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 Post subject: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:15 am
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I'm about to buy components for a new computer (a hackintosh as it happens, so I'll need to check any recommendations' compatibility using this and this, but I can do that myself :) ). I've picked them all (including Intel's P67 chipset and i5 2500k 3.3GHz processor) except the video card and case. I want these to be reasonably quiet, hence why I'm posting here! (My standard is my current Core 2 Duo iMac - I'd love it to be as quiet as my old fanless G4 Cube or iMac DV, but will settle for less.)

I'm looking for a tradeoff between low noise, low cost and moderate performance. Cost should follow the other 2 criteria - I want to spend just what I have to. I don't do any AV work and play games very occasionally - the most demanding thing I'll play is Civilization 5 in Windows. There's a good ranking here of how well different cards handle this, so can anyone point me to cards around the recommended spec that meet my requirements? If there aren't any that are acceptably quiet and cheap, I'll give up on Civ 5, so what compatible cards would you recommend for a user like me?

Hackintosh users have recommended me the Gigabyte 5570/5770 Silent Cell, which are perhaps a bit more power and cost than I was after but more importantly don't fit my provisional choice of quiet case (the Antec Sonata III, which takes cards up to 10.5 inches). I'm open to changing my case if anyone can point me to a larger quiet one. However, my impression is that these cards need their huge heatsinks because they're powerful and so hot, so if anyone can recommend some slightly weaker quiet video cards that'd be great.

Many thanks in advance :)


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 Post subject: Re: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:44 pm 
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Sure it doesn't fit? This thread implies it might just fit (or not...) in a solo, and I believe both cases allow the same length for video cards (not sure it's the EXACT same space though). viewtopic.php?t=60180.

If you want a slightly slower card, well the 5750 isn't all that much slower, like 15-20%, and has better (the go green at least, otherwise probably similar) perf/power though not necessarily better perf/price. There are more fanless versions out for that model as well (the go green seems to be highly regarded as it uses less power because it seems to be factory-undervolted).


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 Post subject: Re: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
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Location: Guatemala
I would first try the HD3000 that comes with i5 2500K pretty decent for very light gaming, and enough for watching movies.

But if you still want a dedicated gpu, and want passive, here some options (the frist two i would only buy for a HTPC)

Sapphire Radeon HD 6450
ASUS ENGT520 Silent/DI/1GD3(LP)

GIGABYTE GV-R677SL-1GD Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 (Dimension according to newegg 10.8" x 5.9" x 1.5")
I havent been able to find avialable yet, but just in case, Sapphire Ultimate Radeon HD 6670 Review (Dimesions according to the another review, 18cm x 13cm x 5cm)

PowerColor SCS3 AX6850 1GBD5-S3DH Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 (dimensions according to powercolor web 223.3mm x 111.2mm x 62mm)

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 Post subject: Re: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:43 pm 
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Hi and Welcome the SPCR

We're missing one variable to give a decent response - what is your screen resolution?

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 Post subject: Re: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:15 am
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CA_Steve wrote:
Hi and Welcome the SPCR

We're missing one variable to give a decent response - what is your screen resolution?


Thanks, you seem to get plenty of responses here, unlike some other forums :)

My resolution is 1920x1080 on a 23 inch LCD, though if it makes my choice of card much easier I'd be willing to play games lower res (either switching resolution and living with the fuzziness, or finding some Windows software which put black borders around, say, a 1440x900 region of your monitor so you have a smaller active screen at the LCD's native resolution).


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 Post subject: Re: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:06 pm 
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mczak wrote:
Sure it doesn't fit? This thread implies it might just fit (or not...) in a solo, and I believe both cases allow the same length for video cards (not sure it's the EXACT same space though). viewtopic.php?t=60180.


I'm going on the Sonata III manual (and some forum posts), which give 10.5 inches as the max length. This thread suggests 10.5 inches is the absolute max for a Solo too, and that's not comfortable - and your thread doesn't make the 5770 Silent Cell sound like a comfortable fit at all, with some people flatly stating it doesn't fit.

mczak wrote:
If you want a slightly slower card, well the 5750 isn't all that much slower, like 15-20%, and has better (the go green at least, otherwise probably similar) perf/power though not necessarily better perf/price. There are more fanless versions out for that model as well (the go green seems to be highly regarded as it uses less power because it seems to be factory-undervolted).


Well that's comfortably powerful enough for me, and the Go Green sounds like it'd clearly be quiet and cool enough. If this is the right card and dimensions, it's easily short enough, but quite tall (15cm) - would it fit in a Sonata III, or Solo, or other quiet case anyone can recommend?


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 Post subject: Re: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:14 am 
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Posts: 23
Thanks for your suggestions Abula, my comments are below and I'd appreciate any followups from anyone...

Abula wrote:
I would first try the HD3000 that comes with i5 2500K pretty decent for very light gaming, and enough for watching movies.


Alas Mac OS X doesn't support the onboard graphics. I will be playing Civ 5 in Windows, but it's underpowered for that, and I might play the odd last-generation game in OS X.

