I'm thinking about buying a Video Card for my HTPC. I'm currently looking for a card that supports all of the latest goodies -- DX11, HD pass-through, hdmi, dvi, and i'd like it to be passively cooled.
Intel Core i3-530 ASUS PH77-M Pro Cooler Master Elite 360 MicroATX Case Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD LG ODD Corsair CX430 PSU
I'm going to be adding blu-ray support in a few days, but intels HD Graphics has trouble decoding blu-ray. While the integrated graphics were more than powerful enough, and contained a thermal solution i like (built right into the cpu), i just can't stand the stuttering during playback. I'm currently looking at video cards that are passively cooled, but to be honest, this case only has 3 fans: a 120mm above the cpu, the cpu cooler, and the psu. There isn't much airflow over the pciex slots, and i have no idea if the card would just toast in my case.
Would the video card get too hot during playback? Can passively cooled radeon 5450 (or a similar level radeon hd card) survive with little to no air? Do i need to get an actively cooled Vid Card and hope that it stays cool enough to be quiet during playback? There isn't much room to add more fans, and because they would need to be near silent, they wouldn't move much air.
So: 5450 thermal profile, suggestion for quiet fans, and the sound profile of a higher level card doing low-level work.