Passive cooling / Geforce FX

I'm looking into buying a new card to replace my GF3Ti200, which is cooled passively (Zalman ZM80-HP). I'd also like to use this heatsink on my new card. I noticed some FX 5200 boards are shipped with passive cooling, but their performance is a bit poor. I'm not going to be playing games all that much, and my system isn't exactly high-end so the card doesn't need to be insanely fast. How does an FX5200 Ultra or an FX5600 compare to an FX5200, when it comes to cooling? Would a passive solution be possible?

Also, I haven't looked into ATI cards that much yet, would they be a better choice?
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  1. I'm not too up-to-date on the fx series and passive cooling, but just for the information, a friend of mine bought a 9800Pro 256MB card and stuck a Zalman passive cooler on it. This would be the hottest running (don't know how hot the xt's run) card that ATI has, and his temps are good. Therefore, you can cool any Radeon card. Now, on to your orginal question. The fx series seems to have a problem with heat (amoung other other things, such as extreme suckiness), but at 5200/5600 speeds you shouldn't have a problem with passive cooling. Although, if I can, can I recommend a 9600Pro? These things eat the 5600 for lunch, and they already have a very quite fan on them (I got one a foot away from my head, barely hear it). They are much better than the 5600, and usually chaaper. Passive cooling this card would be nothing. It's heatsink/fan is as big as the combo for my old geforce 4 mx 440.

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  2. Hmm, in all the stores around where where i've checked (in sweden), the Radeon 9600 Pro was quite a bit more expensive than an FX 5600.
    Is there a big difference between a 9600 and a 9600 Pro?
  3. The only difference between the 9600Pro/np is the non-pro is clocked slower and has slower ram, but not by much. I suppose the only real difference is that you can overclock a 9600Pro waaaaaaaaay higher than a non-pro. Seeing as how you said you weren't going to be playing many games, and the fact that you were looking at a 5200 (YUCK), I'm going to say that you won't really see a difference between the two. That, and I believe the 9600np comes with a passive cooler right out of the box (which would seem like a plus for you). The 9600np does get beat up pretty good by the 5600, but if you were looking at a 5200, this thing will eat the 5200 for lunch.

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