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Geforce 6200 vs. 6600?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm building an HTPC on a budget, and I need opinions on whether a cheap Geforce 6200 would be enough, or if I should spend more and get a Geforce 6600 card.

Apparently the main differences are clock speed and things like Inverse Telecine.

I will primarily be using it for standard DVD playback with TheaterTek or PowerDVD, and standard broadcast TV with an old ATI TV-Wonder card. I hope to add OTA HD to it someday, but I'm not worried about that right now. This will be a dedicated video and MP3 playback system, no gaming.

Will the lack of Inverse Telecine make that big of a difference with DVD's when using TheaterTek?

It will be installed on a Gigabyte GA-K8U-939 motherboard with an Athlon 64 3100+ and 1GB Ram. Will be Running Windows MCE. I only run at 800x600 resolution into my old CRT projector at the moment, so no concerns about high-res graphics.

Geforce 6200 AGP cards are only ~$40 these days, so if the 6200 is good enough, I'm all for it. I actually use one in my desktop PC and I love it. My last card was an FX5900XT, and I haven't had good luck getting smooth DVD playback with that card in my HTPC test setup.

Another plus is the 6200 has no fan to go bad like the faster cards do.
post #2 of 13
A 6200 should be just fine for DVD. Underpowered for HD imo though.

However, you should look at the newer 7 series geforce cards. A 7300 sized card would be better than the older 6200. Also, you can find the 'faster cards' without fans, you can get a 7600GT fanless for certain.

For further info: http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo_support.html

post #3 of 13
Ditto on the 7600GT suggestion. In particular, Gigabyte has a passively cooled version. I have two of them, and they rock. The 6200 is probably exactly what you need, for right now. It's probably a dead end in the future.

The 7600GT consumes much less power than the 6600, which should equate to less heat and less noise (see Xbitlabs for the details). There is not currently a passive 7600GT with HDCP, which you may care about for future HD-DVD and Blu-ray. Your processor is underpowered for HD.

The 6200 will definitely be underpowered for HD.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I found some 7600GT cards, but they are 3 times the price of a 6200. Will I notice much of an improvement over the 6200 for regular DVD playback?

I can always use the 6200 in another computer later, so I may just start with that.

Hopefully the stuttering/dropped frames in PowerDVD will stop after I upgrade from this FX5900XT.
post #5 of 13
Some nVidia cards have different features that are not what you would expect by their numbering schemes. The 6200 (at least one model) can be very deceiving.

Probably a good idea to check out this matrix first:

Compare the features and it's less likely you'll regret your choice.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, I ordered a 6200 to start, since it was only $40. Looks like the only thing I'll be missing besides clock speed is Inverse Telecine and Bad Edit Correction.

I'll go for a 7600GT for my next upgrade, when the price is a bit lower. I have lots of computers, so the 6200 will always have a home. And this way I can do a side by side comparison.

But I can't believe the Geforce 8 series is already out. I remember when the FX5950U was top of the line and big $$$. Hell, I paid $439 for my original Geforce3 when I bought it
post #7 of 13
I know, as my mom has a 6200, that if you playback a DVD with Inverse Telecine enabled (the card doesn't support it...probably hands over this process to the CPU instead) that the video stutters. I was trying to solve this problem with The Art of Piano DVD and it played back perfectly after I disabled it.
post #8 of 13
I'd be interested to hear more about this card and peoples' experiences with it. I'm thinking about getting it for a low powered PC as well. It seems to me that if you're not worrying too much about HD content, the 6200 is a great way to get hardware decode acceleration and some image processing while paying very, very little money. At a budget that's capped at say $50, is there a better HTPC type card out there than a 6200 solution?
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
I ended up having great results with the 6200 after I fixed my skipping problem, which was caused by the onboard audio. The latest nVidia Purevideo codecs work great with this ~$35 card, and it had a much crisper, cleaner picture than the $300 FX5900XT that I was using before.

The 6200 is also available in both AGP and PCI-E from what I can tell, so it will work with pretty much any configuration.

There are also some cards in the Geforce 7 series that are similarly priced and can do even more.

Either way, I don't see myself going back to the standalone DVD player and line doubler any time soon.
post #10 of 13
Thanks for the feedback! It sounds like the 6200 may be the right choice for me as well. I have seen a number of cards around $40 and am waiting for a great deal on 'em.

You mentioned Geforce 7-series cards around the same price--which models?
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Looks like the 7300LE and a couple other lower end models are the only 7 series for ~$50. There is a chart on the nVidia website that compares all models for use with the Purevideo decoders.

The card I bought is an XFX GF6200 AGP, and it doesn't need a fan for cooling, which makes it nice for an HTPC.
post #12 of 13
I opted for the 7300LE as well because it just didnt make sense to pay $12 less for the 6200. I got the ASUS EN7300LE-HTD... which also has no fan & seemed like a sweet deal.
post #13 of 13
Looks like I'll be going with the 6200... there doesn't seem to be a Geforce 7-series card under $100 for AGP users. The 7300 series looks to be PCI-E only.
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