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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to help a distant friend upgrade his PC so that he can output MVK/AVI/MPEG files to his 46" 1080P TV. The components are pretty old though, AMD Athlon 64 3200 or 3800 (single core), 2 GB DDR2, Vista X86 home, onboard graphics, and a 305W PS. System is a Dell E521. I know he needs a graphics card upgrade but I have no clue as to what the cheapest ($20-30 maybe $40 max) bare min he will need to get the files to the TV in full format. He has already picked up a Hitachi Deskstar TB HDD to hold the files and a 35' DVI-D - HDMI cable to transfer the signal, but we need a Video Card on the cheap with a DVI out, which most should have anymore. The E521 motherboard does have an open PCIe X16 V1 slot. The case is small though so the card can't be too long nor can it suck up a lot of power as there isn't much to begin with. THX for any help.
 

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A 9800GT green might be what you are looking for. HDMI and DVI, low power consumption and cheap.
 

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My bro and I built our parents a HTPC and it has roughly the same specs, but we bought and put in a Radeon 4350, which was only $20, and using MPC-Home Cinema w/ DXVA, was able to play 1080p video at full speed. However, DXVA only works with the h264 (or x264) codec.
 

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He can pick up an entry-level card like a Radeon 4350 or GeForce GT220. Both of these are passively powered and are more than adequate for HTPC duty as they feature hardware-accelerated video decoding. Half-height versions also exist if space inside the computer is going to be an issue.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Zippit
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A 9800GT green might be what you are looking for. HDMI and DVI, low power consumption and cheap.

Err...a 9800GT green or not would be total overkill for an HTPC
 

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The best place that I found to get cables is Monoprice. That cable if purchased at Best Buy would run you in the neighborhood of $200-$300.

As far as cheap GPU's, I think something along these lines would be more than suitable to drive a video on a display like that.

MSI VN210
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
THX for the help guys, we finally sorted through most of the B.S. and he went with a Evga 210. "Hardware-accelerated video decoding", low power consumption, slim and short card overall, and $40 shipped ($30 after MIR).

Moltar, THX for the link to mono but that is where I told him to pick the cable up from which he has already. Honestly, I would be pretty surprised to see a bestbuy carry a operational 35 foot DVI-D to HDMI. I know if I can't personally build it, then Monoprice is pretty much the only others I trust to do so. Top notch quality products, outstanding customer service/support, and dirt cheap prices, which I still can't figure out how they can do it.
 
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