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 Post subject: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:40 am 
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Hi All,

I need to upgrade my 7900GTO which is getting long in the tooth. In the price/performance bracket are Geforce 560 and AMD 6850/6870.

The FAN on my 7900GTO is very quiet at idle, I can sleep with it on no problem. I would like something similar. So idle noise level is very important.

Load noise/power consumption less important.

Also how are the drivers for ATI these days? I have previously owned ATIcards like 9800 and it was a great card but the drivers were so so.

As a side note, according to GPU-Z the 6870 chip is an astonishing 1700M transistors. The 7900 G71 chip is only 278M. Although a direct comparision is impossible, I think the 6870 is around 5 times faster than the 7900, yet needs 6 times more transistors and 30% more clock speed. Add in efficiency improvements, and the transistor count seems extremely high! OK DX11, GDDR5 memory controller, but really 6 times more transistors?? For a normalised to clock speed gain of around 3x. Hmmm.

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:55 am 
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GPU architecture has changed pretty drastically since your ancient 7900 came out as well as semiconductor processes. Can't really compare transistor counts of the two. Your 7900GTO has about half the horsepower of an 8800GTS 320...so if we look at the 8800GTS 320 in a current chart (some handwaving here as Tom's doesn't list the 8800GTS as a 320 or 640)...that puts it in about the same category as a nicely made HTPC card that consumes 20W:)

What are your apps/games and monitor resolution? That'll determine the level of card you need.

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:18 am 
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A lot of people like MSI R6850 Cyclone, but i dont have any experience with it to know for sure.

If you want the most quiet i would recommend to check PowerColor SCS3 AX6850 1GBD5-S3DH Radeon HD 6850, personally i wouldn't run it fanless for gaming, i would just strap 120mm low rpm fan with zip ties, im running a Passive GTS450 with a Scythe Kama Flex PWM (check sig), running @ 250rpm, in my HTPC never have risen above 55C, probably would in gaming... but also running the fan extremely low, a Scythe SY1225SL12SL 120mm "Slipstream" 500rpm Case Fan or if you were to find in stock the Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120 mm D1225C12B1AP-11 (500 rpm) (ideal for horizontal placement) should be more than enough to cool it, and be virtually inaudible.

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:59 pm 
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OK Thanks I'll check those out!

MY screen res is 1600x1200. I dont need crazy performance.

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:30 am 
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Abula wrote:
A lot of people like MSI R6850 Cyclone, but i dont have any experience with it to know for sure.

If you want the most quiet i would recommend to check PowerColor SCS3 AX6850 1GBD5-S3DH Radeon HD 6850, personally i wouldn't run it fanless for gaming, i would just strap 120mm low rpm fan with zip ties, im running a Passive GTS450 with a Scythe Kama Flex PWM (check sig), running @ 250rpm, in my HTPC never have risen above 55C, probably would in gaming... but also running the fan extremely low, a Scythe SY1225SL12SL 120mm "Slipstream" 500rpm Case Fan or if you were to find in stock the Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120 mm D1225C12B1AP-11 (500 rpm) (ideal for horizontal placement) should be more than enough to cool it, and be virtually inaudible.


Cyclone is a great card! OC's really well. Quiet at idle and a pleasant humming noise at load. Recommended! (previous owner)

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:59 pm 
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I had a HIS 5750 and it seems similar, also pleasant relatively quiet at full load.

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:54 pm 
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Quote:
6870 chip is an astonishing 1700M transistors

The HD7970 sniffs at your mere 1700M transistors as it has 4.3B!

On the Nvidia side the consensus seems to be of the GTX560 & 560 Ti the Gainward Phantoms are the quietest stock cards.

