Would like help deciding on a new graphics card

I recently finished building my media centre pc but at present I am using the on-board graphics.

Could anyone recommend a good pci-e graphics card that would allow me to play HD content but will also play recent games?

I wont be using the card for gaming that often so it is not as big a factor as the HD playback.

Thanks in advance.
8 answers Last reply
More about would deciding graphics card
  1. Radeon HD 2600XT should be able to do a good job of both, that or an GeForce 8600GT should be good for both HD playback and medium settings for games.
  2. Thanks for the advice, since my resolution will only be 1360x768 I am hoping I wont need a high end graphics card for some time.

    Could anyone tell me the difference between the 8600GT and GTS?
  3. Your best bet is to just goto the Tom's Hardware Best Video Card for the money page... You'll find what you are looking for in price ranges. I would recommend getting a 1950XT. It still has gaming potential since it's not really that old, and also will do those resolutions for media center just fine. If you go on Newegg, you can probably get one for about $160 now.
  4. Take that advice about the x1950xt, it's very good. The difference between GT and GTS is that the GTS is a bit better, but they're both bad value for the money IMO. If you want to play games they're both bad, if you want to watch HD movies a cheaper 8500GT is enough.
  5. The x1950XT has a hair dryer fan, not what you want in a media center PC. The x1950PRO is also a good card, and isn't so loud.
    I've got a 7900GS, and it is almost silent. At worst, you can buy an aftermarket cooler, like a Zalman vf700-Cu; one of those I have on a 7600GT is almost inaudible even on its high setting.
  6. I quite like the GeForce 8 range as I understand they do not consume much power, I’m also limited to the size of the card due to my Antec Fusion case.
  7. The 8600GT isn't a great performer, but if you're not gaming much it'll do fine. I use one for Media Center; it does nicely and doesn't require an additional PCIe power cable.
  8. It’s a tough one though because although I will be using the card mainly for video playback, there are a few games I would like to be able to play.

    Is there a limit as to how good the card needs to be to be able to display in 1360x768 since this is the maximum resolution I will be using?
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