How QUIET is your graphics card?

  Maiden. 12:31 28 Nov 2007

I have a relatively new dual core Compaq system that is fine in all areas except for the GPU - it came with a paltry 7300LE, nowhere near good enough for todays games, apps etc.

I want to upgrade and I have 100 pounds to spend, but here's the clincher - the card needs to be silent (fanless), or at least 'very quiet', as I have a baby that wakes very easily ! Noise levels are something you rarely find discussed in reviews, so I'm turning to you guys for help. Can you recommend a card ?

Connection is PCI-E


  Technotiger 12:39 28 Nov 2007

Here's one to get you started ... click here
you don't need to spend £100 to get a decent card.

  Totally-braindead 12:42 28 Nov 2007

Try to get one without a fan at all. Such as click here or click here these cards are a big improvement over what you already have but it is necessary to check the rating of your power supply, it tells you inside on the label on the actual power supply what it is rated at in watts.
You need a 350 watt minimum for a 8600GT and I think its 400 watts for a 8600GTS.
There are other graphics cards so have a look about, what you are looking for is a graphics card without a fan - passive cooling.

  I am Spartacus 12:45 28 Nov 2007

I've just bought a Sapphire X1950Pro Ultimate 256MB from Sapphiretech via Amazon click here I can't hear the fan.

You could also consider fitting a quieter heatsink and fan from QuietPC click here. I can recommend the Thermalright V2 cooler with a xilence Red Wing 80mm fan click here or the Zalman VF900 click here

  I am Spartacus 12:46 28 Nov 2007

Sorry Specialtech not Sapphiretech

  Totally-braindead 12:46 28 Nov 2007

The one Technotiger linked to is similar to mine, I have the same card but a different make and its pretty good for the money, the more expensive ones are of course better but depending on what you use it for it might well do you.
So far I have been able to play almost any game on my 7600GS BUT I have had to reduce the resolution on the newer games to 800 x 600 and knock a lot of the graphics options off to get it playable. Older games it plays perfectly.
Mine when I bought it cost me £120.

  Maiden. 12:59 28 Nov 2007

Thanks all - very useful.

Spartacus - good suggestion, but I'm not confident enough to be changing heatsinks etc - sticking in a new card is about my limit !

Guess this also raises the question, which 'range' should I be aiming for - 7600, 8500, 8600, 1950 etc. Bit mystified by the sheer number of cards out there !

Thanks (again)

  Totally-braindead 13:29 28 Nov 2007

Regarding the silent cards they are the same in graphics power as their counterparts with fans.

Perhaps this will give you some sort of idea click here

Personally I think the 7600GS is borderline for games and wouldn't buy it now, I would be looking at the 2 I listed.

The thing to do would be see what cards you can get within your budget and with no fans and then decide, that would make it much easier as theres a lot of cards that make so much heat that a fan is essential and that cuts it down a lot.

  Maiden. 22:09 28 Nov 2007

Great, thanks D-B. Will definately check out the usual outlets, but the 8600GTS looks favourite at the moment.

  Totally-braindead 22:33 28 Nov 2007

The 8600GTS is the card I was thinking of upgrading to.
Also worth considering 8600GT with 512mb click here and another 8600GTS click here with a free game and some others to look at click here

Do check your power supply is up to it though.

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