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What HDMI Video card should I upgrade to?


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#1 bigalexe

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 12:00 PM

I would like to change to a video card with native HDMI output, and preferably one that has the audio encoded on-board. Currently I have an XFX Nvidia 8600GT with 256mb DDR3 on the card in a PCIE 2.0 Slot. I would like to make sure the change is an Upgrade in performance, and not a downgrade. I would also like the budget to remain at $100 or less and am partial to XFX hardware and even more-so to Nvidia chipsets.

Usage:
Video intensive applications I use are EVE Online, Call of Duty, and AutoCAD (2010 right now) and EDrawings. If I switch to an HDMI card I will probably be watching movies to on a 37" 1080p television.
AMD Phenom II X6 2.8ghz
8GB DDR3 RAM
XFX ATI Radeon HD6850 1 GB DDR5, 26" Widescreen HDMI
500GB + 80GB HDD
Windows 7 Pro, Mozilla Firefox, AutoCAD 2011, Solidworks 2009
1/19/2012

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 04:57 PM

HDMI is very useful in combining multiple output signals into one cable. HDMI is also the preferred way to view high definition content in a home theater setup. Just remember, you need HDCP compatible devices and a Blu-Ray drive and software to get it to work. Unless you're using SLI or Crossfire, I don't see the need for sticking with a particular manufacturer since all graphics cards from either Nvidia or ATI are usually the same. Also, preferring NVidia or ATI in a non-multi-GPU setup is, frankly, a bit silly, in my opinion. I would go with whichever offered the best performance at the best price. Not all of NVidia's cards offer an integrated HDMI audio processor. You may have to connect a cable from your sound card to the GPU if there is an appropriate pin-out available. I have a 9800GTX and it doesn't even have an HDMI port. However, I do know that the ATI 4xxx series does have audio processing. The SAPPHIRE 100296HDMI Radeon HD 4670 1GB offers good performance, just make sure you have a powerful enough power supply. I'm not sure which Nvidia cards have audio processors built-in, some do have audio pass-through but that requires your sound card to have an available jack. If you're going to be using audio over HDMI, make sure you select in the audio settings menu in your Windows control panel, the graphics card.

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#3 bigalexe

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 06:44 PM

My PSU is a 600W and was upgraded shortly after the current video card was installed. Unfortunately I do not have an Audio Card and have only the Realtek integrated audio chipset.

Also I don't get what you mean by needing a Blu-Ray Drive. I don't own any Blu-Ray devices and my biggest concern is simplifying the hookup between my PC and my Home Theatre. Its much easier to use a single HDMI to plug the PC in as opposed to using a VGA Cable and seperate Audio adapters. I realize of course that using a DVD is of course worse video quality.

Yeah I do understand what you mean by sticking by a brand not in SLI/Crossfire is rather silly, its just my familiarity.
AMD Phenom II X6 2.8ghz
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XFX ATI Radeon HD6850 1 GB DDR5, 26" Widescreen HDMI
500GB + 80GB HDD
Windows 7 Pro, Mozilla Firefox, AutoCAD 2011, Solidworks 2009
1/19/2012

#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 10:51 PM

Video cards are largely the same between manufacturers, as is their purpose. An XFX and an Asus card are largely the same, the only major difference is with the warranty and bundle. Between ATI and NVidia, only the architecture is different, to a point. The same is true with CPU's, though there are not third party manufacturers in that category. If you are not going to be watching high definition content on your TV through your computer, then you probably do not need a Blu-Ray drive. Many people choose to make their PC into a home theater setup and use HDMI and Blu-Ray to get HD pushed out to a TV. This typically requires an HDCP capable connection. I'm not sure if some types of downloaded DRM'd 1080p content from the net requires HDCP or not. At any rate, if your only purpose is to simplify your cable situation, then this would a non-issue. Your audio card, the Realtek, may have hookups to connect to a GPU and provide audio. If it doesn't, then you will need a GPU that has an audio processor built in, like the Radeon above.

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#5 bigalexe

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 12:39 PM

Alright thanks for the more info. There is a free slot on the board where I could add a sound card and those can be had cheap, the Realtek is crap anyway.

Also thanks for the info clarifying the Blu-Ray/HDCP thing. I personally have no interest in Blu-Ray at the moment and currently am only interested in as I stated gaming and maybe Netflix on Demand or a similar service.

I have a good start now.

It appears that for increasing my price point a bit I have found my goal in something like the following:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814102859
That particular card gives me HDMI support along while still maintaining my dual monitor capabilities which are ever so helpful when it comes to drafting.

Edited by bigalexe, 13 December 2009 - 12:50 PM.

AMD Phenom II X6 2.8ghz
8GB DDR3 RAM
XFX ATI Radeon HD6850 1 GB DDR5, 26" Widescreen HDMI
500GB + 80GB HDD
Windows 7 Pro, Mozilla Firefox, AutoCAD 2011, Solidworks 2009
1/19/2012

#6 RainbowSix

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 02:26 PM

That card in particular has too many bad reviews. The only 5750 I found which has overall good reviews is the ASUS.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814121351

Edited by RainbowSix, 13 December 2009 - 02:29 PM.

