Every graphics card generation has had its sweet spot. There would be a specific model or a special edition of that model that would fit the bill, in more than just one way.
Recently Sapphire introduced the HD 4670 Ultimate 512mb
, and that was it for me. Here are some of the features that put this card on the top of my list.
-It delivers, which means its not a power horse but it can easily handle HD playback on a 1080 monitor and some occasional -mid settings- gaming.
-It doesn't make a sound, and it doesn't break a sweat. You get the same temps with the original 4670 (equipped with the reference cooler) and lower
while you don't have to listen to the constant whirr. It even survives a torture test.
-It runs on regular, it won't squeeze every last drop out of your weak Shuttle psu.
-It doesn't take up a lot of space, which means it will block the ventilation less than a full sized card would.
-It connects, to anything. VGA, DVI & HDMI in the house, no more adapters, no sir.
-It -hopefully- fits inside a Shuttle chassis. That's how it looks like judging from the photos. It's gonna be a real pity if it doesn't but if not, i guess some cutting will do the job.
well.. i'll have mine blue, thankyouverymuch.
On a more serious note, if this card is any close to as good as it sounds, kudos to Sapphire, for making a card that is so definitely, desperately needed today.