I also wholly recommend the Silent Cell 5750 with one caveat (see below).
I recently purchased the Gigabyte 5750 Silent Cell to replace an ECS 8800GT w/Accelero S1 in my htpc. The HTPC case is a SilverStone Desktop HTPC LC20-B. I'm quite pleased with the results. It's cool, energy efficient, and, is unobtrusively silent. The Accelero S1 was too wide to permit complete closure of the top of the SilverStone case. The 5750 permits complete case closure.
The power draw comparison is as follows:
System Activity: Before (8800gt); After (5750)
Idle: 78; 56-57
CPU Load (Prime95): 105; 79
Low Def (standard AVI): 84-87; 68-72
Hi Def (720p MKV): 81; 68-72
I unfortunately never tested power consumption during 3dmark with the 8800gt. With the 5750, 3dmark was 102-116 with an avg. ~106.
System: AMD BE-2400 undervolted (but not underclocked), 8gb DDR2, Seasonic x650; nForce 750a based motherboard; 64gb Vertex 1 SSD; DVD-RW; Linksys 802.11n USB adapter; Windows MCE Remote IR receiver; Cordless mouse/keyboard USB receiver; 1 x 80mm fan (attached to video card in both instances); 1 x 92mm cpu fan.
There is one caveat for those who are purchasing this card for use in an htpc - technically incomplete 3D support. AMD has recently introduced AMD HD3D
, its 3D support initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to provide full 3D support for gaming (converting 2d games to 3D), 3D desktop, and Bluray 3D support. However, the current drivers only support Bluray 3D for the 6000 series of cards. Hardware Support List here.
This may change in the future as there is certainly no reason that the drivers cannot be made to support Bluray 3D via software, and an AMD representative has suggested that AMD intends to extend back full 3D support to at least the 5000 series.
That being said, there are workarounds to get BR3d output from the 5000 series cards as well as some indication that AMD has intentionally crippled the drivers to remove full BR3d decoding support from the 500 series
in what could only be a marketing ploy. See the full thread for discussion of support options.
Hopefully AMD extends "official" full support to the 5000 series leaving no caveat's to the purchase of the 5750 Silent Cell for HTPC use. There aren't too many (if any) superior options at this point that do not require aftermarket cooling or modding (e.g., you could buy an Nvidia 450 or 460, or an AMD 6000 series and mod it). Power Color has exhibited a silent 6850 but I do not believe it's hit the retail market yet. And, I'm sure it will be much more expensive than the 5750 Silent Cell which has finally come down to a very competitive price to warrant an upgrade.