To jump into my question quickly, I will mention that I do not care about noise under load... but idle noise levels are important to me.
Im wondering if anyone can give me some input on the following graphics cards, and if they can be made quiet by making a custom fan curve in MSI Afterburner. Aftermarket fans are not an option.
How quiet is my computer? I have two Scythe Slip Stream 120mm case fans running at 600rpm, and they are practically inaudible in my system. Any increase in fan speed can clearly be heard. The loudest component I have is my 7200rpm Samsung Spinpoint F3 hard drive suspended on elastics.
Question #1:So... can these cards be quiet at idle?
Used: Asus HD 5850 (non-reference cooler, looks like this: http://www.legitreviews.com/images/revi ... OP_top.jpg
Used: HD 5870 (reference cooler)
Used: HD 6950 with dualbios (flashed to 6970) with reference cooler
New: Just about any HD 7770 is an option. The Sapphire HD 7770 OC looks nice for a good price.
New: HD 7850 ... this is an option I want to avoid if possible because I dont want to spend that much money. Only the cheapest 1GB models come into play.
I just sold my Sapphire HD 5770 Vapor-X, and it could barely keep the GPU under 45C (my custom fan curve) at idle and maintain silence (I call ~20% fan speed on that model silent to me). I will be adding two more case fans running at about 500-600rpm later to help silently remove heat from the case.
I would like a card that is at least slightly faster than the HD 7770 if possible, which is why Im looking into the other options here.
When making a custom fan curve for your graphics card, what temperature would you feel comfortable with as an idle temperature? My custom fan curve on the HD 5770 kept the fan speed at 20% (inaudible) until it hit 45C, then I set the fan speed to climb.