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SILENT HTPC GRAPHIC CARD REQUIRED

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SILENT HTPC GRAPHIC CARD REQUIRED

Old 21st Mar 2012, 12:45
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SILENT HTPC GRAPHIC CARD REQUIRED

Right, lets start with the obvious.
I'm a stingy git.

But I also understand that you get what you pay for.

I need to upgrade my graphic card, partly because the one I have was noisy. I say 'was' because it is now silent. The fan is solid. It all still works, for a while but the heatsink gets very hot and it occasionally shuts down, I assume because it's got too hot.

I could just replace the fan/heatsink assy, but by the time I've buggered about with it I'm thinking I'll just get a new one.

It's an old card too and I see the budget prices start at about 20 for a card with 1Gb on board memory and a faster processor than I have.


So, any preference?

I don't do gaming just Listen to music, record and play at lot of TV and play the occasional DVD.

The two that jump out are

Asus AMD Radeon HD 6450 Silent Graphics Card (1GB, PCI-E, Low Profile, DDR3, 3 Years Warranty)


and

Sapphire 11166-02-20R HD 5450 1GB DDR3 PCIE HDMI Graphics Card


Any advice from the usual Media Centre experts appreciated.

I'm running Vista by the way.....I know,I know.....
TURIN is offline  
Old 21st Mar 2012, 13:20
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I think you are right in going for a fanless card - quieter and less to go wrong - as you aren't trying to wring max performance out for games.

The amount of VRAM on a card is not a reliable guide to performance, as most of it is used for geometry, texture mapping and effects in games - not something that you are overly concerned with. For most purposes, a 256MB card is just as good as a 1GB card (everything else being equal).

Of the 2 you have shown, I would choose the Asus, as it has a 128-bit memory interface. Not that much else to choose between them.

SD
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Old 21st Mar 2012, 13:41
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I've got a Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB in one of my machines and quite happy with it.

I'm guessing 6450 is probably the current generation.

AMD is really ATI rebranded following a bit of M&A, so it's got a decent pedigree.
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Old 21st Mar 2012, 15:45
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I have one of the 6450s. Very happy with it. Does HDMI out, includes audio in that, and has the ability to work as a half-height card too.

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Old 21st Mar 2012, 16:10
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I have an Nvidia 9400gt in my purpose built HTPC, running win7 mc off an SSD & an Asus P5G41T-MLX motherboard.

It's silent with a heatsink, full height & has HDMI out. Possibly a bit long in the tooth, but perfect for my HTPC set up. The only concern I have is with the spacing of the expansion slots, the heatsink does sit millimetres from the next card, but touch wood, three years in situ, nothing's gone bang yet.
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Old 21st Mar 2012, 19:39
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you could take the fan off, and fit after market fanless cooling, or buy a stock item. I have always used a uk company for this sort of stuff, try a goggle search for quiet.....pc. hope this helps, have fun
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Old 21st Mar 2012, 21:11
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Based on personal experience of having to fix them......

Don't buy a Sapphire card
Quality control seems substandard, failure rates are higher than for other ATI makers and theres no UK support site to handle RMAs. The agency who did it lost the contract a couple of years ago - allegedly because they were RMAing too many

Generally ATi based cards are more reliable than nVidia based ones - but Sapphire are the exception
At present I'd always prefer a card with an ATi chip - but not one from Sapphire
As to why I prefer ATi over nVidia - its because nVidia still have problems with low-lead solders fracturing through thermal cycling. Its why you don't see many laptops with nVidia graphics chips fitted
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Old 21st Mar 2012, 21:59
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Thanks all.

Much obliged.
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Old 22nd Mar 2012, 09:59
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As an addendum to this, it's serendipity that yesterday was digital switchover day in the UK, with Freeview users being handed HD channels for the first time. In anticipation of this, I added a DVB-T S2 tuner, specifically the PCTV nanostick to my set up to take advantage of this & the good old 9400gt has handled it flawlessly.
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Old 22nd Mar 2012, 10:32
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Graphics card shouldn't give a problem with with the digital switch.
What does sometimes cause a problem are, ironically, some of the older digital TV cards. By default they can't handle the way in which the multiplexes are reallocated to the various channels once the analogue service is switched off, and often need to be manually pointed at the correct frequencies to scan. Some of the older Avermedia cards are good examples of this
If you look up the local transmitter on UK digital switchover dates | ukfree.tv - independent free digital TV advice you can find the correct frequencies for your area
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Old 22nd Mar 2012, 13:35
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Thread drift.

Sprogs' input above about digital switchover day is only true in his part of deepest Southern England. Other bits of the UK have other dates.

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Old 22nd Mar 2012, 15:02
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that link I gave above should show what changes when
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