I was hoping to get some 2nd opinions on which cheap graphics card to buy for my cousin. He needs a card capable of full 1080p playback and smooth Windows Vista/7 performance. I don't really know much about the low end scale but I was looking at either:
Would any of these be fine? Is 1GB overkill? Would 512MB be enough? It is not for gaming, only HD movies, surfing and general production. Would any cheaper cards be good enough like the 9400GT or HD 4350?
The 4550 would be a perfect choice, trouble is they seem to be in very short supply:The card you linked to is now out of stock as are Overclockers, CCL and Scan.
Do not bother with a 1 Gb card unless it is the same price or you will be paying for memory it will never use.
My son and I have been spec'ing things out for an HTPC low-profile system. To us it appears the 4350 and 4550 cards have similar processing power, etc, although neither has the power to do high-end graphics. So look at the 4350 since you can't find a 4550 card. Check at XFX here for fanless (heatsink only):
There are 3 versions; the lower two have HDMI outputs and either 512 MB or 1 GB DDR2.
These cards are all low-profile with standard-profile end brackets, but they come with a low-profile replacement bracket for conversion. It is not clear to me, though, where the D-dub (for VGA) goes when you do that conversion. You either mount it on a second plate (included or not unclear?) or just forget it.
Why not getting at least the cheapest next generation DirectX 11 video card?? So far as I know, Radeon HD 5000 series are the only "Windows 7 Certified video cards" out there (compatible and designed for next generation Windows 7 OS) and would also support Windows 7's DirectX 11 just like computers with Windows 7 certified sticker. Radeon HD 5000 series would also support Future Blu Ray's Full HD Audio for your cousin's Full HD home theater entertainment such as Full HD Movies. At least get a Radeon HD 5750 or wait for Radeon HD 5670...