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Suggest a suitable graphics card for my HTPC

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 9, 2011 2:57:49 AM

Hi all,

I am posting this thread as an extension of my earlier thread posted in systems->home built-> http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/312729-31-advice-requ...

I want to know which graphic card would be suitable for my exisiting config.

My HTPC use:
For viewing Bluray rips 1080/720p, m2ts files
For listening to music
For video & audio editing softwares like Adobe premiere CS5, Corel Videostudio X4, Sony Vegas, Steinberg Nuendo
For General browsing, downloading
No games

Config:
Intel i3 530 2.8Ghz CPU (recently upgraded from P4 2.4Ghz 800Mhz HT)
Intel DH55PJ (microATX) motherboard (recently upgraded from Intel 865GBF)
Kingston 2GB DDR3 1333Mhz RAM (to upgrade to 4GB, since my motherboard has only 2 DIMM slots of 4GB each)
Sony DVD Writer (which will be retained for DVD/CD burning and not willing to upgrade for bluray drive as my movie collections are only bluray rips)
Seagate 1TB SATA II HDD
Western Digital 1TB SATA II HDD
Mercury ATX Cabinet with 400W SMPS (to upgrade for better energy efficiant psu and a decent cabinet)
OS Win7 premium 32 Bit (smooth with all visual effects turned on with integrated intel graphics)

As you see above my current config upgraded from old P4 system and planning to upgrade the current config to next level to make it a HTPC. Currently using the integrated Intel HD graphics and 1080p bluray playback is very smooth with the current config except for HD audio bitstreaming (Dolby True-HD/DTS-HD HDMI pass through)

I require a graphics which would serve my usage and is not an overkill for what I am doing keeping in mind a limited budget. Because of this, I have not decided about psu and have in mind the Corsair CX400. Also, I have shortlisted Sapphire HD5670 1GB DDR5 or nVidia if any specific model which can pass thro' HD audio via HDMI.

Looking for advice for a better combination of graphics card-psu-RAM for my existing config.

More about : suggest suitable graphics card htpc

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a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2011 10:43:13 AM

Well I suggest the 6770, it's a newer architecture and on par with the 5670. It supports 7 channel protected audio through the HDMI port.

On the Nvidia side, I suggest the GTX 550Ti which maybe doesn't quite live up to the grunt of the 6770 but is slightly cheaper and allows the same audio through HDMI capabilities.

CS5 is capable of sending work to the GPU so your I3 won't die under the strain of heavy work.

The Corsair CX 400 will be your best bet, Corsair are very good. Upgrading the RAM to 4GB is a good move, but if you're going to be doing heavy editing on CS5 etc then i advise 8GB (2 x 4GB sticks) for that extra amount of memory. Move up to Win 7 64 Bit (Pro is preferable) so you can make best use of the increased RAM and 64 bit software you'll be using in CS5.
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June 9, 2011 12:00:36 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$74.99 SAPPHIRE 100323L Radeon HD 6570 1GB
It's a small lower power half height 480 shader card. It has the newer 6xxx series video processor.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$39.99 after mail-in rebate card GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 1GB

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$29.99 after mail-in rebate XFX HD-467X-ZNL2 Radeon HD 4670 1GB
A 320 shader card, it has the 4xxx hdmi 5.1 sound/video processor with gpu powered video converter. A few things were updated with the 6xxx series.

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June 9, 2011 1:09:30 PM

Griffolion said:
Well I suggest the 6770, it's a newer architecture and on par with the 5670. It supports 7 channel protected audio through the HDMI port.

On the Nvidia side, I suggest the GTX 550Ti which maybe doesn't quite live up to the grunt of the 6770 but is slightly cheaper and allows the same audio through HDMI capabilities.

CS5 is capable of sending work to the GPU so your I3 won't die under the strain of heavy work.

The Corsair CX 400 will be your best bet, Corsair are very good. Upgrading the RAM to 4GB is a good move, but if you're going to be doing heavy editing on CS5 etc then i advise 8GB (2 x 4GB sticks) for that extra amount of memory. Move up to Win 7 64 Bit (Pro is preferable) so you can make best use of the increased RAM and 64 bit software you'll be using in CS5.


Thank you very much for your inputs.

As you said correctly, I am planning for 2 x 4GB sticks but not in one shot due to my budget. And it would be 64bit all the way to go in future once I add the additional 4GB, so that I have populated my motherboard to its fullest 8GB capacity.

