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Graphics card confusion


i know this sort of question has been asked a million times but i'm not completely pc savvy and dont really understand the differences between all the cards. i'm just after a few options without spending a fortune

the point on my HTPC is simply for HD movie playback, both from disc and from iso blu-rays.

i am currently using the onboard graphics, via HDMI on the mobo

i want to know if
A. a graphics card would improve things
B. what card, needs to be silent, preferably have HDMI out

i'm not much of a pc gamer so not to bothered about that. i may get a flight sim in the future

smooth HD media playback at 1080p is a must and as quiet (silent) as possible, i would stretch to £80 but i'm hoping i can go much cheaper than that
Last edited:


Active Member
Hi, first of all - what motherboard / onboard gpu do you have?

If its quite old then adding any low end latest generation gpu (ATI 4350 / 4550 or equivelent Nvidia) for £40 will allow you to play (hardware accelerated encoded) 1080P movies with ease. If its a newish motherboard with onboard HD3200 / 8200 or the like then poor playback is likely down to codecs.


hi sheepish,

it has hd3200 OB, playback isn't poor at the moment, just thought a decent card would make it better, maybe i'm wrong and the onboard is doing as good a job?


Active Member
its not worth upgrading as that motherboard has basically the same hardware decoding as standalone graphics cards when it comes to bluray etc...


Well-known Member
mobo is GA-MA78GM-S2H
As above you will get little or no improvement on HD material but you would possibly get an improvement in SD. You state you are only looking for HD so I would stick with what you have

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