Upgrading HTPC for 4K (1 Viewer)

tony72

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    This part of the forum seems pretty quiet, but I'll ask anyway. My ten year old 1080p TV finally died, and it seemed crazy not to replace it with a 4K set, so I have a 50" 4K Samsung arriving soon. But my HTPC currently only supports 1920x1200 max via integrated graphics. So if I'm going to make full use of the 4K TV, I need to upgrade. I want to keep the HTPC near-silent as it currently is.

    So currently, I'm looking at fanless GT 1030 cards like Gigabyte GT 1030 Silent Low Profile 2GB Graphics Card | Ebuyer.com as the simplest solution, although I had a bad experience with a fanless graphics card in the past. Another route would be a new mobo with more up-to-date integrated graphics that supports 4K, but then I'm probably looking at a new CPU and memory also, so that's a lot more money. Any thoughts or suggestions?
     

    joecrow

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    Based on the experience of others see here (posts on pages 18-19) a GTX 1030 will not handle 4k well. I seems you will need at least a GTX 1050ti or an AMD GPU of equivalent power.
     
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    azzuro

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    hello @tony72 , personnaly i don't use 4K format ( and i have 4K tv), but the upscale on my TV is very good, so in my system skip upscaling on HTPC and let TV do the work, but my TV was high end modèl, Panassonic 65CX800.

    folowing @joecrow good result are : 1050 TI, 1650 , and on AMD RX560 or RX570 or better.
     

    tony72

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    Thanks, guys that's very interesting, I've definitely been put off the 1030 based on that info. I hadn't really thought about upscaling, I'll soon see if the upscaling on the TV is any good, it's not a high-end set. But from some quick research, noise levels of the 1650 might not be too bad, and the price/performance seems to be pretty good, so I'm tending that way now.
     

    Mew

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    Hi @tony72

    I tried a GT 1030 and had issues with stuttering, I think mostly because 2GB seemed too low for UHD and HDR. I changed to a GTX 1050ti. I think it is an MSI card where the fans only come on briefly at startup and then if the card needs cooling. I don't have an issue with stuttering now and I haven't noticed an increase in noise when watching a film but then I am about 4 metres from the HTPC. It could also be for films the card isn't taxed enough to require the additional cooling from the fans.
     

    tony72

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    I'm waiting for the next payday before buying a card. In the meantime, I found this feature matrix on nvidia.com - Video Encode and Decode GPU Support Matrix - showing the hardware encoding and decoding features supported by the various GPUs. Looks like the 1650 is the lowest one that ticks all the decoding columns. I do not know how likely one is to come across HEVC 4:4:4 content though, I get the impression that it would not be very common.
     

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