I will go for Corsair CX400, Corsair 4GB DDR5 1333Mhz and as you have mentioned is it HD6670 or HD6770? As, I can stretch myself for HD6670, but HD6770 is exceeding my budget. What is your opinion about HD6670 over HD5670?

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June 9, 2011 1:43:47 PM

For a non-gaming computer going from the slower clocked 6570 to the faster clocked 6670 wont make any difference at all, you could even consider the 160 shader 6450.

The hd-5670 has the older video processor more like the 4670 does, its ok, outputs in standard hdmi 1080p 60hz with digital sound. My hd-4870 has the same video processor and it works fine, the sound comes out the tv speakers using the hdmi cable. There are a few new things with the 6xxx series like better internet video upscaling and i think it goes from 5.1 to 7.1 sound.

The cards i picked were picked because they are small half height cards that will still work if you go to a slim htpc case. The smaller cards will give off less heat, use less power and make less noise.

You don't need more power supply power, even a micro atx 300 watt should be fine. Why the new power supply?
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a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2011 2:15:52 PM

I simply recommended the newer 6 series. There are a couple of benefits regarding audio through HDMI from the last series, plus there are a few 2D scaling optimisations. To be honest, the 6670 wouldn't be too bad for what you want to do either. So i personally wouldn't worry about it. I merely suggested the 6770 because in terms of capability, the 5670 and 6770 are on par (for the 6 series, they are equivalent in numbering to the 5 series +1 in the digit representing the hundreds). But the 6670 will be fine too.
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June 9, 2011 11:56:52 PM

need4speeds said:
For a non-gaming computer going from the slower clocked 6570 to the faster clocked 6670 wont make any difference at all, you could even consider the 160 shader 6450.

The hd-5670 has the older video processor more like the 4670 does, its ok, outputs in standard hdmi 1080p 60hz with digital sound. My hd-4870 has the same video processor and it works fine, the sound comes out the tv speakers using the hdmi cable. There are a few new things with the 6xxx series like better internet video upscaling and i think it goes from 5.1 to 7.1 sound.

The cards i picked were picked because they are small half height cards that will still work if you go to a slim htpc case. The smaller cards will give off less heat, use less power and make less noise.

You don't need more power supply power, even a micro atx 300 watt should be fine. Why the new power supply?


Thank you and very kind of you for your detailed inputs. I would then plan to go with HD6670 as gaming is not my preference and also keeping in mind that I am not far behind technology. My only intention for using graphic card is to bitstream copy protected HD audio (Dolby-TrueHD/DTS-HD) through HDMI and connct to my AVR. Maybe, since I am using this card I may be tempted to play some games...just kidding ;) .

I want a better psu because I leave my system on for long hours at night (for download at specific time) and may continously use it the next day (normal tasks) without switching off (approx 12 -14 hrs stretch). So, thought of getting a decent 80-Plus certified psu which is energy efficient.
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June 10, 2011 12:00:09 AM

Griffolion said:
I simply recommended the newer 6 series. There are a couple of benefits regarding audio through HDMI from the last series, plus there are a few 2D scaling optimisations. To be honest, the 6670 wouldn't be too bad for what you want to do either. So i personally wouldn't worry about it. I merely suggested the 6770 because in terms of capability, the 5670 and 6770 are on par (for the 6 series, they are equivalent in numbering to the 5 series +1 in the digit representing the hundreds). But the 6670 will be fine too.


Thank you very much, I will go ahead with HD6670 1GB DDR5.
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June 10, 2011 4:18:07 AM

A bit off topic, but can you tell me what options are available in the 'Performance' tab of the BIOS of your Intel DH55PJ Motherboard ?
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June 10, 2011 5:11:00 AM

General_Terror said:
A bit off topic, but can you tell me what options are available in the 'Performance' tab of the BIOS of your Intel DH55PJ Motherboard ?


Definitely, I will post it once I reach home from my office. Kindly bear till such time.
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June 10, 2011 8:50:48 AM

Sure. I hope it has similar options like that of Intel DH55TC.
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June 13, 2011 7:13:12 AM

Well ? I do hope everything's fine at yer place.
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June 14, 2011 2:40:15 PM

General_Terror said:
Well ? I do hope everything's fine at yer place.


Regret the delay in replying. I have to go outstation on official work and was busy for the last few days because of my new project. Please find below the options available under the "Performance" tab in my Intel DH55PJ motherboard.

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June 14, 2011 5:03:58 PM

Ah, it's almost the same as this DH55TC. Thankx mate.
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June 15, 2011 12:27:49 AM

Best answer selected by eummagic.
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