I have a Win 7 Machine with a dual core processor, 300w PSU that I am making into a media center and need help with the following setup.
Would like to do the following:
-Run 1 HDMI out to my reciever connected to projector. 720P
-Run 1 HDMI straight to an LED tv. 1080P
This would be used to serve movies to each TV. There would only be one feed going at a time. I believe there are dual HDMI card out there, but can you have one card hooked up to 2 different monitors with different resolution setting for each HDMI out.
Again no gaming needed just need to play HD 1080p movies and many that are MKV format. Also a silent card is not needed.
any mid end AMD/Nvidia will do that for you. I had a 5770 in a media center with good results. I also had a 4350, While it works it lacks a way to give full range(0-255) as well as some filtering found in all other AMD cards, but you can do a small registry hack to make MCE do it for you.
That said the 4350 was very slow even the media center interface was not smooth. If you do not mind that, low end cards in that range(newer like a 5450) DO get the job done for media alone.
Here is a list of some cards and the power use(more or less accurate.). Looking at the blu-ray power consumption may give you a better idea. Only thing I have noticed about this is that the 5770 they show MUST be idling at 400mhz and not 157 because my 5770 actually uses slightly less then a 650 ti. Also if you get an Nvidia 6XX based card, get the latest beta drive, the current release one makes the video card go full speed in media center(vs idle speed with the beta).
My suggestion would almost go as far as a 7750, but that may still be overkill(and i skilled it because I wanted lower power use when playing videos) for you.
A 650ti would also be overkill(as it can play many games at medium settings), on the plus side with the latest beta drivers watching media center or any streaming video uses only about 5 watts more then listening to music(from the wall). Those are some good numbers.
Everything will depend on the quality of your power supply and now many amps it has on its 12 volt rail.
DVI can be adapted to HDMI with audio on many cards as well.
As long as they are run separate you can, but that would be extended mode.
So you could drag programs from screen to screen.
As for performance, many times you get some kind of a performance hit with multi monitor. Things have got much faster over the years.
With some cards, you can set a hot key to swap from screen to screen as well. Used to do it back in the day for monitor -> tv swapping.
This was the Nvidia drive bug with Media Center i was talking about. I ran 2 ~1 hour runs with the current and beta drivers. While it is "only" a 20 watt difference, that counts to me on a media center(I also did not want extra heat).