Vid card?



I've just refurbished my main PC to include Media Center as the OS, bought me a HH PVR-500 TV card, got some nice new DVD drives etc. The idea was to use this as the sole Media Center PC and to hook it up to my TV via an Extender.

I've changed my mind :)

I want a second PC which will fit in the lounge next to the plasma (networked to my existing PC). I'll need case, PSU, mobo, chip, RAM, a HDD (or four), and a graphics card. I thought of getting a pre-built system, but the cheapest suitable was £700 and I figure that, given that I have some of the components I need (DVD drive, OS, TV card etc), I could build a far superior machine for less than that £700.

My question is really on the vid card I should buy, but any general opinions would be recvd with interest.

MS lists compatible (ATI - my choice at the mo...) cards as:

ATI Mobility RADEON 9800
ATI Mobility RADEON X800
ATI Mobility RADEON X700
ATI RADEON 9800 Series
ATI RADEON X700 Series
ATI RADEON X800 Series
ATI RADEON X850 Series

Interestingly (or not), many of the box shifters are using X300s in their MC systems...

My q is therefore what is suffcient for a media center PC from the list (ignoring the mobility cards)? I don't need a games capable card (have that on my main PC), so what is best for the telly? My TV is HD ready and is capable of (apparently) 1280x1024p. I've always used ATi (at least since Matrox lost the plot years ago) - are they a better choice for MC?

Any thoughts appreciated.

Deleted member 39241

Nvidia 6600 and purevideo decoder - the card and codec combo of choice at the moment :)


The X300 is being used by the box shifters as it's integrated on the motherboard with s-video out.


deleted member said:
Nvidia 6600 and purevideo decoder - the card and codec combo of choice at the moment :)

Thanks Lisa. Hope ATi don't send someone round to chastise me with a baseball bat for deserting them :)


Standard Member
I highly recommend one of the passive cooled cards, not having extra fan noise is a big plus in a media centre machine. Something like the Geforce 6600 GV-NX66128DP by Gigabyte.

I happen to be selling one on ebay at the moment, if you are interested. :)

Reason I am selling it is that I too built a media centre, and it became my TV. Then the graphics card failed, so I had no TV. I had mail ordered the card, and couldn’t wait for the turnaround on it. So just went and bought a much more expensive replacement locally. Meantime I returned the defective card, only to be told that a refund wasn’t possible, and I would have to take an exchange. So, I currently have one spare.


Just seen the bit where you say you don;t want a games capable card, so removed my entry.. :suicide:

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