I took the view no stock card will be quiet enough for me and therefore bought the cheapest GTX560 Ti I could find, Gigabyte GTX560Ti OC with intensions of swapping the stock cooler.
As it turned out the stock cooling was very loud, 80mm fans idling at 1800rpm and load approaching 3000rpm :!: :(
The heatsink itself was reasonable quad heatpipe job and a BIOS fan speed mod later and it was much better, ~1000rpm idle and 2000rpm loaded with Kombustor. For comparison I think I read the Phantom has 2x 80mm fans idle of 1200rpm and load ~1800, but I might have dreamed up these figures :lol:
I then swapped a pair of 80mm 2000rpm "golf ball" fans in place of the original slim items, now had 500~600rpm idle with 1700~1800rpm load. So for the sake of some effort and a couple of cheap fans I had in "stock" anyway I now hard a card that's quieter loaded than stock at idle :roll:
I've now added an Arctic Cooling Twin Turbo II to it, and as the original AC fans were dead and the vendor wouldn't talk to me, it's sporting a pair of Arctic Cooling F9s. Now give Folding@home load of 60~65°C with 700~750rpm 92mm fans, quiet enough for anyone! Idle is faintly silly 450rpm :lol:

Seb

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:33 am 
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All good thoughts!

I am not too passive would work for me, since i run a very small/tight case (a Silverstone mATX affair). My Core2 Duo is fanless of soughts, simply a massive heatsink and sitting directly under the 120mm power supply fan.

I looked at the MSI Cyclone. It looks good, but in the UK its the same price as the stock 6870s. Can anyone convince me that its that much quieter than a stock 6870 that its worth the performance delta?

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:54 am 
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I've got an asus 6870 directcu, and I've yet to hear any noise from it...

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:47 am 
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The HIS IceQ X Turbo 6850 & 6870 might also be worthy of consideration. You could go for the cheapest card and add an aftermarket cooler but you`d still need a card with good fan though. An intermediate solution would be to get a card with decent fan control and stock cooler and replace the fans.
@SebRad
I was considering the gigabyte 560 ti and it`s good to know that it`s possible to adjust fan speed. I was planning to mount a couple of 80-92mm fans on it just like you did and I was wondering if the recesses on the stock heatsink would fit a 92mm fan. The fan header works with voltage control is that correct?

A card like the Gigabyte can be a good candidate for a fan swap because the shape of the heatsink can accomodate a normal box fan better than the MSi Cyclone for example. With some fan decent fan control which can keep the fans @1000-1200 rpm you can have an inaudible card @ idle.

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:00 am 
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Here's HT4U's chart. While gaming, their test shows the stock 6870 @ 36dBA vs the Cyclone 6850 at 25dBA (power mode) and 16.5dBA (silent mode). Seems significantly different to me. Ther's a variety of other models in there as well for comparison.

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:13 pm 
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SebRad wrote:
Quote:
6870 chip is an astonishing 1700M transistors

The HD7970 sniffs at your mere 1700M transistors as it has 4.3B!

On the Nvidia side the consensus seems to be of the GTX560 & 560 Ti the Gainward Phantoms are the quietest stock cards.

I took the view no stock card will be quiet enough for me and therefore bought the cheapest GTX560 Ti I could find, Gigabyte GTX560Ti OC with intensions of swapping the stock cooler.
As it turned out the stock cooling was very loud, 80mm fans idling at 1800rpm and load approaching 3000rpm :!: :(
The heatsink itself was reasonable quad heatpipe job and a BIOS fan speed mod later and it was much better, ~1000rpm idle and 2000rpm loaded with Kombustor. For comparison I think I read the Phantom has 2x 80mm fans idle of 1200rpm and load ~1800, but I might have dreamed up these figures :lol:
I then swapped a pair of 80mm 2000rpm "golf ball" fans in place of the original slim items, now had 500~600rpm idle with 1700~1800rpm load. So for the sake of some effort and a couple of cheap fans I had in "stock" anyway I now hard a card that's quieter loaded than stock at idle :roll:
I've now added an Arctic Cooling Twin Turbo II to it, and as the original AC fans were dead and the vendor wouldn't talk to me, it's sporting a pair of Arctic Cooling F9s. Now give Folding@home load of 60~65°C with 700~750rpm 92mm fans, quiet enough for anyone! Idle is faintly silly 450rpm :lol:

Seb


Mate this is sweet modding you got there !

I'm looking to get the exact same gigabyte 560 TI, and was wondering if you can share some tips ?
1. Was it easy to just remove the bezel without any tampering the heatsink ?
2. did you mount the 80mm fans using zip ties, do you think 92mm will fit as well ?
3. I heard the gigabyte 560TI is a reference design, did you still encounter any incomaptibility with the AC Twin Turbo II ?
4. I always had issues with aftermarket coolers and their thermal glue heatsinks, any tips for that ? did you let it dry for 24hour before putting it in the case ?
5. Did you take ESD precautions while working on the card ? any tips you can share in how you worked on it ?

