Need help chosing a graphics card for my HTPC


I need to choose a graphics card for my HTPC. I don't plan on overclocking and I don't play games. I want an HDMI connection that supports audio and video AND is a passive video card for video encoding and HD viewing

Which of the following should I choose? Which is the best deal?

HIS isilence III RAdeon HD2600Pro - $175
Sapphire HD 3850 Ultimate - $232
HIS HD 3850 - $189.99 ( I know its not passive, but I heard its really quiet)
Sapphire HD 3850 -$185

There's also the HIS isilence III Radeon HD 2600XT available, but its from a national dealer and not a local retailer. I'm not sure if is reliable or not. but its going for $153 + shipping

What do you recommend?
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  1. My vote goes for the HIS HD 3850(I assume you mean the IceQ one). The main reason is you want to get hot air from the video card out of the system....This card should cause your case fans to not have to be run as fast.

    With most HTPCs being as quiet as they can be there is less airflow. That can be bad for a passive card.

    I have not used used HDMI, so i can not comment on that, however with the right system that card should meet(and far exceed) your HTPC needs
  2. isn't the HD3850 with IceQ the overclocked one? Doesn't a pre-overclocked graphics card produce much more heat and fan noise?
  3. My 8800GTX OC is near silent.

    Since all ati cards i have used since the X800's clock down when not gaming(idle/non full screen game) and the fact that the card has a dual slot cooler instead of the single slot cooler(the single slot cooler lets hot air in the case and the card sucks in back in and reheats it....there is also less heatsink area on a single slot cooler). i doubt it will get loud, but it is long....
    What are the full specs of the system so far....

    They say it was fairly quiet
  4. 3870 or 2900 pro

    i just got the pro for $169 with 512mb and 512 bus
  5. HTPC, no games.....why get a card with features(extra heat an noise) and power one will never use?

    the 169 is a good price tho...
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