A good onboard graphic card or a ” cheap” PCI-E graphic card?

Discussion in 'Mainboards / CPU / RAM' started by Nielsen, November 14, 2010.

  1. Nielsen

    Nielsen Portal Pro

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    I have finally decided to upgrade my HTPC, but I do not know which way to go regarding onboard graphic or not.



    Option 1:
    Buy a MB with a good onbroad graphic card like this one:
    GIGABYTE - Motherboard - Socket AM3 - GA-890GPA-UD3H (rev. 2.1) with a HD4290 graphic card. Is HD4290 big enough for MP?

    Option 2:
    Buy a cheaper MB and an external graphic card like this one:
    GIGABYTE - Graphics Card - ATI - PCI Express Solution - Radeon HD 5000 series - GV-R545SC-1GI (HD5450)

    I expect the MB + HD5450 solution to be at the same price as the onboard HD4290 solution so the MB will be rather cheap.

    But what will give me the best HTPC performance??

    I have not yet decided what CPU to choose but I think I will look for at TPD of 45W or 65W. Will this have any influence of my selection of MB?
     
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  3. MrCrabs

    MrCrabs Portal Pro

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    AW: A good onboard graphic card or a ” cheap” PCI-E graphic card?

    I have got a mainboard in my htpc which comes with the hd4200 chip onboard and it is ok for MP, even HD material plays alright. Since the gigabyte mainboard (I got that one for my desktop pc) has the newer version of that chipset i guess it will work, too. The processor you choose doesn't not unfluence your mainboard choosing except for the socket. MY hfpc work with an amd athlon II x2 250 which has a tdp of 65W and it is way enough for MP.
    For the question of performance I think you should consider, that a cheaper motherboard does not have as many features a the gigabyte one has and maybe those features (like sata III) is what will raise performance for your htpc if you think of ssd or so in future. HD material is what will be the most performance demanding task for the next years for your graphic card, so there you won't need to upgrade soon. And if yo, you still can buy a better one in future.
     
  4. Nielsen

    Nielsen Portal Pro

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    thanks

    I think you have a good point regarding the extra features on the gigabyte. I would properly be at good choose.

    On the other hand, i am start to think about what "power" i can get whit at mini-itx or micro-atx MB instead of a big ATX.
    Maybe i need to move the HTPC in to the living room in the future and then at smaller case would be nice.

    Any experience about a mini-itx at HTPC?
     
  5. MrCrabs

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    AW: A good onboard graphic card or a ” cheap” PCI-E graphic card?

    Not with a mini-itx, but with a micro-atx. I am using the Asus M4A785G-HTPC which comes with an HD4200 onboard and as I said above, it is doing all right with hd material. I am unsing that formfactor just because I was setting up a single seat htpc with as much features available and also as small as possible.
    Mini-tix is only good for a pure client I think, since you will have only one pci(-e) slot and maybe you would want to have more than one tv-card. Another thing about mini-tix cases is, that you will only be able to install one or maybe two 2.5" hdds (or only one 3.5") and that might be quite small.
     
  6. SpudR
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  7. Nielsen

    Nielsen Portal Pro

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    why?

    Can you be a bit more specific.
     
  8. SpudR
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    You asked for a suggestion regarding price and performance - in my opinion the 210 gives you both, it's cheap AND has great performance (look at the specs page I linked to)
    Onboard video sometimes has issues because of sharing resources.
     
  9. Nielsen

    Nielsen Portal Pro

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    Thanks, new i get it:)

    Maybe i will choose to buy a gfx card. I was thinking of a HD5450 through and a cheaper MB, like ASUS M4A87TD.
     
  10. CrashUK

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    Get onboard GFX.. You free up a slot and you save power and less noise and heat inside and you can always get a gfx card later.
     
  11. wonkyd
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