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Performance to noise ratio

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 29, 2007 10:49:07 AM

Hey guys

I'm looking to upgrade my ancient FX5800 box to something with a bit more punch - probably to a DX10 (which means nvidia again..) card in case it takes me another 4+ years to upgrade. However - I'm tired of hearing my fans all day long and I want something quieter.

How noisy are the various cards of the 8800 range? Or does my only hope of a quieter life lie with watercooling?
May 29, 2007 11:10:02 AM

All modern card can get noisy. From 6800s, to X850s, to 8800s. You can use fan controls using tools like ATI Tool, to set your fan speeds accordingly.

For example, if you're not gaming, you can turn down the fan, thus quieter, and if you're in a game, you can turn up the fan to keep the card cool.

I'm with mplich on this one, try it out first, then decide if to look for aftermarket cooling.
May 29, 2007 11:34:37 AM

I seem to recall that the 5800 was considered very loud in its day, but I've no idea how it would compare to a modern card. Hopefully if the 5800 is really that bad, a new card might have a chance at making less noise.

Of course, it isn't the only fan in your system, and a machine that old probably doesn't have any fan speed regulation unless you added a fan controller. If your machine has decent temps, you might consider getting one.

What are the full specs of your machine? It would help people figure out how to cool it better if they knew what you had.
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May 29, 2007 12:26:18 PM

A lot of modern cards are quite loud when they get hot.

I would advise, as mpilchfamily does, to get an aftermarket cooler. The Thermalright HR-03 is currently the best, and also has the advantage of you being able to choose the fan for it - check out silentpcreview.com to select your fan.
May 29, 2007 12:28:12 PM

I'm going to upgrade just about everything in my system apart from my dvd writer and x-fi card I think but I'll be buying quieter components than just stock, at least at first.

I think I just wanted to know if the 8000 series were particularly noisy or not but it seems they aren't. Ideally I'd like an almost silent rig - anyone got a silent rig that they would like to recommend? I know there's a payoff between power and silence - I'm just looking for a good compromise.
May 29, 2007 12:35:47 PM

Great link, thanks Ethel!
May 29, 2007 4:47:13 PM

Quote:
Hey guys

I'm looking to upgrade my ancient FX5800 box to something with a bit more punch - probably to a DX10 (which means nvidia again..) card in case it takes me another 4+ years to upgrade. However - I'm tired of hearing my fans all day long and I want something quieter.

How noisy are the various cards of the 8800 range? Or does my only hope of a quieter life lie with watercooling?



Go ahead and do your upgrade ,,,then you will find out that today's systems are quieter [look for low decibel ratings on the fans Frosty Tech is a good site to start] than what you started out with,you might only need watercooling if you plan on extreme overclocking,,,otherwise something like the Vantec pro6 will do quite nicely for your VGA,,folks oftimes forget to get the heat from the GPU OUT of their boxes,especially with the little cases they buy these days,thus needing lots'a of fans to do a job ,which,if they had a larges case would be a lot easier and quieter with fewer fans..:) )
May 29, 2007 4:48:38 PM

I own the 8800gts 640 and it's NOT quiet. It's not too loud, but it's not quiet. I think that I said it best before: it sounds like a computer is supposed to sound: fans whirring. Sure, it may be a little on the loud side, but my GPU never goes above like 67C with my OC and the fan kicked on high when I'm gaming. If I dont hear the fans, I know something is SERIOUSLY wrong unlike watercooling when all you see is the puddle and by that time, it's too late. Seriously, though... when you game, do you use headphones or surround sound? Either way, the sound coming from your speakers/hp's are going to kill out all the noise that's coming from underneath your desk.
If you want anything near silent, just go watercooled. Nothing in the performance parts area is going to be thermally-friendly to your box without aftermarket this or water that. Even the northbridge and southbridge chipsets need active cooling these days. While some designs like heatpipes are thermally efficient while keeping noise down inside your system, most of these still make use of a fan to move air across the radiators.
May 29, 2007 11:17:09 PM

No probs - the only thing I would add is to avoid the Noctua fans - I was seduced by them and haven't been overly impressed by their performance.
!