Advice with Video Card

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In the process of gathering items for a new build and would appreciate
some input in regards the video card.

So far I've short listed some items which are;
Antec Sonata Plus 550 case or Antec Atlas 550 case.
Motherboard, Asus P6T SE.
CPU, Intel Core i7-920.
Memory,Consair XMS3 Triple Channel Kit 3x2GB (two kits total 12GB)
Monitor not decided on exact model yet but would be at least 26 inch.
64-bit version of Windows 7.

I would prefer a fanless video card if possible.

Computer usage; Office Software, Internet browsing, general stuff,
photo editing. Heavy use of Photoshop, I am not a gammer.

Re: Advice with Video Card

JayJay wrote:
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Select Advanced Search here. Select Cooler="fanless" from the menu
on the left. Use a keyword of "Express", to get the PCI Express cards.

You'll get a list like this.

The most expensive card is only $130, so they don't go up that high in
graphics power. But for your intended purpose (not gamer), virtually
any of these will do. And you have enough CPU horsepower, that even
if the latest video acceleration feature happened to be missing,
you'd still get good performance.

To be able to use the tables in the first two links, you can
use this page. It tells you what video card uses which chips,
so you can cross check the information.

And the last four links, are if you want movie playback
to use less CPU. With a powerful main processor, you can
still use a "dumb" video card, and get the job done.

For Photoshop, that is mainly a frame buffer application.
Unless Photoshop has started using GPGPU filters (where
the Photoshop code runs on the GPU itself), then the choice
of video card shouldn't really matter. In the past, the
video card was only for viewing the results, after
the CPU ran the filter. Adobe is working on GPGPU code,
but it is pretty hard to get info on exactly how much
of a difference that makes. Again, you've got a Core i7,
so it hardly matters (Photoshop should fly on it).

Another link that would have been useful, would have been
a table of "power dissipation" numbers for the cards.
Xbitlabs has done power measurements, and I use that as
a main source of info. But the results aren't in a nice
table (they get more hits, if you have to read individual
review articles). So if you had a fanless HD4850 for
example, and you ran that flat out (gaming), then you'd
know the card would be dissipating 110W, and it would
likely need additional cooling.

For example, read the reviews here, to see how a "hot" choice
for the GPU, made for a less than desirable operating
temperature when gaming. Read the  reviews for each
card, to see what kind of temps they run at.

   "Cons: Probably depends on the air flow of your case more than other cards."

And that statement would be true. If the computer case had no cooling
fans at all, a fanless graphics card would overheat. It is relying
on some kind of airflow, to cool it. The cards don't have
enough fins, to achieve results purely by convection.
(Only a Zalman TNN500AF could come close, by using heatpipes
to guide heat to the outer metal skin of the computer case. It
involves fitting a lot of heat pipes, and disassembling the
video card.)

I have two fanless video cards, and one of the cards is only
stable, if an 80mm fan is kept in the next slot for it.
I bolt a wooden paint stir stick, to a PCI slot screw,
to form a support to hold a fan. On another computer,
I used aluminum "angle iron" from Home Depot, to build a support.
Then you can choose a "stealth" fan, to do the cooling
(low RPM 80mm for example).


Re: Advice with Video Card

On Tue, 29 Sep 2009 17:48:10 -0400, Paul wrote:

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Many thanks Paul, Much appreciated.

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