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gorg86
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:47 am    Post subject: Best cheap graphics card with video decoding capabilities Reply with quote

Hello,

I have an AMD machine with a FX-8350 CPU and a Radeon R9 280X graphics card (GCN 1.0, Southern Islands).
I use the AMDGPU driver and it works stable.
The thing is VAAPI/VDPAU do not support video decoding on this card for h.264, h.265, VP8 and VP9.
Watching 4K YT Videos is no fun (60-70% CPU usage).
Besides that I just want to get rid of that card because it is just being annoyingly big and powerhungry...

The card I am looking for should have decent OS driver support, at least 3 digital outputs and proper video decoding capabilities for those above mentioned formats.

I was thinking of an AMD RX 550 but I am not 100% sure about video decoding.
If you guys have any better suggestions, please tell me :)

Thanks in advance.
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theotherjoe
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gorg86, I checked the RX 550 hardware and it appears to be build around
the Polaris12 chip which incorporates the UVD6.3 video decoder.
reading through the english and german wikipedia UVD pages it appears
as if UVD6.3 should be supporting 4K h.264 and h.265 decoding. VP9 is
mentioned but no details about the supported resolutions.
looked for some proper AMD docs but up havent found any detailed UVD6.3
description.
the VCE encoder part of the hardware also seems to support 4K resolution
for h.264 and h.265.
I had my eyes on the RX 460 but that model is not built anymore it seems.
The RX 550 looks like a nice alternative.
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gorg86
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the pointer (UVD video decoder).
The question is if the OS can use it, I guess I'll have to try it out
I read that some RX 550 have problems regulating the fan's speed and run at 100% all the time.
You should check that before you buy one.
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theotherjoe
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The question is if the OS can use it, I guess I'll have to try it out

Dont know if there are upgrades to the X11/Mesa systems necessary.
What I just checked are the supporting firmware files. Turns out that
polaris12 firmware files can be found in /lib/firmware/amdgpu with
sys-kernel/linux-firmware-20170314 being my installed version.
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theotherjoe
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

as a short addition to the RX 550 story: out of curiosity I looked for
kernel support for the polaris12 gpu. turns out that 4.10 seems to
be the first version where polaris12 pops up.
a quick grep over the amdgpu code in the latest (.37) 4.9 code
returns nil. wonder if the will backport the polaris12 code into the LTS
kernel.
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gorg86
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the unstable kernel anyway because of the power management issues with southern islands
in the older versions and because I just wanted to try out AMDGPU.
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Radeon-Polaris-12-4.10-Fixes

Phoronix is a good place to check out the latest developments in that regard.
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