Cheers !

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:54 am 
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Hi Svartberg, to answer your questions:

5 - I try to ground myself on the computer's chassis before handling components (plugged in but turned off is best) - however I not sure it's a big issue, never had an trouble, just don't be wearing a really static jumper!

1 - The screws for the fans/bezel, which is all one piece, are underneath so you have to take the heatsink off first to get it apart.
2 - Yes just zip tied the fans to the heatsink. 92mm fans don't fit comfortably, I tried. Can be made to work etc but not sure any benefit.
3 - No issues with fitting the Twin Turbo, dead easy, the hardest bit is breaking the original thermal paste. Just take out the 4 spring loaded bolts from the back of the card and then twist/wiggle the original heatsink off.
4 - Didn't use any extra heatsinks, the Card has one low profile one screwed to it that I've left well alone and as the RAM etc doesn't have any cooling beyond spilt air from the main fans I didn't bother. Passed experience is for best adhesion is to clean the RAM chips etc with Arcti-Clean (or similar) first, makes a lot of difference. Never used glued ones (yet) but for tape I use a hair dryer to warm the heatsink up first and then press hard on to the cleaned component and hold for 10 seconds or so.

Note: this Gigabyte card uses 3 pin voltage control, some others may well be on 4 pin PWM.

I'll see if I can did up some pictures...
Hope this helps, Seb

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:20 am 
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Gigabyte GTX560Ti OC 1GB as stock:
Image

Remove 4 screws at the back and the heatsink/fan assembly will come off giving access to the 4 screws that hold the fans assembly to the heatsink.
Image

Naked card, only has one secondary heatsink and main heatsink only contacts the GPU core:
Image

Stock heatsink with 4 heatpipes and angled fans:
Image

92mm fans can be fitted to stock heatsink:
Image

80mm fans fit more comfortably:
Image

New fans much thicker than originals:
Image

Arctic Cooling Twin Turbo II fitted and is quite large:
Image

[The stock Twin Turbo II fans were dead on mine and couldn't get hold of the vendor and had F9s on hand anyway]
New fans connected to original fan header with cut down CD audio cable:
Image

In all its silent glory:
Image

Note: the BIOS fan speed mod is an important part of this. Default is 40% starting speed and it ramps slowly to about 65°C then up very sharply. Not sure why as reference GTX560 Ti card get much hotter than that. Also with 25% min programmed in to the BIOS is allows MSI Afterburner (and the like) to set fan speed curves down that low too, although I just let the BIOS control the fans. Gives ~450rpm idle and 600~700rpm under Folding@home and more under Kombustor. Even Folding@home is harder than most games.
I also tried with the fans blowing away from the card but with the bottom-to-top airflow in my case this didn't work well at all!
Seb

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:13 am 
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SebRad wrote:
Hi Svartberg, to answer your questions:

5 - I try to ground myself on the computer's chassis before handling components (plugged in but turned off is best) - however I not sure it's a big issue, never had an trouble, just don't be wearing a really static jumper!

1 - The screws for the fans/bezel, which is all one piece, are underneath so you have to take the heatsink off first to get it apart.
2 - Yes just zip tied the fans to the heatsink. 92mm fans don't fit comfortably, I tried. Can be made to work etc but not sure any benefit.
3 - No issues with fitting the Twin Turbo, dead easy, the hardest bit is breaking the original thermal paste. Just take out the 4 spring loaded bolts from the back of the card and then twist/wiggle the original heatsink off.
4 - Didn't use any extra heatsinks, the Card has one low profile one screwed to it that I've left well alone and as the RAM etc doesn't have any cooling beyond spilt air from the main fans I didn't bother. Passed experience is for best adhesion is to clean the RAM chips etc with Arcti-Clean (or similar) first, makes a lot of difference. Never used glued ones (yet) but for tape I use a hair dryer to warm the heatsink up first and then press hard on to the cleaned component and hold for 10 seconds or so.

Note: this Gigabyte card uses 3 pin voltage control, some others may well be on 4 pin PWM.

I'll see if I can did up some pictures...
Hope this helps, Seb


First of all thanks a lot for all the info, pictures and the quick response !!

