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Arrrrrggghhhhh... Video card insanity!
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:23 pm    Post subject: Arrrrrggghhhhh... Video card insanity! Reply with quote


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OK, so I'd like to try to playing around with some modern media manager/players like Plex or whatever, so I grabbed a nice HP Core 2 Duo 2.4 ghz machine for cheap from a buddy who reconditions corporate machines. Started looking at video cards and now I'm frustrated. All the reviews are from gamers who are just obsessed with frames per second with the latest "stress-test" FPS games. Nothing about the HDMI audio, but a cornucopia of graphics and charts of benchmark tests even though nobody who's buying a $50 video card would be buying based on 3D graphics benchmarks.

I have no interest in spending $150 on a video card. I'm pretty happy with the discrete mobile graphics in my MacBook Pro, which is AMD Radeon HD 6490M 256 MB. Yes, 256MB, and it'll drive a 30" display just fine. I know it's not a "gaming" card, but other than the occasional flight sim or something, I don't care.

So, I want a fanless card in the $50 ballpark. So, I'm thinking Radeon HD 6450 or Nvidia GT 210... Then, there's the brand. Are there any brands I should specifically try to get or any I should avoid?

For 6450, I'm looking at this Gigabyte:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125404

Or this XFX card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150567


For Nvidia, I'm looking at this ASUS:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121475

Or this Gigabyte:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125407

From the little bit of reading I did, it sounds like maybe the Radeon card is a little better than the Nvida card, but I don't know...

Basically, I want a good HTPC card that I can still trying the occasional PC flight sim or driving game on or something. If I have to drop the res down to 1600x900 or 1440x810 or whatever and do a setup, that's fine.

Can somebody just tell me which damn video card I should buy and why? I thought maybe somebody here had just been through this and maybe had something to offer.

Just priest, it makes me want to sell the damn PC and just buy a few more PS3 games.

Sorry for the rant.

SC
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incova



Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 781
Location: london


PostLink    Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:10 am    Post subject: GT240 Reply with quote

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ZOTAC-P-N-ZT-20403-10L-GEFORCE-GT-240-512MB-PCI-E-NEW-/170769723325?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item27c2ab2fbd

I currently have a GT240 which does ok, I got it second hand paid about um, $25 second hand if I remember right. It is silent as it has a heat sink no fan, thats why I got it.

The link I gave you has one left for $40 not sure on the postage, one warning nvidia control panel is driving me NUTS!

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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks - I'll check that out... I don't see any fanless GT 240's, though.

I was also just looking at a YouTube video for Radeon HD 6570, which is about another $20 over the 6450, still fan-cooled, but looks like it offers a bit more performance.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161374

I've never even heard of HIS, though...

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incova



Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 781
Location: london


PostLink    Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:42 am    Post subject: this one Reply with quote

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120786522213?_trksid=p3286.m1934

fanless but expensive I am sure you can source it more cheaply somewhere else and if I remember right it should do 3d.

HIS are good, they have a good reputation in the UK.

http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=171223

yup looks like it does do 3d.

regarding the GT 240 I told you about, I am having a hell of a time getting 1080i using the control panel which is like power strip, you have a g70 so you will need interlaced as well I take it, just bare this in mind if you use interlaced. The hardware is superb the software is painful especially in windows 7.

Regarding ATI, if you are using powerstrip, it will not support the 5000, 6000 series, so unless ATI have upgraded catalyst so you can play with your settings theres another issue you may want to consider.

Personally I think I should have stuck with my ATI 4850 and just made it fanless and used powerstrip................the 4850 is also fast enough to play flight sims at moderate resolutions.

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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know it is way above your price point, but you might want to look at the new 7750. I think it is supposed to be around $100. It might have enough new features for HTPC use to make it interesting. How far do you want to get into HTPC? I don't really follow it that much anymore, but it looks like some people are doing some advanced processing with the HTPC.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5541/amd-radeon-hd-7750-radeon-hd-7770-ghz-edition-review/6
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ecrabb
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, more than I want to spend. $70 is too much, actually. I already have $120 in the machine. By the time I throw RAM and video card in there, I'll be pushing $300 - which is more than I even wanted to spend just to screw around... And I have ZERO interest in screwing around with PowerStrip and timing and all that sh*t. Been there, done that. Just let me set a basic resolution and refresh, and we'll be just fine. Plus, I really want a passively-cooled machine. After using notebooks for years, I can barely stand the sound of a noisy machine anymore. I like QUIET.

Thanks, though... Something to look for in a year when somebody is dumping theirs to chase another 10FPS with another click of AA from the latest shooter game. Wink

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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5590
Location: Comedy Central


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:
Yeah, more than I want to spend. $70 is too much, actually. I already have $120 in the machine. By the time I throw RAM and video card in there, I'll be pushing $300 - which is more than I even wanted to spend just to screw around... And I have ZERO interest in screwing around with PowerStrip and timing and all that sh*t. Been there, done that. Just let me set a basic resolution and refresh, and we'll be just fine. Plus, I really want a passively-cooled machine. After using notebooks for years, I can barely stand the sound of a noisy machine anymore. I like QUIET.

