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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Windows Media Center Edition computer with the following setup:


Athlon 64 3000+ Socket 754

512m RAM (upgrading to 1Gb shortly)

ATI Radeon 9800 PRO


I want to change out my loud 9800 PRO for a passive video card but according to Tom's Hardware, the only card with no fan that's comperable to the 9800 PRO is the nVidia 6600. My question is, what is your experience with the following cards handling HDTV at 1920x1080i resolutions.


I don't want to buy all the cards, test them out and then return the ones I don't want, rather'd get the groups opinion:


AGP:

9600SE 64bit edition ~$45

9600SE 128bit edition ~$55

9600 128M edition $~70

9600 256M edition $~75

9600 PRO "value" edition (400mhz memory clock) $~75

9600XT w/ Heat Pipe from Sapphire $106

nVidia 6600 $130


Cost, as always, is a factor and since I don't play games on this machine, it's just used for MCE I want to get the least expensive card that can handle HDTV well.


Any advice is appreciated.


Jason
 

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The 9800pro handles 1080i w/ no problem. Better PQ than the 9600 IMHO. Just get the ARCTIC Cooler VGA Silencer for about $20.00. It has 2 fan speeds and it is silent.

Downside, it takes up 2 slots.....mike.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yeah 2 slots is a problem since I use a MicroATX rig with 3 PCI slots and they are taken up by:


Standard TV Tuner

ATSC HDTV Tuner

7.1 Sound Card


Thanks so much for the advice.


Jason
 

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I used to use a regular 9600 128MB on a P4 2.8c system, 512MB. It was not enough for 1080i, it would stutter too much to watch (720p was fine). I switched to a 6600GT and it is fine now. I am using the Nvidia decoder in MCE.


HTH,

Brian
 

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Sapphire has a Zalman heatsink'd 9800 Pro. I had it for a little while and it worked great. It's $175 at Newegg if you'd like to stick with the 9800.


I can't add the link for some reason, but do a search at newegg in Computer Hardware>Video Cards>Sapphire 9800
 
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