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Thread: Best graphics card for media pc?

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    Question Best graphics card for media pc?

    Hey,
    Im planning on building a media pc and i was wondering which PCI-E graphics card would be best for it since the motherboard im planning on getting doesn't have a tv out. I've heard the ATi Radeon X1300 series is good because of the accelerated video playback. I was also looking at the X1600XT from yoyotech (http://www.yoyotech.co.uk/scripts/pr...idproduct=2325) which looks quite appealing.

    I'd like to play games on it though its not the primary concern and it would be great if it was passively cooled aswell. So any suggestions?

    One final thing, can anyone tell me which is the best way to connect the graphics card to a TV (I have an old TV which only supports SCART) and if other graphics cards offer a superior connection i.e the All-In-Wonder cards?
    Last edited by JKimbo; 25-06-2006 at 02:09 PM.

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    A TNT2?.. seriously, media playback isn't very processing intensive, graphics card accelerated video playback is a bit of a gimmick as most people do very little with their CPUs while playing back video.. a Sapphire ATI Radeon X1300 256MB (passively cooled) would do fine, all it needs to do is send a signal to the monitor on a media pc. right?
    Last edited by aidanjt; 25-06-2006 at 02:17 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Hi,

    How about a Nvidia 6600GT? Very good value for the cash, fine for vids (as are most modern cards), and able to handle pretty much all games to date, give or take?

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=299638

    Seems like a good option. I've noticed at the budget end of the market, Nvidia *generally* seem to offer slightly more Bang for buck (or pound!), This card is also passively cooled - I may well be wrong, but I think its rare to get anything more powerful currently thats not actively cooled.

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    I'd go nV in the UK. PAL is 25fps, and for best quality you'll be needing to set your refresh rate at 50 or 75Hz, something the latest ATI's don't allow.

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    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    you can get SCART-to-SVIDEO and SCART-to-COMPOSITE cables quite easily (SCART carries one or both of those signals anyways - try get SVIDEO. If your graphics can handle component you could look into that but S-Video will probably be just fine


    e.g. http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=187712 perhaps?

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    ok if im going to go down the nvidia route then what about this card: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=417316

    There is a review of it here: http://www.trustedreviews.com/articl...ge=7222&head=0

    i can even get the 512mb version for just £6 extra. so what do you think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav
    I'd go nV in the UK. PAL is 25fps, and for best quality you'll be needing to set your refresh rate at 50 or 75Hz, something the latest ATI's don't allow.
    Who told you that nonsense?.. I connected my TV to my x800TX no problem
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKimbo
    ok if im going to go down the nvidia route then what about this card: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=417316

    There is a review of it here: http://www.trustedreviews.com/articl...ge=7222&head=0

    i can even get the 512mb version for just £6 extra. so what do you think?
    even 256mb of is pointless for a media pc, onboard graphics memory is used for storing textures and pixels.. here's a nice cheap card to do the job: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=208114
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt
    Who told you that nonsense?.. I connected my TV to my x800TX no problem
    And does it flicker? There are a few problems with ATI's hardware/drivers and locking the outputs to 50Hz..he's not making it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt
    A TNT2?.. seriously, media playback isn't very processing intensive, graphics card accelerated video playback is a bit of a gimmick as most people do very little with their CPUs while playing back video.. a Sapphire ATI Radeon X1300 256MB (passively cooled) would do fine, all it needs to do is send a signal to the monitor on a media pc. right?
    If he's planning on playing HDTV, then no. This can be a lot more intensive than just displaying an image.
    Agreed though that he won't need a top of the line, or even mid-range card for this.

    If you're not planning on hardcore gaming on this Media Center PC though, have you considered buying a Motherboard with Nvidia's latest onboard graphics JKimbo? Something like the 6150?
    Have a look at the Asus A8NVM-CSM or the MSI K8NGM2-FID. I believe there's an Abit equivalent which Buff has suggested in the past too.
    Last edited by FatalSaviour; 26-06-2006 at 03:33 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Noni
    What the hell does "WTH" mean


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    Quote Originally Posted by FatalSaviour
    And does it flicker? There are a few problems with ATI's hardware/drivers and locking the outputs to 50Hz..he's not making it up.
    Nope, no flicker at all, 50Hz is the natural refresh rate of all CRT TVs, didn't you know that?.. the same is true even for HDTVs when you use S-Video or Scarlet connectors, only HDTVs are based on either Plasma or TFT technology, in which case refresh rate doesn't matter at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by FatalSaviour
    If he's planning on playing HDTV, then no. This can be a lot more intensive than just displaying an image.
    I've played back HD MPEG4 video, my GPU doesn't budge a single degree in heat.. People have a bad habit of exhaudrating hardware requirements for new technologies.

    Quote Originally Posted by FatalSaviour
    Agreed though that he won't need a top of the line, or even mid-range card for this.
    Yup, I did recommend x300se, media pcs don't need mid-range anything other than disk space if you're storing stuff locally.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatalSaviour
    If you're not planning on hardcore gaming on this Media Center PC though, have you considered buying a Motherboard with Nvidia's latest onboard graphics JKimbo? Something like the 6150?
    onboard graphics is not an option since im reusing my old 2.30ghz Celeron. The only motherboard that ive managed to find for socket 478 that supports pci-e is this http://www.morecomputers.co.uk/textra.asp?pn=P4RD1%2DMX and as far as i know it doesn't have a s-video output.

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    There's plenty of AGP cards that'll fit the bill as well
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    examples?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    thanx. think i'll stick to pci-e though because im planning on getting a TerraTec Cinergy 2400i which is only available on 1xpci-e.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt
    Who told you that nonsense?.. I connected my TV to my x800TX no problem
    You try watching Match of the Day with on MCE with an ATI card (certainly this one at any rate). Horrific experience. You simply cannot decipher the text scrolling along the bottom - might be the same with scrolling news tickers, but they're generally a bit slower. High paced sports action is similar - not as bad, but you can see it. Micro-stutter I think it's called.

    The PAL input is 25fps, and your refresh rate ideally needs to be a multiple of that. The problem is the ATIs default to 60Hz on a TFT. If your TFT can't handle 75Hz (my 2405FPW can't, as with many high-res ones), then there's little you can do. You simply cannot get an ATI to display 50Hz, and it's all the worse for it.

    I've been looking for months for a fix, but there's little out there - even Powerstrip (old school or what!) couldn't do it.

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