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I have a machine that I use as a home theater PC, and I'd like to start playing games on it. i want to put a graphics card in it which is silent and will support games at 1920x1080 resolution. it doesn't need to be able to support all the bells and whistles (full Anti Aliasing etc), but I just want to know what my options are.

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closed as off topic by Matthew Read, DMA57361, Nick T, authenticgeek, Arda Xi Aug 18 '11 at 17:01

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maybe you can give some games you'd like to play. Really current games? Shall the graphics card be silent ALL the time, or is it enough in desktop mode and may be louder when playing? – StampedeXV Jul 21 '10 at 9:53
I'd prefer silent all the time, and no the games don't need to be really current, say up to a year or so old. I currently have a 9600gt which is good but is noisy as hell, especially when the machine is starting up. I would like it to be as good as the 9600gt I think, but could probably go a little below that if necessary... – Sam Holder Jul 21 '10 at 10:07
Silent Graphics card is sorta useless on its own if you've got a noisy power supply or fan-based CPU heatsink as well... – Raven Dreamer Jul 21 '10 at 14:12
Thanks @Raven Dreamer, I appreciate that. For arguments sake can we assume that I have a quiet power supply and silent heatsink? I'm not really sure what value your comment adds. – Sam Holder Jul 22 '10 at 11:29
This question is shopping advice (off-topic) with answers that become obsolete every few months (too localized) – Nick T Aug 18 '11 at 15:40
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The Sapphire Ultimate HD 5550 seems like it would be up your alley. Since you're looking to put this in an HTPC, it seems like you want fanless, which this card is. Overclockers Club shows that you can get reasonably playable frame rates on many newer games. Also, it is CrossFire-ready, so you could buy two of them if you need more performance.

Obviously this won't get you near maxed-out on performance, but I think it would fit your needs well.

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I have an EVGA GTX 260 (216 core edition) that I see you can get from for $199. At idle the fan isn't audible at all. Even when I've been gaming for quite some time in a warm room I've never heard the fan. It's the most quiet graphics card I've ever owned. And I run at the native resolution of my monitor, 1920 x 1200, without any issues.

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