Integrated Graphics or Video Card? (1 Viewer)


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April 26, 2009
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I am looking into building a Blu-Ray capable HTPC to replace my Atom based movie box. I was wondering if there were any mATX boards with integrated video that would be worth using or if I should go with a PCIe graphics card. It would need to be an AMD based board as I am planning on using the 4850e as my processor.


Retired Team Member
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  • April 7, 2005
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    Germany Germany
    My Favorites so far:
    AMD - Asus M3A78-EM
    Intel - Gigabyte E7AUM-DS2H


    Portal Pro
    March 15, 2008
    I am a huge fan/supporter of discrete video cards now.

    GA-MA74GM-S2 motherboard ($50-55)
    My most favorite mATX board of all time... plenty of features, very energy efficient, cool, modern, and CHEAP.
    HD 4670 ($50-80)
    I'd tell you to get an HD 4650 instead but they are very shaky cards and some of them (depending on the manufacturer/model) don't work correctly. Aka features you should have access to are greyed out... don't waste your time/money with these cards is now my motto.

    The reason I say do this combo is because I've been running a similar rig the past few months like this... and I have to say it's probably the best multimedia related performance you can get without spending a hell of a lot of money on a better processor and then doing all the software configuration. I'm not just talking about HD 1080p playback etc. either... I'm also referring to SD playback which you think wouldn't be too hard to accomplish but you'd be surprised how tricky/intense interlacing can be with mpeg2 material. This will definitely top the 780G's performance and will even surpass the 9400 in SD playback performance (for much cheaper if you play your cards right). They all play close to the same in terms of HD.

    I just snagged a 740g motherboard for $51 last week (Mwave) and an MSI HD 4670 for $55 (Zipzoomfly - a cool and quiet one too!)... that's only $106 for better performance than the Gigabyte E7AUM-DS2H listed above.

    The only problem with using discrete cards... you can't use a low profile case... unless you get a low profile card. But like I said the HD 4650's aren't trust worth enough so I can't recommend their low profile cards... and the HD 4670's don't come in low profile form :/.

    You'll get smooth 1080p playback in both 60hz and 24p (the MediaPortal bug should be fixed soon regarding 24p) and also have full 7.1 LPCM Audio over HDMI. Throw in a cheap processor and some ram and you're good to go!

    Edit: Here's a thread I made a while back at the avsforum's when I was basically asking the same exact question: . There's links out to review sites etc. one specifically compares all the current chipsets and reviews in terms of video playback and powerconsumption. An excellent source too... completely swayed my opinion towards these HD 4670 cards!


    Retired Team Member
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  • November 8, 2008
    This thread definitely worth a look if considering AMD integrated.

    Personally Im a fan of discrete cards, but thats just because a lot of people seem to have difficulties with HD and AMD integrated using MP, (Particularly 1080i in machines with a lesser cpu than a Phenom!)

    HD4550 my personal fav - cheap and will get the job done with 4850e + it has 7.1 out through HDMI. A lot of people here seem to like it... Also readily available in passively-cooled flavour (zero noise) and also in low-pro :) (not sure about passive low-pro though)


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  • June 10, 2008
    New Zealand
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    yeah i have gigabyte 780G mobo with integrated HD3200 (512mb shared memory) and AMD X2 4200+ CPU / 2GB DDR2 800 RAM using XP SP3 and MP 1.0 Final. 1080i is ok fairly good, but a little shakey. I think the HD3200 is pretty much maxed out when doing 1080i. I run the HD3200 overclocked to 600 (Factory clock is 500). I'm not sure if i had HT3 cpu if it would be better. Revision 1.0 of the mobo has a heatsink that gets very very hot, so i have a fan blowing on it.

    Motherboard is fine with 720p / 1080p.

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