Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Graphics Card Quiet: Gigabyte's Silent-Pipe II Cooling

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
June 2, 2006 10:24:57 AM

Gigabyte's Silent-Pipe II Cooling cards are designed to run silently - and they manage to hold their own against anything out there performance-wise. Harnessing their power and silence, though, requires a study in air-flow adjustments in your case.
June 2, 2006 11:39:35 AM

Good review. I was surprised by how much cooler the passive card was over the active card. I would get one definately.
June 2, 2006 12:07:04 PM

Just the review I was waiting for, thanks
Related resources
June 2, 2006 1:00:54 PM

Wow, I am impressed! I have been waiting for a silent card with decent power to come out. I originally looked at the silent 6600GT but I was hearing too many problems of overheating, plus the fact that it just wasn't that powerful of a card. I really like how this review tested the card in several different cases, as it gives me an idea of what to expect if I were to "upgrade" to this card for the silence factor.

Plus, this card is only $150??? That's awesome!

The only additional testing I'd like to see done with this card is testing in SLI...I wonder what temperatures and performance would be like. If I could upgrade from a noisy 6800 Ultra to two silent 7600GT's without much of a performance loss then I'd be really happy. Now that I think about it I don't even know how a single 7600GT stacks against a 6800 Ultra...off to the video card charts I go! (I hope they are both on there...)
June 2, 2006 1:58:15 PM

Good Review...

Would be nice to see how the card performs with the "improved" air flow of a BTX case. Can we make an update?

Any why is this thread in HW > Memory instead of graphics?
June 2, 2006 2:25:17 PM

I don't quite understand why this cooling device would work. The card is pulling in hot air, not cold air, from the back of the case. Once the air from the main case fans exits the case, the air just kinda sits there, especially with the mess of cables that people have at the back of their case. The passive solution here would pull this hot air back into the case, wouldnt it? Sure, the hot air would have a chance to mix slightly with cold air behind the case, but in the long run for extended gaming sessions I could see this as a potential problem.

Better just to spend the money for either a zalman cooler or liquid cooling, if you really want that silence. Personally, I'm either wearing headphones or I have the speakers going at a nice volume, so I never notice the case fans or any other noise anyways.
June 2, 2006 3:36:01 PM

Its kinda a tri slot solution you cant use the pci slot above the card you cant use the pci slot below the card. Put two of these into a comp and you probably wont have much space to put in anything else (audigy, wireless, TV tuner etc etc).

I set this card up on a P5WD2 Deluxe on the second PCIe lane the one far away from the NB. Because the heat radiating from the card was quite hot and too close to the NB. If I set this card up on the first PCIe slot near the NB I noticed the NBs temp would rise 5-6 deg C.

There are small silver metal fins that stick out near where you plug in your LCD on the back of the card. These fins bend reall easy (can be bent back into shape reall easy too) and can be a tight squeeze when you install your card you will find out for yourself (I used a Lian Li PC 60 Plus). But I must admit that its a good idea to put some of those hot fins on the outside of your case for better cooling.

The extra 120mm squirril that is mounted above the PCI slots wouldnt fit because of the heat pipe get in the way (just incase you plan to install this card into a Lian Li PC 60.

Overall if you MUST have a silent PC its not bad. There shouldnt be that much hype about this card tho considering ASUS did this to a 6600GT a few years back.

But keep in mind that you should have some decent air flow in your case to remove the heat generated from the GPU. That means case fans that means noize that means it is no longer slilent.

I wonder if two of these 7600GTsin SLI would beat a single 7900GT?? It would have been nice to see the SLI results of 2x 7600GTs... a quiet yet powerful system would be a drem come true for some HTPC makers. The SLI info would have been more useful to us than the info of how it rates in differnt pc cases.

The other thing I "like" about the card is that it does not need extra power from the PSU unlike the 7900GTs. This means you can get away with using a lower end PSU say 400 wat or so.

Pity the review used a "Nvidia reference board" because Gigabyte also made a 7600 GT with a fan, it would be nice to compare apples to apples, gigabyte to gigabyte.

