View Full Version : Deciding on Chipset / Video For New Rig

10-29-05, 12:10 AM
1. Doesnt the 7800GTX support H.264 hw acceleration?

Im trying to toss up a Crossfire / X1800XT combination or a NFORCE 4 SLi / 7800 GTX 512m (shortly to be released) combination.

I only use DFI mobos and the Crossfire DFI is not attractive to me given the crappy USB speeds and the lack of SATA II as well as native command queing. The NFORCE 4 SLI chipset is simply better with USB / SATA II / NCQ and its more proven to be robust.

Ive used Ati ever since the 9700 Pro days but Im not a fanboi, Im after real performance. The only real issue for me is what seems to be a lack of next gen video codec support if I go NVIDIA? NVIDIAs website only talks about MPEGII and WMV HD acceleration.

I know Anandtech reviewed NVIDIA vs ATI in video deinterlacing and gave a clear winner to NVIDIA.

The second issue, which is less important right now to me, is I undertsand that NVIDIA didnt implement dynamic branching. And, its SM3 support isnt fully compliant. Im still deciphering what this actually means however, in the modes of use I have for my systems.

Id appreciate comments.

10-29-05, 09:16 AM
Well, some will say that ATI's lack of vertex texture prefetch preempts the X1800 from being SM3.0 compliant. So, throw that one out...

Look, SLI is FAR more mature than Crossfire. Plain and simple. SLI is now more flexible, more robust and more forgiving than anything seemingly as complicated should be. If you want to stay with ATI, I would get one X1800Xt for now and a cheaper nForce4 motherboard and wait to see how the coming advancemments in Crossfire chipsets work out.

Unfortunately for ATI, NVIDIA is already on their second version of the SLI chipset with the dual X16 SLI nForce4.

As for next-gen codec, the G70 is capable of decoding h.264 but the feature has not been implemented, AFAIK. Not a really big deal as any system that is built today, given you have the budget for GTX or XT, will have plenty of CPU until true h.264 content is released. It is like making a buying decision based on which card runs tech demos better.

I am less than impressed with the Radeon mobos. nForce4 is a strong chipset and my motherboard has been rock solid.

Get an X2 CPU, and your concerns about h.264 in the short term will go away.