MSI Unveils 5 HDMI Cards

Last week MSI introduced its R4600 HDMI series, five cards capable of full 1080p support for those looking to build the perfect Home Theater PC.

Motherboard and graphics card manufacturer MSI revealed its R400 HDMI series last week, focusing on the consumer looking to build the perfect home theater PC. While there are many cards out on the market specifically designed for the HTPC, MSI's new line centers on full, native HDMI support and lag-free Blu-ray playback. On top of that, all five cards are built with Hi-c capacitors and the latest solid state chokes, making the R4600 HDMI series ideal for any home theater PC system. Of course, a consumer looking for fast GPUs to crank out high framerates in Crysis and F.E.A.R. 2 need to look elsewhere, as the R4600 HDMI series utilizes ATI's Radeon HD 4670 or 4650 GPUs, depending on the model.

With native HDMI support, consumers can connect directly to PCs with high-definition TVs, monitors and projectors with the R4600 HDMI series. Additionally, each card can spit out resolutions of up to 1920x1080, and will even process full 1080p from Blu-ray disks without a hitch. And with Unified Video Decoder (UVD) 2.0 support, the cards remove a good deal of the processing from the CPU, thus reduces the amount of electricity used and even prevents lag. In a sense, the cards could be considered "green" in the way they cut down overall energy use, thus playing a part in protecting the environment.

What's even better is that all five bus-powered cards use a maximum of 75W and do not require an extra PCI-E 12v power supply. According to MSI, the cards will fit into almost any system, including those with low-wattage power supplies. The cards aren't space hogs either: it high-performance cooling pipe features a super-slim design that won't invade the next PCI-E/PCI space, allowing more elbow room for those cards that get a little claustrophobic. The overall cooling system isn't oversized either, thus remaining silent to ensure that the whining isn't coming from the PC, but that terrified date trembling in the next seat.

According to MSI, the R4600 HDMI series uses Hi-C capacitors, the "next level" of high-performance capacitors. "Performing even better than the already high-quality solid capacitors, Hi-c capacitors have twice the life-span of their long-lived predecessors at the same temperature," the company said. "This trait not only creates an even more stable environment for the GPU, but also lengthens the whole life of the card."

MSI also said that the R4600 HDMI uses the latest solid state chokes (SSC), which are normally reserved for higher end cards. These SSCs not only prevent high electrical frequencies from creating a "buzz" noise, but also extend the life of the card and increase stability.

As for the differences between all five cards, the two R4670 models have a GPU clock of 750 MHz, and a memory clock of 1.74 GHz. One card offers 1 GB of GDDR3 memory while another model only sports 512 MB of GDDR3 memory although both feature an active cooling system. The other three cards in the batch, the R4650 models, clocks in at 600 MHZ on the GPU front while offering a 1 GHz memory clock. Two cards feature 512 GB of GDDR2 memory--one with active cooling, one with passive cooling--whereas the third card offers 1 GB of GDDR2 memory with active cooling.

Ultimately, these cards sound ideal for the home theater environment, providing native HDMI support, digital 7.1 sound channels, Hi-c capacitors and solid state chokes. Consumers can watch full 1080p Blu-ray playback without any lag, thus providing a great home theater experience through crisp sound and crisp, fluid visuals. Currently MSI has not provided any price points or availability, so check back soon for more information.

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  • Blessedman
    I didn't see anything mentioned about sound from the card til the end and it just a blurb. Does the card have sound or does it have a pass through from your own sound card? If it comes with it's own sound card, who built it?
  • Tindytim
    Is this really news worthy? DVI has become the standard for cards, and HDMI and DVI are electrically the same, so anyone that needs HDMI just needs to invest in a cheap adapter, and that's only if you didn't get an adapter with that card. I have quite a few of them myself.

    But then again, quite a few cards nowadays have HDMI anyway. I quick search on newegg will yield quite a few results.
  • Anonymous

    The story is news worthy because of the specialized 1080p processing card, not the hdmi output. 1080p video is usually encoded in H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, which is very resource intensive to decode. Usually this requires a fast cpu, but there are also solutions involving gpu software (e.g. nvidia purevideo) or specialized hardware, such as these msi cards.