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ASUS Radeon 6450 silent - a nice choice for an audio-based PC / server


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My PC up until last week had a noisy and hot Geforce 7800GT installed. I know this is a very bad choice for an audio setup, but it was a cast-off from my old gaming PC and at the time I did not want it to go to waste.


That was ultimately a bad decision, since apart from the noise, rotating fan and heat production, it meant there was very little space indeed between the graphics card and my Xonar ST soundcard.


The Xonar blew an SMD capacitor last week and I don't think it was any coincidence that the part was located adjacent to the hottest part of the 7800GT.


So I began looking at silent replacement options and decided to go for the ASUS Radeon 6450 Silent. My main reasons for choosing this (apart from the obvious silence and lack of a fan) is that it is only one slot wide. Many of the silent ones have heatsinks that extend beyond the single slot width - otherwise you have to buy a card with a noisy fan that can itself cause electrical interference. And after installing some SotM fan filters last week, I came to realise the benefits of reducing this type of interference.


Anyway, I am extremely impressed with this graphics card. It runs cooler than I expected (about 45 degrees under normal usage in my Lian Li case) and it draws very few watts from the PSU even at full load. Importantly, the replacement Xonar ST now runs far cooler than the original one, with lots of free space between it and the graphics card and very little radiated heat from the graphics card. Reliability has been flawless.


So, a card certainly worth considering.


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