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Need some HTPC graphics help - NO Gaming

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 30, 2010 3:49:42 AM

I have put together an HTPC but I'm waiting on a Ceton tuner and a new HDTV before I hook everything up. I'm stuck on my video card selection. I've read through the recommendations for HTPC video cards and I'm a bit concerned that they may be underpowered.

I will not be doing ANY gaming on this PC. It will be used as my main TV for watching and recording shows and HD/Bluray playback (combination of discs and files from hard drive). Also some photo editing, but nothing too serious like photoshop, although would like the option if we want to go that route in the future.

Also I am not partial to either ATI or NVidia, I just want something that will be the least problematic for support, drivers, playback, etc.

Here's my specs:
Intel Core i7-860 Proc
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55
G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 RAM
OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified PS
nMEDIAPC Black HTPC 6000B ATX Media Center HTPC Case
150 GB Velociraptor for OS
Mirrored Samsung F3 1TB drives for data
Will have a Ceton InfiniTV 4 Tuner cable card with Comcast (when it arrives soon)
Hope to get the Samsung UN46C8000 3D HD 46" Series 8 or Sony KDL-46HX800 46" Bravia 3D Dynamic Edge LED Backlit LCD
Initially, I want to push video and audio over the HDMI cable, eventually, I'll probably get some external speakers to include.

I've leaned towards the XFX 5570
or the XFX 5770.

Can anyone advise me on what I'm looking for here? I want to make sure that I don't deal with any problems with playback to the HDTV...I would be in very hot water with the misses if I got this whole system up and running and the playback caused any problems! :) 

More about : htpc graphics gaming

November 30, 2010 4:15:13 AM

Thanks for the link jaguarskx...great review/comparison. It should help for sure.

Also, forgot to mention, using Win7 x64.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
November 30, 2010 5:36:49 AM

Usually the HD5570 is a great choice for an HTPC but you mention 3D and for that a GT 430 is the way to go. For your purposes I would recommend a model with passive cooling for total silence;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
You also may want to research power supplies better to find one that is designed for low noise and perhaps a quiet aftermarket fan/heatsink for the processor.
Speaking of the processor nothing you describe remotely requires an i7. A CPU 1/3rd the price or less can easily handle what you are talking about and more. Even an Athlon II x2 would cover what you want to do or an i3 is a great choice for an HTPC. Or at least scale back to an i5. Beyond that you really are basically just throwing money away when building an HTPC.
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November 30, 2010 6:28:40 AM

I totally agree that my specs are a bit of overkill...however, I picked up this proc for about $120 bucks through a retail connection with Intel, otherwise I would've definitely went with the i5. Also, I like to be able to have options without having to upgrade all of the time.

Thanks for the link on the GT 430...I'll take a look at that one. I appreciate it.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
November 30, 2010 6:50:13 AM

Well, can't argue with an i7 for $120.
I recommended the GT 430 because it has hardware decoding of 3D Bluray and HDMI 1.4a support both of which are missing from the HD5570.
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