Would a new Graphics card make a difference in an HTPC?

hawky525

Active Member
Hello,
I've got a bit of an antiquated HTPC which deals with normal TV rips and films just fine, however stuggles with any HD content above a few Gb in size.
Rather than upgrading all of the hardware my first thoughts are with buying a new graphics card which can handle dxva to offload the HD processing from the CPU.
But I'm not sure how successful this would be or which card I would choose if it would work out ok.
At present the PC specs below will play some HD rips for a few minutes, but will then start stuttering or the audio will loose it's tracking with the video, rendering most films unwatchable!

My HTPC specs are:

AMD 4000+ (Socket 939 @ 2.41Ghz)
Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
1Gb Generic Ram (2x 512Mb Sticks)
X800GTO2
Corsair HX520 PSU
Silverstone Lascala LC17S Case (HTPC - Full ATX)
Windows XP - Media Centre 2002 Edition
Samsung 40M87 (1920x1080)

The PC is only used for watching online streaming content (iPlayer etc), TV shows and movies (BD Rips etc).
Link 1.
Link2.
Link 3.
The three links above were some quick ideas I found from searching on two sites, would they be suitable?
The card would have to be passively cooled as I am currently trying to make the PC silent and preferably below £50.

Alternatively what sort of budget would I be looking at to build a basic PC to run the HD rips?

Any advice would be great.
 
Last edited:

mitchy24

Novice Member
yeah mate , upgrading your video card would be wise.. It will take away some of the stress on the cpu , giving you better results...
 

Clunk

Well-known Member
Ideally, a dual core processor is recommended as a minimum for stutter free HD playback. Even so, you should see a decent improvement on your system with any of the three cards you've linked to. They are all designed with HD playback in mind, unlike your X800 which is now a dated gaming card.

Mind you, do you use the computer for gaming at all? If so, the HD 4550 will be a step down in performance (although it will run more games than the x800 card, which cannot run anything using SM 3.0 or higher). The other two cards though, particularly the HD 4670 by a long stretch, will outperform your x800 in this area as well.

Also consider the HD 4650, which is between the 9500GT and the HD 4670 in terms of performance, but priced around the same as the 9500GT.
 

hawky525

Active Member
Ideally, a dual core processor is recommended as a minimum for stutter free HD playback. Even so, you should see a decent improvement on your system with any of the three cards you've linked to. They are all designed with HD playback in mind, unlike your X800 which is now a dated gaming card.

Mind you, do you use the computer for gaming at all? If so, the HD 4550 will be a step down in performance (although it will run more games than the x800 card, which cannot run anything using SM 3.0 or higher). The other two cards though, particularly the HD 4670 by a long stretch, will outperform your x800 in this area as well.

Also consider the HD 4650, which is between the 9500GT and the HD 4670 in terms of performance, but priced around the same as the 9500GT.
Thanks for the replies.

The PC is merely a Media PC, I have a gaming PC in the other room so not bothered about how well it plays games, just how well it plays movies :D.

I've been doing some research into the ATI cards and DXVA, and found that people are running into issues with codecs and ATI's drivers for playback. Whereas I'm not hearing as much bad feedback about Nvidia cards.

I've found that Nvidia are releasing the GT 220 (a 40nm version of the 9600gt maybe?) in three weeks acording to the bumph I can find and am wondering if this would be the perfect card, or to just go with one of the linked Nvidia cards above...
 

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