When i purchased the card the one with heat pipes II is the same price as the normal one with a fan (the one with the fan was out of stock at the time)..... personally I can live with the noize which isnt alot and would prefer to use the PCI slots above and below the PCIe.
June 3, 2006 5:01:42 AM

Low power usage in processors is in vogue right now. You mention that no extra power connector is needed for the card, so the passively cooled card ought to use less. How about a comparison of how many watts this card uses compared to the reference card?
June 3, 2006 6:15:28 AM

You mention a certain point there with pulling in air that's coming out the back of the case and the airflow cable interference.

Of course, a lot depends on where your case is sitting and what you have behind it.

Also, there is the issue of inverted installations when the gpu sits above the cpu - the diagram does not address this.

One other thing to remember, hot air will always rise, so the heat going out the back will go out and up. Generally, there is always a difference in temperature between the ambient air and the inside of your case, so any air coming in should be cooler.

I am impressed by the performance too. It would be nice to have seen sli numbers.
June 3, 2006 9:57:34 AM

The design is very nice and seems to work well. This would work nice in a Home Theatre System.
June 3, 2006 6:41:31 PM

Correct. I was thinking the exact same thing. Low noise, low heat, HD output, good performance, good price.

And if one isn't enough, you can still install a second.

HTPC boxes being horizontal would allow ideal cooling as well, as long as you don't place your HTPC in a cabinet with a sealed rear, or with other hot AV equipment.
June 3, 2006 9:18:16 PM

Quote:
I don't quite understand why this cooling device would work. The card is pulling in hot air, not cold air, from the back of the case. Once the air from the main case fans exits the case, the air just kinda sits there, especially with the mess of cables that people have at the back of their case. The passive solution here would pull this hot air back into the case, wouldnt it? Sure, the hot air would have a chance to mix slightly with cold air behind the case, but in the long run for extended gaming sessions I could see this as a potential problem.

Better just to spend the money for either a zalman cooler or liquid cooling, if you really want that silence. Personally, I'm either wearing headphones or I have the speakers going at a nice volume, so I never notice the case fans or any other noise anyways.


hot air that exits the case goes up, what you said would make sense if you keep your tower upside down
June 4, 2006 9:17:50 PM

I`ts very nice cooling solution. My opinion is that graphic card manufacturers must start to make cards cooler with better performances.
Make the better chip but with lower power consumption and with better designed shaders. Put more memory on card but with lower cl-s.

I had experiment with pasive cooling with FX5700. I put a metal plate over the GPU with thin layer of gold and a ordinary heatsink from audio amplifier (10cmx5.5cm) idle temp - 28C, fill load 42C.

Just a little... and you get a good cooling sistem.
June 5, 2006 4:09:55 AM

Quote:
It would be nice to have seen sli numbers.


Sorry guys, there were a couple reasons I didn't take SLI benches. Primarily this review isn't about 7600 GT performance which is already well documented, but an analysis of the unique cooling system.

For the record, two 7600 GTs in SLI aren't as quick as a 7900 GT in all of the benches I've seen.
June 5, 2006 5:35:55 AM

Quote:
Primarily this review isn't about 7600 GT performance which is already well documented, but an analysis of the unique cooling system.


For sure, and I found it to be very interesting.

Quote:
Also of note, the Silent-Pipe II cools both sides of the video card, and thus doesn't ignore the top side of the card like many coolers do.


I've been playing with thermocouples, fans and the like on and around GPUs lately. I put a $3 slot cooler above an X1800XT with the fan opening flipped so it was right over the back side of the 1800. It was surprising just how much heat the slot fan pulled off the back of the card - and I fully expected it to be quite a bit.

Quote:
As mentioned in the beginning of the article, I have recently begun to notice the sheer amount of noise my PC makes. Replacing the reference 7600 GT with the Silent-Pipe II video card in my already loud PC tower did very little to lower the noise. Sure, it removed one of the loudest components of my system, but the remaining fans were still so loud that it didn't make all that much of a difference.

