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Sapphire Radeon R9 285 versus onboard graphics

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi, I have an extreme noob question.  And, I have a feeling the answer is obvious, but I have no idea how to figure it out short of asking you fine folks. 

 

I'm still using my first build, which contains the following relevant parts:

  • GPU: SAPPHIRE 100374OCL Radeon R9 285 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5
  • CPU: Intel i7-4790k
  • Motherboard:  ASRock ATX FATAL1TY Z97 KILLER

I recently decided to cut the cable-tv cord and try using various streaming services, including Youtube TV.  When watching Youtube TV on my computer, it couldn't get HD to play and, after researching it, I learned it's because my GPU doesn't have HDCP support.  So, I plugged my monitor (via HDMI cable) into the onboard HDMI port on the motherboard, and everything has been dandy.

 

My question:  If the most graphics intensive things I will be doing on my computer is basic video editing (Adobe Premier Elements 15) and watching/streaming 4K video, is there any reason I need to even utilize my GPU?  In other words, if I'm not gaming or streaming myself, is there a use case for me for the GPU? 

 

Follow-up question: Can I plug my monitor into both the onboard graphics (via HDMI) and into the GPU (via displayport) and then switch on the fly based on my needs?

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If you're not playing games the graphics card is superfluous, but you should be able to play youtube just fine with it nonetheless - just disable hardware acceleration in the browser, the cpu can handle it.


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Sauron'stm Product Scores:

Spoiler

Just a list of my personal scores for some products, in no particular order, with brief comments. I just got the idea to do them so they aren't many for now :)

Don't take these as complete reviews or final truths - they are just my personal impressions on products I may or may not have used, summed up in a couple of sentences and a rough score. All scores take into account the unit's price and time of release, heavily so, therefore don't expect absolute performance to be reflected here.

 

-Lenovo Thinkpad X220 - [8/10]

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A durable and reliable machine that is relatively lightweight, has all the hardware it needs to never feel sluggish and has a great IPS matte screen. Downsides are mostly due to its age, most notably the screen resolution of 1366x768 and usb 2.0 ports.

 

-Apple Macbook (2015) - [Garbage -/10]

Spoiler

From my perspective, this product has no redeeming factors given its price and the competition. It is underpowered, overpriced, impractical due to its single port and is made redundant even by Apple's own iPad pro line.

 

-OnePlus X - [7/10]

Spoiler

A good phone for the price. It does everything I (and most people) need without being sluggish and has no particularly bad flaws. The lack of recent software updates and relatively barebones feature kit (most notably the lack of 5GHz wifi, biometric sensors and backlight for the capacitive buttons) prevent it from being exceptional.

 

-Microsoft Surface Book 2 - [Garbage - -/10]

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Overpriced and rushed, offers nothing notable compared to the competition, doesn't come with an adequate charger despite the premium price. Worse than the Macbook for not even offering the small plus sides of having macOS. Buy a Razer Blade if you want high performance in a (relatively) light package.

 

-Intel Core i7 2600/k - [9/10]

Spoiler

Quite possibly Intel's best product launch ever. It had all the bleeding edge features of the time, it came with a very significant performance improvement over its predecessor and it had a soldered heatspreader, allowing for efficient cooling and great overclocking. Even the "locked" version could be overclocked through the multiplier within (quite reasonable) limits.

 

-Apple iPad Pro - [5/10]

Spoiler

A pretty good product, sunk by its price (plus the extra cost of the physical keyboard and the pencil). Buy it if you don't mind the Apple tax and are looking for a very light office machine with an excellent digitizer. Particularly good for rich students. Bad for cheap tinkerers like myself.

 

 

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errr...  well yes and no, graphics switching i dont think works on desktop...   but for video editing you definitely want a dedicated GPU ..both AMD and NV are fairly identical in this category at how fast they handle the rendering process..  but onboard iGPu will be miles behind a dedicated card.

 

can you plug into both?  yes, but you need to enable it on your specific motherboard.. each board has its own name for it and method.  

 

is it more efficient? nah, but  you be more happier with like an RX 560 or GTX 1050Ti (if you can find them for under $100) since those can both sip power and boost hard in gaming and work loads.. im not sure how a 1050Ti or a RX 560 compares to a R9-285, but going out on a limb here and going to say equal or better in gaming..

 

EDIT: misunderstood the question..sorry!

