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Quiet HTPC and 1920x1200 Gaming Card Recommendation Needed

Timmyotule

Member
Aug 31, 2002
64
3
71
I'm looking for a card to replace my 7900GT that I have in a Antec NSK2400 case.

The computer is used for streaming TV shows and watching OTA HD broadcasts on my projector and playing games at 1920x1200 on a 24" monitor. I don't play all the most current games out there but the 7900GT isn't cutting it any more at full resolution. I'd also like the HD decoding of the newer cards and HDMI audio would probably be a plus in the future.

I'm trying to find the sweet spot between performance and heat (noise) output. I've been considering a 9600GT. A step up in performance seems to result in a jump in the heat output a step down and I'm worried about running my monitor at its native resolution.

Is this the right card or should I be looking at something else? Also, any recommendations for specific cards? Should I look for a passively cooled one and speed up my case fans if necessary? Or look for dual slot cooler that will vent out the back?

Thanks for the help.
 

BlueAcolyte

Platinum Member
Nov 19, 2007
2,793
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Hmm. What games do you run?

I would recommend a 9600GT or a HD 4670. The bonus with the HD 4670 is that it needs no extra power plugs.

Look for ones with good coolers, dual-slot is nice, but I'm not sure how much space you have. Or you could get an aftermarket cooler such as an Accelero S1.
 

Concillian

Diamond Member
May 26, 2004
3,755
8
81
If you're really into quiet, I'd recommend buying whatever card you decide on, then getting an aftermarket cooler. With that case, the height of the Acceleros exclude them, so you have to move to a more expensive option like Thermalright or Zalman. Zalman's usually need to be undervolted to be quiet. Thermalrights require a fan purchase too, and can end up well over $50 when all is said and done, but you get exactly what you want in the end.

In my experience, cards that come with aftermarket coolers that look like they would be quiet are generally only moderately quiet, and if you really want quiet, you need to buy aftermarket anyway.
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
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For 1920*1200 a 9600gt is going to suck ass ... I'd buy a HD4850 and throw a aftermarket cooler on it. Not sure if HD4870 can be modded with a aftermarket cooler, but if you got the money, go for it! You can get a HD4870 for as little as $220.
 

Timmyotule

Member
Aug 31, 2002
64
3
71
Well, like I said I don't play all the latest games. Mainly I play WWIIOnline which is more CPU limited. I don't need a 4850 or 4870 and I don't want to deal with the heat they put out in my little HTPC case. There isn't room for a taller aftermarket coolers like the S1 or S2.

I'm going to look at the 4830 since it looks to have a nice low idle power consumption. What do you guys think of them? And I do want the setup to be quiet when watch OTA HD and streamed shows. The 4670 is also tempting but possibly a little weaker than I'd want.
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
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Pretty much ANY videocard is deadquiet when it's in idle mode, so you don't have to worry about that ... HD4830 and HD4670 ain't bad options. The 4670 is pretty much equal to a 9600gt though, so if you were considering that one, the 4670 will be just fine as well ...
 

Spike

Diamond Member
Aug 27, 2001
6,770
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I'd definitly say the 4670 as your best bet. It's a huge upgrade over your 7900GT and consumes very little power (and thus produces less heat). I would expect to see completely passive versions in the not too distant future or you should have no issue running one passive with the S1 assuming it can mount to the card.

In that price range ($80-100) the only other card that games well is the 9600GT or 9600GSO but both of those run much hotter than the 4670. If quiet is a huge issue for you then the 4670 is probably the best. Though as MarcVenice said none of these options will play the latest games at 1080p with the goodies turned up.
 

TantrumusMaximus

Senior member
Dec 27, 2004
515
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I would stay at the higher end for 1900x1200 if you care about all the details etc. I have a Dell 2405 24" and even my 8800GTX is getting weathered by todays standards. At a minimum go as the poster above said and get a 4850 OR GTX 260 maybe. (Though I'm not sure about the noise levels on those for options out of the box.) I like to avoid aftermarket coolers so if I can find one already installed out of the box I usually go for em.

As for NOISE, there is a 4870 out (saw it on newegg) that already has a nice quiet cooler on it.... let me look.....

Here's the link:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/...x?Item=N82E16814131120

This way you can have the power to game at the high details and have the noise balance in check along with keeping your warranty out of the box.

