So I just yanked my 7800gt and threw in a Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 512MB Ultimate Edition Passive Cooling PCI-E w/ HDTV-Out, HDMI.
I gotta say i couldn't be happier... the Haup 150mce tv tuner looks better than ever. Video play back looks better and more importantly it's one less fan so the system is heaps quieter and should fair better during the summer months.
One thing i gotta say for certain is... the TV options alone destroy anything Nvidia has to offer. I honestly forgot how good ATI cards look on the big screen. Anyone who has a HTPC knows that some cards don't fill the screen correctly ATI has the options a guy needs to sort this stuff out.
Nvidia 7800gt at 720p overscans the desktop a bit... half hiding some of the icons along the left side... however during movie playback its perfect. On the other hand if I scale the desktop to fit right... I end up with black around the movie screen on all sides.
ATI on the other hand... does 720 and didn't quite fill the screen on desktop and of course that filters through to media center... heres the catch. ATI offers overscanning in small increments so adjusting it is simple as pie.
The HDMI and 7.1 pass through is great if you use a reciever etc.. gives you more options for running sound and video in the end including a true HDMI port on the card itself so no more dvi to hdmi extras or cabling if you choose. The options are honestly endless I wouldn't touch half of them however... some people may need these options to tweak things perfectly for them.
And the best part... it can FOLD!!:)
Anyway just thought i'd share... not bad for a $120 CND passively cooled card.
Welcome to the ATI side of things :P
Just be careful though; passively cooled cards can get quite toasty, especially during summer at load with folding n' stuff!
Been thinking about a passive 4550 for my HTPC actually... and soon. Just got TMT and BD playback is a bit choppy with the onboard GFX on my P5E-VM HDMI.
the 4550 is a decent card mate.
Ahhh I picked up the same 4670 Ultimate on the way home today, seemed like a lot more card than the 4550 for an extra ~$40.
It is quite a great performer. The 4670 is fairly close to the performance of the 8800GT.
Gave the new card a go last night and gotta say I'm pretty happy. Bluray playback was smooooth, and PQ was noticeably better too. TBH I wasn't expecting a diff in PQ.
Another added benefit which I wasn't expecting... I use FLACs for audio and when flipping around the music menu it would hickup, by that it would miss button presses (i.e. to move down the menu) as if the computer was locked up for just a split second. Not a major issue but it would be annoying to press DOWN and nothing happen so I press DOWN again and nothing happen then all of a sudden it skips a half dozen or so menu choices. Also there would be odd flashes on the screen that looked like bad polygons or something when you've OCed your vid card too far. I thought it may have been something to do with the plugins that were required to get FLACs to play but they are all cleared up now! Sweet.
I popped a 9800 GT into my HTPC system last night and quickly ran back to the HD 4670 I previously had in there. I don't usually make off-the-cuff comments but the PQ and horrible overscan along with the laughable picture options on the Nvidia card on a 1080P TV was a joke. Add to that the fact that the HD 4670 natively supports audio over HDMI without having to plug in an S/PDIF cable and it is a win/win proposition.
IMO, Nvidia cards for a HTCP = a big no no.
I agree ATI all the way for HTPC. I swapped out my 4550 for my 8800GTX Ultra.....I was in total shock at how bad the PQ was with the 8800. Needless to say the 4550 is back doing the HTPC duties.
ATi jsut has more experience on the TV-quality side. I had worried when the ydiscontinued AIW products that performanec would suffer a bit, but it seems that ATI is "on-top" when it co,es to video playback.
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