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Windows 7: Seeking video card advice


07 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Seeking video card advice

I do not use my desktop for gaming. I want to use Windows 7 dual monitor capability to connect via HDMI to a home theater AV receiver and HDTV in another room. So am looking for a PCI-E x16 video card with HDMI output.

The GeForce GT 220 is inexpensive and seems to have what I need. But I don't mind spending for a premium card, I just don't want to spend unnecessarily on capability built for PC gaming.

Here are some of my questions:
  1. Does more memory (e.g. 1GB vs. 512MB) help for HD video viewing? Or does memory just matter for gaming?
  2. Is GDDR memory a better choice than DDR2 memory for HD video viewing? What about GDDR2 vs. GDDR3 vs. GDDR5?
  3. What other video card features are important for HD video viewing?
  4. Any suggestions for a specific card?



My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Feb 2010   #2

Win 7 pro 64-bit, Ubuntu 9.10 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dru37 View Post
I do not use my desktop for gaming. I want to use Windows 7 dual monitor capability to connect via HDMI to a home theater AV receiver and HDTV in another room. So am looking for a PCI-E x16 video card with HDMI output.

The GeForce GT 220 is inexpensive and seems to have what I need. But I don't mind spending for a premium card, I just don't want to spend unnecessarily on capability built for PC gaming.

Here are some of my questions:
  1. Does more memory (e.g. 1GB vs. 512MB) help for HD video viewing? Or does memory just matter for gaming?
  2. Is GDDR memory a better choice than DDR2 memory for HD video viewing? What about GDDR2 vs. GDDR3 vs. GDDR5?
  3. What other video card features are important for HD video viewing?
  4. Any suggestions for a specific card?
1. You need memory for everything, not just for games. If you have more, your computer is faster. It doesnt directly link to Multimedia or gaming.
2. The numbers (ddr2 vs ddr3) are the key here. So, gddr5 is faster than gddr4, which is faster than gddr3. The G in the GDDR is i think a newer technology, thus faster. There is no gddr4 or 5 RAM, but they are used in Graphics cards. Usually, if you play games you need faster memory, but for just watching videos, the size is enough. You should get a 1gb card, with say, gddr3 memory, with HDMI & DVI.
3. I mentioned that above, you need Graphics RAM. 1gb should be good.
4. My card, the 9400 GS or even a 9600 or 9800 would be good for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7
 
 

Thank you coolness. What about the memory interface? 256 bit vs. 128 bit?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


07 Feb 2010   #4

Win 7 pro 64-bit, Ubuntu 9.10 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dru37 View Post
Thank you coolness. What about the memory interface? 256 bit vs. 128 bit?
Yeah, 256 is a must if you run games. If, not the 128 bit will be fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

The G in GDDR stands for graphic I believe.
The memory is made specifically for graphics cards.
ATI has some newer cheeper cards out as well
that would do the job for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #7

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dru37 View Post
I do not use my desktop for gaming. I want to use Windows 7 dual monitor capability to connect via HDMI to a home theater AV receiver and HDTV in another room. So am looking for a PCI-E x16 video card with HDMI output.

The GeForce GT 220 is inexpensive and seems to have what I need. But I don't mind spending for a premium card, I just don't want to spend unnecessarily on capability built for PC gaming.

Here are some of my questions:
  1. Does more memory (e.g. 1GB vs. 512MB) help for HD video viewing? Or does memory just matter for gaming?
  2. Is GDDR memory a better choice than DDR2 memory for HD video viewing? What about GDDR2 vs. GDDR3 vs. GDDR5?
  3. What other video card features are important for HD video viewing?
  4. Any suggestions for a specific card?
I think perhaps some clarification is needed here?

Yes, more memory helps with viewing video if you've only got a small amount. 2GB is good, 3 is better for an htpc. Of course, 4 or more won't hurt, but you're not going to notice any increases in performance as there are none to be had after a certain point... either playback is seamless or it is not.

As stated earlier, GDDR is graphics DDR, and it's what comes on the video card. Do not concern yourself with the type of memory the graphics card has, whether it's GDDR3, 4 or 5, because at the end of the day, it matters very little. While it's true that in theory GDDR5 can reach speeds much greater than GDDR3, in reality, the performance between a GDDR3 and GDDR5 card are about the same because the memory interface is different. A GDDR3 card with a 500-bit memory interface is going to be just as badass as a GDDR5 card with only a 256-bit interface, even if it's clocked higher.

As for "which card", you should take some time to consider what ATI/AMD have to offer if you're really only doing this for an htpc. With ATI, you can output the sound through the hdmi, whereas you cannot with an nvidia card.... something to consider.

HD viewing in practice does not really require a whole lot of graphics power... even an older X800 does a really good job of outputting video (brother in law does it with this card). Do a little reading, see what fits your situation best, and don't think you have to spend oodles of coin just to have a good experience.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #8

Windows 7
 
 

Thank you fumz. I should have been more clear. I was asking about graphics card memory, and am now satisfied that 1Mb is sufficient for my needs. Also, if nvidia doesn't output sound via hdmi, then the GT 220 is a bad choice for my needs. I do need the sound signal on the hdmi output.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #9

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Anytime.

1GB of onboard RAM is more than enough... much more. Most of it's going to go unused. For great playback you really want/need enough system RAM, so don't go overboard on the video card and sell yourself short on system RAM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #10

Win 7 pro 64-bit, Ubuntu 9.10 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fumz View Post
Anytime.

1GB of onboard RAM is more than enough... much more. Most of it's going to go unused. For great playback you really want/need enough system RAM, so don't go overboard on the video card and sell yourself short on system RAM.
Well, i think that 1gb is necessary for large screens with 1080p Resolutions. Altho much of it will be unused, the 512mb space would fill instantly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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