I've been trying to find an ideal graphic card for a powerful HTPC. The HTPC case has a limited inside space, but I am struggling to find information on their size.
I was looking specifically for these:
Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5850 Vapor-X 1024MB
Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5850 1024MB
Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5830 1024MB
Could you please advise if there are any similar cards (from other vendors) that are shorter than the above?
Question 2 - currently I am going to buy a AMD chipset board that supports only Xcross. I am not going to use 2 cards for the time being, was looking only for ATI cards so I have a possibility to extend in the future. The question is: do you think that in two years time, it will be better to buy another ATI card (two years old then) or to use a new upper mid rage card available? I believe that NVIDIA got some less heating cards and has had always better drivers...(back in my times :-)
nVidia typically has better drivers. However, ATI has better cooling as of right now. nVidia's higher end cards (save for the GTX 460 perhaps) run very hot.
What resolution will your display be set at? Is this a TV, or a PC Monitor? If you do want the ability to play games on it (smoothly) I would suggest an ATI 5850 or nVidia GTX 470 for playing @ 1080p (which is 1920x1080).
Now, depending on how you're building, an HTPC case (which are generally VERY small) may not work well with a larger card like these. HTPC's are usually designed around cool & small, not performance. When you get into "I want to play games" you throw all that out the window, and end up with HOT & LARGE.
I guess having a better idea of what exactly you're intending to do with this machine will help more. Do you have your other components chosen yet? Power Supply, CPU, Motherboard, RAM, CASE?
I think that everything except the video card would fit in easily and would have enough power without overclocking and should not be hard to cool.
First I though that I may want to buy a second card (after let say 2 years) but now I think I would be better off to replace it and have only one - after two years the HW changes a lot and therefore I don't mind ATI or NVIDIA
FYI, you're basically built a gaming computer there so far. However, that 400W power supply is going to limit you quite a bit on the video card end of things. Corsair is a great choice, but 400W isn't very much when you start considering higher end GPUs like the 5850.
An AMD Phenom 1055T is overkill for HTPC. Again, that's more of a gaming type CPU (or for someone who does lots of video trans coding, etc).
For your Zalman case:
PCI/AGP Card Compatibility Up to 260 mm max length
You'll have to make sure your video card is shorter than that. Also keep in mind, many cards have the PCI-E power connectors ON THE END which means the effective length of the card is longer than the manufacturer states.
Also, I can't tell from the brief look, but are those standard PCI vents sizes, or slim (low profile) ones? That's something to consider also.
Also keep in mind, that case has "side vents" and "exhaust fans" out the back. However there's no actual air "intake". So cooling is going to be a premium here. The higher end CPU you go for, and the higher end GPU you go for, the hotter things are going to run. HTPCs are a good place for less powerful hardware to keep temperatures down. You won't have any air intake to provide good airflow to keep a powerful GPU very cool.
Same goes for the CPU.
August 28, 2010 11:09:35 PM
You're right absolutely right about the tight sides of this conception. I am hoping to get away with the CPU's cooling by using a bigger cooler (less than 125mm) running on the basic frequency. It's to be in the living room and I do not want it to be like a hoover if it's on...
With the PCs as powerful and universal as they are I find it somewhat unlucky to have different devices for HTPC and games.
I think if I have to sacrifice something than it's going to be the case...