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Old May 15, 2008, 10:26 AM
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Default Decent video card for HTPC and mild gaming for under $150?

On my own I have narrowed it down to these 2 cards:

Palit 9600gt
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...7&promoid=1084

Palit 3850
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...6&promoid=1084

Right now I have a 1950 pro and a 1280x1024 monitor, it does me fine for the games I play (I mostly have gone to the console/dark side for newer games). But I wanted to hook it up to my 42" plasma and the VGA connection never gets the resolution right (its 1024x768, the weird non widescreen res issue with older plasmas). I was hoping the HDMI connection might help me there.


If anyone knows of a better card let me know, I watch my divx stuff on the 360, so really its just for watching internet porn and the like, lol. Actually its so my pregnant wife can surf the internet from the couch.

thanks!
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Old May 15, 2008, 10:37 AM
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I would suggest going for an ATI card if the primary purpose is to hook it up to a LCD/Plasma TV for the simple reason of ATI's incorporated HDMI audio.

The 3850 would certainly be sufficient for "mild" gaming.
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Old May 15, 2008, 10:39 AM
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The, 9600gt has HDMI with a SPDIF-in, and for all that I can find, brings it up equal to the ATI cards in the HDMI-audio section. I still cant really seem to find a comparison of the video/picture quality though...

it is still going to be mostly a PC, but maybe 10-20% of the time used while hooked up to the Plasma.

Also will I notice the 256mb vs 512mb when gaming on a 19"?

Also they are the same price (9600gt 512mb and 3850 256mb) when you factor in free shipping for the 9600
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Old May 15, 2008, 10:49 AM
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I think you'd still notice a difference on a 19", but pretty well guaranteed you'd notice a difference on the widescreen.

I don't know why we haven't seen the promised price drops on ATI products.... assuming that you've got an SPDIF you can plug into the Nvidia card, it's looking better and better.... :)
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Old May 15, 2008, 11:06 AM
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Gaming with either is ok.
Heck I have a 8600GT 256M and I can play Cyrsis 1024x768 on Medium just fine.
It loads 1280x1024 on high, just enough to look around the first few levels thou.
Quality wise the difference is there, but minimal really, especially with people and aliens shooting at ya, who’s really looking at the pretty green leaves!
I guess that qualifies as ‘mild’ gaming.
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Old May 15, 2008, 11:15 AM
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I would also suggest the ATI card. The 3850 is a solid series for sure. Yes, the 9600GT is great bang for the buck as well, but I like the ATI's integrated HD audio. I use a 32" HDTV as my monitor, and it has multiple HDMI ports. It sure is handy having an ATI card with the audio for that! The Nvidia also does it, but you need to use a SPDIF pass through cable, which can be a pain to set up.
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Old May 15, 2008, 11:21 AM
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So does the 3850 pass ALL audio over, like windows boops and beeps and all that stuff? Or only Dolby digital type stuff?

I would need it to do it all.

I think that it boils down to the 3850 being a better HTPC card, and the 9600GT being a better gaming card, but as to how MUCH better in each category is harder.

The gaming side is easier due to reviews concentrating on that, but picture quality and video playback are tougher to quantify I guess.

Is an extra 256mb to the 3850 help or is it pointless? I have read reviews that swing it both ways, there is this card:

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...d&promoid=1084

but it is a hefty MIR, which brings initial cost and tax up...

argh, I prefer clear cut descisions over this ambiguous crap, 8800gt vs 2900pro was much easier...
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Old May 15, 2008, 11:35 AM
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argh, I like both cards, mush them together please!
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Old May 15, 2008, 11:44 AM
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Yes, it does. It is literally a soundcard built into the videocard. I find it VERY handy
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Old May 15, 2008, 11:46 AM
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HMMMMMMMM, eeenteresting...

Do all the 38 series cards do this? Ill look into it, cause I have a p4 rig i cant seem to sell that would be great as an HTPC with this, no gaming at all...

Then I could just wait for the newer cards this summer...
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