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New Graphics Card, Silent-ish, for £250

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by adam3223, 25 Sep 2008.

  1. adam3223

    Gangster

    Joined: 22 Jul 2004

    Posts: 230

    Location: Nottingham, UK

    I'm looking for a new graphics card.

    I've never had a decent one, so I'm definitely not a serious gamer.
    What concerns me is noise, therefore I'm looking for a silent-ish card.
    (Assuming silent is water/passively cooled, whereas silent-ish involves whacking a better gpu cooler on it)

    All for a budget of £250 inc VAT

    I'm an NVidia 'fan boy' but reading these forums for the past day or so it seems that ATI is the only sensible way to go in terms of value for money.
    (But I don't know in terms of noise levels)

    Anyway I was considering this, well below my budget, and I'll pretend it's not just for the free copy of GRID:
    Gainward ATI Radeon HD 4870 "Golden Sample" 512MB (£204.44 inc VAT)

    However, the first review I read slammed it for being quite noisy; even when idle.

    So any other suggestions?

    N.B the £250 inc vat is flexible but should include any cooling mods suggested (not water).

    Cheers.
     
  2. Farore

    Gangster

    Joined: 11 Aug 2007

    Posts: 406

    Location: Manchester

    £250 is a very good budget :) You can pick up some nice hardware! The ATi cards have a loud fan on them unfortunatly!

    What motherboard have you got? I would recommend SLi'ing 2 X GTX 260's if you can!
     
  3. Misiowiec

    Gangster

    Joined: 5 Apr 2006

    Posts: 269

    With a budget of £250 you can pick up any single-GPU card you want which will serve you very well if you're not a serious gamer. I'm in the same situation where I game occasionally but consider silence important; I thus got a 4870 and replaced the cooler with a Accelero S1 + Scythe 800rpm 120mm fan. Now I cannot hear when my PC is on and I'm not deaf ;) Do than and you'll still have money to spare.

    And please, don't play the 'fan boy' game. I say this with the outermost respect, but it sounds ridiculous and fits best in the sandbox at the age of four. Buy whatever best meets your needs, and if that happens to be nVidia then great! For me ATI was the choice as it provided the best bang for the buck.

    EDIT: I should add that with the new HSF combo the idle temps are around 38 and the load around 55, which is 30 or so degrees lower than the stock solution. Will probably help when I try overclocking it.
     
    Last edited: 25 Sep 2008
  4. mitch212k

    Hitman

    Joined: 27 Nov 2007

    Posts: 976

    Location: Manchester

    THIS!:p
     
  5. decrypt3r

    Hitman

    Joined: 14 Nov 2006

    Posts: 527

    Location: Newcastle, England

    4870 crossfire :O!
     
  6. adam3223

    Gangster

    Joined: 22 Jul 2004

    Posts: 230

    Location: Nottingham, UK

    Do I have to (somehow) attach that 120mm fan to the Accelero, or will my current 120mm rear case fan suffice?

    I waited for the This Week Only changeover and this 4870 stands out:

    Asus ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 £187.99 inc VAT
    (2nd cheapest 4870 but with a 3 year warranty with Asus)

    I assume it's the same as all the other boards and I assume the Accelero is compatible with it, but I'd like to know for sure before I place my order?
     
  7. Big.Wayne

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2003

    Posts: 14,694

    Location: London

    Hey Adam, save your money . . . £250 is a really stupid amount of money to blow on a GPU if your not gonna realise it's potential! :D

    I understand the pressures of being a OcUK forum reader and the need to keep a respectable ePeen scenario going! :o

    I suggest you look into the new Radeon HD4670 cards, sounds ideal for someone like yourself . . . or if you really want to go crazy then splash out on a Radeon HD4850 but only if you really need the extra power it offers . . . I think the HD4670 is the one though! :)
     
  8. adam3223

    Gangster

    Joined: 22 Jul 2004

    Posts: 230

    Location: Nottingham, UK

    I don't really care about my 'ePeen' (something which I had to google to find out what it meant)

    My current graphics card is an ATI X300 which only just manages to play strategy games at 1280x1024.
    I bought it when I upgraded to my new rig, and lacking funds for a new gfx card, I just bought the cheapest PCI-E card I could find.
    So I've never really had the opportunity to become a serious gamer (at least in terms of gameplay quality)

    In this case I just chose the best gfx card I could afford knowing I'd be stuck with it for a very long time.

    But I guess I can't really justify buying a 4870 over a 4670 either.
    (Notice I'm still undecided.)

    I assume the Accelero S1 is compatible with all reference 4870's and the 4670's?

    And can i get away with just using the my rear 120mm case fan??? (using the Accelero passively)
     
  9. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 77,799

    You have an SLI motherboard... 2x 8800GT can be had for less than the price of a 4870 or 260GTX and will cream anything less than a 4870X2 in SLI supported titles which is about 99% of recent games.

