I am working on my first build and I am trying to decide what graphics card to use. I was originally going to spend 200+ for a newer ATI, but I dont play that many games or other things that require that kind of power. All I really want to do is be able to possibly use my 42 inch hdtv as a monitor. So question #1 is what type of card should I buy, I would like to stay with ATI and can spend a decent amount as long as the value is there. Also, my tv is plasma, does that make any difference?
If you are gonna watch movies then get a Radeon HD 4650 (roughly 40w) or GeForce 9600GT (roughly 60w). Anandtech.com did a subjective review of output quality of various video cards geared towards media. Both of these cards tied for 1st place.
If you're gonna simply surf, then any video card will do; you can get any Radeon HD 4xxxx or any GeForce 9xxx card.
Also, no the ddr3 vs the computer does not effect the card. Like right now I'm running a 9600gt, which the 4670 might be almost that good, but I've got a 512 mb card running on a 22 inch lcd monitor, works fine. I actually watch tvland.com episodes on it. How much memory you need on the card depends on resolution, but remember with cards lower on the totem pole like your looking at, the card may not be quite fast enough to even effectively use all that memory. Just grab a 512 mb card. Mainly when you would need the 1 gb card would be if you have a faster card and are gaming at high resolution.
For watching movies the amount and type of RAM will not really matter. There is no reason to choose 1GB over 512MB or DDR3 over DDR2 unless gaming is important and/or if the higher spec'ed card is on sale and cheaper.
The HD 4670 will be better than the HD 4650 if gaming is your only concern. Both cards will output the same video quality for movies.
I can agree with Jaguar definitely, to the OP, I guess what I'm saying is that 4650 and 4670 are both going to be good. If you know for a fact you will not play games, grab the 4650. However, if you think there is any possibility you may want to try games later, spend a little bit more for the 4670 and that way you have a little more oommpph. But if you plan to do 0 games, and you know you will not have that interest at all, then the 4670 might be a waste of money for your needs.
Then again, even an integrated HD3200 plays LOTRO and similar MMO's so if he's not going to give graphics intensive games a try, then a 4670 is perfect. ATI really needs to put out an All in Wonder version (used them exclusively in the AGP days).
Can't wait to finally get a working 3870x2 back from Newegg. Dratted (originally) $450 card died on me in 3D after 10 months and I went through all the tech support hoops for two months. Finally RMA'd it a week before Newegg's one year replacement warranty ended.
I agree with the above poster, I would go minimally with the 4670 or if budget allows the 4830 is a very nice budget gaming card. The 4830 allows for more leeway and it's always frustrating to have to buy another GPU or any other part for that matter because you went too low on your first pick.
The type of ram doesn't matter between your system and the video card, as a previous poster suggested. Further, GDDR3 and DDR3 are not even the same type of ram anyway.
GDDR2 and DDR2 are, but past that the memory family tree "splits."
Other than that, I can't offer a graphics card recommendation. My MB requires me to only look at Nvidia cards, and ATI is much better in the mainstream market right now. (Further, ATI is really better in the high end as well.)
No gaming planned or very little? Why not go with integrated graphics with Hybrid SLI should you change your mind eventually?
Just a thought but really if no gaming is to be done on this specific machine, go integrated : cheaper, more efficient and save the extra $$$ for an extra drive (backup solution) or more ram as it never kills to have too much Ram.
IMO, integrated is the best choice for quality, simplicity, and energy efficiency. If you want to go AMD then the best bet is a 790GX mobo/chipset. If you like intel then the Asus GF9300 and 9400 types are the way to go. These boards are made just for your application and perform beautifully. They are microatx form factor so case size and power useage is minimal. Look for some reviews to get a good idea of the advantages of each.