While it's completely unsuitable for pretty much any
kind of 3D gaming, the Gigabyte GV-R435OC-512I videocard is a
positively cheap and easy way to bring HDMI output into any
computer with a free PCI Express x16 slot.
For standard 2D desktop applications the Gigabyte
GV-R435OC-512I is quite versatile, thanks to a trio of video outputs in the most
important formats. VGA, DVI and HDMI are all here on a single I/O panel. The DVI
and HDMI outputs support HDCP output as well, and the HDMI port can carry
audio as well, without the need of a pass-through S/PDIF connection.
Being one of the few PCI Express x16 videocards in it's
clas that can be put into a thin or half-height PC chassis is another advantage
of the GV-R435OC-512I videocard. It's a great way to turn an aging
book-sized PC (provided it has PCI Express, and not AGP), into a viable
HTPC box with HDMI output.
All of this is easy to plug in and setup. The Gigabyte
GV-R435OC-512I videocard draws very little power, with a total system power draw
of only 79W at idle, and 109W at peak according to our tests. It's also stays
quite cool, and its noise levels were undetectable during typical fan operation.
Plugging the Gigabyte GV-R435OC-512I videocard into
an 1080p-capable, audio-equipped monitor like the ASUS VH242H via HDMI was effortless and neither sound
or picture quality had any signs of distortion or artifacting.
For $45 CDN($40 USD, £25 GBP), the Gigabyte
GV-R435OC-512I videocard offers up HD video playback over HDMI and provides all
the output options you need for regular desktop office applications (not
gaming!). For those on a tight budget that need a bit more gaming power, moving
up to the Radeon HD 4770 may be more up your alley.
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