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Passive cooled graphics cards question

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by greenbrucelee, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I have an MSI 8600gt (passive cooled) and was wondering if I get a second and run sli will I have to purchase extra fans for cooling purposes.

    Or should I save up and just one powerful 8800 card

    BTW I have a 700watt 2x12v dual rail psu
     
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  2. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

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    Stay close to what it's designed for, and probably not. I've used a couple of fanless graphics cards in media PC's before, and they work fine in there, but if you're talking SLI than you're talking gaming. Aside from that, only overclocking would push your card into areas that require a fan, regardless of its' original intent.

    Also, that depends on the rest of the system -- if you run an early model Intel Prescott toaster, for example, then I'd consider sticking a fan on a fanless card. The entire box should be evaluated for its cooling properties. Myself, unless I want quiet, it's getting a fan, and a good one at that.

    Although SLI is fun, I'd stick with a single 8800 - less things to go wrong. If you go SLI, it might be a bit better performer, but I'd stick a pair of fans on them, since those two cards will generate extra case heat. Although the video bandwidth is arguable, I'd make sure your motherboard is dual 16x PCI Express and no problems with an SLI setup. At 4GBps, an 8x SLI setup is more than adequate, so I doubt the 16 is actually necessary (haven't kept up on the latest benchmarks, however.)

    Have fun!
     
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  3. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    my pc will go sli however the when running sli both card would run at 8x instead 2 at 16x but the heat is what I am concerned with so I think I will just go with one of 8800s
     
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  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    The heat won't be your primary problem with SLI; it'll likely be compatibility issues. The problem is that many games simply aren't SLI-compatible. I agree with Fortch: I'd recommend going with one card.
     
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  5. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Thanks Guys do you think my PSU 700watt 2x 12v dual rails will be sufficient enough if I went for the 8800gtx 768mb or the 640mb version
     
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  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Depends on what else is on your computer. More than likely, however, I'd guess you'd be okay with a 700W PSU. That said, it also depends on the brand. Best advice I can give on new computer builds is to never EVER skimp on the PSU; always get a good, name-brand model. Budget PSUs can cause flaky, erratic, systemwide problems that are hard to diagnose.
     
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  7. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I am not sure what brand my psu is, will it say on the psu what brand make the psu is?
     
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  8. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yes, usually.

    Unfortunately, if you don't know what brand it is, that means you didn't put it in there yourself, and you've got whatever your computer manufacturer slapped in there... which is not always the best quality (usually the lowest-cost bidder ins). I typically recommend brands like Enermax, Antec, and Seasonic (though there are other good ones out there).
     
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  9. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Cheers BM I will look and see what brand it is:D
     
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  10. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    Ok i'll add this :-

    1. If you have any passive GPUs in the system be it 1 card or 2 you will still require cooling for the rest of the system. The heat given off from the cards heatsink still needs to go somewhere, and if you don't have a fan exhausting it from the case, it'll just make the rest of the system run hotter. So my advice here is, get the one 8800GT card and get a 120mm fan pulling the air out of the case on the back and another 120mm fan pulling in cold air on the front of the case. Or go for the other option and watercool the system, but this cost a lot more to do!

    2. In a normal system a 700w PSU is overkill. A basci CPU, motherboard, GPU, hard drive, DVD-drive should only really need 550W at most. However your running a higher spec GPU that uses more power so going for a higher rated PSU is always a safer bet. It will also depend on what CPU you have as the newer Intel ones use less power overall as well. If you were running in SLI 2 x 8800GTs then I'd probably recommend going for a higher Wattage still (1000W?) especially if your running a DVD and 2 or more HDD in the system. (I did have a calculator some where that allowed you to work out a rough power consumption value for your system, but as usual i cant find it now)

    3. When buyinga PSU go for a named brand that gets good reviews with the highest wattage you can afford. Also look for the number of 12v rails it has, as the more the better and also check its PFC ( I think this is the value it will nominaly run at under full load which is a percentage drop of the max wattage) this should be around 80% or better. On a side note Seasonic do not make PSU's but they brand them. The same model of PSU is sold by a cheaper unnamed brand, the difference being the tolerences of the voltage rails and PFC (cheaper one being worse). This also applies to other brands of PSU, amny companies make PSU and sell them to many supplies who brand them with the worst of a production batch going to cheap brands and the more accurate higher tolerenced ones going to the more expensive brands.

    4. If your planning on going SLI make sure the PSU is SLI Compatible! And make sure it all fits in your case. Recently a friend of mine found out his 2nd Graphics card was catching on the edge of his HDD cable amking it too tight a fit! (silly sod also bought a HDD caddy that doesnt fit his case!)

    5. Oh wait there is no 5, only Do or Do not! :p
     
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  11. stuPeas

    stuPeas Megabyte Poster

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    Its the same when you buy a case for a PC build, you get the cheapest thing possible. I never buy a case that has a PSU included anymore, I cant be bothered stripping it out to replace it!!
     
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  12. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I dont think I will go SLi if I get one the 8800 cards, heres my system spec as it is now

    E6400 CD2
    1gb ram (880mhz) I intend to go upto atleast 2gb
    250gb HDD
    DVD re-rwiter
    Wireless NIC (although I intend to remove this)
    MSI 8600gt

    My mobo is Asus P5NE-SLI with heatsink on the mobo and a big fan on the cpu, i think it looks about 120mm

    I may add another Hard drive in the future and a sound card
    instead of using the onboard sound
     
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