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 Post subject: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:12 pm 
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Howdy. It has been a few years since I've been active in these parts and mostly have been reduced to a semi-annual lurker. I'm so glad SPCR has stayed online and grown in influence. I see lots of new names here now as well as a few of the old guard still around.

Well, my old P4 system looks like it has reached the end of life cycle (i.e died) after almost 6 years of use. With all else going on in life, I have not been able to keep up with either SPCR or computing components, so I'm putting my proposed system here to get feedback from those of you who are up on the latest in quiet computing. I've been getting a crash course over the last 2 days by catching up on the latest articles, builds, forums, etc., but would value the community's thoughts and opinions.

Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 820 Deneb 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor HDX820WFK4FGI - OEM First time moving away from Intel.
Mobo: ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard Firewire preferred.
Cooler: Scythe Mugen-2 [no link]
RAM: OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model Still getting by with XP, so no need for more than 4GB.
System drive: OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Data drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Video: ASUS EAH6850 DC/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
PSU: SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply I know this isn't the new top of the line, but I will have it in the case such that it gets direct fresh air and is not part of the case exhaust system. I've had good success with all Seasonic PSUs before.

I will recycle:
Optical drive
Nexus 120mm case fans

Also, anyone have experience with these as case filters? DEMCiflex filter I'm looking at SPCRing (yes, using that as a verb) an older case to save just a little cash and see if I still have what it takes to make a successful quieting mod(s). But I hate dust on the inside and the case I plan to use does not have filters in the right spots (or at least I'll need to put filters in new spots if my idea(s) for the mods work out).

So, what da ya'll think?

UPDATE: I do need dual DVI ports on any video card recommendations.


Last edited by aphonos on Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:09 pm 
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All looks good, but I two suggestions.

Firstly, I'd upgrade the video card to the 6870 version, Asus put a cooling plate on the back of that one.

Second, if you plan to use more than 2 fans in the case (which you didn't list BTW) you should consider the Asus Crosshair IV Formula. It has 7 or 8 PWM headers that are all adjustable in the BIOS. They can be controlled by voltage too.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:22 pm 
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aphonos wrote:

It's so cheap there's almost no Intel alternative noticeably better: as it has no L3 cache, what do you think of Athlon II 640/645? Or even to have a go trying to unlock a Phenom II X2 550/555? Just to squeeze out some more megahertz.

aphonos wrote:
PSU: SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply I know this isn't the new top of the line, but I will have it in the case such that it gets direct fresh air and is not part of the case exhaust system. I've had good success with all Seasonic PSUs before.

I would rather this one, it's too much quieter than that Seasonic (and it has the right wattage).

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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:54 pm 
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Thanks for the input so far. Perhaps I should add: As you look at this system are there other ways to save money that you see? So far, the suggestions have been for pricier components. That's fine, but give me a reason to spend more.

As far as system use, I do some video editing/rendering, but I do not really use this system to play games.

Fire-Flare wrote:
All looks good, but I two suggestions.

Firstly, I'd upgrade the video card to the 6870 version, Asus put a cooling plate on the back of that one.

Second, if you plan to use more than 2 fans in the case (which you didn't list BTW) you should consider the Asus Crosshair IV Formula. It has 7 or 8 PWM headers that are all adjustable in the BIOS. They can be controlled by voltage too.

Thanks. I mentioned I'll keep using the Nexus 120mm case fans from my current system. I run them through a fan controller, so mobo headers not an issue here, but that was a good thought. Spending ~$150 more for the Crosshair IV seems unnecessary.

I'll do more research on the 6850 v. 6870 cards. Again, there is a $60 price difference. I'm looking to spend less at this point, not more.

quest_for_silence wrote:
aphonos wrote:
PSU: SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply I know this isn't the new top of the line, but I will have it in the case such that it gets direct fresh air and is not part of the case exhaust system. I've had good success with all Seasonic PSUs before.

I would rather this one, it's too much quieter than that Seasonic (and it has the right wattage).

I looked at the Nexus 430 before settling on the Seasonic, but I may yet end up going with the Nexus. I'll re-read the review. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:42 pm 
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other options for video cards

Best under $150 GIGABYTE Silent Cell GV-R575SL-1GI Radeon HD 5750 (no Displayport though)

Best under $175 PowerColor SCS3 5750 or MSI R5770 Hawk Radeon HD 5770. MSI Hawk 5770 is very quiet for a fanned card, PowerColor 5750 is fanless but not as fast at gaming. Most die hard SPCR types would choose the fanless option. Why pay more vs the Gigbyte silent cell 5750, at this price point you get Displayport.

