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Is the GPU good enough for Blu-Ray?

Discussion in 'Sony' started by Goodpasture, Dec 21, 2008.

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  1. Goodpasture

    Goodpasture Guest

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    Hello,

    I have a quick question I was hoping you guys could help me out with... I am thinking of purchasing a VGN-SR290 CTO and I noticed that the GPU is a an ATI Radeon 3470 with 128mb. My question is, is this good enough to play Blu-Ray? Thanks in advance.

    GP
     
  2. hendra

    hendra Notebook Deity

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    Probably not. The recommended VRAM for Blu-ray is 256MB. You may be able to play some titles, but not all.
     
  3. CeeNote

    CeeNote Notebook Virtuoso

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    The 3470 is definitely fast enough for Blu-ray playback, I have no doubt. I have the same card with 256mb and never had any problems playing 720p videos and scaled down 1080p videos.

    Integrated video cards without any dedicated memory can nowadays play back hd content so the 3470 with 128mb should have now problem.

    EDIT: As far as I know, the Vaio SR is only available with a 1280x800 resolution which means that the screen itself will downscale blu-ray video to 720p unless you're planning on hooking up your laptop to a tv.
     
  4. Goodpasture

    Goodpasture Guest

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    Thanks for your replies.

    Yes, I was planning on hooking it up to my AQUOS via HDMI. But then I got thinking: Sony is charging $500 for the Blu-ray player, and I could probably get a standalone player for about 1/2 that.
     
  5. Rahul

    Rahul I joined NBR in January 2005, how time flies!

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    Did you check if the $500 upgrade is just for the Blu-Ray reader or perhaps also a Blu-Ray writer? Even if you get a writer with that price, its too expensive for the price.

    For $115, you can get a USB external Blu-Ray reader.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106259

    And for $369, you can get an external USB Blu-Ray reader/writer as well as being able to read the now defunct HD-DVD format discs.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136145

    And if you wait it out, prices for the drives and media will keep dropping.
    I wouldn't recommend going with Sony's upgrade, either get an external drive for your PC or a standalone player.
     
  6. hendra

    hendra Notebook Deity

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    I wouldn't recommend Integrated, eventhough it says it can play Blu-ray. Blu-ray is very CPU and GPU intensive. Integrated GPU is your safe bet.

    His SR will be scaled down to whatever highest resolution it can support. So, in this case, it will be scaled down to 800p, not 720p.
     
  7. hendra

    hendra Notebook Deity

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    If your intention is hooking up with an external TV and Sony charge 500 bucks for that, I would recommend buying a stand alone player. You can get a very good BD player for less than 500.
     
  8. Tony

    Tony Nissan ftw!

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    The SR with Blu Ray drive comes with 256MB of DDR3 graphics memory
    the 128MB is a typo
     
  9. zexin

    zexin Notebook Enthusiast

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    as far as i know video playback is cpu intensive, except the case you want to use DxVA (hardware acceleration). so HD 3470 or something else is not an issue.
    even if you want to use DxVA, 3470 can handle it (Google it).
    so there is no need to scale down a 1080p matroska (mkv) movie, if the file has high@4.1 profile, you can simply use DxVA with just 2-4% cpu usage.
    my fw has 4500mhd GPU, and it's more than enough for video playback.
     
  10. Phil

    Phil Retired

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    I expect even X4500 to have no problems with Blu-ray because it supports hardware HD playback.
     
  11. hendra

    hendra Notebook Deity

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    You can not rely on CPU alone. Even the fastest C2D doesn't have enough juice to play BD without GPU assistance. So activating hardware acceleration is a must. The HD 3470 is more than adequate but only if it has 256 MB VRAM or higher. As for your 4500 GPU, wait until you stumble one that will get choppy on you. Not all BD are created equal. Some are more demanding, some are less demanding. Cast Away (Tom Hanks) for example, is more demanding. It is smooth with my Integrated Card but choppy when I tried it at store with Intel card.
     
  12. Phil

    Phil Retired

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    Where do you base this on Hendra?

    - "Even the fastest C2D doesn't have enough juice to play BD without GPU assistance.
    - The HD 3470 is more than adequate but only if it has 256 MB VRAM or higher."

    I find both statements questionable. The last one sounds like manufacturer's claims.

    I'd like to get to the bottom of this so I started a thread here:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?p=4307462#post4307462
     
  13. lamtutu

    lamtutu Notebook Consultant

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    I play BR movies in stamina mode(X4500 HD card) without a hitch.So ATI 3470 get no problem with BR disc.
     
  14. pampas

    pampas Notebook Consultant

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    using HDMI to a full HDTV or to a 1920x1200 ext LCD only produces like 5 frames per second, video is very choppy, no way you can watch a HD movie on a HD ext screen.
    On the internal display/laptop works just fine.

    I am talking about a SR290 with HDMI/Ati video card.
     
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