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Which graphics card

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by geeWcee, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. geeWcee

    geeWcee
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    I've decided to take the plunge and build a HCPC.

    I'm a complete noob when it comes to these but I work with PCs for a living so no probs with the actual building.

    So firstly, which graphics card do people recommend? I want to connect it to my PW7. Do any g.c's have component out? Budget is not a problem so you can recommend whatever card you really think is best for the job.

    Cheers.
     
  2. phasmax

    phasmax
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    I use an ATI Radeon 9600 (passive cooling - no fan). It's got the basic outputs (VGA, DVI, S-video)

    It's great for just abot anything you want to do with an HTPC.

    Will you have a dedicated tuner card (e.g. PVR-250?). Or are you aiming more for something like a All-in-Wonder? If that's the case...well, 9600 AIW should do fine.

    Question is - do you want to use the machine as a dedicated HTPC, or do some gaming on it as well (and with gaming, I'm referring to DX9 games like Doom 3, Half-life 2 etc). In that case, you obviously need a bit more graphics power (NVidia 6800, ATI X800 series etc).

    If your HTPC is a dedicated machine in your living room, you'd want it to generate as little sound as possible, otherwise it's just a constant "humming" in your living room.

    If your graphics card has a fan that speeds up (and is loud), well...that's a problem. Then you need either very good acousting shielding in your case, or get a 3rd party VGA cooler that'll do the job quietly.
     
  3. geeWcee

    geeWcee
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    Thanks Phasmax for taking the time out to reply. Much appreciated.
    I want to go for dedicated tuner cards (maybe 2?).
    This machine will be for HCPC only. I have two other machines in the house, one for gaming and one for business use already.
    So any passive cooling graphics card will do the job as long as its quite a good spec?

    I presume the faster the CPU you can have in there the better? I would like to use it for HD material in the future.
     
  4. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    In the last few days someone posted a link to a Gigabyte nVidia 6600GT with a cooler-pipe cooler, the 6600 is a popular card nowadaysnd has some things to commend it over the 9600 .. that said I ditched a 6800GT due to problems getting required refresh rates and am using a 9600 XT Ultra perfectly happily, though a cheaper version of a 9600 with a simpler cooler would also do just as well if gaming wasn't an issue.
     
  5. zAndy1

    zAndy1
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    Is it possible to get a bog standard 9600 with passive cooling anywhere (i.e. not SE version?). I can't for the life of me find one...

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  6. SimonO

    SimonO
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    That's exactly what I've been looking for but from what KraGorn has posted, it's an SE or XT Ultimate...
     
  7. SimonO

    SimonO
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    On the Sapphire website the pictures of the 9600 SE show what looks like a C24 card without DVI and a C20 card with... This is all pathatically complicated - a bit like an HCPC!!! :mad:
     
  8. Too Tall

    Too Tall
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  9. SimonO

    SimonO
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    Thanks, I couldn't find that on ebuyer, mind you that's not saying much... So, do you think if I'm not playing any games, that mounting a passive (non-heat pipe) heat sink upside down will work without any heat issues..? :confused:
     
  10. SimonO

    SimonO
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    Sorted, I've just disconnected the fan!!! Silence at last...





    What's that burning smell???
     
  11. Too Tall

    Too Tall
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    What card do you have now? Have you thought about getting a Zalman heatsink? They're really not that hard to fix. Or is it this upsidedown problem you mentioned?
     
  12. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    There may be a 'normal' one but that site is where I get my stuff, and to be hoest the 'SE' worked fine for me in an HTPC I had before.
     
  13. SimonO

    SimonO
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    I'm sure the SE is more than adequate for my needs, it's more the upside down passive heat sink that worries me... My existing card is fan cooled, so by disconnecting it I guess I'll get a good idea as to whether a passive arrangement will work... Current card is a GeForce2 Ti 64MB...
     
  14. KraGorn

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    I've used the SE on and off for 4 months, I'm not sure what it is about the heatsink you're unsure about, but in any case for HTPC usage you'll never use much GPU power .. and the ATI Control Panel has a temp. monitor and alarm if you're overly worried.
     
  15. geeWcee

    geeWcee
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    Sounds like the SE is the one to go for. KraGorn, have you run HD material using it?
     
  16. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    A bit, depends on what you're getting at, I run the desktop as 1280x720 to get 1:1 into my projector. I've played some HD .TS rips but not run HD WMVs if that's, what you're referring to.
     
  17. SimonO

    SimonO
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    Simply that a passive heat sink relies on the fact that heat rises... Mount it upside down and it won't do much...
     
  18. geeWcee

    geeWcee
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    Yer, it was the WMVs I wondered about.
     
  19. SimonO

    SimonO
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    Well, I've run it without the fan for a few days and not surprisingly it gets very hot... Will a heat pipe card work correctly 'upside down'..? :confused: :lease: If not I'll go for something with a fan...
     
  20. sniffer66

    sniffer66
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    I'm using one in combination with an xcard/sweetspot. Got mine from ebay for £30 - worth a quick search !!
     

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