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Why are modern video cards getting longer?

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,922
6,885
126
Cases are designed with a fixed size for video cards. I'm just worried that eventually, if video cards keep getting longer and longer for some reason, that they will stop fitting in our cases.

For example, I bought a couple of MicroATX cases from Newegg for $20 shipped each. I was thinking of turning them into budget gaming rigs and trying to sell them. But they only have 9.5" of clearance for video cards. That's barely enough to fit an 8800GT or 4850/4770, but it seems it is not enough for a 58x0.

Or are cases going to eventually evolve to be bigger and bigger, to accomodate cards?

Get a new video card, have to buy a new case to go with it, will that become a new routine?
Will we all have to upgrade to ThermalTake Armor cases? (For one example of a monstrous case, that will fit any video card so far known.)
 

her209

No Lifer
Oct 11, 2000
56,352
9
0
Originally posted by: VirtualLarry
Cases are designed with a fixed size for video cards. I'm just worried that eventually, if video cards keep getting longer and longer for some reason, that they will stop fitting in our cases.

For example, I bought a couple of MicroATX cases from Newegg for $20 shipped each. I was thinking of turning them into budget gaming rigs and trying to sell them. But they only have 9.5" of clearance for video cards. That's barely enough to fit an 8800GT or 4850/4770, but it seems it is not enough for a 58x0.

Or are cases going to eventually evolve to be bigger and bigger, to accomodate cards?

Get a new video card, have to buy a new case to go with it, will that become a new routine?
Will we all have to upgrade to ThermalTake Armor cases? (For one example of a monstrous case, that will fit any video card so far known.)
"Budget gaming rigs" and "58x0" don't belong in the same paragraph.
 

BenSkywalker

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
9,140
67
91
A $250 5850 sure is budget oriented.
That's like saying a Corvette is budget oriented because it is significantly cheaper then a Veyron. A 4770 is more in line with a budget gaming rig.
 

bunnyfubbles

Lifer
Sep 3, 2001
12,248
3
0
Originally posted by: BenSkywalker
A $250 5850 sure is budget oriented.
That's like saying a Corvette is budget oriented because it is significantly cheaper then a Veyron. A 4770 is more in line with a budget gaming rig.
exactly, spending $250 on a video card vs. $100 is a huge difference when there are plenty of cases that can be had for less than $100 that will hold even the most absurdly long video cards.

can't gorge on one but completely skimp on the other.
 

dflynchimp

Senior member
Apr 11, 2007
468
0
71
Originally posted by: soccerballtux
it's called a v-peen.
or a v-gina. Seriously there are girls who game too you know...

Actually I think it should be called v-rack
 

mwmorph

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2004
8,882
1
81
Originally posted by: IlllI
never seen a 3d labs wildcat video card have you
http://www.ixbt.com/video/prof...at2-5000-card-back.jpg
In truth though, that card cost $2000 IIRC and should only have been put in dual&quad processor workstations. It was a hell of a workstation card back in the day though.

I'm not trying to say a 5870 should fit in one of those mini cases. The 4850 v.s. 5870 i like apples to orange, but the Wildcat v.s. 5870 i like apples to an orangutan.
 

Equ1n0x

Member
Oct 9, 2009
28
0
0
It *is* annoying that every new series of cards seems to take up even more space, I think we can all admit that, though if you are running a high end graphics card, chances are you need a large case to accommodate cooling and power.

They should just release an entirely separate box you plug in to a riser on the motherboard and be done with it. They could also include the 1200 W power supply necessary to run the card(s) and fans. Then we would be able to brag about how gigantic our graphics card boxes are.

Someone would probably make a Quad Slot box that required a ceiling fan sized setup to cool it and a diesel generator.
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
21,884
974
126
Originally posted by: VirtualLarry

Cases are designed with a fixed size for video cards. I'm just worried that eventually, if video cards keep getting longer and longer for some reason, that they will stop fitting in our cases.
Video cards have a length budget and that?s currently 10.5 inches, with 11 inches being rarely used in more exotic configs like the 4850X2 and the 5870X2 (predicted). The fact is, a 5850 is faster than a GTX285 while being shorter, so you could argue lengths are getting shorter.

