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Thread: Best Silent GPU

  1. #1
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    Question Best Silent GPU

    I'm looking for a decent GPU, just for basic usage.

    Must have:
    • Silent (no fans).
    • Onboard H264 decoding.
    • Under £50. I can maybe stretch a bit more, but I'm looking to spend at little as possible since it'll only be used for HD playback.
    • nVidia or ATI, I'm not bothered, as long as it's not one of the nVidia ones that dies.
    • Two DVI outputs, or 1 DVI and 1 HDMI.


    Finally, if possible, I'd like for one of the DVI (or HDMI) ports to be able to carry audio if possible. It's not a *must have* but I'd like it if it's there.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    Pretty sure that ticks all the boxes
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512MB...-D-Sub-S-Video

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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    I would go for this HD4350 for around £32 delivered:

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s....html?NOV-4350

    Edit!!

    The suggestion that staffsMike has made is better and you will get free postage from Scan for orders over £20(excluding VAT) once you have reached 20 posts.


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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    +1 for the 4550 that staffsMike suggests

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    Goron goron Kumagoro's Avatar
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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    The Sapphire-HD4670-Ultimate is the best i know of. Its just under £63 at scan
    but obviously more than you need.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512Mb...PCI-E-VGA-Card

    The next one down Sapphire ULTIMATE HD 4650 1GB DDR2 for £53.41

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/161313

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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    Worth noting though that in many situations fanless graphics cards need to be compensated with better airflow through the case. This can sometimes negate the whole point of buying a fanless card in the first place. Be sure that the case has sufficient airflow for a fanless card because having to add an extra intake fan for the case means you might as well have bought a card with a fan.

    Better options than a fanless card (and often cheaper) is to buy a card with a fan and fit an accelero S1 (or S2) yourself. The S1 often out performs the cooling performace of fanned cards.

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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm aiming to install the card into an Antec 300, which (at the moment) only has the two fans it comes with, at the back and on the roof of it, plus a Corsair HX520 at the bottom, a Core 2 Duo CPU (+stock cooler), and about 5 or 6 HDDs. I'm pretty sure there would be enough airflow, albeit with a slightly hot card, but it's pushing it.

    If I were to get an actively cooled GPU, would you all suggest the same card(s) or simlar, but with fans? I'd like to keep the stock cooler if possible (less hassle then replacing it with the Accelero), so I'd want a quiet fan.

    By quiet, I mean very quiet. I've not really had much luck choosing quiet GPUs in the past and I'm keen not to repeat that, so I'd like one that makes no more noise then, say, just a tad louder then a spinning HDD.

  8. #8
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    Cheap cards come with small noisey fans. I dont care how quiet people claim they are, over the top of antec tri-cools they will be noticable.

    That case has plenty of airflow as standard, passive is no problem, especially as you wont be pushing it hard unless gaming.

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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    Right then, I think I'll get the one you originally suggested. Looks perfect for what I need.

  10. #10
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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    The HD4550 runs relatively cool when cooled passively:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/A...assive/27.html

    It is only a small GPU after all with 242 million transistors on a 55nm process.


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  11. #11
    Goron goron Kumagoro's Avatar
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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    I find that the fans which come with Antec cases are quiet noisy even on the lowest setting.
    so you may want to get a cheap fan controller to slow them down a bit more.

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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    I've gone ahead and ordered the Sapphire 4550 silent one.

    Arrives on Tuesday, so once I've built it all, it should be fairly well spec'd, especially for an HTPC:

    Case: Antec 300
    Power Supply: Corsair HX 520W Modular PSU
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 @ 2.66GHz
    RAM: OCZ 2GB (2×1GB) PC2-6400 800MHz Dual Channel Platinum Revision 2 XTC Series DDR2 RAM
    Graphics Card: Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4550 512MB Fanless
    Hard Disk 1: Samsung Spinpoint F1 (HE160HJ RAID Edition) 160GB SATA2 16MB Cache
    Hard Disk 2: Samsung Spinpoint F1 (HD103UJ) 1TB SATA2 32MB Cache
    Hard Disk 3: Samsung Spinpoint F1 (HD103UJ) 1TB SATA2 32MB Cache
    Hard Disk 4: Western Digital 1TB SATA2 32MB Cache
    Hard Disk 5: Samsung Spinpoint F1 (HD502IJ) 500GB SATA2 16MB Cache
    Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate RC build 7100

    Hooked up to a 32" Sony HDTV as well as a 720p Optoma HD65 projector.

    Also, I know the motherboard is a bit of overkill, but I'm getting it off a friend for £120, and I might eventually use it for a proper PC for myself in the future.

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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    that's better than my main pc overkill!

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    Re: Best Silent GPU

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    Pretty sure that ticks all the boxes
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/512MB...-D-Sub-S-Video
    Spotted this on Scan's website on Sunday (when it was in stock!) as an upgrade for my Sony VAIO HTPC but wanted confirmation that it was indeed a low profile version before ordering. States it comes supplied with low profile bracket yet in the spec's list it has an "x" next to low profile!

    Now it's out of stock!

    Any other suggestions for a low profile silent (passively cooled) gfx card primarily for HD video playback that's in stock for around the same price, preferably one that comes supplied with low profile bracket?

    Sorry for thread hijack (seems OP is now sorted mind).

    Cheekster.

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