Personal computing discussed

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bthylafh
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Lowest TDP video card?

Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:43 pm

I'm thinking on converting my old computer into the house server. Specs:
i5-2500K
Asus P8P67 LE (no onboard Intel graphics)
8GB RAM
Radeon 7850


Should I need a video card in it once I'm done setting it up (it'll be either Linux or FreeNAS), and if so, what's a good cheap low-wattage video card to put in there? The Radeon's fine, but the fan's bad and it's probably not the most efficient thing out there.
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Redocbew
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Re: Lowest TDP video card?

Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:52 pm

No, if it's going to be running headless you shouldn't need a video card in it once the initial setup is done, but it can be nice to have one just in case something goes wrong and network access isn't an option.

My first guess is that there won't be a lot of difference between recent cards in the <$100 range, but I haven't really checked.
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: Lowest TDP video card?

Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:31 pm

Your Radeon HD7850 might be using around 10 W at idle.
https://www.quora.com/Graphics-Cards-Do ... while-idle
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Re: Lowest TDP video card?

Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:33 pm

It'll depend on the motherboard. While server boards are designed to run headless, desktop boards can be a mixed bag; I've had some that won't POST without some sort of GPU present.

My current home file server has one of these as the GPU: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B4ZRIGS/

Since you've got PCI slots, that could be a potential option for you as well.
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bthylafh
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Re: Lowest TDP video card?

Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:02 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Your Radeon HD7850 might be using around 10 W at idle.
https://www.quora.com/Graphics-Cards-Do ... while-idle


This suggests that a 7850 should draw even less than that at idle when the display is off:
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ra ... 48-19.html

If so, guess I'll just leave the thing in there so I don't have to find a place to stash it.
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Re: Lowest TDP video card?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:07 am

Not sure about on the *nix side, but on Windows you need to make sure the video drivers are installed so that power management can kick it. Otherwise you won't get that 10W TDP on idle, or at the very least, get the fan to not scream. So I figure you need the drivers.
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Wirko
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Re: Lowest TDP video card?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:44 am

Hexus.net has good power consumption graphs too. They once found a 7850 that draws little and a 7850 (passive cooled, hah!) that draw a lot:
https://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/55413-powercolor-scs3-hd7850/?page=7
If your card seems to heat up a lot even with display off or disconnected, it might be advisable to look for something else. GTX 750 (Ti) was once known for very low consumption, here it is compared to cards newer than itself:
https://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/85664-evga-geforce-gtx-950-ssc/?page=11
Cheap and frugal fanless cards you can buy these days are mostly GT 710 and R5 230. If you care about performance, they're both far below the 7850.
 
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Re: Lowest TDP video card?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:27 am

Wirko wrote:
Cheap and frugal fanless cards you can buy these days are mostly GT 710 and R5 230. If you care about performance, they're both far below the 7850.

I suspect he doesn't care about performance, given that he asked whether he could yank the GPU after installing the OS. :wink:

I don't know what the TDP of the PCI card I linked is, but given that the GPU doesn't even have a passive heatsink on it it's likely down in the low single digits.
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roncat
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Re: Lowest TDP video card?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:36 pm

bthylafh wrote:
I'm thinking on converting my old computer into the house server. Specs:
i5-2500K
Asus P8P67 LE (no onboard Intel graphics)
8GB RAM
Radeon 7850


Should I need a video card in it once I'm done setting it up (it'll be either Linux or FreeNAS), and if so, what's a good cheap low-wattage video card to put in there? The Radeon's fine, but the fan's bad and it's probably not the most efficient thing out there.



Probably better to buy something like this
https://www.ebay.com/p/116333109
and scrap the video card altogether. You also get more/faster SATA ports, which is what you want for a NAS anyway.
 
bthylafh
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Re: Lowest TDP video card?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:28 pm

roncat wrote:
bthylafh wrote:
I'm thinking on converting my old computer into the house server. Specs:
i5-2500K
Asus P8P67 LE (no onboard Intel graphics)
8GB RAM
Radeon 7850


Should I need a video card in it once I'm done setting it up (it'll be either Linux or FreeNAS), and if so, what's a good cheap low-wattage video card to put in there? The Radeon's fine, but the fan's bad and it's probably not the most efficient thing out there.



Probably better to buy something like this
https://www.ebay.com/p/116333109
and scrap the video card altogether. You also get more/faster SATA ports, which is what you want for a NAS anyway.


Nah. Not interested in spending that much and the one I've got has more SATA ports than I'm likely to need. Six, I think. Plus I know this motherboard is fine and won't crap out after a few months.
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The Egg
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Re: Lowest TDP video card?

Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:43 pm

The least expensive and lowest TDP card still available for sale new and also still supported by current drivers is the GT 710. Between friends/family and my NAS, I probably have something like 5 of them currently in use. I want to say they’re rated on the order of 17w, with minor variance depending on cooling and whether you got GDDR5 or DDR3. You don’t buy these for gaming, so the RAM is of little consequence, just make sure you’re getting a GK208 Kepler model (as 95% of them are), and not one of the few crap Fermi cards which would be unsupported now.

Fanless MSI models can be had on Amazon for around $36, but I grabbed a bunch of B-Stock EVGA when they were on sale for $20ea.

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