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Thread: Video Card Advise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    149

    Video Card Advise

    Apologies if posting to the wrong area.

    I have decided to upgrade the video card in my MCPC

    2 of the choices i have are:

    Asus 9600GT is $200.47 + GST

    next step up is the ASUS Extreme N9800GT Hybrid Power/HTDI/512M
    @ $249 + GST.


    I would like a video card that has HDMI ouputs - which apparently the above do. I do not yet have a HDTV - but its in the pipeline- so i do want a card that can suitably output 720p and 1080i (which are the 2 formats used by Freeview NZ).

    For the moment the card also needs to be able to output in composite via tv out/adapter - so i can use on current tv until the hdtv gets purchased.

    Does anyone have any positive/negative feedback on those 2 models - or even better have a more suitable recommendation based on my needs above?

    I should say that i currently have an ASUS EN7300 and the 1080i broadcasts seem quite jittery - more so than the 720p broadcasts which the EN7300 seems to handle better.
    Regards,

    Kyle Brophy
    IT Manager
    Christchurch
    New Zealand

    nPVR HTPC v3.1.1 (Multidec and also Hauppauge WinTV-CI and Irdeto CAM)
    ASUS P5Q SE/R, Core 2 Quad 2.66GHz, 16GB RAM, Windows 7 (64 bit), 2TB (recordings) + 2TB (Movie)
    KU: Fixed 90cm - D1,D3,C1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Lower Hutt, NZ
    Posts
    4,896
    I'm getting an 8600GT with HDMI and DVI on it (hopefully tomorrow). Actually I didn't check for a regular TV Out - if it foesn't have that then it wont be going in until I upgrade the tv... Costs $155 incl freight and gst.
    AMD FM1 x4 A8-3870 Llano, Gigabyte GA-A75-D3H, 4 Gb DDR3 Ram, Seagate 500 Gb, Seagate 1500 Gb, HVR3000 x 2 (DVB-S), Nova-T 500 (DVB-T), USB-Uirt, SPDIF -> Yamaha RX-V540, ATI HD6550 (OnBoard) > Samsung LA46A650 TV (HDMI), Harmony Remote 525
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, NPVR 2.4.3, AC3Filter, 1 x Popcorn Hour A-100, 1 x AppleTV with Plex

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    4,380

    bluray play for 40$

    i just got a ati HD3450 and it rocks on even bluray
    [so it handles 1080P even easily, tho most of my stuff is also 720p+1080i]
    PQ is excellent and no stutters at all...
    the 8.11 drivers have really made things work great..
    has hdmi out with audio, uses a dongle on the dvi..it's also only 25w and silent and low profile..

    definitely does tv out [both composite and svideo] and even component[RGB]!
    just make sure you get a card with all the adapters/cables you need..
    many don't come with the hdmi adapter [it's only 10$]

    i would recommend the 3650 if you don't need low profile,faster ram and more shaders,etc for stream processing for games..
    [and possibly better performance with transcoding in next driver]
    tho it shouldn't be any faster for video..and will consume more power..
    [tho still doesn't need any extra power connectors]
    Last edited by pBS; 2008-11-27 at 08:26 PM.
    1. C2D 1.6ghz XPPro, ATI HD4650lowprofile,Cat 8.11, Aver M780, KWorld PCI 120, MVP, GBpvr 1.4.7, Comm. Skin. VFD, Imon plugin w/SmartieLCD[custom]
    2. C2D 2.53, XPPro, ATI HD3450, Kworld 330U, Comm. Skin, GBpvr 1.4.7
    Author: Pvrx2 utils- Simple Archiver.bat, NTFSLinker [Junction gui]
    Universal Util: MCE Remote no-software trick and Shutdown Protector
    3. Zotac Mini ITX G41[$84] + ati 650pro pcie[$29], Celeron duo[$22] BDRom drive [$48]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SE England
    Posts
    573
    I'll also add that I just got a Gigabyte 4670 with native HDMI and audio over HDMI and its the mutts nuts, its full height but its single slot and thin enough to have cards in slots either side without worries. Only reason I went so OTT was cos the Wife has started playing games on the HTPC, it really is a good all rounder.
    Not really tried HD on it, but it should breeze it.
    Elmo Putney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Southern England
    Posts
    649
    I have been looking into video cards yet again, and the Radeon 4670 DDR3cards are meant to be a great performer for the price, particularly if you do want to use the card for some gaming and not just for HTPC use. Tom's hardware monthly article 'Best graphics card for the money' had it as a hands-down winner in the <$90 bracket in October, but this month it ties with the Geforce 9600 GSO;
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/best-g...w-31414-2.html

