Video Card Upgrade - Need opinions (1 Viewer)


Portal Pro
December 8, 2004
North America
Home Country
United States of America United States of America
I currently have a Nvidia based Chaintech 5200. It has worked well for me, except for the fan which started making bad noise a few weeks after I got it. I am thinking of upgrading to either a 6600GT based, or 6800 based Nvidia card. Which leads me to my questions:

1) Is it worth upgrading if all I use the machine for is MP? You can see my other system specs in my signature.

2) I notice that the clock speeds for the 6600GT are considerably faster (300-350 mHz versus 500 mHz) than the 6800. Would this have a significant impact on MP performance?

3) Does the amount of RAM on the video card have any performance impact on MP? I would think not, but I have been wrong before :)

4) What brands of 6600GT or 6800 based cards do people use, and how do they like them? Chaintech always gets good reviews, but I have noticed reviews complaining about the fan, which I had problems with on mine as well.

Thanks for any advice.


Retired Team Member
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  • December 7, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
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    Do you game on this PC at all? If not thats hugely over kill.

    What about just a 6200? They come in both PCI-X and AGP and are cheap. If you get the 64bit version (128mb or 256mb) they are passively cooled. Some come with a HDTV connector and also work with Purevideo.


    Retired Team Member
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  • September 15, 2004
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    New Zealand New Zealand
    I was looking at the 6200 - until this morning, when the HTPC plans went out the window as I instead brought a PowerMac Dual 2.3 and 23 inch Apple display, couldn't hold off any longer!

    I was going to be doing a reasonable amount of gaming, but couldn't justify the jump in price to the 6600's. That the 6200 also comes with HDTV component out made it my choice.


    Retired Team Member
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  • February 16, 2005
    CodeMonkey, if the 5200 is good enough for you then stick with it and save yourself the expense of an upgrade.
    Depending on the size of the heatsink under the fan you probably could get away with just unplugging and removing the fan altogether.
    Most 5200's are passively cooled and the fan is just a cheap add on to make it lookmore powerful.

    If you try this and it fails, the most likely outcome is that your PC will suffer lock-ups. Worst case, you'll be buying a new video card, which is what you are about to do now anyway.

    You could also look at getting an aftermarket cooler for that card too.

    The upside of all this is that your PC will run much quieter...


    Portal Pro
    February 15, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    I agree with Marcusb - I have a 9250 and I just took the fan off. Even though the heatsink isn't very large, there have been no problems with instability, video or heat. If I upgrade video cards in the future, it will be to the most powerful passively cooled one I can find at the time.

    The only fan in my case is on the CPU (Zalman cooler at 5v).

    Noise is very important for a dedicated HTPC.

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