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62 posts

Master Geek

# 21022 13-Apr-2008 15:32
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My geek-fu has let me down peeps and another opinion would be greatly appreciated.

For my HTPC to best play nicely with Freeview and a spanky new Hauppage HVR-2200 I need to get a new video card.  But the choices and permutations have my head in a fug.  Basically the key choice is;

Given that a 8500GT card is around $125 and a 8600GT is around $150 will the extra $25 make any difference and would I better off with 512Mb DDR2 RAM or 256Mb of DDR3.

Need a video geeks opinion on this as I'm out of brain power.  All I know is it has to be a passively cooled card (or damn near silent with a rocking fan) before it goes into my machine.

Help please?

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Uber Geek

Biddle Corp
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  # 123201 13-Apr-2008 15:40
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I have a 8500GT and it works great, the 8500 and 8600 are identical feature wise but the 8600 runs faster.

As for cooling just be aware that a video card with a heatsink may be quieter but it means the heat is now sitting in the case so you need to factor in case cooling to move it along. The heatsinks on the 8500GT's (and most modern cards) get very hot.

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Uber Geek

  # 123203 13-Apr-2008 15:45
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Go get a Gigabyte 8600GT with the silent cooler, you won't be dissappointed, i know i haven't been.


62 posts

Master Geek

  # 123206 13-Apr-2008 15:58
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@sbiddle: yeah i'd worked out the 8600 was quicker, so my thinking was a faster gpu means less effect, therefore less heat.

 my 6600gt is passively cooled no probs and the silverstone case well vented and roomy.  that and a big old zalman cpu cooler right next to the pci-e slot.

my pref has always been an asus silencer card for htpc's but happy enough to go elsewhere if there is a benefit in doing so.

btw; anyone know a shop in nz still selling northbridge heatsinks so i can ditch this winey fan?

cheers for the advice guys

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Uber Geek

  # 123228 13-Apr-2008 17:14
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Check this out for a passive chipset coller:

I used to have a 6600GT with an arctic cooling silent cooler on it and it was fine until it started to play up and i replaced it with the aforementioned Gigabyte 8600GT (the stock cooler is silent so i figured i couldn't go wrong) and all has been good in the world since then.

436 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 123261 13-Apr-2008 19:38
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I have a passively cooled ASUS 8600GTS.  Max's at ~51 - 54 deg decoding 1080i TV3 and ~48 deg decoding 720p.  It is a roomy case and there is a Thermalright CPU cooler with 120mm fan near the graphics card.

62 posts

Master Geek

# 124061 16-Apr-2008 14:13
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Awesome advice guys, awesome.

I couldn't be happier right now.  Purchased an Asus 8600GT Silent 256Mb DDR-3 card for about $140 and now my otherwise laboured 3700+ AMD (2.2Ghz) sits quietly at around 20-30% CPU.

No idea how to check framerates, I can see a couple of drops on TV3 but then I am pushing the thing at 1900x? res.  I guess if I drop teh resolution back down to 1280 then things will pick up a little anyway.

Have a virtual beer on me and thanks.

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