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Having graphics card problems, need help choosing new card!!!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 7, 2013 6:26:55 AM

Hey guys! I'm at the end of my rope with this graphics card I have...I bought it when we built the PC about 18 months ago, had a heck of a time getting it stable, but we finally did. Then I had to upgrade from win7 home premium to win7 professional and all the problems came back. I've updated to the latest drivers of everything, still have freezes, and bsod's, right now I can't even use the pc it freezes so much. So I'm just done with it. I need something simple and stable.

This PC was built as a recording studio PC only. I need 4 screens capable of 1920x1200 minimum. One of the screens will be an HDTV so I'll need at least one HDMI. The card I have is an XFX Radeon HD6870 2gig ram that has 2 dvi, 1 hdmi, and 2 display port outputs, 4 of which can be used at the same time. The model I have is: XFX HD-687X-CNFC

My PC configuration is as follows:
Asus Sabertooth x79 mobo
Intel i7 3930K processor
32 gigs g.skill ripjaws 1600 ram
corsair AX850 gold power supply

I thought I needed some high performance video card and what not, but I really don't. Honestly, Ideally, I'd like to have something with passive cooling as the video card fan noise is the loudest thing in the studio. Maybe two cards that can do 2 monitors each with no frills? It seems all the cards that can do 4 monitors are expensive and complex. I'm not doing any gaming, or anything like that...I'll watch an occasional tutorial video on youtube so it does have to be capable of displaying 1920x1080 video but other than that I want it quiet (if possible) and STABLE.

Please, help me find something that will work...thanks

Brian
December 7, 2013 8:39:44 AM

Hello! Thanks for that suggestion! Do you have any experience with that card? My concern is with having to use the vga port...won't I get reduced clarity on that monitor?
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a c 103 U Graphics card
December 7, 2013 9:07:25 AM

I don't think there are any passively cooled graphics cards that can run four monitors.

But either of these should do the trick
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Both can run four monitors with all digital output, and has the HDMI port you want. Better than buying two piss weak cards.
They have fans but Asus cards have a reputation for running silent. You can always modify the fan curve to set a higher load threshold before they spin up faster, so that they run slow and silent during normal use.
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December 7, 2013 9:36:41 AM

Im scared to death to buy another AMD card...and I don't think that nvidia card will fit in my rackmount case... :( 

Let me ask this...how can I tell how many monitors a card will run? I remember when buying my current card that there were several that had 4 outputs on them, but only three could be used at any given time...it's not easily found on shopping sites, or the manufacturers sites sometimes for that matter. Is there an easy way to determine which cards that have four outputs actually support four monitors?

Also, I'm not completely opposed to what one might consider "weak" cards... keep in mind that this pc is being used mainly for recording and editing music. So my primary concerns are stabiliy, noise, and clarity (I can't be staring at a fuzzy screen while editing)...but it will never be used to play games, or do any intense graphics rendering...just the occasional tutorial video...

Also, I'm not opposed to a better card like the two mentioned above, however, I am worried that something too complex may cause problems again. The last thing I need is the display driver acting up during a recording...or editing for that matter.
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December 7, 2013 2:09:36 PM

Anyone had any experience with the Nvidia Quadro NVS450...? Looks like it might do what I need...?
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December 8, 2013 1:37:04 AM

Presler said:
You won't have any benefit from quadro series for audio recording and editing. Quadro series is meant to benefit only video rendering and editing and 3d animation applications like 3ds max etc.


Agreed, there would be no VIDEO benefit...however, it is a passively cooled, absolutely silent card that can drive four monitors...which is what I was looking for. I understand it was designed for cad graphics and what not, but if it is good enough for that it should work just fine for what I need it for...at least I think.

I need a glitch free video card. Right now, I have nothing but glitches...every time there's a glitch even for a moment, you're recording is screwed. It's not like working in a program that can just recover finish whatever it was doing. Audio recording is particularily sensitive, anything that causes CPU power or RAM to be used excessively, or freeze, just won't work with audio. This PC was purpose built for the studio, and I just can't take these problems anymore. I don't know if my mobo just doesn't want to ply nice with the video card, or if it's just the AMD drivers, or what...but I'm having it looked at tomorrow, and if it isn't rectified completely I'll have to find something else.

I was looking at trying an Nvidia card just to get away from AMD for a bit and see if the nvidia would work better for me. That's when I ran across this "workstation" card. From what I read it's rock solid, so i thought it was worth a look...I know it's severly underpowered by todays standards...but all I need it to do is run the displays and play an occasional video. That's it. And it's completely silent. That alone would save me tons of time editing out fan noise from a vocal take in the control room. The video card fan is by far the loudest fan in the PC...even on it's lowest setting. I think without a fan it would dramatically reduce the noise floor of the listening area.

I was thinking maybe I could even try one of these from the used market to see if it works, if not I could sell it and won't be out anything...

What do you think?
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a c 103 U Graphics card
December 8, 2013 2:20:12 AM

I think running a card that old is probably going have some sort of issue. But if it's got the important stuff covered, why not give it a try.
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December 8, 2013 6:57:50 AM

I guess I didn't consider the age of the card... Could be a problem...

As for the fan noise, the card I have runs at 20% fan most of the time, that's the lowest setting...and it's still way too loud...it's by far the loudest thing in the studio...pin drop silent in a studio is much different than pin drop silent in any other situation...the microphones pick up everything.

Now, it was mentioned earlier that the Asus cards are known for quiet operation...would that be all Asus cards?
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a c 103 U Graphics card
December 8, 2013 7:05:05 AM

The Asus cards that use their DirectCUII cooler are generally silent. But I have no idea how quiet is considered quiet in a studio like the one you work in. I've never worked in a studio let alone having microphones around my PC.
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December 8, 2013 7:08:32 AM

Do you know of any place, website, or anything that documents the decibel levels of current graphics cards?
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a c 103 U Graphics card
December 8, 2013 7:19:11 AM

None that I know of. Some graphics card reviews also discuss about the loudness and effectiveness of the cooler. But I have never come across a consolidated list of graphics card fan sound levels. One thing to note, is that although the design of a cooler may be considered generally quiet, it is not consistent across all cards. You may buy a card with the reputation of being the quietest in the world (that has a fan), but you will still stand a chance of receiving one that whines loudly.
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