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 Post subject: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:51 am 
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Location: Norfolk, UK
Hi all

Following my other recent post in which I suspect that my PNY 9600GT GC is formally deceased, I am thinking of downgrading and replacing to determine whether the GC is definitely the problem. I originally bought the 9600GT so that I could dual boot and use the PC for games occasionally too.... In the 4 years I've had it I have played games only a handful of times, so might as well get something with less wattage, RAM and general oomph.

I've got my eyes on a used MSI 8600GT (passive), and wondered if anyone uses one of these here and could share their thoughts?

My system specs are:

Intel DP35SP mobo
Intel Q6600 CPU
2x2GB Corsair RAM
PaQ case
Windows XP

Would be great if anyone has one of these in a PaQ case, so that I can be confident it will fit ok. But more generally, can anyone tell me whether it takes up two or three slots?


One last thing...... I have not kept up with GCs since building my PC in 2008, and no doubt countless cards have come out since. So if anyone thinks I'd be stupid to go for such an old card, please tell me what modern card you think would be better. Things I need are:

- silence/passive
- not too much RAM (because the DP35DP does not re-map memory
- does not generate a lot of heat
- dual DVI


Huge thanks for any advice

Max


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:31 am 
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I had a passive MSI 8600GTS a few years ago, which I was happy with. Since the heatsink is above the card, it doesn't take up an extra slot, but there is a chance that it will interfere with exceptionally large northbridge or CPU heatsinks. I didn't have any such trouble though. I gave the card to someone else eventually because it was no longer fast enough to play modern games, and it is still running reliably.

A more modern alternative might be something like a passive HD6670, although I'm not sure how easy it will be to find a new card with <1GB.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Location: Norfolk, UK
Mr Evil wrote:
I had a passive MSI 8600GTSA more modern alternative might be something like a passive HD6670, although I'm not sure how easy it will be to find a new card with <1GB.


Thanks for that. I'll check that card out..... Would I be able to run two monitors with it?

And that's a good thing to point out about the 1gb thing..... It might well rule out getting something too new. But I would be interested to know how the performance of one of these newer cards would compare to an 8600GT. Or for that matter a 9600GT.....

Cheers

Max


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:29 pm 
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Hi, you could get a 512MB Geforce 210, eg Asus from Scan.
I think that's a double width heatsink, there is also an Evga card with lower clocks and single slot heatsink for a ~£1 more.
Performance wise these will be lower than your 9600, but with some more modern features, especially in video playback processing.

These both have DVI+HDMI+VGA outputs. You will be able to use any two of, the DVI can (probably) be adapted to VGA if wanted dual analogue out and, for you, HDMI can be adapted to DVI for dual digital output. There is a limit to the HDMI resolution either 1920x1080 or 1920x1200, can't remember which off hand.

I have a friend who has a 256MB Radeon 4350 from Asus with similar half-height double slot heatsink. This 256MB card has had the memory chopped from the regular 512MB version and in doing so chopped half the channels so it has a 32bit memory bus! Performance is still fine for non-3D gaming tasks though. Can't remember if it had dual digital outputs...

If you have any intension of gaming then you can also get 512MB GT430s, not sure about passive and 512MB... Asus do a passive GT440, which is just a higher clocked 430.
I've used the 512MB Evga 430 and it's fan is quiet at boot and bloody awful once the drivers kick in as the minimum fanspeed is 65%! Just why???? Anyway an easy BIOS mod later to set it to 30% and, tada, passive operation, till it's loaded and then spins up the fan :D IIRC even Furmark only got it back up to ~50%. Again 65% FFS why :?:
Seb

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:07 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
I know this isn't directly related to your question, but I can assure you that the DP35DP most certainly does remap memory. The issue is your OS, not the board. We have several of those boards and they handle 4 GB+ of memory just fine if you have a 64 bit or PAE enabled OS. The old 945 boards were the ones that would fail to give all 4 GB to even a 64 bit OS, the P35 has no such issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:36 am
Posts: 59
Location: Norfolk, UK
washu wrote:
I know this isn't directly related to your question, but I can assure you that the DP35DP most certainly does remap memory. The issue is your OS, not the board.


Thanks for that info. TBH, since building my PC I have not kept up with anything PC build related and so my memory is really quite hazy. I certainly remember it being true at the time, but I would have only been looking at things from the POV of my self-build; not generally.

So would I be right in saying that the board does not re-map memory if the OS is WinXP (32-bit)? I remember the issue was that some boards at the time would do this and you would therefore still see the full quota of RAM even with a GC with a lot of memory, but with the DP35DP (and WinXP) you wouldn't..... Am I remembering correctly?

@Sebrad - thanks for the suggestions. I'm only interested in passive/silent cards so that does limit my choices.

Alos, I did not realise that on some of those cards you can use HDMI AND DVI independently and simultaneously to power/run two monitors, I thought it was one or the other for some reason. So that's good to know. And I do have a DVI-HDMI lead, so I should be able to run both monitors digitally (one DVI-DVI, one HDMI-DVI).