Best under $200 GIGABYTE Silent Cell GV-R577SL-1GD Radeon HD 5770 or PowerColor Go! Green AX5750. The Go green uses less power and will fit in smaller cases but the Gigabyte is a faster gaming card. Both are silent.

That's 5 different video cards under $200 I'd consider and many are fanless.

If you don't mind noise just find the cheapest 5750, 5770, 6750, or 6770 you can find and you save money at the cost of sound. (6750/6770 are OEM only re-badges of the 5750/5770 so you probably won't find one for sale until later in the life cycle and then only if you buy used)

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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:32 pm 
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dhanson865 wrote:
other options for video cards

Best under $150 GIGABYTE Silent Cell GV-R575SL-1GI Radeon HD 5750 (no Displayport though)

This looks like a good cost saver. Thanks.

dhanson865 wrote:
If you don't mind noise....

You're new here aren't you? :wink: :lol: If I didn't mind noise, I wouldn't have come here for the help. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:06 pm 
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Hey, aphonos! Welcome back!

If you don't game, onboard video should do you fine. AMD 890G/790G/780G -- all are great for 2D with enough CPU power and RAM.

Another thing to consider: An H67 Intel mobo with low end Sandy Bridge CPU. The latter's integrated GPU is tops by a pretty big margin right now. Admittedly the lowest end SB chip is the i5-2300 quadcore, 2.8GHz (3.1GHz Turbo Boost) at $185, but Asus H67 mATX boards are just $90~135.

Check out our Sandy Bridge articles. The latest (4th) -- on CPUs -- posted half an hour ago.

BTW -- the Nexus PSU is very quiet, but I don't like much else about it. Its efficiency is mediocre, and we have had 2 samples that would not go into standby with several boards. Methinks you are better off with a more modern Seasonic (almost anything); just swap the fan if you find it too noisy at idle.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:46 pm 
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^^

Hey, MikeC! Glad to have input from an old friend. :D Thanks for taking time to reply.

I've looked at onboard video, but need to run dual displays, and no boards I can find have dual DVI onboard. So, if I'm going to have to add a card, it seems easiest to just go the dual DVI route via the card. Especially with more and more TV-type entertainment being made available online. Is it possible to have both onboard video and a single DVI card to drive two monitors?

Nice work (as always) on the new Sandy Bridge article. Makes it intriguing to go Intel once again. But for the price point this time, I think I'll look at the dual-core Phenoms and see if I get lucky with an unlock. Even though I put a X4 in the list above, I've been looking at the X2's to save more money.

Thanks for the tips on the Nexus 430. Pushes me back to the Seasonic.

~aphonos


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:59 pm 
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aphonos wrote:

I've looked at onboard video, but need to run dual displays, and no boards I can find have dual DVI onboard. So, if I'm going to have to add a card, it seems easiest to just go the dual DVI route via the card. Especially with more and more TV-type entertainment being made available online. Is it possible to have both onboard video and a single DVI card to drive two monitors?


I understand you want to save some money, but the Asus DirectCU you selected is 159 after rebate and +8 shipping. It has dual dvi so you could run everything off just that one card. Why not eh?


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:31 pm 
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aphonos wrote:
^^

Hey, MikeC! Glad to have input from an old friend. :D Thanks for taking time to reply.

I've looked at onboard video, but need to run dual displays, and no boards I can find have dual DVI onboard. So, if I'm going to have to add a card, it seems easiest to just go the dual DVI route via the card. Especially with more and more TV-type entertainment being made available online. Is it possible to have both onboard video and a single DVI card to drive two monitors?

Nice work (as always) on the new Sandy Bridge article. Makes it intriguing to go Intel once again. But for the price point this time, I think I'll look at the dual-core Phenoms and see if I get lucky with an unlock. Even though I put a X4 in the list above, I've been looking at the X2's to save more money.

Thanks for the tips on the Nexus 430. Pushes me back to the Seasonic.

~aphonos

No probs. :)

Gotcha re dual dvi. Am running an unlocked Phenom 555 on my htpc atm w/ Asus 890G board -- no probs unlocking the other 2 cores -- oc 10%, too, with CnQ still engaged for <40W idle. Tough to beat for $90.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:28 am 
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aphonos wrote:
As far as system use, I do some video editing/rendering, but I do not really use this system to play games.

If you actually don't game, spare some hefty bucks over the GPU and pick a Sandy Bridge, rather: it's far better for CPU-based rendering.
It isn't clear to me your dual DVI requirement: do you need just dual DVI, or two digital outputs (as a DVI plus a HDMI)?

aphonos wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
I would rather this one, it's too much quieter than that Seasonic (and it has the right wattage).

