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Suggestion for cheap PCI-E card


The Analog Kid
I'm building a system for a buddy and need a suggestion for a cheap PCI-E card. Here's my criteria: I'd like to spend less than $50, preferably passively cooled, dedicated memory. He will not be playing games. I just want something stable. It will be going into an AMD X2 system.


The Analog Kid
I know my Powercooler ATI 9250 AGP has been running great since I got it. It can't possibly be true that only high end gamer-class cards are reliable...


Political User
any known brand is ok nowadays (evga, xfx, asus, msi, sapphire, powercooler, etc.)

like with any hardware they may fail, but you got reliable support
it tends to be the high end cards that are unreliable as they are pushing the limits of what all that silicon can do and get to such crazy temperatures with the parallel processing they do.
Yes, that ASUS 1300 looks like the best deal for under $50.

Nvidia has some close offerings (7100) cheaper but I beleive the ATI cards have built in codec accelerators for watching videos and encoding/decoding. So for $10 more I'd do the ATI card. Not sure I ever heard of Nvidia having any hardware video acceleration.


Political User
i think with nvidia cards you need the purevideo thing (also needed for h.264 hardware assisted decoding)
wmv hd acceleration doesn't need any extra software

i have no idea how the avivo works on ati cards
you only need purevideo if you want it tio hardware assist with anyting other than normal WMV and MPEG2. WMV HD, etc need purevideo and the gpu's woth purevideo support.


Political User
are you sure you don't need purevideo for mpeg2 hardware assisted decoding?
i know for sure that wmv (sd or hd) doesn't need it and that h.264 needs it, but i have no idea how it works for mpeg2


OSNN Senior Addict
all ATI x1300 (or maybe radeon 9500, my memory is sketchy :p ) series and geforce 5200 and up do at least mpeg2 decoding. all cards geforce 6600GT and up are capable of H264 decoding. not sure about which line of ATI does H264, me being an nvidia user. i guess the x1300 and up

WMV acceleration, in ATI (and i'm sure the same goes with nvidia) just needs recent drivers and microsoft's decoders.

they all do hardware mpeg2 decode when used with WMP.
player is irrelevant, what's needed is the proper card, drivers and decoder. almost every commercial decoder supports DXVA, including the two most popular, WinDVD/Intervideo and PowerDVD/Cyberlink :)

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