General Question

jaytkay's avatar

Best Windows video card without a separate power connector?

Asked by jaytkay (25767points) December 27th, 2010

Looking for opinions on Windows video cards for a PCI Express 2.0 16x slot.

Low noise and power consumption are pluses, so I am looking for something without power connector separate from the PCIe slot.

Based on price, performance and quietness, what do you recommend?

I think a Radeon HD 5670 may be the best bet for AMD. I don’t know anything about current nVidia cards.

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5 Answers

the100thmonkey's avatar

What’s the purpose of the card?

Gaming? Video decoding? Video editing? 3D rendering?

What are the other components of the machine? A 5670 is a good mid-range card, but it won’t be worth it if the rest of your hradware bottlenecks it.

jaytkay's avatar

Athlon X2 4850e 2500MHz
couple of half-empty 1TB drives, 4GB RAM
Asus M3A78-EM motherboard

It’s for gaming, but I do not need to run the latest and greatest titles, looking at the 5670s it looks like I can get one for around $100ish US.

I guess my question is really what is the nVidia equivalent to the 5670.

jerv's avatar

The GeForce 9800 GX2 ties it according to Passmark’s GPU benchmarks so I would say that that is the most equivalent. However, it requires additional power connectors and recommends at least a 580W PSU.

Personally, I am a more casual gamer, so I went with this nVidia GT 240-based card . It only scores 781 compared to the 5670 / 9800 GX2’s 1204, but I still have zero issues running decent framerates at 1600×900 with everything set to maximum. There are three reasons I chose that card:
1) It was under $100
2) It is fanless, and therefore quiet. Dead silent, actually.
3) It doesn’t require additional power connections (the minimum recommended PSU is merely 300W)

IMO, you really don’t need a much better video card than the GT 240. More powerful cards require more power than a PCIe slot can deliver and often require a fan.

ApolloX64's avatar

nVidia equivalent is a GT240. A 9800 GX2 is an old card that had two 9800 GTXs sandwiched together into one huge brick of power consumption. Mine bumped my Core2Quad’s consumption from 200W to 730W, when I switched to my HD5850 I dropped to 400W total.

Also, on a side note, GT240 is a superior card to the HD 5670 despite what the synthetic benchmarks say much to my dismay being an AMD/ATI guy.

jerv's avatar

@ApolloX64 My buddy used a 9800 GTX as a space heater until he melted the PSU :P

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