On the other hand, when I tested with the 3d Aurora case, the difference between the reference 7600 GT and the Silent-Pipe II was simply amazing. With the near-silent case, the regular 7600 GT was loud and obnoxious, especially under load when the fan speed automatically turned up.


This makes perfect sense, really, because of the physics of sound and just how much acoustical energy has to be removed from an item like a loud PC case to lower the SPL by a few dB. I would have liked to have seen the numbers. I've done noise abatement work and do understand how these data are not always clear-cut nor super impressive. When one is removing or reducing the noise source(s) to accomplish quieting, then nearly every major source must be reduced greatly or removed in order to get a loud item really quieted. Many people that work in a place they consider moderatley noisy do not consider the problem solved till the ambient SPL is reduced by at least 8 or 10 dB - which is a huge level of reduction!

Conversely, with the Aurora case, which was already reasonably quiet, the GPU probably represented a large proportion of the acoustical energy of the system, so when it was eliminated, the difference was easy to hear.

Excellent review! I hope PC component designers continue aggressively down this path.
June 5, 2006 9:46:05 AM

It seems cool but i think asus already did this and also a little time back even with the 7600, i don't know about asus effiency despite looking good , the asus i thing it would need alot more space and i also thing it would beneficiate from the better case airflow than the gygabyte, i would like to seem some head to head between these 2.

http://www.asus.com/products4.aspx?l1=2&l2=6&l3=0&model...
June 5, 2006 11:24:40 AM

I'm sure it would be nice to have a completely silent VC, but I now have Gigabyte's 7600 GT (non silentpipe II) and it's really not that loud. I even got rid of a few extra fans in my case after ditching the 6800 Ultra.

*shrugs*
June 5, 2006 11:34:55 AM

I'm tempted. I don't know what my next card will be but I'll make sure it's either sth silent or I'll make it so with an aftermarket solution. It's not during gaming that's distracting since the volume drowns the fan noise out but when I leave the system on all night because I'm downloading stuff it becomes too annoying. Of course the graphics card is not the only component to blame but it sure does contribute significantly to the problem
June 6, 2006 2:36:09 PM

What would be a better solution,


256MB 7600GS SLI or 7600GT ?
June 6, 2006 2:59:24 PM

Why would you want to SLI such a card? The 7600GT is better
June 6, 2006 9:11:24 PM

Has anyone here tried Oblivion with this thing in Sli? Does it support HDR graphical options? I was thinking of buying two of these bad boys for my new PC and was wondering how they held up on the graphics end of things?
June 7, 2006 2:20:22 AM

why 7600GS SLI is not a good idea ?

I've seen 7600GS SLI running nearly as fast as 7900GT and

7600GS doesn't have a fan and it's running very cool.

so my question is, why buy gigabyte silent 7600GT if 7600GS SLI can outperform it ,and it is also a silent solution costing the same price ?

Please let me know if I am mistaken in here.

Thanks.
June 7, 2006 10:27:52 AM

IMO SLI/Crossfire only make sense if you absolutely must have the best gear there is and money is no object. If you want the fastest graphics possible get 2 X1900XTX's or 2 7900GTX's and for a very short while you'll be king of the hill.

But with lower end graphics there is usually a single card that performs better than a 'budget' SLI setup and at a lower price point. Also with SLI when the time comes to upgrade you'll have to do so with 2 cards which is either not at all cost effective or at the very least frustrating.

However if you already have a card that's got some juice left and you want a short term upgrade option before you buy the next best thing then MAYBE it's worth considering buying a second identical card to SLI it. Or if you want to run 4 monitors for some reason.
June 9, 2006 9:49:28 AM

I would like to make one thing sure...

This cooling is NOT developed by Gigabyte, It is made by Zalmann for Gigabyte !!!!

I have 6600GT with Silent Pipe II, and if you look carefully on the cooler you will find the Zalmann Logo on it !!!!

My box had even the sticker on it...


In my opinion it is the best passive cooler Zalmann has ever made.
June 12, 2006 9:06:10 AM

thanks for the review!