PS:
There is a camp that say this type of cooler disperses heat inside your case. If you have good airflow don't worry about it.
 

s44

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2006
9,426
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4670 will get slaughtered at that resolution. I'd get a 8800/9800GT with aftermarket cooler.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
IMHO, the current ATI offerings run cooler for the same performance. I'd probably look at the 4850 series with a dual slot cooler. I run a 2600XT in my HTPC by Palait with a dual slot cooler and it is excellent. HIS also makes decent quiet cards. Make sure the card actually exhausts out the back. Some older MSI cards look like they do this, but they actually dump a lot of the hot air into the case.

An example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/...x?Item=N82E16814161243

Passive cards are probably not the way to go. I'm assuming that your "quiet HTPC" has minimal airflow, which is deadly to a passive card.
 

Hugh H

Senior member
Jul 11, 2008
315
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I have a 1920 x 1200 monitor, and even my GTX 280 struggles with modern games at max details. For that resolution, you need either 4870/GTX 260 and up to have a decent experience.
 

Zebo

Elite Member
Jul 29, 2001
39,408
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There is no quiet factory card if you take quiet seriously. The 4850 is out of contention because it produces too much heat under load necessitating fan speed to dissipate. I would opt for a cool running 9800GT/GTX and saddle it with an Accelero which you can leave the fans off if you have reasonable case air flow- even with the fans at 5V it's almost silent though.

But then again buying a second party cooler is expensive and time consuming to install and I don't know how you feel about that? The other option, if you could stand to be just a bit slower than 4850/9800 GTX, is a 9600GT with passive heat sink installed from factory. Here is one version. http://www.newegg.com/Product/...x?Item=N82E16814121244

No fans = no noise.

It's the fastest passive card sold and supports all modern features e.g. dx10, HDMI, etc.
 
May 30, 2007
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@ 1920x1200 stay away from anything slower than a 9800 GX2, HD 4870 1gb or GTX260 core 216 IMHO. Unless you like low to mid detail with no AA at all.

This is what kept me from going with a 21.5" LCD @ 1920x1080 as I'm on an 8800GTS 512 @ 775/1936/1000 as my Crysis Performance was just inside 100% playeable @ 1280x1024 on max detail with 16x AF and 2x AA. Going to the 22" 1650x1080 LCD I ordered last night I'm going to lose AA and prob still 3 - 5 FPS which will force me to turn down some settings :(

Tbh, I'm eyeballing a GTX 260 core 216 atm and with the pressure I'm already feeling in Far Cry 2 I'ma prob pull the trigger on that $280 investment within the next 2 or 3 days.
 

Timmyotule

Member
Aug 31, 2002
64
3
71
Thanks again. I decided a 4670 will do all I really need and I just don't want to deal with the extra heat output / noise of the faster cards.

I ordered the HSI 4670 from Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/...x?Item=N82E16814161249

Based on a post on Silent PC Review from a user that can't hear the card over his undervolted Nexus fans. He was pleased and he was switching from a passive card. The dual slot setup should work nicely in my little HTPC case to vent the hot air.

Looking forward to the HD codec acceleration and HDMI w/ audio for the home theater.
 
May 30, 2007
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Don't say we didn't warn you when that card chokes @ that res. Even my 8800GTS 512 would have issues @ that res so I fail to see the HD4670 doing "okay".

Eh, ya win some ya lose some I guess.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
That's a fine choice. He did say in the first post that he needed to make a compromise, and then later he said he rarely games. That card should handle part-time gaming just fine, even if it's not at 1920p with high detail. Not everybody needs a $250 card to play a few games per year with the best possible quality.

Good choice on the dual slot cooler. I have the same case with a similar card and it works exceptionally well.
 

n7

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2004
21,306
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Originally posted by: Timmyotule
Thanks again. I decided a 4670 will do all I really need and I just don't want to deal with the extra heat output / noise of the faster cards.

I ordered the HSI 4670 from Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/...x?Item=N82E16814161249

Based on a post on Silent PC Review from a user that can't hear the card over his undervolted Nexus fans. He was pleased and he was switching from a passive card. The dual slot setup should work nicely in my little HTPC case to vent the hot air.

Looking forward to the HD codec acceleration and HDMI w/ audio for the home theater.
Nice choice.

Based on what you said you use that system for & wanted, i would have recommended at 4670 as well.

It'll do just fine for older games, & if you turn things down enough, it'll run newer ones too.

 
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