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Windows 7: Seeking video card advice

08 Feb 2010   #11
Fumz

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Playing movies isn't like playing games. You don't need large amounts of onboard RAM because you're not filling the space with a bunch of extra textures, AA and AF... so while it sounds like it makes sense to have a lot of onboard RAM to play 1080p movies, that's really not how it works out.

My brother in law has a 42 inch 720p tv he uses with media center and an x800xl, with only 256MB onboard... playback is flawless, no matter what he throws at it. He's really into all this stuff and was explaining it to me over the xmas holiday... so much so that my eyes glazed over and rolled back into my head... and I'm usually ok with the geek-speak.

Anyway, he convinced me to build my own htpc, and I'm doing just that right now. It's actually quite amazing how little power they really require. You don't need a lot of cpu (i'm going to use an old athlon single core 3200, which is more than enough), and I'm tossing in a little $50.00 ATI. The only thing I really have to "worry" about is finding enough system RAM. I'm using an old board that uses regular old DDR, and as soon as I find another gig on ebay that's reasonably priced, I'm good to go.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Feb 2010   #12
Bootz

Vista Business x64
 
 

you only need a high bit video card if u plan on doing high resolution gaming i believe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #13
Fumz

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

^ Yeah.

Here's an example of just such a toy that demonstrates how little is required for great playback: Patriot Box Office HD Media Player Review - Patriot Box Office ? A Look Inside - Legit Reviews

Go over the system specs and see just how little memory this thing has; in total, less than 512MB, DDR and flash ROM. (it's using SSD's as opposed to using regular hd's and RAM)

My point is that you really don't have to spend very much at all. The Box Office is ~ $100.00, so if you're spending much more, then you have to ask why when you could just as easily get this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Feb 2010   #14
Zepher

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fumz View Post
Anyway, he convinced me to build my own htpc, and I'm doing just that right now. It's actually quite amazing how little power they really require. You don't need a lot of cpu (i'm going to use an old athlon single core 3200, which is more than enough), and I'm tossing in a little $50.00 ATI. The only thing I really have to "worry" about is finding enough system RAM. I'm using an old board that uses regular old DDR, and as soon as I find another gig on ebay that's reasonably priced, I'm good to go.
If you play 1080P video that does not decode through the video card, then your Athlon 3200 will struggle with playback since the CPU will end up doing the decoding.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #15
Fumz

7 Ultimate x64
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #16
dru37

Windows 7
 
 

Thank you all for your input, I love this site. Here is what I plan to buy:
- ATI chipset (I need audio output on the hdmi port)
- 128 bit
- 1Gb (on the graphics card)
- 1 HDMI, 1 DVI

Should I care about manufacturer? Or just be shopping price point?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2010   #17
Frostmourne

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dru37 View Post
Thank you all for your input, I love this site. Here is what I plan to buy:
- ATI chipset (I need audio output on the hdmi port)
- 128 bit
- 1Gb (on the graphics card)
- 1 HDMI, 1 DVI

Should I care about manufacturer? Or just be shopping price point?
Perfect choice. ATI's 5xxx series cards support PAP over HDMI. I would go for the 5450 or 5670. As for manufacturer, Sapphire is a great choice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2010   #18
Coolness

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Frostmourne View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dru37 View Post
Thank you all for your input, I love this site. Here is what I plan to buy:
- ATI chipset (I need audio output on the hdmi port)
- 128 bit
- 1Gb (on the graphics card)
- 1 HDMI, 1 DVI

Should I care about manufacturer? Or just be shopping price point?
Perfect choice. ATI's 5xxx series cards support PAP over HDMI. I would go for the 5450 or 5670. As for manufacturer, Sapphire is a great choice.
So is Asus, Gigabyte and Gainward but i think the two latter only make nVidia.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2010   #19
Frostmourne

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64
 
 

Asus is junk, my dead 9600GT shorted out - never bought a factory pc again. Sapphire makes ATI GPU's - perfect choice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2010   #20
RST101

Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
 
 

Asus may be junk in your opinion but I know the majority have had positive experiences with Asus, including myself.

Regardless of who makes the product you will always find duds in their shipments, but I think overall Asus are a quality make.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Seeking video card advice




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