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GPU for HTPC

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November 7, 2010 3:55:17 PM

I am looking to build by first HTPC. I am fairly certain I will go with a Athlon II X4 cpu, but am open to suggestions. I am less certain about what gpu to get. I do not have a preference over AMD or Nvidia. I do not plan on playing games on this system, but I do not want it to be so anemic that it cannot handle future applications. Preferably, I would like the gpu to be under $80. Oh, and it has to be quiet. It can be full sized, as my case of choice does not have any size restrictions. Last but not least, I would like the gpu to handle sound output as I do not want to purchase an additional sound card. As such, bit streaming is a plus. Any suggestions?

More about : gpu htpc

a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
November 7, 2010 9:50:38 PM

Well there is a lot of options out there right now, what res are you going to run at. Otherwise some suggestions would be... the MSI R5670, which is what most people really use for (meaning most people use like the 5670ish cards for HTPC) anyways here's a link.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another suggestion is the 240GT, it isn't DX11 but it's a really good card for HTPC as well. And if you ever plan to fold this'll be a good card considering it's an Nvidia card (stupid no ATI client).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Well as for CPU I would suggest not going with the Athlon II X4 (Propus) But going with the Phenom II X3 740, since it's a dormant core, you'll be able to unlock into something like a downclocked 955. (Remember unlocking is not guaranteed, I'm just notifying you that it is possible) and 3 cores is a great in between for HTPC and normal operations. Plus it'll run faster than a propus or very close to at least.

740: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But if you are not willing to take the risk of unlocking. Then the propus is right for you, just giving the 740 suggestion because it's cheaper so you'll be able to put the money towards a GPU upgrade from the 80$ budget to a 100$.
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November 7, 2010 11:37:12 PM

aznshinobi said:
Well there is a lot of options out there right now, what res are you going to run at. Otherwise some suggestions would be... the MSI R5670, which is what most people really use for (meaning most people use like the 5670ish cards for HTPC) anyways here's a link.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another suggestion is the 240GT, it isn't DX11 but it's a really good card for HTPC as well. And if you ever plan to fold this'll be a good card considering it's an Nvidia card (stupid no ATI client).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Well as for CPU I would suggest not going with the Athlon II X4 (Propus) But going with the Phenom II X3 740, since it's a dormant core, you'll be able to unlock into something like a downclocked 955. (Remember unlocking is not guaranteed, I'm just notifying you that it is possible) and 3 cores is a great in between for HTPC and normal operations. Plus it'll run faster than a propus or very close to at least.

740: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But if you are not willing to take the risk of unlocking. Then the propus is right for you, just giving the 740 suggestion because it's cheaper so you'll be able to put the money towards a GPU upgrade from the 80$ budget to a 100$.


Thank you for the suggestions. I was thinking of getting a three core (with or without unlocking). I would, however, like a guaranteed quad core because I plan on running a virtual server on the HTPC as well (two birds with one stone). Oh, and I plan on running at 1920*1080 resolution. Would I get degraded sound quality using the gpu to bitstream audio to a receiver rather than using a dedicated sound card? My budget is small ($600) and I want a tv tuner card as well as a blu-ray drive. Any savings are welcome :) 
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a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
November 7, 2010 11:52:30 PM

Ermm... Well you won't get any bad audio (don't exactly know what an Audio Bitstream). That being said, I've always used just the Mobo's audio or the Video cards HDMI output and sound is pristine even during gaming. So you won't get any bad audio there. The 5670 is going to be your best bet with that res. But still you'll probably have a hard time doing somethings with FPS related things, but since it is just an HTPC, your good to go.

Umm well I was building a build for another forum member.
http://i.imgur.com/jfJTG.jpg

Just swap out the chip for your Propus and change the 450 to a 5670 and you should have basically the a good build. If you have some extra money, I'd go with a different case like the Antec 300 illusion. But that's just opinion since I'm not familiar with the case in that build above.
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a b K Overclocking
November 8, 2010 12:53:25 PM

You could get the gt 430 or the 5550 fanless.The 5550 is weak but will produce no noise so that's why I'm suggesting it for htpc use.

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November 8, 2010 9:08:23 PM

Thanks everyone. Most of you think the 5670 is the best choice and I have to agree. It is certainly leagues better than the graphics chip of the Xbox 360 or PS3 so, if I decide to play games, it should serve decently as low settings. Thanks for the help!
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a c 198 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
November 9, 2010 5:40:42 PM

The OEM X4 640 needs an aftermarket cooler, so don't forget to add one; or just get the Retail version, which will have a cooler.
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