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 Post subject: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:53 pm 
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On HT4U.NET (German website) we can see a review of a Radeon HD 7950 that seems to be very quiet as under idle as under load. HT4U.NET apparently uses a very trustworthy methodology of acoustics measurements.

At the last page of review, we can see that video card model got maximum rating in terms of noise.

Link to review:
http://ht4u.net/reviews/2012/xfx_radeon ... n_im_test/

Jump to the Charts:
http://ht4u.net/reviews/2012/xfx_radeon ... index8.php

Ratings and conclusion:
http://ht4u.net/reviews/2012/xfx_radeon ... ndex29.php

EDIT

Sorry. I confuse HD 7950 with HD 7850. But still it is a high performance and silent video card.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:13 am 
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I think most dual fan cards will give about the same noise. Theyre all 92mm fans from a small group of manufacturers which make these worldwide. The difference is usually the fanspeed (bios) and fan profile (like the graph in MSI Afterburner).

All the reviews Ive read of the new new AMD 7xxx series seem quiet and cool, especially with dual fans solutions. XFX will IMHO be pretty much the same quality and noise level as the other decent brands (MSI, ASUS, PCS, Saphire, Gigabyte etc). Which is great actually, shop for a good deal :)

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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:13 am 
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You're absolutely right. The only advantage that this XFX has is the out-of-box acoustic.

See the review below that it can be very quiet at the cost of a higher temperature. That is, another model of HD 7850 can achieve the same noise quality making a tweak on its regime of fan speed.

http://techreport.com/articles.x/22705


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:04 pm 
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I ended up getting the Sapphire HD7850 over the XFX model based on this comparison. The review is for the 7870 but there were enough similarities with the 7850 to get me to favour the Sapphire. I'm reasonably pleased with this card's out of box performance.

"the cooler design and fan profile used by Sapphire performs better than XFX, lowering the temperatures by a noticeable amount and the noise level slightly too. Power draw was also preferable on the Sapphire model."


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Does Sapphire or XFX have any fan speed controlling software? What I read Sapphire 7850 is quiet at idle (fan speed 20%) but noisier at load (fan speed 55%).

Last week I got Asus DCU2 7850 and it has gpu tweak software for controlling fan speed. I set it to 28%, which is the highest practically non-audible speed. Also overclocked it to 1050 MHz, and gpu temp reaches max 71 C in Witcher 2, the most demanding and gpu heating game I know. It runs perfectly fine in full-hd and ultra settings, and sneaking parts of the game are not ruined by graphics adaptor noise.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:43 am 
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All of them can use similar fan tweaking software as they're largely the same internally. Tools like MSI afterburner will not only work with MSI cards, but also Asus, Sapphire, XFX etc.

Undervolting might be a different situation. Without watercooling this is normally very useful for quiet computing with mid to higher end GPU's as it keeps heat down and lets you use advantagous fan profiles. I'm unable to adjust this for my Sapphire 7850 and am unsure if the hardware simply doesn't have the capability or whether the tools are not fully compatible with the card. This card is already very efficient compared to older GPU's but would have prefered to have the option. Unsure if cards like the Asus or XFX have this capability.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:25 pm 
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In 2d mode and very light 3d games 7850 has default clock 300mhz and 0,8V. It seems that hardware supports undervolting, but in gpu tools 2.0.8 the lowest possible voltage is the default 1,036, even if advanged clocking range is enabled. Maybe version 2.0.6 supports undervolting, it has larger voltage control area.

Fan controlling seems to be supported also in AMD catalyst drivers (control center - > amd overdrive), so that no separate overclocking software is needed. However yesterday I made advanced fan profile with gpu tools (17% for 0 - 65C, 27% for 65-80C and 40% for higher temps). Now it is much better at idle and ligher 3d games, and very quiet also in gpu-intensive games. Temps are still max 71C, but at the summer it should get closer to 80C.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:30 am 
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Posting to say I got my wife a Sapphire 7850 (not the OC edition) a few days ago to replace a failed passive 4850. It's in an Antec P183, with loads of slow-spinning 120mm fans on a fan controller (usually all at 650 rpm). This means the computer is completely inaudible during the day and almost inaudible during the night, until you start playing games in which case it'll start to hum quietly.