I Bought one of the Gigabyte 7600GT Silent-Pipe II's today after reading this review - I'd been looking for a good, silent HTPC video card that wouldn't sacrifice a lot of performance.

I'm thinking about combining this with the Lian Li PC-V800B Black case, with its unusual layout that exhausts power supply air to the front. For a HTPC, these two will work great together I think - the power supply will suck cold air in from the rear, past the graphic card's cooler and exhaust it as hot air out the front (and not collect inside the wiring area, at the enclosed rear of the cabinet space). Better thermal flow than a conventional case, I think.

Using a good, quiet modular power supply with an automatic, slow 120mm fan, combine it with a very quiet CPU heat pipe like the Silverstone Nitrogon NT06 with 120mm fan, and this system should be quiet enough to have next to a big screen TV (and not overpower the glorious sounds from F.E.A.R. and FarCry! )
June 12, 2006 9:24:02 AM

Sparkle PCIE 7600GT - $255 AUD

VS

Gigabyte PCIE 7600GT with SILENT-PIPE II - $319 AUD

$64 just for the silent video cooling seems a bit too much.

Is there other solution on the market, which would provide the same performance without noise ?

Thanks.
June 12, 2006 9:52:44 AM

Hi TheGamer,
Before I bought the Gigabyte 7600GT e/w Silent Pipe II, I looked at these alternative cards. All quiet, none with the same performance/price:

ASUS EN7600GS SILENT/HTD/512M Geforce 7600GS 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 (~$147 USD)

ASUS EAX1600XT SILENT/TVD/256M Radeon X1600XT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 VIVO (~$169 USD)

eVGA 256-P2-N549 Geforce 7600GS 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 (~$115 USD)

VisionTek VTK X1600XT512PCIe Radeon X1600XT 512MB GDDR3 (~$265 USD)

So, for me, the answer to your question "Is there other solution on the market, which would provide the same performance [for less money] without noise ?" For me, when I looked, the answer was no.

Quiet=desirable, so I'd expect to pay more for same performance but quieter.

With all the silent cards above, there's the trade-offs of performance, features, and silence for a price -- just like Don says in his article -- I think the Gigabyte was the right combo for what I needed.
June 12, 2006 11:55:13 AM

Ok, thanks for that.

I can buy a good performance FanLess CPU cooler for $55AUD

Do you think it's better to get 7600GT with fan, but take out the noise from AMD 64 CPU or the other way around ?

Thanks
June 13, 2006 7:44:38 AM

Hi TheGamer,
If you plan to overclock your gaming PC, then you need adequate cooling for both o/c video and o/c CPU. Check the manufacturer's charts that show wattage dissipated at different clock rates, choose your clock rates, then you must provide cooling solutions for both that can exceed that rate of heat production.

I was amazed that the Gigabyte card's designed cooling actually outperformed a similar card equipped with a fan, in some cases.

Does the $55AUD fanless CPU cooler perform in your CPU's safe range at your chosen clock frequency?

noise-reduced and silent solutions are out there --
higher performance = higher price

less research = more smoke

Thanks!
June 13, 2006 10:15:04 AM

I was talking about Thermaltake Sonic Tower Heatsink, it's suitable for AMD Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX

http://www.thermaltake.com/coolers/4in1heatpipe/cl-p007...

And there are many other coolers awailable for around $50 - $60 AUD

So my question is,
will I benefit more from silent cooling of 7600GT GPU or AMD Athlon 64 CPU ?

Thanks.
June 28, 2006 10:23:52 AM

Quote:
I'm thinking about combining this with the Lian Li PC-V800B Black case, with its unusual layout that exhausts power supply air to the front. For a HTPC, these two will work great together I think - the power supply will suck cold air in from the rear, past the graphic card's cooler and exhaust it as hot air out the front (and not collect inside the wiring area, at the enclosed rear of the cabinet space). Better thermal flow than a conventional case, I think.


