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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before I get to my question, I want to thank this forum for helping me put together my HTPC in the first place. I've had a Linux HTPC up and running for about a year now with very few major problems (except for a RAID 0 disk failure about 6 months ago) and I couldn't be happier with it. MythTV is an excellent piece of software, and my machine has slowly expanded to become a media server for the entire house.


Now, for my question. My original video card was a plain jane nVidia card with very little memory. All it has is TV-out via s-video, and that's all I wanted at the time. It has done what I purchased it for perfectly. Unfortunately, my roommate moved out a few months ago, taking his 6 gaming systems and 100s of video games with him. Now I find myself wanting to reboot the HTPC into windows for a bit of gaming action, and this poor video card cannot keep up.


What I'd LIKE would be another nVidia card (never had a problem with nVidia's Linux drivers and I'm familar with the setup) that will perform without lag at regular TV resolution (I think mine maxes out around 720x480). I'd rather it use a heatsink rather than a fan, because the last thing that I need is another fan in that box (case fan, CPU fan, and a fan on the RAID 5 array make for a good bit of noise). And, of course, it needs to have video-out (S-Video or RCA). I know that I don't need the latest, cutting edge video card to meet these requirements, but all of the review sites are interested in maxing out resolution, so I'm never sure which card will do what I want without paying too much. My MB supports up to 8x AGP.


I'd appreciate any direction that I can get since I'm not sure where to proceed from here.
 

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If you aren't looking high end, but rather best bang for the buck Nvidia-wise, I'd say go for the 6600 series, pricewatch.com shows them at the 120-130 level, which is an excellent price for a budget version of the newest geforce. Versus going for a last generation top end, which ironically still costs more *shrug*
 

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If you have good experience with nvidia, then you should probably stick to them.


But if you want good video output, why not just get a dxr3 card? they are dirt cheap on ebay. Do you need to playback anything else than mpeg2 on the video output?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by NCSUCodeMonkey
I'd rather it use a heatsink rather than a fan, because the last thing that I need is another fan in that box (case fan, CPU fan, and a fan on the RAID 5 array make for a good bit of noise).
Before you totally count out fans, check out Arctic Cooling Video silencers. There are special versions made just for the nVidia models. Not only are they very quiet, but they exhaust hot air out of the case.

All I can find are links to sales sites, but if you google search I am sure you will come up with what you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by darkwire
If you aren't looking high end, but rather best bang for the buck Nvidia-wise, I'd say go for the 6600 series, pricewatch.com shows them at the 120-130 level, which is an excellent price for a budget version of the newest geforce. Versus going for a last generation top end, which ironically still costs more *shrug*
And I assume that there are no problems with 6600 in Linux? If they work using the current driver, then this sounds like the best option for me.

Quote:
Originally posted by pivot
If you have good experience with nvidia, then you should probably stick to them.


But if you want good video output, why not just get a dxr3 card? they are dirt cheap on ebay. Do you need to playback anything else than mpeg2 on the video output?
I'm not sure entirely what you mean, probably because I'm not familiar with dxr3. If you have a good link for it, I'll do some reading, or if not, I'll just google for it. I use the machine for lots of things besides mpeg movies. I browse the web, use MythMusic, etc. If dxr3 is a hardware mpeg decoder, I actually already have one on my TV card, but it has a few annoying features (doesn't show the entire desktop due to overscanning, I can't use the terminal, etc.) and I seem to remember it having a problem displaying DVDs. That, and the ivtv drivers for the decoder are as buggy as hell.


BofW, thanks for the tip on the cooling fan. If it's pretty easy to install, I'd be willing to give it a shot. I don't mind hacking with software, but when it comes to ripping fans off of $300 video cards and installing a new one, I start to get a little nervous.


Thanks for all the help, I've got some more research to do! Keep the good ideas coming.


NCSUCodeMonkey
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by NCSUCodeMonkey
BofW, thanks for the tip on the cooling fan. If it's pretty easy to install, I'd be willing to give it a shot. I don't mind hacking with software, but when it comes to ripping fans off of $300 video cards and installing a new one, I start to get a little nervous.
I have done two myself. One for a Radeon 9800pro and one for a nVidia 5900xt.

The hardest part is getting the old fan off. You really need a pair of needlenose pliers, but other than that its fairly easy. The included instructions are not too bad either, but like you I was nervous both times.
 
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