So, I'm wiring my parent's house for ethernet and building them an HTPC as an anniversary present while they're away for the weekend, so I'm in a bit of a time crunch, so I'm hoping Tom's readers can help me out with some quick research. The HTPC I'm building will be a bit of a budget build - planning on 2x2GB DDR2-800 paired with an Athlon II X2 250. I need a GPU that can play 1080p video without a problem, as well as output 5.1 sound AND it needs to available in low profile, since the case will be a slim case. I'm normally an nVidia guy for gaming builds (as you can tell by my sig) but AMD seems like the thing for this build, but if you know of a good nVidia card, I'm all ears. Originally I figured just a 5450 would work, since all it has to handle is 1080p video (no games or graphic-intensive applications), but I would hate to set it all up only to have it choke on the video.
P.S. Fanless would be better than with a fan, but I'm willing to compromise for performance.
P.S.S. Links to recent GPU comparisons, specifically in regards to HTPC's, are welcome.
Which is why I asked about the GT430. He said budget build so I'm assuming no 3D.
Not sure the onboard can handle all HTPC duties. I remember reading about the HTPC abilities of the 5670 and they said it can handle most, but even the 5750 might be needed in some cases.
Yeah, the HD4200 is perfectly fine for HTPC duties. I'm still running that video on my main HTPC. The HD5670 or higher cards are needed if you want the GPU to do post processing like vector adaptive deinterlacing. For blu-ray content, the source is high quality and doesn't really need post processing.