PowerColor Shows Off Passive Radeon HD 7850 Graphics Card

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Erris

Here are some more semantic musings:

HTPCs are video/music machines. They are low-power PCs that are as quiet as possible and use as little power as possible. Usually the goal is to have high fidelity video/sound in a small quiet package.
They are the PC version of Home Theater kits - all set top boxes in one.
To do their job they don't need anything near the power (and power consumption) of a HD7850.

Now computers you build to play games on are pretty much the opposite - high power machines that usually cost a lot more than an HTPC.
That's a totally different beast, which of course can handle any video/music watching tasks as well.

You might want to build a low-end gaming PC and stick it under your TV in the living room, but that doesn't make it an HTPC.

Calling a gaming PC a HTPC is like calling a truck a car, just because you can park both of them in a garage.

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diedrichg

That's absurd! What a waste. No HTPC needs more than an Intel HD3000 or AMD HD 6550D APU.

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bloodgain

I respectfully disagree.

I just built a new HTPC (i5 3570K, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 3TB HDD, Blu-ray drive, in a Silverstone Grandia GD05B case) to handle all my entertainment chores, except for the occasional console-only game. I'm relying on the Intel HD4000 graphics right now, which is great for video and can even play some older titles. It would be great to play the new CoD: Black Ops 2 or Bioshock: Infinite games on my 50" screen and Yamaha-driven home theater setup without having to turn the graphics down to 5-year-old Xbox 360 graphics levels. I might even like to use a keyboard/keypad & mouse setup, which the Xbox isn't going to support.

My HTPC is pretty quiet, and I'd like to keep it that way. This would allow me to do that, and play current games fine with medium-high detail at 1080p. Sure, there are some cards with quiet fan-based coolers, too, but saying no HTPC needs good graphics is beyond hyperbole.

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jman9295

I have an i5 laptop with HD 4000 as the only GPU and an i7 PC with HD 4000 and 2 GTX 660s SLI. Before I got my Nvidia GPUs, I was using the HD 4000 and I was able to play any game. My laptop could as well even though its BIOS limits the VRAM to 512 MB. My PC's BIOS allows me to crank it up to 1 GB. If your HD 4000 PC is struggling to play games, I suggest trying to go into the BIOS and dedicate more system RAM to the GPU. I read that this doesn't affect the performance of games, but that is incorrect as I have found out first hand that it does affect gaming significantly. The stock setting is 64 MB for the HD 4000. Some motherboards also allow you to overclock the HD 4000, but I can tell you that this doesn't affect its performance. When I had my laptop's HD 4000 set to 64 MB, GTA IV was a black screen with the map on the bottom left and a car in the middle. No sky, buildings, street, nothing. I set it to 512 MB and the game looked great and ran smooth with medium settings in 1080p. Of course, with just a single GTX 660, I was able to crank up most games to high and with SLI every single game ran perfect on ultra everything. I'm not suggesting that the HD 4000 is all you need, I'm just saying it isn't as bad as you might think and definitely better than an Xbox 360 which is actually turning 8 years old this November.

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vrmlbasic

The Xbox 360's graphics are 8 years out of date, tragically. As impotent as the HD 4000 is, and as strong as my ire for Intel graphics is, I might actually give the 4000 the edge over the 360 lol.

I agree with your point though, that the HTPC is supposed to power your home theater setup for all your entertainment needs, and that games shouldn't be automatically outside the domain of a HTPC simply because they are interactive; Microsoft and Sony all but bill their current consoles as HTPCs.

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TheMissingPiece

Well, I guess at that point where you're disagreeing is at the use of an HTPC. Many (including myself) like to think that an HTPC is used mostly for content viewing, so watching Blu-Rays, YouTube videos, etc. You add gaming to the HTPC use cases, which in your case would indeed require a graphics card. Neither view is wrong, just different. Perhaps you can say that you're using a "gaming HTPC," but that doesn't have quite a ring to it.

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jason2393

It's that kind of thinking that's keeping console technology in the stone ages.

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basketcase87

I suppose you could argue the semantics of what it should be called, but it certainly isn't unheard of to build a gaming capable HTPC.

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