Good to know about having to take the heatsink off, in the case I might as well install the Twin Turbo while I'm at it
100% agree about bottom-to-top airflow, always seemed odd to me how some videocards go against that setup.

Ah sweet, that thing comes with a small heatsink builtin (NVIO i believe), always had compatibility problems with those.

Definitely sounds like you know what you're doing with the chassis grounding, especially about psu plugged but off for earthing.
I'll just affirm ESD is definitely an issue .. never bothered even with chassis grounding myself (silly me) and that has cost me a lot of $$ over the years (including two 400$ videocards), but I've started paying more attention to it recently.

Thanks again mate, real life saver as I'm getting this card first thing tomorrow :)

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:37 am 
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Hi, no problem, glad it helps. The card is a noisy beast in stock form!
Good luck with yours, if want help with BIOS flashing let me know.

Since I put the fans back to blowing on to the card I've made up some clips for them. Not fancy, just a folded metal strip with a hole in it to take an Acousti soft black fan mount. Now the fans just clip off/on easily and might help noise slightly if/when fans run faster.

Close up of the clip, easily bent to get right clip tension.
Image

Side on, only 3 clips other side as chunk cut out the heatsink to clear display ports on some cards.
Image

Image
Seb

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:31 am 
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Man this card is a beast, without any fan mods getting 36c idle and 52c load in bfbc2.
Can't judge the noise with all the rain outside, will see how it goes the rest of the week ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:44 am 
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SebRad wrote:
Gigabyte GTX560Ti OC 1GB as stock


Awesome, big thanks for the pics! I was looking for exactly this info!
I too have this same Gigabyte GTX560Ti OC card, bought it before christmas, and since then, I'm running the fourth card already... :shock: First one died after only 2 weeks, the fan closer to the DVI ports started clicking. Replacement was a "refurbished" card (all dusty and dirty), which was clicking straight away - the fan closer to the DVI ports... Brought back, asked for a new, unopened one. It lasted 3 months, and fan went out - the one closer to the DVI ports. Now the fourth card... Wonder how long it will last, but I decided to remove the stock cooling fans asap, and put two noctua nf-r8's on it.
looking at your pics, it is doable.

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 1:12 pm 
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my take on the 560ti:
Image
Image
as I wrote above, I did this mostly to have some reliable fans on the card - tired of going to RMA 3 times in a short period. :x
I wanted Noctua fans, coz all my fans in the computer are noctua's. was worried about the Noctua R8's only having 1800RPM and the same airflow as the factory fans on the card (but with lower RPM obviously), I was afraid if it will be enough to keep the temps within limits. As it turned out, my worries were not irrational: these fans can barely keep up with the factory fans - but much quieter of course.
If someone else wants to try this, I'd recommend fans with roughly 2500RPM, or some realy airy case with good airflow.

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 1:52 pm 
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Were the RMAs due to high temp failures? I wonder if it was more of a cooler-not-mounted-well-to-gpu issue more than anything else...

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 12:10 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Were the RMAs due to high temp failures? I wonder if it was more of a cooler-not-mounted-well-to-gpu issue more than anything else...

i get high temps because of my cm sileo 500 case and all the sh*t put in it with low ventilation, so while playing games I see 70 to 80°C, and 35-40°C in idle (which is 95% of the operating time). this is higher than in reviews of this card, but it is understandable under these circumstances. these temps are well within specs, though. the RMAs were due to faulty fans: they started rattling and eventually stopped. actually, 2 of the 3 card came with rattling fans from the factory! only this last one I got with the recent RMA is flawless... yet. I better put it aside to preserve this condition.

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 1:55 am 
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Quote:
the RMAs were due to faulty fans: they started rattling and eventually stopped.


I`ve had a similar problem with an Asus 240gts. Some of these cheaper fans just age a bit too quickly with their starting voltage increasing to the point where it`s impossible to run them quietly. Virtually any aftermarket 80x25 or 90x25 fan will be much smoother at low speeds which is why mods like those done by bsh or SebRad are my preferred solution.

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 5:28 am 
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bsh wrote:
CA_Steve wrote:
the RMAs were due to faulty fans


Ah.

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 Post subject: Re: Geforce 560 or Radeon 6850/6870
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:21 am
Posts: 10
A lot of people like Radeon 6850/6870 but I personally like and use Geforce 560.


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