I'm pretty near settled on upping the supplied 300W PSU to a Corsair HX Series 620W to accommodate the graphics card, despite not having the greatest confidence!
Now my biggest concerns are noise levels and overheating. I'm not planning on overclocking (although if I was to buy a BFG 8800GT I realise they come overclocked), so should the stock fan be substantial? Also, as I live in a shared house I can't have high noise levels either, I'd really want it to be as silent as possible. Does anyone know how the noise levels of an 8800GT compare to an X1650 SE?
If I've missed anything you need to know in order to help then please feel free to ask!
So you must be gaming with earphones as it's a shared house? Granted, it's loud as hell and inefficient at 80%, but thats why Riva Tuner allows for fan profiles. Replacement fans cost piddiley, so if you want the card for the card, get it now and worry about the decibals later. Your room-mates aren't likely to be annoyed through a wall with insulation by a constant fan speed.
The fan is louder than most, but if your gonna have earphones on while gaming it's faint. If you create a fan profile (say as an example, 30% [quaint] in Windows and 70% gaming) it wouldn't be so dramatic.
You can find a replacement fan cheapily and easily that will drop your noise level and heat exceptionaly - sometimes 15-20 celcius differences from stock. The highest I have seen is 78C in Race 07 - my fan steps up the pace at that degree buzzing at 80%, yet my speakers are so loud, I couldn't hear fan if I tried. <Imo, I don't like gaming w/o sound (hint, hint)
Great performance to dollar ratio. I never let the bitching about heat and noise deter me. Very pleased.
You may try the HR-03 GT VGA Cooler from Thermalright. This is the fan I've heard works the best for cooling with the 88GT and I've heard it's quiter - someone said almost silent? Can't vouge for it but a lot of people will.
If a buy a manufacturer overclocked 8800GT (for example I was looking at a BFG 8800GT OC2), should I have a level of cooling on a par with what I should have if I overclocked myself, or are the cards designed in such a way that I don't need to worry?
Also, would I be right in assuming that an increased manufacturer overclocking means increased fan noise?
The Thermalright HR03 GT has just released and can be bought for about $50 to $60 without the 92 mm fan ($6). It comes with a massive heastsink and seperate heatsinks for the ram and VPU chips. You have to remove the original heatsink/fan top. It voids some companies warrenties when you do this. Properly PROPERLY installed expect MUCH lower (60c) temps and a much quieter fan because you don't need to run the 92 mm fan at tornado speeds. Mine was preordered and will be in Sat I hope.
I think the problem is DX10 or drivers.
When I played Crysis on DX10, vista 64 & 8800GT, it overheated and crashed. RivaTuner didn't work well because Vista 64 didn't have signed drivers.
I downgraded to XP and DX9. All problems went away and there is a simple hack to get near DX10 graphics (motion blur is still better in DX10)
In XP, I get 30+ fps, 1600x1200, very high quality. I was hoping to move forward and never use XP again. Oh well.
Things better mature within 6 months.
if u plan on getting a 8800gt and u want it to be silent --sparkle's 8800gt was reviewed by anandtech.com .its got a passive cooling system for the 8800gt and the temperatures are almost identical to the stock 8800gt with a fan albeit on the higher side.do give it a look.