I'm building a htpc which i'll also use to game in hi-res
now since the graphics card is for a htpc i need it to stream 8 channel lpcm through the hdmi along with the video.. and i believe only ati 48XX series are able to do it.. then again i thought i'll buy a nvidia graphics card and a discreet sound card since i've heard there are problems with ati drivers.. now i'm using a gigabyte motherboard with my amd x3 720 processor which only supports ati cards in cross fire.. this is important to me since i may buy another card in future...
to sum up :
1. i wanna buy an ati because : its supports 8 channel lpcm and i can buy cards later and use in cross fire...
2. i wanna buy nvidia since there are no driver issues and it has all those fancy physx and cuda technologies...
Please help me choose from one the above... i'm really confused and dunno what to do..
If this thread runs for long enough you will probably find it 50/50 between the two.
Personally i have only ever had ATI cards in my systems and have over the years had exactly 2 issues that were driver related.
Its going to be up to you to decide at the end of the day but personally i dont think anything Nvidia have to offer in the lower performance tiers that would be suitable for HTPC use is going to be as good as what ATI/AMD can offer.
Hi res gaming and a HTPC isnt exactly easy as the power you will need to feed the high res gaming will most likely mean you wont have a quiet rig like a HTPC would normally be.
What do you mean by hi res gaming exactly ?
I went with ATI (4870) for my HTPC since it was, at the time, the only thing that would do 8 channel LPCM over HDMI. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of ATI, but the card has performed just fine for both movies and games. I have since purchased an Xonar so I can bit-stream (that was of dubious value, but I get the warm fuzzies from having my "master audio" light up on my receiver ).
Fortunately for you, there are now more options available. But, since you've already purchased the mother board that is cross-fire compatible it makes sense to me to go with ATI for future upgradability.
if u can just wait a week. ati 5xxx series is due at probable date of september-10. a 5850 should do a lot better in a sense that it is a new architechture, 40nm die so less power, less heat, more overclocking head, dx-11 support and so on....but as it is a new release i guess probably the driver will not be very good at the first time but soon they will upgrade the driver(its just my guess). So its up 2u whether u will wait or grab one from the current shelf. 4870 has an excellent price/performance ratio but 4890 is also in the line. so its ur choice. as ur resolution is 1920 i recommend at least go for 4870 for that resolution.
no 4770 will lag in some games and u may have to lower the graphics at that resolution. 4870 atleast what u need for good gaming experience. 4890 is bit more powerful than 4870. Here is the benchmark and compare between 4890 and 4870 http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4890,2262... the price difference between 4870 and 4890 is about $80 and the performance difference is 10% between these 2 cards. So its up2u to decide if u want to put 80 more for the 10% difference in price.
This is the thing i cannot tell u because Ati hasnt released the 5xxx card and i couldnt find much information about the card so far. From the point of view as 5xxx series differs much than 4x series i will say maybe no. But mayb Ati will come up with good driver which can support 5x+4x crosfire. I guess Ati will come up with those drivers because they dont want their 4x series to burn out so quickly. And those people who has 4870 or 4890 or even 4870x2 may not buy a 5x series if its really a huge leap unless they can crossfire it. So ati maybe coming up with those drivers. But as it has different dx version i dont know if its possible or not.
Yes i agree that the 4770 will lack power at the highest res and a 4890 is the better option by far, as far as overclocking goes i dont really know not owning one but i would be surprised if it couldnt go a bit higher. Its never a given though even for known good overclockers, some chips will still not take a worthwhile overclock. Its quite rare but some just wont go a lot higher.