Questions on a good budget Nvidia gpu

I'm going to purchase a more updated mobo to replace my old p4c800-e deluxe since it crapped out. Here are the specs for the current build: :D

- Asus M4N78 Pro motherboard
- 24" Asus widescreen lcd monitor
- Antec Truepower 550w psu
- Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0 Ghz dual-core cpu (Socket AM3)
- Zalman 9500a hsf (If it fits on am2 socket, shouldn't it fit on an am3 socket too?)
- OCZ Dual Channel Platinum 4096MB PC8500 DDR2 1066MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB)
- Coolermaster Wavemaster case
- 2 IDE Western Digital HDD (200 primary / 320 secondary).

Due to budgetary reasons, I will have to use the mobo's onboard geforce 8300 igp for the meantime. I know there are good Ati cards but the fact is that they have driver issues w/ Ubuntu @ the moment. I chose Nvidia because they tend to be more linux friendly. The question is, what's a good budget nvidia card that is HDCP ready, handles 90-100% offload decoding of hi-def content (i.e. h.264 720/1080p), & still offers a decent/good gaming experience. An article on Toms Hardware recommends the Nvidia 9600 gt as a really good budget card. Since I also have a HDTV, I have another question regarding cards w/ s-video output using HD adapters. Could they really output 720/1080p resolutions or do you still prefer using the DVI to HDMI adapter over it. In that case, I would prefer a gpu w/ dual dvi outputs. What's your take?

- RL
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More about questions good budget nvidia
  1. I found a 9600GSO with an HDMI port if that helps
    $55 (has a $20 MIR) ASUS EN9600GSO/DI/512MD3/V2 (long name)
  2. @ IH8U: I currently can't view newegg since I'm still @ work. However, for some odd reason I could check out tigerdirect. lol. I was eyeing on a couple video cards for exactly the same price group.

    - EVGA GeForce 9500 GT Video Card - 1GB DDR2, PCI Express 2.0, SLI Support, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, VGA Support = $64.99

    Pros: Bargain price, 1080p support, 1 gb DDR2, & lower wattage requirement.
    Cons: OpenGL 2.1

    XFX GeForce 9600 GSO Video Card - 768MB DDR2, PCI Express 2.0, Dual Link DVI, SLI Ready = $74.99

    Pros: A bit more powerful, more features for $10 extra, & OpenGL 2.1.
    Cons: Needs a 6 pin connector. I have it but it just screams wattage whore to me.

    I'm really leaning towards the EVGA model. Probably get it in two weeks.
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