Thanks, though... Something to look for in a year when somebody is dumping theirs to chase another 10FPS with another click of AA from the latest shooter game. Wink

SC


What kind of RAM are you planning on buying for $100?Smile

Newegg has a sale today. $9.99 for a 210. And I was just about to link you to it and it is already sold out. Rolling Eyes

If you didn't already have a mobo/CPU, then I would have said buy an AMD APU. I would probably look to go with a 520. Can't recommend a card, as I am usually not looking that low on the totem pole.
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smart ass! Wink OK, $50 RAM.

$120 computer + $50 RAM + $70 video card = $240. OK, so not quite pushing $300, but you know what I mean. Gotta get a BD drive, too... And I want to put it in external case so I can move it around to a couple different machines, so the sh*t adds up. I'm a graphics nut, and I'd love a sweet video card, but it just isn't a priority given all the other toys I want. I'm sure you can relate. Wink

I can't believe the power some of these cards suck up, either! Some of these things are sucking well over 100W under load!

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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5590
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To rich for my blood on the RAM. Razz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104244&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL022812&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL022812-_-EMC-022812-Index-_-DesktopMemory-_-20104244-L02C

I understand not wanting to put a lot of money into it. That is why I would have went with an APU for a cheap HTPC. Since you already have this, I would look for a 520, 430 or maybe a 240. Looking at Anand, the 240 is the faster of those cards.

I picked up a 5770 off of CL for $70 about four months ago. It is probably to loud for your tastes though. My 240 has a fan, but I think it is quieter than the CPU fan. Check that I just stopped the fan for a few seconds and the CPU and power supply fans were louder. My 240 hasn't had an issue with any game running at 1440x900. This is similar to the one I have.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133350
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ecrabb
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not latest/greatest machine with the most common RAM, so the smokin' deals aren't as plentiful...

It's a HP Compaq dc5800 Microtower...
https://h10057.www1.hp.com/ecomcat/hpcatalog/specs/provisioner/99/AJ408AV.htm

DDR2 PC2-6400, so...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231207

$50 for RAM.

What's this APU you speak of? You mean a machine built around the AMD APU? How cheap do those get?

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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5590
Location: Comedy Central


PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sucks about the RAM.

Yes, an AMD APU. It looks like the cheapest is $65.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103957
The mobo is another $60 or so.

The good thing is that the graphics are adequate for light gaming, so you don't need a dedicated card. Honestly the onboard Intel Sandy Bridge graphics on my 2500k are pretty good. I remember playing a couple of mid 2000s games on my Intel laptop with 4500 on board graphics. Game play was surprisingly good.
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ecrabb
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting... But every time I look at building something from scratch - even with really low budget hardware - by the time, you're done, you always, always, always end up spending at least $300 or more. So, the AMD APU and mobo is $125... Throw in some ram, a decent PSU, case, hard drive, and bam... Mo money. You're right back up in the $300 ballpark. I'm just a cheap bastard and don't want to spend any money on a PC right now.

Back to thinking I'll cheap out and see if I can't buy something used and save some coin.

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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5590
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am pretty damn cheap as well.Smile Like I said look at that 240 I linked to. If you can wait a couple of weeks, then I would sell you my 240 for say $25.
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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spanky Ham wrote:
If you can wait a couple of weeks, then I would sell you my 240 for say $25.

Done. Wink

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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5590
Location: Comedy Central


PostLink    Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:
Spanky Ham wrote:
If you can wait a couple of weeks, then I would sell you my 240 for say $25.

Done. Wink

SC


Wait I meant to say Macbook Air. Mr. Green
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait, you'll sell me a MacBook Air in a couple of weeks for $25? Sold!

Laughing

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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5590
Location: Comedy Central


PostLink    Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doh!!Smile

I know this is probably not your style, but you could have spent a little extra and built a hackintosh. You could then have dual booted between winblows and mac with screaming specs.
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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5590
Location: Comedy Central


PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't want to wait, then here is a 520 for $19.99 after rebate.
http://promotions.newegg.com/NEemail/Mar-0-2012/Discount08/index-landing.html?nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL030812&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL030812-_-EMC-030812-Index-_-E0-_-PromoWord


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-500-208&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=3#scrollFullInfo

The promo code is EMCNGNB37
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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5590
Location: Comedy Central


PostLink    Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you get a card yet or are you still waiting on me? I have been trying to use Intel integrated with Ubuntu, but it hasn't gone well. I need multiple monitor support and haven't been able to find an adequate solution. I am now trying Radeon and it may work for the time being. I am probably going to just spring for the new Nvidia cards when they come out. I need to switch some things from one drive to another and then I can unload this card.
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ecrabb
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't done anything yet, Spanky. I've been ridiculously busy with work, so no time to play - and I don't see that changing soon.

I do need to do some remote control testing with XBMC or the like, but I certainly don't need a video card for that. Just let me know whenever you're ready to dump it.

Thanks!

SC
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