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New Graphics Card for Gaming HTPC

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 30, 2010 1:00:27 PM

I am upgrading the graphics card in my HTPC after the last one died. I would really appreciate any input. And yes I do know that a gaming HTPC is a bad idea :D 

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week

BUDGET RANGE: USD $100-200) Before Rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Home Theater, gaming (MW2, COD4, BC2, Crysis etc at medium to high settings)

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Was Nvidia GeForce 9600gt 512mb (more on that latter). Currently ATI Radeon HD 4200 integrated and Antec Earthwatts 430W PSU

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
CPU- Athlon II X4 620 (At stock speeds with Scythe Mini Ninja cooler)
HDD- Western Digital Caviar Green 1 TB
RAM- Kingston Valueram 4gb 1333mhz ddr3
MOBO- Gigabyte GA-785GMT-USB3
Tuner- Hauppauge hvr2200 dual digital
Case- Antec NSK2480B Micro ATX Desktop Case - Black (PSU replaced with 430W)
OS- Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com (I have a friend in the US) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: New Zealand.

PARTS PREFERENCES: None

OVERCLOCKING: No (I'm crazy enough to attempt a gaming HTPC but I'm not crazy enough to OC it :D  )

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
A bit of background......
I had a Galaxy GeForce 9600gt 512mb card in my HTPC; however it had issues. Stupidly, I decided to RMA it through the store I had purchased it from. After 3 weeks of waiting they informed me that it was no longer being produced and that they would 'upgrade' me to a 'much better' card for 'only' 40NZD. Considering I had bought the card for 150NZD and the card they were offering me was a GT 240 I declined the offer. The GT 240 they offered me had 1gb of DDR3 RAM and is slower than my old card in some games.

I asked them whether it was possible to get a GT 240 with 512 mb GDDR5, comparable ATI card or even a GTS 250 for a bit more. They said it was possible but were vague about how much more it would cost me. They did not like the ATI idea. They won't refund me as apparently 'it has been too long'. I don't want to pay for a downgrade so I only really have two options. I can either get the GT240 and sell it to buy a better card or get the GTS 250 for some unknown sum of money :( 

I can sell the GT240 on the New Zealand version of Ebay, Trademe, for a decent profit (the cost of a graphics card here is ridiculous). If I sell the GT 240 which card should I buy instead? Also, how well will the GTS 250 fit my needs?

I was looking at the EVGA 768-P3-1360-TR GeForce GTX 460. What do you guys think? It seems like such a great deal. Would my PSU handle it? I think my cooling should be allright but I'm not too certain. I have an 80mm rear intake that I added to cool my expansion cards. I also have two 120mm side outtakes. It is a HTPC case so.......
Could I pull it off?

Any suggestions are most welcome. It may look like I am a bit Nvidia biased but I can assure you that I am not ;) 
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2010 1:05:02 PM

I would go with that gpu as it will be a large improvement with games over your old 9600.
Although, 1920x1080 gaming may have a slow down with the 460 being the 768mb model.
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September 30, 2010 1:09:06 PM

Thank you for your quick reply dalta centauri. What do you think about the PSU and cooling setup though? Will I be able to handle it? My x4 620 produces a fair amount of heat already
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a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2010 1:27:58 PM

What model is the psu, it just says black 430w.
You may need to upgrade to a 500-600w but for the most part a 430w should be fine if it's powerful enough.
Also, does the psu come with 2x6pin connectors?
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September 30, 2010 1:29:43 PM

Damn I forgot to put that in. It is an Antec Earthwatts 430w PSU.
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a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2010 1:31:56 PM

An Antec, it won't be too problematic, you would want to upgrade the psu later on though.
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September 30, 2010 1:33:24 PM

Yeah that's what I thought. I am pretty sure it only has one PCI-e connector but I have 2 spare molex connectors that I can convert. The GTX 460 is bundled with the adapter. My main worry is probably my case. I know the GTX 460 runs surprisingly cool but....
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September 30, 2010 10:15:10 PM

Does anyone else have anything to add about whether the GTX 460 will work in my case? Will it be very noisy? Also, if the GTS 250 they are offering is not too expensive, should I go for that instead? How hot will it get?
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a b U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
September 30, 2010 10:52:46 PM

From what I've read (sorry, no 1st had exp here), the cards with the large radial heatsink and fan are the best for acoustics like this. The downside is they don't expel the heat outside the case.
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September 30, 2010 11:21:30 PM

Hmmm..... I think I am probably going to need to expel the heat outside the case; however, those cards may be worth looking into. I guess it all depends on whether I go for stability or silence. What do you think about the GTS 250 option?
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