Of course, this will all be mute if it is not the GC that has gone wrong on the first place!!!

Cheers

Max


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:17 am 
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Max Dread wrote:
So would I be right in saying that the board does not re-map memory if the OS is WinXP (32-bit)? I remember the issue was that some boards at the time would do this and you would therefore still see the full quota of RAM even with a GC with a lot of memory, but with the DP35DP (and WinXP) you wouldn't..... Am I remembering correctly?


No, that is not correct. The DP35DP is mapping everything correctly regardless of your OS. The problem is that XP 32 bit can only handle 4 GB of TOTAL memory, that includes GC memory plus some for other hardware. XP 32 bit has the same limitation on any board. There is no board that can give all 4GB or more to XP 32 bit as normal memory, it's just not possible with that OS.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:36 am
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Location: Norfolk, UK
That's certainly not how I remember it..... When I built the PC a few years back, I made quite a few notes and saved quite a few web pages concerning this issue. Right now I need to get my computer back up and running. Once that's done I'll refresh my memory on the matter and we can chat about it if you're up for it?


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Location: Norfolk, UK
@Washu - I've PM'd you regarding the re-mapping issue......


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Location: Norfolk, UK
As promised, I have looked over some old notes and emails.... They seem to confirm what i thought, although it is equally possible that I'm all confused and have been from the outset.

The issue arose when I first built my PC. I had a 256MB GC to begin with. With that, Windows showed the available RAM as 3.24GB (I had 4GB installed). I then swapped this card for a 512MB GC. Windows subsequently showed 2.99GB as available.

I spoke to someone who was guiding me through the build at the time. He had used the same board in several of his builds and likewise thought that the DP35DP could re-map memory. So he was surprised by this as well. I also emailed Intel at the time for their opinion. They confirmed that the DP35DP does not re-map memory for IO devices etc.

Here's an explanation (I have more, but think this is the clearest) of what I'm meaning here by "Remapping" (just to ensure we are talking about the same thing):

.......many motherboards have a BIOS feature named 'memory remapping' (aka 'memory hoisting'). Without getting into too many complicated explanations, essentially this is a clever workaround that makes it possible to map some of the missing RAM segment higher up beyond 4GB, where it will not conflict with any I/O device address, so its contribution to system RAM is returned to the pool (if you want a more in-depth technical discussion of the details behind memory remapping and 4GB support, Asus provide a handy PDF guide on their web site (http://dlsvr01.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/4GB_Rev1.pdf).
Some motherboards provide memory remapping as a BIOS option, and enabling it may suddenly let Windows see significantly more of your 4GB installed RAM. Others implement it automatically. However, some cheaper motherboards primarily intended for consumer use don't feature remapping at all, on the grounds that few consumers are likely to need more than 3GB of RAM, in which case you may see your available RAM drop each time you install extra hardware, and you won't be able to claw back any of your missing memory at all........


washu and anyone else, I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on the topic, both with regards to whether this is correct, and also with how it might impact my choice of graphics card when it comes to choosing amount of memory.

Many thanks

Max


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
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Location: Ottawa
Hey Max

I did get your PM, but I've been away for a few days. I was writing up a response but your post came in and it makes more sense to answer here.

Max Dread wrote:
Without getting into too many complicated explanations, essentially this is a clever workaround that makes it possible to map some of the missing RAM segment higher up beyond 4GB, where it will not conflict with any I/O device address, so its contribution to system RAM is returned to the pool

Here is where I think you are misunderstanding. It doesn't matter if your board does this or not, Windows XP 32 bit cannot use memory beyond 4 GB. Only 64 bit versions of Windows or server versions that support PAE can use memory beyond 4 GB.

All memory and IO used by Windows XP 32 bit must be below 4 GB. Any memory above 4 GB, remapped or not, is useless in this case.

In other words, memory remapping in this case only applies to 64 bit and PAE versions of Windows. XP is neither.

Now, as to the specific case of the DP35DP, I've got several with more than 4GB and they work fine with 64 bit OSes. The Intel response you got was wrong, or at least simplified if you mentioned that you were using XP.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:26 pm 
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Location: Riga
SebRad wrote:
Hi, you could get a 512MB Geforce 210...

Why would anybody suggest 210 ? Weaker than some integrated, with more power draw.
8600GT is a hot old card, should not be passive.
Check HD4670, GT240 (both 2x faster than 8600GT) or newer and cooler.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using a MSI 8600GT Silent edition 256MB PCIe GC?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:18 am 
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If all you need is desktop 2D, any low end card will meet your performance needs. Here's a couple of factors to narrow the list.

- GDDR5 as implemented in the newer cards can't be idled when you run 2 monitors (a screen flicker issue). So, the latest cards aren't the lowest power cards for you. You can use this multimonitor chart at Techpowerup to compare. For you, the HD 5450 is the lowest power card.

- If you use your PC as a home theatre source, get the HD 5570 instead as the 5450 lacks the shaders and memory bw to cover some post-processing.

As for memory limits, 32-bit Windows OS limits you to a total of 4GB for all memory on your PC. Move to 64-bit OS if you need more.

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