For example, I bought a couple of MicroATX cases from Newegg for $20 shipped each. I was thinking of turning them into budget gaming rigs and trying to sell them. But they only have 9.5" of clearance for video cards. That's barely enough to fit an 8800GT or 4850/4770, but it seems it is not enough for a 58x0.
I don?t understand why you expect a uATX case to fit high or even mid-range video cards. Do you also expect a uATX motherboard to handle tri-SLI/CF? I purchased a uATX motherboard with the full intention of never going multi-GPU.

Will we all have to upgrade to ThermalTake Armor cases? (For one example of a monstrous case, that will fit any video card so far known.)
Heh, it?s funny you mention this as I just replaced my Armor with an Antec 902. You?re probably thinking ?you?re crazy?, but there were so many flaws with the Armor it wasn?t funny. And it was grossly overpriced too compared to the Antec.

The Antec 902 is by far the best case I?ve ever put a build into. Despite being a lot smaller than the Armor, the build went faster and more smoothly.

The cooling system blows away the Armor?s too, and my CPU fan will often stop spinning for long periods of time because ambient temperatures are so low. It?s also far quieter too, even with DVD drives. Never again will I buy aluminum cases; they?re utterly useless for dissipating noise compared to solid steel.

The engineering and design of the Antec 902 is simply superb, and I didn?t believe the hype until I used one myself.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,922
6,885
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Originally posted by: BFG10K
I don?t understand why you expect a uATX case to fit high or even mid-range video cards. Do you also expect a uATX motherboard to handle tri-SLI/CF? I purchased a uATX motherboard with the full intention of never going multi-GPU.
What about the MSI X58M? It's a full-featured 1366 board in a mATX form-factor. It also supports SLI and CF.

 

Soulkeeper

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2001
6,648
104
106
I think as long as people keep buying big/hot cards they'll happily keep making them.
they are basically giving us "what we want"
personally i've made the decision not to buy anything bigger/hungrier than the gts250/radeon 3870
I'll just wait untill the performance in that power envelope is enough to justify an upgrade
 

Kenmitch

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
8,502
2,244
136
It's a man thing....Things tend to grow when put into slots :)

Maybe both ATI and NVIDIA think that bigger is better. To be " The Card " it has to have the look of the card. Most people who didn't know all the specs and features of the cards would tend to think the larger card would be more powerful.

I'd think that in this day and age both ATI and NVIDIA would have the technology to produce a much smaller card with the same performance.

Getting out of the slot and on the board is the way to go. Why not just intigrate the GPU onto the MB in a socket format. This paired with a dedicated say 1or 2gb of DDR5 mem on the MB would seem like the way to go. Make a Gsocket???? industry standard. It would raise the cost of a MB but in the end it would save on GPU's. Hell could even have dual sockets for sli or crossfire.
 

IlllI

Diamond Member
Feb 12, 2002
4,922
9
81
Originally posted by: mwmorph

In truth though, that card cost $2000 IIRC and should only have been put in dual&quad processor workstations. It was a hell of a workstation card back in the day though.

I'm not trying to say a 5870 should fit in one of those mini cases. The 4850 v.s. 5870 i like apples to orange, but the Wildcat v.s. 5870 i like apples to an orangutan.

his whole topic was they newer ones keep getting longer and longer. but this is not really anything new. there have been some long ones in the past :p

 

mwmorph

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2004
8,882
1
81
Originally posted by: IlllI
Originally posted by: mwmorph

In truth though, that card cost $2000 IIRC and should only have been put in dual&quad processor workstations. It was a hell of a workstation card back in the day though.

I'm not trying to say a 5870 should fit in one of those mini cases. The 4850 v.s. 5870 i like apples to orange, but the Wildcat v.s. 5870 i like apples to an orangutan.

his whole topic was they newer ones keep getting longer and longer. but this is not really anything new. there have been some long ones in the past :p
I personally think it has to do with power requirements and smaller processes. More power = more mosfets. Smaller gates = more sensitivity = more pwm components needed for cleaner power. Those things don't run cool either when handling 288 watts so they need a decent amount of space to not overheat as a group, and don't forget the more complex leads to make it all work together.

Originally posted by: fffblackmage
mac edition geforce 4 ti4600
Did the powermac case require a video card of X length so it can fit into it's mounting system or what?
 

