Radeon Graphics card for HTPC and Light Gaming

Hey guys,

I got an HTPC built on AMD X4-640 and been using the built-in Video card now for over a year. I use it for Netflix, 1080P videos, x264 videos, Bluray, and file-server for pics, music, docs, etc...

System now:
- MSI 890GX mobo
- AMD X4 640 CPU
- Antec Fusion case
- 3TB HDD, 120GB SSD
- Bluray
- 380 Watts Seasonic PSU (compared well against other 500W PSUs)
- Connected via HDMI to 50inch Plasma and Receiver (5-channel)

Now, I am starting to wanna use it for gaming and racing simulation as well. The specific games I like to play on my 50inch Plasma 1080P are:

- Battlefield 3
- SWTOR
- Rfactor/iRacing simulators
- Crysis
- 4PORTAL
- SKYRIM
- Half Life 2

I like to play these in 1080P, or even 720P if too rich, but I like to ensure frame rates are high for simulation games and get as much esstential details to make it worthwhile the cost of those games.

So, what are my options folks under $150? I like to keep it cool/quiet/low power in my HTPC... but then that's always a trade off! I actually bought a Radeon 6850 but it didn't fit (due to the particular power connector location), and I retrurned it and I am now between the following:

- Radeon 6850 (old stock or eBay) - 127 watts
- Radeon 7770 (slower than 6850 but just) - 80 watts
- Radeon 7850 1GB (fastest) - 130 watts

I like to know if 7770 is good enough for me, if so, that's definitely the best card for HTPC, if not, then which 6850 or 7850 cards are coolest/quietest with SMALLEST FOOTPRINT, and would either require a PSU upgrade (like to avoid that).

PS. I do a lot of video encoding to/from x264, would ANY of these cards offer Hardware acceleration?

Thanks!
7 answers Last reply
More about radeon graphics card htpc light gaming
  1. If you only have 1 slot: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102958

    If you have dual slot: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150618


    Only Nvidia's CUDA can accelerate decoding as far as I know.
  2. I believe the current generation Radeons have OpenCL so if the video encoding programs you use can make use of it then it can boost performance. Otherwise video encoding will rely solely on the CPU.

    Seasonic is an excellent brand, but with only 380w I wouldn't go beyond the Radeon HD 7770.
  3. austing said:
    If you only have 1 slot: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102958

    If you have dual slot: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150618


    Only Nvidia's CUDA can accelerate decoding as far as I know.


    I got room for two slots, but the card must not have a huge fan (larger than PCI card width) or longer than 8.5".

    So, you recommend 6850 vs. 7770, right?
  4. jaguarskx said:
    I believe the current generation Radeons have OpenCL so if the video encoding programs you use can make use of it then it can boost performance. Otherwise video encoding will rely solely on the CPU.

    Seasonic is an excellent brand, but with only 380w I wouldn't go beyond the Radeon HD 7770.


    Ok, thanks.

    How well would 7770 do for the games I mentioned?
  5. Also, can someone explain to me, WHY 6850 is faster in some games, when 7770 in faster in others?

    Like in Battlefield, 7770 is faster, but 6850 is FASTER is Aliens vs. Predator?

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/HD_7750_7770_CrossFire/5.html
  6. Mostly because the 6xxx series has better drivers, the 7xxx series is newer and less developed.
  7. austing said:
    Mostly because the 6xxx series has better drivers, the 7xxx series is newer and less developed.


    Actually I figured it out... 7700 is definitely faster in DX11 games, while 6850 has more brute force in DX 9 at higher res. games.
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