I looked at the Nexus 430 before settling on the Seasonic, but I may yet end up going with the Nexus. I'll re-read the review. Thanks.

I'm taking the liberty to not agree with our kind host (MikeC): if you have to threw out of the window a five year warranty and add $17 for a good Scythe fan to have the S12-II substantially quieter, then it's a smarter move to go for a different, maybe more expensive PSU.

In the low-end range, something like an Enermax ECO-80 II, or an Antec TruePower New are far quieter than the S12-II and may be well suited for you, particularly if you go for a less expensive videocard.
About more expensive units (around $100), a Cooler Master Silent Pro (NOT the Golds), or an Enermax Pro82+ may be also well suited (or if you trust MIRs, higher wattage XFXs - Seasonic based - are simply excellent): over that amount, an high end Seasonic X currently is a no brain.

Moreover the S12-II 620W is clearly a waste of efficiency: sticking with a low end Seasonic, a modular M12-II 520W is a better option (same money, higher marginal efficiency, less mess of cables).

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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:15 am 
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Thank you all for your input. Here's the latest revisions:

Processor AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - C3 Revision HDZ555WFGMBOX Perhaps get it to unlock additional cores.
Mobo: ASUS M4A88T-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
PSU: SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBECO Debated getting Ripjaw. Any reason to go with Ripjaw instead of low voltage?
Video: GIGABYTE Silent Series GV-R575SL-1GI Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready By dual DVI, I mean I have two displays that I want to run off of DVI inputs. Neither monitor has a HDMI input.

Everything else is the same as the 1st post.
aphonos wrote:
...
Cooler: Scythe Mugen-2 [no link]
...
System drive: OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Data drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

I will recycle:
Optical drive
Nexus 120mm case fans

Also, anyone have experience with these as case filters? DEMCiflex filter I'm looking at SPCRing (yes, using that as a verb) an older case to save just a little cash and see if I still have what it takes to make a successful quieting mod(s). But I hate dust on the inside and the case I plan to use does not have filters in the right spots (or at least I'll need to put filters in new spots if my idea(s) for the mods work out).


Anybody want to weigh in on the filters?


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:54 am 
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aphonos wrote:
By dual DVI, I mean I have two displays that I want to run off of DVI inputs. Neither monitor has a HDMI input.

You might run through an HDMI-DVI adapter, that card is clearly a waste of money (IMVHO).

About those filters, I can't help: eventually, have a good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:35 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
I'm taking the liberty to not agree with our kind host (MikeC): if you have to threw out of the window a five year warranty and add $17 for a good Scythe fan to have the S12-II substantially quieter, then it's a smarter move to go for a different, maybe more expensive PSU.

In the low-end range, something like an Enermax ECO-80 II, or an Antec TruePower New are far quieter than the S12-II and may be well suited for you, particularly if you go for a less expensive videocard.
About more expensive units (around $100), a Cooler Master Silent Pro (NOT the Golds), or an Enermax Pro82+ may be also well suited (or if you trust MIRs, higher wattage XFXs - Seasonic based - are simply excellent): over that amount, an high end Seasonic X currently is a no brain.

Moreover the S12-II 620W is clearly a waste of efficiency: sticking with a low end Seasonic, a modular M12-II 520W is a better option (same money, higher marginal efficiency, less mess of cables).

Good points. Eco 80II or Antec TP550 are quieter than the last Seasonic S12s reviewed -- but the latter haven't been looked at in a while. It's quite possible the new TP series reflect Seasonic's current acoustic base. (TPs are made by Seasonic)

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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:49 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
aphonos wrote:
By dual DVI, I mean I have two displays that I want to run off of DVI inputs. Neither monitor has a HDMI input.

You might run through an HDMI-DVI adapter, that card is clearly a waste of money (IMVHO).

About those filters, I can't help: eventually, have a good luck!


Hmmm. You mean something like this would allow me to use the HDMI port on the motherboard to drive a 2nd DVI monitor? In addition to using the DVI port on the motherboard to drive the 1st monitor?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6812105832

If so, I'm inclined to agree with your VHO. :)


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:56 am 
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aphonos wrote:
dhanson865 wrote:
other options for video cards

Best under $150 GIGABYTE Silent Cell GV-R575SL-1GI Radeon HD 5750 (no Displayport though)

This looks like a good cost saver. Thanks.

dhanson865 wrote:
If you don't mind noise....