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#7 DJBPace07

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 05:44 PM

All of the Radeon 5 series cards have Eyefinity, but that is usable if you want to combine multiple monitors into one large screen. The Radeon 4 series also has dual monitors. This is why I selected the 4670, it's within your price range, has HDMI, dual monitor support, and an integrated audio processor. BTW, take the reviews on Newegg with a bucket of salt. Cards are mass-produced and there can be defects, besides, people complain about almost anything. Most of the reviews on that card provide little in-depth information or complain about a situation, such as drivers, that has changed. If you're looking at the Radeon 5, I suggest spending the extra cash and going for the 5770 as it is more powerful. I'm a little confused, you have a 1080p HDTV, but no Blu-Ray playback? That seems like such a waste to me...

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#8 bigalexe

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 07:48 PM

Yes we got a 1080i or 1080p (i cant remember which one exactly and am too lazy to look it up) television over a year ago. We do not watch/rent DVD movies much at all (honestly cant remember the last time we watched one) and instead use the On-Demand service through Cable because we have a HBO/Encore subscription and can get many movies that way. At this time I am looking at getting a Blu-Ray player but for the amount that we would use it, its not worth the cost in my opinion. I will admit I do want a Blu-Ray/DVD Device that is Netflix On-Demand (or a similar service) capable and that is jacking up the price on the devices I am looking at, what would really make me happy is a Netflix Channel for the Nintendo Wii.

I will look at the 4670 cards, I guess I was just a little stuck on dual monitors being the same ports (Dual DVI, or Dual VGA ect.).
AMD Phenom II X6 2.8ghz
8GB DDR3 RAM
XFX ATI Radeon HD6850 1 GB DDR5, 26" Widescreen HDMI
500GB + 80GB HDD
Windows 7 Pro, Mozilla Firefox, AutoCAD 2011, Solidworks 2009
1/19/2012

#9 RainbowSix

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 07:49 PM

BTW, take the reviews on Newegg with a bucket of salt. Cards are mass-produced and there can be defects, besides, people complain about almost anything. Most of the reviews on that card provide little in-depth information or complain about a situation, such as drivers, that has changed.

There are 45 reviews for the Sapphire and 11 of them have a 1/5 rating. Other Radeon HD 5750 cards have a similar ratio. That can't be a coincidence.
Other than drivers, I see complaints about DOAs, card defects, and the fan not working. You know there's a problem when 24% of people who buy the card end up hating it.
Even if it is a driver problem, that still doesn't justify throwing out those reviews. I don't think ATI has even updated the drivers since the 5 series was released.

Edited by RainbowSix, 13 December 2009 - 07:51 PM.

[ Antec 1200 v3 | Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 rev. 3.1 | AMD Phenom II x6 1090T (overclocked to 4GHz) | Corsair XMS3 4x4GB DDR3 1600 | COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W & Visiontek Juice Box 450W | SAMSUNG 470 Series 64GB SSD | WD Caviar Black 640GB & Samsung Spinpoint 2TB HDD | 2x XFX Radeon HD 5770 in Crossfire | SAMSUNG 22X DVD±RW | Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit]

CompTIA A+ certified
Stringfellow Electronics

#10 DJBPace07

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 09:50 PM

All reviews should be considered, but my point is people are more likely to complain than praise and many complaints are either manufacturing defects (as opposed to design defects) or can be fixed with driver updates. There's also a difference in the number of reviews actually posted between the two cards, besides, a 5750 is beyond the OP's price range and if they are willing to go that far over it, they should consider the 5770 instead. Since most cards within a given series cost roughly the same, you should buy on a mixture of price, reliability, bundle, and warranty. There may be a Netflix channel for the Wii eventually but it doesn't do Blu-Ray which offers the best picture. For that, you would need a PlayStation 3 which has one of the best Blu-Ray drives around plus Netflix and the PlayStation Network Store. Oh, and it plays games and upscales DVDs too.

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#11 bigalexe

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:40 AM

Gran Tourismo 5 might convince me to get the PS3 eventually. Also not being in college and quite so strapped for cash.
AMD Phenom II X6 2.8ghz
8GB DDR3 RAM
XFX ATI Radeon HD6850 1 GB DDR5, 26" Widescreen HDMI
500GB + 80GB HDD
Windows 7 Pro, Mozilla Firefox, AutoCAD 2011, Solidworks 2009
1/19/2012

#12 dpunisher

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 10:32 AM

I take Newegg reviews with a grain of salt. Too many idiot newbs claiming to be "Tech Level: high " that don't know how to set up their systems or don't understand how things work. If you find a card, research it, don't depend on Newegg reviews.

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#13 DJBPace07

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 04:08 PM

With the economy so bad and the job market so bleak, enjoy being a cash strapped college student. Any of the cards mentioned above will work well for what you're wanting to do. I enjoy my PS3 and Killzone 2 and Uncharted 2, but it is expensive as is all other consoles. Many home theater reviewers do still say the PS3 has one of the best Blu-Ray drives on the market, years after release.

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#14 Layback Bear

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 07:55 AM

Newegg reviews :thumbsup:. Their is bleeping computer and a lot of sites like it that I would get my reviews from. People who use it, bench test it and real world test it.




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