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somebody
03-11-2008, 09:23 PM
It's been years since I built a PC from scratch, so I'm quite out of touch with where the various technologies are at today. I'm looking at building myself a PC which will last me through the next few years, and one component which I want to try and get the best "bang for buck" out of is the graphics card. I'm aiming to spend as little as possible, while meeting my requirements.

All I need the card to do is
- Run on Windows Vista without any issues
- Do hardware decoding of H.264 (i.e. FreeviewHD)
I don't do any gaming, 3d rendering, or anything like that.

So from those of you who are building/servicing PCs on a regular basis:
- Have you experienced (or heard from your customers) issues with nVidia cards, their drivers, and Windows Vista (i.e. anywhere near the level which the statistics released earlier this year will lead me to believe)? Should I even take this into consideration?
- Do you have any particular suggestions on brands/models etc.?

GameJunkie
03-11-2008, 09:48 PM
have had a look at elive.co.nz?,
they have a good selection of gfx cards, nvidia and ati, at reasonable prices.
you say as little money as possible but could you specify a price range

cheers

georgeks
03-11-2008, 09:49 PM
NVidia cards are laden with overheating issues up to 8800. From 8800GTX and up the issue is not present. ATI still has driver bugs in their releases, so you can go for Nvidia-that is not what I suggest due to personal preferences, so all of you kids out there hold your horses a bit.
Whatever your choice is, make sure your m/b supports SLI or crossfire (or both).
H.264 runs through your video card (the sound too) so the more powerful the beter, even if you don't play any games

wainuitech
03-11-2008, 10:25 PM
Just my :2cents: worth - Personally I use nVidia cards - never really had any problems - one thing and it's personal preference is I ALWAYS use a card with its own cooling fan - Never a straight heat Sink - as they require more airflow through the case to remove the heat created.

Cables and leads if not positioned tidy and correctly can have a huge effect on airflow.

Any card's that I have had problem with over the years have always been with heatsinks and no fans.

Bozo
04-11-2008, 05:41 AM
NVidia cards are laden with overheating issues up to 8800. From 8800GTX and up the issue is not present.
The entire 8800 series has trouble with over heating.

My 8800gtx is sitting here idling at 67 degrees, and under load (Call of Duty 4, Crysis) it easily gets up around the 95 mark. The hotest I have ever had it was 107 degrees :eek:

somebody
04-11-2008, 08:02 AM
Thanks guys. I was hoping to spend less than $100 if possible.

somebody
04-11-2008, 08:15 AM
Georgeks: I've been looking at the 8500GT series - are these the ones you're referring to as having overheating issues?

I also notice the cheaper ATI Radeon HD 3450 appears to also do hardware H.264 decoding. Does anyone have any comments regarding this card?

SolMiester
04-11-2008, 09:14 AM
NVidia cards are laden with overheating issues up to 8800. From 8800GTX and up the issue is not present. ATI still has driver bugs in their releases, so you can go for Nvidia-that is not what I suggest due to personal preferences, so all of you kids out there hold your horses a bit.
Whatever your choice is, make sure your m/b supports SLI or crossfire (or both).
H.264 runs through your video card (the sound too) so the more powerful the beter, even if you don't play any games

WOW, I dont know where to start, other than to say all of those statements are just BS....please do not spread FUD

The 7xxx series had the best cooling ever.....the 88 was hot, the 98xx is hot, the 260/280 are a little hot also, however nothing as bad as the ATI 4xxx series, which while having the best bang for buck, stumbled at the finished line with borderline cooling solutions.

ATI driver bug are from 3-4 yrs ago, the CCC applications doesn't need to be installed circumventing many issues and system hogs.

As for a CF\SLI motherboard, the OP stated they don't game, the ONLY reason to pay the premium for such a board.

As for H.264 decoding, even the budget 4xxx series is amply enough, no need to waste money on a powerful GPU.

somebody
04-11-2008, 09:23 AM
Thanks Sol.

SolMiester
04-11-2008, 09:41 AM
Georgeks: I've been looking at the 8500GT series - are these the ones you're referring to as having overheating issues?

I also notice the cheaper ATI Radeon HD 3450 appears to also do hardware H.264 decoding. Does anyone have any comments regarding this card?

Somebody, the ATI 3xxx series does do decoding, but no where near as well as the new 4xxx series....

I would suggest you read here (http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3420). The latest budget cards with excellent HD decoding...The latest integrated offering from Nvidia is also up to the task, but you will have to wait for the new motherboards.

pctek
04-11-2008, 10:03 AM
one component which I want to try and get the best "bang for buck" out of is the graphics card.

All I need the card to do is
- Run on Windows Vista without any issues
- Do hardware decoding of H.264 (i.e. FreeviewHD)
I don't do any gaming, 3d rendering, or anything like that.


In which case I wouldn't bother. Get a motherboard with integrated graphics (and a PCI-E slot just in case) and concentrate on getting the best CPU you can afford.

somebody
04-11-2008, 10:22 AM
In which case I wouldn't bother. Get a motherboard with integrated graphics (and a PCI-E slot just in case) and concentrate on getting the best CPU you can afford.

If my understanding is correct, having integrated graphics will mean that decoding H.264 content (i.e. FreeviewHD) will be done my the CPU?

SolMiester
04-11-2008, 10:37 AM
If my understanding is correct, having integrated graphics will mean that decoding H.264 content (i.e. FreeviewHD) will be done my the CPU?

No, by the integrated GPU

Silver_Blade
04-11-2008, 05:01 PM
so get a good one maybe a motherboard with HDMI out and onboard graphics...

qazwsxokmijn
04-11-2008, 06:32 PM
I thought hardware decoding is done mostly by the CPU?

In terms of drivers, I have found Nvidia's to be the worst. Granted, the last ATi card I had was an X850XT PE, but from memory I never had any problem (crash, lock up etc) with the card. Ever since the ATi card I've had Nvidia 7900GS, 7900GTX, G80 8800GTS, and 8800GT and 3 of the Nvidia cards gave me problems in one way or another. Nothing major, but they were annoying.

Now I have an ATi 4870, and will install it on Saturday. So haven't had a chance to see if the Catalyst drivers are OK.