I have seen a couple of similar threads here, but none have answered exactly this same question... One of my home computers, running XP Pro, is basically used as a file server. It rarely has a monitor plugged in to it -- I generally use VNC in the rare cases that I need to sign on.
I added some memory the other day and realized how blazing hot the video card heatsink was. My home office is a little warmer than I would like, so I would really like to run this computer without a video card at all. I tried this... Even though it boots fine without a video card, VNC shows me a black screen, and some other threads on the 'net talking about headless servers have said the same thing. I know it's booting all the way because I can connect to shared folders on the computer, and the VNC server service starts up and asks for my connection password when I connect...
So, given all of that, what's a low heat output video card suitable for a computer that only needs a card to let VNC (or Remote Desktop) connect to it? Obviously, I am not running any games at all. In one of the similar threads, someone wanted a low heat video card that could play a few older games -- this is not my requirement at all!
The motherboard doesn't have built-in video. It has AGP and PCI slots. I don't even know how much video memory I need; I suppose that depends on what resolution and bit depth I want. I suppose 1024x768 at 16 bits is plenty.
A relative-heat-index for graphics chipsets would be nice, but I haven't seen one. Thanks for any recommendations.
If your case is hot, you should consider adding a slot fan to help exhaust hot air out of your file server. The only real problem with slot fans is that they are relatively loud, but searching around you should be able to find one that is relatively quieter than average.
Here's an example of a slot fan that not too many people complain about the loudness for $9.
The case is not too hot overall... I have a 120mm fan (medium speed) taking air out the back, plus the power supply fan, and an 80mm fan bringing air in from the front. One of the disk drives is at 32 C, and another sensor (TMPIN1 from SIW) says 43 C.
The airflow across the video card is probably not very good. The slot cooler is a good suggestion but I think I'll look at the GeForce 6200 that you mention, instead. I don't really need 512M, but I'm sure there are other AGP 6200s out there.
I forgot to mention -- for quietness, heat, and power reasons, the disks in the computer are all 2.5" SATA drives. I have done that with three of my five computers.