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 Post subject: video card for slim PC
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:12 pm 
Willamette
Willamette

Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 1495
So I have this PC (a Lenovo M58e slim desktop) that the onboard graphics went out on, and am looking for a low-profile PCi Express video card. The computer only has a 280 watt power supply, so it needs to be low-powered, but able to play 1080p HD content and have at least an HDMI output. Normally I would just get rid of it but it's a decent computer--just the onboard video is bad. I have tested a normal PCI Express card so I know that the problem can be fixed by adding a card, I just don't have one that's low power or low-profile.

I was thinking a Geforce 210, but even those require a 300-350 watt power supply I think. The ATI HD 5450/6450 also require about a 350-400 watt power supply.

Any suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: video card for slim PC
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:55 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5544
Any low-end card will do. Those requirements are for fully loaded, worst case scenarios. To put in perspective, my rig, which is a pretty high-end gaming rig, needs about 200W when playing a game.


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 Post subject: Re: video card for slim PC
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:18 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:20 pm
Posts: 128
GTX 750. Not the Ti version just a 750. It needs i believe 55w granted Nvidia recommends a 300W PSU.


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 Post subject: Re: video card for slim PC
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:41 am 
Thunderbird
Thunderbird
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Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:17 pm
Posts: 950
Location: Phoenix, AZ
edit: I am placing this paragraph at the top. One other note, your system has Intel 4500 onboard graphics which is pretty decent and BETTER than the discrete HD5450/GT 210 for instance and barely below the HD6450. So if you want to step up be sure to evaluate how much of a performance bump above the i4500 you are getting for whatever GPU you decide upon or you will obviously be disappointed in the money spent.

Actually the mfg. recommendation is BS. The GPU's maximum power utilization is known. Overclocking will increase that requirement until it either fails or hits a current wall (75W in this case; see below).

GPUs pull exclusively from the +12V rail of the PSU, so that voltage (listed on the side of the PSU) is all that is important. It can be readily converted into Amps by dividing Watts by 12. Note: The quality of the PSU determines the actual output as opposed to the claimed output. As temperatures rise inside the case efficiency can fall and poorly made PSUs claim outputs based upon room temps as opposed to more realistic 40C. Keep in mind the +12V line is shared with other PC components so the GPU cannot take it all. Using a third of the honest output is safe. Half is likely survivable but makes me suck wind.

The PCIe x16 slot delivers a max. 75 W (6.25A) by spec of +12V.

I try to keep up with the low power GPUs suitable for low profile (LP) cards and nVidia's latest 700 series are amazing (but few LP cards exist). But depending upon your budget some of the older nVidia/AMD cards not shown here may do well (compare benchmark hopefully using some benchmark app similar to what you use your PC for before buying). [notes below are for me, not my recommendations to you]


GPU Benchmark Watts Amps Max OC
GT 640* 1,287 65W 5.4A 1,203
R7 250 1,386 65W 5.4A 1,212
GT 740 1,440 64W 5.3A 1,164
HD 7750 1,634 55W 4.6A 1,227
GTX 650 1,841 64W 5.3A 1,240
GTX 750 3,266 55W 4.6A 1,480
GTX 750 Ti 3,641 60W 5.0A 1,356

Passmark Benchmark Score
Maximum Power Demand in Watts (on +12V rail)
Maximum Power Demand in Amps (on +12V rail)
--all power provided by the PCIe x16 slot which can deliver +12V up to 6.25A (75W) on demand.
* GT640 DDR5 max power is 49W (4.1A) at higher clock speed. In theory could max. OC to 1,601MHz.
Max. OC (overclock) based upon 75W in MHz (projected)

Low profile cards. Low power using modern cards with maximum performance. Galaxy makes a GTX 750 Ti LP (2Gb DDR5)...$180

Zotac gtx650 [single wide, 10.23" long; both LP brackets included, must swap]

http://www.amazon.com/Zotac-GeForce-Exp ... -61008-10M


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 Post subject: Re: video card for slim PC
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:38 pm 
Willamette
Willamette

Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 1495
Thanks everyone for the advice. I realized that the computer isn't really worth upgrading after all. I'd need a $50 video card, a USB 3.0 card and a Wifi adapater, which would be running me about $100-125 in the end, so I'd be better off just building one of those inexpensive combos that Microcenter always has on sale for under $100 (the AMD A-series dual cores with the [essentially] free motherboard).

So I'm just going to sell the Lenovo I have and use that money to build the system... make more sense that way anyway.

I'm sort of looking at one of these AM1 boards too, with the AMD 5150 or 5350 low power processors. Anyone use one for streaming HD 1080p? Supposedly that's what they're designed for. HTPC/Media center PCs. Plus all I'd have to get beyond the combo is a Wifi AC adapter.... So for $125 I could build something that's at least 2x as good for graphics than upgrading the 5 year old Lenovo SFF pc.


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 Post subject: Re: video card for slim PC
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:48 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5544
If you mean streaming by simply serving the content, any processor can do that. A NAS box could probably do that. But if you're re-encoding on the fly, then you might run into trouble depending on how much quality you want. If you're re-encoding a 720p MPEG-2 video into an H.264 stream, you could probably do it ( http://www.anandtech.com/show/8067/amd- ... 0-tested/3 ) but not for 1080p.


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