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Picking a graphics card

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May 16, 2007 2:47:18 PM

Hey guys i was wondering if ye could give me a little advice... i have just built a new pc and am using onboard graphics. I am looking to upgrade to a decent card for gaming at relatively low resolutions... nothing above 1280 x 1024
heres the catch i want my new pc to remain quite and cool
i am currently running windows vista with the following spec

antec fusion case comes with sesonic 430watt psu enough for most graphics cards

c2d 4300 at stock

2x1 gig ddr2 677

MB abit fatality m-atx has onboard hdmi

hhd 500gb spinpoint

this sys will be used as a media centre when i build my new pc in a few months time but for now i need something that will be silent good with vista and let me run games like s.t.a.l.k.e.r. and oblivion with eye candy
budget not as important as silent and cool
any suggestions

More about : picking graphics card

May 16, 2007 3:02:54 PM

Here's a passively cooled 7950GT:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here's a review on that card with Oblivion benches:
http://www.techreport.com/reviews/2006q3/geforce-7950gt...

There's also the X1950Pro, which isn't as fast but allows fir AA and HDR at the same time in Oblivion:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here's a review that benches the X1950Pro, and even compares it against the silent XFX 7950GT card above.
http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Reviews/Specific.aspx?A...

Personally, I don't like the look of HDR so I'd go with the 7950GT and plus it's cheaper, but it's up to you.
May 16, 2007 3:04:34 PM

everyone on here will tell you to go the x1950 route but i have done some research into this and there is NO better card for going into a htpc than the 8600gts due to its h.263 decoding abilities not even the 8800 is as good for hd playback and will play stalker at playable rates too until you put it in to htpc.
got mine here http://www.lowestonweb.com/products/info.asp?e=8EDA07C9...
there is an inno3d one on ebuyer for £6 cheaper but you get no power adapter with it and with leadtek you get two okish games free (serious sam 2 and jtf) hope this helps
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May 16, 2007 3:18:29 PM

I was thinging the 8600gts was a good way to go any one have any experience with them... i here there can be issues with vista drivers. and im not to sure on how loud it would be in the system havent seen any passive ones... except the gt variety and they seem a little underpowered
the x1950pro and 7950gt are nice cards but wont fit in my antec fusion case with thier giant heat pipes
does anyone think the standard cooler on a 8600gts would be quiter than something like this http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...
May 16, 2007 3:20:44 PM

While I agree that the 8600GTS is the best option for a purely HTPC setup, if he does go with the 8600GTS he'll take a huge performance hit in Oblivion and STALKER compared to the 7950GT and X1950Pro, and since both of those cards have HD capabilities, I think they'd be the best choice.
May 16, 2007 3:27:30 PM

Quote:
While I agree that the 8600GTS is the best option for a purely HTPC setup, if he does go with the 8600GTS he'll take a huge performance hit in Oblivion and STALKER compared to the 7950GT and X1950Pro, and since both of those cards have HD capabilities, I think they'd be the best choice.


Agreed.
May 16, 2007 3:34:25 PM

I guess with your size restrictions, your options are limited.
May 16, 2007 3:37:59 PM

http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=proddesc&prod_n...
thats a passive 8600gts, guys my point is the 8600gts is the very best way to futureproof a htpc, its the only card mentioned here that uses its own gpu to convert h.263 the others all pass the decoding onto the cpu which will effectively have cpu at 90% instead of 22-25% but yes oblivion will run nowhere near as well
May 16, 2007 3:43:09 PM

Quote:
case can take a full sized card just not over a standard sized card in hight... what ye think of this card??
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

or would the HIS be better
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

X1950Pro is a solid card. The HIS is a faster card with a better cooling solution, and even though I own one, I can't really vouch for it's quietness because I have 5 fans on my case which run pretty loud. It'd be a great card for those games though, and eventually for your HTPC.
May 16, 2007 3:45:54 PM

Quote:
http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=proddesc&prod_n...
thats a passive 8600gts, guys my point is the 8600gts is the very best way to futureproof a htpc, its the only card mentioned here that uses its own gpu to convert h.263 the others all pass the decoding onto the cpu which will effectively have cpu at 90% instead of 22-25% but yes oblivion will run nowhere near as well

I agree, for a purely HTPC, but it's the gaming needs that make me not want to recommend this card.
May 16, 2007 4:02:56 PM

Well Mr Busey i think we gave a fair view of both sides of this particular dilemma. Good luck Spud i had exact same problem and went the 8600gts route. Let us now how it works out for you
May 16, 2007 4:05:24 PM

We're like the news.


