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A little graphics card help required

Discussion in 'Building a new PC' started by mental2k, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. mental2k

    mental2k Member

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    Hi, I've just built (or am in the process of building) an HTPC for my house. I kinda came to this by a roundabout route, so I need some help.

    I have an old PC I use for emulators and recently got into DIY audio. To this end I bought an audigy 2zs soundcard. So far so good. I decided I might as well make this a HTPC what with the 7.1 surround and all.

    Unfortunately the PC is not really up the video aspect of things. I was hoping to get away with just adding a new graphics card, as I intend to spend all my money building amps and speakers.

    The current spec is as follows:

    2.6GHz P4 Based Celeron (Likely my biggest problem)
    1GB DDR RAM (a second gig is on the way)
    Geforce FX 5200 AGP
    Audigy 2ZS sound card
    GA-8SIML Rev 1.0 motherboard.

    AGP slot is 1x/2x/4x compatible according to the manual.

    Basically I am looking for a graphics card which is either AGP or PCI will do all the video decoding for me and has HDMI or DVI(you can convert that to HDMI can't you?) and VGA (Obviously)

    I had looked at ATi's HD4350 range, but I've heard mixed reports about how well it does DXVA and if its compatible with XBMC for this purpose.

    Any help is most appreciated.

    Alex
     
  2. samshizze

    samshizze Member

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    Ive never owned an AGP card so can't really help you with that. I know if you deal with rebates you can get a 1GB PCI express card for under $100, and most of them have HDMI out and some have the new Display Port out. You just have to look around. Newegg.com is a good start.

    You can output HD video with DVI, but remember DVI doesn't transport sound so you will need a seperate cable for that. That's why I like HDMI since it has both video and audio.

    Most of the newer video cards with 1GB or more onboard video memory will handle DXVA, but many media players do not support using the Graphics Card instead of your Processor memory. I think VLC media player was updated to use your Graphics card but not sure.

    Another thing to consider is power supply. You will probably need at least a 400w power supply, maybe more depending how nice a Graphics card you get
     
  3. mental2k

    mental2k Member

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    The problem is the mobo doesn't support PCI-E or I'd be laughing. I've also heard the 8400GS PCI card is quite good. I don't mind having to upgrade the PSU as I'll probably put a silent PSU in at some point anyway. I really don't mind about the sound, as the audigy handles this, and will be what is outputting to my amp anyway.
     
  4. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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  5. scorpNZ

    scorpNZ Active member

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    I wouldn't expect a graphic card of AGP to do any encoding or even hardware acceleration for that matter,certainly not a 4x mobo you'd be lucky to get an 8x mobo to do it tho your chances would be better,for encoding on that machine assuming this is converting & compressing a dvd to avi or whatever i wouldn't waste my time,try doing it now it will give some idea of why i say that,it will be fine for ripping & xbmc will be ok as your hardware is now tho a standalone version of xbmc would be better either the live installer or from the sabayon 5 install disc (option is given to install xbmc as a standalone & is my preference of xbmc on the computer),

    presario s5020an
    2.0ghz athlon
    2gb ram -around a max of 800mb is about all that gets used will rarely go above 1gb in use if it all,perhaps once a year it will
    ATi hd 3600 AGP 4x/8x mobo is max of 4x card doesn't support encoding or hardware accell

    As for so called ATi hd i can't see the diff between this card or the old std nvidia card on my other presario which is set up the same tho the nvidia card isn't hd,also the dual core 2009 optiplex 755 mini tower with pci express hd2400 card (lowest of the hd series) doesn't seem to make any diff to picture quality either & this is on a 19" hd dell monitor,again no video encode capability or hardware accell unless i upgrade,however the dell is the only comp that i can get a vid card for that will support encoding


    summary:
    get a newer comp if your intending to encode & shrink movies otherwise your machine as is would be fine to run xbmc with no upgrades at all,perhaps a graphic card upgrade to 256-512mb if it was really dirt cheap & new,otherwise test run now to see how xbmc performs it doesn't require massive power
     
  6. samshizze

    samshizze Member

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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  7. mental2k

    mental2k Member

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    Hi, thanks for the help. Are these cards good for DXVA? That's really what I'm after. I know the AGP cards are faster than the PCI, but if they can't or don't feature the ability to basically do all the video decoding the speed advantage is moot.

    Oops didn't see the latest replies. Yeah I've tried XBMC, its fine music, but the video is seriously laggy, it buffers ever 10-15 seconds when playing divx movies. The problem is I have heard that the ATi cards may have issues with this and you need to use PowerDVD9 codecs and a specific catalyst driver. I've no idea how this would work with XBMC. So I'm kinda asking about.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  8. scorpNZ

    scorpNZ Active member

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    When installing mpc it will say only computers after 08 will support DXVA,my ATi hd3600 doesn't mmm i see what you mean (link below),i find that odd as i find cyberlink 10 which is what i use for dvd playback is extremely resource hungry in ram & cpu,it's not so bad on the dual core but on the presario it most definatley is,maybe that's down to the g card not do the decoding,however the 3600 card works fine using xbmc & playing 720p,unfortunatly i don't have any 1080 stuff to try out on it,however the 3600 card was bouth for playing 720p as the nvidia card i had model 7600gs (i'm pretty sure it was that model) couldn't play those files it was doing what your one is doing

    http://blog.zachsaw.com/2009/06/ati-hd-hardware-accelerated-dxva-for.html
     
  9. mrslicker

    mrslicker Regular member

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    the problem with agp is its aged enough that the prices are above and beyond the value. ive heard the advice that two years after purchasing a computer is the best time to upgrade. that probably doesent help you too much, mental2k, but its a rule of thumb to keep in mind. /lator
     

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