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Graphic card for Dell 5100?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by TopMeTom, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. TopMeTom

    TopMeTom
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    Hello again!!

    Well I managed to get a Dell 5100 P4 541 from the Dell outlet for £248.

    Unfortunately no graphic card :(

    So i was wondering what card to get for the machine it is to be used as a media pc.
    Was thinking of a all in wonder from radeon as it has everything on it?Any other suggestions?

    Phil
     
  2. lisag

    lisag
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    Does the motherboard have an AGP or a PCI-Express slot - I have known Dell machines to have neither and just run on onboard graphics :eek:
     
  3. TopMeTom

    TopMeTom
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    er i was assuming with it being a 5100 it would be pci-ex?

    oh-oh.....
     
  4. Big Adam

    Big Adam
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    Dell 5000 series have a PCI-Express graphics interface.

    Phil, what do you want your new HTPC to 'do' graphics/functionality-wise?

    Games?
    CD Jukebox?
    DVD Jukebox?
    Freeview?
    Analogue TV?

    Choice of above will determine video and expansion card selection.

    EDIT: And of course, your choice of display is critical too ! :suicide:
     
  5. lisag

    lisag
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    Oh that's good, just checking!
    As Big Adam said what your ultimate aim is will determine how to configure the system. If you are planning on installing Windows Media Center, then your choice of video card, tv card and dvd codec is critical... if not then you can pretty much choose anything.

    If noise is an issue go for passively cooled.

    I will add though that the Gigabyte fanless 6600GT card is fab!

    lisa
     
  6. TopMeTom

    TopMeTom
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    maybe games,dvd's and freeview/tv.

    I currently have sky+ but am thinking of getting rid of due to the cost!
     
  7. Big Adam

    Big Adam
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    Ok, so if you are considering games, you want to invest in a half decent graphics card and something along the lines of the 6600GT suggested by lisag would be ideal. It'll handle everthing you throw at it.

    If you are an ATI fan then you want to be looking at an x600 Pro or x800 for (very rough) equivalence.

    You final choice (nVidia or ATI) may depend on your viewing medium. Depending on who you speak to, it is generally understood that whilst current nVidia products provide a better pic for you money, the svideo output of ATI cards is superior. So, if you will be feeding your display via VGA or DVI connection, lean towards nVidia. If you are feeding a CRT TV via s-video, lean towards ATI. You can also get a dongle for ATI cards which allows you to output a RGB component signal which can be very handy.

    Right, time to decide....are you ditching sky or not? If you are not then you'll have to invest in an analogue capture card (I'd shy away from all-in-wonders).

    If you are kicking Sky into touch, then you'll probably want freeview card or two. There are several brands on the market but probably the main two are GDI's "Black Gold" (also marketed by Pluggedin as the "Sweetspot MCE") or DigiTV's "Nebula" (available in PCI or USB versions).

    The Nebula is VERY good but suffers from relatively poor support. They are still struggling to produce drivers for Windows MCE. Under Windows XP everthing is peachy. The Black Gold is the card of choice for many and works perfectly under Windows MCE too.
     
  8. TopMeTom

    TopMeTom
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    I was hoping NOT to go for windows mce.maybe something a bit different?
     
  9. Big Adam

    Big Adam
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    That's fine!
    If you go with Win XP, then virtually every Freeview and graphics card will be fully supported out of the box.
    If you go down the linux route it requires a little more care and attention.

    There are many 'front-ends' to act as your jukebox interface if required. The Black Gold and Nebula cards both come with their own customised interface software with the Black Gold software having a strong fanbase.
     
  10. TopMeTom

    TopMeTom
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    Linux???
     
  11. Big Adam

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    LOL. Don't worry about it!
    Stick with Windows.
     
  12. TopMeTom

    TopMeTom
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    Does anyone rate the all-in-wonder or should i go with a nvidia?
     

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