WE REPORT THE FACTS, YOU DECIDE!!
May 16, 2007 4:17:53 PM

Well Mr Busey i think we gave a fair view of both sides of this particular dilemma. Good luck Spud i had exact same problem and went the 8600gts route. Let us now how it works out for you
May 16, 2007 4:18:40 PM

still cant decide might just give up and get a 8800 gts 320mb that should give me pic quality gaming fps and eye candy and future proof
just wish i knew how loud it was cant see any info on that
May 16, 2007 4:26:33 PM

You could always buy one of the faster cards and then when you're ready, sell it and get an 8600GTS.
May 17, 2007 4:39:15 PM

There's no need to start another thread on this same topic. A little bump to the top is all you need. You should delete your new thread before someone replies to it.
May 17, 2007 4:43:40 PM

fair enough here the latest up date

but i am dieing to get a new graphics card for my new system and im having difficulty choosing i was wondering if ye had any suggestions
first up games to be played will be fps rpg and mmorpg so we can assume oblivion and age of conan directx 10 for vista too

My system at the moment is

a htpc case antec fusion with 430 psu
graphic is onboard so is audio
ABIT Fatal1ty F-I90HD, ATI RX1250, HDMI,
2x1gig of ddr2 677mhz ram
C2D e4300 running at stock
wireless belkin card
viste home prem

My new system in a few months time will be propper gaming rig and this sys will be retired to htpc duty so i wanted a card to put in here untill i build my new sys and then switch it to the new one so changing the psu is out i will have to make do

was thinking the 8800gts 320 but the price point for this is about €320 here in ireland and the new hd 2900xt has just arrived and is priced at €389

im thinking the extra 70 bucks for the ati would be worth it especially with the vista driver issue nvidia seem to have but is there much point will there be bottle necks with the hardware and could my psu even cope
i think its a seasonic 430 and runs 372 watts off 2 12 volt rails but im not to sure what this means
All suggestions welcome Smile

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Antec/Fusion/4

Antec SU-430 430W
AC Input 115V/230V 10A/6A 60/50Hz

DC Voltage --+3.3V +5V --- +12V1 +12V1 ----5V -12V +5VSB
Max. Output --25A 25A -----16A 16A -- 2A 0.8A 2.0A
--------------------130 W --- 372 W ----NA NA NA
May 17, 2007 5:01:44 PM

I'm not sure that you'll be able to go to an 8800GTS without upgrading your PSU.
May 17, 2007 6:05:01 PM

i was told it will handle a gts 640 with no problems one of the guys in the psu section did the math should probably ask there that would probably limit my choice pretty quick :roll:
May 17, 2007 6:17:32 PM

Oh yeah I see, 16amps on each 12v rail should suffice. IMO you can't go wrong with the 8800GTS 640. I wouldn't bother with the 8600 series.
May 17, 2007 6:19:15 PM

oops.
a c 165 U Graphics card
May 17, 2007 6:55:29 PM

Quote:

My new system in a few months time will be propper gaming rig and this sys will be retired to htpc duty so i wanted a card to put in here untill i build my new sys and then switch it to the new one so changing the psu is out i will have to make do



If I understand correctly, you'll only be using this card your buying in the HTPC for "awhile", then moving it over to a gaming rig your thinking of building. If this is the case, then HTPC worries are secondary. I wouldn't worry about the better HTPC use found in the 8500/8600 or the 2400/2600 series. Buy a gaming card now, and use it in the gaming rig when you build it.

Whats the budget for the video card? An AMD guy myself, I suggest the x1950. The x1950XT can now be found at ~$185, which is a lot cheaper then the $240 I paid for my x1800xt just over a year ago. Depending on the res you play at and the amount of money you have to spend, the 8800GTS 320mb might be better. If $185 is to much, then I would go with the x1950pro.
May 17, 2007 7:45:22 PM

Ok looks like im going to go with this little puppy right here
Foxconn 8800GTS 320MB (Factory Over Clocked)
it will rip through anything i throw at it and i can always go sli for the gaming rig if i need more later

unless some one can see a problem with this in my system
apart from the price might have to sell an arm and a leg to get it
€340 yes thats euro's im gona feel that one in a few weeks time
May 17, 2007 7:56:38 PM

Personally I think the requirement you have of a HTPC tomorrow and a gaming rig today is crippling the choice for your system - it's forcing you to buy a gaming card today that would not be the best choice in an HTPC for the future.

I'd upgrade the PSU now to the one you will put in your gaming rig, and then buy the card that you will use in your gaming rig. Play on them until you get the chance to build the new PC proper, then slot the old PSU back into the HTPC and get a nice passive cooled 8500 / 8600 for it.
!