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  1. Member
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    What graphics card do you recommend for 4K as a minimum? Something better than Intel HD Graphics to support 4K resolution, but not intended to be used for games? Cheapest I could find is an XFX AMD RADEON R7 240, but I think 4K is only supported at 24Hz and not 60Hz?
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    If you prefer NVIDIA video cards, a Geforce GT 1030 is the least expensive new model with HDMI 2.0a for 4K at 60Hz, but it can't assist with encoding (no NVENC) and doesn't allow you to use your PC for Netflix 4K (2GB is not enough memory). If you need a a video card with NVENC to assist with encoding or want to use your PC for Netflix 4K, then a Geforce GTX 1050Ti is the least expensive new card that is able to do both.

    If you like AMD video cards, a Radeon RX 550 is their least expensive model with HDMI 2.0a for 4K at 60Hz. If AMD is supported by the software it can assist with video encoding. However only select NVIDIA 10xx cards are approved for Netflix 4K.
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    Does it matter much if a card has 1GB, 2GB or 4GB memory? I am not interested in Netflix. I was mostly thinking about AMD because of the support for FreeSync in new 4K monitors. If I go for a RX 550, I think a better option is a RX 560 for not much more. These seem to cost 25-45 more than a GT 1030. Is the extra cost worth it?
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    Originally Posted by kyrcy View Post
    Does it matter much if a card has 1GB, 2GB or 4GB memory? I am not interested in Netflix. I was mostly thinking about AMD because of the support for FreeSync in new 4K monitors. If I go for a RX 550, I think a better option is a RX 560 for not much more. These seem to cost 25-45 more than a GT 1030. Is the extra cost worth it?
    If your UHD content is unprotected, 2GB is enough VRAM. Playing copy protected UHD/4K video on a PC imposes additional hardware requirements for content protection. FWIW, I should mention that discrete video cards can't be used to play UHD Blu-ray discs with approved player software at present.

    All the references to FreeSync that I see remark on its usefulness for gaming. I haven't seen any other recommended uses for it. What do you expect that FreeSync will be able to do for you if you aren't into gaming?
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 7th Jan 2018 at 23:21.
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    I don't plan to play copy protected UHD/4K video. As I am also after a 4K monitor, I think it makes sense to match it with the graphics card and what I have found so far only supports FreeSync. I don't play games, but why get an NVIDIA card instead?
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  6. Member Bernix's Avatar
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    Every "cheaper sync supported monitor" is freesync not G-sync. That is one of the biggest advantage of non Nvidia cards. But when not playing games... still can be useful to get some AMD cards supported it.
    Probably rx550? But to make sure it supports 4k and has right outputs for it and it has support for freesync.
    EDIT also be sure your motherboard is able to run this card.

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    Last edited by Bernix; 8th Jan 2018 at 12:36. Reason: Edit
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    Originally Posted by kyrcy View Post
    I don't plan to play copy protected UHD/4K video. As I am also after a 4K monitor, I think it makes sense to match it with the graphics card and what I have found so far only supports FreeSync. I don't play games, but why get an NVIDIA card instead?
    How about because a GT 1030 NVIDIA card costs significantly less than an RX 550 and will still give adequate performance for unprotected UHD/4K video.

    I don't think you need to worry about matching the monitor and the graphics card unless you want to game. My monitor supports FreeSync too, but I have no issues using my monitor with just Intel graphics for 2160p video at 24fps or 30 fps. (I would need a DP 1.2 to HDMI 2.0a active adapter to do 60Hz using Intel graphics.)

    FreeSync is good for gaming because it prevents screen tearing when the monitor is displaying VFR video. How much VFR video do you watch? Does the frame rate vary wildly as might occur while playing a video game?

    [Edit]The GT 1030 provides two other benefits for some users other than a lower price. There are single-slot versions (with a fan)* and it draws less power, about 35W maximum, compared to about 50W maximum for the RX 550.

    *Oops, I forgot that XFX makes a single-slot RX 550 card.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 8th Jan 2018 at 13:18.
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    if you give up free sync, then 1030 seems to me be better, because you should spare some energy. Suggested PSU (for whole computer) is 300w for 1030 and 400 for rx550. And tdp for 1030 is 30w but for rx550 65w. And rx550 and effective speed is about 14% better for rx550, and this is meaningless.
    VFR, it is getting more popular (pity) because Handbrake and Vidcoder has it in default settings ON. Still can't understand why, it is evil!

