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Advise on Graphics Card for HP Microserver N36L

Whyte901Whyte901

Good Afternoon

Im after a little advice in the graphics card department! Ive purchased a Hp Microserver and plan to install WHS 2011 or XBMC or maybe both?! Im wondering what GFX card to go for im quite IT literate and have done some homework HTPC builders/users seem to go for ATI 5450 and Nvidia 210/220 are these the best choice?
My criteria is low profile (the HP Microserver is half height/half length as far as i can tell)
Full HD decoding (HDMI inc sound over HDMI)

One thing im unsure about is, HD media if i later wish to transcode is there such a GFX to do this on the GFX itself as the CPU within the HP N36L is only a Atom Neo II will this crash and burn in the circumstances? My main aim for this device is streaming to Xbox, Other PCs/Laptop

All Comments (23)

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1
    a3lawy
    I've been looking at this too and searching high and low. A passive cooled low profile card is indeed required.

    A HD 5450 seems to be the most popular purchase and cheapest value.
    However, the G210 is preferred due to ATI compatibility issues with XBMC.

    I'm not really sure which particular models though, still researching...
    Whyte901
    Seems we have found similiar info, Looks like the Nvidia is preferred for ubuntu support
    chrisgw3
    After reading all the advice on the XBMC forum I bought an ASUS G210 fan cooled. Poofyhairyguy on the forum is pretty adamant that a passive card will eventually fry the drives, Nvidia is preferred for better support in Linux as you say.

    The G210 runs out of the box with XBMC live (installed to a USB stick). I don't have any 1080p content but it is supposed to handle 1080p no problem.

    I'm finding the card to be quite noisy. One other minor problem is that the ASUS comes with a double width low profile bracket which is the wrong way round for the N36L case. I've seen others now that have 2 separate LP brackets which could be mounted side by side (assuming you aren't using the other PCI slot).

    Oh, Nvidia cards apparently support VDPAU. Don't know anything about VDPAU, but maybe it would help with transcoding?
    jamesmadams
    I've got a 512MB 5450 running in mine, has been on pretty much 24/7 since late December with 3x2TB drives. When playing back the 5450 runs at about 50 degrees via monitoring, CPUs at around 40 and I've had no issues with it (YMMV). It plays 1080p content beautifully. Passively cooled so no noise :) If the temps go up in the summer I may look to fit a PCI fan but I'm not sure it'll need it. OS is Windows 7 with media centre (for the TV card support) and XBMC, booting off the supplied 160GB HDD mounted in the top 5.25" bay.
    Whyte901
    Thanks to both, Looking at the passive option as i see there is not much space for a fan :(
    jamesmadams
    that's right - the heatsink on the 5450 is only a couple of cm from the side of the case as it is.
    chrisgw3
    leeparker
    Thanks to both, Looking at the passive option as i see there is not much space for a fan :(


    On the contrary, some of the passive ones don't fit. On the fan-cooled ones the fan is integral to the card. I'll see if I can find where I saw the info.

    Found it: http://www.edwardsd.co.uk/work/blog/2011/01/02/hp-microserver-as-htpc/

    Edited By: chrisgw3 on Mar 03, 2011 19:10: Add link
    bongbrain
    I bought the 160gb version in December and added Zotac GF GT 210 passive from here http://www.cclonline.com/product-info.asp?product_id=61779,

    Wanted a NAS and NBZ downloader but went for this instead, so running this under the TV with DVDRW, Windows 7, grabit, remote desktop and cheap remote from ebay.

    Works a treat very quiet going to add a dual DVB-S at some point for CS and dump my Dreambox.
    majhaar
    Ive just ordered a PNY GT 430 for £56.46 from crescent electronics , i went for this due to its hdmi 1.4a spec

    Crescent dont have a picture on the site but the SKU (GMGT43WN2F1FH) matches what looks like a nice slimline card, fingers crossed it fits.


    Edited By: majhaar on Mar 06, 2011 14:55
    a3lawy
    majhaar
    Ive just ordered a PNY GT 430 for £56.46 from crescent electronics , i went for this due to its hdmi 1.4a spec

    Crescent dont have a picture on the site but the SKU (GMGT43WN2F1FH) matches what looks like a nice slimline card, fingers crossed it fits.




    Why did you want hdmi 1.4a? 3D? You might find power issues with that card, HP's PSU may not be strong enough to cope with 4 drives added as well. Heat would worry me too, it's got a lot of grunt, so lots of generated heat and all that fan is gonna do is blow it inside the case heating up the drives array possibly causing quicker failures. Hmmm. Do let us know how it goes. Thanks!
    littleickle2
    jamesmadams
    OS is Windows 7 with media centre (for the TV card support) and XBMC, booting off the supplied 160GB HDD mounted in the top 5.25" bay.


    Hi James, did you use the SATA port on the motherboard (designed for a DVD drive) to attach your 160GB drive to? Did you have to make any changes to get it to boot from this drive? Planning doing the same myself and seen some conflicting reports on usability of that port.