The Sapphire 7850 works better than I anticipated for a non-passive card. At idle it only makes slightly more noise than the other fans, so it's still almost inaudible, and during games it generates a fairly pleasant hum. This is without tweaking any fan settings, straight out of the box. I'm going to look at those fan settings in the near future to see if I can get it even quieter, but haven't felt the need to do so so far. The temperature probe of the fan controller which I shoved in the cooling part shows the temperature hasn't exceeded about 45 degrees C so far. The card itself reports temperatures about 7 degrees C higher. This is with a front 120mm fan blowing onto the card as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:56 pm 
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Looks superb:

Noise: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS ... II/27.html
Conclusion: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS ... II/33.html

Noise: http://ht4u.net/reviews/2012/nvidia_gef ... ndex11.php
Conclusion: http://ht4u.net/reviews/2012/nvidia_gef ... ndex44.php


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:33 am 
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Softpedia.com Asus 660 review also mention fan speeds: "The maximum fan speed we’ve managed to record on the ASUS GeForce GTX 660Ti DirectCU II TOP video card was 1620 RPM" and "Later on, while testing in Serious Sam 3 we’ve managed to reach 73 degrees Celsius for brief moments after some serious testing. The cooling fans reached a high 1900 RPM while still being less louder than the ambient noise."

Those DCU2 fans at 1620 rpm are clearly audible (much louder than typical slow-spinning case fans and quality psu), and 1900 rpm is very loud. Obviously GTX660 with 150W heat is too much to handle for such a tiny dcu2 heatsink and small fans.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:44 am 
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Vinz wrote:
The Sapphire 7850 works better than I anticipated for a non-passive card. At idle it only makes slightly more noise than the other fans, so it's still almost inaudible, and during games it generates a fairly pleasant hum.


7850 noise can be further improved by better arrangement of case fans. I tried some different fan placements and 2 exhausts (rear and top) seem to work much better than extra intake at side or front. Now my Asus 7850 fans are spinning only 10% at load, it is the minumum speed that GPU Tweak allows. During several hours of full load it heats up only to 69C, overclocked to 1050 MHz.
Latest version of Asus gpu tweak (2.2.0.1) also automatically applies fan profile and gpu clock settings at windows startup.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:46 am 
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7850 is more of a midrange card. I purchased XFX 7950 with the same dual fan heatsink (see the thread about 7950 and Accelero S1) and while it was silent at idle (about 1000rpms for the fans), it was quite loud at any kind of load. Much quieter than single fan designs or default heatsinks from both AMD and nVidia of course, but still too loud for my liking. Sadly I don't remember how fast the fans were spinning at load, but it was easily the loudest component in the case. It's possible 7850 draws so little power at load that the stock XFX heatsink is enough to keep it quiet under load, but if anyone is buying that card I would advise them to be prepared to have to get aftermarket cooler.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:41 am 
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AFAIK Sapphire cards are better than XFX w.r.t. noise.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:28 am 
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If the 7950 is quiet at idle does it follow that the 7970 will be too? They are both the same chip but the 7970 has more available shaders, which should be in a low power "off" state when in 2D or light 3D modes.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:39 am 
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I have found it is just best to use afterburner and set up your own fan curve and get a card with chil controller so you can undervolt

I am running a gigabyte 7870 OC with huge triple fan cooler on it, by default it has 40% idle fan which is ridiculous overkill and loud.
with afterburner I turn the fan completely off under 40 deg. even then it only sits at 34deg. Very similar performance to accelero s1. the card undervolts well too I use 1000/1200 with 1.05v instead of 1.218v.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:32 pm 
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wanky wrote:
I have found it is just best to use afterburner and set up your own fan curve and get a card with chil controller so you can undervolt

I am running a gigabyte 7870 OC with huge triple fan cooler on it, by default it has 40% idle fan which is ridiculous overkill and loud.
with afterburner I turn the fan completely off under 40 deg. even then it only sits at 34deg. Very similar performance to accelero s1. the card undervolts well too I use 1000/1200 with 1.05v instead of 1.218v.


