Combined with JamieG's experience with the Vapor-X, maybe a 5870 wouldn't be so bad afterall...
Just be warned that other users are reporting higher idle rpms than mine with their 5870 Vapor-X here
My backordered Sapphire HD 5870 Vapor-X card finally turned up after a long wait. It's one of the blue PCB second revision models.
The card works well apart from one problem - the idle fan speed won't go lower than 1455 RPM which is 22% duty cycle.
I'm going to check my BIOS version tonight and try to confirm whether it is different to WR304's.
The other possible culprit is the revision that WR304 mentioned. After doing a bit of googling:
Rev 1 (Black PCB) 100281VXSR has the reference PCB.
Rev 2 (Blue PCB): 100281VX-2SR has a custom PCB that is apparently shorter than the reference PCB.
Based on the info here
, I think
my 5870 Vapor-X might be a Rev 2 card as I seem to remember the PCIe connectors facing away from the GPU and not from the top of the card, as well as 875/2,500 clocks. However, the info at the bottom of that link suggests that the Rev 1 card should be quieter in idle.
I will check and post back.
It looks like maybe Sapphire haven't consistently used the same fan model for all the HD5870 Vapor-X cards. My card is a blue rev 2 model with the same BIOS revision as JamieG
The higher idle fan speed of 1455 rpm on my card isn't a room/ case temperature issue as it's been quite cold. That's a shame as I'd be very happy with my card if it idled at 1,050 rpm. If I manually put the fan speed of my card up to 100% using MSI Afterburner the fan spins at 3,810 rpm.
I'm still building up to modding mine as that's going to mean cutting through the original fan cable to add a resistor which will void the warranty.
Apart from the idle fan speed the Sapphire HD 5870 Vapor-X cooler seems to work well with some impressively low idle temperatures. The fan does ramp up a bit under load however.
My Sapphire HD 5870 Vapor-X idle temperatures and fan speed (room temperature 13c approx)
Another ATI HD 5870 card with a non-standard cooler that looks quite interesting is the Powercolor PCS+ HD5870.
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/03/ ... d_review/1