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    Last edited by Bernix; 8th Jan 2018 at 13:14. Reason: ON
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    I am not sure about VFR. I would prefer a single-slot card, but the only one that I can find where I usually buy from, is a GT 1030. Another choice would be a GTX 1050, which is slightly more expensive than a RX 560, but again it does not support FreeSync and I don't really like the idea of a monstrous card sitting inside my PC case doing almost nothing.
    Last edited by kyrcy; 9th Jan 2018 at 12:30.
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    I can not find a GT 1030 with a DisplayPort and I see no point to buy a card with HDMI and DVI only. So either I should wait until something comes up or choose between the RX 560 and the GTX 1050. And for now I can only get ASUS and the two do not have much difference in price for this brand. Having seen photos, but not checked exact dimensions, it seems that the heatsink and fans on the RX 560 are bigger. I wonder if I will need more than two slots for the installation of either.
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    Originally Posted by kyrcy View Post
    I can not find a GT 1030 with a DisplayPort and I see no point to buy a card with HDMI and DVI only..
    MSI makes a slim, low-profile, single-slot GT 1030 card with a fan:
    https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/GeForce-GT-1030-2G-LP-OC.html

    I am surprised that you found no source for them in the EU.
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    MSI makes a slim, low-profile, single-slot GT 1030 card with a fan:
    https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/GeForce-GT-1030-2G-LP-OC.html

    I am surprised that you found no source for them in the EU.
    If I have the patience to wait 2-3 weeks for delivery I could order it. It does look tiny compared to any RX 550 / RX 560 / GTX 1050.
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    Originally Posted by kyrcy View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    MSI makes a slim, low-profile, single-slot GT 1030 card with a fan:
    https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/GeForce-GT-1030-2G-LP-OC.html

    I am surprised that you found no source for them in the EU.
    If I have the patience to wait 2-3 weeks for delivery I could order it. It does look tiny compared to any RX 550 / RX 560 / GTX 1050.
    2-3 weeks is not terrible.

    Most things that I have sent via economy shipping within the USA now take 10 days to 2 weeks to arrive. Sometimes it takes a whole week just to process and package the order.
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    I will have to wait more if I want to order that GT 1030 card as it is currently out of stock from my supplier. I am also thinking again if an RX 550 (for the same price if I could find one) could be an alternative with a better performance according to most benchmarks.
    Last edited by kyrcy; 14th Jan 2018 at 05:39.
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    Originally Posted by kyrcy View Post
    I will have to wait more if I want to order that GT 1030 card as it is currently out of stock from my supplier. I am also thinking again if an RX 550 (for the same price if I could find one) could be an alternative with a better performance according to most benchmarks.
    You were already told that such benchmarks showing that one card is faster than another are of no consequence to people who don't want to game. (You say that you only want an inexpensive video card to use for watching 4K video and displaying a 4K desktop.)

    In spite of that, you keep going back to the same argument for not buying a GT 1030: "The RX550 is faster." So, you want the AMD card even though it is larger, more expensive and more power-hungry for better specs that are unrelated to what you will use it for.

    Since you clearly just want the thing, stop making excuses and buy one. It will work for what you want to do.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 14th Jan 2018 at 12:16.
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    As I wrote it only makes sense to buy a GT 1030 if it is a single slot card and supports both HDMI and DisplayPort. I am considering the RX 550 not because it is faster or because I need a faster card, but because it is immediately available and the GT 1030 is not.
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    Originally Posted by kyrcy View Post
    As I wrote it only makes sense to buy a GT 1030 if it is a single slot card and supports both HDMI and DisplayPort. I am considering the RX 550 not because it is faster or because I need a faster card, but because it is immediately available and the GT 1030 is not.
    You keep making excuses as to why you should buy the RX-550 not the GT 1030. This tells me that you really want an RX-550. If you really liked the MSI GT 1030 better you would be willing to wait. Just buy the RX 550 and get on with your life.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 14th Jan 2018 at 13:58.
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    I liked the RX 550 of what it is in comparison with the GT 1030. Most reviews seem against of buying it as it is not much cheaper than the RX 560. I will wait for the GT 1030 and if I can't find it, look for the RX 550 for about the same price. Otherwise, I will look for the RX 560.
    Last edited by kyrcy; 14th Jan 2018 at 17:31.
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