Looking for graphics adapter with passiv cooling and 4K support (not from nvidia

Has anybody a recommendation for a graphics adapter with passiv cooling and 4K support, which has a good driver support in SUSE Tumbleweed.
At the moment I have one from nvidia, but there exists only closed source driver with a lot of trouble in Tumbleweed. That’s why I like to switch to a vendor with better driver support in Linux.
I don’t need a good 3D performance but I need 4K support with 60Hz for programming.
I have only found adapters from AMD with HD 5450 chipset. They have only HDMI 1.3a. For 4K I need at least HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.4.
So does anybody knows any other good alternative to nvidia with that requirements

Thank you in advance

It is nearly impossible to get a passive cooled graphics card with your requested specs. The only chance would be to buy a normal card and heavily mod it with available passive cooler sets. But this requires knowledge, skill, money and a good portion of courage (no guaranty for success).

Do you think it is possible to buy a card and unplug the fan, if I only use it for 2D applications? Maybe there are some chipsets out there with a good ballance of performance and heat.

Nope. Most cards which have a fan will die if you operate them without cooler. Modern graphic cards have already speed control of the fans, that means they switch off the fan if it is not required so the noise is already reduced.

Is there a special reason why you require a fanless card? Because modern cards regulate the fan speed and reduce the noise and even switch the fans of when not required. As example my RTX 3080 Ti only switches on the fans when i play games. All the other time the fans are completely off.

1 Like

@gerald.loss Hi, what is your Nvidia GPU? I run a Quadro T400 (30W) and has a fan but no noise at all… It can run four 5K displays, no issues here with Nvidia Driver (installed the hard way).

 inxi -Gxxaz
  Device-1: NVIDIA TU117GLM [Quadro T400 Mobile] driver: nvidia v: 530.30.02
    alternate: nouveau,nvidia_drm non-free: 525.xx+
    status: current (as of 2023-02) arch: Turing code: TUxxx
    process: TSMC 12nm FF built: 2018-22 pcie: gen: 1 speed: 2.5 GT/s
    lanes: 16 link-max: gen: 3 speed: 8 GT/s ports: active: none
    off: DP-1,DP-2,DP-3 empty: none bus-ID: 02:00.0 chip-ID: 10de:1fb2
    class-ID: 0300
  Device-2: NVIDIA GP104GL [Tesla P4] driver: nvidia v: 530.30.02
    alternate: nouveau,nvidia_drm non-free: N/A status: unknown device ID pcie:
    gen: 1 speed: 2.5 GT/s lanes: 16 link-max: gen: 3 speed: 8 GT/s
    bus-ID: 03:00.0 chip-ID: 10de:1bb3 class-ID: 0302
  Display: x11 server: X.Org v: 21.1.7 with: Xwayland v: 22.1.8
    compositor: gnome-shell v: 43.3 driver: X: loaded: nvidia
    gpu: nvidia,nvidia-nvswitch display-ID: :0 screens: 1
  Screen-1: 0 s-res: 3840x2160 s-dpi: 96 s-size: 1016x572mm (40.00x22.52")
    s-diag: 1166mm (45.9")
  Monitor-1: DP-1 pos: top-left res: 1920x1080 hz: 60 dpi: 94
    size: 521x293mm (20.51x11.54") diag: 598mm (23.53") modes: N/A
  Monitor-2: DP-3 pos: primary,bottom-c res: 1920x1080 hz: 60 dpi: 94
    size: 521x293mm (20.51x11.54") diag: 598mm (23.53") modes: N/A
  Monitor-3: DP-5 pos: top-right res: 1920x1080 hz: 60 dpi: 94
    size: 521x293mm (20.51x11.54") diag: 598mm (23.53") modes: N/A
  Monitor-4: DVI-D-1-0 size-res: N/A modes: N/A
  API: OpenGL v: 4.6.0 NVIDIA 530.30.02 renderer: NVIDIA T400/PCIe/SSE2
    direct-render: Yes

Have you looked at the new Intel ARC GPU’s?

The reason is, right now I have a fan less desktop PC and my experience is, that every fan is only quiet in the first 2 years. After they become really noisy. The second reason is, if you use only 2D applications, why should I buy a card with fan. I assume I’m using only 10% of the actual power of current low cost GPUs.

@malcolmlewis AFIK I have a GT 710 chipset from nvidia right now. As you know we got in this forum another topic because the driver could not be compiled with the current 6.2 kernel. I got in the past frequently trouble like that, because I need to compile the drivers every week ish on a rolling release.
This is very fragile and actually I don’t like to support nvidia because they are some of the last vendors, who don’t support open source. AMD seams to have a very good open source driver support.
I didn’t know the ARC chipset until now (so thanks for the hint), but I haven’t seen any adapter without fan on Amazon and some other retailers.
I’m afraid the only solution might be an CPU with integrated GPU. But then I need a new motherboard with HDMI 2.0 or DP 1.4. That could lead into additional costs like a complete new computer.