 

for simple cable cutting stuff, the iGPU on the i7-4790K is totally fine for 1080 content, higher may want to consider better graphics...  however multiple streams or maybe do some background encoding type stuff, may want to consider a dedicated GPU that's modern and low power like GTX 1050/RX560. i dont know the software you got and what all it doesn how it does it.. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
10 minutes ago, toastybread said:

<snip>

This is really helpful.  Thank you.  I may just get an equivalent GPU that has HDCP support to avoid the headache.  I'll take a look at the GTX 1050Ti and see if I can snag one for a reasonable price.

 

By the way, how does one even begin to compare GPUs?  Like, how do I compare my R9 285 against the GTX 1050Ti?

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2 minutes ago, armaneo said:

This is really helpful.  Thank you.  I may just get an equivalent GPU that has HDCP support to avoid the headache.  I'll take a look at the GTX 1050Ti and see if I can snag one for a reasonable price.

absolutely and no problem. best of luck to you.

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What you mean can't play HD and no HDCP support? I think even my old HD7950 is HDCP ready.


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38 minutes ago, xAcid9 said:

What you mean can't play HD and no HDCP support? I think even my old HD7950 is HDCP ready.

Yeah hdcp isn't new.

 

As long as he is connecting to the tv via HDMI it shouldn't be a problem.

 

Hdcp is literally a decade old, so I am confused by this, especially since Radeons have had hdcp support since the HD 3000 days (Blurays require hdcp compliant hardware on PC...why you can't really play a Blu-ray without an HDMI or display port connection).

 

From some googling, that card does support hdcp.

 

It may be something in your drivers.

 

With that said, if you are just using it for htpc tasks, I wouldn't have a dedicated gpu. If you are running Plex, there is no point either, as the experimental gpgpu processing they are doing right now to support multiple streams only supports Intel quicksync, so you are actually better off just leveraging the igpu in that scenario anyway.

 

Let us know how you make out, but I am thinking you should install the latest Radeon drivers.

 

When I am home, I will do some research myself to see if it's possible to accidentally disable hdcp, which is what I am thinking happened here.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 10/22/2017 at 8:41 AM, Jon Jon said:

Yeah hdcp isn't new.

 

As long as he is connecting to the tv via HDMI it shouldn't be a problem.

 

Hdcp is literally a decade old, so I am confused by this, especially since Radeons have had hdcp support since the HD 3000 days (Blurays require hdcp compliant hardware on PC...why you can't really play a Blu-ray without an HDMI or display port connection).

 

From some googling, that card does support hdcp.

 

It may be something in your drivers.

 

With that said, if you are just using it for htpc tasks, I wouldn't have a dedicated gpu. If you are running Plex, there is no point either, as the experimental gpgpu processing they are doing right now to support multiple streams only supports Intel quicksync, so you are actually better off just leveraging the igpu in that scenario anyway.

 

Let us know how you make out, but I am thinking you should install the latest Radeon drivers.

 

When I am home, I will do some research myself to see if it's possible to accidentally disable hdcp, which is what I am thinking happened here.

Yea, I must be wrong on the HDCP support thing.  I just couldn't find anything on the web that affirmatively stated it my card had HDCP support, so I assumed that was the issue (since people were saying that Youtube TV cannot stream in HD without it).  

 

So, I updated the driver to the latest "non-WQHL" beta driver, and low and behold, HD content on Youtube TV works!  But, there's a side-effect.  Whenever I'm streaming something on Youtube TV, my computer screen blinks every 30 seconds or so.  Really frustrating.  Also, on this beta driver, when I stream on Xfinitiy Live TV, it also blinks every 30 seconds (oddly, HD content always worked on Xfinity Live TV, even on the prior driver that I was on).

 

So, I reverted back to the latest non-beta driver (a "WQUL driver," whatever that means) and, as expected, Youtube TV cannot output in HD.  The blinking, however, stops, even when I'm streaming through Xfinity Live TV.  No idea why this is happening.  It's really frustrating.  

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On 10/23/2017 at 4:56 PM, armaneo said:

Yea, I must be wrong on the HDCP support thing.  I just couldn't find anything on the web that affirmatively stated it my card had HDCP support, so I assumed that was the issue (since people were saying that Youtube TV cannot stream in HD without it).  

 

So, I updated the driver to the latest "non-WQHL" beta driver, and low and behold, HD content on Youtube TV works!  But, there's a side-effect.  Whenever I'm streaming something on Youtube TV, my computer screen blinks every 30 seconds or so.  Really frustrating.  Also, on this beta driver, when I stream on Xfinitiy Live TV, it also blinks every 30 seconds (oddly, HD content always worked on Xfinity Live TV, even on the prior driver that I was on).

