Suggestions for video card under $100 (1 Viewer)


Portal Member
November 2, 2005
Hi all,

Please let me say thanks for all that have worked on MP, awesome!

I'm putting together an HTPC from the following new and spare parts and would really appreciate advice on a good inexpensive video card:

ASUS P4S800-X motherboard
P4/3.0E Prescott 1MB CPU
CORSAIR D400 1GB Ram (512X2)
Seasonic S12-330 PS
2 Panaflo 80mm Fans
Seagate Baracuda 120GB 7200RPM HD
ATI TV Wonder PRO (Will be upgrading to Hauppage probably)
XITEL Pro HiFi-Link USB Audio (SPDIF Out)
X-10 Firecracker C17A and UR51A remote
Netgear G Wireless USB NIC as well as 10/100 card

I'm going be purchasing either a 42 or 50 hdtv plasma soon (still watching prices drop) but for now just have Sony crt so I'll want hdtv and svideo outs.
I rarely play games but wouldn't mind the ability so will probably go for 128 or 256 ram card. I would like to take full advantage of all the features of MP as I have an extensive library of lossless audio, mp3, movie files in mpg,avi,ts formats so I would like good video performance. I get my feed from digital comcast cable and I currently rent 2 motorola dvr boxes with a total of 4 hdtv tuners and my goal is to eventually replace 1 if not both.

Am I being too cheap here in going for a card for under 100? I've read tons of posts here and a few have recommended Geforce 6200 cards
Found what looks like a couple of good deals on that one at Newegg for $63
ASUS N6200/TD/128 Geforce 6200 128MB 64-bit DDR AGP 4X/8X
or another with 256 Ram for $71
Rosewill RW62A-256 GeForce 6200A 256MB DDR AGP 4X/8X
The only problem is that I haven't seen too many people who actualy have these cards and haven't had any problems.

Geforce FX 5200 seem to be popular and can be had for almost half the price as well. Many also have ati cards of one type or another. Also don't know if it would be better to swap out the TV Wonder and get a ATI ALL-IN-WONDER 9600XT 100-714120 Radeon 9600XT 128MB 128-bit DDR VIVO AGP 4X/8X for $170 but probably have to buy a cooler for that as well

My main goal is stability and a card that will likely to be supported in this project.

Any feedback with your personal experience with MP and cards in this ballpark would be appreciated.



Portal Pro
January 9, 2005
First of all, the links are backwards (Rosewill <> ASUS).
Both those cards will work fine. Actually, any DirectX 9 card should work.

The FX5200 cards will work but they strip out a lot of features from the higher end NVidia cards. Compare the specs on the NVidia page to see what they took out. I currently don't have one so I don't have personal experience with them.

The ATi 9550 cards are a little cheaper than the 9600 series. They are slower for 3D games but still have the features of the more expensive cards which is why they are priced between the 5200 and 9600.
I have a 9600se in one machine and a Radeon Xpress 200 based board running MP and both work well. I also built a system for someone else based on the earlier Radeon chipset which is roughly equivalent to a 9250 and it works fine for MP but is slower for many things since the DirectX 9 support is partially software (not good for games).

If you just want to watch movies, play music and record TV even a 9250 should do the trick. But if you have the money I'd say get as fast as you can afford since you don't know what future versions of MP or Windows will require or what else you may want to run on it.

Someone else will have to comment on tuner cards.


Portal Member
March 15, 2005
Reading, England
I can definately recommend the Radeon 9550. I've got a passive cooled Gigabyte 9550 with 256Mb, and it runs games fine. Not at top resolutions, but GTA San Andreas is certainly playable. Cheap and silent, suits me fine.

Using ATITool I was also able to overclock the core from 250Mhz to 370Mhz without any loss of stabilty or BIOS mods.

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