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Old March 24, 2009, 08:40 AM
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Default PCI video card upgrade for P4 HTPC

I'm using my old Pentium4 PC for Home Theatre, it only has PCI slots, no AGP or PCI-E, it plays 720 online streaming ok with FX 5500 PCI video card I installed years ago, but struggles at playing HD content off HDD.

Specs:
Compaq
Pentium4 2.8
2GB RAM
PNY Verto NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 128MB DDR, PCI
7200 HDD

Product Specifications

Is it gonna make a difference if I upgrade the card to something like this?:

Newegg.ca - PNY VCG84512SPEB GeForce 8400 GS 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards
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Old March 24, 2009, 08:57 AM
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Does your system have an AGP port? If so, you may want to try looking for the ATI 3850 AGP. It's basically the most powerful AGP card ever made, and is an excellent option for an HTPC with its HDMI connectivity. If not, then the 8400gs PCI would okay as well.
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Old March 24, 2009, 09:07 AM
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What codecs are you using?

CoreAVC would probably help with HD content as it uses the least amount of CPU IMO.

Could even get a 9400GT: Newegg.ca - SPARKLE SP94GT512D2LHPP GeForce 9400 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

And this 8400GS is cheaper since you don't need 512MB RAM: Newegg.ca - SPARKLE SFPC84GS256U2LP GeForce 8400 GS 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI HDCP Ready Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards
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Old March 24, 2009, 09:26 AM
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I'm using VLC player or codecs from here Shark007.net Codec Package I'll look into CoreAVC, thanks.

How much performance difference is there between 9400 GT and 8400 GS? oh wait, 9th series is the rebranded 8..

Also will I be able to use my old FX 5500 as PhysX card on my main rig?

Last edited by artistpavel; March 24, 2009 at 10:07 AM.
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Old March 24, 2009, 09:43 AM
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I think it has to be anything from the 8 series and up, unfortunately.
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Old March 24, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Ok, I got this one Newegg.ca - SPARKLE SFPC84GS256U2LP GeForce 8400 GS 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI HDCP Ready Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

Now, do I just swap the cards and leave the drivers untouched or do I uninstall the drivers with DriveSweeper, replace the hardware and clean install drivers again? I upgraded many cards but I never got a clear answer on that one I 'd rather not uninstall/reinstall if that's a redundancy.

Last edited by artistpavel; March 24, 2009 at 11:07 AM.
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Old March 24, 2009, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artistpavel View Post
Ok, I got this one Newegg.ca - SPARKLE SFPC84GS256U2LP GeForce 8400 GS 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI HDCP Ready Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

Now, do I just swap the cards and leave the drivers untouched or do I uninstall the drivers with DriveSweeper, replace the hardware and clean install drivers again? I upgraded many cards but I never got a clear answer on that one I 'd rather not uninstall/reinstall if that's a redundancy.
I definitely would uninstall at least. Don't need to run Driver Sweeper but no harm done.

AFAIK the 5 series uses much older drivers and aren't supported by the latest drivers, where as the 8400GS would use the latest 18x.xx drivers.
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Old March 24, 2009, 03:10 PM
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AtI owns nvidia for tv mang... nvidia doesnt even compare imo. It also has onboard HD decoding.... cpu doesn't do anything.
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Old March 24, 2009, 03:18 PM
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nvidia 8 series using first gen pure video, nvidia 9 series have a new pure video, its suppose to help more with HD decoding.

With CoreAVC you would only shave 1-5% cpu usage during play back.

your best choice is to get a Asus AGP 3450. In the up coming months powercolor is going to release a ati 4xxx series AGP, the ati 4 series might be able to shave a bit more cpu usage.



forgot you wanted PCI.
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Old March 24, 2009, 03:52 PM
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I got 8400 GS shipped from newegg, if it plays HD well, I'll keep it, if not I'll get ATI

I hope I get G98, according to wiki, it has the latest Pure Video:

Nvidia PureVideo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

edit: from what I learned, hardware acceleration doesn't work for every type of video, I hope this new video card will give me some benefits besides PureVideo, otherwise what did I pay $80 for?

Last edited by artistpavel; March 24, 2009 at 07:48 PM.
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