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Best v1.0 PCI Express x16 Video Card for HTPC and HD Video

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 13, 2009 5:28:18 AM

I have an older Dell XPS Gen 5 PC with a motherboard based on Intel 955X chipset. This chipset from what I can tell uses v1.0a of the PCI Express spec. I tried an MSI n9400GT MD512 which stated it would work with the older spec, but it wouldn't work in my system (I could never get drivers installed or the BIOS updated). I put my GeForce 8600 back in without issue. It appeared that the Radeon 2600 would be an option but I wasn't sure. Anybody have a recomendation for a v1.0 PCI Express x16 video card that will work well for an HTPC and HD video?
a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2009 5:55:30 PM

PCI-E 1.0 or 2.0 doesn't matter, I don't know why that 9400GT didn't work with your system but I can tell you it has nothing to do with the PCI-E 1.0 interface.

The 9400GT wouldn't be much of an improvement over the 8600 anyway, but the HD 4650 from ATI would be a good choice for you (unless you use Linux for your HTPC.)
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a c 190 U Graphics card
September 13, 2009 7:04:42 PM

Why the change? I would have thought the 8600 would be more than enough for HTPC uses.
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Related resources
September 13, 2009 7:18:04 PM

Primarily to get a card that has HDMI connectivity and is HDCP compliant.

I haven't seen anything definitive but I got the impressiong that a PCI Express 2.0 card would work in a PCI Express 1.1 slot, but it may not work in a PCI Express 1.0 slot. Are there reliable resources that detail the compatibliity betwee the different PCI Express versions?

Thanks!
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a c 190 U Graphics card
September 13, 2009 7:24:29 PM

AFAIK they're all compatable, my own rig has an now elderly 965 chipset with PCI-E 1.0 and it runs the HD4870 perfectly.
For HDMI and HTPC uses look at the 'low end' cards HD4350, 4550, or 9400GT, stick with 512Mb cards and pay attention to the cooler, you do n't want a whining fan to ruin your movie experience, do you?
Check through the Newegg site. Even if you live outside of the US, many of the cards there can be purchased elsewhere and the reviews can be revieling.
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September 13, 2009 8:56:53 PM

Coozie,

Thanks for the info. I guess I will try a PCI-E 2.0 card. I am not too worried about noise because the PC will be in another room behind the TV. However, I would prefer something that is not a power monster and doesn't generate a ton of heat. I will do some more research.

Thanks,
Shane
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a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2009 9:12:20 PM

It depends, most 1.0 and 1.0a boards are not compatible, but most are 1.1, however it is a known thing on the MSI and ASUS boards that they had alot of 1.0/1.0a slots especially in mobos with split SLi connections;

http://support.asus.com/faq/faq.aspx?no=DE05A01F-3A3B-A...

However some cards can support downwards as mentioned in the ASUS article, and that explains the ones like Coozie's that work because they aren't limited to just 2.0 support.

BTW, GF8600 is HDCP compliant.

Main advantage of the HD4K and GF9 series cards is their avility to decode two streams simultabeously which is useful for windowed mode and also for PIP BD 1.1+ features.
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a c 190 U Graphics card
September 14, 2009 7:42:56 PM

^ Do you have any further links on this subject, Googling has produced mixed results and I am now confused as to which cards can actually work in which slots.
Up until now I was certain the cards/slots were compatable with each other!
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a b U Graphics card
September 14, 2009 9:47:10 PM

Unfortunately no, it's something that was very unknown to begin with, wasn't even acknowledge until people started reporting problems. It took me about 20 mins to find that old stupid FAQ page from ASUS and I couldn't find the MSI one I used to have that better explained the SLI factor for them.

It's a hassle, but essentially I would trust and older card with an older slot, and then with the newer ones I would get ones that you find someone else getting to work on the motherboard in question or in reply to one of these "by card doesn't work..." threads see what they ended up getting to work. Hopeful the HD4K shares the same trait with the HD3K, but really it's a very unrefined topic with limited resources out there, and the only reason I remember it was that I remember trouble shooting it back when it was just changing over, I think if I had to google it now, I wouldn't find much of anything, based on my luck with the MSI material/info.
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a c 190 U Graphics card
September 15, 2009 7:29:39 PM

Thanks for the info mate, I'll be a little more careful about this subject in the future.
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September 19, 2009 5:45:19 PM

Thanks for the help!! I ended up going with the "SAPPHIRE 100254HDMI Radeon HD 4650 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 (). I have it installed, working and connected to my 50 inch plasma HDTV via HDMI. It is working great! I just need to figure out why the display from the PC doesn't cover the entire screen on the TV. There is a narrow black border around the entire screen.

Thanks again!!

Shane
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