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GPU Recommendation (output to 59" 1080p HDTV + quiet)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm building an HTPC / DVR and I'm contemplating doing some gaming on it on the big screen and I have no idea what's necessary to look for in a GPU as far as speed and ram when you're only going to be capped out at 1080p resolution instead of higher PC monitor resolution.

The goal is to find the right combination of CPU / GPU that can play games like World of Tanks / Skyrim liquid smooth on the TV while being super quiet. I mean really quiet. I'm using a 500w fanless cpu and replacing all case fans with noctua's. Obviously games will have noise to drown out any sounds from the htpc, but it's gotta be silent during movies where you're supposed to hear a pin drop.

Obviously the higher end GPUs will have louder fans, but I was thinking I could get away with high FPS at 1080p with a card that's not as strong as the 580 in my gaming rig where it needs to handle 2560x1600.
    
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post #2 of 11
Asus has a passive 7770 as i recall
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post #3 of 11
Budget?
In the absence of one I want to recommend this, heavily underclocked.

It really comes down to the kind of performance you want. For a true budget card that comes with silence as a free premium, I'd need to recommend the 7750.


Or the sexy Sapphire variant:

Edited by Mookster - 10/19/12 at 12:28am
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well see that's the thing, what is really needed as far as power to output smooth gaming to the HDTV? And I usually only stick to nvidia cards because I always hear nightmares about ATI and their drivers even to this day. I can be convinced otherwise though if there's a specific line of radeons that have all their bugs ironed out.

7770 is waayyyyyyy below my GTX 580 in benchmarks, like 43% the speed. But maybe that's all you need for 1080p? What about memory? 1 gig? 2 gig?

As far as budget, I'd go as high as maybe $200 or so. I mean it really depends on where noise starts to become a factor and extra processing power won't be that noticeable. I'm just not sure where that is with TV's as I am with computer monitors.

Oh, and the card has to have hdmi out and be HDCP compliant, 3D and all that good stuff. And 7.1 surround sound through the hdmi.
    
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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellagiofan View Post

Well see that's the thing, what is really needed as far as power to output smooth gaming to the HDTV? And I usually only stick to nvidia cards because I always hear nightmares about ATI and their drivers even to this day. I can be convinced otherwise though if there's a specific line of radeons that have all their bugs ironed out.
7770 is waayyyyyyy below my GTX 580 in benchmarks, like 43% the speed. But maybe that's all you need for 1080p? What about memory? 1 gig? 2 gig?
As far as budget, I'd go as high as maybe $200 or so. I mean it really depends on where noise starts to become a factor and extra processing power won't be that noticeable. I'm just not sure where that is with TV's as I am with computer monitors.
Oh, and the card has to have hdmi out and be HDCP compliant, 3D and all that good stuff. And 7.1 surround sound through the hdmi.
You can look at any 1080p benchmarks; there's no difference between televisions and monitors at the same resolution. I'd call the 7750 adequate for 1080p in most games, but not stellar. It depends on what you want; but if you're willing to go from a monitor to a television, I can only assume you're not overly concerned with image quality in gaming. But again, you need to know what kind of performance you want from specific games at specific settings; I can't tell you what you want.
Also, the drivers thing with AMD is blown way out of proportion. There have been issues in the past, but no worse than nV. Eyefinity has driver issues, but no more than nV-Surround, in fact is largely better. I suspect a big portion of the AMD driver nay-sayers are people who switched from nV to AMD without doing proper driver flushing, because prior to a few years ago ATI only had something like 13% market share. The spike in ATI adoption came fast and hard, so I suspect many of those cards were put into systems that previously ran nV.
Personally, I've had 5 or 6 ATI/AMD cards and they've all been flawless.

Anyway, hope that helps.

Edit: It's worth mentioning that most high performance cards are about the same in terms of idle noise production, even over the last few generations. If you want dead silence while watching movies, you might want to consider waiting a generation. There are rumors that AMD's high end will have features allowing the GPU to go into "zeropower" mode, using only 3 watts of power at idle which can only mean low noise production. That way, you might be able to have the best of both worlds. Otherwise, you won't find performance similar to your 580 without the idle noise.
Edited by Mookster - 10/19/12 at 1:26am
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, like I said, World of Tanks and Skyrim. I'm not into the intense FPS games that probably require the most graphics. My tv is really high quality but I've just never seen pc games played on an HDTV like mine before so I don't know what to expect image quality wise. I just want to max out the graphics detail in game and get liquid frame rates. And hopefully do it with a GPU that is silent. I guess I can start with a fanless 7750 (unless a fanless 7770 appears, I just googled and although it's been talked about for months, I don't see anything on the market) and crossfire it with another down the road if necessary.

I'm going big on my atx case for an hdtv to maximize air flow and cooling to make up for the fact that the psu is fanless and I'll have a couple hdd's in there in addition to an SSD. The case is the Silverstone SST-GD08B.
    
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post #7 of 11
Powercolor makes/made a completely passive 6850 as well. As far as worrying about going red, they make better cards for htpc use.

And i have never run into a driver issue for any amd card with a single gpu setup to one monitor unless the card was faulty
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post #8 of 11
Skyrim isn't the easiest game to max. With mods, I still struggle to maintain 60fps with my crossfired 6950's.
You'll need lots of VRAM if you want to play with high texture mods, in particular.
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post #9 of 11
I find that 1GB is enough for a lot of games. The only games I have found that need more than 1GB at 1920x1080 is BF3 and GTA IV.
post #10 of 11
HD 7850 2GB is the best card within 200 bucks . the HIS iceq HD 7850 has a fantastic cooler and is selling for 190 bucks (180 after mail in rebate)

www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161405

check out the video review.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3bjl4jagPc
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