Get an HDMI-equipped graphics card for $19 (after rebate)

A great upgrade for media-center PCs, the Asus ATI Radeon HD3450 offers HDMI, HDCP compliance, DirectX 10.1 support, and more.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida

Want to turbocharge your PC's video performance? The Asus ATI Radeon HD3450 graphics card works magic on the cheap. Though an entry-level card, it comes with an HDMI output and other bells and whistles. It lists for $49 (already a steal), but NewBiiz has the ATI Radeon HD3450 on sale for just $19 (after a $10 mail-in rebate).

Perfect for media-center PCs, the card's HDMI port offers easy HDTV connectivity. (It also has VGA and DVI ports.) It can produce resolutions up to 1920x1200, meaning it'll deliver full 1080p video. Plus, it's HDCP-compliant, so if you have a Blu-ray (or even HD DVD) drive in your PC, you're good to go. The card's onboard video decoder takes the load off your CPU. Oh, and because it's a half-height card, it should fit nicely into even the most cramped media-center cases.

Although it supports DirectX 10.1, the Asus Radeon HD3450 lacks gaming muscle. But it's a champ with desktop video (see Computer Shopper's detailed review), and an incredible bargain at $19. The rebate offer expires July 31.