I dont see where the air would get in at the back though, just a small one in the corner and I dont see the path for that air to pass GFX and on to the PSU. If you want the Lian-Li case then I would get a GFX and buy a Zalman VF700/VF900. For a 7600GT(35W MAX) you only need a VF700-AlCu. Extremely quiet(at 5V setting) and perfectly adequate cooling(also has RAM coolers included).
http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=150&co...
As for CPU cooler, a Zalman 8000 looks both kind of low-profile(62mm), light and very high performance.
http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=203&co...

If you want a really quiet HTPC case, then look at the Antec NSK2400. Not the prettiest around but it has 2x120mm exhausts, grommeted(really SOFT) HDD bay and separate PSU chamber(so the PSU only cools itself). Its also modestly priced and includes a 380W PSU(28A on +12V), which is sufficient for any (air-cooled, single-GFX) system.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article591-page1.html

Quote:
I was talking about Thermaltake Sonic Tower Heatsink, it's suitable for AMD Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX

http://www.thermaltake.com/coolers/4in1heatpipe/cl-p007...

And there are many other coolers awailable for around $50 - $60 AUD

So my question is,
will I benefit more from silent cooling of 7600GT GPU or AMD Athlon 64 CPU ?


Of course, BOTH needs to be cooled silent for the whole system to be silent. And once youve silenced CPU+GPU you have the HDDs(probably the hardest one).

With good chassis ventilation(2x120mm fan exhaust) and not so high powered CPU (60-70W MAX output) you could passively cool it with a Scythe Ninja:
http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/cpu/001/index.html
http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/cpu/006/scnj1000p.htm...

Here is what I did:
http://aegd.cjb.net/dexton/osorterat/Dsc01397_sonic_ful...

thats a Thermaltake Sonic Tower with a 120mm fan sandwiched in the middle of it. You just bend the "fin towers" apart a little and stick it in. You can attach some THIN soft foam to the fan motor hub to make it sit more secure. The fan is a Yate Loon D12SL(same as Nexus real silent) thats undervolted so it runs at ~500-700rpm(silent). The CPU is a Sempron E6 64bit S754 that runs at 2,4GHz with 1,58V(1,8GHz/1,4V stock). When running cpuburn it maxes at ~55C.

Johan
a b U Graphics card
June 28, 2006 3:07:31 PM

Quote:

Sorry guys, there were a couple reasons I didn't take SLI benches. Primarily this review isn't about 7600 GT performance which is already well documented, but an analysis of the unique cooling system.


I'd like to see how one handles the heat of another just below it, but IMO, anyone SLi'ing in the first place should be water cooling anyways (unless trying a workstation like design with few moving parts).

I think the GF7600GT is a good replacement for those who used the previous king of Silence, the Gigabyte X800XL (the X800XT from Gateway was special order only, but it could also be considered king for a day).

Nice review very comprehensive, but definitely not enough pictures or graphics. :tongue:

Good Job mang!
June 29, 2006 2:26:47 PM

Quote:

I think the GF7600GT is a good replacement for those who used the previous king of Silence, the Gigabyte X800XL (the X800XT from Gateway was special order only, but it could also be considered king for a day).


Sort of but X800XL (and also 6600GT, which also came in fanless variants) consumes just under 50W while the 7600GT only sips 35W! Im very impressed with the performance with this power consumption!
a b U Graphics card
June 29, 2006 5:05:33 PM

Quote:

Sort of but X800XL (and also 6600GT, which also came in fanless variants) consumes just under 50W while the 7600GT only sips 35W!


Yes, but that's the nice advanatage of moving from 119nm non-LowKd to 90nm Low-Kd. OC the GF7600GT and it consumes much more power though, and the power consumption rates are not linear between the 2 due to design. Either way it's a good card to replace an X800XL with, no 'sort of' about it.

Quote:
Im very impressed with the performance with this power consumption!


I'm not to impressed with power consumption figures (both don't require extra cables, so that's what makes a huge difference IMO) the 6-14Watts diff amounts to less than a buck a year on my hydro bill if it were running 24/7. However the performance with the ability to cool passively is what's impressive, since it's technically the replacement of the slowed down Gigabyte vanilla GF6800 & GF6600, so good performance leap there.
!