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  • projects
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  • Building a HTPC
  • Building a HTPC


    The Video Card

    Video cards are maybe the single most disappointing thing about building a HTPC.  Most small form factor motherboards come with an IGP of some sort however the 3D video performance is poor at best.  You usually have the option of adding another GPU in Crossfire for increased performance, but if you are going to go that route you might as well go for a good video card and forgo the IGP completely.

    For this build I'm disabling the onboard IGP and favor of the Palit GTS 450.  Not only will I get full DirectX 11 support and halfway decent gaming performance, but the card is designed for half height installations.
    The only downside to this card is the GPU cooler, it is weak at best.  In terms of overall cooling it does an ok job and considering it is designed to be quiet you have to expect some tradeoff in the form of heat.  For me idle temps in excess of 50c don't seem all that safe.

    Adjusting the fan speed seemed to be counterproductive in that the fan got louder but the GPU didn't get any cooler; it's almost like the fan is spinning and yet starving for air.  Cranking the fan up to 6000rpm did drop idle temps down to around 40c but made the system annoying loud and completely unsuited for HTPC use.