The cards I've found the most interesting are:
- ASUS Radeon HD 6850 "DirectCU" (recommended by SPCS)
- PowerColor Radeon HD 6850 PCS+
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6850
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 460 SOC
http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?i ... 37&page=12
The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 460 SOC seems amazingly silent and strong for its price.
Although slightly more expensive, it seems to be one of the quietest stock cards around, being extremely silent both at idle and under heavy load. The other cards seem almost as silent at idle but are a bit louder under load.
It seems to beat the 6850s with some margin, between 10-20% increase in frame rate, which alone could justify the higher price.
It do seem to draw a lot more power, but also runs at much lower temperatures (which I guess could have positive effects on the overall sound level of your system?).
I’m far from an expert on the subject, which also explains why I’m so interested in stock coolers, because I really want to avoid having to change expensive parts.
Feel free to share your own experiences and thoughts on the subject!