and i haven’t tryied 11.3 yet. So i’m waiting the stable release to try the radeonhd driver with kms cause i would like to have the open driver instead.

That’s my personal experience. I hope it could turn usefull.

I recommend you define your video requirements better. What do you need to do with this card? Play state-of-the-art games? Play High Definition Videos? Drive an external (2nd) monitor ?

Also take into account what other Operating Systems you may decide to use with this card/PC (in a dual boot), as you may be able to use the other Operating System to meet some of your requirements.

I have a Radeon HD3450 on my Dell Studio laptop, and I use the proprietary ATI driver (and also the Radeon open source driver at times) with this laptop. A requirement for me is to be able drive an external monitor display easily (which is met by KDE4 and xrandr - which is met by both proprietary and open source drivers). I also have a requirement to play back 1920x1280 HD videos (@ 25MB/sec bit rate) that this card does NOT meet under Linux, but it DOES meet this under MS-Windows via the ATI AVIVO technology (which Linux is not able to support). Purportedly some of the very latest ATI graphic cards will be supported under Linux for play back of HD videos at the highest resolution/bit rate.

Most new graphic cards will support special desktop effects, but its worth confirming if that is important to you.

The HD3450 that I obtained with my laptop (18 months agao) I was told is not much in terms of a gamers card. That (playing games) was not a factor in my graphic card decision.

The computer in which this card is to be located is an important factor. Is this an old PC with only PCI/AGP slots and no PCI-e slot? Or does it have a PCI-e slot? If an old PC you need to look at power requirements, and consider the specification/age of your PCs power supply.

Also, what sort of CPU does this PC have ? If it has a Core i7 processor, than my comments about HD video playback are meaningless, as the Core i7 is powerful enough that it does NOT need a video card/linux-driver that supports off loading of video decoding to the GPU. A slower/older PC will require that.

Play High Definition Videos

PC processor speed ?

sorry …Pentium 4 on 3GHz
And maybe just a good nvidia?

If you wished to be assured of the capability of playing HD videos, then your best bet may be a nVidia card. Does your Pentium 4 have a PCI-e slot ?? Thats a VERY important consideration. If it does not, then your choices are rather limited wrt HD videos because with no PCI-e slot, you need to put your video card in a PCI or an AGP slot. Now nVidia do NOT make vdpau capable graphic cards for AGP slots (where vdpau capability offloading the HD video decode to the graphic card GPU is NEEDED for HD video playback with a nVidia card). Hence one is looking at getting a nVidia vdpau capable PCI card for such an old PC where that is a major compromise. Because PCI cards have much less bandwidth than an AGP or PCI-e card.

Now ATI do offer video cards for an AGP slot that will play HD videos, but one needs to use MS Windows to take advantage of that, due to the relatively poor capability of ATI proprietary Linux drivers when it comes to offloading the HD video decoding to the GPU. I note there are now Radeon HD 4000 series cards for AGP slots, and its possible in the future there ‘might’ be ATI proprietary Linux drivers for the HD 4000 series that will support UVD and XvMC so as to play HD videos, … but I can’t say for certain that will happen. It may not. The current state of that is VERY fuzzy to me, but the little I could get from surfing is ATI drivers for GPU video decoding do NOT work in Linux.

On my old 32-bit athlon-2800 which has no PCI-e slot, I purchased a PCI (not a PCI-e) nVidia 8400GS graphic card, which supports HD video playback in a very small number of apps. But even though its GREAT for HD video playback with those apps, other apps don’t work for HD video play back, and 3D acceleration is VERY slow. In fact the nVidia FX5200 AGP card that I removed was much faster for that functionality than the nVidia PCI 8400GS.

On my laptop with an ATI radeon HD3450 graphics, I boot to windows to play the highest definition videos 1920x1080 @ 25MB/sec, where that laptop has a P8400 dual core and is no slouch. Those 1920x1080@ 25MB/sec will NOT play under Linux with the proprietary ATI driver (but they WILL play under Windows).

Note the age of your PC’s power supply is VERY important, as your power supply could be too small, or not too small but too old, such that it can not provide sufficient power for a modern graphic card. For example my athlon-1100 (which is 4 years older than my athlon-2800 BUT my athlon-1100 has a larger power supply) had inadequate power for the nVidia GeForce 8400GS PCI card because the athlon-1100’s power supply had degraded/aged too much over the years. But the newer smaller rated athlon-2800’s power supply was adequate.

For HD video playback, the reason why nV (not AMD) is recommended in the OP’s test case is because 11.3 was brought in. If you are talking just 11.2, pretty much any AMD HD3xxx or newer graphics card would do (the FOSS radeon driver, included with 11.2 and 11.3 works just fine with HD3xxx/4xxx; however, it has issues with HD5xxx, where the Linux Catalyst driver makes better sense). The Linux Catalyst driver won’t work with 11.3 (the Xorg server is too new, and the FOSS radeon driver has not been optimized for HD5xxx enough yet to make it usable). nVidia, on the other hand, has proprietary drivers ready to rock for any of their GPUs from FX series up (for AGP, I’d recommend 7600GS or 7900GT at the older end, with GTS 250 at the newer end; for PCIe, GTS 250 or newer is recommended).

