Yet Annother DX10 Vid Card Thread

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ntwp13's picture
Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Yet Annother DX10 Vid Card Thread

Hello all, I'm finally giving up on HTPCnews (or did it give up on me?) and fully embracing MR.

My first issue: its time for a new vid card.  Football season and MLB playoffs are coming fast, and my 6150 just doesn't cut it for HD.  I've been a NVidia man for a while now, but I'll listen to ATI recommendations (NVidia just feels more comfortable to me).  Here are my priorities:

1) Silent Cooling
2) Best ATSC/QAM HD Processing possible (please no more HD stutters!)
3) Future HD Disk capable
4) Single Slot Solution (I really hate to lose slots on a mATX board, more on this later)
5) Some gaming capability, mainly console emulators including PS1 and N64

Here are the cards that I am considering:

A)  MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256EZ
The Good:  Fanless, 8600GTS Should be all the power I need for HD, and some gaming, Heatpipe design with radiator on back of card does not obstruct other expansion slots and puts radiator in the line of fire of the 120s in my fusion case.  If it fits this it THE card.
The Bad:  Price just went up to $158, ouch, I told the finance that I was spending around $125.  Does it fit?  As you can see from the following pictures I don't have much room between the PCI express slot and the SI-128 CPU Cooler.  I measured the space at about 3/4 of an inch.  Does anybody know how big the radiator on the back of this card is? I cannot find any dimensions anywhere.  Lets say its close, real close, is there any harm if the VGA heatsink touches the CPU heatsink? 

B)  MSI RX2600XT-T2D512EZ  Same as above except ATI style, and a bit cheaper too.

The Good: Fanless, does not take up adjacent slot.
The Bad:  8600GT, good enough but I think I would prefer the 8600GTS especially at the same price or even less.  This card has both vertical and horizontal space issues.  I haven't measured the roof clearance on the Fusion, but it cannot be much.  As far as clearing the SI-128, the card's radiator has fins that run vertical so perhaps the two could overlap a bit (again I am wondering if there is any issue with the two heatsinks touching).

The Good: This card looks like a decent candidate, it appears to only take up one slot, and is fanless, and it is in my expected price range.
The Bad:  Again only an 8600GT and I am concerned about vertical clearance, also, the heatsink is on the "normal" side of the card and will not be in the main airflow region of the Antec Fusion.

E)  GIGABYTE GV-RX26T256H Same as above, but ATI, cheapest of the bunch.

So, does anybody have any experience with any of these cards?  Just how big are they?  Will they fit in a Fusion? 

Am I going to have to suck it up and sacrifice that PCIe 1x slot that I really don't have any current plans for, even though I really hate to limit future flexibility especially with new PCIe devices coming out all the time? (Just so you know what kind of guy I am, I love the Fusion case, but sometimes wake up at night thinking about how I will never be able to fit a full ATX Mobo in it.)

Are there any compelling ATI v. NVidia arguments?  So far all that I have seen is that NVidia can be better but is limited by current drivers (using XP-MCE).  Is this still true?

Is HDMI audio anything to worry about considering that I have a 5.1 speaker set, a 5.1 receiver,  no HD Disk player, and it is unlikely that I will upgrade all three of these things any time soon?

Thanks All.

Joined: 30 Sep 2006

No way that XFX card is going to fit in the Fusion, certainly not without bumping right into the top and thus having no airflow around it. I believe people have used the Gigabyte passive models in the Fusion OK, hopefully someone with a Fusion can chime in.

That MSI cooler layout seems ideal for the case clearance issue, the 8600GTS does have a $20 MIR so it makes it pretty reasonable after the rebate. My brother is currently using that card in his desktop PC and likes it. The cousin to that card but with a Radeon HD 2600XT would be a good choice, but I'm not so certain how ATI's drivers are doing right now, the HD 2x00 series has a huge thread at AVS. Also, FYI: to get the full acceleration benefits of the GeForce 8600 series in Win XP you must use the beta drivers currently.

ntwp13's picture
Joined: 30 Nov 1999

Thanks Matt,  any chance you can ask your brother if he thinks the MSI radiator is much bigger than 3/4 of an inch?  If so I may be out of luck with those cards as it looks like all the silent MSIs have the same setup.  I think that this is really the card that I want.

No tears over loosing the XFX, that card was too expensive anyway.

Encouraging news on the Gigabyte, if the MSI doesn't fit, it  looks like I'll have to choose between a Gigabyte 8600GT in one slot or an 8600GTS in two.  Or maybe go ATI, hmmm.  Can anyone out there confirm if the Gigabyte Silent-pipe 2 heatsink will fit in an Antec Fusion/NSK2400.

Thanks Again.

Joined: 29 Sep 2007

ntwp13,  did you endup getting one of these cards?  I'm especially curious to learn if you got the GIGABYTE GV-NX86T256H, and if you have any problems with it in that case.

ntwp13's picture
Joined: 30 Nov 1999

Well, my funding ran a bit short, so no, I never got a new card.  Since then I kind of decided to wait a bit for nvidia's 9xxx series to launch, which should happen fairly soon.  From what I can tell, the 9xxx series will be a die-shrink (65nm) of the 8xxx series, bur I'm sure others will know more than I about this.

Anyways, my research told me that the 9xxx cards are to be available for Christmas.  We'll see about that, but if the cards are 65nm, then silent cooling solutions should be easier to implement which may mean more single slot choices.  Of course, I'm sure that the screaming, high-end, overclocker's dream cards will be released first so I am not expecting anything HTPC appropriate until after the new year.

So the moral of the story is that I have decided to wait a bit and see what is on the horizon.

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