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Fastest quietest radeon ?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Mr.D, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I'm about to max out my HTPC as I want to use it for HD and games now that the resolution on my projector warrants it.

    Ideally I want something in the region of a 9700 pro or higher and I'd like it as quiet as possible without resorting to a watercooling solution.
    All the third party cooling add ons I've seen take up an additional PCI slot. This is no good to me as I need to use all 5 PCI slots on my mobo ( sound card , wireless nic , sweetspot and x2 nebulas).

    I'd like to exhaust ( pardon the pun) all possibiliites before I resort to watercooling ( although I'm really happy with the reserator on my other machine. ( might go Xice for the HTPC though)
     
  2. onewingedangel

    onewingedangel
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    Unfortnuately, once you go above 9600 pro level there are no one slot passive solutions, so if you could sacrifice a slot a zalman cooler would be an option, although really with a 9800 pro they recommend using the quiet fan with it. Alternately, you could use an arctic cooling vga silencer, which runs cooler and quieter than the standard 9800 pro cooling, but again uses a pci slot. As far as using the regular 9800 pros cooling, it may get rather warm with the limited airflow afforded to it by the pci cards, and the noise level is at a normal graphics card level rather than quiet, but certainly its not loud either, so prehaps you could see if the noise level is acceptable for you. My suggestion wuld be to sacrifice a pci card and get the vga silencer, a cheap solution to quieten the case. Prehaps you could get usb wireless device instead, freeing that pci slot? Also you mention watercooling, most waterblocks will force the adjacent pci slot to be inaccessable.
     
  3. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Thanks for that I've read good things about the arctic solution.
    I think I'll sacrifice one of the nebulas: I already have a standalone digibox that inputs to the sweetspot for dual tuner duties.

    I suspect I'm going to have to drill a few more holes in the back of my LMP case for ventilation: hope the 3.2 prescot and flower cooler is sufficient though! Not the coolest case in the world !
     
  4. Big Jim

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    From some reading over on the SFF (shuttle) forums, it looks like the X800 pro's use LESS power than 9800's, so they should be easier to cool and might be a good option. Very nice for games too...

    Could you not use the reserator graphics cooling block, it looks lie you might scrape a PCI card in next to it

    http://www.quietpc.com/uk/watercooling.php
     
  5. rOAdeh

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    sapphire do a passive 9800p but its rather expensive :eek: and again uses the spare slot, not heard much about it because of the prohibitive cost but it's an option if silence is a must have - i'd imagine good case airflow would be necessary though so a zalman + fan might be a better option.

    would agree also that if you really need a silent 9800 then either lose the internal wireless nic, do a trade with someone for an external nebula or maybe even change your mobo to one with 6 pci slots?
     
  6. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I suspect you might get a reserator graphics block in between the two slots ( I'll have a look on my workstation one)

    I will be buying a new mobo ( upgrading the whole machine) but I was kinda set on the asus P4C800-E deluxe which only has 5 PCI slots.

    At the moment the HTPC is fan cooled with a zalman flower cooler( with 2 fans) and a couple of silent case fans.

    I'm a bit worried that I could end up having to watercool it anyway if the prescot 3.2 P4 I have my eye on is too much for the flower cooler ( luckily the cooler is salvage from my P4 workstation which I've just reserated!)

    PlanA is to go with quiet fans.
    PlanB is to go with watercooling ( either a reserator or a Xice system which doesn't have to be level with the HTPC)

    I figure I might as well try with the arctic cooler solution first ( Scan sell it as a diy add on to a normal 9800 pro). That way if its still doesn't work I can go with the Xice solution and sell the cooler.
     
  7. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Actually I may well go with a Northwood having read some interesting stuff on temperatures for the prescotts!
     
  8. Jackass

    Jackass
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    Keith,

    Go with a Northy, as you said the prescott's get hot!

    Steve
     
  9. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Done

    3.2 Northy
    Asus P4C800-E deluxe
    radeon 9800 pro 128M
    Arctic vga cooler
    x2 DDR400 PC3200 512 crucial RAM

    Then I forgot to order an oem of winXP pro at the same time and await confirmation that I cancelled it and will have to reorder !
     
  10. Jackass

    Jackass
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    Who did you order from Keith?
     
  11. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Scan had the best prices (radeon and P4 were on deal of the day)
     
  12. Jackass

    Jackass
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    Nice one.

    Just bought my HTPC online as well.
     
  13. Big Jim

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    Have fun building it!

    I would second the suggestion of going with an external wireless card - 1 more free PCI slot, and you can often get better reception when you can get the aerial away from the electrical noise of the PC. A USB one would be cheap, or a bridge would not consume any processing.

    If you go with a bridge, I've got a Netgear WGE101 which is proving pretty good.
     
  14. mathew

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    Also don't forget nebula cards are available in usb2 format

    and the tuner performs far better outside the pc in my testing

    and how/why are you using two? didn't think the software support the dual cards yet?
     
  15. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I bought the second nebula on the classifieds for a fair bit under rrp.
    In anticipation of dual tuner usage.

    Its overkill on my system though as I also have a digibox easily accessible through a sweetspot card and although its only a P3 the HTPC is capable of running Dscaler with all the settings I need/want as wellas recording silently in digiTV.

    In fact I could put the spare nebula in my workstation PC and record on there if necessary.

    One of these days I'll just have some centralised house server that does workstation and HTPC duties ...but not today!

    Just sorted the additional winXP pro oem licence on my scan order : no problems.
     

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