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Videocard for HTPC and/or video editing

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Video Editing
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 23, 2007 7:31:31 AM

I was wondering what a good budget card is for using with a HTPC and for doing video editing/encoding. For video converting, I assume the 8600 Nvidia series is good but would a 7xxx series card be almost as good if you have a good CPU? I'm building a computer and will probably get one of the Intel Core 2 Duo processors when they go on sale.

I might want an LCD TV but currently, I was using an LCD monitor and need the video card's DVI input. I was wondering what the min. requirements are and if you use a LCD TV, which video card is good (i.e. minimum requirements). I think you need at least a 6600 (7600 is better) for high definition. I am also wondering if it matters if you use a video card with dual DVI inputs or a video card with one DVI and one HDMI input. There are only a few video cards on the market with the DVI AND HDMI input and most are expensive. But, they would allow the direct HDMI hookup. However, I believe that a DVI to HDMI convertor cable adapter can deliver the same video signal. You just need to get audio separately (RCA etc.).

Could someone who knows this stuff explain and recommend?

Thanks.

More about : videocard htpc video editing

a b U Graphics card
July 23, 2007 7:50:00 AM

Well if you're interested in video playback, then stick with a GF8600/8400 or HD2600/2400 and forget the previous generation. Both of those low-mid range series have better decoding performance and dedicated hardware than the older generation, and will payback protected content like a BR or HD-DVD disk much better (although downloaded content doesn't seem to experience as much of a difference). You can achieve similar results with an older card and a fast CPU, but one some of the higher bit-rate content the playback may be prone to hiccups, especially if other processes start working.

As for the connections, you want to ensure that any GF8 series you get has HDCP support (not all do) yet all the HD2K series have HDCP support.

DVI->HDMI works, but the main question is what input the TV has. You can get the cards with built in HDMI or the TVs with built in HDCP DVI support. Now the HD2K series allows you to do DVI->HDMI with their adapter (look for cards that ship with it in the bundle) and it provides audio over DVI to allow the HDMI to output audio without a separate cable. So that's something to consider.

Overall if you're not gaming, then I'd recommend you get an HD2400 or GF8400 card (with HDCP), both of which will do the video playback role best, and both of which will be fine for most editing tasks with just slight differences between the two.
July 23, 2007 3:14:59 PM

If you are looking at the core 2 duos you may want to look at the AMD 6000+. It is about even par with the E6600 and is going for about $170. Also, if you don't game at all, go for the 2400. If you game a bit go with the 2600.
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a b U Graphics card
July 23, 2007 3:47:03 PM

It also depends on your TV because ATI cards sometimes fit the screen better.
July 23, 2007 4:05:30 PM

I second Crashman's recommendation - Ati has more available wide screen resolutions, and is typically more tv compatible.
July 23, 2007 7:34:39 PM

prodystopian said:
If you are looking at the core 2 duos you may want to look at the AMD 6000+. It is about even par with the E6600 and is going for about $170. Also, if you don't game at all, go for the 2400. If you game a bit go with the 2600.


For an HTPC I wouldn't go for the 6000+. I would go low end AMD chips for less power usage.
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2007 12:23:26 AM

Crashman said:
It also depends on your TV because ATI cards sometimes fit the screen better.


Yeah I forgot about that. You can of course make it work (had to do just that a few weeks back on my friend's new HP laptop), but it's a hassle and a half sometimes.
July 24, 2007 6:13:42 AM

prodystopian said:
If you are looking at the core 2 duos you may want to look at the AMD 6000+. It is about even par with the E6600 and is going for about $170. Also, if you don't game at all, go for the 2400. If you game a bit go with the 2600.

But, if the Core 2 Duos ever go on sale (post July 22), the E6750 is supposed to be under $200. I think it runs cooler (at least, at load or operation) than the AMD 6000+. Like one poster said, a slower AMD processor, such as the Brisbane 4800+, will run cooler but cannot approach the speeds and performance of the higher-end Core 2 Duos.

I was looking at a E6750 for the speed/performance equation. If it ever goes on sale, that is.
July 24, 2007 1:49:03 PM

Intel has just released the refresh on the Core 2 Duo chips meaning that they have matched prices after the AMD drop. WIth that in mind I would definitely recommend going with one of these chips. I believe the e6550 is close to the e6600 and is going for about $163. Good luck.
July 24, 2007 3:01:30 PM

ATI HD 2400 for what you're looking for. Cheap, passively cooled and it will do exactly what you're looking for, just don't expect to be playing any games on in high def.
July 24, 2007 3:49:50 PM

Anand's tested the 2400 and 2600 in comparison to the 8500 & 8600 and they said basically to avoid the 2400 and 8500 - overall performance was poor.
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2007 3:52:30 PM

performance is poor for gaming, but his focus seems to be on video playback and editing, in which case the low-end cards are a better choice than the uber-high end.
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