Current system specs:
nvidia 650 sli
I can't play 1080p h264 video properly. It is studdering.
I read that you can offload this to the gpu via dxva if you have the right video card. Unfortunatly the 8800gtx doesn't support this (although is seems the other cards in the 8xxx line do.)
I have two choices.
1. Get second video card and use for video decoding, and use current video card (8800gtx) for gaming. Should this approach work? will there be any problems? What video card should I go with, think ultra cheap, the only thing it will be used for is watching video. My motherboard has two pci-e slots, that can either run 2x8 or 1x16 (current configuraiton). If i got this route i will have to put my 8800gtx into 8x mode. Will this hurt my gaming performance?
2. Upgrade current video card. Can i get a video card that is cheap that has at least as good gaming performance as what I have now, but can also do DXVA.
What video in what formats are you wanting to play? Your CPU (E6700) should be already enough to play them. Try and overclock if possible. The DXVA tech on the Nvidia cards have PureVideo and Avivo for ATI. The 8800GTX should support this, altho IIRC a certain version of this didn't.
What software are you using to play these files? PowerDVD? Media Player Classic - Home Cinema has DXVA for PureVideo as well as PowerDVD 9. Try these software before purchasing another GPU. Here's a great tutorial on using DXVA for HTPC and H.264/VC-1.
If that doesn't work, any current ATI card will work, HD2k - HD3k series and up will have UVD. A nicer HTPC/DXVA card would be the ATI HD 4650.