Best New HTPC Graphics Cards 2012 - 2013
Customize your HTPC
If you're a serious home theater fan, then a HTPC or home theater PC is a must have for all of your movies, photos, and entertainment. You've probably seen or maybe even used the new Roku streaming player, Apple TV, or even a Patriot media box. While these media players are good for users simply wanting Hulu or access to Netflix they don't offer you near the flexibility that your own built HTPC has. If you can't afford a new PC, then I strongly recommend you use that old one that's been in storage and upgrade it a little bit so that you can use it as your PC media center. This may require adding additional ram, but most importantly a new graphics card. .
To the right I've given you a short list for my favorite home theater graphics cards based on low price, inputs, performance, and customer rating. They're also all low-profile. If you're looking for one to put in your gaming PC that will double as your HTPC, then I recommend you look at my article on the best gaming GPU.
Best Low Profile HTPC - Home Theatre Graphics Cards 2012
A cheap card with an HDMI Out. Great for your basic home theater PC and for playing some of your favorite games.
While this isn't the smallest card you'll find out there, it gives you great performance for the price.
EVGA GeForce 8400 GS
If you're not planning to do any gaming on your HTPC, then I'd stick with something like the as it has everything you need for your media center PC at one of the most affordable prices available. EVGA is also one of the most trusted and reliable graphics card manufacturers in the industry. Many of their higher ends graphics cards come with a lifetime warranty. This particular model gives you a 2 year warranty if you register it online. EVGA GeForce 8400 GS
Core clock 520MHz, Shader Clock 1200MHz, Low Profile form factor, 8 stream processors, 1 x HDMI, 1 x D-SUB, DVI connector, and a maximum resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels.
HIS Radeon HD 4670 H467QR1GH Review
While this isn't the cheapest HTPC card out there it does pack a lot of power for the price and have everything you'd want for your home theater PC. I also like that it doesn't require any external power. If you're trying to build your HTPC on a budget or are trying to stick to around 400w, then this is a plus. It's also extremely durable and well-rated.
Across several retail sites it averages 5 stars across more than 250 customer ratings. It also gives you the flexibility to play some newer less intensive games while hooked into your HDTV. Verified owners have reported being able to play Starcraft 2, Portal 2, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, WOW on Ultra Settings, Call of Duty, and even Crysis2. If you needed additional power you could always crossfire this card as well; however, most users understand that this card is not meant for overclocking.
Specifications for the HIS Radeon HD 4670 include a max resolution of 2560 x 1600, memory clock of 1600MHz, 1GB memory, DDR3 (type), and HDMI, D-Sub, and DVI connectors.
As far as space goes this card is not the smallest graphics card if you're looking to use a HTPC case. Be sure to check the specifications of your case before purchasing. It should still fit in many Micro-ATX cases.
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What's the Best Graphics Card for HTPC in 2012?See results without voting
- Best nVidia GeForce Graphics Cards for Gaming 2012
If you're looking specifically for a nVidia (rather than Radeon) Graphics Card, then here's a post on the top rated cards of 2011.
- Best Gaming Video Cards 2012
This is a review written specifically for gamers looking for the right video card. It shows relative performance for price levels.
Building your HTPC is super easy. Look at the video above as well as other informational ones on YouTube. Be sure to grab a buddy that's done it's before and go for it!
I hope you've found this post informative. I'd also like to know what graphics card you used for your build so be sure to leave a comment below.
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