    Personally I'd say spend the money on 1x 8800GT and see how you get on with the performance and if you still want MORE get a second card.
     
  10. Sean_UK

    Mobster

    Joined: 6 Jul 2006

    Posts: 2,503

    Location: South East

    Erm just a thought...

    Has anyone taken into consideration that his current motherboard (Asus A8N SLI Premium) might only conform to PCI-E 1.0a x16, and there-for may not support certain up to date Graphics cards, such as the 4870?

    Or was it just a myth about the 1.0 and 1.0a slots ?
     
    Last edited: 4 Oct 2008
  11. Big.Wayne

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2003

    Posts: 14,694

    Location: London

    Rroff my good man, do you think that recommending two 8800GT graphics cards to an A64 owner that isn't a serious gamer and doesn't have an ePeen is a really good suggestion! :D
     
  12. setter

    Caporegime

    Joined: 14 Dec 2005

    Posts: 28,071

    Location: armoy, n. ireland

    Im thinking of dropping my rig down a bit as well, due to a 33% rise in leccy bills here in n.ireland the other day, im considering backing of on my 3.6ghz oc'd quad. Had my heart set on a 4870x2 (never had a high end card before) but with costs rising so much i may have to setle for something less:( the old bills start to stack up.
     
  13. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 77,799

    TBH I was thinking he'd prolly be happy with 1x 8800GT and stick with that but it gives him the option of high end performance...

    I'm not sure if it really saves much but I have enabled speedstep on my Q6600 to see - especially as most of the time I don't need the performance other than a few games and benchmarking.
     
  14. Metalface Mark

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2005

    Posts: 15,452

    Location: Paisley

    Buy a second hand 8800gts or 8800gtx, silent powerful, cheap.
     
  15. JTrickle

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Nov 2006

    Posts: 1,636

    Location: Sheffield

    I initially ruled out water, because I didn't want to buy a new case (using an old Coolermaster that cant take 120mm's) and didnt want to take a dremel to my existing case.

    But the Zalman external passive watercoolers dont require such m'larky. I also was using a borrowed cpu cooler, and I wanted quiet there too.

    Zalman + ram sinks + Ati 4850 = £275 and includes cpu cooler. You can justify the cost in that you will still be using it on your next build... and the one after with a £25 block purchase etc.

    Edit: Whilst I was about to say a child could assemble that simple water cooling setup, I did have to create some vrm sinks (not memory sinks) for my graphics card with a hacksaw and old socket 7 heatsink - but you could spend a further £8 for more memory sinks.
     
  16. adam3223

    Gangster

    Joined: 22 Jul 2004

    Posts: 230

    Location: Nottingham, UK

    But I only have a 500W PSU, nowhere near enough for an SLI setup I'm sure.
    I could get a new PSU and still be within my budget, but I like my silent efficient Seasonic and there's no need to upgrade it if I get just one card.

    I thought 2.0 was backwards compatible with 1.0, and ATI's website states the requirements as:
    "PCI Express® based PC is required with one X16 lane graphics slot available on the motherboard". No mention of 2.0?

    And I actually have a Zalman Reserator 1, used it for about a year. The connections at the bottom leaked slightly, not enough for me to be bothered to fix.
    It was perfectly silent but i disagree, it is a pain the neck to setup, especially for a student who's constantly moving between his parents, halls, and London.
    That and the fact it's conspicuous, and not something you want have to explain to any visitors.
     
  17. easyrider

    Caporegime

    Joined: 24 Dec 2005

    Posts: 39,848

    Location: Autonomy


    2x 260's will cost more than £250. And why would he if he isn't a serious gamer?

    My 4870 Fan was hardly loud.
     
  18. queamin

    Mobster

    Joined: 17 Nov 2005

    Posts: 3,530

    I agree if you aren't a serious gamer a hd4670 even a cheap 8800gt(needs to be a bit less than a 4850 price wise) will be ok, you willn't need anything over a 4850 really
     
  19. sarge78

    Mobster

    Joined: 1 Jun 2007

    Posts: 4,168

    +1

    edit: A 8800gt 512mb is still a very good card too!
    ________
    EASY VAPE VAPORIZER
     
    Last edited: 5 Mar 2011
  20. JTrickle

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Nov 2006

    Posts: 1,636

    Location: Sheffield

    Ah, yes. In my student days a Reserator, or any watercooling would have been (slightly) annoying. But as a student you basically have to sleep in the same room as the pc. Also you will have other people in a house who may not appreciate the whine current pc's put out. No, I would never go back to air.

    As to the looks, well. Maybe its from my car modding days that I've developed a fetish for machined large aluminum radiators... Its gorgeous.