need help with selecting a video card for HTPC build

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by tkmech1, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. tkmech1

    tkmech1 MDL Novice

    Dec 31, 2009
    I have most of the components I will need to complete the build but would like to get some input. If there is anything I should change, feel free to let it be known. I am by no means an expert builder, just a hobbiest. I will be connecting to a 50" Panisonic Plasma. Used mostly for movies, pictures, music, windows media center, Possibly to replace cable tv if the winTV performs well (I have never seen what can be done with it) and some gaming, I play mostly FPS Call of duty, rainbow six, battlefield etc.

    Here is what I have to work with on hand:
    Mobo: Evga NF590SLI
    CPU: Athlon 64 FX
    Ram: 4 x 1gb corsair dominator 1066mhz 5-5-5-15
    TV tuner: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1800 model 1128
    PS: Kingwin 600w modular or a 485w Enermax Noistaker II
    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate

    What I need and can figure out myself:
    DVD CD/R: probably a sata, I have stand alone BluRay.
    Hard drive: something big, sata

    What I need that I really need input on:
    Video Card: Need something with HDMI output don't have dvi or d-sub inputs on TV, in a budget of 100-150 That will give a good output to the 50" plasma. If need be at a later date I can add another and run SLI.

    ANy help would be greatly appreciated, If this is in the wrong section sorry, Its just my biggest question was dealing with the video card.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. 2centsworth

    2centsworth MDL Senior Member

    Feb 12, 2008
    #2 2centsworth, Jan 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
    If we're talking about video playback ONLY and hardware accelerated mpeg/divx/mp4/h.264/Flash decoding, ANY of the ATI HD 3xxx 4xxx will do the job...if you want to pass 7.1 LPCM over HDMI you want a 4xxx series ATI card.

    The HD4350 won't game much better than 600x800 and is only good for video acceleration, consumes 10 watts at idle roughly and up to 35ish watts in max 3D, passive cooled and dirt cheap.....

    The HD4650 starts to game and consumes a lot more power, usually needs active cooling but no extra power connection.....but if you're willing to live with active coling the HD4770 is the best performing in 3D and lowest power consumption made today, about $100 512 MB GDDR5 model and an excellent gamer....but needs 6 pin power.....and it's excellent in hardware accelerated video.

    Hard to beat 4770, but it's too much power consumption for some HTPC's and thats where the 4350 works well with passive cooling. My personal DVR uses a HD4350 with surround over HDMI...keeping complete system draw at wall under 100 watts with a P45 E6300 wolfdale 4 drives.

    I have a 54" plasma and the 4350 does just fine for video acceleration, in fact I had a super cheap 3450 with 256MB on it for testing and the video had some occasional hiccups and still looked good (aero suffered a lot).....but the HD4770 games well at 1080P...none of the cards below it game well at 1080P....about $100 at newegg.