    Thanks
    jamesmadams
    littleickle2
    jamesmadams
    OS is Windows 7 with media centre (for the TV card support) and XBMC, booting off the supplied 160GB HDD mounted in the top 5.25" bay.


    Hi James, did you use the SATA port on the motherboard (designed for a DVD drive) to attach your 160GB drive to? Did you have to make any changes to get it to boot from this drive? Planning doing the same myself and seen some conflicting reports on usability of that port.

    Thanks


    Hi - yep I'm booting off the onboard SATA so the four bays can be used for storage disks. Just had to set it in the BIOS - wasn't a big deal at all... :)
    majhaar
    No still not turned up from Crescent, they've emailed me to say they cant fulfil the order yet haven't said which of the 3 items i ordered they cant source. tempted to order from somewhere else as I need it ASAP now.


    mumbojumbo
    majhaar
    Ive just ordered a PNY GT 430 for £56.46 from crescent electronics , i went for this due to its hdmi 1.4a spec

    Crescent dont have a picture on the site but the SKU (GMGT43WN2F1FH) matches what looks like a nice slimline card, fingers crossed it fits.



    Have you got it yet?
    Looks like the fan would sit right against the left side preventing air flow?
    littleickle2
    Hi - yep I'm booting off the onboard SATA so the four bays can be used for storage disks. Just had to set it in the BIOS - wasn't a big deal at all...

    Thanks James,
    I'm still struggling to get mine isntaling to a drive attached to the ODD port. What settings did you change on the BIOS and which version of the BIOS are you running?

    Thanks
    majhaar
    dcx_badass
    The GT430 is good card if it fits. Or a smaller version is the G210 although that's pretty old and out of date.

    I'm only upgrading the ram on mine as I plan to just run WHS2011 on it.


    bought a gt 430 form pcworld in the end Crescent are useless
    it fits perfectly its a really small thin card (pics on the microserver tread)
    only issue is there is no lower profile backplate from PNY so have ordered one from ebay
    123456bob
    Funny about these comments about Cresent. I ordered 2 of the microservers yesterday. Rang to check on delivery only to be told that the system was incorrect and I should have been notified that they were not available. So now I am out of pocket till they reimburse mu credit card. shall be sticking to more reputable companies in future.

    I may go for both the ati and nvidia cards (1 in each server).
    123456bob
    Funny about these comments about Cresent. I ordered 2 of the microservers yesterday. Rang to check on delivery only to be told that the system was incorrect and I should have been notified that they were not available. So now I am out of pocket till they reimburse mu credit card. shall be sticking to more reputable companies in future.

    I may go for both the ati and nvidia cards (1 in each server).
    Indie
    @123456bob: I ordered mine on 25th May from Crescent and it turned up the next day, that's the first time I've used them as well.
    robo989
    a3lawy
    I've been looking at this too and searching high and low. A passive cooled low profile card is indeed required.

    A HD 5450 seems to be the most popular purchase and cheapest value.
    However, the G210 is preferred due to ATI compatibility issues with XBMC.

    I'm not really sure which particular models though, still researching...


    Don't even think about touching anything ATI if you want to use XBMC...SERIOUSLY!
    robo989
    a3lawy
    I've been looking at this too and searching high and low. A passive cooled low profile card is indeed required.

    A HD 5450 seems to be the most popular purchase and cheapest value.
    However, the G210 is preferred due to ATI compatibility issues with XBMC.

    I'm not really sure which particular models though, still researching...


    Don't even think about touching anything ATI if you want to use XBMC...SERIOUSLY!
    a3lawy
    majhaar
    Ive just ordered a PNY GT 430 for £56.46 from crescent electronics , i went for this due to its hdmi 1.4a spec

    Crescent dont have a picture on the site but the SKU (GMGT43WN2F1FH) matches what looks like a nice slimline card, fingers crossed it fits.




    Why did you want hdmi 1.4a? 3D? You might find power issues with that card, HP's PSU may not be strong enough to cope with 4 drives added as well. Heat would worry me too, it's got a lot of grunt, so lots of generated heat and all that fan is gonna do is blow it inside the case heating up the drives array possibly causing quicker failures. Hmmm. Do let us know how it goes. Thanks!


    People worry too much, drives fail because they are inherantly faulty, heat just speeds up a failiure that was always going to happen prematurely. I have a NAS under my stairs, it feels like a desert in there yet the 8 drives in there are happily running in a RAID5 array with not 1 dropout in 3 years....

    This thing on the other hand would be getting nowhere near as hot as my stupidly located setup...keep meaning to drill some air vents into the area as it is a little silly, but anyways, my point...Been messing around with computers for 15 years in an "obsessed" kind of way lol and as said, if somethings going to fail, it's going to fail. Heat is **** in terms of actual failiure, obviously limits overclocking on CPUs but hard drives...people worry too much.

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