@gerald.loss that is not true, if you have the Nvidia Turing series or greater there is an open Nvidia driver now from the OSS repo, like I said the T400 whilst it has a fan, very quiet, low profile (same size as the GT710) and can use the open Driver.


Likewise many applications utilize the gpu these days.

Why??? I have 3 Tumbleweed (Dual-boot) machines with Nvidia cards and the Nvidia repo and i don’t need to compile anything…
And it is not even a hazzle “if” there is a problem with a kernel/driver combination as you always can boot an older kernel and after 2-3 days a fix is applied.

And as Malcom pointed out, the actual Nvidia cards are supported by an open driver.

I personally would always prefer Nvidia cards over AMD stuff…(personal experience and reading between the lines of AMDs marketing bla bla…)
And support forums of different distries are also full of problems with AMD cards (screen flickering and stuff like that)…

And there have been issues with AMD gpu’s lately, plus I had an ongoing issue with my AMD RX550 with hdmi sound, got the P4 instead and just sticking with Nvidia, this is a desktop, no need for secure boot. Windows and MacOS run virtualized if needed.

Hmm, nvidia is famous for struggling with open source. They have last year changed their mind only for newer cards. You can see here.
Maybe this is the package what @malcolmlewis mentioned. I have seen it and also installed once. For me it feels like the native driver from the nvidia repos, but I need to check if I’m at my desktop again.
@hui you maybe don’t recognise it if you are using the nvidia repos, but if you install it, it don‘t just copy the modules like the others. It is starting a whole compiling process with make. Just last year someone has set a wrong link and I booted into a console and now it is broken again in tumbleweed.
You need keep in mind I just need this card for development. I don’t need any other features than multi-monitor support and 4K with 60Hz. I would also be satisfied with the nouveau driver but it don’t work with more than one monitor. So maybe it’s not your use case and you are more satisfied with nvidia than AMD.

modern CPU with integrated graphic - support 4k resolution
and performance of integrated graphic on modern CPU is about same as 30W discrete Nvidia GPU
by modern I mean - released in last 2-3 years CPU

then get some old Nvidia GPU
like Nvidia 950 or even 750 that still supported by latest drivers, old Nvidia GPU is only option for “cold” videocard for exist system without integrated GPU
and it should be cheap obviously

NVIDIA cards ending in 30 are for the most part fan-less ie passive cooling IE 730 and 1030 examples but none that I know support 4 K just 1920X1080

@gogalthorp Hmmm, my GT710’s are passive, my GT1030 had a fan… :wink: My Tesla P4 doesn’t have one because it expects system cooling, I did add one though…

A “new” computer supporting those need not be new. 3840x2160@60Hz has been supported via IGPU for at least nine years. Check this out, 9 years old, which I’m typing this from. Refurbs with equivalent CPUs/IGPUs are readily available in the $100-$200 range, even less if you go with last year’s Celeron or Pentium. I have 6 PCs from 2014 and newer, some acquired used, some new. All can do 3840x2160@60Hz or better. This can do 7680 x 4320 @ 60Hz for as little as $122. Other similarly capable Intel CPUs can be had for even less. Motherboards can be had supporting it can be had for $124 or less. 6XX series for down to around $80. Add however much DDR4 RAM that suits you, and a mere 350W PSU if yours won’t do, and it really doesn’t take all that much to get seriously current, with dual M.2/NVME and USB-C support as a bonus. If you like AMD better, the numbers and capabilities will differ little.

1 Like

To wrap it up a final message to this topic. I have get from a AMD forum this very good blog about fanless grafic cards. There are also some AMD cards described.
But unfortunately no one of them are still avail in the amazon store. You can get some used cards, but mostly for a higher price. I have found one for 220,- €, but honestly it’s old chipset was not more worth than 50 bugs.
Finally I decided to by a Radeon RX 550 with fan for a reasonable price. The fan is currently very silent, so you can’t hear it. I will see if it remains quiet in a couple of years.
The card can deliver a 4K screen with 60hz and a 2K screen at the same time. I would believe this card could also deliver dual 4K with 60Hz, but I just have one 4K display right now. I don’t have a glue about the 3D performance, but I don’t expect any impressive, because of the price.
btw the amdgpu driver is perfect with Linux. I can use now KDE Wayland without any trouble. With the nvidia driver wayland was completely messed up. Changes of the kernel version are without any compiling adventures. The AMD driver is shipped together with the kernel. For users of rolling Linux releases (Arch or Tumbleweed), I would always recommend AMD drivers. If you have openSUSE, debian, ubuntu, fedora or similar distributions with older kernels and less frequent changes of the kernel versions, you are maybe happy with nvidia as well.
Thank you all for the very good support in this forum.

@gerald.loss I have one of those here, my model has 4 HDMI outputs, 2GB of RAM, one of the reasons I replaced it was the ongoing bug that did not get fixed meaning no HDMI sound because of not being able to power save properly, had to add amdgpu.dc=0 and use external sound… been active for 4 years now and no fix…