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 Post subject: Quiet GeForce 460 GTX
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:09 am
Posts: 15
Location: London
Hi,

I am looking for a second hand quiet nvidia 460 GTX card (for cuda calculations - so I can't have a Radeon even though many people claim they have better architecture these days). My budget is about £100, I can stretch a bit if there is something really worthwhile. I would like to avoid having to fiddle with the heatsink myself, because I don't have any experience and I am not really interested in these kind of things. I just want to make sure my desktop is quiet :)

I heard that MSI Cyclone and Hawk (with Twin Frozr heatsink) cards are reasonable. Does anyone have any experience with one of these? Or could you suggest a different model?


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet GeForce 460 GTX
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:46 am 
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Location: UK
The quietest mid-range nVidia graphics cards are the Gainward Phantom range.The least-costliest Phantom is the GTX 560 (non-Ti) model available from sources such as Scan for £166. It would require a bit of a stretch from your target budget of £100, but then again it would be new. The Phantoms do live up to their name - eerily quiet for a gaming card. They are certainly well-suited for primarily CUDA use where you really don't want graphics card fan noise intruding.

The used route will obviously be cheaper if you can find the right card at the right price but whatever cooler is fitted it won't be in the same league as the Phantom noise-wise. The options then are probably to use software like MSI Afterburner to set a quieter fan profile but this only goes so far. After that you could consider editing the BIOS, potentialy more problematic with a used card if the warranty does not extend to the second user.

Going back to the Phantom GTX 560, it might be worth looking at this http://www.fudzilla.com/reviews/item/22741-gainward-gtx-560-phantom-reviewed/22741-gainward-gtx-560-phantom-reviewed.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet GeForce 460 GTX
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
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Location: ITALY
gandrusz wrote:
for cuda calculations

Which app?

However, unless you mod the bios (there's a thread about), every 460 is loud, even those MSI (and most of 560, which are usually better at idle, but it's not your case). Take note that we're talking about 24-26dB at load, usually.

One of the best sounding Nvidia I've ever had is the GTS 450 Cyclone OC, but I don't know if it's enough powerful for you (and if there's still available, as it's a almost 1 year old card).

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet GeForce 460 GTX
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:09 am
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Which app?

I am actually going to play around with programming some financial models in cuda myself, I am not planning to use any of the standard applications at this point.


quest_for_silence wrote:
However, unless you mod the bios (there's a thread about), every 460 is loud, even those MSI (and most of 560, which are usually better at idle, but it's not your case). Take note that we're talking about 24-26dB at load, usually.

Are the newer cards (e.g. Gainward Phantom 560 GTX suggested by lodestar) any better?

quest_for_silence wrote:

One of the best sounding Nvidia I've ever had is the GTS 450 Cyclone OC, but I don't know if it's enough powerful for you (and if there's still available, as it's a almost 1 year old card).


I definitely need to be able to perform double precision calculations. My current 250 GTS (which is horribly loud btw.) was able to do only single precision. I need to check GTS 450.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet GeForce 460 GTX
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:06 am 
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Location: ITALY
gandrusz wrote:
Are the newer cards (e.g. Gainward Phantom 560 GTX suggested by lodestar) any better?

About the Phantom, I don't know: besides, I think there's the new Phantom 2 on the market now.
The MSI are louder (at load), the ASUS Top seems a little better. Currently the best sounding 560 I think it's the EVGA reference design (around 22dB at load).

But as already said, this is the stock scenario: modding the BIOS to lower spin at idle, and taming the fan curve at load using Rivatuner/Afterburner (with a trade off on temperature) may substantially improve the figures. The ASUS Top seems a good candidate, with this respect (due to the lower noise at idle), probably better than the already quoted EVGA.

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet GeForce 460 GTX
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:01 pm 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
But as already said, this is the stock scenario: modding the BIOS to lower spin at idle, and taming the fan curve at load using Rivatuner/Afterburner (with a trade off on temperature) may substantially improve the figures.


Yeah, I noticed in some reviews that these Cyclone cards run ridiculously cool under load... Is modding the BIOS easy process? Would it require running some software all the time to have the new settings applied, or is it just one-off change? I am asking because I do most of the work in Linux, and there is always problem with drivers and utilities.


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 Post subject: Re: Quiet GeForce 460 GTX
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:53 pm 
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gandrusz wrote:
Is modding the BIOS easy process?

I don't think so: it's a relatively tricky one. Give a read here and here.

gandrusz wrote:
is it just one-off change

It's fire and forget: and I think that you may also use nvclock to customize your card behaviour.

At anyway, the GTS450 is a CUDA 2.1 (so, double precision).

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet GeForce 460 GTX
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:12 pm 
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Location: CT
If you decide on a 450, I can vouch for the gigabyte 450 OC (the one with the 2 fans). It cools quite well and is very quiet. I run mine at 40% fan speed until the temperature reaches 75C, then it automatically goes up. However, it has never reached that threshold... :) And it has been folding for a few month now. Did I mention I run two of them in the same machine (folding mostly and the occasional game) and even the top one doesn't reach 75C ? It also needs just one power connector.

As for the 460, I have the Evga one (the 768 Mo version). It's sitting in an unfinished build right now but it folded for a while and I never really remember hearing it (I have to say it had a 120mm at 6V blowing fresh air on it).

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 Post subject: Re: Quiet GeForce 460 GTX
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:48 pm 
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If go with the GTS 450, then depending on your airflow you might get away with something like Sparkle GeForce GTS 450 1GB GDDR5 Video Card

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