Computerbase (a german review magazine) also made some records of the coil whine on the GTX 980 and GTX 970 cards they tested: 11 GeForce GTX 970 im Test (4/6)
, 10 GeForce GTX 980 im Test (5/6)
. "Spulenfiepen" is the German term for the buzzing/squealing. I don't speak German, but google translate gives a good enough gist of the content. There are sound recordings on those webpages as well, from each card, and at different frame rates. There are also sound recordings of the cards at idle and load, to compare the noise their fans make. Some cards are really loud compared to the others - when I see on the web the people that have those cards saying they are "silent", I keep on remembering how loud they were in this test compared to others...
It's interesting that the results from Computerbase are not quite the same as from HardwareCanucks. Just one more proof of how great the unit-to-unit difference in noise level, from the same manufacturer and same model, is between these cards.
I have issues with both tests, though. Computerbase uses an open case environment (which is good, as at least it means the case fans and hard-disks are not going to spoil the results), but they only measure from the side of the card where the fans are. My experience with the Strixes I have(had), is that the buzzing is less perceivable from that position, as if the air turbulence of the fans smooths out that buzzing. However, listen from the back of the card, and be ready to pull your hair out... crackling and buzzing galore. I also did not see mentioned if the recording sound level really was the same in all the recording sessions, so that when one card seems louder than the other, it really is louder, and it's not the recording level that is louder. They don't seem to mention what games/tests they used when they tested this. Again, my experience is that the cards can be really silent in some tests/benchmarks, while they go summoning devils in others. The results are therefore not "definitive" in any way.
HardwareCanucks - I'm sorry to say, but I don't trust what they say there. I have no idea how they did the tests (open benches? no fans or hard-disks? were all these tests done at the same time, or do they just write there what they remember from some time in the past?). Much more critical is that there are no recordings, no measurements. I am not an expert, but from the bit of knowledge I have in the field of psychology, two of the things I know is to never trust memories, and that if you want to know the difference between two things (and don't have measurement instruments to use), compare them side-by-side, and don't rely on what your memory of the qualities of one product were. This stems from the fact that our brains don't measure and record "absolute" values, so our memory of how something was, and the current impression we have of something, might very well not be relative to the same "ground level". Our brains are much better however at sensing relative differences between two things, when the things are both available at the same time. That's why I'll always take side-by-side comparisons, over the subjective rankings of products reviewed at different moments in time. Rankings based on objective measurements done with calibrated instruments however, are a different matter. I'm also having issues with the game and test they used. In Furmark, my STRIXes were silent. Using Furmark as the coil whine test is not the "final test". Running the menu screen in TombRaider though, or its benhcmark, with frame rate capped at 60fps, makes so much noise it's no fun. And I doubt the TombRaider menu screen is more intensive than Furmark.