I have the HD5450, and Linux Catalyst 10.5 and 10.6 handle HD playback (in Linux) just fine, but only in 11.2. For playback that supports XvMC, it is decidedly a player issue (I prefer VLC, but from the Packman repo, not the VLC repo). I don’t know of any Linux player that supports UVD (again, VLC comes the closest, but UVD hasn’t made it into Mono yet; therefore, getting UVD support in Linux is problematical); therefore, it’s not a driver/codec issue.

In other words, it’s not a driver issue (at least, not since Linux Catalyst 10.4 in the case of HD4000 series and above), but an issue of player support in 11.2, and AMD supporting the latest Xorg in a new Linux Catalyst driver for 11.3.

IMHO its just a matter of time (possible 2 or 3 months) before ATI update their Linux driver to handle 2.6.33 and newer kernels (such as 2.6.34 in openSUSE-11.3) with the Xorg-1.8.0.

openSUSE is not the only distribution that will be waiting for such a proprietary update, as so are Fedora-13 users. However my guess is even when ATI update their Catalyst driver so that it functions with openSUSE 11.3, it will not support High Definition Video with offloading of the video decoding from the CPU to the GPU under Linux (they will under MS-Windows). … ***

nVidia on the other hand, with their Linux drivers that use VDPAU, for selected PCI and PCI-e graphic cards, DO support offloading of the video decoding from the CPU to the GPU. Unfortunately NONE of the nVidia cards that are build for an AGP slot support VDPAU and thus a nVidia AGP card will NOT support HD video via VDPAU.

Hence if playback of HD video in Linux is important in an older PC, one is looking at a nVidia card for an old PCI slot, or for a new PCI-e slot (and NOT AGP).

And since we are referring to an older PC, one MUST check that the PCs power supply is not only sufficiently rated to driver a new nVidia PCI/PCI-e card, but that it also has NOT degraded too much over the years (and most PC power supplies DO degrade over the years).*

Thank you all for your help.
I have GA-945PLM-S2 Motherboard with PCIE_16 and 400w power supply-one years old.
Maybe this is enough?
Please indicate specific patterns nVidia, for example by 8xxx to 9xxxx, which will work without a problem!

oldcpu, I use VLC for HD playback in openSuSE 11.2 (with the proprietary AMD driver, as I have an HD5450) without issues; it is for that reason that I can state that it isn’t a driver issue.

An unrelated issue (and more appropriate to the Linux vs. Windows debate) is the critical (for HD playback, especially of BluRay media) issue of HDCP, also known as High Difinition Copy Protection. The issue here (in terms of AMD vs. nVidia) is not driver capabilities, as was thought, but hardware capability-exposure in the driver. While most of the HD4xxx lineup supports HDCP (and especially HDMI 1.2 and UVD), the exception is, unfortunately, the most popular of AMD’s HD4xxx GPU family, the HD4890, which lacks support for UVD in hardware altogether. (That is despite that the HD4850 supports UVD and HDMI using the last two releases of the AMD proprietary driver (10.5 and 10.6, respectively) with openSuSE 11.2.)

Another issue where the proprietary driver beats the FOSS driver is support for HDMI
1.3; starting with Catalyst for Linux 10.5, the capability in Linux mirrors that of Windows (including HDMI audio support). Any differences are entirely codec or implementation-related. (In fact, given identical codecs, the same file in VLC plays back smoother and at a more consistent frame rate in Linux than in Windows, despite VLC in Packman being a revision behind that of VLC for Windows.) The codec and implementation issues (and especially regarding their implementation) has merely gotten sticker than ever with the push toward content delivery via the Internet in general, and delivery of HD video via the Web in particular. Content protection adds overhead, which is something that Linux traditionally has very little of.*

I confess I did not think you were raising an issue OTHER than the driver not being available. … And as I have noted, its not likely IMHO that ATI will provide a driver that is compatible with openSUSE software to support the offload of high definition video decode from the CPU to the GPU, but as I also noted, users with fast CPU’s do not have to worry about this. For example my Core i7 has no problem playing back the TOP HD video (ie 1920x1080 @ 25MB/sec). On the other hand my Intel P8400 dual Core DOES have a problem with TOP HD video (1920x1080 @ 25MB/sec). But my Intel P8400 dual Core does NOT have a problem with lower resolution and lower bit rate High Definition videos. Hence its important to describe the resolution and bit rate one is referring to. I know I have tried hard to do just that.

I think this may be true ONLY for the ATI HD 4xxx series and HD 5xxx series (although I am very skeptical based on the many complaints I have read on Phorenix (sp) on this very issue). I can say without qualifcation that it is NOT the case for the HD 3xxx series. MS-Windows with VLC play HD videos (1920x1080 @ 25MB/sec) SIGNIFCANTLY ( !! ) superior to that of Linux and vlc with the ATI driver. I put the double exclamation marks to emphasize this point, because it IS the case and it IS important users looking at new cards are not confused on this issue.