 

So, I reverted back to the latest non-beta driver (a "WQUL driver," whatever that means) and, as expected, Youtube TV cannot output in HD.  The blinking, however, stops, even when I'm streaming through Xfinity Live TV.  No idea why this is happening.  It's really frustrating.  

I would attempt to just completely uninstall the driver's via guru3d's app and install with the latest fresh.

 

There's no reason for that card to not handle that content properly, and using a newer driver with weirder issues seems to affirm that.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
14 hours ago, Jon Jon said:

I would attempt to just completely uninstall the driver's via guru3d's app and install with the latest fresh.

 

There's no reason for that card to not handle that content properly, and using a newer driver with weirder issues seems to affirm that.

The Radeon software has an option to perform a "clean install," which purports to completely uninstall all prior drivers.  But, I'll try the gugu3d thing and see if that works.  

 

FYI, someone else told me the real issue is that it has HDMI 1.3, which has poor support for this kind of thing.  But the same issues persist even when I use displayport.

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8 hours ago, armaneo said:

The Radeon software has an option to perform a "clean install," which purports to completely uninstall all prior drivers.  But, I'll try the gugu3d thing and see if that works.  

 

FYI, someone else told me the real issue is that it has HDMI 1.3, which has poor support for this kind of thing.  But the same issues persist even when I use displayport.

HDMI 1.3 opens the door a little bit to the problem.

 

However, HDMI 1.3 does support hdcp for 1080p content and below. True 4K DRM support requires HDMI 2.0.

 

Also remember that the HDMI certification of the cable can play a role as well.

 

For perspective, the original PS3 had an HDMI 1.3c port, which had full support for hdcp 1080p for Blurays and eventually streaming.

 

However, I mean, my Radeon HD 5670 has no issues with YouTube and what not, and that is a mid range card that's a few generations older.

 

My Radeon R9 380, which is just a rebadged 280, has none of these issues either. However, I do know I will and cannot playback 4k content with it.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 hours ago, Jon Jon said:

HDMI 1.3 opens the door a little bit to the problem.

 

However, HDMI 1.3 does support hdcp for 1080p content and below. True 4K DRM support requires HDMI 2.0.

 

Also remember that the HDMI certification of the cable can play a role as well.

 

For perspective, the original PS3 had an HDMI 1.3c port, which had full support for hdcp 1080p for Blurays and eventually streaming.

 

However, I mean, my Radeon HD 5670 has no issues with YouTube and what not, and that is a mid range card that's a few generations older.

 

My Radeon R9 380, which is just a rebadged 280, has none of these issues either. However, I do know I will and cannot playback 4k content with it.

I see.  Strangely, I'm not trying to play any 4K content, so the HDMI 1.3 thing shouldn't be an issue.  Plus, I'm using a Displayport cable now, which, in my uninformed view should avoid the HDMI 1.3 problems, right? 

 

In any event, I tried the gugu3d thing and wiped all drivers in safe mode, then installed the latest R9 200 series driver, but it still didn't work.  Then I ran gugu3d again and installed the latest beta drivers.  Just like before, it works, but the computer blinks/flashes every 15-30 seconds.  

 

Very frustrating.  Do you know of a newer card I could purchase that could handle basic streaming, but also video editing and moderate gaming?  I just have no concept of how to compare and contrast graphics cards and this card was recommended to me when I built my PC like 3 years ago.

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On 10/26/2017 at 10:54 AM, armaneo said:

I see.  Strangely, I'm not trying to play any 4K content, so the HDMI 1.3 thing shouldn't be an issue.  Plus, I'm using a Displayport cable now, which, in my uninformed view should avoid the HDMI 1.3 problems, right? 

 

In any event, I tried the gugu3d thing and wiped all drivers in safe mode, then installed the latest R9 200 series driver, but it still didn't work.  Then I ran gugu3d again and installed the latest beta drivers.  Just like before, it works, but the computer blinks/flashes every 15-30 seconds.  

 

Very frustrating.  Do you know of a newer card I could purchase that could handle basic streaming, but also video editing and moderate gaming?  I just have no concept of how to compare and contrast graphics cards and this card was recommended to me when I built my PC like 3 years ago.

Were you able to come up with a solution?

 

I am still scratching my head pretty hard on this, if someone else has any ideas feel free to chime in!