Ben90

Platinum Member
Jun 14, 2009
2,866
2
0
Originally posted by: mwmorph
Originally posted by: fffblackmage
mac edition geforce 4 ti4600
Did the powermac case require a video card of X length so it can fit into it's mounting system or what?
I know dell's discrete graphics in the past had like this bar thing that attached to back of the card to the case; but it came in two parts; one seemed to be an extender, and the other the actual mounting mechanism
 

Keysplayr

Elite Member
Jan 16, 2003
21,209
50
91
This Thermaltake Armor I have here can accept up to 14" cards. I was getting tired of the minimal clearance, or not being able to put a hard drive in a particular bay because it wouldn't clear the graphics card(s).
So I splurged on this case. The cooling "was" loud, so I rewired every fan in the case (5 of them) to run at 5V. They still move more than enough air and are very quiet. The loudest thing in my rig now is the northbridge fan. Kind of a whining sound.

So yeah, this case would handle up to 14" cards. I don't see myself ever needing to buy a bigger clearance case. This case cost me 120.00 at MC on sale.

The other good thing about this case, is there is more than enough room to add a water cooling system if I cared to do so. I'm thinking about it actually for the next build.

So, I would suggest, when you are ready to buy your next case, take into consideration how long the GPU's are these days and save yourself some headaches down the road. You'll need to spend a bit more for a good case, but it's probably the last case you'll need.
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
5,664
0
0
Meh, even a $50 case like a antec 300 will hold the longest videocards, so will a cm690. Stop complaining. Videocards a) aren't really getting longer and b) they are as long as they are, because of aforementioned reasons. More power means more volterra chips, the HD 5870 has a total of EIGHT vt-chips. Also don't forget that there are 4 video-outputs on there. Videocards also went from 512MB as a standard to 1GB being the standard, which means more ram-chips (not always but it does contribute). Oh and last but not least, shorter card will usually mean smaller coolers, which means louder cards.
 

CurseTheSky

Diamond Member
Oct 21, 2006
5,401
1
0
Hmm, I'm curious now. I'll have to dig up some of the older cards I have hanging around and compare.

For example, I used a 6800 GT for a long time, and it was a decently small card. When I got it, the top-of-the-line 7800 GTX wasn't much longer (picture for comparison). The FX 5900 XT I just installed in a computer to give away (minimum specs for my girlfriend's cousin to play Sims 3; very low budget) wasn't very long either. I believe the 9800 XT and Ti 4200 I had laying around were a bit longer than the other cards that I mentioned, but certainly no where near what today's cards are.

IIRC, I didn't start hearing people complaining about graphics cards not fitting into certain cases, or buying cases specifically because they could "accommodate up to XX.XX in. graphics cards!" until Nvidia released the 8800 series. I never had anything from the X19xx series, so I can't comment on those.

Edit: I found this picture as well, which clearly shows an 8800 GTX and 9800 GX2 (both long cards), but two ATi cars as well... I can't identify them off-hand, but I'm going to guess the one on the left is a X19xx series, and the one on the right is an HD 2900 series? The one on the right looks like it has an 8-pin PCI-E power connector, and the one on the left either has 2x 6-pin or one 6-pin and one 8-pin (in which case, it's probably an HD 2k or HD 3k series as well).

Edit 2: A ha! An X1950XTX next to an 8800 GTX. Here's the original page, which mentions the two cards about half way down.

Edit 3: 8800 GTX next to a 7950 GX2. THAT thing is a monster. Original page

Finally, here's an 8800 GTX next to a 7900 GTX. With the exception of the 7950 GX2, I think the 8800 series is what started the trend.
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
5,664
0
0
Here's a picture of the longest cards: http://tweakers.net/ext/i/1253661154.jpg and here's one with a few smaller cards: http://tweakers.net/ext/i/1242071911.jpeg

On the second picture, the one to the left is a 8800gts 640MB. It's equally long as a HD 4850, which I think is equally long to a HD 4870. The HD 4890 is as long as a HD 4870, which in the first picture is obviously shorter then all the other cards, including the HD 5870. So MAYBE the high-end ATI card got longer, but it's still not longer then previous cards, like the GTX 285 (which is on the bottom of the first picture).
 

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