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Old January 3, 2010, 03:03 PM
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Default Advice on a new folding GPU

So I'm looking to put a folding GPU in my secondary PC. (See sig) I'm looking at several options, but the key is to keep it affordable as it's just my wife's internet/download/folding machine. I also want a card that doesn't wind up like a jet engine when it's under load. If it's folding in the background most of the day, then it should be relatively quiet. I'd also rather not have to invest in an after market cooler just to keep it quiet. But if that's the only option I have... I'll consider it.

Cards I'm considering at the moment:

9800GTS 512MB
The tried and true folder. I know it does it's job, and is a fairly decent card. But I'm concerned about the volume. I had an 8800GT with the same reference design and it was more than a bit noisy. There are a couple non-ref designs out there for this card I'd look at, but I don't know which ones are noisier or quieter. Any input here would be good.

GT 240 1GB
I've really heard very little on this card, and nothing on it's folding abilities. I know it does HTPC functions well, but that's not what I want it for. Does anyone know how well it performs? Volume on it? Heat? Does it fold like a pro? Or like a cheap suit?

GTS 250 1GB
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this just a re-branded 8800/9800 with a dual slot cooler? And, if so, does it fold exactly the same? How about volume and heat? For reference and non reference designs? The 'Twin Frozr' design by MSI looks to be a promising non-ref design. Anyone had a chance to play with this yet?

Any input would be helpful. Please keep in mind that I'm not looking to O/C the video card, but it will be running almost constantly, so a durable card is key. Also, if there's a better option than what's listed above, please let me know. Thanks in advance!

*SIDE NOTE*
This is for the reviewers of the site. Any chance we could start adding a folding benchmark to the video card reviews for HWC? Seems to me it'd be fairly useful to a forum that's pushing folding so hard.
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Old January 3, 2010, 03:45 PM
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8800gt with yanked out stock fan(and zip tied 120 on top) or 3rd part cooler all the way. on certain 353 pointers itll make a good 5-6k ppd. ppd/$/watts i think its decent.
btw get it used. not worth new.
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Old January 3, 2010, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caldezar View Post
So I'm looking to put a folding GPU in my secondary PC. (See sig) I'm looking at several options, but the key is to keep it affordable as it's just my wife's internet/download/folding machine. I also want a card that doesn't wind up like a jet engine when it's under load. If it's folding in the background most of the day, then it should be relatively quiet. I'd also rather not have to invest in an after market cooler just to keep it quiet. But if that's the only option I have... I'll consider it.

Cards I'm considering at the moment:

9800GTS 512MB
The tried and true folder. I know it does it's job, and is a fairly decent card. But I'm concerned about the volume. I had an 8800GT with the same reference design and it was more than a bit noisy. There are a couple non-ref designs out there for this card I'd look at, but I don't know which ones are noisier or quieter. Any input here would be good.

GT 240 1GB
I've really heard very little on this card, and nothing on it's folding abilities. I know it does HTPC functions well, but that's not what I want it for. Does anyone know how well it performs? Volume on it? Heat? Does it fold like a pro? Or like a cheap suit?

GTS 250 1GB
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this just a re-branded 8800/9800 with a dual slot cooler? And, if so, does it fold exactly the same? How about volume and heat? For reference and non reference designs? The 'Twin Frozr' design by MSI looks to be a promising non-ref design. Anyone had a chance to play with this yet?

Any input would be helpful. Please keep in mind that I'm not looking to O/C the video card, but it will be running almost constantly, so a durable card is key. Also, if there's a better option than what's listed above, please let me know. Thanks in advance!

*SIDE NOTE*
This is for the reviewers of the site. Any chance we could start adding a folding benchmark to the video card reviews for HWC? Seems to me it'd be fairly useful to a forum that's pushing folding so hard.
Your best bet for Folding would be the GTS 250 which is a rebranded 9800GTX+. They run cool and quiet at both stock speeds or with a mild OC.

Conservative expected ppd on on stock clocks;

~5400+ ppd = 548pt WU
~5800+ ppd = 1888pt WU
~6200+ ppd = 384pt WU
~6800+ ppd = 353pt WU.

