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Old August 21, 2010, 11:42 AM
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Default HTPC v.s. 'Gaming' cards

I'm just hoping to get some other perspectives.

I'm shopping for a video card, fairly cheap. I'm looking for one on here or someplace fairly cheap. If used, I hope to get something that is mid-grade. If I buy new, I think I'd just get a 9800GT or 240 GT. I'm wondering if I should get a card mostly for HTPC or compromise a bit and get something that could also game. I'm not sure how well the 240GT is for gaming.

I wouldn't mind a backup card, either. My current video card which will go into a 'new' build is an ATI X300SE. Not exactly the best. I'm leaving the other card in the desktop which I'll take out the cpu to go in the new machine.

Anyway, how hot do the 9800GT and 9800GTX+ (GTS 250) run? This will be in an Antec 300 case with fans on all the ports and a Corsair HX520 PSU. I don't want to spend much on the old tech. in case I decide to later on buy a more high-grade card. The GT 240 is small and more oriented to be a HTPC. But, tech-wise, it doesn't look too good for much else.

I'm leaning towards buying a used 9800GT/GTX+ based card but was wondering if someone who has owned both cards or is very familiar with both can comment.

The reason I'm going with Nvidia is because I also use Linux. Everything I've read indicates ATI cards suck in Linux especially if you wanted a HTPC. Hardware acceleration doesn't work and there's major 2D/3D issues despite the choice of two different drivers.

'Hope to get some opinions/perspectives before the end of the weekend. I have offers to buy a couple of cards and I hope to get the build complete by the end of this coming week.

Thanks in advance for any comments! :)
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Old August 21, 2010, 11:52 AM
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I have built HTPC's using M3N78-VW Asus mobo's with onboard 8200 video and the results are good for everything ... even blu-ray, using windows 7. This mobo uses a nvidia chipset but I was not able to get sound thru HDMI using ubuntu or mint about a year ago ...

If you don't plan on gaming, there are onboard solutions which really work well.

I used a AMD x2 7750 cpu with 2 GB ram btw.
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Old August 21, 2010, 12:18 PM
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Well, my mobo is a P45.... no onboard video.

I have some ATI fans telling me to try an ATI card. The only one I'd want to risk it on is probably the HD 5670. Is that a good card? I wouldn't mind both a Nvidia and an ATI card to cover my bases, though. Is that crazy? I could buy one single card for the same money. I thought maybe a cheap ATI card and a cheap Nvidia (used). There's no mid-grade new Nvidia cards that would fit my budget. ATI, though, has some choices. I don't want to go with a HD 4xxx card, though. I thought Evergreen to stay up to date.
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Old August 21, 2010, 12:43 PM
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the gt240 takes the cake for low power. gaming? i wouldnt consider it much.

you can run a 5870 with your setup...scratch that the 300 dont think it takes long cards.


maybe go gt240 passive?
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Old August 21, 2010, 12:46 PM
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or buy a 60$ mobo that has onboard video and supports hdmi ...
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Old August 21, 2010, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yamawho View Post
or buy a 60$ mobo that has onboard video and supports hdmi ...
I'd like a card that allows me to move to another mobo if I upgrade. I have 775 LGA hardware right now. I got the mobo in a trade and don't want to buy another older architecture mobo, really.

I read that the Antec 300 can take longer cards but then I have to plan out the build more... like no hard drive cages in the way of the card etc.

I'd get a 5850 if I felt the Linux side was improving enough. Some say it is; others say sufficient improvement is way off. Also, I'm not budgeting a $300 card (I understand those cards are dropping in price a bit, though).

Right now, my list is:
*240 GT ($90?)
*9800GT / GTS 250 ($60 to $100 used)
*HD 5670 ($90)

I'm still buying a cpu for the current desktop (switching the Quad Core to the P45 machine) and maybe a HDD dedicated to Windows storage. This budget includes one 120mm case fan and maybe a stick of 2GB RAM so I can move the 4GB to the P45 machine. :)

Deciding on video cards is a pain when you use two (different) operating systems and I'm already indecisive to begin with. I need a better income!
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Old August 21, 2010, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
you can run a 5870 with your setup...scratch that the 300 dont think it takes long cards.
Just to follow up on this quote, I had a hd5870 ref. in a Antec 300. So YES it fits! TIGHT!!!!!!!!!! But it fits, with about 1/8" of an inch left before hitting the drive cage...some 5870 like the ASUS 5870 V2 would not fit, because of the location of the power connectors at the end of the card tho.

I realise that you want to use a free OS (linux), but I would go Win7 home premium for MEDIA CENTER. also, you know you'll be re-using that OS later. $105 pricematched for win7 64 bits from NCIX or DC...
For the OP... 5770!!! You want an HTPC card that can run a few games, with HDMI output, with full support for audio formats, well there you go!

NCIX.com - Buy ASUS Radeon HD 5770 Cu Core 1GB DDR5 PCI-E VGA DVI-I HDMI Video Card - EAH5770 CUCORE/2DI/1GD5/A In Canada.

$139 after MIR @ NCIX
$150 after MIR at DC
ASUS Radeon HD 5770 Cu Core 1GB DDR5 PCI-E VGA DVI-I HDMI Video Card - DirectCanada


Quote:
I'm leaning towards buying a used 9800GT/GTX+ based card but was wondering if someone who has owned both cards or is very familiar with both can comment.
I didn't own any one of these, but the 9800GTX ones use 2 PCI-E 6 pins, the HD5770 uses one. I guess you want to go with a less power-hungry card in an HTPC...my two cents...
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Last edited by Delavan; August 21, 2010 at 02:33 PM.
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Old August 21, 2010, 03:47 PM
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Isn't the GT240 identical to the 8800GT/9800GT? I own an 8800GT and it is a great card. Not top of the line anymore (I just replaced it) but it's not too long, it's single slot, it's relatively low power, it's silent when not playing games (and fairly loud when playing games) but it CAN play a lot of games well enough. If you aren't trying to play Crysis on high or Metro 2033, but just want to play 2008/2009 games once in a while then I say it's a good card.

It fits fine in my Aspire X Q-pack or w/e it's called (it's an mATX case). Then again, just about any video card will fit in that case, it's just a matter of whether it covers the SATA connectors on whatever mobo you are using :P. The 8800GT is about 9.25" long, I just measured it.

If you wanted your HTPC to be your main gaming machine I'd stick the GTX 460 768mb in there cuz it's only $200 and it's plenty powerful enough for any modern games and when on idle it consumes like only 6w and it's whisper quite no matter if it's OC'd to the max and playing a game. It's also short at 8.1".

But I'm sensing that's not your plan. So my vote is for the 9800GT or maybe the GT240 if it's on par in performance.
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Old August 21, 2010, 04:47 PM
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the 240 has lower overall performance, but lower power figures, which in turn bump it up the performance per watt graphs


http://tpucdn.com/reviews/Zotac/GeFo...es/perfrel.gif

http://tpucdn.com/reviews/Zotac/GeFo...s/perfwatt.gif
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Old August 27, 2010, 12:22 PM
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The Antec definitely holds a 10.5" card...why not pick up a used GTX2XX (260/275) and use that. They are extremely good for all applications. Gaming, htpc, etc. Plus the dvi's output sound as well.
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