#1 Posted by Funkydupe (3305 posts) -

I know the more high-end cards really need to stay cool, especially for those who like overclocking their cards. I'm wondering if any of you know about a card that is new and powerful but still doesn't produce as much relative fan noise even at higher stress levels. This is supposed to be a gift and I have zero knowledge on this specific aspect as I usually just accept fans as a part of the package when buying cards, but I know the one I'm getting it for prefers to keep the system relatively silent, using a water cooling system and so on instead of fans.

I've been thinking about getting a GTX680 or a Radeon7970, but then there's plenty of versions of every card as well, such as Gainward, Sapphire, XFX and ASUS.

I welcome any recommendations on this to help me pick something up.

Thanks a bunch!

#2 Edited by Declarius (180 posts) -

You can usually find these kinds of ratings on some hardware sites, but unless your GPU is running really hot the fan shouldn't be that loud. Usually if my GPU gets loud I know I should take a can of air to it.

Here are the noise ratings on those two cards.

#3 Posted by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

I've read that the Asus GTX680 Direct CUII is good for noise, although it is pretty huge and takes up something like 3 slots worth of space. Some noise comparisons here:

http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/39013-asus-geforce-gtx-680-directcu-ii-top/?page=12

However, note what it says. 'One of the quietest high-end graphics cards on the market' yet 'the card's some way from silent under load - you probably wouldn't want it in your living room's HTPC'. The point being that it's the nature of fan cooling that there is always going to be some level of distracting noise generated, especially with the heat that gaming GPUs throw out. If you really want to aim for quietness you could look into some sort of liquid cooling solution for your friend, either a custom watercooling setup with watercooler block specific to the GPU (you'd need expert advice or a guide) or a closed loop GPU cooler/combo cooler like this, making sure it can fit whatever card is being bought. Afraid I wouldn't have any purchasing or setup advice for you there.

#4 Posted by Declarius (180 posts) -

It's worth noting some cases have sound insulation. I have no experience with it though, and I'm not personally aware if it is effective or not.

#5 Posted by Funkydupe (3305 posts) -

@Dagmar said:

You can usually find these kinds of ratings on some hardware sites, but unless your GPU is running really hot the fan shouldn't be that loud. Usually if my GPU gets loud I know I should take a can of air to it.

Here are the noise ratings on those two cards.

Thanks that's exactly the type of stats I needed to see.

#6 Posted by FritzDude (2249 posts) -

I use the MSi GTX 680 TwinFrozr III, which is both cool & quiet. On paper it's 10.2 decibel quieter & 22 Celsius cooler than the standard GTX 680, assuming it's in a cabinet with good airflow.

#7 Posted by Sumbog (481 posts) -

My rig with a GTX 570 isnt too loud, but it depends on your threshold for back ground noise.

I'll try to put the noise into perspective- it is about an 1/8 as loud as my Xbox, slightly louder than my PS3, all I can hear is a hum coming from it that only gets slightly louder as I play.

#8 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@Sumbog said:

My rig with a GTX 570 isnt too loud, but it depends on your threshold for back ground noise.

I'll try to put the noise into perspective- it is about an 1/8 as loud as my Xbox, slightly louder than my PS3, all I can hear is a hum coming from it that only gets slightly louder as I play.

Do you install games on your Xbox?

#9 Posted by Kidavenger (3485 posts) -

Get your card of choice and get an aftermarket cooler for it, I have a zalman gpu cooler on mine and it's almost completely silent.

#10 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

What you need is vibration dampening + a good case, not a quieter card. (probably)

#11 Posted by Sumbog (481 posts) -
@Bourbon_Warrior this is comparing a non-installed Xbox 360 game, in an Xbox Elite
#12 Posted by Grillbar (1792 posts) -

the one i have is super silent. its a gigabyte gefroce gtx 680 super overclock.

its pretty expensive, and properly not the best one but so far it has run all my games at max with no problem at all and a pretty much all games run at a solid 60 frames.

its running on a 6.2ghz and a bus of 256

also but the main point is that its super silent. once i thought it made a weird noise but then i realized that it was my cd drive spinning wich im not used to hearing, since the last card i had was a jet engine.

im really not an expert in this area all i have to go by is what i have heard and tried.

i have allso heard that the Sapphire Vapor-x HD 7970 ghz edition should be super silent aswell. and it runs at the same effective core speed at the one above, but the bus is 384 instead and it has 3gb ram instead of 2. but in the end the ram really does not matter that much as it is right now. as far as i have heard

#13 Posted by crusader8463 (14411 posts) -

In my new PC that I built a month or two back I decided on an Asus GTX670 DirectCU II and it's mouse fart silent. Not even running in a sound insulated case and I don't hear the thing. Don't have any tests or spreadsheets to link to beyond me sitting here next to it as I type this and not hearing a thing. My PC is right next to the head of my bed and I sleep with it on most nights with no problems.

#14 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@Sumbog: install those games man

#15 Edited by orionw (62 posts) -

You can also get most cards to run pretty quiet by using programs like MSI Afterburner to tweak the fan profiles, most cards have fans running at a much higher speed than they actually need to if you have good airflow in your case.

#16 Posted by Funkydupe (3305 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Funkydupe said:

I know the one I'm getting it for prefers to keep the system relatively silent, using a water cooling system and so on instead of fans.

If the recipient is using a water cooling system, wouldn't they prefer a card which would work with their set-up? Why not find out which brand of cooler they're using and get any card and the appropriate kit to convert it for the cooling system? Some gpu manufacturers sell the kits or compatible pre-fab cards.

I can't do that without asking him about his water-cooling system, wouldn't that blow the element of surprise?

As far as I've gathered EVGA has some sort of guarantee for their cards, but I find it unclear whether this means that someone can return a card for another, in this case; if it turns out to be noisy. Its important to me that he gets support for his card if it goes bad, especially when it is one of these expensive ones.

I've decided for a EVGA GTX 680 but man, there are so many versions of this card, I can't be wrong when I say there are more than 16+ from EVGA alone.

Yeah its a good point about the fan control, at least that provides a little tuning. This is harder than I thought.

@crusader8463: That sounds really good, that's pretty fast card as well judging by some of the tests I've read. It doesn't have the EVGA guarantees and "quality support" I keep hearing people mention though, does it?

#17 Posted by crusader8463 (14411 posts) -

@Funkydupe: It's an Asus card so I doubt EVGA offers a warranty on it.

#18 Edited by Funkydupe (3305 posts) -

@crusader8463: Like an equivalent...

I'll go for one of these and just offer to buy it off him as an upgrade for myself if he think its messing up his silent system, that way he can at least use the money to buy something he knows will work out.

#19 Posted by crusader8463 (14411 posts) -

@Funkydupe: I believe it comes with a 3 year limited warranty. You will need to check out their site for the details. Can't say.

#20 Posted by Funkydupe (3305 posts) -

@crusader8463: Will do. Thanks

#21 Posted by returnofjake (231 posts) -

I bought the older version of this PC and the Gainward card plus the lovely case make a very quiet PC. So that's my recommendation!