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I have a HTPC inside a small chassis: Silverstone ML3 (http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=283&area=en).

It has a Core i3 2125 on a ASrock motherboard, 4GB DDR3, 2 RAID1 WD caviar Green.

I cannot remember any further details but it's not important because the only problem is that the Core i3's HD3000 IGP resolution up only to 1080p (even the motherboard HDMI output cannot go further).

I have a new UHD TV and thus, I'm looking for a PCI-E graphic card:

  • That can fit inside the slim chassis (that is 105mm high, but a bit less because of the motherboard).
  • Preferably passive (or at least that remains as silent as possible)
  • That support UHD output (3840x2160)
  • Stays as cheap as possible: the only use will be playing UHD movies, no games.
  • Still, is easy in hardware x265 decoding.

EDIT

Following the first answer, I'd like to precise that a gaming GPU is kind of overkill for the final use (expensive, fan, a lot of power for "nothing" etc.). I did my own researches and found that nvidia's GPU (don't know for AMD) have HDMI 2.0 (required for UHD) starting from GTX950 wich excludes anything cheaper. The GT710 (even GT730) solution only has a 1.4a HDMI output and it seems that in order to lead to a UHD resolution through 1.4a, nvidia is processing some kind of colour compression which is ... urghhh, not what I'm looking for.

Finally it seems that I'll have to wait a bit before finding my dream GPU, maybe with the new Pascal architecture ? Since nvidia hasn't released the low-end new GPUs...

  • Something worth considering is whether its 4k60 or 4k30. Also 4k is pretty demanding. You definately want 4k over DP for best results. – Journeyman Geek Jul 22 '16 at 23:42
  • Yes, that's true. Obviously, the higher FPS is the better. But since its only for movies, I'd say I can stay with 30. What's DP? DispayPort? (if yes, why is it better than HDMI 2.x?) – comicurus Jul 25 '16 at 8:54
  • displayport's more commonly supported on PCs and monitors - many video cards only do DP at 4k60, as do many monitors. the 30/60 is the refresh rate, not the frames per second the video card processes. – Journeyman Geek Jul 25 '16 at 9:01
  • Ok didn't know that point about DP. Thanks. Still, in french for the refresh rate, we say Images Par Seconde (litteraly translated from Frames per second) that's why I misspoke. But, in any case, a 60hz refreshing rate is useless if your GPU cannot process above 30FPS. – comicurus Jul 25 '16 at 9:33
  • Essentially, Most "PCs" are designed around DP. Most 4k/UHD TVs do HDMI 2.0 . Some video cards do HDMI 2.0 but all 4k capable monitors do DP. For a TV you want a video card that does HDMI 2.0 and those are often on the newer cards or higher end ones. – Journeyman Geek Jul 25 '16 at 9:38
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I'd recommend the GeForce GT 710, a fairly new card aimed at HTPCs as a replacement to integrated graphics. It supports up to 4096x2160 resolution, has a very low profile, and is plenty fast for any video viewing or streaming.

The particular model I linked not passive, but should be more than silent enough, especially over the sound anything you're watching. However, there is a dual slot passive version as well if your case can support it.

I am very lacking in my understanding of hardware decoding, however, so you might want to verify its capable of x265 decoding, but this page seems to indicate it can.

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  • Thank you for your answer. I saw this GT710 during my searches but, on the official Nvidia website, it says that it only goes to 2560x1600 .. ^^ – comicurus Jul 21 '16 at 14:29
  • @comicurus If you'd looked a little bit harder you'd have seen the asterisk next to the 2560x1600, which references this line at the bottom of the page '* 3840x2160 at 30Hz or 4096x2160 at 24Hz supported over HDMI.' As long as you plug in by the HDMI port, you can watch UHD video at 24Hz. – SGR Oct 21 '16 at 8:22
  • @comicurus Do note however that the GT 710 likely won't be ability to run streaming services in 4K and even UHD Blu-Ray support is questionable as this is a GK208 we're talking about and those didn't (yet) support HDCP 2.2. – SEJPM Nov 23 '16 at 15:18
  • @AdamWykes From what I can tell the GT710 can only do H.265 encoding / decoding in software and not in hardware (as newer cards can). So if the player supports GPU-assisted software decoding this is fine for the OP but something he has to look out for. – SEJPM Nov 23 '16 at 15:20
  • @SEJPM you are right - the wikipedia page I was using to make this statement was wrong. I determined this more recently on SuperUser, where I have recently refocused my efforts: superuser.com/questions/1145817/…. I won't make a suggestion here because of that, but you're certainly welcome to. I believe that unfortunately, his best bet (on the Nvidia side) is the the GTX 950 or 1050, and for AMD, the RX 460. Everything else is either too high TDP or a rebrand of older stuff without HEVC decode. – Adam Wykes Nov 23 '16 at 17:27
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Id Recommend an AMD RX 480 4GB GPU. It is around $200 and it supports 4k movies It is a small, i dont know the height unfortunately.

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    It could be a solution. A bit expensive though... :) I first thought to a GTX 950 (mini versions exists) but I was really aiming some kind of low(to mid)-end graphics cards since it's only for playing movies anything else would be overkill. – comicurus Jul 22 '16 at 7:57
  • Yeah maybe waiting like you mention in the OP for lets say a GTX 1050 (pascal card) just might be the dream card for you. More options to add you your list are gtx 750(mini) or amd 260x (mini) – Mike June Bug Captain Jul 22 '16 at 13:16
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    This is not a passive or a cheap solution, so I am downvoting. – Adam Wykes Jul 22 '16 at 16:40
  • @AdamWykes I'd argue that under the assumption that this card will never see a full load you could safely affix a passive cooler, but now we're talking about a $200 card in addition to both more money and effort (and likely voiding a warranty). – JaredT Oct 20 '16 at 19:35
  • NZKshatriya, I would argue you understand why voting is given to all members of the site for all questions before making suggestions about how to use my vote. Furthermore, just because there are supercars which cost millions does not make a Jaguar an inexpensive car for most people. – Adam Wykes Nov 19 '16 at 22:20

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