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 Post subject: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 5:02 pm 
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Click on 06:40.

How can HD 7950 and HD 7870 be so quiet compared to all Nvidia cards?!
What a huge disappointment, I was going to buy Nvidia but this changes everything, do you think there is some Nvidia model out there that is comparable?

You see, this is how you do a review(especially of cases), you put a mic on it and you immediately know what's going on.
In a few seconds of video information of 10 pages of text.


Last edited by Mettyx on Thu May 10, 2012 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Mettyx wrote:
How can HD 7950 and HD 7870 be so quite compared to all Nvidia cards?!

In that video, both the 7950 and 7870 were using custom cooling instead of the reference AMD/Nvidia blower style cooler. That is why they were significantly quieter under load. You would get a similar result with an Nvidia card that has custom cooling, such as "MSI Twin Frozr", "Asus DirectCU" etc. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:25 pm 
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I can't believe I misspelled quiet.. :oops:

So, you have to be careful to never ever buy something that isn't "custom" and you would know this how?


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:35 pm 
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Mettyx wrote:
So, you have to be careful to never ever buy something that isn't "custom" and you would know this how?

Look at the photo on the box. :lol:

Also make sure to read/watch reviews, and ask others who have already bought the card. I'm using a Gigabyte HD6870 SOC (3x fan Windforce cooler), and it is excellent. 28% fan speed is exceptionally quiet (idle fan speed), and I've set it to 40% max fan speed under load. Still very quiet, and temps max out at around 85 degrees celsius. Acceptable temps considering how quiet it is. And finally, the fans have no ticking/scraping/chugging noises either, they just sound nice and smooth. This is the type of info that you should find out before buying. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:43 pm 
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Is SPCR gonna do a comprehensive list/video on this?
This is pretty important, the whole point of this site...


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 3:16 am 
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Just buy a good aftermarket cooler for your GPU and you don't have to worry about the stock cooler noise at all. I bought Accelero S1 Plus for my 4770 and now it is totally silent - passive.


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 3:34 am 
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It is better to know which GPU models and brands are silent by default instead of having additional expenditures and installations.

Just post a one page with 20 cards from both AMD and Nvidia with a five star rating system or you could do a video, you can see how a video is extremely effective in relaying vital information you could never get in textual format. Just like I was saying about case reviews, yet for some reason no one does it.


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 7:38 am 
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Mettyx wrote:
It is better to know which GPU models and brands are silent by default instead of having additional expenditures and installations.


Most stock coolers suck. Simple. Period. If you want silence, you need a huge heatsink and a slow and big fan. I don't know any stock cooling solutions that does this - apart from a few low-end passive GPUs. You need a 3rd party cooler to bring silence into GPU cooling. Sad but true.

Mettyx wrote:
Just post a one page with 20 cards from both AMD and Nvidia with a five star rating system or you could do a video, you can see how a video is extremely effective in relaying vital information you could never get in textual format. Just like I was saying about case reviews, yet for some reason no one does it.


I don't understand the part about a video. I don't want to look damn video if I want to know how much noise various GPUs produce. Anyway, if you want noise data from all the GPUs, you have to actually measure the noise. It is a big task to do as there are many vendors and many cooling solutions. Usually you know just by looking at the cooler whether it is silent or not - usually not.


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 12:46 pm 
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I would always go for the best card, then swap the cooler.

The cost of a 3rd party cooler is not huge compared to the initial outlay. In many cases it is less than the difference between different modesl of the same board. It is better to buy the card based upon quality and the extras in the package rather than the cooler. The cooler you can swap easily.

Also the difference between individual cards when fans come into play can be resolved by BIOS modding. One card may be quieter with the same stock cooler just because the AIB has programmed the BIOS differently. No reason you can't do the same with NiBiTor.

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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 9:17 pm 
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Btw, this has nothing to do with the topic, why are SSDs so much more expensive than HDDs when they have less material, no moving parts etc. aren't they much easier to manufacture? Is there some specific thing that makes them so expensive?


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 10:57 pm 
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edh wrote:
I would always go for the best card, then swap the cooler.

Leaving aside cost, the potential issue with cooler swaps is always the issue of invalidating the warranty. There are some quiet fan cooled graphics cards available, particularly the Gainward Phantom series but as Gainward only market these in the UK, Europe and Australia they are not available to everone.


