Cards with Back/End Fan Placement - $170 Budget

This may seem an odd request, but I'm looking for graphics cards that have the fan at the end (or beginning, depending on your orientation) of the card, thus blowing all exhaust out of the back of the computer case. I'm working with a small form TJ08BE case, and I'm very conscious of the airflow in these cramped quarters. Despite the limited space, the case has plenty of room for most of the cards on the market right now, and given my budget I didn't think it would be hard finding something to keep up with the occasional game on high settings. But since I'm very, very new to investing in a graphics card, its hard for me to tell what's overkill, and what's barely scraping by. I guess for starters, I'd like to hear which of these would seem better suited to my system: Radeon 6770 1GB, or the Radeon 6870 1GB

And of course, the obligatory form for more info...
BUDGET RANGE: USD $180 Before Rebates (I may be able to stretch this a bit)
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming [Starcraft II, LoL/HoN, Mass Effect], Home Theater, Photoshop (minimal benefits, I know)
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Intel i7 2600k - Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z mobo (mATX)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Amazon, Newegg, TigerDirect, Fry's (I have a local store for pickup, and they do price matching)
PARTS PREFERENCES: Accustomed to AMD, but willing to hear out suggestions
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Either 1680x1050 or 1920x1080 (have not settled on a monitor yet)
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Games are an added luxury to this being my work machine, so I don't need or expect to max out the games I listed on ultra settings.
9 answers Last reply
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  1. Both cards you found ar good, the HD6870 is better as you can tell by the specs and price difference. It will also work smoother at higher settings when playing games. Not to say that the HD6770 is crap, but if you are willing to spend the extra cash on the HD6870, go for it!
  2. I guess I'm curious if the 6770 would be able to handle games like Starcraft, LoL, Mass Effect, etc at high settings, because the $100 difference is pretty big for me. Anything that I save from the graphics card is going towards a better monitor, but at the same time I don't want to skimp out and end up needing to upgrade in year.

    Are there any inbetweens with the same cooling configuration?
  3. You want this one, I think. HIS IceQ blower-fan style 6870, $170 after MIR

    However, yes, the 6770 is a very decent card. At 1680x1050 it will play at high settings for most games although for example Battlefield 3 it would only be medium. A 6870 is a massive step up from a 6770, almost 2x the performance. If you want to spend less money I'd suggest looking at a 6790 or 6850 as they are both available at pretty good prices.
  4. 6870 all the way buddy.
  5. Thanks for the reply guys!

    My only hesitation with the HIS IceQ is the size--a lot of reviews mention it being big, even for a mid-size case. I did find this other HIS 6870 for the same price though (knowing me, I'd never get around to rebates, so I don't consider them), and admittedly better aesthetics as well.

    I'm not 100% on spending the extra $80 over a 6770 just yet, but I suppose I could put off upgrading my monitor to get the better graphics card... Any other thoughts before I pull the trigger?

    Edit: I only just realized how hard this HIS 6870 GPU is to find, since most online vendors are out of stock. Anyone think sites like are safe enough to use? Normally I'm a devout Newegg/Amazon/TigerDirect fan, but I may not have that option with this card...
  6. Can you measure your case? The IceQ is ~11.5 so if you have enough, it should be good.
  7. Sorry for going a while without response; been putting in overtime at work, which is actually helping me extend the budget (~$200 for now, more if I wait even longer).

    The case can actually fit what looks like 12-13" cards. My first look made it seem as though the card would run into the HDD cage, but in face they rest on top--my bad for not noticing this earlier.

    So while the IceQ seems the perfect fit, I admit I'm turned off by the design. Since I have a bigger budget, I'm curious if there are any other options I haven't seen by now, even nVidia. If not, I'll go with the IceQ and quit whining.
  8. 7850 is a good performer for 250$ and overclocks like crazy. That dual fan Sapphire model is VERY quiet from what I've heard. Otherwise, 6870 is still a very good choice.
  9. I appreciate the suggestion, diec4t, but I'm not looking for that type of fan design. I was hoping to have something fully-enclosed, to force all the exhaust out the back of the case. Much like this design:

    Which, I would actually love to own that card, but I've heard a lot of negative reviews about Zotac. Since the IceQ jumped up in price, I'm still looking for more cards in this price-rang, but it seems like there's not many pickins.
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