The Twin Frozr design is supposed to be run both quieter and cooler than the stock cooler but dumps the hot air inside the case requiring good airflow. I would go with this one; BFG GTS250 1 GB
as it's cheaper and works well.

As you can tell I like these cards, I have four GTS250's, two GTX+'s and a GTX all Folding 24/7 and have managed to accumulate a few points with them...
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Old January 3, 2010, 03:57 PM
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The GTS 250 is essentially a 9800GTX+, but a little more efficient on power. It is good for about 5000-6000K PPD. I would go with one of these, but perhaps a cooler that exhausts heat outside the case. Looks like the MSI might do that a little, but I would stick with a stock cooler (unless that dual fan design is quiet). I would go with the 250 as it has more shaders which is the important spec for folding.

edit. ninja'd
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Old January 3, 2010, 04:52 PM
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Thanks for responses. I'm liking the 250 for sure. It was looking like my favoured card already, and the advice is solidifying that.How's the volume on the BFG's ref cooler? That's a fairly important factor, and the reason I was looking at the Frozr. If the noise is decent on the BFG, I'll go with that. If not, I could always prop up a 120 at the bottom of the case firing the downward hot air from the Frozr out the back of the case. (After taking out the back plates)
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Old January 3, 2010, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caldezar View Post
Thanks for responses. I'm liking the 250 for sure. It was looking like my favoured card already, and the advice is solidifying that.How's the volume on the BFG's ref cooler? That's a fairly important factor, and the reason I was looking at the Frozr. If the noise is decent on the BFG, I'll go with that. If not, I could always prop up a 120 at the bottom of the case firing the downward hot air from the Frozr out the back of the case. (After taking out the back plates)
The reference GTS250 cooler is pretty quiet based on what I've read. I have no personal experience, but nVidia stock coolers tend to run quietly.
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Old January 3, 2010, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caldezar View Post
Thanks for responses. I'm liking the 250 for sure. It was looking like my favoured card already, and the advice is solidifying that.How's the volume on the BFG's ref cooler? That's a fairly important factor, and the reason I was looking at the Frozr. If the noise is decent on the BFG, I'll go with that. If not, I could always prop up a 120 at the bottom of the case firing the downward hot air from the Frozr out the back of the case. (After taking out the back plates)
Folding at stock speeds I can't hear them over the case fans, it's only when I bump the fans to over 80% for the summer that they are audible and even then they are not loud by any means.

I bought my 512Mb ones for $138 on sale so you might be able to get them even cheaper than I posted above...
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Old January 3, 2010, 05:50 PM
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thanks guy for the suggestion on the 250, it was also something I look for , as a new folder
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Old January 3, 2010, 07:08 PM
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There's a couple of used 8800GT on sale for like $70ish. I say go grab one.

If you want best bang for buck, a 8800GS or 9600GSO with 96 shaders is what you want. Finding that will be a bit hard though so good luck.

If you don't mind waiting, I'd wait for GPU3 to be released first. It's suppose to use open source coding so this might put ATI folding back up. Plus with an ATI GPU, you're getting a good bang for buck for the gaming side.
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Old January 3, 2010, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geokilla View Post
There's a couple of used 8800GT on sale for like $70ish. I say go grab one.

If you want best bang for buck, a 8800GS or 9600GSO with 96 shaders is what you want. Finding that will be a bit hard though so good luck.

If you don't mind waiting, I'd wait for GPU3 to be released first. It's suppose to use open source coding so this might put ATI folding back up. Plus with an ATI GPU, you're getting a good bang for buck for the gaming side.

I had an 8800 a while back. It was just too loud for me. There's one for sale with aftermarket cooling, but the vram sinks have fallen off, and I'm not really interested in getting thermal tape to put them back on.

As for GPU3, I've been waiting for that to be released for months. I haven't heard a definite date yet, and they just keep saying 'we're working on it'. So I really give up on waiting. Not to mention that they've already said GPU3 is going to be slightly lower performing.
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