Quote:


This is between Civ 5's minimum and recommended spec, and seems very small, so a real option.

Quote:


Below Civ 5's minimum spec alas.

Quote:
GIGABYTE GV-R677SL-1GD Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 (Dimension according to newegg 10.8" x 5.9" x 1.5")


Too long alas, unless you can suggest a good quiet case it'll fit?

Quote:
I havent been able to find avialable yet, but just in case, Sapphire Ultimate Radeon HD 6670 Review (Dimesions according to the another review, 18cm x 13cm x 5cm)


Nice and cheap, and meant to be about equivalent to Civ 5's recommended card, a 4830! Certainly short enough for a Sonata III case, and not too tall (IIRC - would be nice if anyone could confirm).

Quote:
PowerColor SCS3 AX6850 1GBD5-S3DH Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 (dimensions according to powercolor web 223.3mm x 111.2mm x 62mm)


A bit overpowered for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1889
Location: Guatemala
tog22 wrote:
Quote:
GIGABYTE GV-R677SL-1GD Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 (Dimension according to newegg 10.8" x 5.9" x 1.5")


Too long alas, unless you can suggest a good quiet case it'll fit?

Fractal Design Define R3 Black ATX Mid Tower Silent PC Computer Case its a nice mid tower case with sound dampeing all over the case, reviewed and recommened by SPCR, According to the Techpowerup review Fractal Design Define R3,
Quote:
Graphic cards beyond 29 - 30 cm may not fit

According to the specs on newegg on the GPU, length 10.8'' = 27.45cm, the height the card is 5.9'' = 15cm, according to Fractal Design Web,
Quote:
Supports graphic card lengths up to ~290mm
Supports CPU coolers with height of ~165mm

so if all specs are true, it should fit. Fanless not always work, even if the card is meant to be without a fan, it relays on the case airflow to cool itself, this case has a good thing though, it has optional bottom fan mount, it should match very well since the card is long and extra tall with the huge sinks on the top (given that you dont place any cards on the way),

Image

i doubt its needed, but its nice to have the option to install a fan in case you need it (suggested fan for horizontal placement Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120mm 500rpm D1225C12B1AP-11)

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 6:13 pm
Posts: 144
tog22 wrote:
I'm going on the Sonata III manual (and some forum posts), which give 10.5 inches as the max length. This thread suggests 10.5 inches is the absolute max for a Solo too, and that's not comfortable - and your thread doesn't make the 5770 Silent Cell sound like a comfortable fit at all, with some people flatly stating it doesn't fit.

Yes, certainly not a comfortable fit, just some suggestion it might actually fit even though it would be very close.

Quote:
Well that's comfortably powerful enough for me, and the Go Green sounds like it'd clearly be quiet and cool enough. If this is the right card and dimensions, it's easily short enough, but quite tall (15cm) - would it fit in a Sonata III, or Solo, or other quiet case anyone can recommend?

The Sonata case isn't slim by any stretch of the imagination, looks to me like there would be ample space for a tall card. Should be a easy fit.


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 Post subject: Re: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:06 pm 
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I hate recommended lists that don't show results. So, here's some benchmarks.

Anandtech Bench shows framerates at 19x12...and while they don't show anything below the 5770 (26fps), you can get a feel for speed with all the bells and whistles on. At 16x10, fps goes up to 32 for the 5770.

http://www.techspot.com/review/320-civi ... rformance/]Techspot also has a detailed review that also shows some lower performance cards.

That said, I don't think you want to go below the 5770 unless you are willing to degrade the resolution, or more drastically, kill tesselation and anti-aliasing.

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 Post subject: Re: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:26 am 
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Get a MSI 6870 hawk. In Holland they can be bought for 150 euro. Make sure fans dont go over 30% for dead silent, or 40% for a slight buzz. You can OC it like hell up to almost 6950 performance.

I would always go for a higher end card and just dont overload it. Play at reasonable settings and it will breeze through it and still be quiet. Then once in a while you can ramp it up and enjoy it's power, if you dont mind (or hear) the fans.

Also: case fans and airflow is key. If you got that down right, your gpu wont get so hot and the tiny fans dont have to work so hard.

MSI 6850 cyclone PE is also a good option.

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 Post subject: Re: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:15 am
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A belated thanks everyone for your suggestions. I've decided Civ 5 isn't worth getting an overpowered card for, so with that in mind I'm planning to go for Abula's suggestion:

Quote:
I havent been able to find avialable yet, but just in case, Sapphire Ultimate Radeon HD 6670 Review (Dimesions according to the another review, 18cm x 13cm x 5cm)


This has just come to the UK and is available at Rebel Gadgets for £82. Will it fit in the Sonata 3 case? I've confirmed that the dimension are 180(L)x130(W)x50(H) mm - the length is not an issue, but what about the height?


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 Post subject: Re: Low-to-midrange video card balancing noise, cost & power
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:25 am 
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tog22 wrote:
Will it fit in the Sonata 3 case? I've confirmed that the dimension are 180(L)x130(W)x50(H) mm - the length is not an issue, but what about the height?

No problem, 4-5cm clearance above the slots.

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