HELP:Suggestions for a HTPC graphics card

Discussion in 'Video Cards & Monitors' started by rzkman, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. rzkman

    rzkman Member

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    Hi all,
    Relative newbie here, so looking for some advice. I am putting together a HTPC to connect to my Panasonic 42PX70a 42" plasma which has 1024x768 native resolution. The screen has two HDMI ports and I am thinking this would be a good way to connect the HTPC to it.

    1. I went to centrecom and told them to suggest a card where I can use the HDMI port into my plasma. They suggested the Gigabyte X2600XT 256Mb. It comes with a DVI to HDMI adapter. I actually had my eye on a 8600GTS as I liked the fanless design, but they said for HDMI support I should go with this one.

    2. I later went to another store and asked the same question about which card they would suggest if I wanted an HDMI output. They suggested a Gainward 8600GT 512mb which comes with a HDMI port at the back. I noticed this card has a fanless design.

    Should I return the X2600XT and get the 8600GT instead? Or maybe some other suggestions?

    I guess I should have asked on the forums first before going shopping. Will teach me to rely on advice from a computer store...*sigh*..

    Thanks,
    Ray
     
  2. AussieTemplar

    AussieTemplar Member

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  3. thunda

    thunda Member

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    The X2600XT is better for HD stuff, takes more of a load off the CPU I believe. I would keep it.

    I know default res is 1024x768 but running 1080i content thru the set at 1920x1080i looks better than default. I have the Pana 60A 42" and that won't allow 1024x768 at 50Hz either so I usually stick with 720p or 1080i.
     
  4. Lasmi

    Lasmi Member

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    2400,2600 + 2900xt all have the same hd capabilities. I've got a fanless 2400xt for $65 and it's got a lot of grunt for such a cheap card (but haven't used it for hd yet).

    The 3 series have audio on as well though don't they so that might be your best option for a good quality htpc, depends on price of the entry levels (been released yet?)
     
  5. Aequitas

    Aequitas Member

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    if ur putting together an htpc why are u getting a gfx card anyway? there are loads of good htpc motherboards out there with onboard gfx. mine (abit f-i90hd) even has hdmi built in.
     
  6. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    Exactly. I have the same board and it handles everything I've thrown at it including full HD content.
     
  7. TaroT

    TaroT Member

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    gigabyte 690g is a great board for that sort of thing on the amd side.
    just setup a pile of them and they went very nice
     
  8. OP
    OP
    rzkman

    rzkman Member

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    Hi All,
    Thanks for your great suggestions and advice. I am now really regretting not consulting the experts on the forum before diving into purchasing the gear. The Abit mb certainly sounds very impressive and now I am toying with the idea of stripping the box and returning the mb and graphics card. They will want to charge me the 18% restocking fee, but I guess that would still be better than ebaying it as second hand gear.....any ideas if I will cop and grief as some of the packaging has been ripped apart (ie sata cable bag).

    Cheers,
    Ray
     
  9. thunda

    thunda Member

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    Just keep what you have, reading thru the posts here I think a few of them missed the fact you already have the card. Your GPU and mobo will be better than the Abit mobo on it's own and by the time you cop the 18% you probably wont have any cash left in your hand.

    EDIT: sorry just saw what the Abit's worth and didn't realise they were so cheap so you'll have a few dollars left over.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2007
  10. DrDoom

    DrDoom Member

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    The 2900XT actually doesn't have the same capabilities as the others in the series. But yeah, I'd recommend a 2400/2600/3800 series depending on what level of gaming (if any) you want.

    EDIT: Or a mobo with it inbuilt.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    rzkman

    rzkman Member

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    The Abit board appears to be a better match for my needs. The gear will go into a dedicated HTPC and there will be no games run on this machine.

    I am going to be building another desktop system for myself soon, so I will see if I can talk the store into doing an upgrade/trade on the mobo and graphics card so I don't get hit with the 18% restocking fee.
     
  12. Aequitas

    Aequitas Member

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    glad we could help.
     
  13. craz3d

    craz3d Member

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    Yea just make sure you do not go with nVidia for HD decoding :p ATi mega wins in that department.
     
  14. DrClaw

    DrClaw Member

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    Yeah but ATi have shitty drivers.

    My HTPC, when it automatically wakes up from suspend, has a blank screen until a mouse is moved (mine doesn't have a mouse, so I have to go and plug one into the front panel, wiggle it around, then unplug it)

    ATi only released a fix for it in the 7.11 catalysts which came out 2 weeks ago - I've emailed support about it several times for the past year and a half and it's taken them this long to fix it.

    PS what are you using for your media center OS ? ATi support under *nix was a disaster when I tried it last time (couldn't get hardware rendering working on the tv out port, so i had to do it on the CPU and take a MASSIVE performance hit), and there are still ATi driver issues with vista, so it might be worth googling around a bit and checking out the xpmediacenter.com.au forums to avoid any pitfalls. For reference I use XP media center and that seems fairly ok
     
  15. OP
    OP
    rzkman

    rzkman Member

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    I am planning to to Vista MC.
    Some other mobo's that I have come across today
    - GA-73PVM-S2H (runs Nvidia chipset, so should I be avoiding this one, as per above comment??)

    - GA-G33M-S2H (runs Intel G33 chipset)

    Both these boards have HDMI output and have video onboard. So I think for a pure HTPC (no gaming) it should be ok. The only problems I am afraid of are resume from suspend issues which I believe are tied back to the chipset. I don't want to have to plug in a mouse each time I wake it up!

    How do the above two mobos compare to the F-I90HD?

    I have been told to stay away from ATI chipsets due to bugs, but not sure if its a case of the better of two evils, or if the bugs are fixed through the latest firmware. I guess all products will have bugs, but I need to find one that has the least I guess.


    Cheers,
    Ray.
     
  16. HaZZaD

    HaZZaD Member

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    The Abit only claims to do up to 1080i res though? Looking for a board that will handle full 1080p with onboard hdmi and best audio output i can get, though im pretty sure that the best you can get via digital conenction on boards is DTS.

    Ive done some reading the x1250 chipset that some baords use as the integrated video chip is no good at full HD playback. Do any boards use a 2600 on board at all?

    Any suggestions? Prefer to stick with Intel base solutions..so C2D
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2007

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