    Tom's recent review of on-board chipsets was interesting, as I 100% agree with the conclusion that for HD you are better of getting a descrete card like the 4650 (or 4670):
    "...our second conclusion is that with discrete video cards like the Radeon 4650 being so easily found in the $70 range, a ‘purist’ HD video enthusiast doesn’t need to consider one of these motherboards (780g or 8200) for HD playback. An add-in card like the Radeon 4650 will offer less CPU utilization, the option of playing back 8-channel uncompressed LPCM digital audio over HDMI, and massive image quality enhancements like noise reduction. Because of these points, our recommendation for HD video enthusiasts is to concentrate on the discrete card solutions.
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/graphi...iew-31349.html
    Lounge Gigabyte 780g-Nvidia GTX560ti-AMD PhenomII 960T-Crucial C300 SSD 64gb-Samsung F1 500gb-2x Samsung F1 1tb-NovaT USB-Nova HDS2-XP Pro/W7 (dual-boot).
    Gigabit networked to:
    Gigabyte 740g-Nvidia 8800GTS-AMD X2 6000-Samsung F1 1tb-Seagate 320gb-Samsung F3 1tb-NovaT PCI-TBS 6981-XP Pro/W7 (dual-boot)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    4,380

    yep

    yep, thouroughly unimpressed with the new integrated graphics for hd..
    the 3200 on the 780 isn't a real 3200,[check the driver] and the g45 is only for dxva2[vista]
    so with this combo i have 40$ for card, a 49$ mb/cpu combo and a deal on a gig of ddr2 ram for $6!
    so not bad, <100$ plus a hard drive and a case for bluray level capabilities..
    also found a udma 8g cardflash card for 17$ and a 30gig real ssd drive for 89$[no rebate]

    so my current new build is:
    $79 for MB w/gigabit & 7200 cpu [sale]
    $49 for mini slimline case smaller than my vcr w/psu
    $13 for short flower style cpu cooler 90mm fan w/pwm
    $12 2 gig ddr2 800 ram
    $56 500 gig hd
    $110 Pioneer bluray drive
    $25 wireless keyboard/mouse w/ all MCE keys
    $45 2x20 VFD display wedged into 3.5 slot
    $100 AverMedia 780 pciex1 cap card
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Iron Man on BluRay w/surround...Priceless..

    not bad considering....
    but i just saw a standalone bluray for 139$ locally...!
    [you know those won't last long! lol]
    1. C2D 1.6ghz XPPro, ATI HD4650lowprofile,Cat 8.11, Aver M780, KWorld PCI 120, MVP, GBpvr 1.4.7, Comm. Skin. VFD, Imon plugin w/SmartieLCD[custom]
    2. C2D 2.53, XPPro, ATI HD3450, Kworld 330U, Comm. Skin, GBpvr 1.4.7
    Author: Pvrx2 utils- Simple Archiver.bat, NTFSLinker [Junction gui]
    Universal Util: MCE Remote no-software trick and Shutdown Protector
    3. Zotac Mini ITX G41[$84] + ati 650pro pcie[$29], Celeron duo[$22] BDRom drive [$48]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    8
    If you're building purely for HTPC purposes, you might want to consider the new ATI cards. They're low power and they can send 7.1 audio thru HDMI. and they do a great job hardware decoding VC-1 and all the other HD formats.

    And if you also want some gaming juice too, the 4670 is a great card. But if you won't be gaming, the other 4XXXX cards are great.

    Read up in the latest reviews (newer than July). This round of cards definitely goes to ATI.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    617
    I am happily using a 9600GT (512) - (Asus with the big fan)

    - I can do 1080i no problem. Audio and video through HDMI (audio comes off the motherboard via SPDIF to the graphics card)

    - light gaining including Crysis at 1024. High settings.

    - The cooler covers the adjacent PCIE slot - something to be mindful of as it may limit your tuners.

    - The fan is not at quiet as I would like. It is wasn't for the games I would be running it on 5V rail hotwired from the PSU.

    But I do get the impression that the new ATIs are better value at the minute.
    Core2-E2180, 1G RAM, 1Gb-5450 Silent, 2Tb +300g HDDs.
    Three tuners: Twinhan DVB-T x 1, Hauppauge Nova 500T (dual)

    DTB Digital SD + HD content (PAL-MPEG2-AC3).
    Custom case made very quiet. Zalman CPU cooler.
    Sits in rack with other HiFi.

    ParaLED to show tuner activity.

    Display: 42" 1920x1080p Panasonic Plasma

    1x wired MVP
    1x PC client


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    8
    If you like to game a lot, newegg is having a sale on the nvidia 9600 gso for $80. this is a better gaming card than the ati 4670. but then again, it runs hot, takes a lot of power (manufacturer says 400w psu is minimum). it has a great video decode engine as well.

    for hd/htpc purposes, the 4670 is still better and cheaper. but you have options and the prices are great

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    316
    Quote Originally Posted by pBS View Post
    i just got a ati HD3450 and it rocks on even bluray
    [so it handles 1080P even easily, tho most of my stuff is also 720p+1080i]
    PQ is excellent and no stutters at all...
    the 8.11 drivers have really made things work great..
    has hdmi out with audio, uses a dongle on the dvi..it's also only 25w and silent and low profile..

    definitely does tv out [both composite and svideo] and even component[RGB]!
    just make sure you get a card with all the adapters/cables you need..
    many don't come with the hdmi adapter [it's only 10$]

    i would recommend the 3650 if you don't need low profile,faster ram and more shaders,etc for stream processing for games..
    [and possibly better performance with transcoding in next driver]
    tho it shouldn't be any faster for video..and will consume more power..
    [tho still doesn't need any extra power connectors]
    Which card did you get? I find it very difficult to determine the power requirements of graphics cards, as many manufacturers don't include that info in the specs.
    Last edited by 4zm4r3d02; 2008-11-30 at 07:54 PM. Reason: added info
    HP Pavilion a6432f\AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5000+(2.6Ghz)\3GB\ATI Radeon HD 3400 Series\Windows 7 Professional 32bit\PCTV 80e USB

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