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Old January 1, 2009, 04:38 AM
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Default GPU for dedicated HTPC use.

Hey, I currently have an HTPC, and have my 9800GTX loaded up in it. It does the job just fine, however, I don't feel comfortable running an intensive card merely for playing videos.

I currently run at 720p, but of course, I need to be able to run at 1080p eventually as I have many HD videos. Gaming on the HTPC is out of the question, maybe with an exception of weak games like audiosurf.

What is the most ideal video card for the job? In particular, I was looking at ATi cards HD4670 and below. The lowest tiered one, the 4350 is $60 and seems to do the job just well on paper. Then there is the 4650/70, which costs about $80-$100 and seem more worthy for the job if not overkilled, would you justify getting the 4650 over the 4350 for $20-25 more?

Another card that got my attention is the Gigabyte 4550 on NCIX, it can be pricematched to approximately $63 or so, has HDMI out, is fanless, and seems to be the HTPC dream GPU, would you suggest this of all else?
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Old January 1, 2009, 06:51 AM
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I wouldn't spend a penny more if it will never game. Even the HD3450 will run 1080P all by it's lonesome self.
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Old January 1, 2009, 08:27 AM
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The 4-series have slightly better video processing I believe.

HD4350 would be fine IMO and you can grab the ASUS one for $49 - $10 MIR. I don't really think the HD4550 is worth it since it's just the HD4350 with GDDR3 which isn't exactly needed in a HTPC. If you're going to move up the scale, get the HD4650/HD4670 (again GDDR2 vs GDDR3) but I doubt you need such a card.
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Old January 1, 2009, 11:37 AM
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Well if it is an HTPC just make sure the GPU was HDMI-out. Fanless is ideal.
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Old January 1, 2009, 12:47 PM
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Well, for $10 more, I jumped on the Gigabyte HD4550, its fanless, has HDMI out, and has a blue PCB. Thanks all :)
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