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 11:04 pm 
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Mettyx wrote:
Btw, this has nothing to do with the topic, why are SSDs so much more expensive than HDDs when they have less material, no moving parts etc. aren't they much easier to manufacture? Is there some specific thing that makes them so expensive?


I don't know but I guess:

Supply and demand. SDDs are fast and people want them -> prices go up. Prices will get lower once industry gets more capacity. Also, the technology is quite new and evolves rapidly. At least some Sandforce SSDs have shown the need for proper R&D and testing before going on market.

But are the actual chips THAT cheap? I don't know. Maybe the components are not yet dirt cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 5:52 am 
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Mettyx wrote:
Btw, this has nothing to do with the topic, why are SSDs so much more expensive than HDDs when they have less material, no moving parts etc. aren't they much easier to manufacture? Is there some specific thing that makes them so expensive?

No, they are not easy to manufacture. The investment in machinery and R&D costs billions of dollars (or Euros). That's sort of like wondering why a Mercedes Benz E350 costs more than a Chrysler 300, even though they have about the same mass.


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 5:44 am 
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paapaa wrote:
Mettyx wrote:
It is better to know which GPU models and brands are silent by default instead of having additional expenditures and installations.


Most stock coolers suck. Simple. Period. If you want silence, you need a huge heatsink and a slow and big fan. I don't know any stock cooling solutions that does this - apart from a few low-end passive GPUs. You need a 3rd party cooler to bring silence into GPU cooling. Sad but true.


The man speaks the truth.

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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 6:03 am 
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What the hell are you guys talking about, haven't you seen the video?

Obviously some models are super-quiet by default, somebody just has to list them...


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 7:38 am 
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None of those are quiet. The Sapphire is the best of them by far (I have one) and it is not quiet.

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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 8:28 am 
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Mettyx wrote:
What the hell are you guys talking about, haven't you seen the video?

I'm not even going to bother watching the video. It just doesn't seem relevant when someone else has already pointed out that it is not a direct comparison as the Radeon cards have non-standard coolers on.

As for making a list, there's a lot of problems there that just mean it wouldn't be easily comparable. There are too many cards out there, they go out of date too quickly, different fan profiles are what matters and can be edited and does a high end graphics card review really fit in with SPCR? Much better to go the aftermarket route. We know that a big passive heatsink will always be noiseless and knowing which is the best one is more universally relevant rather than comparing 20 models of the same card to know which is quietest.

I very rarely see a graphics card I want to buy. Low end cards offer no upgrade over what I have currently and high end cards are always really quite nasty. Too big, too loud and too power guzzley. As a Linux user, ATI is out due to poor OpenGL support. NVIDIA remains the only realistic choice and only every few generations do they seem to make a nice one. The GTX670 is quite nice but too high end. As it is only 170W we can hope that a card at half the price might use half the power and so can be cooled passively which would be good.

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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 11:55 am 
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edh wrote:
...does a high end graphics card review really fit in with SPCR?


I want:
- my computer to be quiet
- to play games on high settings and resolution
while:
- I'm not interested to modify graphics cards myself anymore

And I believe I'm not alone with this.

So yes, I think this is relevant.

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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 3:33 pm 
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If you don't want to modify a card you're limited in options on this if you demand a high performance card.
I'm not a heavy gamer so I stick to passive cooling only and I'm happy enough with that. You can't get more quiet than passive cooling

Some of the cards on the market allow some degree of user control over the fan settings which can help a lot with noise. ultimately though high end cards consume quite a bit of power (even v a CPU) where as the lower performance ones are quite easily cooled with passive solutions.
It's your choice really


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:44 am 
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Here is a good example of how a video can be quite useful when doing a subjective comparison of noise output:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsuYcx7T0lk

It would nice to have this kind of video complimenting a written review with objective measurements. :)

EDIT: Although come to think of it, SPCR basically already does this with the audio files in most of its reviews. Would be nice to see the sites that have a decent test methodology and equipment for measuring sound, such as Anandtech and Techpowerup, to start adding audio or video samples for our subjective analysis.


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 9:49 am 
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flemeister wrote:
Here is a good example of how a video can be quite useful when doing a subjective comparison of noise output:


I don't need a video to tell me if a GPU is passively cooled :roll: And audio samples are only good if the microphone is very good and the speakers/headphones are also very good. Usually they are not and the actual noise in actual case being used might be totally different. That is also why subjective reviews usually give no information as "quiet" might mean so many things.


