GF8600 or HD2600: consensus?

Canuck1

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So, which out of GF8600/HD2600, do you think does a better job with video/encoding and for a HTPC?

There is AVIVO and PureVideo. Which do you like better? I need something that is good at encoding and playing HD video although I'll use SD, too (probably most of the time). But, I'm building a new computer and it will need a graphics card and I have no clue of which to get. I won't be using Vista, though, so hopefully Nvidia can get drivers out one of these days.

Thanks for any replies/recommendations/advice.
 

girik7

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They are fairly even when it comes to HD decoding (VC-1/AVC), especially with the recent Nvidia drivers. Have a look at this:

http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/443/

One issue if playing back HD video (i.e from Blu Ray or HD DVD sources) is HDCP. All the ATI Radeon HD series support HDCP, while only the Geforce 8600GTS supports HDCP. However, some Nvidia board partners have included the HDCP chip into 8500GT and 8600GT cards.

As for image quality when decoding HD content, the HD 2600 PRO is the best, scoring full marks in the image quality benchmarks. (see the guru3d article above).

Therefore, based on all of this, I'd say the HD2600 is the best choice. You also get the AVIVO video converter, which can convert videos between formats such as WMV to MPEG-4 very quickly and easily.
 

Canuck1

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You mean HD 2600 XT? The Pro version isn't even mentioned or listed. ????

The Nvidia 8600 series had the best image quality if you tweak it but had issues which they weren't exactly specific on, though. The image quality they were talking about had to do with noise reduction. Both lowered cpu utilization but this was in Vista and ATI's cards still performed better in that regard.

I still cannot decide on what the better card is but if the image quality for both cards are comparable (the noise reduction is enough on the ATI card), then I think the ATI card sounds better because they have drivers for both XP and Vista. Nvidia claims the PureVideo HD (hardware acceleration) will be supported in XP in Sept. some time. Okay, we'll see. Ummm...okay...
 

mm_vr

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The 8600s are cheaper and better in performace, at least, but if you aren't doing things that need graphics power, I don't know.
 

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