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Cheap Non-gaming TV In/Out card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 23, 2009 8:40:06 PM

I'm building a new machine and I need help with video card selection. I want to be able to watch internet on my TV AND watch TV on my computer. I have a standard def TV so I need an S-Video/component/composite output (HDMI or DVI would be a nice bonus) and I have a HD-DVR box from my cable company so I would like an HDMI/S-VIDEO/Component input.

It will be going in the following system:
Pentium Dual Core E5200
Gigabyte EP45-UD3P
2 gig Corsair DDR2 800
OCZ 600w PSU
Win XP

Computer use is: DVD encode, old MS Flight-Sim (2004 & FS-X), watching HULU (on the computer or on the TV depending on my mood), Flash & Shockwave intensive websites.

I got the Diamond Radeon HD4350 512MB card for $60 with my system components, but I'm thinking of returning it for the $40 EVGA eGeForce 8400 GS 512MB card. Do I even need 512mb? should I get a $30 X1550 or $30 256MB GeForce 8400? Do these cards even fit my needs?

Thanks for your help, it's been ~7 years since I built a computer.

More about : cheap gaming card

February 23, 2009 9:08:02 PM

the HD 4350 is the best of those cards. It has the most features and color quality. the X1550 is an ancient card. I wouldn't pay money for one.

the 8400 GS is also aging a bit.

stick with the 4350. Its a solid Media card.

February 23, 2009 9:39:15 PM

I seriously do NO GAMING (except FS 2004, FS-X, and online games like Bloons).

Do I need to buy an external TV tuner card with that Diamond 4350?

I'm trying to save as much money as possible (since I don't game)... I found a 256MB 8400GS for $28 and a 256MB HIS Radeon HD 3450 for $31...
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February 23, 2009 11:00:48 PM

+1 for the 3450. Not only will you notice faster rendering over the 8400, even with just online gaming, but the 3450 has direct x 10.1 and shader 4.1. The 8400gs being 2 generations old only is direct x 10.0 and shader 4.0. Why not pay a few bucks more and get alot more out of it?

And as far as the tuner is concerned, the 3450 like most graphic cards, doesnt have a tuner with it. You can buy graphic/tuner cards together but they are expensive or really old. Its much cheaper to get them seperate. You dont need an external, you can still buy pci or pci-e X1 tuner cards.

And wouldnt it cost almost $30 to return your 4350? Shipping would have to be at least $10-$15 and most sites charge a restocking fee if the card isnt defective.
February 23, 2009 11:18:25 PM

I got my parts locally. The computer I'm typing this on has an a Radeon All-In-Wonder 8500-DV (that's why I'm so spoiled and I want TV in/out with my graphics card). Think it ran nearly $200 when I got it...

After doing a ton of searching I have more questions: Stick with the Diamond 4350 for $60 or PNY GeForce 9400 GT for $52? Both are 512MB, PCIe 16x, but the PNY is PCIe 2.0

The PNY runs 550MHz and the Diamond runs 600MHz, the PNY has 16 stream processors, while the Diamond has 320 stream processors... What the heck is a stream processor?

Then I find the MSI 4350 for $35 on newegg... I better just link so you can see what 3 cards I'm thinking...

$35 MSI card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$52 PNY card
http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?pro...

$60 Diamond card (Went on sale $5 cheaper this week, now $55)
http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?pro...

I guess with any card I have to a $20 tuner from newegg... I just need it to tune Ch.3 or Line-In as I will be using my DVR box for actual tuning.
February 23, 2009 11:58:32 PM

linksep said:

After doing a ton of searching I have more questions: Stick with the Diamond 4350 for $60 or PNY GeForce 9400 GT for $52? Both are 512MB, PCIe 16x, but the PNY is PCIe 2.0


Stream processors are just a type of acceleration used by cards. The 9400 GT and HD 3450 are nearly identical on performance. But again the 3450 is newer and has Direct X 10.1 and Shader 4.1 vs 10.0 and 4.0 with the 9400. And stream processors arent just everything. You also have to consider the memory clock, core clock, texture units, rasters, bus width, ect... The 3450 only has a 64 bit bus while the 9400 gt has 128. The 3450 may process alot faster but less busses to get the info across. Again, they are both about equal on performance.

And I am referencing the performances based on Toms Charts and Toms Hierarchy http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

Between the 4350's, the MSI actually has a faster memory clock of 1000mhz vs 800mhz for the Diamond. Not too much difference, definately not worth returning the Diamond for the MSI unless you want that extra $25.
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