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 11:05 am 
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There is a review of the Arctic Accelero S1 Plus with and without the optional Turbo module here http://www.ocaholic.ch/xoops/html/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=712&page=0. The amount of fan speed data given for the stock cooler alternatives make this one of the more interesting reviews.


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:40 pm 
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paapaa wrote:
I don't need a video to tell me if a GPU is passively cooled :roll:

Did you hear the chugging noise on the 6770?


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:27 am 
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lm wrote:
I want:
- my computer to be quiet
- to play games on high settings and resolution
while:
- I'm not interested to modify graphics cards myself anymore

And I believe I'm not alone with this.

So yes, I think this is relevant.



I think you are being a little dramatic. If you buy the Sapphire Radeon 79x0 cards, for example, all you are doing is unscrewing four screws, cleaning the TIM off the GPU, applying new TIM to the GPU and mounting the new cooler. The memory and VRM heatsink can (and should, given that it supports the board) remain in place. It's barely more work than putting a heatsink on a CPU.

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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:21 am 
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Techpowerup reviews many graphics cards, and they check the fan noise. I'm not saying that their tests are as good as SPCR tho.

Here's an example of a quiet 670: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS ... II/27.html


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:43 am 
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The "quietest" card in those tests is 24dba. That is not quiet. I know I'm beating a dead horse at this point, but there is no getting around the fact that outside of a large heatsink with a large, slow moving fan, none of these performance graphics cards will be quiet. For example, my Sapphire 7950 OC has one of the quietest aftermarket coolers there is and at idle the fans can be clearly heard over 400 rpm 120mm Scythe fans.

So, I actually read the article and the comments are great:

"Fan noise of the ASUS GTX 670 DC II is incredible. In idle it is barely audible if you put your ear next to it - using a completely passive PC, in a quiet room. Under load the fan ramps up a tiny bit to handle the extra heat but the difference is barely measurable. As a result the GTX 670 DC II is quieter under load than most other cards in idle!! Perfect job ASUS!"

You must be close to deaf if 24dba is essentially inaudible with no other significant ambient noise (they claim ambient noise of less than 20 dba). The site is a complete joke (like most sites) when it comes to classifying what is quiet.

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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:28 am 
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Bar81 wrote:
You must be close to deaf if 24dba is essentially inaudible with no other significant ambient noise (they claim ambient noise of less than 20 dba). The site is a complete joke (like most sites) when it comes to classifying what is quiet.

Yes, their numbers are completely meaningless.

Nevertheless I can confirm TPU's subjective impression: that card at idle is almost inaudible, the SPL should be about in the 10-12dB range (I cannot hear it over a Seagate GoFlex 1Tb at idle).

At load it is much more closer to the "claimed" 25dB, but IMO well below it: as a subjective measure, between 20dB and 25dB, not quiet anymore, but very reasonable (providing you don't game without playing audio).
To give a possible comparison, the relevant noise level was maybe slightly better than the original WindForce cooler one at 50% speed, for those who know it (I have them on a pair of GTX460s).

This is the second time that the ASUS DCu cooler blows me that way: the first time was with the HD6950, but which was relatively quiet even at *load* (subjectively far below 20dB, maybe around 15-18dB for what is my experience)! Undoubtely it is one of the best performing GPU coolers around, very often noticeably quieter than the acclaimed Gainward Phantom (with reference to stock fan curves).

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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:11 am 
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There's no point in whining about the lack of accuracy in TPU's review's, we all know that.
The importance in TPU's reviews isn't in the numbers, it's in the relation to other cards.
If a high end card like the 670 is among the quieter cards in the list, it may be worth looking in to.
Granted, it doesn't tell us much about noise characteristics, but it's a start.

Where else should we look for this kind of info? It's not like the internet is overflowing with detailed acoustic tests of graphics cards,
and SPCR doesn't have the resources to test that many products.

Until we have anything better, sites like TPU in combintation with forum posts like the one from quest_for_silence is the best we can get.

Asus, Powercolor and Sapphire have made many quiet graphics cards lately, but as usual, you have to pick the right model.


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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:19 am 
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Here's HT4U's review for the Asus card (in Googlish).

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 Post subject: Re: Super silent graphic cards!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:45 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
Nevertheless I can confirm TPU's subjective impression: that card at idle is almost inaudible, the SPL should be about in the 10-12dB range (I cannot hear it over a Seagate GoFlex 1Tb at idle).


What rpm are the fans at idle?

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