Hi, to all those people that thought a slim line case would be cool, only to realise that you were rather limitedon graphics card selection (like me!).
6 months ago I purchased the MSI 8600GT 256MB low profile to play Crysis, I had to run it at 1024x640 on mediam settings, which was a bit of disapointment.
After a bit of researce (PSU, dimensions, etc), I purchased the new Galaxy 9600GT 512MB low profile.
I am impressed, my slim case DELL C521 has been given a new lease of life playing Crysis Warhead, I can now run quite happily on 1280x800 with Gamer settings. Come to think of it, it may go higher, I haven't tried yet.
I ran this utility called Video Card Stability Test (don't know how meaningful it is) and the score was 441, compared to a score of 140 on the MSI part and 42 on the original x1300 that came with the machine.
My DELL C521 came with a 280W PSU which copes quite hapily. I measured the AMPS and assuming a 20% efficency loss from primary to secondary, all is well within operating limites. The 12V rail is rated for 16A, which is plenty for my simple setup.
I do seam to have the same thing that many other people have reported about the framerate in Crysis dropping to almost a pause for a short while before returning to normal during fighting, not sure what is causing this. I keep quite a close eye on all the services and processes that are running on my PC, and running the latest drivers for everything. I'll follow this up on InCrysis if no one has a quick answer here on that one.
Anyway, I know that DELL C521 and HTPC with decent graphics is a hot topic for many like myself and I just wanted to let people know its works.
They even put a sticker on the box recommeded it to HTPC users.
** However: I except know liability for anyone that follows me without upgrading their PSU to +400W as recommended by Galaxy (Galaxy are assuming a worst case here with the rest of your machine typically drawing more current then your typical HTPC or DELLC521 setup).
Uh, X, they've already got out the 4670 on newegg, should be faster than than the 4650, which I think newegg also has. But the 4670 is only about 80 bucks, and it not supposed to require an additional connector.