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Do I really need a gaming video card for BD movies and basic use?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 11, 2010 8:28:54 AM

Hi. I'm configuring a home-pc with DELL for basic use (Internet, word processing) and watching BD and divx movies. My gaming pc has a GTX260 video card but DELL is offering me in my configuration options video card such as NVIDIA G310 and ATI 5450. I know that these video cards are very basic and not appropriate for video gaming. As the home-pc will have a nice HD 1920*1080 monitor I would like to know, if I won't be using the pc for gaming if all cards, if from the latest hardcore NVIDIA and ATI cards to the basic cards I just mentioned, for picture quality, watching BD and regular DVD movie, photos, internet browsing, I would get the SAME results or if the "high performance" "gaming" video card, besides being great for games, would also provide a better picture, photos and HD movies performance and quality? Thank you very much for your help.
a c 164 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
April 11, 2010 8:59:10 AM

Gaming cards are powerful for a reason. They allow you to play games with a high enough frame rate. Of the tasks you listed, The most demanding thing I think you listed was the BR play back. A cheap card in this case is ok. It will handle the decoding of the BR play back and provide a smoother experience then if you tried to use a CPU. Nothing worse then watching a movie and have your AV kick in and everything gets choppy because the CPU has something new to do. The 5450 is fine.
April 11, 2010 1:37:44 PM

You shouldn't have a problem. Newer integrated graphics can even play 1080P movies without stutter. My old motherboard had HD 3200 Integrated graphics and it didn't have any issues.
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April 12, 2010 5:27:43 AM

Thank you for your opinions!
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2010 6:13:47 AM

You may want a bit more power, but they will do the basics.

This may give you a little insight into what they can do and what a little bit more power might do like an HD5570;
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...

Overall though something like the HD5450 is a capable card, the G310/G210 a little less so, but still capable.
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2010 6:14:24 AM

Damn you Jaguar !!! ;) 

Well I guess it's only fair, I've done it to you a few time. :lol: 
April 22, 2010 12:07:33 AM

Thank you both! I ended up buying a HD5870 for future proof. PC GAMING at this moment disappoints me but I plan to keep my PC for 2-3 years so you never know. Those links are quite interesting. Can I assume that in multimedia the HD5870 would be better or at least equal to the other HD ATI video cards reviewed in the test. The answer must be OBVIOUS but you never know if in the HD5870 the put the effort in gameplay but not in multimedia.
a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2010 3:36:39 AM

Yes, no new UVD engine or other tweaks added to the other lines. The HD5870 would likely just gives you more horsepower for the noise reduction and in video AA (smoothing), but there is no feature advantage to the other models other than lower power or heat or noise or something. But if none of those matter to you as much as your concern for the future then it will do fine.

BUT..., IMO you would be better off spending a third or half as much now on something like and HD5750 or HD5670 and then in a year or so spending the same on an HD7xxx series mid-range card, which will likely have features beyond that of the HD5870, and the whole while consuming less power.

Just my two frames worth as always.
April 23, 2010 3:47:20 AM

Thanks for the advise GreatApe. The "problem" was that I bought my PC from DELL and the options were HD5450, ATI GT240 and then....a straight jump to the HD5870. No in betweens...and the HD5450 or ATI GT240 wouldn't be as fast as I am used to in my current system with a GTX260...
a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2010 4:31:49 AM

Is the GTX 260 staying in that other rig? It would be almost as capable in the task.

Otherwise I guess you're stuck, but that kinda sucks a bit. Hopefully you can resell it in a year or so if something truely compelling comes out, or hopefully it benefits you in other areas.
!