Onboard graphics or cheap graphics card

I am thinking of putting together a low budget $500 - $600 computer for general use. I am not a big gamer, but I am interested in maybe running a 1080i television with a HDMI cable connected to my computer. Also would like to be able to run a 23 or 24 inch monitor in the future. The system builds I have been looking at are the newer AMD chips and AMD motherboards. It was suggested I look at a motherboard with a onboard AMD 790GX with 128MB of sidport ram. These motherboard usually have a HDMI connector built in.

My question is how much better/faster would one of the cheap (less than $60) video cards? Does anyone know of a chart that would show the difference that includes both onboard video as well as stand alone video cards.

Thanks in advance for any insight,
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  1. The IGP for an 790GX board is very capable for non-gaming purposes, don't worry about sideport ram. If you'd like to do some modest gaming an HD4670 is a good choice and quite cheap;
  2. I honestly like the 785G board with onboard HD4200 video. It will run a TV or larger display. IF you aren't planning on doing gaming, it will run most anything you need.

    You can probably get a 4650or 4670 card for around $60 which would be better than the onboard, but really if you aren't gaming the HD4200 will get you there.
  3. You can buy the following HD 4670 for $45 + shipping after a $30 rebate.


    It will completely blow away any integrated video card without question, but you have to deal with a rebate. It is more powerful than a X1900XT.

    The slower HD 4650 can be bought for $30 + free shipping after a $15 rebate:


    Still more powerful than any integrated solution and is kinda usable to play games if you are interested.

    The HD 4550 will also be more powerful than the 790GX, but it is currently priced at $40 + shipping with a $10 rebate:


    See below review of some recent "HTPC class" video cards:

  4. That HD4650 you linked is 64-bit and not a good choice compared to 128-bit. I made the same mistake the other day.
  5. If you are getting a card, stick with the 4670 because alot of 4650's use DDR3 and the price difference is really that much.
  6. jyjjy said:
    That HD4650 you linked is 64-bit and not a good choice compared to 128-bit. I made the same mistake the other day.

    Didn't realize there were 64-bit versions of the HD 4650.

    Yeah, of all the card I listed the HD 4670 is the best bang for the buck if gaming is a factor.
  7. Thank you for your responses....Anyone have a link to a comparison/graph between onboard and video card.

    jay2tall maybe go with the onboard and when I hit the wall needing more horse power look into video cards!

    jaguarskx- Thank you for all of the links to video cards...I will take a look
  8. I'd recommend you try out the IGP and see if it suits your needs. The only area where it would likely be an issue is gaming and you'll still be able to play games that aren't from the last few years well.
  9. I am quite happy with the performance of AMD cpus - I have Phenom 9650. Runs very cool even in genuine Indian summer touching 42 celsius temperatures.

    What I have a beef with is the USB implementation in AMD chipsets. I have been facing 2 specific problems which have not been solved so far.

    I have 3 PCs. One is a via C3+Cn7 low power , for 24/7 purposes. Have an Athlon 64 on Asus with nVidia chipset for normal use and a Phenom + 4gb ram on MSI K9A2GM-FIH with 780G chipset for higher level processing.

    My 16 gb Kingston Traveller thumb drive ALWAYS gives errors on the 780G.

    I get no access to KB and Mouse on a USB connected 4 port KVM switch from the 780G MSI. Have to hard reset the KVM to activate the KB and Mouse. This is on both Windows as well as Linux. No such problems on the via or nVidia chipset motherboards.

    Have added an old via chipset USB 2 addon card for the KVM and the thumb drive. Every thing runs fine but have to wait for the OS to fully load.

    Neither MSI nor AMD have a solution to this. So make your choice carefully. AMD + nVidia chipset + any addon graphic card should do the trick.
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