[SOLVED] Looking for advice for choosing an old graphics card.

simpleman72685

Commendable
Nov 14, 2019
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1,510
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So this computer I have I like to call Project Freedom. The computer is a HP 8300 Elite Mid Tower with an Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3570 CPU @ 3.40GHz and 12GB of DDR3 RAM. I got this computer for free due to a shipping error when I bought an HP Z230 Workstation. The RAM and hard drives were hand me downs. So was the GeForce 210 graphics card I have in it. I believe the graphics card is nearing its end because sometimes when I turn the computer on the screen will start flashing dark gray and black. It starts to work fine after rebooting. I'm looking for cheap or free replacement to stay true to the theme. So I am looking at what's out there to replace it. I would prefer a GPU without a fan and has VGA and HDMI ports. I still have two monitors that only use VGA as an output. I have also considered just getting a Display Port to HDMI, but I am concerned there may be a loss of image quality using one. The HDMI Port is needed for the TV. Another thing is currently I can hook up to 4 monitors to it because I can run the Integrated graphics and dedicated graphics simultaneously. I rarely use more than 2 monitors at once, but it's nice to have that capability. If someone has a card lying around that they would never use, and would like to just donate it to me I would be fine with that too. So how do all of you think I should go about this?
 

Karadjgne

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Hdmi and DP no quality loss.
Can also use a dvi to vga dongle or cable as dvi-i carries analog signals, so effectively the same thing. Card just needs dvi-i not dvi-d.

The cheapest, biggest, passive card that'll actually work in your situation is the GT730 2Gb GDDR5. Don't fall for the 2Gb or 4Gb version with DDR3, as that's no better than a GT710 at a GT730 price.
Has Dvi-i and hdmi outputs. Most have a single fan, but there's an Asus version that's passive and has vga.
 
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Karadjgne

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Hdmi and DP no quality loss.
Can also use a dvi to vga dongle or cable as dvi-i carries analog signals, so effectively the same thing. Card just needs dvi-i not dvi-d.

The cheapest, biggest, passive card that'll actually work in your situation is the GT730 2Gb GDDR5. Don't fall for the 2Gb or 4Gb version with DDR3, as that's no better than a GT710 at a GT730 price.
Has Dvi-i and hdmi outputs. Most have a single fan, but there's an Asus version that's passive and has vga.
 
Reactions: martinch

simpleman72685

Commendable
Nov 14, 2019
7
0
1,510
0
Hdmi and DP no quality loss.
Can also use a dvi to vga dongle or cable as dvi-i carries analog signals, so effectively the same thing. Card just needs dvi-i not dvi-d.

The cheapest, biggest, passive card that'll actually work in your situation is the GT730 2Gb GDDR5. Don't fall for the 2Gb or 4Gb version with DDR3, as that's no better than a GT710 at a GT730 price.
Has Dvi-i and hdmi outputs. Most have a single fan, but there's an Asus version that's passive and has vga.
Thanks for the response. So here's another question that I have not been able to really find an answer for. The way I look at things from mechanical experiences in the past is not having moving parts will always help with endurance. Would having a passive GPU cause it to last longer than one with fans? I plan on buying a used GPU so that's why I'm asking.
 

Karadjgne

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No. There's no given data either way. A passive relies on an oversized heatsink and thermodynamics to radiate heat away. However, that process is limited and somewhat inefficient. That leaves the gpu at the mercy of the load and any airflow. When the heatsink is saturated, there's a loss of efficiency that's exponential. So upto @ 60%, 1w might equal 1°C of additional temp. Every watt thereafter gets worse, 30w = 30°, 31w =32°, 32w = 34°, 33w = 38° etc.

You get runaway temps and no possible way to alleviate the climb.

A fan is forced air. It can mitigate that power to temp climb by increasing efficiency of cooling. That means the actual components under the heatsink don't cook, degrade or breakdown nearly as fast. Which prolongs the life of the card.

A fan is simple to replace. A passive system is hard to manage. So while on one hand a gpu with fan can break down faster than a passive gpu, a gpu without a fan can breakdown faster than a fanned gpu. Load and power use, case airflow, being determining factors.

The more moving parts you have, the lower the chance of any one part to be the failing part, not the higher the chance the whole thing will fail. If a moving part has a 10% chance of failure, and you have 3x moving parts, that's still just a 10% chance of failure, from any one moving part. It's not a 30% chance of failure, just as having 10 moving parts isn't 100% chance of failure. Opportunities don't stack that way. If there's only 3x moving parts, there's a 33% chance for each part to be the one that fails, if there's 50x moving parts, each part has a 2% chance of being the failing part. With just 1x moving part, it's guaranteed 100% that that part will be the part that fails, if it's going to fail.

So the more moving parts you have, the less likelihood of any one part being the part that fails, even though all parts still suffer a 10% chance of failure.
 
Last edited:

simpleman72685

Commendable
Nov 14, 2019
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1,510
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Ok then. So I'll just shop for the best deal I can find. Which AMD cards should I look for? Also 4K video will be the most demanding thing I use the card for. By the way I have a 320W PSU.
 

Karadjgne

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I'd stick with nvidia, better performance, lower power requirements.

320w psu means any card without an external power need. I'd not use anything requiring a 6pin or 6+2pin pcie unless there's actually one present from the psu.

4k video isn't really anymore demanding than any other video as far as playback is concerned, video is a 2d affect, not 3d. Resolution of the render is pretty immaterial whereas resolution of the monitor is different.
 

simpleman72685

Commendable
Nov 14, 2019
7
0
1,510
0
I'd stick with nvidia, better performance, lower power requirements.

320w psu means any card without an external power need. I'd not use anything requiring a 6pin or 6+2pin pcie unless there's actually one present from the psu.

4k video isn't really anymore demanding than any other video as far as playback is concerned, video is a 2d affect, not 3d. Resolution of the render is pretty immaterial whereas resolution of the monitor is different.
Thanks for your help. I know everything I need to know now.
 

simpleman72685

Commendable
Nov 14, 2019
7
0
1,510
0
Hdmi and DP no quality loss.
Can also use a dvi to vga dongle or cable as dvi-i carries analog signals, so effectively the same thing. Card just needs dvi-i not dvi-d.

The cheapest, biggest, passive card that'll actually work in your situation is the GT730 2Gb GDDR5. Don't fall for the 2Gb or 4Gb version with DDR3, as that's no better than a GT710 at a GT730 price.
Has Dvi-i and hdmi outputs. Most have a single fan, but there's an Asus version that's passive and has vga.
I found a GT 710 with 2GB of GDDR5 from ASUS Certified Refurbished for $25. Here's the link for anyone else that is in the same situation as me. https://www.ebay.com/itm/325343645345
 

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