Graphics card for HTPC?

Hi -

I recently put together an HTPC, to be used for playing HD tv (via cable & internet), recording TV, and playing movies & music.

Currently, I am not using a discrete graphics card, and instead relying on the CPU/chipset graphics solution. Unfortunately, I'm not too thrilled with the performance of this - HD images occasionaly look "bad"(e.g., sometimes I see coarse gradients between colors, and sometimes images are rendered in a "jerky" manner, particularly when watching fast-moving images like live sports).

Here are the relevant machine specs:

Intel Core I3-540 CPU: (
Asus P7H55-M Pro MB: (
40-inch samsung 1080p TV
4GB of memory
2TB WD green sata drive
430 watt power-supply
64-bit win7 ultimate/windows media center

Can anyone recommend a better graphics solution? I'm looking for a discrete graphics card, something that is

* quiet
* efficient
* produces high quality graphics for tv & movies
* PCI Express 2.0 x16
* HDMI output
* 1920 x 1080 resolution
* no gaming or 3d requirements

Thanks a lot for your time!

4 answers Last reply
More about graphics card htpc
  1. Based on the following review of HTPC graphics cards for video playback, the HD 5550 or HD 5570 performs better than the above linked to the HD 5450.

    The Kings of Multimedia Playback: Contemporary HTPC Graphics Cards Reviewed

    Generally speaking, for DVD playback quality the HD 55xx scores near the top for AMD (ATI) cards, but nVidia cards scored slightly higher. For Blu-Ray playback quality AMD card trumps nVidia cards by a pretty good margin and the HD 55xx score the highest along side the more powerful HD 5670.

    HD 5570 - $70 after rebate

    HD 5550 - $70 - No rebate

    It's up to you if you want to spend the extra money on a HD 55xx card though.
  2. Hmph, had no idea you needed something that good just for playing HD movies.
  3. Thanks guys.

    My MB has a PCI express 2.0 x16 slot. Is this compatible with PCI Express 2.1 video cards?
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