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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 09-05-2007, 07:12 PM
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TheraEdge TheraEdge is offline
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HTPC Graphics Card

So, didn't find anything on a search, so I thought maybe I would revitalize this thread with a post on what people feel is the best graphics card for an HTPC. This is mainly because I need suggestions for a card again too. I ended up picking up a card about 8 months ago, that had just a passive heatsync. It was a Leadtek WinFast A6200TDH and it worked OK, but latley the TV out has been flaking out. Didn't really want to get a new one, but I'm not ready to update the TV yet either, and I'm still running a TV without a PC hookup, otherwise I would be fine... I also had the same problem with my out of use GeForce 3 card that the TV out ended up burning out. So, anyone else had the same problem, and what cards is everyone using for low heat cards. I'm just surprised I haven't really seen companies if not building specific cards for HTPC machines, marketing some of their cards that way. Well, have at it all.
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:50 PM
CollinR CollinR is offline
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You can also consider an external VGA>composite converter.

The video card requirementsand pretty basic, I have had much sucess with onboard video from Intel. However you need a VGA, DVI or HDMI interface on the TV... or a VGA>composite converter. Avermedia sells a decent one.
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:00 AM
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The video card I have in my Media Player is an MSI 8500GT that has an HDMI connection on it. It is also passively cooled, a.k.a. fanless. One of the nice surprises I found out after I bought it is that it has the ability to connect to a SPDIF to pass the audio through the HDMI cable as well as the video. Newegg has it for $76 so you really can't beat it. The only issue I have with it is the lack of low-profile ability, but I have read about someone who modded the bracket and made it low-profile. So I guess it could be possible.

http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16814127301

Thanks,
Protoman
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:26 AM
CollinR CollinR is offline
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Much better option then I previsouly mentioned is just getting an MVP, the picture quality is way better then any PC composite output I have seen and you can still use your PC completely independently. In reality I would do this long before a VGA>composite converter, just for some reason didn't think that way at first.
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:48 AM
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Oops, should have mentioned on mine that I am still running AGP slots in this PC, but I do like the look of that 8500, and from what I have seen that means that I can only go with up to a 7 series ge force...

The MVP is a nice option too, I have a friend running one of those, and would consider it, but I'm a little concerned about the future of PVR with the whole cable card thing and switching to digital chanels eventually. The external adapter might just be easiest for right now, but didn't really find anything for VGA or DVI to TV on newegg, but I just browsed a little, so maybe i missed them.
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:21 PM
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So was looking around a little more, and it looks like most of the budget AGP ATI cards I was looking at still seem to have dissapointement with driver support and working well. Some of the nVidia cards seemed to have the same problem. I found an fanless AGP GeForce 7600GS that everyone says runs hot...just noticed it only said it had component (HDTV) out though.

Goes back to I am just surprised no one is running a lower end solution, that runs a really quiet fan or is underclocked to deal with the heat in an enclosed space. All I want is exactly what I want Why is that so hard.

Wish I had registered my other graphics card when I bought it, but RMAing a card isn't exactly a great solution either.
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:03 PM
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FWIW I run a 2600pro with sage and could not be happier with it - great HD acceleration and compatibility is excellent.
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Old 09-11-2007, 12:02 PM
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Gentlemen,
what OS are you running ? I am also looking for a video card to drive a display at 1080p rates (over DVI) , but using XP, not Vista. I will probably move to Linux before I switch to Vista....

I have read a lot of postings on the HD 2600 and the 8500/8600 cards with no clear winner emerging, but this is mostly on Vista. What is known to work on XP ? should I buy a 7600 and call it a day ?
I am not a gamer and am building a box to act as a sage network encoder + client, so I would like to keep the load off the CPU (AMD 3500 or 4200X2 depending on what I can get away with) and push all the hard work into the video card.

Finally, one more requirement, since slot space is at a premium on my MSI K8NGM2-FID motherboard, the graphics card's heatsink can't intrude into the PCI slot next to it. The PCIe X1 slot on the backside of the card is unused, however. I did try the integrated graphics adapter, but it was hopeless on 1080i....

Any recommendations ? should I trash the mobo and get a G33-based one ? processors are pretty cheap these days...
Thanks a lot,
Stefano
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Old 09-11-2007, 12:16 PM
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I am running on XP right now, and just sent in my order for a Radeon 9550 that was a good price. Figured I would see if the TV out will last longer on this one. The card I ordered was a fanless one, but I picked up a nice Zalaman quiet fan with the intent to run it as slow as possible, but it should still give some airflow around the GPU then, hoping to maybe use it in a future entertainment center PC that I don't know if I will have a lot of airflow in because of noise considerations. Anyway, we will see how that goes.

As for you, stefano540, most modern graphics cards I believe should be able to take care of that resolution from my understanding, especially since you are just going to run it through the DVI. Like you see with this post, there doesn't seem to be a real clear choice for any HTPC use. There are many single slotted solutions out there right now with fans and without. As mentioned earlier I think my 6200A card is still working fine all except for the TV out, so if I had a DVI or VGA in on my TV I would be fine still...without a fan though, it does seem to run a little hot, but it has never caused it problems so I wasn't worried about it...not sure if that really had any effect on teh TV out though..
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Old 09-11-2007, 12:43 PM
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stefano540 stefano540 is offline
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Thanks TheraEdge,
I am sure your Radeon 9550 will work well. I have a Rosewill 9600 passively cooled in one of my clients, driving a conventional TV through S-Video, and there were no issues. Runs cool without much airflow (shuttle SS 51G).

My request, however, is a little more involved than just the basic interface. I did try a Gigabyte 6600 GT (passive) + purevideo, and it worked but the stuttering and smearing were unacceptable. I had better results with a Radeon X1600, but not quite perfection yet. That same Radeon is now driving my projector (in a different computer) at 1360X768 just fine.
I think a 7600 might do it, but that card is basically obsolete now, so the 8600 would be the obvious choice, if it weren't for the driver issues on XP, I think.
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Old 09-11-2007, 12:47 PM
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Enormous Enormous is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheraEdge View Post
Oops, should have mentioned on mine that I am still running AGP slots in this PC, but I do like the look of that 8500, and from what I have seen that means that I can only go with up to a 7 series ge force...
Since you mentioned that, check out the link in this post. Seems like good news for those of us stuck in AGP land!
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