Originally Posted by aragon127
I'm looking for a good card to replace my Geforce 8600GT. What's good now for HTPC plus the occasional gaming? I'm not a hardcore gamer, but I enjoy loading something up from time to time, and playing at 1080i takes a punch.
I have an Antec Truepower Trio 650W and an airy Antec case (full tower not an HTPC, I have it mounted behind my TV). 4870's seem to be had in the $130 range now, and I can afford that, but I'm not sure about the noise, size and wattage.
Are there other cards I should be looking at? I want HDMI, though I don't presently have an HDMI receiver. TV connects via DVI.
I do gaming (mostly WoW) and HTPC bd/hd and just upgraded from an 8600GT to a 9800GT. I was fine with the 8600gt - but it was passive and I wasn't able to get all the heat out of my case so decided a faster card with quiet fan would be good at this point. Since I play WoW and they announced support for Nvidia 3d on certain cards, that made me look at the Nvidia 9xxx series. Just planning for the future - not that I'm going to pop for a new HDTV and receiver at this point but why not buy a card that I won't have to replace if I elect to do this?
The in-game reported framerates went from avg of 30-60 to 40-100 when WoW is set at very best quality/distance/shading/spells, etc. I'm sure I could even get better performance at high quality settings if I OC'd - but again, I don't need it as long as the game doesn't get "laggy". My mobo is old and is only PCI Express 1.0, not 2.0 so if you have a 2.0 slot you'll see even better performance than I did. I don't really need that high level of in-game quality so don't leave it set there (why run things that hot if you don't need to?).
Here's the card I bought just 3 weeks ago -- it's deactivated now (no wonder it was on sale!): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127387
But there are other similar ones from MSI /other vendors. I chose the MSI because I have SPDIF sound out and the specs for this card showed that it comes with a cable to plug into my SPDIF to route sound over my HDMI. (As documented, it did indeed include that cable in the kit). Haven't used that yet because I need a new HT receiver. My receiver is old and doesn't do any HDMI switching.
My HTPC is a pre-built HP multimedia server running Vista 32. As such, it came with a very cheap 350w psu. That was working ok with my 8600gt, but when I upgraded to the 9800gt, I had to replace the PSU because it kept shutting off (must have been right on the edge of working the entire time). I ended up with a Corsair 550w single 12v rail and that powers my card/peripherals just fine. When I've played WoW for about an hour, I can hear the PSU fan ramp up from across the room but it's still very quiet. Amazingly enough, I do not even hear the fan on the 9800gt card so it's working very well and quiet. I never hear the PSU at all when doing just BD/HD playback - WoW puts considerably more load on my system.