Cool-running GPU upgrade for HTPC [Advice needed]

Zorander

Golden Member
Nov 3, 2010
1,136
0
81
#1
Hi all,

Current HTPC spec is:
Intel Core i3-530 (integrated GPU used)
Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3
Silverstone GD05
Corsair VX-450 (PSU)
2x2GB Kingston DDR3

I'm planning to occasionally play games on this system (1920x1080 resolution) and rid myself of the Intel 23.97fps issue. It needs not be a blazing fast card as long as I can get smooth gameplay. It needs to run cool & quiet though as the system is within an enclosed media rack (with accordingly low airflow). Obviously it has to fit inside the Silverstone case too (which should accomodate lengths up to 11in).

I'm willing to spend up to the HD6850 or GTX460 (leaning towards the former as it seems to run cooler and I've always been an ATI user). Are these appropriate given the temperature challenge and, to lesser degree, intended gaming usage?

Thanks in advance.
 

jalfor

Junior Member
Feb 16, 2011
2
0
0
#2
If you haven't looked already the temps of cards are on the bench section and according to that, the 460 does run very cool. Also if you do not plan on maxing out all your settings and running really graphical games a 460 will give you plenty of power
 

Gloomy

Golden Member
Oct 12, 2010
1,462
0
0
#3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150521

not exactly what you asked about, but currently this is the card to get for gaming HTPCs. Here's what Ryan said about it:

At the risk of spoiling the rest of our article, this card is for all practical purposes silent. At idle it’s only as loud as the noise floor of our GPU testbed, and at load – even under Furmark – it’s the same story. We measured 41.4dB at both idle and load, making it the quietest actively cooled mid-range card we have ever tested in our existing rig. Even the remarkably quiet GTX 460 can’t hold its ground to the 6870 Black Edition, it’s that quiet.

So what’s XFX’s secret? It’s much the same story as with the GTX 460. While the 6870 reference design uses a blower XFX is using an open-air cooler, specifically a double-fan cooler with 3 copper heatpipes that’s very similar to MSI’s Twin Frozor and Gigabyte’s Super Overclock cooler. Open-air coolers are already capable of being much quieter than blowers, and when done correctly a double-fan arrangement can be quieter than driving a single fan at higher speeds. Combining this highly effective cooler with the 6870’s Black Edition’s low TDP (~160W) results in a very quiet card that by all indications cannot be beaten at this point in time.
Not much else to say really. Go the extra mile and pick this one up, OP. It should be the best for you unless you absolutely need a rear-exhaust model (you said you had a low airflow case)

Then there's this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150515

A 6850 which uses a similar cooler, should be about the same in noise but I haven't seen it reviewed.
 
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Zorander

Golden Member
Nov 3, 2010
1,136
0
81
#4
Bumping an old thread of mine. The system is still in use but pretty much now only for basic office/web browsing activities. I'm looking to downgrade it to reduce the amount of heat it generates. System is otherwise stable even under a stress test.

Current CPU is a i5-760 (scythe shuriken HSF) and GPU is a HD7870. Aside from a complete cpu+mobo replacement (costs more than I am willing to pay and I will have to buy a new Windows license too), I'm thinking to replace the GPU with a low end card like an R5 230 or its nvidia equivalent.

What do you guys think? Thanks!
 
Oct 27, 2006
19,717
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#5
A GT 1030 is fantastic for this kind of thing imho.
 

Zorander

Golden Member
Nov 3, 2010
1,136
0
81
#6
A GT 1030 is fantastic for this kind of thing imho.
Thanks for the suggestion. It does look like a good replacement (significantly low 30w tdp and performs reasonably close to the hd7870).

Considering the non gaming use though, is there anything against getting a gt 710? I can buy it for a third of the gt 1030.

Cheers!
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
8,304
289
126
#7
Thanks for the suggestion. It does look like a good replacement (significantly low 30w tdp and performs reasonably close to the hd7870).

Considering the non gaming use though, is there anything against getting a gt 710? I can buy it for a third of the gt 1030.

Cheers!
Only real problem with the 710 is that is has an older video decoder (won't hardware accelerate some new video formats), and it will not get driver updates for as long as the 1030.
 
Aug 25, 2001
43,807
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#8
Yes, if you plan on watching YouTube, get the GT1030, for the VP9 hardware decode. Especially if you plan on "going 4K UHD".

Or get a Ryzen 2200G APU rig (maybe Athlon 200GE).
 
Oct 6, 2016
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#9
Aug 25, 2001
43,807
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#10
Unless you're running a database / VM server on the file server, and Plex / transcoding, at the same time, I doubt that you really need a 9900T. Be real man. Then again, we are enthusiasts.

Just pointing out, though, that short of transcoding, or VMs, regular "file serving" doesn't need a huge amount of CPU grunt. An i3 is generally enough. (Maybe if you're running 10GbE-T, you might need more CPU grunt? I might go that way soon.)
 
Oct 27, 2006
19,717
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#11
@VirtualLarry dude that's a pretty good point. For my home boxes I've had really good results with dedicated PCIe X4 Intel Duplex DualGbit cards vs onboard. Not expensive at all if you know where to find them, and the quality and onboard dedicated processor and cache really make for a 'non-slacker' component vs some of the cheaper integrated solutions that rely much more heavily on driver side CPU dependent functionality.
 


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