what graphics card would you guys recommend for a HTPC? I'm going to be using it for playing ripped blurays and downloaded hd music videos primarily.
I'm more concerned about the latter personally; I've heard that nvidia's purevideoHD kicks the ass out of ATI's avivo and i want to 'boost' the music video IQ as much as I can. anyone wanna give some feedback on that?
another requirement is being able to put audio through its HDMI port, although if i need a sound card to make this happen, its not a problem. also, the HDMI port would preferably be native, as opposed to being a dongle. lastly, a passive solution is heavily preferred(for those times when i have to keep my TV quieter).
so, what do you guys recommend?
ps anyone know where to get good music videos from? official sites? artists' cds?
HD4350 is the best IMO.
I personally think ATI's video IQ is better than NVIDIA's since ATI offers more enhancements. Also they all have HDMI with audio. Some cards required a special DVI-to-HDMI adapter though but you can find HD4350s with HDMI ports on them. No need for a soundcard either since ATI cards have an onboard Realtek chip.
Another way to improve your IQ would be to use ffdshow as your main codec (if you aren't already) since it has tons of settings you can play with to try and clean things up.
I agree. You will easily be able to find graphic cards with built in hdmi on Ati side. Some Nvidia cards could have the hdmi( only few) build they probably wont support audio. Second. finding a fanless card is getting harder everyday. from what I've seen you will have more choice on the Ati side.
I use a Sapphire 4670 w/passive cooling. I've heard that it has slightly better PQ than the 4350 but who knows, negligible I'm sure. The price diff wasn't that much so I figured what the hell, and the cooling solution on my card is pretty nice. IIRC mine was ~$90 - a little more than comparable cards but the heatsink would probably set you back better than $30 if bought third party.
HD 3450 or HD 4350
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