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Windows 7: Graphics Card/Onboard Graphics for Media Centre PC

22 Apr 2011   #11
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

My understanding is when you memory on you card is all used up it has to go the them memory on you m/b and slow down things like playing games a bunch. Their for more memory on you card is good and cost more normally.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2011   #12

Windows 7

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2011   #13


nvidia use a different memory architecture so adding more with a larger bus costs more to do for them.

the amount of video ram also has an effect on the maximum resolution you can run at as well as some other aspects.

all of the ati 5 series cards will do dx 11 which is a nice point to consider especially if you look at the 5450 1 gb ddr2 card fanless priced around 30

nvidia offer some nice cards as well but i would reccomend you look at their newer cards like the geforce gt 520 or similar priced around 40
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Apr 2011   #14

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

good point

Sheepdisease, remember to read a LOT of reviews when you get serious (as in you think that one would be a good one to go for) about picking a card - don't make the mistake I made
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2011   #15

Windows 7

I have been using amazon to look at reviews and I have found it useful.

Those cards look good, thank you for your recommendations.

I didn't think getting a suitable GPU was going to be this difficult.

These are the requirements:
  • TV-Out (S-video, not HDMI)
  • At least 1GB of GPU RAM
  • Windows 7 compatible
  • Direct X 11 support
  • PCI-E x16
These would be useful:
  • HDMI output for later on
Those cards you recommended do not provide tv-out (s-video) unfortunately.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2011   #16

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

on the back of my 64MB graphics card, there seems to be just s-video and VGA.
I think the main problem is is that manufacturers switched to hdmi output instead, so the better (1GB+) cards around today don't have 'yesterdays' technology in them. This unfortunately means no s-video, and no VGA :'(
I'm slightly confused as to why they put hdtv/s-video on this description, but might this suit your needs?
PNY VCG981024GXEB XLR8 GeForce 9800GT 1GB DDR3 PCI-E 2.0 DVI + DVI + HDTV/S-Video Output Graphics Card - Retail Box:Amazon:Electronics

yeah, I wouldn't have thought it would be this difficult either. for example, so that i can have multiple monitors (or rather could have, since the computer in question is now dead) I wanted a relatively good PCI card, but those don't seem to be easy to come by
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #17

Windows 7

Can't find a UK equivalent to the above suggestion.

Are there any other cards which match the criteria please?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #18
Lava King

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Might I ask a question? Are you planning on gaming with this setup or is it a media center only?

My current media center graphics card is a VisionTek 4350 HD. It has 512 MB of DDR2 and DirectX 10 support. It has absolutely no problem with 1920x1080 hi-def MKV files or Blu-ray decoding connected to a Samsung 52" lcd using either DVI or HDMI. However, trying to run that hi-def signal through an analog cable (tried both VGA and S-video) gives very poor results.

So, while a card matching your requirements will indeed be a bit more future proof, it won't be utilized fully with your current tv. And when you do upgrade your monitor/tv, the resolution of even a Blu-ray movie is very little strain for even the low end of todays graphics cards.

The gist is, that as long as you're not gaming, nearly any graphics card you get will be adequate for media purposes now and in the near future.

One bit of advice, get a passively cooled card if you can, no fan = no noise. Also, the cheesy little fans on the cheap cards don't last very long. The fan on my 4350 HD died after only 3 months.

Well, after reading this to myself, it comes across as a bit of a lecture
Not meant to be, just trying to be helpful

BTW, my home theater pc is a Pentium Dual Core 2.9 GHz with 2 GB ram and running Windows 7 Home Premium with aero.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #19

Windows 7

Hello Lava King, thank you so much for your really helpful post.

I intend on using it as a media player pc but also for playing games like Counterstrike, Total War, Sims 1-3, RCT 1-3.

Any idea which card would be suitable based on all the requirements?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #20

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

(from my experience) with the sims 3, you'll want quite a good (at least 512MB) card for it, and you'll want a good quality card for the sims 2 (I kept getting graphical glitches such as buildings being flattened on high settings). By 'RCT', do you mean rollercoaster tycoon? If so, any card would do for that

And with the s-video problem, yeah, I'm afraid I think all manufacturers jumped onto the HDMI band wagon, which is a pain, as I'm guessing you don't want to have to buy a new TV?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Graphics Card/Onboard Graphics for Media Centre PC

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