Sapphire Edge HD3: AMD E-450 Powered Mini PC

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Lawrence Lee
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Sapphire Edge HD3: AMD E-450 Powered Mini PC

Post by Lawrence Lee » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:30 pm


Zenphic
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Re: Sapphire Edge HD3: AMD E-450 Powered Mini PC

Post by Zenphic » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:03 pm

Impressive system in such a small form factor, but if only the cooling could be improved!

Can the APU be undervolted with K10Stat?

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Re: Sapphire Edge HD3: AMD E-450 Powered Mini PC

Post by snowcube » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:32 am

I purchased an Edge HD3 after reading that it supports 1080p video playback. However since getting mine I have been unable to get it to play smoothly under Windows 7 64-bit or Windows 8 64-bit preview. 720p video plays just fine.
I have tried playing 1080p mkv files and also bluray disc images from the hard drive. I have not tried an actual bluray disc as I don't want to commit to buying a USB drive until I get this problem sorted.

The video stutters slightly and constantly and makes the videos unwatchable. It looks like, from my experience, that the little PC simply does not have enough power to decode 1080p streams, yet I have read several reviews that claim it works just fine, and Sapphire even have a 1080p label on the box. Am I doing something stupid? Is there a video setting I am missing? I have tried various media players and settings with the same result. Is the speed of the inbuilt hard drive the limiting factor here? I know it's slow but is it too slow to play 1080p video from?

also - when i try displaying the 1080p content on a 720p screen instead of a 1080p screen, it plays smoothly, is this related to my problem or is this normal because it doesn't have to move as many pixels around?

Thanks for any help/input,
Marlon

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Re: Sapphire Edge HD3: AMD E-450 Powered Mini PC

Post by MikeC » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:52 am

snowcube -- have you set your player to sync the refresh rate to the frame rate of the video? This resolves juddering in most cases if the hardware is capable enough.

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Re: Sapphire Edge HD3: AMD E-450 Powered Mini PC

Post by snowcube » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:12 am

I have tried many many combinations of settings with no luck. I'm not sure the Edge HD3 has enough power. When I play 1080p the CPU usage maxes out at 100%. According to various sources on the internet, the built-in graphics processing on the AMD E-450 should be more than capable of pushing 1080p content to the screen. I have tried every setting I can think of to try and get the video to play using the graphics hardware and not just the CPU, but I have had no luck. One site I saw suggested using XMBC to make the most of the graphics capabilities of the AMD E-450, but it is even choppier than Media Player Classic HC.

Rarely have I come up against a problem like this that I cannot fix, so this is extremely frustrating for me. Are Sapphire selling hardware that can't actually do what they claim?

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Re: Sapphire Edge HD3: AMD E-450 Powered Mini PC

Post by MikeC » Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:26 pm

Curious about your comments... I whipped out our sample, loaded XBMC, pointed to the video library in the home server, tried accessing some 1080p movies via the gigabit network.

No juddering. No off-sync audio. No stuttering. Occasionally, there were pauses while the buffer filled, but that was with only one file, and it may have been tied to other traffic on the network. Also, fast forwarding or reversing caused a bit of jerkiness for a few moments, but once it stabilized, no problems.

This is not to say it's perfect -- panning and zooming causes some blurring that looks like it's more than what was in the original, but those are sometimes problems even with much more powerful hardware (like a Phenom2- quadcore w/ 8gb RAM I have running in my media room).

Our sample is stock, running Win 7 Ultimate 64.

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Re: Sapphire Edge HD3: AMD E-450 Powered Mini PC

Post by snowcube » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:52 am

Thank-you very much for trying this, it encouraged me to persevere and I have worked out that the stuttering I was having in XMBC was an entirely separate issue, possibly a conflict with the k-lite codec pack. Also XMBC seems to have its own issues requiring a restart of the program to make it play properly sometimes. I am an inexperienced user of this software, so I am unfamiliar with its intricacies. Anyway it works now and I am happier! To anyone reading this, there is nothing wrong with Sapphire's hardware, I just wasn't using it properly.

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