You're new here aren't you? :wink: :lol: If I didn't mind noise, I wouldn't have come here for the help. 8)


I had to consider the possibility since you linked to a 6850 with a fan on it that you might be willing to put up with more noise than some on SPCR.

and to quote myself from almost a year ago and somewhat support what mike said

Quote:
Don't forget a HDMI to DVI cable is often cheaper than paying the difference in price on getting a card with 2 DVI connectors on the 5xxx series cards if you don't care about the gaming performance difference.


See monoprice.com for a simple HDMI to DVI cable (under $5 for the cheapest lengths). Any card with a DVI and HDMI port in the HD 5xxx series will do two DVI monitors (assuming you aren't talking dual DVI as in 30"+ high screen resolution dual dvi).

Some motherboards have two digital outs.

Also if a motherboard has a single displayport 1.2 port it can do 2 DVI monitors by way of an adapter. More expensive than the HDMI to DVI conversion but much more capable.

Assuming you are willing to go HDMI to DVI (no reason not to that I know of) you can also consider

Best under $100 PowerColor Go! Green 5570 GDDR3 or HIS Silence Radeon HD 5550 GDDR5

And if you really want cheap you can do DVI + Displayport to DVI for $50 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814102910

or consider one of the ultra cheap 5450 cards with DVI and HDMI (but at this point you are scraping the bottom of the barrel). I'd rather stick to something higher on the food chain.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:57 am 
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aphonos wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:
aphonos wrote:
By dual DVI, I mean I have two displays that I want to run off of DVI inputs. Neither monitor has a HDMI input.

You might run through an HDMI-DVI adapter, that card is clearly a waste of money (IMVHO).

About those filters, I can't help: eventually, have a good luck!


Hmmm. You mean something like this would allow me to use the HDMI port on the motherboard to drive a 2nd DVI monitor? In addition to using the DVI port on the motherboard to drive the 1st monitor?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6812105832

If so, I'm inclined to agree with your VHO. :)


uggh no, that adapter is overpriced and clunky, grab a cable that has one end DVI and one end HDMI and you'll have a much better solution at a lower cost.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:22 am 
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^^^

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131668 <-Asus board link.

So do you think it is a reasonable option to just run my dual displays right from that ASUS mobo? One DVI connector on mobo. One HDMI connector on mobo. The mobo is capable of running 2 video outs at the same time (according to the documentation). But the video RAM onboard is something like 128MB.

Remember, I don't game, but I do occasionally watch video.

Your thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:50 am 
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aphonos wrote:
^^^

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131668 <-Asus board link.

So do you think it is a reasonable option to just run my dual displays right from that ASUS mobo? One DVI connector on mobo. One HDMI connector on mobo. The mobo is capable of running 2 video outs at the same time (according to the documentation). But the video RAM onboard is something like 128MB.

Remember, I don't game, but I do occasionally watch video.

Your thoughts?


Perfectly reasonable. I've done dual LCD monitors at work on lesser motherboards with integrated graphics.

And there is no significant down side to trying, You can use it that way for weeks, months, or years and then add a discrete PCIe card at any point with very little effort (assuming you buy AMD graphics) it'll use the same driver. Worst case scenario you have a $5 or so HDMI to DVI cable you don't need to use with a higher end graphics card.

Now I never watched a DVD at work or did any thing terribly demanding but I did hit YouTube and TED and such.

I'd sure try your daily tasks on the integrated graphics and see how you like it before spending $200 or even $50 on a video card when you know that the system will still be usable and it'll only cost you choosing a card and waiting a few days for it to arrive to change the performance level.

I have seen one down side to HDMI on a work PC but I'm not sure if it'll affect you. I saw a monitor - video combination where the monitor wouldn't resume from standby without unplugging/replugging the HDMI cable. Don't know how common that is. Not sure if that is a driver issue or a hardware compatibility issue.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:44 am 
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Don't know where I saw this, but I could swear my 785G ASUS board cannot drive the DVI and HDMI at the same time. Perhaps I am wrong, though? But for some reason I was under the impression that there was a single digital output.

Anyway, I guess it is easy enough to test before purchasing discrete graphics!

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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:05 pm 
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^^
Rats! You're right. It'll do:

D-Sub + DVI, or
D-Sub _ HDMI,

but not DVI + HDMI.

(per the product manual)


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back after long hiatus - Need Input on New System
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:44 pm 
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Either an artificial segmentation to force you to buy a discrete card for dual video out? Or just a limit based on the amount of video memory involved.

Either way you can opt for a very cheap silent card if you don't care about gaming.

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Please put a country in your profile if you haven't already.
This site is international but I'll assume you are in the US if you don't tell me otherwise.
RAID levels thread http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=388987


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