Looking for a new quiet card

They make noise, too.

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serraios
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Looking for a new quiet card

Post by serraios » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:08 pm

Hi, long time reader, first time poster. :)

I ve got a Lian Li PC-60FN case with an i7-4770k processor cooled by a Noctua Cooler along with a Coolermaster 140mm fan in the front and a 120mm Gentle Typhoon as an exhaust. Both are connected to a lian li fan control switch and they are undervolted.

I currently have a fanless Powercolor 5750 card, but I ve tentatively reached the conclusion that it doesn't cut it anymore for the things I want to do (not games though).

I am looking to upgrade to something at least 3-4 levels up the TomHardware's hierarchy chart or something with a 256 bit memory bus as opposed to the 128 bits I ve got now.

I also have a preference for AMD over Nvidia cards.

All of this means that I ve narrowed down my search to either an HD 7850 card or the newer R9 270.

One obvious option would be the passively cooled PowerColor HD 7850 although from what I read from reviews it needs to be in an adequately ventilated box. I don't know however if my box counts as one. Does anyone has this card and care to share their experience? Does the fact that my current fanless card doesn't go higher than 65 degrees Celcius indicate that I won't have a problem with the powercolor?

My other option is to get one of the dozen models with fans, but I am not sure how to make a proper decision. I keep reading user reviews for most of these cards and for a good chunk of them, you will find a fair number of people saying that this or that card is as quiet as they come.

Since everyone's point of reference is different, I am not sure who to trust.

So what say you, silent pc review denizens?

Thanks

CA_Steve
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Re: Looking for a new quiet card

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:11 am

Welcome to SPCR.

Any gaming card with a TDP over 75W to 100W will need a fan to keep cool. So, the passive HD 7750 is ok, The passive Powercolor 7850 is not. The reviews show this card gets pretty hot and it's not as high clocked as the fanned versions. You might find this summary page useful.
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flinx
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Re: Looking for a new quiet card

Post by flinx » Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:20 am

What exactly is it you want to do? A more powerful video card will mainly be more advanced for gaming, whereas the 2D will be pretty much the same. I think it's better to start with the performance requirement, and then go from there when it comes to cooling.

quest_for_silence
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Re: Looking for a new quiet card

Post by quest_for_silence » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:44 pm

serraios wrote:Since everyone's point of reference is different, I am not sure who to trust.


A fanned card can be quiet, but it can never be as quiet as an IGP or a fanless card.
A proper case (your one is not, IMHO) and the right placement (Idk your one) can make a fanned card virtually inaudible, but it will ever be more noticeable than a fanless graphics setup.
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serraios
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Re: Looking for a new quiet card

Post by serraios » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:58 am

CA_Steve wrote:Welcome to SPCR.

Any gaming card with a TDP over 75W to 100W will need a fan to keep cool. So, the passive HD 7750 is ok, The passive Powercolor 7850 is not. The reviews show this card gets pretty hot and it's not as high clocked as the fanned versions. You might find this summary page useful.
Thanks, I ve already checked a good deal of those. So, we all agree that a passive 7850 is an oxymoron due to its need of a dedicated fan right?

A fanned card can be quiet, but it can never be as quiet as an IGP or a fanless card.
A proper case (your one is not, IMHO) and the right placement (Idk your one) can make a fanned card virtually inaudible, but it will ever be more noticeable than a fanless graphics setup.

Yes, I am aware that lian li cases don't have too many fans among the silent community; I mostly like them because they are slick, but so far, knock on wood, I don't have that much of an issue with noise.

I ordered an Asus R9 270 yesterday, as I was inching to give it a try; there were a variety of user reviews which had noted that it doesn't make noise, plus, ASUS AFAIK offers software that allows you to change fan settings.

Here's another question. if that doesn't work, is it worth looking at aftermarket coolers? Do they really make a difference?

quest_for_silence
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Re: Looking for a new quiet card

Post by quest_for_silence » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:21 am

serraios wrote:Yes, I am aware that lian li cases don't have too many fans among the silent community; I mostly like them because they are slick, but so far, knock on wood, I don't have that much of an issue with noise.


It's not entirely true: I myself have a PC-A05, and I'm almost an hardcore silencer.
I just meant that your PC60 is not noisy but it isn't well suited to muffle an high TDP fanned videocard, and it hasn't a great cooling power (so it isn't the best option to host a fanless 7850).

serraios wrote:Here's another question. if that doesn't work, is it worth looking at aftermarket coolers? Do they really make a difference?


Talking about load noise, if you have a nosiy cooler, they make some real difference, on the contrary if your cooler is already a good one, no.
They are usually more useful at idle, 'cause often you can't lower the stock cooler speed under a certain threshold while, driving the fan externally, you are able to do so with more ease (it depends of the aftermarket cooler of choice: something like an R9 270 calls for an AC S1 Plus IMVHO).
Regards,
Luca

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Vicotnik
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Re: Looking for a new quiet card

Post by Vicotnik » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:36 am

serraios wrote:Yes, I am aware that lian li cases don't have too many fans among the silent community; I mostly like them because they are slick, but so far, knock on wood, I don't have that much of an issue with noise.
Well, to the vanilla silent gamer type they might be unpopular, since aluminum cases are prone to vibrations. But you see, we real silent folks, we normally reduce the usage of vibrating stuff. That way we can fully enjoy the slickness of these cases. :)
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