Video Card research is giving me a headache

They make noise, too.

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trevorjwilson
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Video Card research is giving me a headache

Post by trevorjwilson » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:28 pm

I've tried to figure out which card is best for me just by reading, but my brain is going to explode - so now I'm asking for help. I can't really find any information similar to what I'm trying to accomplish. I used to know this stuff, but not in a few years. I got a new Sony V-Series TV and moving from 720 to 1080p has made my HTPC stutter, and I only want a single HDMI cable (which is in the wall) to carry the video and audio. Obviously I have a pretty low end CPU, but all I need to do is run Media Center.

- CPU is an AMD 3800+
- 2 GB RAM
- HTPC is the usage - it sits in a living room, so it has to be super-quiet (ASUS 7300GT passive card in use right now)
- No gaming at all, nada
- Windows Media Center is running all the time
- 720p/1080p MKV movies and TV, 1080i OTA HDTV (Hauppage 150MCE)
- must be either passively cooled, or super quiet (the only fans right now are my PSU and CPU, and you can hardly hear them)
- must have audio over HDMI (LPCM will do, since I'm only using the speakers on the TV)
- since we're in the age of being green, low power consumption would be nice

Any recommendations?

trevorjwilson
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Post by trevorjwilson » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:32 pm

Sorry, I'm thinking all I need is this?

ASUS EAH4350 SILENT/DI/512MD2(LP) Radeon HD 4350 (sorry, can't link to it yet, not enough posts) found on newegg.

CA_Steve
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Post by CA_Steve » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:29 pm

trevorjwilson wrote:Sorry, I'm thinking all I need is this?

ASUS EAH4350 SILENT/DI/512MD2(LP) Radeon HD 4350 (sorry, can't link to it yet, not enough posts) found on newegg.
should do the trick. For curiosity, what is your current mobo?

trevorjwilson
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Post by trevorjwilson » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:55 pm

Good question, I think it's an Asus M2N-E.

As I read more about that card, some people have complained about stuttering during OTA TV, but that was a year ago - not sure if it was a driver issue or not. Worst case I guess I return it if it doesn't work.

boost
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Post by boost » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:57 pm

The best graphic card for a HTPC is an ATI 5000 series card. They support bitstreaming of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master audio over HDMI from a Blu-Ray disc. The cheapest model available right now is the 5650 which is available with a passive cooler. Cheaper models should appear soon.
If you do not need bitstreaming the 4350 will do fine.

trevorjwilson
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Post by trevorjwilson » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:58 pm

I don't think I need bitstreaming, unless I'm mistaken. Is there any limitation that would prevent my HTPC from decoding the audio and sending it via LPCM to the TV?

I only see mobility graphics for the 5650, did you mean 5750? I was under the impression they used much more power than the 4350, but I have no idea.

trevorjwilson
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Post by trevorjwilson » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:29 pm

OK, did a bit more research and I'm leaning towards the HIS H467PS1GH Radeon HD 4670 iSilence4 1GB. Any known issues with this card?

vincentfox
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Re: Video Card research is giving me a headache

Post by vincentfox » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:05 pm

trevorjwilson wrote:I've tried to figure out which card is best for me just by reading, but my brain is going to explode -
The last silent purchase I found technically easy was the Voodoo2 SLI setup. OK it was a crazy expense of $500 back in the day but no fans and it just worked. The only hard part about it was cracking the wallet.

Everything since then has not been so easy.

zodaex
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Post by zodaex » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:35 am

Don't forget the old Nvidia poem:

LE/XT < Vanilla < GS/GSO < GT < GTS < GTX < Ultra < GX2/dual gpu cards


Hope that helps lol!

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