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 Post subject: Help picking silent Graphics card!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:37 am
Posts: 4
Hello!
I need some help picking a silent graphics card! I'm not that picky with noise while under load, however since i sleep just a few inches away from the pc, i really need it to be silent while idle.
I am considering both GTX680 and HD7970's, but leaning a bit for HD7970 custom models, due both to slightly superior performance, lower price tag and similar noise ouput under idle ( i really dont care about noise under load)
Its will most likely be used inside a Silverstone FT02 Case.
It will, for now, be paired with my current CPU/mobo. An Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 sitting on a Asus P5Q Deluxe, passively cooled by a noctua NH-d14. I currently keep inside an old (and damaged) Antec P182.
PSU is a Corsair HX650.
I will also only plan to use 2 SSD's on this pc 1 samsung 840m pro 128gb as system drive and a either a 2Tb WDgreen drive or a 500gb 830 for storage (depending on budget). Additional storage will be provided by a NAS over a gigabit network.

I have considered the ASUS HD7970 Directcu II TOP, and the ASUS Matrix HD7970 Platinum and am currently the Sapphire HD7970 Vapor-X.
The Matrix Platinum sells for about 520€ in Portugal (where i live), while the Vapor-X goes for around 400€. So 120€ difference, for a couple of extra fps, and larger OC ability. The Direct Cu II TOP, goes for 430€, it appears to be similar to the Vapor-X in performance (slightly lower), and is more expensive. I am however unsure about the difference in idle noise level. I discarded MSI twinfrzr 2 and Lighntning because i read somewhere the twinfrozr2 was noisy and the lightning does not support dual DVI-D so no 120hz in 120hz capable screens (i own a 120hz/3d) asus vg236.

So performance wise its Matrix Platinum(520€)<Vapor-X(400€)<Direct Cu II TOP(424€) so the performance/value winner is clearly the the Vapor-X. Now i just need some help setting the acoustics ranking, consider the price/noise ratio and finally pick one. (I am also open to other brands/models, with the same price range 400~500eur.

Thanx!!


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 Post subject: Re: Help picking silent Graphics card!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:43 am 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
If you plan on migrating to the FT02 case, be sure to pick a gfx card with the proper heatpipe orientation. Take a look at Silverstone's Q&A at the bottom of the product page.

Do you really need this level of gfx card for 1080p-120? ouch.

Techpowerup has a fairly decent database of reviews. They don't capture 100%, but they do list a fair number. Here's the HD 7970 listing.

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 Post subject: Re: Help picking silent Graphics card!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:37 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for the reply.
No i don't really need all that power for 1080p, but I want to go for a future proof card (i only upgrade every 4-5 years), and I should be adding a few screens later this year.
Yes! I realized, yesterday, about that heat-pipe issue! Apparently the vapor-x should not have a problem, since its a vapor chamber and the heat-pipes come out towards the side of the gfx. (like what happens with the prolim mk26). With both asus the issue is different, they have one evaporation end, and two condensation ends, a couple of heatpipes make a 180º turn and then go up, but 3 or 4 of them will go down in the wrong way. that render 4 of the heatpipes, in the directcu 2, and 3 in the matrix useless, but by looking at pictures, the condensation end on both of them although having less heat pipes, does appear to be larger, with larger fins.


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 Post subject: Re: Help picking silent Graphics card!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:37 am
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On more question, wold there be any acoustic difference between the windowed ft02 and the non windowed one?


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 Post subject: Re: Help picking silent Graphics card!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:04 pm
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Location: Denmark
I have seen people claim that the DirectCU II is less effective in a FT02. Others claim it makes virtually no difference...
Sitting on a FT02 myself it would be damn interesting with more tests regarding this subject.

I'm not sure MSI twinfrozr is actually more noisy than DirectCU, the fan just seem to run at higher speed (and lower temp) as standard, but that can (and should tbh) always be adjusted manually.


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 Post subject: Re: Help picking silent Graphics card!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:37 am
Posts: 4
Shadout wrote:
I have seen people claim that the DirectCU II is less effective in a FT02. Others claim it makes virtually no difference...
Sitting on a FT02 myself it would be damn interesting with more tests regarding this subject.

I'm not sure MSI twinfrozr is actually more noisy than DirectCU, the fan just seem to run at higher speed (and lower temp) as standard, but that can (and should tbh) always be adjusted manually.


Thx for the reply!
By reading reviews, and looking at overall characteristics I ruled out the DirectCU II TOP (not the Matrix Platinum), it has slower factory clocks, apparently also has issues overclocking (due to voltage regulation i believe) and with the heatpipe orientation thing on the FT02 (is just a much more risky option) all of that while sitting on a higher price, just makes me discard it. The Vapor-X comes with higher clocks, higher overclock potential, and a cooler more suitable to be silent and cold inside a FT02, it just sounds a much safer (an lower) investment.
That leaves me with the Vapor-X and the Matrix Platinum, the last which has better performance, and in theory a superior (and more suitable for FT02) iteration if the directCu 2 cooler. I'm just trying to level out the price-performance equation a see if its worth the risk of getting a possibly inefficient cooler for a FT02 which i need to be extremely silent under idle, considering that i live in Portugal where it gets really hot during summer.

About the MSI, before choosing a 7970 i was reading alot of reviews trying to choose between gtx680 and 7970, i must have read one to many, because ended believing there was a MSI HD7970 twinfrozr and a MSI HD7970 lightning, apparently only the lightning exists (xpto, overclocked and with the twinfrozr cooler). But i had already ruled that one out due to no Dual Link DVI support which would leave me underclocked 120hz monitor.


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