HTPC Video Card choices

Discussion in 'Computers' started by John Gates, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    Hi all,

    I built my HTPC about 2 or 3 years ago, and I believe I'm using a Radeon 7200, which was a great card for the purpose a couple years ago. I'm coupling the card with a Windows XP OS and a Sony 1272Q CRT projector and am generally very happy with the results.

    What is the state-of-the-art for video cards in HTPC's these days? Is there a card that would be reasonably affordable that would be a big upgrade over the 7200? What are the obvious choices now?

    Thanks,

    John G
     
  2. JunoVazquez

    JunoVazquez Stunt Coordinator

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    I just upgraded from a Rad 7200 to an NVidia powered eVGA 5600XT. I am happy with the result. A real upgrade for me.
     
  3. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    9600xt or 9800xt if you're a gamer.
     
  4. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    Juno and Scott,

    What improvements am I likely to notice during regular DVD playback?

    Is there an improvement in video quality (with my projector), or is it an improvement in settings/flexibility?

    I'm assuming that both of these cards would run well with XP?

    Thanks for your help!

    John
     
  5. JunoVazquez

    JunoVazquez Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry to miss answering that in the first place John. I had the exact same question before I upgraded my video card.
    The most impressive result that I noticed was the deeper and better darks and blacks that I was missing from my old card.

    I have an LCD FP with 400:1 contrast ratio and with 1600X1200 resolution, the picture looks definitely better than that of the one produced by the Radeon 7000 series card. I get better adjustment results with the gamma correction. Another plus is this AGP card is not equipped with a fan, so I do not have to worry about the additional fan noise that I need to rid off.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    BUMP

    Any other opinions on this one?

    John
     
  7. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    Have you read/seen the MP-1 (Mike Parker) Radeon series modded cards for RGBHV output at AVS? I don't have it personally mind you. I am using a 9000 Pro myself, but have been contemplating a change. I have a Barco 800 CRT.
     
  8. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    No, I haven't seen those. Thanks for the tip! Sometimes it's hard to do basic research on video cards at a site like AVS since there is so much there. You really need some search info to narrow the reading. Thanks!!

    Would this modded card be an upgrade for you, do you think?

    John
     
  9. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    What kind of input are you looking to use from the card to the projector?
     
  10. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    The MP-1 will let you run 5 BNC output from your video card to your projector. I don't know anymore specifics on the further mods to the card though, but suffice to say, those that have had it down are thrilled with the results. I don't think I would do the MP-1 as I need VGA switching between my HTPC and Bell 6000 HDTV satellite receiver right now. If I didn't have the 6000, I would seriously consider it.

    Wayne, CRT projectors typically require an RGB input, in the case of my Barco 800, it is an RGBHV input for high resolution output.
     

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