I don't NEED a video card with HDMI. It has to have either HDMI or DVI for getting VIDEO out from the PC to the LCD TV. The system has an upgraded PCI soundcard that can't do digital sound but that's okay with me. The audio quality is still fine. I don't use the speakers for my LCD TV. The sound out of both my blu ray player, the TV, and the PC connect to a Denon stereo receiver (which also can't do digital audio). I know it sounds like I'm living in the dark ages when it comes to technology! Just trying to improve one thing here: streaming video content from the internet and from files on my PC.
I just want to summarize a few things:
I had a question about power consumption for video cards. My motherboard has an AGP 4x slot. From another post, I found out as long as my system is using AGP 2.0, I can use an 8X card and still get the 1.5V required for the video card. However, the performance of the card will still be 4x (and from my system specs I can verify I've got an AGP 4X slot), but the power supply should be correct. Only the oldest systems have AGP 1, which uses 3.3V. See here: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/printpage/AGP-Bus-Tutorial/155
Regarding power consumption, despite manufacturer recommended minimum power consumption requirements, there's an article that states a Radeon HD 4350 video card (recommended to be run in a system with a minimum of 300 watt power supply) actually draws no more than 20 watts. See here: http://www.easyecoblog.com/479/low-power-consumption-computer-video-card-ati-radeon-hd-4350/ I suspect this is the case with most video cards (except the most expensive ones), so it's very unclear to me why the recommended minimum watts for the power supply unit is so much higher than what the card actually needs. Similarly, if you go to this website to estimate recommended power supply http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp it only adds 20 watts for a card like the NVIDIA GEforce FX 5500.
So, unless I still am missing more important info (while aware that dc3 is still insisting my power supply unit is not enough watts), I'm at the point where I'm trying to investigate several cards that have these specs:
1. For my system (AGP 4X compatible) must be an AGP 4x or 8x card (given 8x is backwards compatible and will still work but only at 4x)
2. At least 1 DVI port to send VIDEO (not audio) out to an LCD TV
3. At least one other port for a computer mointor (can be VGA, HDMI, or DVI. I have read that graphics actually still work best with a VGA connector for a computer monitor rather than HDMI).
4. Needs to be capable of "dual" monitor connection, not just having choice of connectors. There seems to be some disagreement whether all video cards that have several different connectors available (VGA, HDMI and DVI) can be connected to two monitors at the same time.
5. onboard RAM of at least 256 MB
6. the card should have specs indicating no more than a recommended power supply unit of about 300 watts (and this one I am still very unclear about, especially given a) the AGP slot is pulling power from the motherboard, and b.) the full power of the video card is not likely to be as high as 250 - 300 watts so it's unclear how they are estimating this "minimum" power supply.
Here's a couple that I think may fit the above needs:
nVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 256 MB 256MB AGP 4X 8X Video Card
EVGA GeForce 6200 LE 512 MB DDR2 AGP 8X VGA/DVI-I/S-Video Graphics Card, 512-A8-N403-LR (I believe this one is 4x and 8x compatible)
(This one recommended by Itc above):
HIS H435F512HA Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit DDR3 AGP 4X/8X HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card
SPARKLE 700018 GeForce FX 5200 256MB 128-bit DDR AGP 8X Video Card
I don't know if one of these has any advantage over the other, but the Radeon is the most expensive ($60).
Edited by peterk312, 14 January 2014 - 06:44 PM.