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GIGABYTE GA990-FXA UD3
AMD 8350 8-core CPU 4ghz
4Gig (x4=16gig) DDR3 1333mhz
WD 128gig SSD

RADEON R0 270x XFX
HP 25BW display
OMG I am so tired and fed up after a week of trying to fix my Radeon R9 270x (xfx) graphics card.  I called customer service yesterday (Fri 8-9-18) at 11am and their voice recording said that they're only open from Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and that they are now closed. I tried several other times and have never been able to get anyone on the phone. Always says they're closed and it's during business hours. Their website support forms are pointless since they rarely respond and IF they do (and that's a big "If") it's an incorrect answer and so bad, in fact, that I wonder if they just send out random answers about anything back to everyone.

    The problem is that my PC (Win7) just keeps shutting down during one of any number of actions....nothing specific causes it.  Usually if I click on something...like Chrome, ...BLINK! and it shuts off. Or if I'm lucky enough to get Chrome open (with a few tabs) and I click on another new tab....BLINK! It's off again. Sometimes I only get to the logon screen, hit "enter", and BLINK!. Power off. It's also strange that I must turn off the power strip for a minute (and back on) before the PC's power button will turn it back on again. I went through a seriously tedious series of troubleshooting to narrow the problem down to the R9 200 series drivers. Of course I completely uninstall dll's and reboot before installing different ones. This is painstaking.

    The problem does NOT occur in safe mode nor does it occur when I uninstall the card in DevMgr. So right now, I'm using basic windows graphics dll's just so my PC stays on. Of course the graphic's quality is similar to that of an old calculator.....BUT it stays on. I tried downloading a bunch of AMD's old drivers from 2014-present but so far only tried 3 -with no success. Oh.... interesting thing happened during some of these installs. One of the files contained some online gaming utility. I'm not a gamer but though "Ya' know what? maybe since this card is designed for gaming, maybe installing one of these games may add something that could help the situation". So, I installed what I thought was a simple online game. Turns out, it required something called Steam to run so I had to install, register and e-mail confirm to use it. So now I can play? "NO!!!". Now I gotta register for the game utility (Vypr or something)....login in two different panels. Then something else needed installed and reg's.... Man I eventually had about 10 window oen just to try to play a stupid game. I was like...."This is assanine." So I had to uninstall everything and clean the reg. Now i"ll be blasted with emails, ads, and other crap....on FB too since I registered one of them with my FB account.  What a freakin bunch of nonsense. I thought that when companies claim to be great at what they do, then they actually strived to be the best. ? What ever happened to this philosophy? Am I the only one who still believes in this?   
    Now back to installing older dll's.-It's such a hassle doing all this crap. I've gotta' remove the card in DM, reboot, install old driver, reboot, then see if it shuts off. When it does, I've got to repeat the 10 minute process.  I've had the card for about 3 years and It's worked fine until 3 months ago. The power outages were very few at first. Now I can put on a movie and it will play fine until I click on almost any other application. Oh... and this is interesting: When I try to use Windows performance tools and rate the computer (You know where it grades your computer's components from "1" up to a "7.9".... it shuts off. Also interesting is that it shuts off anytime I tru to use any kind of utility that accesses hardware for evaluation or monitoring purposes.
   I've found many other prople online with the SAME issue!! Nobody is getting helped! AMD is simply IGNORING everyone! If this is a marketing ploy to frustrate users so they just buy a new graphics card, it's sleazy and disrespectful to us and it upsets me a little. Honestly, I feel it's a crime and they should be penalized some way for this, at the very least, beaten up. Yeah... that's it. We send some thugs over to their office and have 'em all beat up.  I really can't afford to drop $200 on a new card right now. Even if it was a problem with the card (and not the dll's), I'd need to go the RMA route. Upon reading the warranty and RMA info, I was directed to register- simple enough. I was confused when I was asked to register a credit card JUST to register with them. Not to mention there was no explanation for why they wanted this or any details on what or how much they might wanna' charge me. Judging by the high volume of others with this same exact problem, I'm pretty sure AMD is just legally stealing our money. I will never buy another product from them. 

   Anyway, my experience with the Radeon XFX R9-270x Graphics card was one of those times in life that truly tested my skills as a Zen Buddhist. I searched for help and tried about 30 diferent solutions that did not work. The only thing that worked was to uninstal it. This is how I know that it's the card. My displays are still plugged into it but the drivers are rem'd. I will say, however, that WHILE it worked, it was nice! 

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