Wanky can you confirm a couple of things for me. I too have a 7870 OC but with a different cooling solution so I'm trying to figure the best way to quieten it down.

1) Are you sure you can turn the fan completely off? I use afterburner too and although you can lower the fan percentage to 0% I found that 0% actually equals 800RPM. The default for my card is 28% ~ 900RPM.

2) How do you know it is similar to the accelero s1? I was thinking of replacing my HIS heatsink with an S1 and put two quiet 12cm fans on instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:05 am 
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Immortals wrote:
wanky wrote:
I have found it is just best to use afterburner and set up your own fan curve and get a card with chil controller so you can undervolt

I am running a gigabyte 7870 OC with huge triple fan cooler on it, by default it has 40% idle fan which is ridiculous overkill and loud.
with afterburner I turn the fan completely off under 40 deg. even then it only sits at 34deg. Very similar performance to accelero s1. the card undervolts well too I use 1000/1200 with 1.05v instead of 1.218v.


Wanky can you confirm a couple of things for me. I too have a 7870 OC but with a different cooling solution so I'm trying to figure the best way to quieten it down.

1) Are you sure you can turn the fan completely off? I use afterburner too and although you can lower the fan percentage to 0% I found that 0% actually equals 800RPM. The default for my card is 28% ~ 900RPM.

2) How do you know it is similar to the accelero s1? I was thinking of replacing my HIS heatsink with an S1 and put two quiet 12cm fans on instead.



1) Yes min speed is 20% anything under fan is off. all other cards I have had behave like yours in that they seem to have a locked minimum speed
2) I've used the S1 on all my previous cards 6870 6850 5770 and would get similar idle/load temps. Even though this card with triple fan would be louder at load I haven't noticed it whilst playing games. My main concern is no fan at idle so was pleased this card could do just that


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:12 am 
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Thanks. I might have to sell my card and get the Gigabyte then !! Why did you need to undervolt/underclock it? At idle it shouldn't really matter (Since the card goes down to 300Mhz/825mV and since the fans turn on when not in idle it should be OK? Also if you prefer not to play with voltages can you use Catalyst control center or does it not allow you to set the fan % to the point where it turns off?


Last edited by Immortals on Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:02 pm 
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The stock 7970 is pretty quiet in an Antec P180. I'm not sure I'm even going to bother modding it.

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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Immortals wrote:
Thanks. I might have to sell my card and get the Gigabyte then !! Why did you need to undervolt/underclock it? At idle it shouldn't really matter (Since the card goes down to 300Mhz/825mV and since the fans turn on when not in idle it should be OK? Also if you prefer not to play with voltages can you use Catalyst control center or does it not allow you to set the fan % to the point where it turns off?


I undervolt for less heat, less power and less noise under load. If not planning to overclock then there is nothing to lose by undervolting. FYI mine needs 1.125v at stock clocks which saves about ~25w under load.

CCC alone is not suitable for this card, the default fan profile stinks and the lowest fan speed you can use is 20%.


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 Post subject: Re: Finally a Super Quiet High-end Video Card?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:01 pm 
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MoJo wrote:
CCC alone is not suitable for this card, the default fan profile stinks and the lowest fan speed you can use is 20%.


Thanks for all your help. I think i will try to get a hold of the same card that you have as your solution appeals to me.

update: Got the Gigabyte card. Works exactly as wanky said. Recommended


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